The Bliss Chocovado Smoothie (and why I LOVE it!)

In 2012 I embarked on an amazing adventure with my awesome friend – a fellow Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Lindsey Smith (a.k.a. the Food-Mood Girl).

Together we created a program that combined all the things we love most about our work – those very things that have helped us in our own lives.

While our separate journeys have been very different, we realized that we both found success by using the same approaches to overcoming our challenges with depression, anxiety, fatigue and self-doubt and that we are both super passionate about sharing those “behind-the-scenes” approaches with our clients.

We decided to join forces and create something I am so very proud of, The Bliss Cleanse: Your Two-Week Mind, Body, Spirit Guide to Greater Health and Happiness.

The Bliss Cleanse is a collection our very best strategies for turning struggle into ease, stress into joy, and moodiness to bliss.

At its very core, this two-week program helps you create a healthy lifestyle that goes way beyond food. Yes, there are recipes, meal plans and eating guides, but before you can find success with anything we give you in relation to food, you must make sure your mind is working with you. That is why this unique cleanse is a mind, body, spirit journey.

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Life is more blissful when you start from a place of love and gratitude. @Gratitude2Bliss

When we don’t align our thoughts with what our heart wants (love, kindness, ease and joy) and we tell ourselves we have to struggle, or that our body is too ugly, fat, lazy or old, we don’t stand a chance in making healthy choices.

But when we start from a place of love and gratitude for our body, for ourselves and for our life, it’s easy to change.

And that is what I want for you. For you to be able to make the changes you desire for yourself, with ease, joy and gratitude, and most importantly love.

All of the recipes in the Bliss Cleanse come from a place of LOVE. They are clean and easy to make and use natural, wholesome food that is nutritious and satisfying.

One of my favorite recipes is the Bliss Chocovado Smoothie.

Bliss Chocovado Smoothie

Ingredients:
1 avocado
1/2 or 1 banana (preferably frozen)
1/2 cup almond or rice milk
1 tbs raw cacao powder

Directions:
1. Blend well in blender.
2. Add ice for a thicker texture.
3. Serve immediately.

Why do I love this smoothie so much? Because it tastes like a chocolate milk shake yet is dairy-free, sugar-free, and chemical-free. It has loads of antioxidants, magnesium and healthy fat – all things your body needs to balance mood and satisfy cravings.

The Chocovado Smoothie is just one of the many seasonal recipes you’ll find in the Bliss Cleanse – an online program you can do on your own, any time, any where!

Once you become one of our cleansers, you are automatically added to our private Facebook group and can cleanse as a group with us up to four times a year – for life.

You get to “practice” healthy habits over and over until they become a way of life for you. You get to choose which habits you want to focus on each time. It can be as simple as drinking more water or saying a positive affirmation each morning, or you can try something more challenging like giving up coffee, sugar, wheat or dairy. It’s completely up to you what you want to focus on and we guide you every step of the way!

Take a break this summer to focus on you.

Our Summer 2015 Bliss Cleanse is happening 7/12-7/25 so plan ahead and register now – you’ll be amazed how much fun cleansing can be!

To learn more, please visit Bliss Cleanse.

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My Gratitude Walk

The other day I got up and went for a walk. A really big walk. Let me explain.

Two years ago I came home from the hospital after delivering my son, a child we had been wanting for eight years. I had a 36 hour labor resulting in an emergency c-section followed by major blood loss. While I was ecstatic to finally bring my son home and so grateful he was healthy, I felt as though I was going to die.

Each day I woke up to the fear that I would not be able to take care of him. I was so terrified I couldn’t sleep more than an hour at a time. My body became inflamed and I remained depleted for a very long time. Breast feeding was a struggle. Getting through the day felt impossible. I had postpartum depression and anxiety that lasted four months. I was so stressed I cracked a tooth. I had a weird problem where I couldn’t fully bend my left thumb and it freaked me out. On top of that, I had intermittent pain throughout my body and was constantly thirsty, tired and anxious. This experience rattled me to the bone and tested my physical, mental and emotional strength like nothing else ever has.

The only thing that kept me from completely falling apart was the deep inner knowing that everything would eventually be OK. While at times it seemed as if my world was unraveling and that my life was in danger, I held on to the idea that I would somehow make it through. It wasn’t easy but I told myself to focus on all the things I had to be grateful for, especially my beautiful, healthy son. Having an active gratitude practice in place was instrumental.

Fast forward to today. For the first time in two years I feel like I have my body back.

Up until a few days ago, I was still having painful hip and back issues that affected the way I walked and hindered my ability to exercise. But last week I turned a corner.

I had a few private yoga sessions with Gail Grossman, the beautiful yogi who created Om Sweet Om Yoga Studio.

I also had a session with Adam Hakim, a cranial sacral therapist with magic hands. I don’t know how he does what he does but let’s just say he put my muscles and bones back where they needed to be. But that is only part of it. He talked to me during my session and helped me release all the fear that got stuck in my body when I went through that trauma two years ago.

Which takes me today. Today I can walk without pain, tightness or feeling off balance.

When you get so used to living with something, you almost don’t even realize there’s a problem. But when you can release it, you feel brand new and whole again and it’s as if a miracle has taken place inside your body.

To celebrate, I went for a walk. I walked up a steep hill without getting out of breath. I played my Gratitude Playlist on my iPhone and felt grateful. Grateful for every person who played a role in my healing these past two years – family who came to visit, friends who brought food, neighbors who checked in, babysitters who were wonderful caregivers, healers who I called upon to help me, and my husband who was a rock through it all.

Next, I thanked my body. While it was challenging for me to accept the limitations it had placed on me, I never once lost faith that my body would heal.

I also thanked myself for doing what I could to stay positive and focus on what I had to be grateful for. I acknowledged myself for taking the time to make healing a priority.

This is something my gratitude practice has given me–permission to appreciate myself, my body and my own happiness.

I share this story with you in the hopes that it will inspire you to keep going. Whatever struggles you face, listen to the voice inside that can guide you to your own success.

If you have health issues, know that your body can heal.

If you have relationship challenges, know that you are loved.

If you have financial troubles, know that you are supported.

If you feel lost, know that you are guided.

When in doubt, practice gratitude.

Most of all, know that you are always right where you need to be. Know that every step of your journey matters. Every challenge is an opportunity for growth. And know that your gratitude practice can be your best friend when times are tough, moving you out of darkness and into the light.

I invite you to go on your own gratitude walk this week. Get out in nature and appreciate everything, even being able to walk and to be alive.  I promise you’ll feel good all week!

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When in doubt, practice gratitude. @Gratitude2Bliss

To get started with your own gratitude practice, download the free iTunes or Google Play Gratitude to Bliss App and start today!

Already have a gratitude practice? Please share in the comments below or on my Facebook page how it helps you stay grounded through difficult times.

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