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Self-Care

Making All Parts of Travel Easeful, FUN and Healthy {Part 2}

Posted on Jul 22, 2017 in Blog, Exercise & Fitness, General, Health & Nutrition, Joy & Happiness, Self-Care, Stress Reduction | 0 comments

On my last blog, I talked about easeful trip preparation, for you and your business, and how to transition and get settled more easily when you return home.  

In this blog, I’ll be focusing on your physical health while traveling. 

For me, my physical health (which impacts my mental and emotional health) is affected hugely by 3 things when traveling – Food, Hydration, Supplementation.  Here are my favorite tips and strategies for feeling both healthy during and after travel. 

1.  Pack Your Own Food and / or Snacks

Best case scenario – if I have time, I’ll pack my own salad or go to Whole Foods (if on the way to the airport) and grab a takeaway salad.  This isn’t always feasible (like only 20% of the time) so at the very least I pack unsalted nuts, nutrition bars, a piece of fruit, a bag of baby carrots and raw chocolate. 

2.  Hydrate Like Crazy!

Drinking water during the flight (and avoiding coffee, soda and alcohol) is one of the best ways to combat travel stress, fatigue and jet lag.  These are the 3 ways I hydrate to keep it interesting, feel great and have something to look forward to on long flights (I’m ALL about having things to look forward to :)

~ Hydrate With Superfoods

One of my favorite ways to hydrate is to buy the biggest bottle of water I can find (after I go through security) and add in Amazing Grass’ Green SuperFood Cacao Chocolate Infusion and 4-6 drops of Sweet Leaf’s English Toffee Liquid Stevia*.  

I then instantly have a full bottle of cold, refreshing, heavenly goodness.  Seriously, drinking this mixture makes me feel SO good during the flight (it’s usually gone in an hour). 

*Both are pictured above and available at Whole Foods or Amazon.

~ Hydrate with Herbal Tea

Strangely, US airlines don’t seem to have herbal tea onboard (international flights do carry green tea), so pack 2-3 herbal tea bags and a glass tea tumbler.  I use our Sacred Lotus Love Tea Tumblers, of course :)  Simply ask the flight attendant to fill your Tea Tumbler with hot water – they don’t mind, when you ask really nicely. 

~ Hydrate with Sparkling Water

 When asked what I want to drink – I always ask for sparkling water.  Another way to keep you drinks healthy…and interesting. 

3.  Bring Treats

If you’ve done my SexyFit™ Nutrition Challenge, you’ll know that I’m a huge believer in having healthy treats to look forward to, and that I also really promote “filling the void”.  Limited options, hunger and boredom make it easier to succumb to eating unhealthy food – so bring your own healthy treats to replace that bag of snack cookies.   My favorites?  Raw Chocolate and Raw Chocolate Macaroons – traveling or not.

4.  Avoid / Minimize

These are pretty obvious (all are dehydrating), but avoid or minimize the following as they make travel fatigue and recovery worse:

  • Salt, Sugar + White Carbs
  • Caffeine + Alcohol
  • Sauces + Desserts
  • Most airplane snacks

5.  Maximize

Airports ARE getting much better these days with choices for healthy options.  I try to eat these foods:

  • Salads + Healthy Dressings
  • Raw Veggies + Greens
  • Raw Nuts + Fruit
  • Healthy Proteins + Low Glycemic Carbs

 6.  Boost Your Immune System

I never go a day without my USANA supplements, but when I know I’ll be traveling, I add in extra Proflavanol C100 (USANA’s Grapeseed Extract and Vit C) 2 days before, during and 2 days after, to naturally boost my immune system.

7.  Never Beat Yourself Up

What fully intend to eat great while traveling, and even pack healthy snacks…but you miss a connecting flight, end up sleeping overnight in a Singapore airport b/c all the hotels are booked, can’t find anything healthy to eat, are overtired, stressed and hangry?  And proceed to eat your way to from Singapore-Japan-USA?

I’ve been there, exactly, as a matter of fact – on a killer flight 4 years ago.  

So, what did I do?  I finally arrived at my destination, drank a huge glass of water, took my USANA MyHealthPak and extra Proflavanol C100 and went to bed.  The next morning, I got up, MOVED in natural light (ran for 20 min outside), ate a healthy breakfast high in protein, drank lots of water, kept my  blood sugar balanced the whole day by eating extra protein and greens, went to bed early and didn’t beat myself up over it.

It’s so important to remember that one day will not affect your overall health negatively; it’s what you do AFTER that matters most.  I love this question as it always helps me get back on track – “what would healthy person would do now?” Be gentle and nurturing with yourself during this one day, knowing that tomorrow you will be completely back on track and feeling great. 

And yes, Tips 1-6 do require a little more planning (packing snacks, herbal tea bags, tea tumbler, supplements), but they help ensure that you have healthy and interesting options (hunger and boredom will push you towards unhealthy food).  

And why not make your trip as enjoyable as possible – and something that you look forward to, even if it takes a little more work on the front end?

Preparation, Filling the Void and Not Beating Yourself Up if you DO have a less-than-healthy travel day, are all part of making travel really work for you.  These days, I love all parts of travel b/c I intentionally create the environment I want – healthy, ease-ful, interesting and pleasurable. 

Over to you! Did this resonate? Do personally use any of the above tips already? What other travel tips help you wander the world with ease, enjoyment and health?  What non-negotiable health strategies that make all the difference for you?

Share here – the best insights happen in the comments when we share our ideas and strategies. I personally read every single comment and and always respond – I love to hear.

Miss Part 1?  Click here to read.

Lots of love,

Carmen Marshall

PS Think someone would benefit from this blog? Sharable icons on the left :)

 

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Making All Parts of Travel Easeful, FUN and Healthy {Part 1}

Posted on Jul 1, 2017 in Blog, Business Advice, General, Health & Nutrition, Joy & Happiness, Personal Development, Self-Care, Stress Reduction | 2 comments


I LOVE travel – everything about it. Well, almost everything.  NOT the packing, unpacking…and the extra effort it takes to stay healthy.

So, when I started living around the world six years ago, and knowing I was going to be doing a lot of travel, by choice, I decided that I was going to make even the UN-FUN parts of travel…enjoyable, ease-ful and healthy.

Note:  I’ve written this as 2-part blog so it’s easy to digest and put into action. Today, I’ll give you my favorite strategies for easeful preparing + packing, for your business, and for you when you return home.  On my next blog I’ll dive into how to stay physically and emotionally healthy while traveling.

1.  Eliminate the “Shoot – I forgot my ____, again!”

Keep a running “My Travel List” of the things you typically forget AND what you think of while on trips (this last trip I was wishing  I’d brought my little wooden lemon reamer for lemon water in the am!). Have at least 2 lists as they require different packing strategies:

  • My Travel List – Business
  • My Travel List – Vacation

What’s my favorite App for this?  I use Reminders on my iPhone as it’s super easy to use (example shown above) and I continually add to my lists.

2.  Use Your Subconscious

A week before your trip, designate an area (corner of your bedroom, a chair or even a bed in a spare room) to start collecting things you know you’ll want or need on your trip.

Our subconscious works on our behalf 24/7 – it will think of items a whole week before – so you can employ it to your advantage. All kind of things will come to mind – books, food items, gifts, and those shoes you’ll need for _____ .

This simple strategy helps take the stress, pressure and anxiety out of packing at the last moment. I find I actually ENJOY packing when I spread it out over a week and let my subconscious do a good part of the work.

3.  Create Space BEFORE you leave home

Set up an “out of office” email auto responder to let your clients know you’re on vacation or a business trip. This makes your whole trip more easeful as you’re setting the correct expectations for your clients – that you won’t be available as quickly or readily as you normally are when in your office. This allows for flexibility and breathing room when traveling (which invariably you’ll need) and helps your clients feel included and know what to expect.

Here’s the one I just used for my trip to the US for 8 weeks.  Feel free use / customize for you in anyway:

Hello _____,

Thank you for reaching out! I will be traveling in the US from April 25 – June 23, so my email response may be a little slower than usual. I will get back to you as soon as possible though :)

If you need immediate assistance, please email my assistant at m@cm.com

If you have a USANA related question, please call customer care directly at _____.

Looking forward to connecting when I’m back in the office!

Lots of love,

Carmen xo

4.  Maximize Air Travel Time

I absolutely LOVE flying – the hours when I’m “between time and worlds”. No one can call me 😃, distractions are at a minimum (as long as you have you earphones in) – so I have incredibly focused time for planning, creating, writing, replying to emails and even getting my inbox managed etc.

I use my flying time, what I consider magical time, for creating and getting “caught up”.

5.  Upgrade Your Environment

Get a credit card that gives you air miles for every purchase, and use those miles for flight upgrades and airport lounges. (Some credit cards even give you a year’s membership to airport lounges). I use credit cards for everything*, not only b/c it’s easier for accounting / tax purposes, but just as importantly, so that my money and purchases are working for me, and I’m always collecting miles.

I use miles to upgrade to business / first class and use airport lounges so that I have the best places to work in (strong WIFI, power sources and a great work environment). Another reason I look forward now to ALL aspects of travel is knowing I’ll have a quieter work space AND access to good food (airport lounges almost always have healthy alternatives for snacks).

My two personal favorite credit cards for accruing air miles are: Chase’s United Mileage Club Visa Card (United Airlines + Partners miles only, but necessary to use in countries that don’t accept American Express such as Bali, and it includes a membership to United + Partner Airport Lounges) and both Gold + Platinum American Express Cards (you can put miles towards ANY airline, which I prefer….but some countries, like Bali, don’t accept American Express, so I’ve needed to use a Visa card instead).

Tip: I recently found out about this cool couple and their website which has some really great advice on choosing credit cards for miles: https://www.get.com/

*Very Important: I always, always pay my credit cards in full so that I am never incurring any interest charges. EVER.  Which is a very important part of creating wealth.  You want your money and purchases working for you, not for a credit card company.

6.  Extend Your Trip:

Obviously, extending your trip can definitely create more ease 😃, but what I mean in this example, is to PAD your travel period with 1 day before and 1 day after. This is one of the most important things you can do for your health, personal life AND your business.

For example, for my 8 week trip:

  • Flew to the mainland on April 25 and returned June 21.
  • Used April 24 to pack and organize myself.
  • Used June 22 to unpack and “land”.

Thus, my auto responder said that I was “out of the office” from April 24 – June 23, and I was.

I’ve been doing this for about 5 years (but it took me about 2 years before that to make it non-negotiable – don’t let it take you that long! :). It’s my secret weapon for making traveling both ease-ful and enjoyable. I use the day before to get packed, attend to all personal things and do minor business things that don’t cause more work (I don’t do anything major – i.e. meetings, coaching etc).

I then also give myself a FULL 24 hours after I return to unpack, get organized in my personal life, laundry, plan and the most important part – actually LAND in back in time and space.  If you travel across time zones and countries, this is even more important – to have a day for your body (and soul) to catch up.   

Okay – that’s it for Part 1…health focused Part 2 in the next blog!

Over to you! Did this resonate? Do personally use any of the above tips already? What other travel tips help you wander the world with ease, enjoyment and health?  What non-negotiable travel strategies that make all the difference for you?

Share here – the best insights happen in the comments when we share our ideas and strategies. I personally read every single comment and and always respond – I love to hear.

Lots of love,

Carmen Marshall
PS Think someone would benefit from this blog? Sharable icons on the left :)

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The Cost of Taking Your Business Online

Posted on May 20, 2017 in Blog, Business Advice, General, Joy & Happiness, Personal Development, Self-Care | 4 comments

 

I’ve been reflecting on the 10 days I spent in Denver for our Live Well Training Week for my LW and SexyFit™ Coaches.

Guess what the #1 AHA / learning / favorite thing of the whole week long training was? From almost all participants, including me?

The in person connection.

It wasn’t the awesome business and lifestyle training :)  It wasn’t the health, entrepreneur or personal development training. It wasn’t even the SexyFit™ Dance Classes (although that came a close second – music to my ears).

It was the connection and interaction that we all experienced during the 10 days.

So interesting and thought provoking.

Why?  6 years ago I moved my 80% in person business, to an 80% online business. This was a HUGE step in creating a life I loved, as I had always dreamed of living around the world and being able to work from anywhere…from just my laptop.

Doing this meant that my programs and trainings were now 80% online and completely scalable. It meant that all my 1×1 coaching was done over the phone or Skype.  It meant that the 20% remaining ( Create A Life You Love Retreats, teaching SexyFit™ Dance and running 1-2 trainings per year ) were basically the only things I did in person.

And I’m SO glad I did it.  I’ve been able to work with many more people than was ever possible previously. I’ve been able to live in unique places, experience new things and evolve. And I love running a business online because it’s the ultimate freedom – working hard, but for myself, on my own terms.

However, it came with a cost:  A loss of connection with real people, in real time, in person.

Don’t get me wrong – I still love being an online entrepreneur and wouldn’t trade it for anything. But ironically, I’ve noticed that the more online I’ve gone and the more freedom I’ve created for myself, the less real and deep connection I’ve fostered.

This may seem very obvious to you, especially because we know Facebook, Instagram and being glued to our phones or laptops all day, isn’t the answer for a fulfilling and soulful life.

But I mean something more than that.  I mean that even when you think you’re living a life you love, creating more freedom and independence, be mindful not to create so much freedom, as to no longer have real connection.

Freedom
+
Connection

We need both.

Without freedom (one of my highest values), I feel suffocated. But without connection, I feel unfulfilled. UN-soulful.

Since I’ve been sharing things that I believe have contributed to my feeling irritable and bitchy for the past year, I suspect a lack of deeper connection with people IN PERSON has been a part of these feelings.

So, on our US trip for the past month to Laguna Beach – Denver – Miami, I’ve been making a concerted effort to connect and catch up with old friends. And damn, it’s felt good 😃

Thank you.

To every single one of my friends, colleagues and partners that have welcomed me back into your life. THANK YOU for reminding me how how important in person connection is and how good it feels to spend time in person, not just through Facetime and Voxer.

Freedom
+
Connection

How much do you need of both in your own life?

Action Steps:

Do you resonate with this blog?  Have you moved your business more online, only to feel less connected to others?  What are ways that can or have created both more freedom and more connection in your own life?

Share here – the best insights happen in the comments when we share our ideas and strategies. I personally read every single comment and and always respond – I love to hear.

Carmen Marshall
 

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Bitchy For A Year

Posted on Apr 15, 2017 in Blog, Business Advice, General, Joy & Happiness, Personal Development, Self-Care, Stress Reduction | 0 comments

 

I’ve been irritable for over a year.

There are so many reasons that I could use to legitimize and explain-away my crankiness – the state of the world, starting two new companies, challenges in business and life, moving, buying a house, new relationship, reinvention of self…

But bottom line, I’m just cranky.

And, it’s not how, or who I want to be. I know that stress wreaks absolute havoc on my health, weight (hello 8lbs from nowhere) and immune system, as well as my confidence, motivation and relationships. And most importantly, I don’t like how I feel or the energy I’m giving out. It’s not how I want to experience life – or how I want people to experience me.

So, over the next few blogs, I want to share some of the ways that stress has affected me, and what I’ve been doing about it. Some are little things, some are bigger things. But all are things that move me away from being loving and happy, and result in my being resistant, tense…and, well, bitchy.

Assuming the Worst

One of the things I’ve noticed over this past year is that I assume the worst. I didn’t used to be like that, but I definitely have been lately.

There are many reasons why we assume. I personally think that three of the biggest reasons in today’s world are: (1) we live in an ever-increasing fast paced culture, (2) we have minimal bandwidth and are emotionally raw from being constantly stressed, and (3) our brain tries to help and takes shortcuts (assumes), in an effort to give us more time.

But assuming exacerbates everything and not only creates more work for me (un-doing the damage I create when I assume incorrectly) but it also creates more resistance and tension in my body.

Why? Because typically, I’m not assuming the best case scenario, I’m assuming the worst.

It’s natural, and understandable, but it doesn’t have the effect I want – I end up being even more tense and frustrated, which doesn’t help anything.

And it definitely doesn’t support living a life I love.

I’ve noticed that I assume:

  • Anytime I’m rushing. For example – when I speed-read an email on my iPhone, I can completely misinterpret the whole dialogue.
  • In conversations, I quickly jump to conclusions, without asking questions and finding out all the facts (and feelings).
  •  When I’ve had a negative past experience. I’m already tense and resistant state even before I begin a conversation – call centers, banks, business meetings having to do with finances, and things that I feel like I’ve been really clear about, but are showing up again.

Can you relate to any of the above?

So what can we do – besides going to live on an idyllic island in the south pacific with no news, no stress and no challenges?

 

What I’ve been doing that helps:

 

1. S….l…o…w…i…n…g….D…o…w….n

I’ve been deliberately slowing down for 1-2 minutes, 3x’s per day so my body can decompress; so I’m not consistently in fight or flight mode. We’ve got to make time to slow down in today’s world. The faster we go, the more information we assault our senses with, the more tension we create in our body. Slowing down helps our body return to it’s natural state of resiliency and resourcefulness. My go to’s: lying down on my bed, putting on music, dancing, going for a quick walk, taking a shower, getting out in nature and hugging my partner and cats.

2. Reading emails and texts slowly

and with my full attention. No speed reading!

3. Asking questions

to understand the whole picture, before speaking. Seeking first to
understand (cliches are cliches because they are so true) before judging, deciding or jumping in.

4. Trying to assume the BEST case scenario first

This puts me into a receptive, loving space (where magical things can actually happen!) It doesn’t mean that I’m naive or will step over anything I need to address. But it does mean that I’m in a more receptive place – for the actual reality of what is being said, and a solution.

5. Assuming the person is on my side, is a good person, and/or has had a stressful day

(in that case, extra compassion and kindness from me would actually hugely help them), as it relates to the situation. I remember a mentor once said, “if you get asked a question that seems like someone is attacking you, assume that they are a GOOD person just asking questions, seeking to understand – and respond from that place.

6. Breathing

Deeply. A few times. Then I respond.

7. Being Curious

I learned this from a Somatic (body focused) Coach who was all about being curious about everything, rather than making an immediate judgment or decision. (I’m still working on this one as I’m type A and tend to make decisions and judgements quickly, rather than being curious 😃 ) However when I do it, it works.

8. Keeping my vibration high

Music, dance, exercise, getting outside, pets, connection with my partner, contribution, gratitude are all things that help keep my vibration high and counter-act negativity. They help me assume the best scenario, because I’m happy, not maxed out. The happier I am, the more naturally assume all is good around me. It all, ALL starts with us.

9. Self-Care

For me, that means quiet time on my own, puttering, shopping at Lululemon (don’t ask me why, but it soothes my soul), making raw food etc. Because, when we’re sourced, everything works better. Oxygen mask on first. Yes, that massage is always necessary.

10. Addressing my own worries, procrastination and personal challenges

so that I’m not projecting my frustrations on someone else (how many times has the poor bank call center rep borne the brunt of my wrath simply b/c I’m frustrated about additional things).

11. Checking in on my feelings

and not judging myself for feeling the way I do. What am I feeling right now?  I’m feeling irritated? That’s ok. I’m feeling angry and frustrated? Why is that? Oh, because of “xyz” and it’s okay. This is one of the most therapeutic things we can do – NAME the feeling, ask why we’re feeling that way and tell ourselves it’s okay to feel that way. Usually the feeling dissipates, or at least lessens because I’ve allowed it.

Of course, we can, and should, always remove ourselves from situations and environments that are causing us unnecessary stress or harm. We should speak up and out about what we feel strongly.

But there are times in life that simply are more stressful, situations I don’t want to remove myself from and worldwide events that keep happening, whether I want them to or not. And even when I need to speak up and speak strongly, I can do it from a grounded place of love and strength, not heated anger and frustration.

Finding soulful strategies for those moments, that help us feel sourced, strong and loving, not only help our health, vibration and how we feel, but it also allows for more magic to happen in any given moment. And it makes us feel GOOD – who doesn’t want to feel grounded, strong, loving, clear and calm, and able to respond to life and others in that way?

  • Can you relate? Have you experienced this yourself? Have you been more irritable lately, assuming the worst, and jumping to conclusions?
  • When do you assume? Are there patterns for you?
  • What strategies work for you?

As always, I love, love, love to hear from you. The BEST conversation happens under the blog from your comments, questions and feedback. Comment here.

Love, love, love,

Carmen Marshall

PS I pulled this from some old notes on a book I love – all 4 points are such great reminders and put the body into a non-resistant, more loving state just by reading them, don’t you think?

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz

1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.

 

 

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3 Ways to Cut Down on Caffeine (and enjoy it)

Posted on Mar 18, 2016 in Blog, Health & Nutrition, Self-Care | 4 comments

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I usually write mostly about personal development and leave Health + Wellness mostly for my online program, the SexyFit™ Nutrition Challenge.

However, I’ve been feeling the urge to write more equally about all petals of the Create A Life You Love umbrella – Health, Wealth, Purpose, Passion, Relationships, Creativity, Spirituality, Lifestyle + Adventure. And I’ve since I’ve been getting this question more recently, and dealing it with myself, the Health CALYL petal gets to be first :)

How I kicked my café latte addiction – personal recipes included:

 
Interestingly, two of the hardest habits for me to kick, have both revolved around caffeine: Diet Coke (I know, crazy huh?) and Coffee. After several attempts, I was finally able to quit Diet Coke in 2005. (Thank goodness – especially as there is no doubt as to how toxic artificial sweeteners are for our bodies).

Coffee, I was actually able to quit way before 2005, but it snuck back in (with minimal resistance) about 4 years ago when I was on an speaking tour in Australia + New Zealand. Café Lattes in both places were soo yummy….

And oh. so. addictive.

Since then, I’ve gone on and off coffee – completely eliminating it when I don’t feel as vibrant as I want, and bringing it back when I’m feeling healthy and good.

Rinse. Repeat.

For the past 6 months though, I’ve noticed that anytime I re-introduce coffee, even as a treat, it makes me feel unbalanced. I become dehydrated (of course – coffee dehydrates you), I’m hungrier than normal after a couple of hours (initially coffee curbs huger, but then it increases hunger), my digestive system feels off (stomach ache from the acid and feeling clogged up), I’m moodier…and I gain weight.

Grrr.

All things I would prefer not to happen.

The challenge is of course that I love, love, love café lattes. I adore the ritual of a morning or mid-afternoon latte – it’s a treat, it’s warm, it’s sweet and it has a slight “kick”. All things that are hard to give up – even when I know how it makes me feel afterwards. Which is always my litmus test of whether to continue anything: “How do I feel afterwards? not just in the moment”

So this is what I did. I replaced, instead of eliminated. I found things that I liked at least as much and in some cases, even better. If you too are struggling to stay off coffee, or even just want to reduce your caffeine intake – here are my 3 Go-Tos that helped me kick my coffee habit – all super easy + yummy.

1. Chai Tea Lattes

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 3.04.50 PM

My absolute favorite replacement! I actually like chai lattes even better than coffee lattes. Chai Tea isn’t actually caffeine free, as it contains black tea leaves, but it doesn’t have the same effect that coffee caffeine has on our bodies.

In part, that’s because there is only 30-65mg of caffeine in 8oz of black tea, versus 100-200 mg in the average cup of coffee. But it’s also because the caffeine in black tea works because of a component called “tannins”. Tannins have a calming effect on our nervous system. They also help caffeine to be absorbed much more slowly, which bypasses the caffeine “shock” and instead creates a calm, relaxed, yet focused state characteristic of alpha brain wave patterns.

No wonder I feel so good after my morning chai tea :)

And I still get to enjoy the ritual of a latte. My mug that takes two hands to hold, the hot creamy almond or coconut milk, the feeling like I’m treating myself and the satiety I feel after chai tea. I don’t even miss coffee lattes. And I love the exotic taste and scent of the indian spices cinnamon, cardamon and nutmeg – all contributing to a morning ritual and treat.

Most importantly, I feel great afterwards.

And…. I drink it almost every single morning.

Carmen’s Favorite Chai Tea Latte
Serves 1, double for 2

1 cup of unsweetened almond and/or coconut milk (add more water and less milk if you like a less rich latte)
1 bag of Chai Tea (Numi’s or Tazo’s Organic Chai Tea are my favorite brands)
1/4 tsp coconut nectar
3-4 drops of English Toffee Stevia to taste (Sweet Leaf* Brand)

Put everything in a sauce pan and slowly heat til first sign of simmer.

Cooking Tips:

Watch carefully so the milk doesn’t boil over. I stay in the kitchen and do other things (take my vitamins, fill my water bottle for the gym) while waiting for the milk to heat. Why? I’ve left the kitchen way too many times only to return to burnt milk all over my stovetop :)

If you like even more spice, add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon and/or vanilla.

Travel Tip:

I always carry a chai tea bag and stevia with me, so that if I’m at a cafe that doesn’t have unsweetened chai tea (just the bag or leaves, not a premix), I ask for a mug of hot almond milk with cinnamon, and use my own teabag and stevia. Yummy, hot chai latte – healthy, vibrant living, without deprivation, on the go ?

Stevia Tips:

Stevia is a natural, organic plant from South America and gives sweetness without calories and is low glycemic.

*Sweet Leaf is my favorite brand as it’s completely natural, made from the whole stevia plant and has no odd aftertaste. They have great natural flavors – English Toffee, Lemon Drop etc – in liquid format.

Stevia tastes great on it’s own in cold drinks, but in hot drinks, it tastes a little thin. Adding a tiny bit of coconut nector, sugar or syrup, fills out the taste for hot drinks – and still keeps it low-glycemic.

Health Tips:

If you are struggling with not having the peristalsis effect (going regularly to toilet) from coffee, chai tea will help in this area :)

If you do want to go caffeine free, Tazo has a great de-caffinated chai tea version.

2. Green Tea

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 4.31.57 PM

I sip on green tea throughout the morning, up until about 2pm, as any later that that, it seems to keep me awake at night. Green tea, like black tea, also contains caffeine, but only 24-45mg per 8 oz. And it also doesn’t have the same effect that caffeine from coffee has on me (weight gain, moodiness, hunger).

Why else do I love green tea? It’s considered much healthier than coffee, because of it’s many wellness benefits. It’s packed with powerful antioxidants called catechins, which have been shown to potentially inhibit the growth of some cancers. Research also suggests long-term consumption of green tea might help prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, and coronary disease and has also been linked to both stress relief and clearer thinking.

Carmen’s Favorite Green Tea

Tea of Inquiry Full Leaf – by Republic of Tea

I absolutely adore this loose leaf green tea and have been drinking it for years. It’s medium strength, but not bitter, and has an earthy, robust flavor from the toasted brown rice pieces. You can usually find it at Whole Foods, but I order directly online from the company here.

If you prefer a bagged green tea, Tazo has some beautiful combination green teas. You can find them at Whole Foods, or order directly from the company online here.

Health Tip:

If you are struggling with headaches from coffee withdrawals – green tea seems to help even more than chai tea – even though it has less caffeine than black tea. During my SexyFit™ Nutrition Challenge I encourage clients to replace coffee because of the anti-inflammatory, weight loss, improved skin, sleep and energy levels they can experience in just 5 days, and green tea is one of the things that seems to help the most with any caffeine headache withdrawals withdrawals.

3. Sparkling Lemon Water

IMG_0585

Surprisingly, sparkling lemon water also helped me end my coffee latte love affair, simply because I often just feel like a “treat” – and a coffee latte would fill that gap. However, with the option of a re-freshing, lightly sweetened + sparkling lemon drink, I no longer crave a mid-afternoon coffee latte.

Of course, getting more water into our body always helps us feel better – it gives a natural energy boost, which also negates the desire for a coffee. Additionally, lemon not only helps detox the body, but also helps it be more alkaline (think anti-inflammatory versus an inflamed body) – all great things for overall health, and super easy to do with a simple, delicious drink.

Carmen’s Lemon Drop Sparkling Water

1/2 lemon (I like to use the pulp as well, but some people prefer it strained out)
1 cup sparkling water
4-6 drops (or to taste) of Lemon Drop Stevia (Sweet Leaf* Brand)

Ease + Enjoyment Tips:

Squeeze 2-3 lemons at a time and keep in a glass container in the fridge – the juice will last 4-5 days. Making a sparkling lemon drink is so much easier to do if you don’t have to squeeze the lemon every time. You will also have enough lemon for one of my favorite morning rituals – lemon, warm water and cayenne as soon as I wake up.

I use a large wine glass (see picture above) any time I drink sparkling water – it always feels more special and enjoyable.

In summary, why does replacing rather than eliminating work? Well, “nature abhors a vacuum” and it will fill a void, which is why people that quit smoking often gain weight (they start filling that void with food).

Just like dieting doesn’t work for me, neither does eliminating without replacing. Lifestyle changes have to be both sustainable and enjoyable. I’ve found that when I find or create something healthy + delicious that provides a ritual and/or pleasure – old habits (even my beloved café lattes) more easily fall away.
 

Don’t eliminate a bad habit, replace it. (Click To Tweet It!)

 
What about you? Which Go-To are you most excited to try? Do you have any questions for me, or for our community? Do you have any tips for replacing a coffee habit?

Click here to leave a comment – I absolutely love to hear your thoughts, suggestions and any questions you might have. Your questions and sharing are so valuable as they help our whole community :)

Love, love, love,

Carmen Marshall

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The State Of Non-Resistance + The Power Of Love

Posted on Apr 3, 2015 in Business Advice, Exercise & Fitness, General, Joy & Happiness, Manifesting, Personal Development, Self-Care, Stress Reduction | 14 comments

state-of-non-resistance
 

Hello Beautiful Friends!

 
Thank you so much for all of your comments in last week’s video on my blog and YouTube (watch: “How To Shake A Bad Mood”).

When we are in stressful or frustrating situations, we tend to become really resistant to EVERYTHING in life. Thus, making manifesting, creating, and living the life we want to seem like it’s not working or that it’s more difficult than it should be. So, we need to consciously practice being in a state of non-resistance. And then take it one step further, and be in a loving state.

This week’s video blog is really an explanation in response to all of those questions into 1 solution or strategy to try. It’s a little longer this week, but really worth your time (I hope!).
 

How do you know if you are in a resistant state?

1. If things aren’t flowing
2. If you’re irritable, tense, mad at different people
3. If you’re not happy

Today, I’m talking to you about my personal experiences and ways I’ve put this strategy into practice, and then, what happens when you do. It’s truly amazing because when we are able to shift inside – shift our mood, vibration, and energy – magic happens.

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Healing Lessons from a Healing Retreat

Posted on Feb 28, 2012 in Health & Nutrition, Joy & Happiness, Self-Care, Stress Reduction | 0 comments

 

I just returned from ten days of utter bliss at the healing oasis Sanoviv.

Grateful.  Zenned Out.  Uber healthy.  Relaxed.

For the first five days, 24 of our coaches and I detoxed, learned and relaxed during our Wellness and Business Training Retreat.  I stayed an additional five days for my Sanoviv Integrative Health Assessment.  Since I don’t really care for the annual “check-ups” in the US, I go to Sanoviv every three years or so to decompress, do preventative health assessments and to learn any new cutting edge mind-body-spirit health tips that I can add to my coaching, programs and my own health routine.

So what did I learn from this visit to Sanoviv? How can you take the learnings at a healing oasis and use them in “real life”?  How am I doing the same?

#1 Healing Lesson :  The power of women coming to together and how important that is for the female psyche.

Since days of old, women’s circles have provided connection, support and expansion.  It was amazing to see the transformation of 24 women in five days – not just from our raw food detox (and the ability of colonic conversations to shave off weeks of getting to know someone), but also from the bonding and learning from each other.  Rosy cheeks, smiles, relaxed foreheads and eye-corners…some of the tell-tale signs of women enjoying and relaxing into themselves…and into each other’s company.

As a reformed (and still learning) “type A, driven business woman” who used to not make time for hanging out with women (what was I thinking?), I’ve become aware of how important it is to connect my women friends on a regular basis. How good it feels.  How time with girlfriends increases my vibration, which in turn naturally helps both my business and life balance. Connect, enjoy, relax and everything else works better. Novel concept.

How can you use this in “real” life, outside of a retreat, knowing that connecting with women can naturally increase your life and business success?

  • Create a Facebook group for a “tribe” of women that you resonate with. For your five best girlfriends.  Your book club.  Your friends at your Zumba® class.  We created a Feb 2012 Sanoviv Wellness and Business Retreat Facebook Group for our coaches and it’s been so fun to see the dialogue, support, pictures, recipes, questions and tips flying back and forth.
  • Start a once a month get together for women in your area with a different topic each time – Prosperity, Health, Communication, Purpose. Create a “tribe” of women that come together to learn from each other, relax, expand, laugh and play.
  • Join a women’s group that resonates with you. I just started a 5 Week Tantric Dance of the Feminine Power course with a group of women and I can’t believe how happy it’s making me feel.  How much that happiness has infused my business and life.

#2 Healing Lesson:  The power of stillness and how important it is for everyone’s psyche and nervous system.

With stress now being attributed as the one of the leading causes of disease, Sanoviv knows the necessity of creating stillness and downtime.  Curfew was at 9pm, which was welcomed since it’s amazing how tired one is after spending the day getting healthy!  Internet and cell phones are not allowed in the main areas or your room (cell phones don’t work and there is no wi-fi). We could use the internet in the business room if absolutely necessary, but were encouraged to disconnect as much as possible – which was SO healthy for me.   Stillness and non-busyness…hallelujah.

In addition, Sanoviv is built on the old Levi Strauss property and on/around an amazing energy vortex.  You can literally feel the calm, still, beautiful healing vibe throughout the property and buildings. Which is why, of course, Dr. Wentz, founder of my product partner USANA Health Sciences and Sanoviv, chose to build his healing oasis in this exact location.

The original Strauss house is still intact, sits on a third of the property and is home to  the meditation, psychology, piano, library and reading rooms.  As soon as you walk into the house, you feel enveloped by stillness, peace and an immediate quietening of the mind and spirit.  My favorite “part” of Sanoviv, I went there every day with a book and my journal. Staring out at the ocean, tucked up in a oversized chair, I allowed my body to relax into the stillness.  No talking, no where to get, nothing to solve…just to relax and be still.

How can do this in “real” life and not just at a retreat?

  • Have a self-professed no cell and internet day. (Or 1/2 a day if that is too scary).  Sundays work great for this.
  • Don’t think you HAVE to answer your cell if it rings. I never answer my cell unless the call has been scheduled or it’s a close friend/family member.  Even then, a lot of times I will let it go to voice mail so I can respond rather than “react”.
  • Take time to sit for 5-10 min on your own. Journal, breathe, read a book – whatever it is that calms you.  Every day, do something for 5-10 min that encourages you to be STILL.  To slow down.  To feel your breath, your body and and your feelings. This is one of the best things to do for your long term health and enjoyment of TODAY.  And remember, “if it’s not scheduled, it’s not real”- Marie Forleo.  So schedule your 5-10 min like an appointment. I guarantee that your physical health and your emotional spirit will thank you for it.  You will ENJOY your life more today. I know this from personal experience.
  • Slow down the things you usually rush. For example, when I return from any outing or errands, typically I’m rushing to get out of the car and get everything put away as fast as I can.  By the end of my whirling dervish ten minutes, I’m exhausted.  Try this…slow down the very thing that you’re rushing.  Imagine that you’re a “Zen Maven”.  Notice how much it relaxes your nervous system and that it creates enjoyment in the moment…which is what it is ALL about.

Well…that’s not all I learned, but this is as long as I want my blog to be today!  Stay tuned for more tips and Sanoviv recipes coming up….

Love in-depth nutrition and mind-body spirit wellness training? Join me for my SexyFit™ Spring Detox Online Nutrition Program. You’ll have access to all my best health and lifestyle training, coaching calls with me and an uber supportive group of like-minded women to cheer you on.

Register TODAY to secure your seat (we had 131 participants for our January challenge from five countries!)

Here’s all the info:

March Spring Detox SexyFit™ Nutrition Program

Getting You Healthy, Happy and Vibrant in 30 Days!

Sunday, March 11 – Monday, April 9th (Prep Week starts March 3rd)

  • Registration Ends Tuesday, Feb 28th at midnight
  • Lose 5-15 lbs in 30 days, healthily and learn a lifestyle that you can do for life.
  • All Participants with receive their login details on Saturday, March 3rd to start with Goal Setting and Prep Week content.  The full 30-Day Program starts Sunday, March 11 with our prep call, and the 5 Day RESET Cleanse will start on Monday, March 12th.
  • Read the 30-Day Program Details here
  • Space is Limited, so register now.

Be Happy….Be Vibrant…

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Why Love Fades & How To Keep It Vibrant

Posted on Feb 10, 2012 in General, Health & Nutrition, Joy & Happiness, Personal Development, Self-Care | 0 comments

Hello from Sanoviv!

After five days of our Live Well Coach Wellness Business Retreat and five days here on my own, I am feeling thoroughly detoxed, blissed out, slowed down and zen-ified.  Grateful.  Restored.  Centered.

Driving back to Laguna this weekend, so I’m soaking in the last few days in healing paradise. (Sanoviv is built on an energy vortex and that you can literally FEEL the healing quality here).  Click here (my Facebook page, so you may have to “like” if you haven’t been to it before) to see some gorgeous pictures of the facility and 25 very happy women enjoying gourmet raw food, sea weed wraps, cutting edge wellness education and each other.

Of course I don’t want to leave, but I’m also chomping at the bit to share my favorite nutrition and mind-body-spirit wellness learnings when I get back.  Especially tools to slow down the rhythm of your life to SAVOR and more fully enjoy each day. Why slowing down is crucial to being profoundly and deeply connected to yourself.  How to take a retreat experience and infuse it into your every day life.  How to generate your own healing and increase your vibration. Yummy, easy raw food recipes too…stay tuned!

I’ve been taking a “technology break” as Sanoviv suggests, except for a few important things, and this one counts as there is only 6 more days to register.

As you know, I love everything that the HG Life Coaching does – especially if it’s Laurie Gerber (President of Handel and co-host for our “Dive Into the Promise” tele-seminar 2 weeks ago) or Juliana Gambrell (my own coach).  The 4-week tele-seminar format is so user-friendly too because you can fit it into your daily life AND have enough time to integrate between each session.  Here’s all the details…

Why Love Fades & How To Keep It Vibrant: 4-Week Teleseminar Series*

Join coach Laurie Gerber, President of Handel Group® Life Coaching and proud wife of Will Craig, to learn why love fades and how to keep it strong and vibrant. This 4-week teleseminar series is perfect for any individual in a couple who is struggling or just wants to make sure the good stuff continues on forever. Naturally, it just doesn’t. We invite you to think that love fading over time is a call to action, because you understand that developing mastery as a partner matters and works to make your relationship loving and lasting. We’ll teach you the basics of how to keep love thriving!

4 Wednesdays – 2/15, 2/22, 2/29 & 3/7
12pm-1pm ET (that’s 10am-11am MT)
$100 ($90 with promo code)
Led by: Laurie Gerber

SAVE $10 WHEN YOU REGISTER WITH PROMO CODE: Marshall104play

REGISTER HERE:
http://www.handelgroup.com/life-coaching/one-hour-teleseminars/why-love-fades-how-to-keep-it-vibrant/

*All calls will be recorded and available to those who sign up in advance.

Okay…I’m going dark.  Off to bed for 9pm “curfew”- isn’t that a great “rule” that they have here to promote health?  Sleeping with the doors open to the ocean, waking up with the sun…

PS:  Want a “taste” of what the tele-seminar will be like?  Here’s Laurie’s latest blog:  Should You Be Arrested For Your Love Crimes? She’s a GREAT writer – content and delivery.

Be Happy….Be Vibrant…

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Surviving The Holiday Season – Part 2

Posted on Dec 15, 2011 in General, Health & Nutrition, Self-Care | 0 comments

Here it is!  “Surviving the Holiday Season – Part 2″ – strategies that I’ve used both personally and with clients over the years.  As always, I love to read your comments below the blog as to what is helping you personally…AND, I would love to hear YOUR best tips too!

1.  Never go to a party or outing hungry: I remember in my 20’s believing that if I was going out for dinner, I should eat less during the day to compensate for all the extra calories I would be eating at the event.  You’d think I would have realized my faulty thinking after a few times of starving myself during the day, and then being so hungry at the party that I would eat EVERTHING.  LOL…it took me a few YEARS to figure that out!  Now, I never go to an event hungry.  I eat normally throughout the day and then drink a USANA Nutrimeal* or eat a USANA Nutrition Bar* before going out, to avoid last minute party cravings.  Other “magic tricks” while at a party:

2. Fill your plate with fruit & veggies at parties so people aren’t asking why you aren’t eating cake and cookies (and offer to bring a fruit or veggie tray, so there ARE fruits and veggies.)

And while we’re on the topic of bringing healthy foods to parties, check out Elizabeth Rider’s Whole Eating Cookbook – only $9.95 – for ideas on healthy, low glycemic appetizers. All SexyFit compliant of course!

3. Have sparkling water with a lime in a highball glass or wine glass to avoid any unwanted pressure to drink, and to give you something “fun” to sip on.

4. This is YOUR Life. How many times do we give in when someone says, “Oh, come on, you can have just one…it’s the holidays!”.  Don’t let others try to talk you into being unhealthy and incongruent with your health goals. You’re not high maintenance, you’re not weird, you simply care about your health and wellness.  Often times, you will be an inspiration that they can do it too.

5. Drink MORE Water. Water makes up 60-70% of your body and EVERY system in your body depends on it. Drink 8-12 glasses (8oz each) minimum each day and add one more glass for each caffeinated and alcoholic beverage you have. Water will help you feel full, have more energy and better able to handle everything.  I use the sparkling water in a wine glass with the lime trick ALL the time because if feels like a special drink, I know I’m drinking more water and no one asks me why I’m not drinking!

6. Lifestyle Choices: Choose how much sleep and exercise you need every day and make them nonnegotiable.  I know myself, when I’m tired, I overeat – so I make sure to get my sleep because I know it has a huge impact on how I feel and what I do. Also, add on a stress-reduction method that works best for you, massage, Yoga, talking to a friend, reading a book, movies, etc.

7. It’s Okay to say “No.” Holidays can also be stressful for a number or reasons and an amazing DE-STRESSER can be learning to say “No.” You don’t have to go to every party. Imagine that?  You can actually not go to everything you’re invited to!  I personally feel so much relief when I create more space in my life by saying YES to the things I really want to do and NO to the things that aren’t a resounding YES!

8. What if you DO overindulge? We all do sometimes. Drink tons of water before going to bed and take 2-3 USANA Proflavanol C100* that night to detox the body, reduce inflammation and strengthen your immune system (aka the SexyFit™ Rescue Formula which you’ll learn about in the SexyFit™ Nutrition Challenge). In the morning, drink a large glass of water, have a USANA Nutrimeal* shake with your USANA MyHealthPak* to stabilize your blood sugar.

*For USANA products at wholesale prices, visit your USANA account or contact your local USANA representative, Live Well™ or SexyFit™ Coach.

Go for a workout or even a walk in the morning – the movement and endorphins will help you feel better and back on track. Most importantly, drink lots of water throughout the day, eat 5-6 small low glycemic meals/snacks during the day and don’t try to compensate by eating fewer calories, otherwise your metabolism will adjust and slow down and/or you’ll overeat later on during the evening.

9. Create Connection: Enjoy the Holiday Season for what it is about, family, friends, and connections – not just eating. It’s amazing when you take the focus off of food how many other things you will notice about the holidays!

10. And to get help you reach your 2012 Health Goals, my next SexyFit Nutrition Program is OPEN  for registration!

My January SexyFit Nutriton Program is my most popular one because of New Year Resolutions, so register as soon as possible to secure your seat.  Here’s all the info:

New Year SexyFit™ Nutrition Program

Getting You Healthy, Happy and Vibrant in 30 Days!

Sunday, January 15 – Monday, Feb 13th (Prep Week starts Jan 7th)

  • Registration Opens Wednesday, December 14th and Ends Tuesday, January 3rd at midnight
  • All Participants with receive their login details on Saturday, Jan 7th to start with Goal Setting and Prep Week content.  The full 30-Day Program starts Sunday, January 15th with our evening prep call, and the 5 Day RESET Cleanse will start on Monday, January 16th.
  • Read the 30-Day Program Details here
  • Space is Limited, so register now.

Be Happy….Be Vibrant…

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The Power of Dance, Joy and What Moves YOU!

Posted on Apr 10, 2011 in Exercise & Fitness, Joy & Happiness, Personal Development, Self-Care | 3 comments

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” –Friedrich Nietzsche

This commercial was shot at the Liverpool Street Subway Station in London on Jan 15, 2009.  Only the dancers knew what was happening; the general public didn’t have a clue what was about to unfold.  This YouTube video had over 2 million hits in 15 days!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ3d3KigPQM

When you watch this video, notice what moves you or makes you smile.  Is it the men in suits busting out in dance? The joy on the faces of both the dancers and the general public?  The group of people having fun and doing something spontaneous?  Is it the sense of connection among seemingly random people? (We’re all connected).

I have personally found that what moves, touches, or inspires us is usually what we need to create MORE of in our life. Articulate what you loved about this video in one sentence.  Then ask yourself, how can you do one thing TODAY to create that in your life.  How could you do it tomorrow? How could you do it the next day? Connecting to what moves us on a daily basis helps bring meaning, purpose and fulfillment into each day.

For me, dance is one the things that moves me the most and is the reason why I don’t let one day go by with out dancing at least once – even if it’s just in my living room. What is it for you? What puts a smile on your face? This is your life NOW… not next year, not tomorrow. When you do something that moves, touches, or inspires you at least once a day you’ll not only change your vibration in the present moment, but you’ll also naturally start attracting more of what you love into your life.

Be Happy….Be Vibrant…

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