Be A Magnet

On Thursday evening, I came home from work and kids activities feeling nauseous and barely able to lift my head for fear of throwing up. I thought it was food poisoning. I thought i would be back on my feet in 12 hours. But– i had no ‘ejections’ of any kind. Hmmm.

Friday- I stayed home and after I got the family off to school and work, I fell back into a deep sleep for nearly 5 hours.

My body was craving rest.

It’s been a hectic few months– between fundraisers I have to attend, kids activities, work, business, family, it’s been nonstop.

My 45 year old body needs attention too. Running, spinning, boot camp, yoga, dance. (More on the dance later.)

Nutrition and hydration are always top of mind.

I’ve been sleeping ‘fairly’ early — averaging about 6hrs 45min a night. Ok so that’s on the low side. I do make up for it by sleeping nearly 9 hours on Saturday/Sunday. Not ideal I know. Our bodies are creatures of habit and consistent good sleep is way better than inconsistent good sleep.

So– what was this knock-me-off-my-feet episode all about?

You see, when something like this happens to me, it’s always an opportunity to go deep and see why.

It’s never the thing you think it is.

It wasn’t food poisoning.

Or even the 24 hour stomach bug that it turned out to be, complete with fever and achy body.

It’s something more.

It’s a message to me.

From me.

From my Inner Guidance System.

It’s a message to slow down.

Not just the outer body shell that executes all the instructions of the mind.

Slow down the mind.

I have meditated off and on for over 15 years now.

But lately, the meditations were few and far between.

The only time I was truly meditating was during the twice a week 5am walk.

And while moving meditations are powerful.

Your conscious mind is still activated and keeping you safe from the 21st century versions of saber tooth tigers and wooly mammoths. That is; fight or flight is still activated.

It is only when sitting in what your conscious mind can consider to be a completely safe environment that it can even remotely attempt to quiet down, and allow your subconscious mind to be accessed.

So today- after I sent my family off to their various activities.

I sat.

I primed my body with a powerful breathing technique by Dr. Joe Dispenza and then I meditated.

And through my meditation this is what I received:

Be A Magnet

Keep your vibration high

Keep your vision clear

Keep your intention focused

Keep your body nourished

And your soul satisfied

with the love you share

the company you keep

the gratitude you emanate

Be a magnet for the best and limitless possibilities of all time.

I came out of meditation with this profound sense of gratitude and love. I didn’t realize it but tears were streaming down my face. I had envisioned a wonderful world and it felt so real.

Peace

Bliss

Joy

Abundance

Love

So much love.

Isn’t this what John Lennon said when he asked us to Imagine?

Be A Magnet for all that is wonderful and good in the world.

Take a stand for love.

Love is truly magical.

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Time Shows Up

So I ran into a friend at Target yesterday. I was there shopping for home supplies and she was in line for her prescription. I walked toward her to hug her but she paused me — ‘pneumonia…’ she whispered hoarsely.

This friend, I’ll call her ‘Kay’ is one of the most inspiring people I know. She had a vision to make a change in her community and not only did she rally the community behind her idea, she got government and community leaders behind it as well. This vision is becoming a reality. And the entire city and county in fact will benefit from Kay’s idea.

Kay will go down in history of our area as being THE WOMAN who brought value to our kids, tourism to our area and tax dollars to our city.

She’s my hero!

This summer Kay’s vision moved forward very significantly. There was an outward showing for the community. The public could see this idea become a reality.

When I saw her at the public showing- she said that her whole summer had been spent for the most part in getting ready for this preview. Her little kids, her inspiration for this vision and this idea were a big part of helping her. This was their summer.

This woman doesn’t stop. She at everything. She’s networking, doing 1:1 visits and volunteering at places that will help increase visibility for her vision, she’s doing all the right things!

AND

She’s running on fumes.

When life is that busy, it’s easy to continually put yourself on the back burner.

Because self care feels selfish!

I’ll sleep when I’m dead!

I’ll rest after my vision is a reality.

I can’t let my family down.

I can’t let my community down.

People are expecting me to be the face of the organization/project/company.

Sound familiar?

Some version of this is always going through our heads.

Until our body collapses in sheer exhaustion.

It’s almost always the case that after a big event, project, presentation etc. we experience major exhaustion.

Our body carries us through the process, but then the minute it’s done—

Collapse.

Illness.

Fatigue so deep that you can’t move.

Complete system shut down.

Your body has been carrying you on adrenaline the entire time.

You’re way past normal functions, your mind is in flight or flight and fighting for survival!

And once you release the breath breath you’ve been holding your mind recognizes that the danger is passed and it can relax.

And it does.

Every cell

Every nerve ending

Every emotion

Releases

Relaxes

Collapses

Takes you out of the game for a while.

Or a long while.

So how do you avoid complete collapse?

Make your self care non negotiable. It doesn’t have to be complex, you don’t have to spend hours on yourself. But you can.

Go ahead, I give you permission.

30 minutes a day is all it can take.

Breathe: before starting your car, take three deep breaths. Before exiting your car do it again.

Walk: one mile can take you less than 15 minutes. If that’s not an option, find a way to move your body. Park as far from your destination as you can – and walk.

Hydrate: (water not coffee!) aspire to drink 1/2 your body weight in oz. e.g. a 130 lb person would be drinking 65oz.

Nourish: higher intake of lean protein keeps you full longer and gives you sustained energy. A plant based protein shake blended with berries, greens and a good source of fat (think avocado or nut butter) is an ideal breakfast for the dats when you don’t have time to sit and eat a good meal.

Sleep: 7 hours at least

And probably the single most important thing is to have intention.

Don’t make your self care another checklist item on your to-do list.

Promise yourself that you will care for you.

So that you can care for your family, community and the world.

And yes, it feels like if you do these things for yourself you’re stealing time from other more productive things you could be doing.

I can promise you this.

Time.Shows.Up

Exercise is Poetry of the Body

Exercise moves your physical body and occupies your human mind for you cannot exercise and think about anything other than what you are doing for fear of injury. Stay focused. Exercise helps you engage all parts of your body and mind and get them working in unison in a way that few other activities can do. Exercise is the execution of God-consciousness. It is poetry of the body just as meditation is poetry of the soul. 

Brown Rice Quinoa Pasta with an Indian Spice inspired Pasta Sauce

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  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 1T evoo
  • 5-7 curry leaves
  • 2-5 cloves diced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp corriander powder
  • Jar of organic marinara sauce
  • diced fresh cilantro for garnish

Sautee the onion till golden brown, be patient. You don’t want glassy onion.
Add the curry leaves and watch out they will sputter
Add garlic and sautee mix for a minute or two
Add seasoning and stir it till well mixed and starting to smell fragrant; 1-2 min
Add in marinara sauce and mix well, let it simmer for 3-5 minutes
Toss in pasta cooked per package directions, I usually add 1-2T of light olive oil to the water to boil before adding pasta (I like to drain, then rinse and drain the pasta to get rid of the gooey-ness)
Sprinkle with fresh cilantro
Enjoy!
IF you make it, please let me know what you think!

Lifestyle DIVA Top 10 Arbonne faves

I often get asked what my absolute favorite Arbonne products are. After all I have been a huge fan of the pure safe and beneficial philosophy and have incorporated as many products into my house as I possibly can. You might say my home is ‘Arbonnized!’ When I do a wellness presentation I am often asked – what are the few products that I can absolutely NOT do without…so I thought about it a bit, and came up with my favorites! I am not going to give you the company speak about the products – after all, you can get that by reading up on the website – rather, I want to share with you MY personal experience, and why I choose to use these products. These are by the way in no order of importance – rather they are in the order that they popped into my brain as I thought about this post.

  1. Chocolate Protein Powder – with 20 g of Vegan protein powder with THE BEST TASTE on the market – this one is a no brainer for breakfast! I am a busy mom of two very active kids under the age of 7 and my daughter’s school is 20 minutes away from our home; prior to dropping her, I drop my son off at his school – so I have to build in that detour time to my morning. There is no other way for me to get done all that I need to get done in the morning – run or ride, meditate, clean kitty litter, get dressed (with full makeup and hair done because I often meet clients and go to networking events first thing after drop off), get two kids up and make sure they’re getting through their morning regimen, pack lunches and feed THEM nutrient dense breakfasts. After all this, there is no room for me to sit and eat breakfast – so I semi-prep this protein shake the night before with whatever raw vegs I have in the house, flax seed, couple berries, teaspoon of almond butter and then in the morning, I add the powder and almond milk, couple ice cubes and my breakfast to drink in the car is ready! I really don’t know how to survive breakfast any other way. This is afterall the single most important meal of your day – your body has starved for more or less 12 hours from last night’s dinner onward – you owe it to yourself to eat/drink a healthy energy-filled breakfast!
  2. Energy Fizz Drinks in Citrus or Pomegranate – This is actually a new addition in my household – I try not to consume caffeine even if its from Guarana which is a natural caffeine – except for the little that I get from my decaf almond milk lattes that I indulge in once or twice a week. One day it occurred to me that I should try this as my exercise hydration drink instead of FRS which is the brand my husband prefers. And holy cow, not only did I feel great during the workout, but the whole day went well – I wake up at 5.15 (inching my way up to 5:00) so that I have an hour to myself before I have to start the household. I often don’t get to bed till 10.30 – and lately it has been 11pm. I did not drag.
  3. Chocolate Protein Bars – with only 7g of sugar, these are the least sugary bars on the market today! Arbonne re-purposed the texture so they no longer taste like the texture of cardboard! (Thanks Arbonne!) I always carry this in my purse, because I never know where I will be during lunch time since I no longer work out of an office outside the home. (Thanks Arbonne!!)
  4. RE9 Advanced facial cleanser – Ok, so this cleanser is incredible at removing makeup. I have done full on stage makeup (not for stage, just because I wanted to REALLY doll up for an event I was attending) and this cleanser did such an awesome job of taking it all off without me feeling like I had stripped my skin of its natural oils. My husband with eczema even on his eyelids can use this without issue.
  5. Revelage SPF 30 day cream – This one is specially awesome because its a two-fer – day time moisturizer and UVA/UVB protection SPF 30 sunblock all rolled into an incredibly natural, not-to-thick-to-apply moisturizer with a really lovely barely there naturally occurring fragrance. (remember no synthetic fragrances!)
  6. Arbonne Baby Care (ABC) hair and body wash – this is the rock star in our house because not only do both my kids use it and I don’t have to be careful around their eyes with this – it is truly NO MORE TEARS unlike another brand that shall remain unnamed. I also use this as a hand wash at every sink in my house including in the kitchen. It is gentle yet effective for my husband’s eczema-stricken hands. (as a scientist he washes his hands a million times a day)
  7. FC5 Skin Conditioning Oil – My daughter had a spot of eczema on her face when she was 5 years old. I washed the affected skin with the baby wash mentioned in #6 3-4 times a day and followed with this oil. It cleared it up in no time. This also worked wonders for my poor calico cat Zeta who had serious dry skin issues and whose scratching would wake us up at night. She had scabs the size of peas by her ears and around her neck – this miracle oil cleared those up as well as soothed her skin. PS: If I had a dog, i would probably wash him/her with the baby wash too!! Cats of course can sense that I am even THINKING of bathing them and will go so deep into the recesses of my Eastern King bed, that there’s no way to fish them out.
  8. Ginger Citrus Body Butter – this is a seasonal favorite that I stock up on when it hits the Arbonne shelves on September 1. It’s usually out of stock by mid November! This body butter has become the hot favorite of any client or friend who I gift it to! It has the lightest scent that is so subtly elegant and the silky feeling on my arms and legs lasts anything else I have ever tried – except maybe the Shea Butter lotion which is pretty darn awesome.
  9. Primer – The Arbonne primer goes on like a lotion and dries to a powder finish! The texture of this product is so incredible – the feeling on my face ever so luxurious. I love the way it prevents my eye shadows from creasing, how my foundation stays on true all day long and as I pointed out already, my days are long. On a Sunday morning, I often use this alone – without following it with foundation…perhaps just a dusting of mineral powder.
  10. Pencil Eyeliner – Ebony – As an Indian, I like to ‘kohl’ my eyes. I have for as long as I can remember lined my eyes in black all around. The thing is – pencils usually don’t last 12 hours and I have such long eye lashes (yes I know, cry me a river!) that liquid liner smudges…I used to use the MAC gel pot, but I had the hardest time removing that at the end of the day – even after using two cotton pads per eye with eye make up remover – I would still have a residue look of eyeliner from the day. I hated how much I had to rub the gentle/sensitive/1/4- thinner-than-anywhere-else skin under my eyes to get it all off. Enter Arbonne’s Ebony 5 years ago and my eyes, the skin under my eyes and I have all been a happy customer! Ebony is pitch black, smooth and long lasting…and yet comes of easily with Arbonne’s ever so gentle eye makeup remover, making me feel truly free of makeup at the end of the day!
  11. It’s a Long Story Mascara – yes that’s actually the name of the mascara and yes, I realize I ran out of the 10 spots…but I HAVE TO leave you with this – there’s not a single woman that I know that doesn’t wear mascara. Remember I mentioned that I have long lashes…well these make it so that I not just sweep but even mop the inside of my sunglasses! It’s the one thing we all buy every three months (if you don’t do that – start NOW!) because the pump action introduces airborne bacteria into the tube and do you really want to mess with your eyes for a $36 product? (if you’re using an $8-$12 mascara off the shelf…here’s my question to you…do you know what you are putting that close your eyes? Read the labels!)

So there you have it! I use over 45 Arbonne products in my house daily – from skincare for men, women and children, hair care, baby care, makeup, vitamins, supplements, etc. These are products that I would buy anyway. So the fact that I could buy good quality, superior-ingredient products delivered to my door for an amazing price appeals to me a lot. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Days 3, 4 and 5 – there are no shortcuts

RisottoSo ends the first five days of my cleanse. I fared well. I had a couple slips– a bite of bread when we went to Daphne’s Grill for dinner tonight, the most delectable chocolate ball by Lindt… Hazelnut truffle! but other than that I did rather well. I treated myself to a gluten free lemon scented risotto with seared scallops and green beans At the Blue Stove in the Thousand Oaks Nordstrom- possibly my favorite restaurant in the Conejo Valley.

All week I managed to create some rather delicious gluten free dishes for my family, thanks to the amazing support of the Facebook group thats supporting this program. Yesterday I ran out of time to cook, and resorted to an old standard– linguini with vodka cream sauce…something that needs 5 ingredients and can be cooked in 20min. But luckily I had quinoa, sautéed spinach and mushrooms and pan-seared chicken breast finished in the oven- but of course like any cook, I had to taste the food I cooked and holy cow it was delicious! But my meal was awesome too.

Seared Ahi Tuna salad
Seared Ahi Tuna salad

Today my friend Deanne took me to lunch to celebrate my transition from W2 to 1099! I had the most delicious seared Ahi tuna salad with mixed greens, daikon sprouts, carrots and tomatoes. I made sure to eat all the tuna first and sure enough it was so filling that I couldn’t finish the salad. A-ha! My stomach is shrinking already. A week or two ago, I’d have no trouble eating the whole thing. The cleanse is working, my stomach is shrinking.

Today an interesting thing happened — I was on my way to meet with a friend in Malibu at the Starbucks in my old stomping grounds– I got my MBA at Pepperdine 13 years ago. There’s a traffic light by the school entrance where you can take a short cut to the mart by turning left but you can’t do that till after 9am. It was 8:56am, and the memory of the ticket I got for not paying attention to the time as a sleep deprived MBA student is still fresh Even 13 years later. So I crossed the light, and for not taking that shortcut I was rewarded with the beautiful vision of 6-7 deer grazing on the grass at Alumni Park. I was in the wrong lane to pull over, nevertheless I said a silent prayer of gratitude at the vision that started my morning well– my reward today for not taking a shortcut. The entire day went amazingly well. I spent time with good friends, then with my little girl alone, then with both my kids at Daphne’s. We laughed a lot today! Now I’m snuggled near my husband with the fireplace candles, watching a movie with half an eye as I write this. Life is Perfect!

Tonight i send to you my wish — I wish for you the complete peace I felt today. I wish for you the chance to stop and smell the roses or see the deer as the case may be!

Sending you you all love and light from a heart filled with love

Niki

Day 2

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I thought I would have cravings, and I thought I’d be hungry. I experienced neither today. I even felt inspired to go for a 2mile run! I’m training for that Hollywood Half Marathon on 4/5 so definitely need to get my mileage going.

5:30am – 5oz warm water with a squirt of lemon juice

7:30am – Arbonne protein powder blended with spinach, broccoli, celery, strawberries, blueberries, flaxseed, almond milk and almond butter.

11:30am – boiled egg

1:30pm – post run/lunch smoothie more of what I made for breakfast! I added in some peppermint extract for a yummy minty flavor!

4:30pm – handful almonds (I get the 50% salt ones from Trader Joes)

6:30pm – Hungarian goulash made with grass fed beef (I omit the sour cream) over quinoa with the side salad pictured here. That’s quinoa, chick peas, onion, cucumber, tomato, mint leaves, sea salt, evoo, lemon juice and avocado. My 6yo loved it too!!

7:30pm- no twizzler bite today- rather some Indian fennel candy that served my sweet tooth and also as a digestive aid.

Needless to say I’ve been drinking water enough to run to the bathroom every hour!

I’m feeling rather good about myself– I’ve started on my vitamins again– something I’d stopped taking over the break. From the discipline of minding my nutrition stems so much good stuff, I’m on top of my professional game, I feel more in control as a mom, as a wife and even as a woman. Yes it’s only day 2– but if I can keep this up- and truly embrace this lifestyle for — well, life— I can see how my family will benefit. After all you know what they say– Happy Wife, Happy Life!

Good night all!

Day 1: 30 day to fit program

I’ve decided to very publicly commit to doing the Arbonne 30 days to feeling fit program by posting my daily meals here! I need the public accountability! I tried to do it in June but didn’t stick to it! So here goes:
Eliminating: gluten, dairy, soy, peanut butter, alcohol, caffeine, sugar
Starting weight – 132lb

Day 1
7:30am- chocolate protein smoothie (celery, carrot, kale, ginger, blueberries, strawberries, almond milk, almond butter)
10:00am- 3 Arbonne mango chews YUM !
12:30pm- Wagyu beef burger no bun with a side of baby spinach sautéed with evoo and garlic
3:00pm- 2 Arbonne lemon chews (yes they do suppress my appetite)
6:30pm- home made Coq au Vin (chicken in red wine sauce, with mushrooms, pearl onions and bacon)
9:00pm – 8 raw almonds and 2 dark chocolate almonds with sea salt and turbinado sugar.

Drank about 40oz of water today!

No hunger pangs except around 9pm– a tall glass of water with the almonds handled that.

Until tomorrow!

Lifestyle DIVA testimonial

Client Profile:
55 year old Male, 229lb, 40″ waist, on Niacin to lower tryglicerides
Meat n potatoes kinda guy
Started Weight Watchers last year and lost 20lb all year and then plateaued.
Arbonne 30 day fit program start date: 2/25/13

4/25/2013 Update (8 weeks)
Off Niacin, 214lb – 38″ waist, 100% increase in energy, increased consciousness and heightened awareness about different foods and how they impact him! Enhanced sense of taste!

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Dec 2012

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May 20, 2013