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Wednesday, September 2

The Smart Girl's Guide To Vitamins

essential vitamins for women

Vitamins, Probiotics, and Omegas... oh my! It's overwhelming standing in the supplements aisle of the health food store, isn't it? But let's not make excuses. A smart girl doesn't wait for someone to hand her a fistful of vitamins and tell her, "take these". A smart girl does her own research and then finds a better way. One that works for her schedule, her tastes, and her life!

Today I'm breaking it down for you: the vitamins you need to be taking each day, what they do, and why you need them. Then I'm going to tell you about how I get all my vitamins in each day in a simple way! Because I know you're busy like me. And ain't nobody got time for chocking down 15 horse pills every morning with their dirty chai.

Let's start with the basics. I'm going to call them the LUCKY 13. These are the 13 vitamins considered essential for proper body function. These are nutrients that help your body carry out the everyday processes necessary for LIFE! They help your cells make energy and support your muscles and bones. Sounds important right? Yeah, it is...

THE LUCKY 13
Vitamin A (supports vision, your immune system, and your cells)
Vitamin C (supports your immune system, among other things)
Vitamin D (helps your bones absorb calcium and phosphorus)
Vitamin E (destroys free radicals, helps prevent against heart disease)
Vitamin K (helps keep you from bleeding too much)
Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12 (everything from healthy skin to memory, these are powerful!)
Biotin (Biotin works miracles for your hair and nails)
Pantothenic Acid (energy production and fat metabolism)
Folic Acid (helps the body produce new cells like red blood cells, reduces birth defects)

What about minerals? We know those are important too? Here's a few that you should be including in your daily intake...

IMPORTANT MINERALS
Calcium (supports your bones and vitamin absorbtion)
Chromium (important for metabolism and synthesis of cholesterol, fats, and proteins)
Copper (supports your connective tissue health, hair and eyes, brain stimulation)
Iodine (supports proper thyroid function)
Iron (carries oxygen to your blood cells)
Magnesium (detoxifies, regulates temperature, increases energy, can soothe nerves)
Manganese (supports healthy bone structure)
Zinc (immune boosting)
Phosphorous (hormone balance, digestion, energy)
Molybdenum (detoxifies)

Sounds great right? Healthy and happy bodies here we come. But we aren't done yet! Did you know that the state of your "gut" (aka intestines) can affect all kinds of systems in your body? Including your immune system?! Makes sense then that we should be keeping our digestive tract in tip top shape. We can do that by taking Probiotics. I know you've heard about them but what you might not know is that probiotics that are no encapsulated against stomach acid are destroyed when they hit your belly before they can even get into your intestines. We need those little bugs to stay alive and make it through so how do we do that?

NATURALLY ENCAPSULATED PROBIOTICS
There is one type of probiotic that is naturally encapsulated and can withstand the intense acid in our stomachs. It's called Bacillus Coagulans. You don't have to be able to pronounce it. But you do need to get it into your gut! ;)

GET YOUR GREENS
Don't forget your greens! Phytonutrients like Chlorella, spiraling, spinach, and wheatgrass help keep your body alkaline, support your immune system, and help detoxify your system.

For the busy and frazzled boss babe, adaptagens are a must-have! You may not be super familiar with these bad boys but they are a GAME-CHANGER! These little babies support your immune system when it's under stress. They also help your body deal with environmental stress (read: your crabby boss, the fact that you only ate coffee till 3pm, how you never get more than 6 hours of sleep, etc). They increase cognitive function and help promote a sense of calm. Sounds great right? Here's a few good ones...

ADAPTAGENS
Maca Root (supports libido, energy, hormone regulation)
Reishi mushrooms (supports the liver, fights aging)
Astralagus (Anti-viral, helps allergies, supports immune system)
Ashwagandha (Super anti-oxidant, fights free radicals)
Gingko leaf (Supports mental health)

This is a great start. But if you're a girl who is ready to take control of her health you're not done. Our bodies need antioxidant rich foods like acai berry, pomegranate, camu-camu, goji berries and more! You can pick these up at the health food store and add them to your smoothies or oatmeal. Or... you can take them all at once with all your vitamins, minerals, adaptagens, and probiotics like I do.

Still with me Arrow Girls? Great! I'm so proud. But I expected no less. You are go-getters. You are constantly learning and trying to be the best version of yourself that you can be. You want to give your body every advantage you can so that you have the energy and gung-ho to go out there every day and CRUSH IT! I get it, I'm a GIRLBOSS too. And because I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on dozens of supplements and have to choke them all down every morning, I get everything listed above in this blog post in a once a day supplement called Shakeology. I make a smoothie with some almond milk or fruit juice, a packet of vegan chocolate Shakeology (my fav) and some ice and I'm done! It tastes like a milkshake, it nourishes like a handful of supplement pills. Actually, it nourishes BETTER than the pills because Shakeology's vitamins and minerals and good stuff are all in WHOLE FOOD form. The fruits and veggies and super foods are all carefully dried at temperatures that won't destroy the enzymes and then turned into a powder. They add some protein in it and a little stevia to keep things sweet and in less time than it takes me to reheat my coffee (for the 4th time! Why can I never drink a cup before it goes cold?!) My smoothie is made and my body is rejoicing for doing something good for it!

So that's how I make it happen everyday. Want to try some of my favorite all-in-one? Just visit my shop tab and take a look. And even if Shakeology isn't something you want to try, I hope this helps you get a better idea of what your body needs each day to run at optimal levels! Stay healthy babes! 

* this blog post contains affiliate links

** i am not a nutritionist or a doctor. these facts were compiled based on my own research and experiences. please consult your doctor if you need help figuring out what is right for you and your body. 
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Monday, August 31

COFFEE CUP CHATS | 5 Simple Rules For Work From Home Success

home work space table laptop desk flowers


For so many of us, it's the holy grail. We dream of leaving our day jobs and pursuing our passions. We envision a world of instagram-worthy vignettes... of lattes and lunch meetings, of yoga pants and a perfectly styled home office. Then reality strikes. Our dream comes true and we're left on our own, in a messy house, with a toddler knocking our coffee onto our laptops ("THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS!") and a spouse asking why the laundry was left wet in the washer for two days. (Whoops.) You haven't showered in 72 hours and your email inbox is overflowing. This is not the life you imagined and now you're left wondering if you made a huge mistake.

Work from home warriors... I've got your back. Press pause on the negative track that's looping through your mind. Just because Pinterest lied to you doesn't mean all hope is lost! Working from home can be tricky, add in a roommate, spouse, pets or kids and you're bound to feel like there's no hope for any productivity. I've been working from home for almost 7 years now and I've put together 5 simple rules you can put into practice today to help you find some serenity now. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Create Office Hours and Stick to Them: There will always be times when you're on a deadline or when you get behind or when something urgent comes up that you must attend to late at night but for the most part, anything that comes in after 7pm can wait till 9am the next day. While quick responses are an important part of customer service, setting boundaries around yourself is an important part of maintaining your sanity, cultivating healthy client interactions, and avoiding longterm burnout. You cannot be available to your clients and customers 100% of the time. It's not healthy for you or for your business. Set boundaries. I personally like to work late at night because it's when I feel creative. But I take weekends completely off and I have family time from 6-8:30 every evening.

2. Phones and Email OFF, Not Away: If you can hear the *ding* of your work email every 2 seconds while you are trying to enjoy dinner with your family, you are going to be distracted and eventually your curiosity (cough, anxiety, cough) will get the best of you. You'll want to go see what's come in. It's better to turn your email program completely off after hours. My phone lives on silent actually because I have set times to work on email/messages and if I hear the dings all day it distracts me from my other tasks. If the thought of this sends your heart racing, remind yourself that there's always room for emergency exceptions but for the most part, being "on call" to your messages will kill your productivity and your creativity.

3. Manage Expectations Like it's Your Job: Almost every time I have any sort of bump in the road with a client or customer, it is because I didn't do a good job of managing expectations with them. What does that mean? It means that you need to be very clear about what people can and should expect from you and what they cannot expect from you. Be up front with what they can expect, what you expect, your availability, etc. And if something goes off track, keep them in the loop! People are always happy when they know what to expect. They get nervous and frustrated when they feel left in the dark. Communicate expectations effectively and you'll save yourself a lot of trouble.

4. Create a Harmonious Space: Whatever your workspace is, whether it's a loft straight out of Dwell magazine or your perfectly worn in favorite spot on the sofa with your laptop on your lap, make it a harmonious space. You will work better and more efficiently, you will feel less stressed, and you'll get more done in less time. I'm telling you, it works. What does that mean for me? It means cleaning up clutter for 5-10 minutes before I sit down to work. It means having coffee or a cup of ice water nearby. And it means lighting a favorite candle, opening windows for natural light, or listening to a relaxing playlist.

5. Get Good at Being Interrupted: If you work from home, chances are you're going to be interrupted. A bunch. And if you work from home with a spouse or kids around this goes from "chance" to "inevitability". While it can be super frustrating to deal with, if you can practice being good at getting interrupted you'll save yourself a lot of stress. What does it mean to be good at being interrupted? It means that you are able to roll with what each day brings you but also that you can be interrupted, deal with it positively, and then jump back into focused tasks. Babies, roommates, spouses, pets, and life all throw interruptions at you all day long. The better you are at dealing with them, the less stressful your day to day life will be. Be thankful that you have the lifestyle and ability to let you experience and handle these interruptions and practice gratitude instead of frustrations. Everyone (including you) will be much happier!

What about you? Do any of these rules sound like something you need to try? Have you come up with your own set? Share in the comments below! 

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Tuesday, August 25

The One Where I Interview My Hero, Danielle Laporte

truthbombs with danielle lapote
image and truthbomb from daniellelaporte.com

Have you ever played the dinner party game? That game where someone asks you what 5 people, dead or alive, you would want at a dinner party together? Over time my invitee list has changed but one person who I've always wanted there is Danielle LaPorte.

She is the of some of my favorite books, Style Statement, The Fire Starter Sessions, Desire Map, and more. She's a whirlwind of insight and the kind of person you wish you could just be in the same vicinity of to just soak her in. Anyone else in love with her #truthbombs too? I have mine set to arrive to my phone every morning at 9am. Rise and shine! 

I had the privilege years ago of being coached by her over the phone as I took part in one of her Fire Starting Mentoring Sessions when she used to do those. And afterward she offered to let me interview her. I got to ask her some burning questions and she gave me the most beautiful answers. I thought I'd share some of them with you today. Hopefully they are as inspiring to you as they are to me.

BECKA: What is your state of mind right this moment?
DANIELLE: Calm. Very grateful.


B: Speaking to the artistpreneurs out there, what is your best advice about keeping the creative fire burning while dealing with the weighty responsibilities of running a business?
D: If it feels weighty, re-think it. Delegate, prioritize, nix it. And I find that the more creative “work” I produce, the more joy I have in my being and the necessary administrivia isn’t such a drag.

B: Tell me about imbalance.
D: I burn a lot of omelets. It’s a regular occurrence – I’m drawing robots with my kid, I’m jotting down an idea I don’t want to lose, I’m taking the call. And then the smoke alarms goes off. I “work” on holidays. Last Monday I stayed in bed and read all day. I send birthday gifts three months early or three months late – but it’s just the right gift. I can eat cereal every day for a week, wearing the same clothes, never leaving the house because I want to finish a book. I like last minute trips out of town and not answering email for days. The last time I was at a monastery, I tweeted about it. This is not a balanced life. But it works. And the more I pursue my passions, the more uncomplicated my life gets, actually. There’s not much in my life that I resent. And if resentment builds, I’m swift to get it off my plate. It’s not the imbalance-ness that stresses me, it’s doing meaningless things that aren’t taking me where I want to go.

B: I really admire the way you are able to be genuine on your blog. As many people do, on social media I feel the pressure to talk about life, projects, and the world as romantic rainbows and butterflies when sometimes all I really want to say is “My day was shitty.” Can you talk to me about finding the intersection of genuine and positive?
D: MY WORK (+ SOCIAL MEDIA) CREDO – in order of priority – is:
1. Be USEFUL. If your stuff is not 100% about utility, practicality, or wisdom, then… 
2. Be INSPIRING. If you’re not flush with inspiration, passion, motivation, then at least… 
3. Be ENTERTAINING.
And if you can’t at least be amusing then keep to yourself. Otherwise, you’re wasting people’s time. And when you waste people’s time – you’re not only a delusional wanker, you’re disrespectful. Once you disrespect your audience, they’ll walk. Complaining is a no-no.

B: What was the biggest business mistake you’ve made?
D: I kept my mouth shut.

B: To end, what words can you speak to the people out there who may be sitting on their dreams, scared of taking the leap to that next, beautiful level?
D: Don’t burn energy trying to assume how people will perceive you. It’s your job to show up as you, passion and all, and let the right customers make up their mind about you.
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Monday, August 24

THIS & THAT | Exploring Historic Mt. Dora

wanderlust ocean exploring
explore mt dora central florida
Isn't this mural beautiful? It reminded me of a watercolor painting.
kids activities in mount dora, florida
We were bummed that we missed the old steam engine that you can ride through town! 
We'll try again next time for sure. Steamies are Bubs' favorite.
train signs in downtown mt dora florida
quality time with your children
headstand on the dock in mt dora
lake in mt. dora florida
It is a dream of mine to have a home on one of these big Central Florida lakes one day.
photography adventure in mt dora
Watching a storm roll in across the lake.
crystal closet mt dora energy grid pyramid
We visited a metaphysical supply shop called The Crystal Closet, picked out crystals for each of us and left smelling like incense. Also let's talk about how much my hair has grown out. Ha!
Mexican food shenanigans and lemon sucking.
local beer in central florida
We ended our trip with a stop by a local brewery and chatted with the brewer about his process here in this small space. We love meeting and supporting local artists and artisans.
beer in florida

One of my biggest passions as a coach is to help people live a life by design and with intention. I work with parents all the time that tell me they don't have the energy to keep up with their kids, let alone plan adventure days to take them on! Getting healthy isn't just about fitting into a smaller size, it's also about feeling more like your true self, having energy, and having the means to go and make memories with those you love. I'm so thankful for a career that lets me enjoy both the rewards of this coaching lifestyle: of making a health a priority in our family and the vitality that brings, and also the freedom to go on a family adventure for no reason without worrying about missing a day of work or having to ask a boss for permission. It's what I am so passionate about helping other people to accomplish and build as well. Living vibrantly, by design, with intention. Moments, not things. xo.
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COFFEE CUP CHATS | Pruning The Proverbial Hedges

Illustration: Jillian Ditner

Coffee Cup Chats was a weekly column I used to write about being a self employed creative and when I stopped writing it I got a lot of requests to bring it back. So guess what? It's back! Grab your coffee or tea and let's show Monday who's boss. I thought this topic was especially timely with all the kids going back to school. Seasons changing, it's time to re-evaluate. Let's dive in.... 

Pruning: the practice that entails targeted removal of diseased, damaged, dead, non-productive, structurally unsound, or otherwise unwanted tissue from crop and landscape plants.

Oh pruning. It's such a chore if you're the gardener and it's a literal pain if your the plant. For the sake of this coffee cup chats metaphor, you happen to be both the farmer and the plant so it double sucks as far as your concerned. Sorry.

Think of your business (or your life) as an apple tree (or a... what is the flower in that illustration? A Hydrangea bush?). Lovely leaves and strong branches connected to the core of your purpose and your dreams. They shoot out in various directions. Each year you wait for the crop of apples to come (dreams, cash flow, free time, success... what is your apple?) and this last year you noticed that while some branches produced juicy goodness, other's came up dry. And while those branches may have taken a while to grow, while they may appear strong, the truth of the matter is, they've gotta go.

You've got to be ruthless and skilled. TARGETED. A bad ass narrow-eyed ninja of dream growing potential. Focus, friend, and snip snip snip. 

What freedom there is in getting rid of the excess? Think: spring cleaning. Think: a really great trim at the salon. Think: shedding those last 10 pounds. That stuff is holding you back. And while sometimes it is hard to think of cutting it off, the truth of the matter is that your survival (and fruit bearing potential) depends on it.

What branches aren't holding their weight? It may be hard to let some of them go, especially if you worked really hard to build them up but it's time to say goodbye for now. Focus, breath, snip, release. You'll be better because of it. And you're creating space for good to grow in it's place!

That's not to say that you can't come back to a few things later on. Maybe this just wasn't the season for that particular dream. Prune it back and try again next year. Who knows, maybe it will grow back bigger and better than ever. Realize that new hobby wasn't as fun as you thought and now it's just taking up precious time? Donate all the remnants and move on. Do you see clearly the toxic relationships holding you back? Snip snip. Trim off the damaged, the non-productive, the structurally unsound and make way for the new, the lush, the juicy fruit of your labors.

You get the picture. You have to clear out the old and make way for the new. You have to cut back to grow. What in your life right now needs to be pruned? Where can you CREATE SPACE to be fruitful in your endeavors? Life is busy and chaotic and unpredictable but remember, you hold the sheers. Snip snip snip bossbabes!

Do you love this Coffee Cup Chat? Let me know by sharing it using one of the features at the bottom of this post! Hopefully it helps to inspire someone to make the moves that will give them the best harvest season yet!


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