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7 Amazing affirmations to accept yourself when feeling anxious!

What are affirmations?

How do they work? 

How often can we use them?

These questions are the subject of today’s note.

Hola Mis Amores,

Today I would like to talk to you about affirmations.

You may have seen them on your Instagram feed,

Or perhaps you even have a whole board on Pinterest with a carefully curated collection of your favorites affirmations online.

Or maybe you have no idea what an affirmation is.

Either way, if you’ve ever been curious about affirmations, you’ll love today’s note.

And if your mind is already getting restless about how to get started, 

No need to worry!

Because I’ve included 7 affirmations designed to help you accept yourself whenever you are feeling anxious during the week.

Let’s dive in!

Affirmations are statements specifically designed to encourage and support your desired beliefs by grounding you in the present moment.

You see,

The mind is extremely powerful!

If you’ve ever felt anxiety (obsessing about the future) or depression (obsessing about the past),

You know first hand how quickly the thoughts in the mind can take a hold of you and shift your entire mood – even your life!

It’s important to understand that the mind is obsessed with problem-solving, and it will pull you towards that whether you have a problem or not.

Take a moment and think about a time in the last week when you felt amazing,

Got it? Great!

Now, how long did that feeling last?

1 minute? 5 minutes? 1 hour? The whole day?

Chances are that feeling didn’t last as long as it could have.

Here’s what I’ve found:

What does the mind do when you’re feeling amazing?

It will find a reason to worry, a problem to solve, if it doesn’t have one, guess what, it will create one!

This is what the Buddhists call a monkey mind. 

It jumps from one thought to another taking your attention with it every step of the way.

Why does this matter?

Any time you allow the mind to pull your attention at will, you remove your attention from the present moment and get stuck in your head.

You go on autopilot!

Every single second you spend in your head focused on imaginary or self-imposed perceived problems,

… is a second that you’re not spending in the present moment taking action to address the behaviors or circumstances that can help you achieve the life you envision for yourself.

What’s important to understand is that you can only take action in the present moment.

And affirmations have the power to pull you from the lure of the mind and ground in the present moment.

Like one of my favorite authors, Eckhart Tolle says:

All we have is the Now!

So how do affirmations work?

I think of affirmations as reminders of our true power.

They help us reconnect and strengthen parts of ourselves that we’ve surrendered out of fear of making a mistake or worry of not being good enough.

The best way to use affirmations is to recite them both in the mind and out loud anytime you’re feeling the mind enticing you with its problem-solving obsession.

Sometimes you’ll catch yourself stuck in your head after hours of ruminating or dwelling on a situation,

Other times you’ll notice the mind as it is getting ready to pull you in,

As soon as you’re aware that you’re stuck in your head, lean into one of these affirmations and feel each word in your body.

Concentrate on taking deep breaths and focus on the flow of energy within your body.

Become aware of your breath and watch how saying these affirmations quiets the mind in a kind and compassionate way.

Ready?

  1. I accept all parts of me, with kindness and compassion. I feel at ease.
  1. I accept that making mistakes is part of the learning process. I feel empowered.
  1. I am grateful for releasing the fear of failure. Failure is simply feedback and an invitation to try a different way. I feel grounded.
  1. I accept that learning can feel uncomfortable. I am grateful for giving myself permission to grow. I feel lighter.
  1. I accept that all I have is the NOW. I give it my full attention feeling enthusiastic and calm. 
  1. I accept that everything happening at this moment is here to help me manifest the deepest desires of my soul’s purpose. I feel present.
  1. I accept that I can only control myself, my thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. I feel joyful as I release any attachment to wanting to control others.

My hope is that each and every one of these affirmations will ground you in the here and now, and aid you as you build your self-trust.

Do you use affirmations

What are your go-to affirmations?

Please send them my way, after all, sharing is caring!

To Your Authenticity,
nory pouncil
Hasta Luego!

Unleash Your Self-Trust + Thrive Together!

Manifest your dream life, get to know yourself, join a community of supportive professional women and start thriving.

How to stop giving up unconditional self-love in name of validation!

Hola Mis Amor,

How’s your spirit today?

Every Wednesday from 10 am – 12 pm; I have a date with myself.

If you do not have a standing date with yourself on your calendar at least once a week, I highly recommend it.

Checking your growth is a game-changer because it forces you to look at your progress based on your bigger goals.

In other words, it gets you out of the details and into the big picture so that you can remain both focused and encouraged.

I always make a list of the week’s biggest challenges and strategies to improve in the future.

It’s like hitting the reset button.

Do you ever check in with yourself during the week?

Believe it or not,

Most people rarely build time in their schedule to check on their spirit.

Which is usually a sign that,

… we’re not putting ourselves first.

Of course, this is normal.

And very common.

Here’s what happens when you do not prioritize yourself.

  • You struggle to believe in our ability to make your dreams a reality.
  • You do not trust your intuition with consistency
  • You trade unconditional self-love for validation.

If you want to break generational curses + leave a legacy of generational wealth,

Prioritizing yourself has to be a NON-NEGOTIABLE.

Because when you check in with yourself regularly, you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed and frustrated if everything doesn’t go as planned.

Without feeling overwhelmed, you can channel your energy + attention to what you want.

Taking consistent, intuitive action towards the life you envision for yourself!

Prioritizing yourself is part of cultivating your self-trust.

Because:

When you prioritize your needs, you give yourself permission to fail without feeling guilt or shame.

Prioritizing myself, has transformed my life and the life of my clients’.

Learning to believe in my abilities unconditionally helped me go from feeling confused and frustrated to calm and courageous whenever I feel uncomfortable,

Truly living the life I envisioned for myself!

Trusting myself with myself every step of the way.

When you trust yourself, you feel empowered to walk in your purpose without feeling paralyzed by overthinking and fear of failure.

If you’re struggling with prioritizing yourself, and your needs: 

The most important thing you need to understand is that having standing meetings with yourself is only a small part of an effective self-trust strategy. 

What you’re looking at here,

Is proven framework we use to help female founders unleash their self-trust in 90 days, without feeling paralyzed by overthinking or fear of failure, so that they can live the life they envisioned for themselves.

So I have one question for you?

What is your biggest frustration prioritizing yourself right now?

Please comment below  and let me know!

PS: Want to get notified when I release new videos? Subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

Unleash Your Self-Trust + Thrive Together!

Manifest your dream life, get to know yourself, join a community of supportive professional women and start thriving.

How to use dances of the African Diaspora to be fit

How to use dances of the African Diaspora to be fit

Pilin-Anice-Using-Dances-of-the-african-diaspora-to-be-fit

In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating a mother, entrepreneur and Wellness Warrior you’ll love.

Pilin Anice is an Afro Flow Yoga instructor located in CT right outside of New York City (NYC).

What is Afro Flow Yoga?

Afro Flow Yoga® is a dynamic class that fuses vinyasa yoga sequences with dances of the African Diaspora and live drumming founded by Leslie Salmon Jones & Jeff Jones.

Getting in the work…

Pilin got into yoga and African dance her freshman year in college at Howard University.

This is so amazing and full circle because, at the time, I didn’t understand how connected the two were or realize they would have such a huge impact on my journey!”

After completing her 200hr RYT in 2010, she had a vision of merging yoga with dance and prayed on it. Shortly after, in a Haitian dance class at The Ailey Extension, she met Leslie and learned about Afro Flow Yoga®.

I knew it was the practice I saw in my vision!

Pilin started training with Leslie in 2011 and teaching shortly after.

It has been such an honor to share this incredible practice with communities around the world!

Pilin on the meaning of her work as a woman of the African Diaspora

Pilin and her daughter during their #mommyandmini2018 Yoga Challenge!

Communities with people of color are struggling with preventable diseases and poor health.

 It is my mission, not only as a woman of color, but also as a mother, to empower and educate as many as I can to make choices that have a positive impact on their health.

Making the shift to a healthier lifestyle can be a challenge because we don’t always see ourselves represented in mainstream yoga or wellness.

It bring me joy to know that the work I do may inspire someone to see its possible and begin the journey to holistic wellness.

Get into Afro Flow Yoga

 

Pilin regularly teaches and monthly classes at the Ailey Extension and around NYC and CT. You can find the schedule on:

She’s also hosting a yoga and surf retreat, Restore & Explore in Panama on Aug 8-13!

Connect with Pilin on Instagram @pilinanice

Get Unstuck Coaching Program

The Get Unstuck Coaching Program is for millennial women feeling stuck, that want to get out of their heads, and overcome their paralysis by getting to know themselves. You’ll learn to love yourself no matter what, you’ll know exactly who you are, you’ll have full clarity on what you want and will Fearlessly step into your purpose.

Interested in joining? Apply for a free strategy session to get started.

Unleash Your Self-Trust + Thrive Together!

Manifest your dream life, get to know yourself, join a community of supportive professional women and start thriving.

The Ultimate Guide: Kitchen Tools Beginners Need to Meal Prep Healthy

The Ultimate Guide: Kitchen Tools Beginners Need to Meal Prep Healthy

It’s Saturday morning and you are excited to prep a healthy lunch for yourself.

Like a good student, you’ve done all the preparation.

You found a recipe that is not too complicated and you even picked all your ingredients from the grocery store.

As you start to review the instructions, you realize there are at-least two kitchen tools you are missing.

Don’t you hate it when that happens?

It’s like no matter how hard you try, there is always something keeping you from eating better.

You start to wonder,

How are you supposed to know which kitchen tools you need to eat healthily?

As a beginner, do you need every single tool listed in every single recipe?

If so, why do you need these tools? Are you going to use them more than once?

You want to believe you can make this work.

The question is how?

Good news:

You do not have to buy every single kitchen tool in every single recipe you want to try.

However,

There are some kitchen tools that will make your journey a little easier.

This ultimate guide is designed to help you decide which kitchen tools you absolutely need as a health-conscious cook.

Make sure you save it and share with your loved ones around your birthday, and the holidays :-).

Before you get started with the kitchen tools,

Here are some things you need to know.

No.

You do not need to run and buy every single item on this list.

Yes.

You should go through your kitchen and check off any items you already have using the Kitchen Tools for Beginners Checklist below.

Download the list

You’ll be surprised at how many of these tools are already in your kitchen.

No.

You do not need to go with my recommendations.

The items recommended in this post are items of my personal use that have worked well for me over the years.

You’ll see a range of price options for different budgets.

Do what’s best for your budget.

Next –

Let’s talk cookware safety.

Did you know that some containers can leak toxins into your food?

Yep.

Unfortunately, some pots and pans can do the same thing.

Ok, I know what you are thinking?

Nory, how do I know what is safe?

No need to worry.

The folks at Gimme the Good Stuff researched it for you.

Here is what you need to know about the safety of your kitchen tools.

Cookware is made of a variety of materials. As the New York Times reports, some are safer than others.

Check out the breakdown below:

Safe Materials

  • Ceramic: True ceramic is life.  Beware of brands that coat their ceramic with nonstick materials. We already went over this. Teflon is no Bueno.
  • Porcelain Enamel: Enamel is a form of glass. Enameled cookware is most often cast iron with an enamel coating.
  • Tempered glass: Truly the safest route. There is cookware made of tempered glass, and if it is in your budget, you should grab it.
  • Crockpot: These have a ceramic insert and must pass FDA regulations for lead.  If you are concerned, get a cheap test kit and check your crock pot for lead.

Safe-ish Materials

  • Cast iron: The cast iron can help prevent anemia by adding more iron to your food. Switch between cast irons and other pans during the week to avoid ingesting too much iron.
  • Stainless steel: These are mostly good. However, stainless steel is made with nickel and once again too much of anything can be a problem. Switch it up during the week to keep it on the safe side.
  • Titanium:  The only reason to be cautious about titanium cookware is that it seems that most manufacturers now coat their titanium cookware with non-stick finishes, which brings us back to Teflon. Moral of the story? Avoid cookware that is coated with non-stick finishes.

Use with Caution

  • Aluminum:  Avoid all aluminum cookware. Note that pans with an aluminum core within cookware made of safer metals (such as stainless steel) are fine.
  • Unprotected Copper: Too much of anything is not right for you. Too much copper in your body can be toxic. Some foods react with unprotected copper cookware and leach too much copper into your food.
  • Non-stick /Teflon:  You might have heard Teflon is safe, I thought it was too. Until learning how toxic it is. The EPA told companies in 2015 to phase it out. The American Cancer Society even weigh in on this.
  • Plastic: Apparently you can get a plastic pot. Yea, don’t do that. While we are at it, do not microwave your food in plastic either.

So what does this all mean?

As you decide which tools to purchase keep an eye out for materials that are not safe for you and your family.

Keep in mind that your budget will also dictate how safe you can go. Start where you are and slowly save for safer cooking ware.

Now let’s dive into the list of kitchen tools.

Remember you do not need to buy every single item on this list right away.

Take your time and start with the items you will use the most.

Download the list

Kitchen Tools

Baking Dish

If you want to start meal prepping you need this in your life. Baking is the most time efficient way to cook multiple things at once. You can use it to cook all your vegetables, meats, and even rice in the oven. I own a set of two which are great when preparing different types of fish or veggies for the week. They are easy to use and easy to clean. Plus, they are dishwasher friendly. They are great to marinate mushrooms too.

Nory’s Pick:

Pyrex Basics Clear Oblong Glass Baking Dishes

Baking Trays

Are you a fan or frozen items? My husband and I have a sweet spot for frozen potato wedges; our baking tray is perfect for them. You can also use them for things like cookies, bread, and other vegetables. We use ours at least once a week to make plantain chips. These are perfect for quick meals when you do not want to spend too much time in the kitchen.

Nory’s pick

Option #1

Option #2

Blender

Do you need a blender? Yes. Just not a fancy one. Blenders are great especially for people short of time. If you like to have breakfast on the go, blenders are perfect for smoothies, if you are into soups or purees, having a blender would change your life.

The question is, how much should you spend on a blender? That’s up to you and your budget. You can buy a blender only for smoothies, or you can invest in a set that includes attachments like food processors. You can start with something simple and get more attachments later.

Nory’s Pick:

Nutri Ninja Ninja Blender Duo with Auto-iQ

Nory’s pick

Option #1

Option #2

Can Opener

Canned food is not the devil. If you are short on time, there are plenty of healthy canned options you can use to eat better. You will need a can opener. No way around this!

Option #1

Option #2

Option #3

Chef Knives

Do you hate struggling to cut meat or vegetables? It has nothing to do with your strength and everything to with your dull knife.

A good chef knife is the answer to your cutting problems. This handy tool will help save time when cooking and make cooking your meals feel like a breeze. Seriously, when I invested in a chef knife, it changed my life. You can start with one and build a collection as you get more advanced in the kitchen.

Nory’s pick

Option #1

Option #2

Cloths

These are great for cleaning when you are cooking, and you can slip a damp towel under the cutting board to prevent it from moving. Cloths are great to keep your hands clean when you are cooking too.

Nory’s pick

Option #2

Option #3

Colander

Perfect for draining and rinsing canned goods, rice, pasta, vegetables. Get one on the bigger side to avoid running out of room. I use my colander every single time I cook.

Nory’s Pick:

Stainless Steel Colander – Micro-Perforated Strainer

Nory’s pick

Option #1

Option #2

Cooking Set

You need a cooking set sis. Once again, you don’t need Rachel Ray’s cooking set, just the essentials. A saucepan, a non-stick sauté pan, and a large stockpot. Depending on how much you cook and for how many people you might need different sizes, you just need the basics to get started.

What are they good for? The non-stick sauté pan is great for searing and sautéing meats, vegetables. The saucepan is perfect for cooking rice, vegetables, reheating soups and sauces. The large stockpot is great for making pasta, making stock, making chili, and making soup.

Option #1

Option #2

Option #3

Crock Pot

Crock pots are slow cookers that are perfect for eating healthy on a budget. You can leave your slow cooker for hours or overnight to bring out the flavors in your food. Your slow cooker is perfect for making broths, chili’s, vegetables and everything else in between!

Nory’s Pick:

Crock-Pot 7-Quart Manual Slow Cooker

Nory’s pick

Option #1

Option #2

Cutting Board

If you do not have a cutting board in your kitchen, it is time to invest in one. Like yesterday. I recommend you invest in two cutting boards. One for meats and pungent items like garlic and onions. One for fruits and vegetables. Have you ever cut mangos or apples after cutting onions and tried to eat them? Take my word for it; it is not pleasant.

Option #1

Option #2

Option #3

Foreman Grill

When I visited my now husband’s apartment for the first time, he used his Foreman Grill to cook grilled chicken for me. I was amazed at how great the chicken tasted and more importantly how fast it cooked.

If you do not have access to a grill this a great investment. You can use the ridged side for grilling anything you want and the smooth side for making eggs, pancakes, even tortillas. If space is an issue for you, this item is a lifesaver and a must-have.

Option #1

Option #2

Option #3

Food Scale

If you are a beginner, the food scale is your new best friend. The food scale will help you keep your portions under control. How else are you supposed to know how big a 2 oz. is?

Option #1

Option #2

Option #3

Download the checklist

Julienne & Vegetable Peeler

We all need a vegetable peeler. It is great for vegetables and fruits. Consider getting a julienne vegetable peeler because it will help you reinvent your food. Is like having a spiralizer and a peeler in one. You can make fine noodles from zucchini, carrots, beets, and other veggies perfect for salads or bowls. It is easy to clean and smaller than a spiralizer.

Option #1

Option #2

Option #3

Measuring Cups

Some items on this list are designed to help you control your portions. Every single recipe you try will require measuring cups. How else would you know how much a cup, ½ a cup or even ⅛ of a cup means? Do not get fancy, a simple set of the one below will work just fine.

Nory’s Pick:

Pyrex 3-Piece Glass Measuring Cup Set. Source Amazon.

Nory’s pick

Option #1

Option #2

Measuring Spoons

Ever try to eyeball a ⅛ of a teaspoon of anything? How are you supposed to know how much that is? The good news is the measuring spoons will take care of that. Using these tools, you will avoid over seasoning your food, and you will better control how much salt and added sugar you use.

Option #1

Option #2

Option #3

Meat thermometer

As a health-conscious new cook, food safety is your priority. How do you know if your food is ready? That’s where the meat thermometer comes in. The meat thermometer will help you avoid undercooking your food and keep you from getting sick.

Option #1

Option #2

Option #3

Metal Tongs

Tired of burning your fingers trying to turn your food? Time to invest in metal tongs. Not only will they help you avoid injuries, but they will also help you cook your food evenly. These come handy especially when you are grilling.

Option #1

Option #2

Option #3

Mixing Bowls

Don’t you hate it when you put dressing on your salad, and it is not equally distributed? Yea, me too. Mixing bowls would take of that issue. The bowls are also perfect for seasoning and marinating your meat, vegetables and anything your heart desires.

Option #1

Option #2

Option #3

Oven mitts

Avoid burning your hand when checking on your goodies in the oven. These are also great for moving your pots while keeping your fingers injury-free.

Option #1

Option #2

Option #3

Parchment paper

Parchment paper is grease- and moisture-resistant paper specially treated for oven use. You can use it to line cake molds and baking sheets, to wrap fish and to cover countertops during messy tasks to make cleanup easy.

Nory’s Pick:

Reynolds Kitchens Parchment Paper

Nory’s pick

Option #1

Option #2

Stirring Spoons and Spatulas

Stirring spoons are a must-have for cooking. You can use it in your soups, chillis, with your rice, stews, you name it. You can use it to flip, mix, stir and scrape your food. Wood is a great material because it is safe and easy to clean. Did you know that if you place a wooden spoon placed on the top of a pot it would keep it from boiling over? Yep. Give it a try!

Option #1

Option #2

Option #3

Storage Containers

You might be thinking, you need fancy containers. You don’t. Having the right containers is essential because they help keep your food fresh.

For lunches and dinners, I recommend using glass. They are great because glass does not leak any chemicals into your food. For items like nuts, seeds, and fruits you can use BPA free plastic containers. Use these when you are on the road and need to have snacks handy. They are lighter and easy to carry.

Nory’s Pick:

ProGlass 24-Piece Food Storage Set with Easy Snap Lids

Option #1

Option #2

Option #3

There you have it.

Being a health-conscious cook is not always easy. There is lot’s to learn, and at times, you will get frustrated and overwhelmed.

Do not panic.

This list is the best place to get started.

Yes, this list is long.

However, remember, it’s a guide, not the rule of law. Be patient with yourself and start where you are.

You can do this.

Do not let your kitchen tools stand in the way of the healthiest and happiest version of yourself.

Afterall isn’t that why you are here?

So do it.

Download the checklist  and review your kitchen today.

Unleash Your Self-Trust + Thrive Together!

Manifest your dream life, get to know yourself, join a community of supportive professional women and start thriving.

A Love Letter to the Unhealthy and Unhappy Version of Me

A Love Letter to the Unhealthy and Unhappy Version of Me

A-Love-Letter-to-the-Unhealthy-and-Unhappy-Version-of-Me-Title

Before 2010 I didn’t love myself.

I pretended I did because I thought I did.

I was so unaware.

Had no idea what self-love was.

How self-love was supposed to feel.

Why self-love was important.

You see,

No one ever taught me.

And maybe, no one ever taught you too.

Perhaps,

That’s why you clicked on the title.

Or,

Maybe you are looking for someone to relate to you, to your story.

Someone to make you feel OK about how you feel about yourself.

Before 2010, I felt alone.

Lost.

Confused.

Until one day,

Someone said “You need to love yourself.”

And it stuck with me.

I was finally ready to figure that out.

I wanted to know what self-love was.

I was ready to learn how to do it.

I was ready to love me.

I was ready to stop pretending.

This letter shares some things I wished I knew then.

Things that would have made the journey a little more comfortable.

And, although, chances are we’ve never met,

In my heart I know, that if you are anything like me,

You need the content of this letter as much as I did then and sometimes still do now.

Let’s get started.

Nory Writing in a journal.
Journaling is a great way to practice self-love.

Hi Beautiful,

Because you are beautiful.

You don’t need anyone else to tell you that to believe it.

You don’t need men, friends, family members to validate your beauty.

Especially, men.

While we at it,

Stop defining yourself worth based on what men say to you.

For years you’ve mastered the art of pretending.

Pretending to be confident and not care about what people say about you and how you carry yourself.

Pretending to be strong in front of others,

Yet,

As soon as you close the doors, you break down into tears.

Because, PRETENDING.

Pretending to be ok when you are not ok,

Because you are always supposed to be ok.

You’ve been raised to be strong.

Independent.

Confident.

Weakness?

What is that?

You aren’t allowed to be weak. To be vulnerable. To NOT be OK.

You believe this,

You do your best to hide your fears and insecurities,

Because, FEAR.

Fear of what people will say, fear of not being strong, fear of not being confident, fear of not being independent.

Fear of needing others.

Fear of not being who you are supposed to be.

You wonder,

  • Is this how things are supposed to be?
  • Will all this be worth it?
  • Am I doing this right?

I am here to tell you everything will be ok.

The world doesn’t turn out to be as scary as you think.

You don’t need to worry yourself like this.

You won’t need all this worry training.

Here is what you need:

Accept that you are not perfect

You’ve been taught that mistakes are bad.

Everyone says you should avoid them because mistakes are a form of failure.

And,

Failure is bad.

The truth is,

You’ve been lied to.

Failure and mistakes are not bad.

They are lessons in disguise.

They are a part of the process.

Mistakes are great teachers of –

  • What works for you and what doesn’t.
  • What you know and what you don’t know.

More importantly,

Mistakes put you in control of deciding what you want to do next and why.

They put you in charge of deciding what to do with the lessons you learn.

That’s powerful.

By obsessing over being perfect, you miss out on these lessons and will find yourself making the same mistakes over and over again.

You can’t skip certain lessons in your life.

Accept that you will make mistakes.

Commit to learning from those mistakes and use those lessons, to make smarter/informed decisions in the future.

I know you hate that you can’t solve everyone’s problems, but worrying is not the answer.

You have to set some boundaries for yourself, sis.

Learn to say no,

No to perfection.

Because, perfection is not a thing.

Be honest with yourself

Having a croissant in Madrid. I love carbs as much as the next person, that's why I have them in moderation.

Honestly,

You do not have to be everything to everyone.

You cannot pour into other people if your cup is empty.

Stop running away from the root of the issues you are facing.

This is why you run to food for comfort.

Because, control.

By focusing on controlling the things you CAN’T control, you end up feeling like there is NOTHING you CAN control.

Well,

There’s one thing.

Food.

You think that you are in control, but you are once again pretending.

Because, feelings.

They are the ones in control right now.

Your feelings decide what you eat and when.

If you want to change that, you have to face yourself.

Face your insecurities.

And –

You need to stop using other people’s pain to avoid your own.

Stop pretending you don’t carry your own baggage.

It’s OK.

That’s the only way to let go of what weighs you down.

It’s OK to NOT be OK.

And,

FOOD is NOT the answer.

You need to do more than exercising to be healthy

Nory doing yoga in Madrid, Spain.

I know you think that hitting the gym four times a week is all you need to get a six-pack.

You’re wrong.

And that’s not healthy.

Right now,

You can eat everything you want without worries.

That will change as you get older.

Start caring for your body right now.

You only get one.

Drink more water.

A lot more water.

Are you even drinking water?

Drink less alcohol.

A lot less alcohol.

Do you really need to be drunk every weekend?

You don’t need to be hovering a toilet at the end of the night to have a good time.

Before I forget,

A box of Oreos is not a meal.

Eat more fruits and vegetables.

Please!

You might never stop being a stress eater, but you can make better choices about what you eat.

This includes fast foods.

Cut back on the caramel sundaes at McDonald’s.

Trust me,

You will thank me for this once you hit your late twenties and thirties.

Go to therapy ASAP

OK, I know what you are thinking.

“I am not crazy; I don’t need a shrink.”

There is nothing wrong with being a little crazy.

Therapy is not about being crazy,

Therapy is bigger than that.

It’s about keeping your mind healthy.

It’s about slowing down and taking time to get to know yourself better.

It’s about showing up for yourself.

  • Therapy will help you peel layers of pain you didn’t know existed.
  • Therapy will teach you how to heal.
  • Therapy will make it easier to love yourself, unconditionally.
  • Therapy will even help you with your poor eating habits.

That’s right.

Your relationship with food is more complicated than you think.

You eat some foods over others because they remind you of people or happy times in your life.

Eating healthy is not as simple as you think.

If you are going to be successful, you will need help sorting some of that out.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

Because, depression is real.

Because, mental health.

Being healthy is more than working out, you have to care about your food, your mind, and your spirit as well.

At first, self-love will be hard

Nory and her husband JP dancing in DC.
Nory and her husband JP in Washington, DC.
Right now, you are focused on losing weight.

Guess what?

That’s not important.

Weight gain is only the manifestation of everything you have going on.

Weight gain is only a symptom, not the root of the problem.

That’s why weight loss is the easy part.

Keeping the weight off, that’s a different story.

That’s why you need therapy, to peel the layers that keep pushing you to make the same mistakes.

To help you get to the root of why food is your coping mechanism.

Therapy will help you do that.

You won’t find happiness on the scale or the fridge.

Happiness comes from accepting that the only actions you can control are your own.

Happiness is embracing all your imperfections and selfishly caring about your well-being.

All parts of it.

Happiness is giving yourself permission to be ok with not being ok and doing something about it.

Happiness comes from acceptance,

And treating yourself like your own best friend.

Good news:

It all works out in the end.

You do lose the weight.

You keep it off for seven years and counting.

You get to the root.

You end up meeting a guy, he is fantastic and yall even get married, not that you care about that right now.

You learn to set boundaries, and it turns out to be the best decision.

You learn to put yourself first.

You learn to love yourself a little more every single day.

Until one day,

You’re strong enough to write this letter!

So,

Be patient with yourself.

Because to a certain extent, everyone does their fair share of pretending.

No one is perfect.

Like Lauryn Hill once said,

“Your worst version of yourself is better than your best version of somebody else.”

Never forget that,

I am proud of you.

I love you!

Unleash Your Self-Trust + Thrive Together!

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EmPOWERED to Serve: Why Your Zip Code Can Shorten Your Life by 21 Years

EmPOWERED to Serve: Why Your Zip Code Can Shorten Your Life by 21 Years

Did you know that you can live 21 years less than your family member living just five miles away from you because of your zip code?

Think about this for a moment.

Earlier this year I shared a simple method to transition to living healthier, I gave you a step-by-step process to meal prep as a beginner and even taught you how to curb your sugar cravings.

Are these things important?

Absolutely!

But, there’s more:

According to the American Heart Association, many factors are impacting your health besides your behaviors.

There is a component of living healthy that no one talks about and it affects every single one of us.

And the answer might surprise you.

Source: EmPoWERED To Serve Summit, Hosted by the American Heart Association

It’s your community.

Your neighborhood plays a considerable role in your ability to eat better and become healthier.

Deep down you know this is true.

If you live in a community with little to no access to healthy options, healthy living feels impossible.

Is like being asked to pass a test without the proper study guide.

How are you supposed to do that?

It’s not only crazy, but it’s also unfair.

Good news:

Source: EmPoWERED To Serve Summit, Hosted by the American Heart Association

EmPOWERED To Serve

The American Heart Association is dedicated to building healthier lives and have developed the EmPOWERED To Serve ™ movement to tackle this issue.

What is EmPOWERED To Serve ™ movement anyway?

The goal of the EmPOWERED To Serve ™ movement is to improve health within multicultural communities.

If you are looking to improve your health, this movement is for you.

The best part?

You will get an opportunity to make a positive impact in your community.

You might be thinking,

Nory, why should I care about the EmPOWERED To Serve ™ movement?

Here’s a clue:

According to the American Heart Association, your zip code may increase your risk of stroke, high blood pressure and other types of heart disease.

That’s right!

Imagine how that can impact the lives of the people you love.

Think about your extended family, the children attending your local school, the members of the church you visit on Sundays.

All their lives are at stake here.

More good news:

Source: EmPoWERED To Serve Summit, Hosted by the American Heart Association

Earlier this month the EmPOWERED To Serve ™ movement brought together experts and thought-leaders in Washington D.C. to discuss how to help these communities.

As part of this event, ten finalists in the American Heart Association’s EmPOWERED To Serve Urban Business Storytelling Competition competed for awards from $10,000 – $30,000.

The goal of the competition was to identify fresh ideas and innovative solutions that would make it easier to live healthy in multicultural communities.

Sounds impressive, right?

You bet it is!

For more information on the EmPOWERED To Serve movement and the EmPOWERED To Serve Urban Business Storytelling Competition, visit empoweredtoserve.org.

If you want to learn who won the competition, keep reading.

Out of 128 submissions, ten finalists were selected. Three winners were chosen to implement their plans in their community.

Meet the finalists:

Maria Rose Belding | MEANS Database |  Philadelphia, PA

MEANS Database notifies food banks and pantries of food donations in their neighborhood. Food Connect delivers surplus food from retailers to community organizations serving the hungry.

Sharon Butler |  Eat Away Hunger |  Washington, DC

The Eat Away Hunger backpack food program provides nonperishable healthy food to children in need to take home when school meal programs are unavailable, mainly during the Winter and Spring breaks and three-day weekends.

Nisha Sarveswaran | Ambiance Data |  Detroit, MI

Ambience Data has created small, inexpensive hardware devices that monitor indoor air pollution. They empower families to take control of their health by knowing what family members are breathing from day to day.

Kenny Fennell | GoWithCaravan |  Detroit, MI

Caravan is a web-based platform that offers hourly rentals for five to fifteen-person passenger vehicles sourced from nearby owners. Caravan’s vision is to ensure lower-income urban residents can access education, employment, and healthy foods in their neighborhoods and the region beyond through shared-use mobility services.

Nyasha Nyamapfene | Gospel Run |  Chicago, IL

Gospel Run is a public health organization created to inspire health, transformation and expanded possibilities in the individuals, families, and communities we serve.

Cecil Wilson | GoffersGotIt |  Chicago, IL

The GoffersGotIt motto is “Getting Things Done on the Go!” Goffers provides on-demand mobile task assistance. Services include, but are not limited to, grocery shopping, laundry delivery, and prescription refills.

Sequoia Ross | Tricycle Urban Agriculture |  Richmond, VA

Training the next generation of urban farmers. An innovative approach to learning the business and practice of Urban Agriculture

Diop Adisa | KHeprw.org |  Indianapolis, IN

Our model supports young entrepreneurs who want to be the next generation of urban farmers by bringing healthy affordable food into this particular community while strengthening relationships and supporting urban farmers.

Rickey Wynn | See What I See |  Ft. Worth, TX

See What I See (SWIS) is an easy to use product, designed to allow a sick or shut-in person to see through the eyes of their caregiver in real time and communicate with them at the same time.

Danie Brillman | Unite Us

Unite Us is a veteran-owned technology company that builds coordinated care networks of health and human service providers that support individuals by addressing all social determinants of health.

Astonishing, isn’t it?

It is incredible what we are capable off when we focus on helping members of our community live healthily.

In addition to the competition, the event highlighted a number of sessions designed to teach us how to help our communities.

Source: EmPoWERED To Serve Summit, Hosted by the American Heart Association

Kimberly Perry, Director, Food Security, AARP Foundation facilitated the Collective Impact to Transform Communities session.

This session focused on how we can improve our communities by collaborating with both traditional and non-traditional members partners.

Karen Wells, Manager, Community Impact and Annie Thornhill, VP, Community Health, American Heart Association, lead a conversation on Healthy Food Access.

Sadly,

Many families do not have access to healthy foods.

Because, Access.

Imagine having to travel twice as far just to avoid eating fast food.

That’s the reality for families living in typical black neighborhoods in Chicago.

By now you are probably wondering,

How can YOU get involved?

That’s why before I share the winners of the competition with you, I want to encourage you to become an EmPOWERED To Serve Ambassador.

You can get healthier and make your community a better place at the same time.

Here’s what you’ve been waiting for:

Congratulations are in order to the top three winners. I look forward to seeing their initiatives come to life.

Winners: Nyasha Nyamapfene, Maria Rose Belding, Cecil Wilson Source: EmPoWERED To Serve Summit, Hosted by the American Heart Association

Now it’s your turn!

Do your part and join the movement!

Can you really afford not to?

Note: This post has been sponsored by the American Heart Association.

Unleash Your Self-Trust + Thrive Together!

Manifest your dream life, get to know yourself, join a community of supportive professional women and start thriving.

7 Reasons Why The Key to Health is Learning More and Reading Less

7 Reasons Why The Key to Health is Learning More and Reading Less

Wouldn’t it be great if you could snap your fingers and all your health worries went away?

Sadly,

That’s not possible.

If it were, you wouldn’t be reading this post, and you would probably be filthy rich.

The truth is,

Living healthy is all about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

OK, I know what you are thinking?

Nory, why are you telling me this?

Because, knowledge.

You are here to learn how to make eating better work for you, and this is an important lesson.

Plus, I am going to step out of my comfort zone in November by attending the W.E.L.L. SUMMIT, but more on that later.

First –

We’ve all been there.

We’ve read every blog post, promising to get us the body we want finally.

We’ve followed every single guru assuring us they have the answers to our problems.

We’ve even pinned all the healthy recipes in the world, although we’ve never tried them.

So what’s the problem?

Why is it working?

I’ve been there.

I’ve felt your frustration.

Until one day,

It hit me.

I was reading, but I wasn’t learning.

Let that sink in for a minute.

You are reading, but you aren’t learning.

Reading is easy; you do it mindlessly.

Learning takes work.

You have to take time to internalize the information you’ve learned and commit to incorporating it into your life.

See the difference?

The question is,

What are you supposed to do?

Here are seven reasons why you have to read less and learn more and how.

Let’s get started.

1. You Need to Know What’s Most Important to You, Right Now to Be Healthier

Source: atzmut.com

Have you asked yourself what is the most important thing to you right now to live healthier?

Is it to eat more vegetables?

Eat less fried food?

Understand what healthy fats mean?

Is it to find time to meal prep?

You might have read about what’s important to other people.

You probably relate to that.

But what’s most important to YOU?

Being healthy is deeper than eating more fruits and veggies.

It’s about confronting yourself.

It’s about being honest with yourself about what matters to you.

Noone else.

For example,

The most important thing to me right now is to provide you with useful information to help you successfully start living healthy.

That’s why I am attending the W.E.L.L. SUMMIT I mentioned earlier.

To meet other healthy living experts who can show me better ways to help you.

What is the  W.E.L.L. SUMMIT anyway?

The W.E.L.L. Summit is a life-changing experience for those seeking self-improvement and welcome all who are as passionate as we are about living well.

From beauty bloggers and wellness professionals to those looking to learn more about the ever-expanding realms of inner beauty/peace of mind, clean eating, of-the-moment

fitness trends, making informed consumer decisions and exploring the now covetable field of green beauty, this is the place of inspiration.

I hope to walk away from this experience better equipt to not only inspire you to become healthier but also give you the tools to make it work for you.

Just like you, I need to be honest.

Honest about what I can and cannot do.

That’s the only way you will be able to achieve your goals.

2. Everything You Think You Know About Eating Healthy is Probably Wrong

Seriously,

Building the health you want can get complicated.

There is a lot of information out there.

Sometimes, it feels like there is too much information.

That’s why you have to question everything.

Including what I post here.

Ask yourself,

Can this information help me fix what’s most important to me right now?

Because, time.

Do not waste your time with information that doesn’t meet you where you are.

If you want to learn, you have to do more than reading; you have to learn from the best.

Another reason why I am thrilled to attend the W.E.L.L. SUMMIT.

Their speakers include the best in the field!

  • Jessamyn Stanley – Author, Yoga Teacher and Body-Positive Advocate
  • Latham Thomas – Celebrity Wellness/Lifestyle Maven and Birth Doula
  • Koya Webb – Celebrity Holistic Health Coach and Yoga Instructor
  • McKel Hill – Author & Creator of Nutrition Stripped
  • Alba Ramos – Non-toxic Beauty & Lifestyle Youtuber and Blogger

If stop learning, you will stop growing in your healthy living journey.

However,

Don’t just learn from anyone, learn from people who have helped other people and can share that knowledge with you!

3. Your Tribe is the Reason You Succeed in the Long-term

Who is your tribe?

You might have heard people tell you,

You need to find your tribe.

What does that even mean?

Your tribe will lift you up when you are feeling down.

They will motivate you when you are feeling discouraged.

Your tribe is the reason you succeed in the long-term.

Guess what?

I am one of them.

Seriously, I am.

I am committed to your success like it was my own.

Because, experience.

Early on my journey, I connected with Koya Webb, one of the speakers at the WE.L.L. Summit.

With over 15 years of practical application and certifications from the Integrated Institute of Nutrition (IIN), National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM), Source of Yoga

500hr and many others, Koya stays on the pulse of what’s fun, fresh and effective when it comes to optimal nutrition and healthy living.

Her mission is to create a healthier planet one breath at a time via holistic healing, oneness and eco-friendly living.

I joined Koya’s 10-day detox/plant-based challenge.

This challenge taught me how to add more plant-based options to my routine without feeling deprived.

It became the foundation for a healthier lifestyle; I didn’t think it was possible.

And…

I cannot wait to meet her in person.

Koya has been in my tribe for years!

Here’s the deal,

Your tribe can make or break your healthy living journey.

That’s why,

I want to inspire you the same way Koya inspired me.

Because,

I am committed to you and seeing you crush your goals.

Your success is the driver behind iAmHealthyFit.

4. How to Find Your Tribe

Have you ever felt alone?

Living healthy can feel lonely.

Especially in the beginning.

The trick is to surround yourself with people who are at least a few steps ahead of you.

These people know what is like to get stuck.

They know how you feel.

Because, experience.

You might find them at your local wellness center.

They might be your friends, family, or workers.

You might find them on the internet.

The point is, you have to put yourself in a position to find them.

Get over your fears of not being liked.

Stop thinking that you are too awkward and won’t fit in.

That’s why I am attending the W.E.L.L. SUMMIT.

Because, my tribe.

I am putting aside my insecurities (well most of them), to grow and get better at helping you.

For what is worth,

It sorta freaks me out.

Because, fear.

I hate to be in places where I don’t know people.

But the bottom line is,

How else are we supposed to grow and learn?

5. Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Source: The Muse

It sounds simple. And it is.

Getting uncomfortable is at the core of living healthy.

Even if you grew up in a family that valued healthy living,

You better get ready to get uncomfortable.

You are probably wondering, Why?

Think about it this way,

Ever been that person at the dinner table,

The person asking the server a million questions about all the substitutions you cannot make to your meal?

That’s uncomfortable.

The whole table makes it weird because they stop and stare.

Most servers are annoyed that they have to do this back and forth with you.

And you,

You have to decide how important this meal is.

Is it worth all this extra attention?

It feels uncomfortable.

Because, it is.

Your journey will be uncomfortable.

And at times you will want to give up.

Sometimes, you will throw in the towel.

That’s ok.

The sooner you accept this, the less uncomfortable it will become.

The easier it will be to get back in the game.

Am I uncomfortable heading to the NYC for the W.E.L.L. SUMMIT?

Absolutely.

But I won’t let that get in the way of what’s most important to me.

Growing to be in a better position to help you.

6. Knowledge is Freedom

It is that simple.

Knowledge gives you the power to make the tough decisions without the drama.

Knowledge makes it easier to say “NO.”

  • No to foods,
  • No to people,
  • No to events,
  • No to unhealthy behaviors.

That’s what freedom looks like in your new journey.

If you focus on:

  • Identifying what’s important to you,
  • Finding your tribe,
  • Learning from the best,
  • Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable and
  • Finding spaces to grow.

I promise you that your journey will be a little easier than most.

It won’t be a walk in the park.

You will have good days, and you will have bad days.

But as time goes by,

You will have less bad days and more good days.

7. Sharing is Caring

Then comes the best part!

You share the wealth.

You inspire one person to do the same.

You pay it forward.

You might be wondering,

How?

Just live your truth.

Lead by example.

Be real about your journey, in good times and when things get rough.

That’s how we help others; we join their tribe.

Before I go…

The most exciting part about attending the W.E.L.L. Summit is sharing everything I learn with you.

If you are in the NYC area, I want to invite you to join me personally.

Maybe the entire conference is too much for you, totally understandable.

So, come party with us!

Join us for the Live W.E.L.L. Party on Friday night from 5:30 to 9:00 pm. With 30 vendors, book signings by our speakers, Kombrewcha & Steaz based cocktails, food tastings, manicures by tenoverten, fun photobooths and more, it’s an evening of wellness you don’t want to miss. Limited tickets are available!

 “The Live W.E.L.L. Party Ticket — $29.” 

What do you have to lose?

PS:

If you cannot attend the summit, don’t worry I’ll post an update with everything you need to know.

In the meantime,

Can you please do me a favor?

In the comments section, let me know what is your biggest challenge eating healthier right now?

I will use your feedback to create future content on the blog.

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Make Meal Prep Work for You: 5 Wonderful Secrets Every Beginner Needs to Know

Make Meal Prep Work for You: 5 Wonderful Secrets Every Beginner Needs to Know

Have you ever found yourself wishing you could start meal prepping?

You’ve heard the advice a million times.

“You need to meal prep.”

You’ve given it your best shot.

You bought containers, you picked the recipes and you even went to the grocery store.

And yet…

Your fridge looks nothing like the pictures on social media.

You want to meal prep.

The question is,

How do you do it?

I recently had the opportunity to return to Good Morning Washington and share a simple method to teach you exactly how to start meal prepping.

The best part?

You won’t have to spend countless hours cooking in the kitchen.

Actually, there is NO COOKING involved.

That’s right!

Zero.

Most people are convinced that meal prepping requires cooking.

Wrong!

Meal prepping is any activity you do to prepare your food in advance. This includes cooking and it also includes prepping/planning snacks.

Want to see how it works right now?

Check out the infographic below or scroll to the bottom to watch the segment!

So go ahead.

It’s easier than you think.

Make meal prepping work for you!

Click on the image below to check out the full segment!

Nory and Julie Wright at Good Morning Washington!

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Manifest your dream life, get to know yourself, join a community of supportive professional women and start thriving.