How to Make Diet Transformation An Adventure

While I'm away on my month-long adventure I have some friends here to help me share their experiences with adventure. Today Alison from alisonsmith.com is talking about how to make diet transformation an adventure because it totally is!  

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I remember the day, vividly, when I had to make the decision to radically change my diet.

I was extremely sick, and I had no idea why. All I knew was that I had to make a move. I had to be the one to save myself because the myriad of specialists that I saw had no idea what was causing my illness.

The epiphany I experienced, at the point of realization when I intuitively knew that I was going to be the catalyst to my recovery, was very empowering. I had already waited a year and half for answers that did not come. I was living in a holding pattern waiting for a doctor to save me. But, in essence and reality, I had to save myself.

Hindsight is 20:20, right. But, at this point, I know that medical intervention is only one piece of any recovery puzzle. We as individuals have an incredible responsibility to take pointed action to reclaim our health, for ourselves. And, I look at that responsibility not as a burden, but as liberation.

All of us make important decisions each day; we decide whether we will roll with the punches, or wave the white flag of surrender. We make the decision on how we will react to adversity. And, our thoughts, in the end, determine our perception and experience of any trial and tribulation.

When radical changes need to be made in your life, you have the option to come out fighting with a smile on your face, or to retreat, ignore, and dive into anger and despair about your predicament. And, I don't know about you, but I would rather come out swinging than remaining unconscious to the amazing possibilities that lie ahead.

Do you know deep down inside that you need to change the way that you eat? Have you been resisting the process because you have no idea where to start? Do you feel overwhelmed? Everything that you are thinking and feeling is a valid reaction to the major shift that needs to take place. And, I believe that all of us need to honor how we feel. But once we acknowledge that we are fearful or overwhelmed that is the moment when we need to push forward.

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I suggest that you look at diet transformation as the big adventure that it is. And, here are 10 ways to leap into that adventure:

1. Indulge in beautiful books: There is nothing better than a stack of books and a cup of tea -- at least that's my opinion. I love the look and feel of gorgeous books: I'm staring at a stack of them right now. Your diet transformation may include going gluten-free or sugar-free or introducing more RAW foods into your diet, and I think there is a great deal of inspiration and clarity to be had from getting your hands on some fabulous food books. I would suggest Superfoods by David Wolfe and Conscious Eating by Gabriel Cousens. Start your transformative adventure by getting educated. Gathering information is a wonderful way to squash fear and overwhelm because it provides you with direction and clarity.

2. Experiment, Baby!: I love to experiment in the kitchen. Since I live gluten-free, sugar-free, corn-free, and mostly vegetarian, I'm constantly experimenting with new recipes (and creating new recipes for my Food Love Friday blog post). There is a wealth of websites that focus in on recipes for those transitioning to a more clean and healthy diet. Create a bookmark folder in your browser, and start collecting the names of websites that specialize in the food you are interested in making. And, while you're at it, have fun in the kitchen! Food doesn't have to be complicated; it can be an amazing adventure.

3. Invite your friends on the journey: I think adventures are so much more fun when I have company with me. Now…beware! Some people in your life will not be open to trying new foods. In fact, they may criticize your decision to transform the way that you eat. Criticism is fine; in fact, it's natural. It's a reaction to change. Let your friends and family know that you are shifting to a more healthy diet, and you would love for them to join you on the ride. Some will come along, some will not. But it will be fun nonetheless -- just have a dinner party!

4. Find your tribe: Making lasting changes in your life is more plausible when you surround yourself with likeminded individuals. So, find your tribe! Go beyond asking your friends and family to join you on your diet transformation adventure. Get out there, online, in person, on Skype, on the phone…meet new people that have made the transition to a more healthy diet, and view them as the wealth of knowledge that they are. There are some wonderful Meet Up groups in every city (i.e. vegan potlucks, raw food potlucks, gluten-free clubs, etc.). Just go to Meetup.com.

5. See the health food store as a treasure chest: Health food stores are really off the hook now a days. They are so jam-packed with new and exciting products that it's easy to spend heaps of time perusing the goods. Visit your local health food store, and try out products that seem interesting. There are so many gluten-free products now that transitioning into a gluten-free diet is so much more easy than it was even 7 years ago.

6. Discover food alternatives: From the information that you gather at the beginning of your adventure, write down all of the alternatives that are available. For example, if you are going gluten-free, write down all of the flour alternatives and bread products that you enjoy. Make sure that your alternative list is extensive enough to provide you with variety, since it is the spice of life after all.

7. Create fun challenges: I love a challenge. Recently, I hosted a 21-Day Juicing Challenge on my website. It was amazing. 190 people signed-up, from all over the world, and we all drank one fresh juice each day for 21-Days. Simple. Challenges provide you with a fun way to maintain accountability. And, they are a fun way to connect with others doing the challenge with you. Here are some potential challenges for you: go gluten-free for 3 weeks; go sugar-free for 10 days; eat one new vegetable that you've never had each week for 6 weeks. Goodness…the possibilities for challenges are endless!

8. Soar with an open mind: Change is hard. And, when it comes to the food that we eat, we have some very strong beliefs and ideas that prevent us from making changes. Remember, to stay gentle with yourself. Keep an open mind. All you can do is complete the experiment. Discover how changing the way you eat transforms how YOU feel. And, do not be swayed by others because what works for them may not work for you and vise versa. You are a glorious individual that deserves a tailor made life and diet.

9. Grab inspiration: I gather a great deal of energy and motivation from hearing and watching the stories of others who have transformed their lives. In terms of diet transformation that ultimately revolutionizes life, I think the biggest bang for your buck is to watch documentaries like Food Matters, May I Be Frank, Forks Over Knives, Fat Sick & Nearly Dead, Raw Food Super Charge Me, or Crazy Sexy Cancer.

10. Share your knowledge: As you transform your diet, you will be accumulating a vast amount of new information and know-how. I say share that know-how with others who are interested in hearing it. Don't start preaching to people who are not ready to make a change in their lives. Just talk gently to those who are expressing interest, and show them that changing the way that you eat doesn't have to be the scary endeavor that most of us imagine it to be. It's an adventure that is filled with discovery, inspiration, transformation, and happiness in knowing that you have control over your destiny.

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Alison Smith is a neuroscientist, writer and a wellness junkie on a mission to promote self-care and self-love to those battling back to abundant health and happiness. Schooled by her own journey back to vibrant health and vitality, following a 7-year battle with Lyme Disease, Alison is the creator of alisonsmith.com and the FREE e-book, Recharge Your Body: 52 Smoothie & Juice Recipes. Alison is a sugar-free & gluten-free coach who lives and breathes by the motto: Live healthy. Live happy. Live now.

Look How Far You’ve Come: Reflections On My Solo Yoga Retreat in Ubud

While I'm away on my month-long adventure I have some friends here to help me share their experiences with adventure. Today Claire from This is Lifeblood is talking all about her  reflections from a solo trip in Ubud, Bali. 

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The first time I visited Ubud on a yoga retreat it rocked my world. It was there in September of 2012, that I finally gave myself permission to just be me. To forget what everyone else thought, to let go of what was stopping me from being truly authentic in the world, and just be Claire Baker in all her inner-health-freak, self-love-preaching, yogini-wannabe glory. While still being totally cool and awesome.

I reflect upon that week as a real catalyst in the journey I’ve been on, as I figure out how I want to live my one precious life.There’s nothing like spending time in an environment that embraces and embodies yoga, organic food, meditation, art and spirituality in the way that Ubud does; the place is a haven for holistic health and it holds an incredibly special place in my heart.

Late last year I trekked back to Ubud for 5 days on a little solo DIY yoga retreat and to be honest, I kind of hoped it would rock my world in the same way this time around. I wanted it to shake my soul and crack me open.

But, it didn’t reeeaaaally do that.

I didn’t feel the same raw excitement I had felt last year when I’d discovered Ubud; the abundance of Ayurvedic healing centres, raw food and crystal stores plus yoga schools with every style of yoga imaginable had me in fits of elation! I was hungry for change and desperate for guidance and enlightenment. I found a freedom I had never felt before amongst a myriad of like-minded souls.

But, I discovered quickly that this trip wasn’t about aha! moments as it was much more about finding peace, release and space. Expansion. Limitless. Connecting with God. Coming home.

It was in the second of two conversations I had in the entire 5 days I was in Ubud (a mini silent retreat really!), with a chilled out, meditation-junkie dude named Mal, that I heard myself say ‘I guess I realize how far I have come this year’, when it didn’t seem a revelation to me that a relaxing time away could encompass vast amounts of silence, coconut kefir and 8pm bedtimes.

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A year ago, that notion would have both excited and terrified me. A year later, I now recognize it as apart of me. So much of what rocked my world about Ubud a year before, has become my norm now. I have successfully integrated so much of what I had fallen in love with, into my daily life. Which is both totally cool and awesome. Mal thought so too.

Plus, last year I was dreading returning home to my "not exactly soul satisfying job", while this time around, I went back to work on Sunday because I love what I do!

So what else did I realise?

  • Ubod embodies the three biggest loves of my life; nourishment, exploration and creativity. Yoga, food, meditation, art, music, adventure. Love.
  • That this time to myself wasn’t so much about assessing the life-changing events of the past year, but about embracing what is to come and being comfortable with the uncertainty of it all. Acceptance of reality; full and total acceptance of the unknown.
  • I need to take more time away from my phone, social media, my laptop and my emails. I had neither a phone, laptop or TV for 5 days and it was bliss. I slept better. Decisions were infinitely easier to make. I ate mindful. I read books. I was present.
  • Honey and cucumber facials and yoghurt body scrubs are heaven-sent. Where did that forehead wrinkle run off to?
  • I love taking myself out for dinner. I need to do this more often!
  • I really, really want to write a book.
  • I definitely don’t need alcohol to relax anymore. I didn’t have a single drink the whole time I was away and I didn’t even think about it.
  • But I do need to allow myself to feel more. I know I’ve been distracting myself with other things. Need to stop escaping.
  • I freakin’ love yoga. So much. And I can’t wait to teach it myself!
  • I am supported, always. And so are you. We are given only what we can handle and precisely what we need.

Ubud holds an incredibly special place in my heart and returning there, was like coming home to myself. I can’t wait to see what my next trip there brings… Tell me, have you ever had a moment while travelling that made you realize just how far you have come?

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Claire Baker is a health and life coach, writer and creative from sunny Perth, Australia. Claire holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design and received her coaching certification through The Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City.  Claire works with women who are ready to transform their health, tap into their creativity and make real lifestyle changes.

Her clients (from all over the world) experience greater confidence, improved relationships, more joy and clear complexions. Through her honest and informative blog and unique coaching packages, you can consider Claire your personal advocate for living a creative, energised and passionate life.

Come say hi at This is Lifeblood, her online space to share her passion for all things nourishing, soulful and creative and subscribe to her free weekly love letters. You can also connect with her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter @_clairebaker_.

 

When Being a Quitter is a Good Thing

While I'm away on my month-long adventure I have some friends here to help me share their experiences with adventure. Today Natalia from Achieve the Impossible is talking about how she found a sense of adventure in choosing to make a hard decision but one that was best for her and her life. 

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Last year, out of the blue, I was offered a volunteer leadership opportunity with a coaching organization. Based on my conversations, the role seemed like a great fit and it sounded like an amazing adventure.

I was given a few days to think it over; but the way I saw it, it was a done deal. I was so excited to be a part of a dynamic professional community and create great work together. What’s not to love?

Six months into the job, I was spending about 40 hours a week struggling to stay atop of my volunteer duties, often neglecting my business, personal relationships and other important commitments. Hard work never bothered me; however, in this case, as much as I tried, I couldn’t make it work. Turns out, this tribe wasn’t my tribe and the work, well, it didn’t light my heart on fire.

What I thought was going to be an exciting adventure in reality felt like torture.

But what could I do?

I made a commitment and it was my responsibility to keep my end of the bargain. I couldn’t just walk away, after all, people were counting on me.

Many of you, I’m sure, have been in a similar predicament. It’s tough to navigate but not impossible to handle. This is what you do:

Be honest with yourself

This is hard but the truth will set you free.

At first, I was afraid to the truth about I was really feeling and refused to listen to all the different ways my body was telling me to stop. Denial takes a lot of physical energy and emotional space. I felt tired and couldn’t find the motivation to do anything at all. Once I found the courage to be honest with myself, I felt free and energetic. I finally had the emotional bandwidth to consider my options and next steps. Oh relief!

Resistance Vs. It’s not working out

This is the type of thing I asked myself in the first few months. Is it resistance? Or is it just not working out?

Sometimes it takes to know for sure. We need to give it a solid try and I think there’s nothing wrong with that. But, some people don’t like licorice, they don’t need to try anymore – they just don’t like the taste. While many people before me loved doing this work, it wasn’t quiet the right fit for me.

With anything life, we have to know where the line is between resistance and something not being a good match. Do you really want to do it? Or is it something you’re doing because you think you have to?

What are saying Yes to?

Integrity is important to me and I loathe breaking promises. So much that I’ve been known to keep my promises regardless of how I felt about them. My word was a rock and so was I.

A wise woman once told me that by saying YES to things I don’t want to do, I was saying NO to things that energized and filled me up. Keeping a promise for the sake of keeping a promise is not being in integrity, it’s self-torture.

Yes, keeping your word is an honorable thing to do and people will always appreciate this about you. But what are you giving up as a result? What are you saying NO to by continuing to say YES to things that no longer serve you?

You’re allowed to change your mind

You can commit to something and then change your mind. It doesn’t make you a flake. It means that situation has changed and what once seemed like a great idea doesn’t fit anymore.

You know as well as I do that it’s nearly impossible for us to fully show up and do our best work when your heart is not in it. I thought I was doing this coaching organization a favor by enduring when in reality they deserved someone who wanted to be there and could give them their 100 per cent.

Ask yourself why it is that you do what you do, and whether you truly want to keep going. It’s worth noticing if you’re doing it because you think you have to, while ignoring something that you embrace enthusiastically and with your whole heart.

When I realized that I didn’t to force myself do the work that didn’t fill me up, I felt better. Sure, I may have disappointed others and some may think of me as a quitter. But I was quitting in favor of something that I wanted more: to work on projects that were closely aligned with my soul’s desires and surround myself with people who’s company I enjoyed.

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Natalia is a certified life coach for women who are dreaming of aligning with their deepest truth and living a gorgeous life. Through her 1:1 sessions, eBooks and her signature eCourse - Unravel Yourself Circle - Natalia helps her clients explore different ways they hold themselves back, why they do it, and how to move past it. Shine with passion + take brave strides towards a life you love at Achieve the Impossible.

And the winners are...

What a fun month of giveaways and beautiful, soulful guest posts by 5 of the most incredible, lovely women I know.

Month by month I am constantly surprised by all the big and expansive ways the universe is driving  me closer to my divine purpose and I'm so excited to officially have opened enrollment to my first ever 10 day program -- Release + Remove + Rebuild: A Permission Slip to Build Your Best Life.

This is 10 days dedicated to cleansing your body, mind and soul and beginning to let go of fears surrounding food and your body.

I can't tell you how many women (and men) I know who put so much emphasis on the size of their waistline instead of the size of their heart and character only to find themselves miserable in their life and questioning why?

Here is the thing, I completely understand because I was that person for a very long time. I know first hand how easy it is to place so much of our self-worth and identity around the size of our jeans.

And I'm here to tell you that there is a better way to live. One that is full of life, love, happiness, and most important, a body that you love instead of loath.

This 10 day program is based on all the tools I used to overcome a 20 year battle with food and my body.

Click here to learn more about this incredible program and how you can enroll at the super low-cost of $14.95.

And now...

and the winners are

 ONE spot in Natalia's new (and amazing) e-course, Unravel Yourself Circle 

Congrats Amanda Dugan!

 Rock Your Body Now Strategy Session with Elizabeth McKenzie

Congrats Holly Sugrue!

Vegetable Spiralizer from Heather Rampolla

Congrats Patti Martin!

Giveaway: One-month 'Build Your Best Life' Coaching with me

Congrats Kim!

Ladies, you all should have a lovely email waiting for you in your inbox! Make sure to check your spam account if you don't see anything from me

Much love to you all!

Guest Post: Radiate your passion – it’s good for you, and everyone else by Natalia Chouklina

Birthday month is coming closer to an end and there is only one more Monday guest post after this. I truly hope you have enjoyed reading the inspiring, honest and brilliant words of the women who have shared already. Today's post is from a sweet and dear lovely, Natalia. I met Natalia back over the summer and we've been budding a little friendship through email back and forth. She is truly an inspiring individual on so many levels but specifically because she really walks the walk.

Her post today is all about radiating your passion and embracing and shining your enthusiasm for the world to absorb, something that we both feel deeply about.

She is also giving away something so amazing so make sure you read all the way to the bottom of the post to see what it is. And if you missed the other three giveaways, make sure you check them out as well:

One-month 'Build Your Best Life Coaching' with Amanda from The Savoury Soul

A Vegetable Spiralizer from Heather at Raw and Not Alone

Rock Your Body Now Strategy Session with Elizabeth from Your Highest Self

All giveaways are featured at the bottom of the post and will be open for a limited time so if one looks appealing just follow the instructions to be qualified and please share if you think others would be interested!

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Guest Post by Natalia from Achieve the Impossible

A while back I found myself sharing a glass of vino with a group of amazing women and chatting about everything under the sun. Introductions out of the way, one of the ladies asked me:

'‘What kind of a life coach are you?’

I LOVE answering this question and could talk about life coaching for hours with anyone who’d listen.

‘I’m in business of helping people make their dreams come true!’ – I responded enthusiastically. (Getting goose bumps and teary eyed as I type this!)

I glanced around the table with a happy grin on my face and noticed a couple women sporting a look I knew all too well.

It was a look of a person who’s been hardened by time, disappointments and setbacks. It was a look of person whose passionate enthusiasm had been replaced with hard-wired pragmatism, and it said:

‘You are so young and full of dreams; give it a few years and it will change.”

The conversation died shortly after I shared my age and my excitement was chalked up to a young-and-hopeful syndrome.

I was sad. Not because nobody shared my enthusiasm, but I was reminded what it was like to live a life sans excitement and uncontained dreaming.

It’s no fun at all.

Not so long ago I was the one looking exactly same way at the eager sales executives, and I smirking at their ambitions of changing the world one sale at a time.

Enthusiasm irritated me and brought on a wave of sarcastic comments. I felt tired and resentful most days. This persistent lack of enthusiasm for life and my job eventually led me to exit the industry altogether to search for something different.

“If it doesn’t light you up, you are the wrong person for a job.” – Danielle LaPorte

There was nothing wrong with the job – it simply wasn’t for me. Despite my sarcasm, I saw that enthusiastic people looked alive and attractive. I wanted me some of that!

Here’s what I’ve learned about enthusiastic people:

1. They are magnetic. Enthusiastic people radiate light from inside out, and this in itself is enrolling, compelling and moving!

2. When you discover what lights you up, someone’s display of enthusiasm no longer annoys you – you ride the wave together! You seek out different ways to combine your ideas and energy instead of hating and judging.

Brene Brown says that ‘vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation’. I would like to add enthusiasm to this mix. Being authentically enthusiastic about anything calls on you to show up and to practice courage like you wouldn’t believe!

It’s a lot easier to stick with the crowd and blend in especially when your ideas are unique and untested!

When writing my website copy the first time around, I decided to stick with the tried-and-true coaching lingo instead of writing about what made me go ga-ga with excitement, a message centered on listening and trusting our inner wisdom.

I researched other successful coaches, borrowed an idea here, a structure there, massaged it, changed a few words and posted that.

Now I had a professional looking website with a very proper message. Except that it felt meh. It was another boring website with no personality, like the world needs any more of those.

A re-do was in order and this time I told myself that I will not a post anything unless I absolutely loved it. It mattered not if it wasn’t professional, eloquent or didn’t meet the industry standard. The words had to make my heart burn with excitement when I read them, otherwise – bye-bye!

Enthusiasm is indispensable in the creation process. It’s what makes your uniquity rise to the surface! It’s a key ingredient in invigorating others and enrolling them into your possibility!

‘Most amazing people are a tad obsessive and eccentric. Driven. Devoted.’ – Danielle Laporte

This brings me to my main point – the world needs your enthusiasm, your passion and your excitement. Witnessing enthusiastic people in action reminded what I was missing out on, and inspired me to search for what made my heart shine and eyes sparkle!

Allow yourself to get giddy with excitement, dream big, show your enthusiasm and share your awesome ideas with the whole wide world!

Your dreams are not for everyone; however, eventually you will meet people who will eagerly share the road with you. The road that fills your heart with love, your soul with passion and your body with life force and will inspire others to do the same.

Isn’t this the most awesome way to heal the world, don’t you think?

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GIVEAWAY

Natalia is launching her first e-course, Unravel Yourself Circle beginning on October 23, 2013. Only 15 spots are available and she is graciously giving one of YOU a chance to win one of the precious places.

What do you have to do to enter? Just leave a comment on either her facebook or mine (The Savoury Soul) and tell us, "What does Unraveling mean to you?"

It's that easy! Also, please feel free to share this post. The more the merrier!

pic 1 aboutNatalia wants to live in the world where everyone wakes up feeling 100% alive, ‘Thank You’ notes are written by hand, and kindness and generosity are default responses to everything.

A wildly passionate life coach + thought-provoking writer, she’s been spotlighted on Kind Over Matter, Wellness Warrior, Wild Sister Magazine, In Spaces Between and Sprout Magazine.

Her first signature e-courseUnravel Yourself Circle - launches at the end of October 2013.

When she’s not coaching up a storm, she can be found walking in Stanley Park, testing a new Bon Appetite recipe with her man and watching 70s cop shows.

Find out how to shine with passion + take magnificent strides towards making your dreams come true in life & in business at Achieve the Impossible.