“Each month you can revisit your top Being and Doing Goals and decide if they need another cycle of attention or if they are complete and you can move on to the next one.”


 

A Powerful New Approach for Goal Setting


Hello Beautiful,

Self respect grows when we know we can make and keep promises to ourselves and others. The better we get at this, the more confidence we build in ourselves and our relationships. When we can consistently create and achieve goals, we have a superpower and we can dream big because we know we will create micro goals that take us all the way to the finish line.

After years of studying, practicing, and consulting around goal setting, I have a unique strategy to share. It strikes the delicate balance between creating a compelling goal and sustaining progress at a level that doesn’t end in burnout and abandoning the whole thing.

The first step is to make an annual goals “wishlist”. Here you are going to write an unrealistic but comprehensive list of all that you aspire to. After you have written it all out, break it into 2 Broad categories: To Do and To Be .

In the To Do section, you can put personal projects, trips, career growth, home projects, financial goals, etc.. These goals require time, money, professional assistance, and freedom.

Saving or earning a certain amount, remodeling, international travel, and photo organization are all good examples of “doing” goals.

In the To Be section includes character growth and personal habits. These goals can be accomplished with no outside support. They are free and only dependent on your awareness and consistent efforts. Being more compassionate, going to bed earlier, improving your posture, breathing with awareness, and being on time are all good examples.

After bringing all goals to the table, take some time to reflect about your top 10 “Doing” goals and your top 5 “Being” goals. The Being goals are fewer because that level of change is more demanding.

We have 13 lunar cycles a year and for an average of 30 years, women have 13 periods per year. I take each menstrual cycle and pick one “Being” goal and 2-3 doing goals to focus on. I do this for 21 days. That gives me the last week to reflect on the next cycle and pause for review.

Earlier this year, several consecutive months had the “Being” goal to talk 50% less at home. I wanted to increase my being heard by being more selective and concise in my communication. I found it highly effective for improving this! Some of my doing goals included: doing 50 jump squats per day, reading a chapter of a book each day, organizing the storage room, creating and cooking a new seasonal meal rotation, and traveling.

Each month you can revisit your top Being and Doing Goals and decide if they need another cycle of attention or if they are complete and you can move on to the next one. If you do this for 13 consecutive cycles, at the end of a year, you will have made significant progress. I find that having my goals “chunked” in this way prevents overwhelm and keeps momentum going.

Cheering you on,

Rachel

ps. If you would like to work with me to help you reach your goals, get more information here: Click here for details

 

“Our skin is a sacred and precious robe we wear each day. It’s never too late to improve your skin with upgraded habits.”


 

 2 Skincare Secrets That Help Turn Back the Clock


Hello Beautiful,

One of the topics women are most interested in is how to help their skin age well. The desire to have beautiful skin is universal. Radiant, healthy, comfortable skin is more than a matter of vanity, it indicates our health in surprising ways and functions as part of our immune system. Today, I want to share 2 skincare secrets that help turn back the clock. Both are vital to having soft, radiant, firm, and smooth skin at any age.

#1 Increasing skin fitness through specialized dry brushing:

Regular dry brushing stimulates the production of collagen in the skin. It also removes the dead skin that builds up allowing the easier release of sweat through the skin and the absorption of nourishment applied topically to the skin. The website thegoldensecrets.com  sells an ionic copper dry brush that (according to the research and consistent with my experience) also helps reset the electromagnetic charge of the body by stimulating the release of negatively charged ionic particles, thus optimizing the bodies electromagnetic field.

I have been using this body brush 4-6x per week for 6 months with exponential benefits. My skin is softer than ever and the overall tone and luminosity is increased. It also reduces water retention and cellulite. Did I say that it feels amazing as well? If you have a traditional dry brush, keep using it and reap the benefits. But, if you are interested in upgrading, I can attest to the value of this specialty item. It’s a top 5 beauty purchase in my opinion.

Please be gentle with your pressure, especially at first (and always attentive to your skin’s feedback on the pressure and duration of your scrubbing). With consistent use, this form of skin massage increase the tone of your skin (as circulation increases and collagen production builds). This often leads to the tightening of loose skin and an enhanced youthful tone in the skin. I have been shocked at the results I have felt and seen. Perhaps you will have similar results.

#2 The value of using skin oils more often than moisturizers

Dry skin ages more quickly and looks older than well moisturized skin. After years of research, personal experimentation, and working with women from diverse backgrounds, the evidence for the consistent use of skin oils has mounted. At night I like to layer (onto my face and neck) a skin oil over my night serum and then massage the oil in with my fingers or massage it in with my gua sha. In the morning I use a moisturizer instead of an oil over my serum.

On my body, I apply organic sweet almond oil or jojoba oil to gently towel dried skin that’s a bit moist. Apply the oil with massaging strokes from the shoulders down to the tops of your feet. I let it soak in and then add a lotion (a lighter one in the summer and a richer one in the cooler months) to areas that need additional moisture. I like to moisturize my shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles with this extra layer year round.

When I take a hot bath, I also add about a tablespoon of body oil to the water to keep my skin from loosing moisture and dying out from the water. Just be cautious when leaving the tub since the oil can make the tub slippery. You’ll want to do a quick clean of the tub between baths to remove the oil for safety when using the tub again.

Body oil permeates the skin more deeply and more effectively nourishes the skin. If you take the time to massage it in gently but firmly, you will further increase the body’s receptivity to the moisture. Lovingly massaging your skin while thinking positive thoughts about your body (rather than being self critical) is a key component of achieving good results. Just like a plant you speak to lovingly flourishes, your body responds to loving attention with more vitality.

Our skin is the doorway between the world and our being. It is a sacred and precious robe we wear each day we live. It’s never too late to improve your skin with upgraded habits. When we nurture our skin, our skin transforms into a more beautiful expression of our health. I hope you feel inspired to care more skillfully for your skin and that you feel and see the difference it makes.

I would love to work with you and personalize a nutrition and skincare regime that helps you look and feel your best. If you are ready to invest in your longterm health and beauty, reach out!

Cheering you on,

Rachel

ps. If you’d like some support on your journey, let’s talk. Click here for details

 

“The essence of style is how you live your life.” – Oscar De La Renta


 

3 Keys to Living Well


Hello Beautiful,

One of the most common areas I coach women around is their desire to bring more grace and ease into their lives. Often, we have so many responsibilities and schedules we are working with that it can feel overwhelming and drain our joy. But, there is another way! Your life can be characterized by ease, grace, and delight. When you feel like the passenger on a wild ride rather than the driver of your dream car, it’s an opportunity to reset. Here are some tools to help you live in the flow.

Clarify

Our hearts are often bigger than our schedules. We can feel pulled towards many worthy causes and in total they become too heavy. I believe our first responsibility is to deepen our connection to our Creator every day. That ever deepening connection is the greatest thing we can invest our lives in. As we do, we are lead intuitively to make choices that bring increase to every are of our lives and exponential growth towards all of our goals.

Starting our day with quiet, tech free connection time to listen, to pray, and to fill our minds and hearts with inspiration is a key practice. We then have a clear sense that we must follow and protect. When we become aggravated, anxious, or overwhelmed, we can choose to revisit the Source and to reconnect for perspective and direction.

All day, we keep noticing the cues in our body and our mind that indicate if we are acting out of love and faith or from fear and forcing things. As we continue to hone our listening skills in our mind and our body, we will more quickly notice when we are loosing connection and swiftly course correct.

Living deeply connected to the Divine is the ultimate ease. We know that we aren’t in control, we are simply in devotional living. Our only priority is to see where God is working in a person, a situation, or our heart, and to lean in. That single focus brings clarity to each moment.

Be Realistic

Wishful thinking gets us all in trouble. When we imagine we can say yes to everything and that there will be no traffic, no delays, and no unexpected needs to meet, we set ourselves up for stress. It’s wise to pad our time estimates by 20%+. We need to get ready earlier so we aren’t rushing out the door in disarray. If we allow an extra 15 minutes it can be the difference between leaving with everything prepared for a successful day and having several things go askew because we were too flustered to remember the details needed. Preparation brings peace. Allow the extra time for yourself to gather what is needed for your day.

We are wise to plan extra travel time so we aren’t stressed by the traffic conditions. We may need to delay or delegate 1/3 of our current commitments to realign with a realistic schedule. We are aiming towards a way of living where we can do one thing at a time with excellence and presence as a norm. Being realistic is an essential skill in creating the necessary pace for such an experience.

Add Beauty

Try to add one lovely component to each thing you do. Plate your meals and sit with a cloth napkin and placemat to enjoy your meal. Wear something you feel gorgeous in. Light a candle while you complete a household task. Add a please and thank you to your interactions. Offer encouragement to everyone you interact with. Take 30 seconds between tasks to gaze out of the window and notice something beautiful in nature. Noticing beauty and enhancing each moment with the choice to add beauty to it is a habit and a skill. When we do this, we leave everyone and everything better with our interactions.

Our world needs beauty more than ever. We have lost the aspirational and are mired in the lowest common denominator. Elevating life is something that gives us all a moment of uplift and re-orients us to the best in ourselves, each other, and the world. The ripple effect of such choices helps heal the heartache we all face and provides a respite. Beauty nurtures our being on every level. It heals us by bringing us back to the present and finding delights (however small) to raise our gaze to what is possible.

If we gradually refine our approach to life with these three keys, we will live a dramatically different life. We are given the gift of life and it doesn’t have to feel like a weight. Gaining clarity, setting boundaries, creating new patterns, and changing our default thought patterns will all work in concert to help us redesign our way of living.

Living well is the ultimate expression of creativity. A life designed with care and strategy is more efficient and more fulfilling with less effort. As Oscar De La Renta said “The essence of style is how you live your life”.

Cheering you on,

Rachel

ps. If you’d like some support on your journey, let’s talk. Click here for details

 

“Do you need more fasting or more feasting? Both are needed to live well and thrive.”


 

What I eat in a day


Hello Sisters,

With the arrival of Spring, we often crave a shift in routine. We want to revitalize habits and shake up old patterns. We feel a desire to bring change to stagnant areas of our lives. One area we all can get stuck in is… menu planning. I hope this blog helps you find a few new ideas to enliven your daily routine with nourishing, yet simple shifts. Here’s to your most vibrant season yet!

What I Eat In a Day

Hydrate and Balance PH + Electrolytes

6:30am 1 liter of room temperature water with LMNT electrolytes added

7:30 am 12 oz water + the juice of 1 lemon + 2 tsp green powder (Welleco Super Elixir)

9:30 am Breakfast

  • a fruit and seed bowl:
    • 1/2 pomegranate seeds + 1/2 cup wild blueberries+ 3 T. Pumpkin seeds and cinnamon
  • a superfood Matcha Latte
    • 1 Tsp, Nekohama brand matcha powder + 6 oz water + 6 oz macadamia milk+ 1/2 tsp Pearl  Beauty powder by Longevity Power + 3 drops vanilla Stevia sweetener—warmed and blended until frothy
  • a bowl of boiled millet topped with coconut butter, cinnamon, chopped pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup helps fill me up if I’m feeling extra hungry.

Mid-Morning Hydration

I drink a second liter of LMNT enhanced water

12:45 lunch

  • a simple stir fry with salmon. Usually 3-4 c. fresh or frozen vegetables sautéed in broth. I combine 3-4 types of vegetables. A current favorite blend is green beans, red bell pepper, and artichoke hearts. Next, I add wild caught salmon (pre-cooked) and drizzle with Sesame oil and Coconut Aminos ( a soy sauce substitute). It’s colorful, delicious, and satisfying.
  • 1/4 cup of HU chocolate nuggets is a nice dessert afterwards.

3:30 Porch date with my son calls for a fruit popsicle or non-dairy ice cream bar

Mid-Afternoon Hydration

I drink a 3rd liter of LMNT enriched water throughout the afternoon

6 Family Dinner

  • Large salad with at least 4 kinds of vegetables + baked sweet potato topped with sea salt and pasture butter + buffalo meat balls

 

Overall Framework of my Meal Planning

  • I usually eat between 9:30am-6:30 pm.
  • I do a 24-36 hr fast every 7-10 days.
  • I listen to my body and eat intuitively. Some days I eat lightly and vegan. Other days I eat richer foods and animal products.
  • It’s important to do metabolic HIIT training—ie. vary how much we eat and how much we exercise. This is done within the framework of listening to our body’s signals for rest, for movement, and for satiation or a fast.
  • I aim for 7-10 cups of organic fresh produce daily.
  • I limit gluten and dairy but I love my “exceptions”. Fresh naan bread, Vicolo pizza, honey infused goat cheese, and whipped cream are a few treats I enjoy from time to time.

As you refine your meals, I hope I have given you some inspiration and a basic framework to guide you towards your Spring meal rotation. Give yourself permission to try something new and to switch up your habits. Listen to your body’s feedback. Do you need more fasting or more feasting? Both are needed to live well and thrive.

When we feed ourselves with care, we feel our best. Our body’s needs change over time and it’s important that we are responsive to meet those changing needs. Learning your body’s language is a key life skill. Our body’s are our first gift and our daily companion on the journey. It’s a privilege to have a body and a sacred task to care for it well.

Cheering you on,

Rachel

ps. If you’d like some support on your journey, let’s talk. Click here for details

 

“Self care isn’t selfish—it’s strategic. Fill your tank with the fuel you need to go the distance!”


 

Why Your Physical Health Matters to Your Spiritual Growth


Hello Sisters,

As we enter Spring and the delight of new life surrounds us, here are some musings on how our growth as a Being transfer between realms. I am sometimes asked about my thoughts on how our health effects our spiritual growth. It’s an important question and one with some nuance. I want to share some thoughts on this important topic with you.

Facing where we are immature or hurtful is not something most humans embrace. In fact, most people will go to great lengths to ignore or redirect any attempts to face where they are falling short of the mark. Fear of punishment, fear of abandonment, and fear of change are common reasons people cannot look at what is so obvious to those around us. For these reasons, many people stop growing or loose intimacy in their relationships. Change is hard for most people.

Ironically, if we are able to take responsibility, express remorse, and commit to change, most people will gain respect for us. Someone brave enough to be honest and vulnerable is someone we instinctively trust. Courage and humility are a winning combination that we all know is grounded in strength. Change takes a deeper commitment to healing than to protecting our ego.

The thing is, when we are exhausted and overcommitted, have a headache and feel bloated, we have a  much harder time doing the HARD work of looking at the unflattering truths. We are more likely to persist with our old stories and unfruitful (but ingrained) patterns. The ones we choose to believe because they are more flattering than the truth is. We naively hope others will buy the lie we are selling ourselves.

When we send a basic “signal of safety” to our nervous systems by listening to and taking care of our bodies, we feel more grounded in our being. When aren’t distracted by basic exhaustion and discomfort, we can better face (and embrace!) the lessons we need to. The energy of health is a currency that can be used to fuel growth.

Years ago, our family had a small business we ran on nights and weekends. While it had many benefits to the community and the expression of our own gifts, it took away all of our free time. When we decided to close down the venture, the floodgates of growth took place on so many fronts. We simply had the time and energy to do that deeper work.

So, yes, our health is a form of fuel for our spiritual growth. We “burn the fuel” of our physical life force in service of our spiritual and emotional growth. Then we assimilated and standardize that level of being and “refuel” our physical reserves. Only to leap frog forward from the resources we have built up. The body serves as a reservoir of “change potential” energy from which we can draw.

Personally, I have been in a very deep season of growth and transformation. I feel I am near a plateau of integration that will then let me redirect my energy to “next leveling” my body….in preparation for drawing from that vitality on my next ascent.

I have a lifelong commitment to health for many reasons, but the primary one is this: taking care of my body is taking care of my Spirit. There is no split. Our emotions express through our body. Our thoughts happen in a tired and depressed brain or a refreshed and faith filled brain. Our ability to “go the extra mile” is effected by how depleted we are.

I want to build up my physical capacity to carry my Spirit as far as she can go (and then by Grace, even farther than I knew possible). I want to support and inspire you to do the same. You are a one of a kind expression of God’s love and a unique contribution to the world. Self care isn’t selfish—it’s strategic. Fill your tank with the fuel you need to go the distance!

Cheering you on,

Rachel

ps. If you’d like some support on your journey, let’s talk. Click here for details.

“Even when we feel surprised or upset about being out of commission, in some way it is serving us. When we stop fighting it and start learning from the situation, healing can begin.”


 

Three Overlooked Reasons You might be Sick or Injured


Hello Sisters,

We all get sick or injured from time to time. I don’t see this as accidental. Our body responds elegantly to our thoughts, emotions, and actions. Even when we feel surprised or upset about being out of commission, in some way it is serving us. When we stop fighting and start learning from the situation, healing can begin. Here are 3 common patters from my studies and observations over the decades, that I use personally and with my clients to get to the root of the issue so that the healing process can truly begin.

#1 Our Chemistry is out of balance

When we eat too many refined and acidic foods, our mineral balance/ph is out of the balanced ph range of 6.75-7.5. When this happens, our microbiome is compromised and immunity is lowered. We are also more prone to injury because acidic ph inhibits optimal signaling in the muscles/nerves and makes us more prone to injury. While coffee, alcohol, sodas, sweets, simple carbs, and too much meat are common culprits, stress is equally problematic. If we are under chronic stress, our body is subject to cortisol, adrenaline, and other stress response hormones that shift our ph out of its healthy range. 

What is needed, is a large amount of fresh vegetables (green juice is especially potent) and an elimination of highly acidic foods until the proper ph is regained. The body heals more quickly when an anti inflammatory diet of whole foods dominates. Additionally, slowing down our breath (and deepening/extending the exhale in particular), our movements (slower and softer movements cue safety to the nervous system), and our schedules will help normalize the ph. Difficult conversations may need to be had. Forgiveness will help clear the system. Boundaries may need to be set or re-iterated. Amends may need to be made. Healing our body, our emotions, and our spirit are all equally important.

#2 Being Unavailable Because of Your Injury or Illness May Be a Way to Not Engage 

It’s easier to “not be able to go” than to say you choose not to. Sometimes illnesses (whether acute or chronic) are avoidance mechanisms for things we resist doing but feel obligated to do—-unless our body is out of commission. It’s alway helpful to ask, “What is this illness/injury allowing me to bow out of that I don’t really want to do?” See if anything comes to mind. Prepare to have that conversation so you can be healthy AND not do the thing. 

#3 We aren’t listening to our body’s communication to slow down, so it shut’s down for a bit.

When we push too hard for too long our body will resist by not functioning in some way. This is a natural protective mechanism to bring us back into balance. The lesson here is to slow down voluntarily rather than be pushed off the cliff by a tire that blows out! We all have to accept our limits (however inconvenient that reality feels) and slow down when our vehicle is overheating. Poor sleep, bad moods, low energy, and upset digestion can all cue us to slow down and take care before things escalate further.

Our body is wonderfully designed. We are wise to listen to it, to care for it, and to learn from it. Don’t fight your body, partner with it. Treat it gently, drive it with attentive appreciation. It will last longer and the ride will be much more pleasant. Our bodies aren’t burdens. They aren’t malfunctioning machines. They are elegant and instructive teachers if we will listen well. We can learn a lot from our illness and injuries. They can usher in important realizations and life shifts that bring us into truer alignment. Greater health and more clarity can be the fruit of a carefully understood bodily reset. You see? Everything is conspiring to bring you into your fullness!

Cheering you on,

Rachel

ps. If you’d like some support on your journey, let’s talk. Click here for details.

“With good habits we set ourselves up for good days— and for the resilience needed to ease a tough day!”


 

simple template for a good day


Hello Sisters,

We can influence the quality of most of our days. It’s our inner posture that sets the tone and our planning that stacks the deck in our favor.  With good habits we set ourselves up for good days and for the resilience needed to ease a tough day. Either way, we win. 

These are 4 things that set the trajectory for a life of better days…

1. Your day starts the night before.

Go to bed at an hour that lets you wake up refreshed. Finish with screens 2-3 hrs before bedtime and use the end of the evening for baths, (paper) books, and having a cup of tea with a loved one. Unwind your mind and body so that your nervous system is primed to let go and replenish well. If you finish the night late or with stressful entertainment (like a suspenseful series you enjoy but it raises your stress hormones) your system will have a harder time transitioning to peaceful sleep.

2. Finish eating 3-4 hours before bedtime. 

This allows your digestion to wrap up and your sleep to be deeper. It also allows your glymphatic (brain cleansing) fluid the blood flow access needed (because digestion is complete) to clean the amyloid plaque from the brain. This reduces dementia risk and optimizes brain aging. Eating early also improves effortless weight management —since calories consumed later in the day are more likely to end up being stored as fat.

3. Use the first part of your day to get your mind right and orient your spiritual awareness. 

Sometimes we wake up upset from a dream—or for no discernible reason. We need to set aside time each morning to orient our mind to True North and align our Spirit with our Creator.

Nothing is more important for setting the course of our day, than choosing our focus and getting clear on the day’s approach and priorities. 

First we need to set our “to be” intention for the day. What qualities must we embody that day to be in alignment with our calling?  Then you set your top “to do” list—keep it as short as possible and let extras be “bonus” accomplishments. The longer the list, that more rigid we get trying to fit it all in. Rigidity and desperation to get through the list by the end of the day are the enemies of Presence and responsiveness. We want to be vessels used by God in service and that requires an openness that is tough to access when the agenda is set in stone to the minute. 

4. Prime your body for health.

Hopefully you slept well. Next you set your inner being for success. Now, its time to hydrate. Aim for 32 oz of electrolyte enhanced water in the first hour after rising. After plenty of water, a supplement or two is a good idea. Many need to be taken on an empty stomach, so early in the day is perfect timing. Allowing 15-30 minutes for the supplements to pass through the stomach, now you can do a nutritive drink like vegetable juice, a smoothie, or some tea. 

Morning is a great time to hydrate and get the body in an alkaline state for the day. You may eat (or prep for a later) breakfast. And hopefully have 15-60 minutes of morning exercise. Ideally, its done outside in the fresh air where your circadian rhythms can sync with the morning light (which sets you up for good sleep later). A brisk walk or some stretching is a basic workout to aim for or exceed. Do something more intense if you have the time and energy.

How we start the day has a huge effect on how the day unfolds. When we create evening and morning routines that prioritize  rest, clarity, and health, we access an enormous advantage for the whole day. Each day is a precious gift to be treated with reverence. I hope you feel encouraged and inspired to take your routines to the next level. The quality of your life depends on it!

Cheering you on,

Rachel

ps. If you’d like some support on your journey, let’s talk. Click here for details.

“Exercise isn’t just about extending your life span, it’s about extending your health span and enhancing how you feel every day. It’s a gift you give yourself.”


 

You can Be Fabulously Fit -Over 40 Edition


Hello Sister,

Fitness after 40 isn’t as straight forward as in the decades prior. The need for building strength, maintaining agility and balance, and preserving range of motion through flexibility is greater than ever. The results we got with our efforts earlier in life, can feel elusive. It’s like our body has a new rule book and we missed the announcement!

That’s what I am here to offer you, the inside scoop on getting and maintaining your results in a new chapter of life…

Before we dive deep, I want to encourage you that any movement is better than being sedentary. If what follows feels out of reach, just start with 15 minutes per day. After that is second nature, add another 30, and so on. Build on consistency! But, to go for your best health, here is a route you might consider taking….

First, you must warm up and cool down. The days of jumping straight into a workout without a thorough warm up are gone. It was never a good idea, but we got away with it in the earlier years. At this stage, the body demands a gentle introduction to the movements that you are about to do. In a mindful way, do slow movements that offer a preview of the workout to come. Tailor your warm up to the activity you are about to begin (tennis, hiking, yoga, dance, weights, etc.) for 10-15 minutes is a good plan. 

You may protest and say it’s hard to find the extra time. Cut the workout shorter if you must. A thorough warm up prevents injury and that prevents many missed workouts! Prevention of injury is key to sustaining results because it preserves your consistency. 

The same care must be taken with cooling down for 10-15 minutes of stretching the muscle groups you used (and those that are chronically tight). Slow holds and deep breathing are beneficial post workout. Warm ups and cool downs are essential to fitness in the long run.

Secondly, walking or hiking is the foundation of any fitness routine. It’s low impact, it can be done any time of day, alone or with a friend, after a meal (to lower blood sugar), in the morning (to set your circadian rhythms for the day and ensure good sleep at night), and with minimal risk of injury. Walking daily for exercise is a common thread for those who loose weight and keep it off over time. It doesn’t raise cortisol levels but does elevate metabolism. Aim to walk at least 15 minutes each day for multiple health benefits.

Thirdly, yoga/mindful stretching is central to fitness over 40. The key is to find a teacher who takes the time to cue you safely through proper alignment and to hold the poses long enough to “soften” or release into a fuller range of motion. Somewhere between 30 seconds and 2 minutes per pose is needed to safely and effectively expand and preserve range of motion. 

Keeping our bodies open, releasing tension from areas we hold stress, and dissolving our held stresses from our physical form are all key to our wellness. If we don’t regularly empty the “stress bucket” in our body, we will store more visceral (belly/midsection) fat which raises inflammation and is a risk factor for multiple diseases. 

Daily yoga also improves sleep, contributes to balanced hormones, and reduces cellulite (by increasing fascial health). Aim for at least 15 minutes per day.

Fourthly, we benefit from low weight (1-3 lbs)/high repetition work 2-3 x per week. Pilates, Barre, and similar movement styles all offer this type of training. By working the muscles this way, we build the smaller “accessory” muscles that help prevent injury and stabilize a joint through it’s full range of movement. These types of exercises build long, lean muscles and can be done throughout the lifespan safely.

Fifthly, we can do higher weight, low repetition training 2x per week. Heavier weights (safely used under skilled instruction) help build/preserve muscle mass as we age. This is key to our bone density, our metabolism rate, our blood sugar regulation, and our hormonal regulation. Muscle loss (sarcopenia) is the first sign of aging. Preventing muscle loss is one of the most important tasks we undertake if we desire to age well.

Lastly, HIIT training (High Intensity Interval Training) is beneficial 2-3 x per week. In this type of training, we alternate intense effort with recovery intervals. It is often done for a duration of 15-40 minutes. HIIT training is effective in helping burn off the extra weight that wants to hold onto our middle age (and later age) bodies. It is good for cardiovascular health and it releases hormones that uplift our mood…as well as HGH (human growth hormone) to speed cellular repair and slow the clock.

You might be wondering how you can fit all of this into your already full schedule. Here I will refer you to a quote I recently read: “Would you rather exercise an hour a day or be dead 24 hours a day?” Laughs, aside, this is a valid question. Even if its not as extreme as death, the quality of life issue stands for us all. How much energy we have, how we feel about our naked body’s appearance, how we feel IN our body all day long, and our ability to fully energetically engage with life is all at stake. Daily exercise is key to sleeping well and feeling our best while we are awake! It’s worth re-examining your schedule to find more time to dedicate to exercise.

Putting it all together:

Every day, non-negotiable are: 15 minutes of brisk walking and 15 minutes of yoga.

Then, add to this base by alternating daily between:

30 minutes of low weight/high rep/pilates type work 3x per week (Mon, Wed, Fri)

30 minutes of HIIT training that alternates between heavier weights and bursts of cardio  (jumping jacks, burpees, etc) 2x per week (Tues and Thurs)

Ideally on weekends we take a longer walk and/or a group fitness class (dance, yoga, etc)

Aim for 5 days per week of breaking a sweat. On your rest days, still do the 15 min walk and 15 min stretch as body maintenance. 

If you maintain a well rounded approach over the years, your body will look and feel decades younger. You will slow the clock and enjoy life so much more. You will spend more time doing what you love and less time sick, injured, and at the doctors office. 

Exercise isn’t just about extending your life span, it’s about extending your health span and enhancing how you feel every day. It’s a gift you give yourself. Feeling great in middle age and beyond is on the menu—do you want it?

Cheering you on,

Rachel

ps. If you’d like some support on your journey, let’s talk. Click here for details.

“Pleasure, flow, and grace aren’t luxuries for the end of the race. They are the very things that sustain us along the way.”


 

making life easier


Hello Sister,

Here we are beginning the second month of the year! Please know that you are still in the first few moments of the year, and there is plenty of time to clarify and act on your goals. I like to take a month or two to really zero in on the essential core of my heart’s pull for the year. Take the time to re-word, re-work, and revise your initial goals into something both simple and profound. 

For me, a central theme is enjoying my life more. I furthered clarified that it was key to keep re-releasing the internal “push” that can sneak into moments and turn things into a struggle for an outcome. I know so many amazing women who have said they can relate to this sneaky dynamic that inserts itself into moments big and small…bringing struggle into our days. 

So, I wanted to share some of the tools that I am working with to re-wire this program in my operating system to one of greater ease and delight:

The 80/20 Rule

Having a good strategy (and constantly refining it) is key to success in every area of life. But, as it is said, “we make plans, and God laughs!” 80% of our success is linked to a well considered and well executed plan. 20% is our ability to surrender to the variables and unexpected things that come into play. If we are planning 10 hours of a days activities, we should be prepared that on many days, 2 hours will be diverted to the unexpected. We ought not resent or resist those derailments. We expect them as a sort of “emotional agility training” (ha, ha!). Make a great plan and embrace the inevitable.

Accept Other’s Autonomy

In a recent time of meditation, I heard, “respect their right to be ___________.”  This could be that they are mistaken, confused, afraid, lost for the moment. This is key. We don’t have to struggle so much resisting any one else’s detrimental choices. They have the right to be wrong. Just as we do. Accepting their autonomy with minimal pause will grant us more energy and emotional freedom. As we relinquish the need to control, we are granted greater and greater connection and intimacy.

Other’s also have the right to carry their own load. We don’t need to step in and rescue them. Sometimes we see the consequences of their choices before they do and sometimes we don’t really know what’s coming.

Either way, we don’t have to take on the burden of getting inside their experience…that’s their responsibility. The more compassionate thing is not to ease their suffering, but to support their learning. A great way to accomplish this is by not interfering in the feedback loop that’s trying to teach them.

Compassion and generosity of spirit—yes! But, being a constant rescuer is no one’s life calling. Let go and let them work it out. Be a supporting presence and available.

Examine Your Script

Do you feel it’s selfish to enjoy your life? Is your lived experience that pleasure is earned by completing your work (in full) before resting? Do you feel fun is for after the work is done? Been there, too, Sister! But, as long as we are breathing there will be an ongoing list of things that need attention.

The key is to learn how to enjoy moments throughout the day. I am adding some unstructured time each morning and afternoon (just 10-20 min each) in which to follow my bliss. Self care needs to encompass a little “aimless” time spent each day. If we don’t claim a few minutes on the regular, we may find ourselves burning out. Prioritizing pleasure and spontaneity may sound nice but entirely unrealistic in your current circumstances.  Which leads me to my last point…

Make it Easier

When you find yourself slogging through an interaction or task, ask yourself “how can I make this easier?” Pausing to empty your bladder or get some water might be just the thing to help you reset and approach the situation with fresh perspective. Lighting a candle might make doing that paperwork less onerous. Putting on a sweater to take away the chill that crept up on you, might make you feel more nurtured and able to find a simpler way to navigate the situation. Ask yourself how you can simplify or soften the process. It doesn’t have to be hard. 

Life can be challenging. Burnout is a real possibility. Depression and overwhelm can overtake the most gallant among us. Pleasure, flow, and grace aren’t luxuries for the end of the race. They are the very things that sustain us along the way. They matter. Beauty matters. Laughter and fun are essential. Joy and spontaneity are life skills. 

We have habits of being that we inherit. We have unconscious patterns we are entrapped by. One of the most important things to wake up to is our unconscious ways of being….especially the ones that aren’t serving us. Re-learning how to live with ease and lightness has an enormous impact on how life feels, how we are in relationships, and how we grow.

I hope I have provided some clarity and inspiration for your year. Please, prioritize your joy, your nurturance, and your peace of mind. Let go of what is not yours to carry. Build islands of pleasure into your day. Value adding beauty into your day. These are the things that make the journey lighter and sustain your Spirit through the seasons of life. 

Cheering you on,

Rachel

ps. If you’d like some support on your journey, let’s talk. Click here for details.

 

“Beauty is a habit. It’s a way of living. It’s a series of commitments to your wellbeing.”


 

5 of my Top Beauty Secrets


Hello Gorgeous,

In high school  and college, I modeled for the top agency in NYC. During my 4 years of working part time in modeling (as I completed my schooling) I learned a lot about health, fitness, and beauty. Over the decades, I have added to those skills and field tested new tools and techniques for aging powerfully and optimally. I am excited to share some with you.

Tip #1 Exfoliation is Key

Whether it’s dry brushing the body or exfoliating the face, enhancing skin’s ability to shed old cells is key to glowing.  Dead skin inhibits our glow and slows the release of waste from the skin (our largest detoxification organ).

Exfoliation reveals the newer cells. These cells reflect light and give us that “glow.”  As we age, cellular turnover slows and we need to take action to support this process. Daily body brushing and 3-4x week using a gentle facial exfoliant can really enhance our beauty.

Tip #2 Effective Moisturizing

Damp skin is the best canvas to apply your serums, creams, and oils onto. The moisture on the skin’s surface carries the moisture you pat on topically more deeply into the skin. Pat off your skin after a shower or bath (or washing your face) and leave a little dampness present to escort what you apply more deeply into the skin. 

Healthy skin is plump and moisturized. As we age we need to apply moisture more often and more strategically. I like to use a varying combination of these 3: lotion, serum, oil every day to face and body. It makes a huge difference to how the skin looks and feels.

Tip #3 Sleep is Queen

During good sleep, our body detoxes, heals, and renews. Most people realize they want more energy but don’t register how tired they truly are. Do you wake refreshed and have sustained energy all day without caffeine? Great! The other 90% of the population is living on borrowed energy (borrowing cortisol hits from the adrenals with every caffeine hit…that eventually wears the system down) and not functioning at potential. 

Going to bed earlier is key, as the sleep before midnight is most rejuvenating. Start easing your bedtime back 20 minutes earlier per week until you are in bed between 9-10pm and waking up rested. It  may take months to feel truly rested- but it’s worth it. A beautiful glow results from being adequately rested. You deserve to feel energized all day, every day, and have the energy to be YOU.

Tip #4 Cellular Hydration

The world, our cells, and all living things are made primarily of water. We thrive on a high water content diet. Aim for 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables. Then, aim for 9 servings. Eventually, the target is 50-70% of the volume of food you consume to be from low glycemic, seasonal, organic produce. Eating hydration is the most effective way to hydrate our bodies from the cellular level. A well hydrated body is more flexible, resilient, glowing, and youthful. Produce is full of antioxidants that combat the assaults of our stress, imperfect diets, and environment. Eating a colorful, fresh diet is a key to aging well at a cellular level.

Tip #5 Beautiful Habits

When we see our beauty as the result of long term habits, not just products we apply, we win the long game. Beauty is an expression of health, of happiness, and of artistic living. Take the time to find the colors that flatter you and the styles of clothing that highlight your features favorably. Discover the forms of exercise that create the type of musculature you desire and the skincare products that deliver true benefits. 

We are constantly changing. Our bodies and their needs will evolve over time. We must stay responsive to those changes. We will never be “perfect”. And also, we are always “perfect”. The paradox of beauty is that it requires consistent investments and then a “letting go” and just appreciating who you are right now. 

It’s the long term approach to nourishing ourselves and finding what most enlivens and highlights our beauty that we need to commit to over time. Our habits of self care, of evolving our style, and of prioritizing being our best with little efforts daily, will yield a beautiful appearance over many decades.

Beauty is a habit. It’s a way of living. It’s a series of commitments to your wellbeing. It’s a genuine desire to be our best in life. It’s your birthright!

I hope you feel inspired to up level your self care this year. Please check out my store for courses on Beautiful Skin for Life, Sacred Rest, and Healthy Relationship with Food for more in depth studies on growing your beauty over time. Or, reach out here for personal coaching on your “Glow-Up”.

Cheering you on,

Rachel