While being single can be a lot of fun, sometimes it can also make you feel excluded from some experiences. For example, I have been afraid to go to a concert of theater solo. I imagined it would feel awkward and lonely to go to a place where I would be surrounded by couples and groups of friends.
But you know what? At the end of the day, it is things we don't do that we regret the most. So, I decided to bite the bullet and bought tickets - one to a Russian rock concert and one to a ballet. And I went!
It was scary, yes. But only before I got there. Once I got to the concert, for example, my attention went to enjoying the venue and the music. I even met some new people, two of which really stood out. They were two women in their 50's who admitted they were too afraid to do things alone. They said they would rather be on the couch than go out alone.
They have been sitting their whole lives waiting for a man to do things with, and if he didn't want to go, they wouldn't either!
This got me thinking. Do they even want to be with their husbands or do they settle just so they don't face their own company?
And what's so bad with your own company anyway? I got to have fun, meet people and listen to music, just like everyone else.
No one cast a stone at me for being their alone. Not one person pointed a finger or laughed (which wouldn't really bother me anyway, since it would be the reflection of the other person's internal pain)
Instead, a man came up to me and said I looked beautiful and asked me to dance. Someone commented how I inspired them to do things they actually want to do and not put that desire away.
A few days later someone messaged me on Instagram and said that my post inspired him. After a few messages back and forth, he asked me out on a date. Wowza. What a turn of events, right?
But regardless of the outcome, I want to advise to not let your life pass you by just because you don't have a companion!
Be your own best friend and go out! Enjoy your life!
Of course, I would love to have a significant other take me, but until he shows up, I am going to LIVE my life instead of merely exist in waiting.
If you are tempted to break out of your fear and do something new, but not sure how, here is my Z-TIP:
IMAGINE & PRETEND!
Imagine a character you would love to play. Someone who is fearless and fun. Then pretend to play that character. Walk into the room, playing that person. Look at the world from their eyes. See what it feels like. Really sense that feeling and get familiar with it. Then try to live your life from that space - of courage and excitement. Over time you will stop pretending and start embodying that new energy.
So, please go out and LIVE, even if you have had fears! Your mind may be afraid, but keep those feet moving anyway :)
This is not a dress rehearsal!
If you need help boosting your energy throughout the day, here are some easy Z-Tips!
What are you favorite go-to energy-boosting foods?
Do you ever feel lonely? Ever get that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach? You know what I’m talking about, right? If you have, then you are not alone and hopefully you are feeling a little better already knowing that you are not alone in your loneliness. We are all in this together.
I know exactly what it feels like, but when it comes down to dissecting that feeling, what’s so bad about it? There is a definite distinction between loneliness and being alone. Being alone can be a good thing. For example, going to the bathroom alone is usually preferred. Focusing on a work project can be best when done alone.
Loneliness is different, and from my experience of allowing myself to feel it fully, I realize that the real pain comes from the thought that no one cares about us. Just recently I was seeing a guy who would text to check up on me and he would be available whenever I needed him. He’s the kind of a guy who has that presence about him that says he will take care of you, that he’s got this. I will admit that it felt very good to feel that energy around me.
However, there were other sides to that relationship that weren’t aligned with what I needed and so I broke it off. Standing in my kitchen a few days later I felt lonely all of a sudden. No texts checking in, no attention.
That’s when it hit me, the feeling of loneliness was caused by the thought that the person I cared about wasn’t there anymore and that caused me the pain in the pit of my stomach.
But you know what? This thought wasn’t so silent. On the contrary, my head was quite busy with internal chatter. This chatter made me realize that I am not alone. In fact, none of us are ever alone. Instead, we have this voice in our heads that keeps us company non-stop. If you just asked yourself "What voice? I don't have any voice in my head", that's the voice!
At that moment the voice was rather annoying with its monologue of how I should have stayed in that relationship because he care about me and at least I wasn't alone and so on. You know how that voice can be a bit of a downer?
The good news is that we have the power to change those thoughts and maybe, just maybe, we can make that voice be the one who takes care of us and loves us?
We often miss people because they took care of us. Well, now you can get YOU to take care of you. You can check in on yourself during the day, you can get yourself flowers, you can take yourself out and you can laugh at your own jokes. (I know I already do the latter quite a bit). Why is it that we give so much power to other people (that we may not even fully like) to make us feel good or bad?
As soon as I realized that the true feeling of loneliness stems from the unmet desire to be taken care of and cared for, I picked up my book “Let Yourself Blossom: The un-diet guide to food and self-love” and started to re-read it and do the homework.
I originally wrote this book to help myself navigate the overwhelming world of diets and to find peace with my body. Now, I turned to the book to help me overcome the feeling of loneliness.
If you are feeling lonely, check out the book. It’s an easy read, I promise. It has lots of blank pages that you can fill out with your own ideas of what makes you feel good, so the book becomes customized to you. You also will get lots of easy comfort-food recipes, so if you feel like treating yourself to something yummy without the guilt, you have many great options.
When you realize that you will NEVER be alone, that you always have YOU to keep you company and all you have to do is fall in love with yourself, then you will never feel lonely again. I promise you that.
And as far as relationships go, you will only be truly happy in a relationship when you don't need anything from the other person, but instead are happy just being with them and loving them unconditionally.
So, let's start loving ourselves up and creating happier and healthier lives for own sake and for the sake of others.
A few clients have been asking me about the difference between juices and smoothies, so I created this graphic to help you with it.
Make sure to download my free JUICE AND SMOOTHIE RECIPES FOR RADIANT HEALTH.
We are now in the middle of summer and many of you may be craving the sweetness of summer romance. If that's the case for you and you feel frustrated that you haven't met "the one" yet, don't despair. "The one" is actually closer than you think.
Here is missing piece of the puzzle - YOU are the one you have been searching for!
What do I mean?
Well, the truth is, that no matter who you end up dating, sleeping with or marrying, you will always feel a certain emptiness inside. You will always wonder if that person is "the one" and it will always feel like something is missing.
That is until you learn to fill this void from within and fall in love with yourself. Only then can you start to truly experience the "happy ever after," with or without the prince/princess charming.
I have been single for almost two years now and I will be honest, it has been rocky and lonely at times. But complete truth be told, I also used to feel lonely when I was dating and when I was married. That's because I didn't truly love myself then.
Today, even when I am alone, I don't usually feel lonely or sad. Instead, I feel peaceful and happy. And when I don't (which happens, because I am human after all), I know how to get back to my happy place - for me it is by taking myself out on self-dates and I pampering myself.
Just yesterday, I was alone and thought how nice it would be if I was dating. Then I thought - What would I do if I was with someone right now? The answer was - I would want to go for a walk, enjoy the sunset and talk.
So, off I went. On a walk. With myself.
I very much enjoyed the gorgeous sunset, romantic music in my iPod and the pleasant internal dialog. I found myself quiet funny and laughed at my own jokes, which probably wouldn't happen that much if I was with someone (most people don't my jokes funny! Ha!)
If you are reading this wishing to feel happiness inside and to enjoy the true fulfillment, then I want to share my experience and my knowledge with you. I know how hard it is to fall in love with yourself, especially when you know how not-so-perfect you are.
But unfortunately, if you don't fully love yourself, you can't fully love others and others won't know how to fully love you.
I know in the past when I used to feel lonely or sad, I would reach for chocolate or a cookie to get the sweetness I was craving. That unfortunately led to unwanted pounds and deeper feeling of disappointment and dissatisfaction and when you feel bad, you want even more sweetness, i.e. more cookies. Yeah, I've been there...
I want to share this little exercise that may help you get out of that vicious eating cycle...
4 STEPS TO CHOOSING A LOVING ACTION WITH YOURSELF instead of eating: P.L.A.Y.
PAUSE: Stop whatever you are doing. That’s all. Just pause and take a breath.
LISTEN: Listen to your body. Reflect on the situation from the outside looking in. What put you in this situation? How are you feeling at this particular moment? Do you feel physically hungry? What bubbles up to the surface when you allow your craving to exist? Do you simply want to dive into eating because you want to feel something on the emotional level? Pay attention to that feeling.
ASK: Be honest with yourself and ask the following questions:
• What am I really craving?
• Do I want to over-indulge or do I simply crave the taste and
pleasure of a particular food?
• Would my action be loving to my body and my being?
• Will this action show me all the love I have for myself?
• Will it nurture my body and spirit?
• Will the food/action satisfy my true craving?
Say YES: It’s time for a positive affirmation. Say YES to yourself and do what will make you feel truly loved and satisfied. What will it be? Get creative. Turn up the music, dance, smell beautiful flowers, light up a fragrant candle.
Call a friend to hear the voice of someone who cares about you. Make a list of activities that you are looking forward to doing. Do something to move you away from the unloving action on which you were about to embark. You will feel the answer come to you; from there, it’s your choice. Whatever you do, know that your choice is a powerful and conscious decision.
Sometimes eating the whole cheesecake may seem like the only thing that can save your spirit from falling, even if your body won’t like it. Trust me, I understand. In those moments, just observe the action and accept yourself as human. Simply do your best and do it from the space of full awareness and self-love.
It took me 3 years to finally publish my book Let Yourself Blossom: The Un-diet Guide to Food and Self-Love, but it is finally here and I know it can help you.
It will teach you how to stop self-doubt, self-hatred and self-abuse whether through food or other substances.
I promise you it is a pretty easy read and I personally re-read my own book if I need to get back on track.
Check it out in paperback (which has lots of space for notes, making this book truly about YOU) or on Kindle app. You will also get to enjoy some of my yummy recipes that will make you feel loved inside and out.
Write to me if you have any specific questions that I can answer for you.
Sending you lots of love,
I am often asked for advice on eating on-the-go and especially on what to order at Starbucks. Just a few days ago, the coffee chain launched a limited release Unicorn Frappuccino that boasts a whopping 76 grams of sugar in a venti size! That equals nearly three Snickers bars!
If you would rather save calories and want better-for-you alternatives, then here is a little cheat-sheet with my top recommendations as well as my personal strategies on what I eat at this popular coffee shop.
Also, check out our local cafes that have great alternatives as well. Choosing to purchase coffee drinks at these local shops is not only good for your body but also the local economy.
My Recommendations: Continue reading here.
As a chef and health coach, I am committed to bringing different choices to our readers. Whether you are eating red meat, limiting your animal proteins to seafood or keeping to a strictly vegan lifestyle, we all can agree that eating your fruits and vegetables is highly beneficial for the body. Here are our top 5 reasons why we love vegetarian foods:
I have never really dated many people. I got married when I was young and have been in long-term relationship after the marriage ended. When I would meet someone, it was organically and usually through friends. In August this year I decided to travel more and take work projects around the country, and as I took a big leap in my life geographically, I decided to make a change in my romantic life as well.
Enter Tinder. Apparently no longer for hook-ups, this app seemed like a fun way to meet men in the area, especially since only those men that I liked and liked me back could message me.
I joined on Thursday, went on a first date the following Monday and had 10 first dates over the next 10 days. My goal was to say "yes" to life, say "yes" to possibilities and see what happens. Here is how it went and what I learned about myself.
Here were my rules:
10 things I learned:
10 Dates breakdown:
Bachelor #1 was the first one to respond to my flirty line in my profile, in which I said I was always on a search for the best gelato in town. In his third message to me he offered to take me to a place that had something better than gelato – rich, locally-made ice cream. How could I say no to that?
I haven’t been on a date in months, so naturally I was nervous. What if he doesn’t like me? What if I don’t like him? What if he is shorter than I expected? What if he is a psychopath? Ooh, good thinking! Just in case, I texted his contact info and photo to my best friend.
Despite his cheerful profile, bachelor #1 turned out to be a bit of downer and not as positive about life as I expected him to be. However, since that was out of my control, I quickly brushed off that thought and decided to focus on one thing that I could control – being myself. But what was that, exactly? Do you ever feel like you are a different person depending on who you are with? That has been the case for me most of my life. However, since I was making big changes, I decided to try something new – just be myself. To do that I imagined that this person liked and accepted me as if we have been friends for years. What a fun idea and it worked like a charm!
I immediately relaxed and started to pay attention to the moment. I also stopped obsessing whether he liked me or not. In my imagination, he already did. After an hour chat over ice cream (which was delicious), I noticed that he was doing most of the talking, barely giving me a moment to respond. I believe in conversations, not monologues and didn’t love that energy, so I said I had to go. My date walked me to my car and asked for a kiss on a cheek. I politely agreed, got in my car and left.
He texted the next day to check on me, but didn’t ask me out again. Phew.
Bachelor #2 messaged me asking if I needed a boyfriend. I playfully said that I don’t “need” anything, but can be charmed by someone to reconsider. He loved that I was in the "not-needing" zone and in his second message, he asked me out for gelato in my town. We met on Tuesday night at a little Gelato shop. I enjoyed a fun Rosemary-Vanilla flavored gelato covered in milk chocolate and hazelnuts. He admired my adventurous spirit yet picked a safer dark chocolate flavor for himself. He asked if I wanted to go for a walk and we had a fun time chatting and strolling around town. I didn’t feel great sparks and he wasn’t my usual type, but I liked the guy.
He offered to walk me home, kissed me lightly goodnight and immediately asked me out for a second date. He also texted me 10 minutes after the date to say it was nice meeting me and he was looking forward to seeing me again. This is fun!
Bachelor #3 was a world-traveling yacht expert who lived on a boat in a nearby marina. He asked me for my number in his second message and called the next day instead of texting. Very refreshing! Even though he looked much older than I would like my partner to be, I still agreed to meet him, as I was staying open and was willing to see what the universe had in store for. Besides, I could always make a great friend with a boat!
We met at a juice bar nearby on Thursday morning and chatted for 40 minutes over a dragon bowl (think healthy ice cream for breakfast). Even though I didn’t feel any chemistry, once again I kept reminding myself to stay open and be myself. This was good practice to act as if I was loved and adored. An hour after the date, Bachelor #3 called me to say he registered for the same meditation retreat I told him I was going to later in the month. By going out on this date not only did I make a fun friend with a boat, I also expanded my circle of spiritual friends!
Bachelor #4 was a hot, mysterious-looking magazine editor and writer. I loved how he wrote me long messages and how eloquent he was with his words. Big turn on. However, unlike the first 3 guys, this one took the longest time to ask me out. Technically, he said “if you want a guide, I’ll be happy to show you around…” Yet later it was me who suggested checking out a place he mentioned earlier. So, wait, did I ask him out?? Not a good sign. When we met, he didn’t seem too excited and didn’t even give me a hug or a kiss on a cheek. During the whole date, I felt like I was “making” him go out with me.
But here is the cool thing – because I just went out on 3 dates before and had more lined up, I knew that this guy’s behavior had nothing to do with me. He was being himself. His aloofness didn’t have to mean that I wasn’t worthy or that I wasn’t likable. It just meant that I may not have been his type, or whatever. Because I strengthened my “being myself’ muscle, I felt much more at ease than I would have been, if he was the only date I had lined up.
At the end of the date, we partied on the street with him saying – “well, this is my street. Thanks.” Then he turned around and walked in the direction of his home, leaving me on an empty intersection at 11pm. Hmm… Guess I won’t be hearing from this one.
Bachelor #5 asked for my number in his fifth message, however I didn't hear from him until 4 days later - Friday afternoon. Because of all the earlier dates, I actually decided to take Friday off and didn’t make any plans. Around 4pm he texted me that he was going to be in my area later that night and asked if I wanted to meet up for a drink. Because he was hot, I conveniently ignored my “how dare he ask me out so late!” thought and say yes. What the heck, right? I could use a glass of bubbly.
Here is a big distinction: while he did say he was enamored by me and has stalked me on Facebook, his actions showed the opposite – he asked me out last-minute, which clearly indicated I was not a priority to him. This was fine with me, because I haven't invested my time and emotion into him yet. However, it would have been disappointing to be treated this way by someone if I had big premature plans for the relationship. Luckily, because I had other dates, I didn’t obsess over this one.
When we did meet, we hit it off, chatting non-stop for an hour about our mutual interests in meditations and travel. He walked me to my building and asked me if he could kiss me. I said yes and man, oh man, was that kiss something. Not the light kind like bachelor #2 demonstrated, but the passionate and strong. He even pulled my hair, which got me a little weak in the knees. He texted me within 10 minutes saying that he could have kissed me all night. Yum!
But guess what? I haven’t heard from him after that night. Just another reminder that quick moves and charming words are a lot of hot air (which can be fun once in a while too). Good lesson.
Bachelor #6 messaged me about once a day and asked for my number in his forth message. However, I didn’t hear from him until Friday night when I was out with Bachelor #5. The following day, I replied to his text saying I was going to be out in my town for drinks with friends, if he wants to meet up. To be honest, I wasn’t that interested in this one, but he seemed nice and I figured there was no harm inviting him to join us. He did come to meet us and we spent time chatting at the bar.
Even though I was still being myself and acted as if he was an old friend, he somehow felt different about this first date, so he put his hand on my knee. Hmm… I didn’t like that. Obviously our energies were out of alignment - I didn’t give him any signals for that and he didn’t ask if that was Ok. Red flag! Through out the night he kept putting his hand on my back and leaning in way too close. It felt a little too touchy-feely for the first meeting, which I didn’t care for. However, when he walked me home, he simply gave a kiss on a cheek, which was sweet and very gentlemanly.
He called me the next day saying that it was nice meeting me and that he hoped to see me again soon.
The following morning I woke with a headache – too much going out, too many glasses of bubbly and too little sleep. However, I had a smoothie date with Bachelor #7 at noon and I was committed to this dating thing. I also knew I could use a green smoothie. Luckily my date was running late, which gave me an extra half hour in the morning. He actually texted me an hour before the original meeting time to let me know about his late arrival, which I really appreciated.
This guy was different from the other men I have gone out with so far – he was a chef, like me, but while I am all about flowers and butterflies, he was all about tattoos and piercings. He looked like a badass. Or at least that’s what you would see outside. But because I was staying open and listening to how people showed up when they wrote, spoke and acted, I was curious about meeting him.
His first message to me was to introduce himself, point out our common interests in cooking, meditating and dogs and suggest that we should be friends. That put me at ease and re-confirmed my new belief that in order to act truly natural, you can simply imagine that the person you are with as your friend. We texted over the next few days with quick little hellos and in his 8th message he asked if I wanted to meet.
Not only was this guy kind and interesting, he also had lots of depth. I was very inspired when he said he taught weekly meditation to prisoners. Wow! I wondered what would have happened if I wasn’t open-minded to this dating thing. I would have just pushed him away with my pre-conceived stories of how people “are” based on what they look like.
We ended up talking for 3 hours and could hardly stop. He messaged me within 30 minutes after the date saying how much he enjoyed meeting me and that he wants to see me again. He also said that he was interested in more than friendship and I liked this directness and honesty.
Right after my date with Bachelor #7, I had Bachelor #8 scheduled at 3pm for juice. This started to feel a little like work interviews! Just like Bachelor #7, my second date of the day was also running late, yet he didn’t give me much heads up. He actually showed up even later. Same situation as Date #7 - two different people. One lets you know about being late in advance, while the other one doesn’t. And it has nothing to do with YOU. You never have to doubt your worthiness. It is all about THEIR standards. Now ladies, you can choose which one of your suitors fits YOUR standards, but that’s a choice you have to make for yourself.
Similar to Bachelor #7, Bachelor #8 was also into meditations and Buddhism. However, his energy was very distant and he didn’t feel present. He hardly looked at me and didn’t seem too happy to be meeting me. Looking back at our messages, I see that he never really pursued me. He took time to ask me out, waiting for a day between short messages and finally casually asked in his 11th message if I wanted to meet. It didn’t feel like he was really that interested.
After about an hour of talking, which felt a little like pulling teeth, he walked me home, gave me a quick hug and walked off to meet up with his friends. None of this was taken personally, as I have learned that everyone is different and their behaviors don’t have anything to do with me.
I haven’t heard from him after.
I don’t know why exactly, but I scheduled a third date for that Sunday. Bachelor #9 and I were going to go salsa dancing in the afternoon. This guy also took his time to ask me out and didn’t seem too eager about it. Yet, he was cute, smart and he could dance, so I said yes. He was pretty quiet when we met and didn’t seem too proactive. Just like his texts. Again, the way the guy asks you out can show how he acts in real life.
We had a nice time walking around the city, grabbing a bite to eat and then dancing. Because I was so tired from all of my dating, I had to cut this one short. He walked me in the direction of my building, but left me half-way at the intersection that he had to turn at. We hugged good night and I haven’t heard from him since.
Because I overbooked my Sunday, I took Monday off from dating and set my next date for Tuesday. Bachelor #10 asked me out in his 8th message, but unlike all others, he asked me out to dinner, not just a quick meet-up. Since he offered to take me to an excellent Ethiopian restaurant, I said yes. Heck, if the company wasn’t great, I knew the food would be. He was good looking and seemed very interesting and well-traveled, so I figured I may learn something new about the world.
I did see a big red flag in his texts. On Saturday afternoon he messaged me apologizing for a late notice due to lack of Tinder notifications and said he needed to reschedule for Tuesday from Saturday (which was the original date.) Here is my thought - if someone is thinking about you and wants to meet you, they will check the app! They will find a way to get in touch early if they need to reschedule and not wait until the day of. Clearly, he wasn’t that concerned about my plans.
This tip of the iceberg of not thinking of me proved to be right. The whole dinner he talked 95% of the time. He asked only 3 questions about me and carried on the conversation as soon as I finished my answer. I prefer dialogues and not monologues, so this guy wasn’t for me. Funny enough, he thought I was great and when we parted ways in front of the restaurant, he said he would like to see me again.
However, he didn’t offer to walk me to my car, which was another red flag for me. A real man desires to protect the woman he is with, and this guy didn’t seem to care about anyone but himself. He texted me within an hour saying that he would like to see me again and try my vegan lasagna. Wait, did he just ask me to cook for him on a second date?
I laughed about the whole dating experience on the way home and made a decision that I had enough practice dating and being myself and now needed some rest before my second dates! And so the dating adventure continues :)
I apologize for not posting in a while as I have been traveling a lot and now getting to leave again... With that being said, I came home to an empty fridge and I don't want to buy produce because I won't be able to eat it all before I leave again.
I know that many of you may have the same challenge, so I created a video to show you what I do in such situations. Let me know if you have additional tips and tricks of your own!
With summer here and people wanting to sit and eat outdoors, I wanted to share my 3 tips on how to prevent mosquitos and avoid the Zika virus.
One of the biggest challenges my clients face when they start working with me is discovering that deep inside them there is a voice that sabotages their successes. Somewhere deep inside there is a voice that keeps telling them that they are not good enough… Continue reading here.
One of my favorite Disney movies is Beauty and the Beast. Little girls from an early age are taught to look through the looks and love people for who they are. I think we all consciously try to do that. Except for one person. In my line of work I often see women who can't fall in love with themselves. Continue reading here.