Personal Development Books: A Lifechanging Habit

Personal Development Books: Rising Strong

May 14, 2017 | Posted in Coach Training, Life Coaching, Mental Health, Parenting, Weight Management | By

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This year, life caught up with me and kicked me in the **s.  Instead of drowning in my struggles, I decided to fight the current and try to claw my way back from the abyss of stress, anxiety and misery.  Thus, this list of personal development books was born.

You see, I figured out that the habit of exposing yourself to inspirational messages on a daily basis can CHANGE YOUR LIFE.  Seriously, I’m not kidding you.  IT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!

Change Your Life in 15 Minutes a Day With Personal Development

On the day that this really “clicked” for me, I made this video for my nutrition clients – check it out if you want to hear more of my thoughts about why this habit can be a game-changer for you.  Then scroll down farther to see a list of personal development books that I plan on reading.

Personal Development Books

In no particular order, these are the books on my list!  I usually put them on “hold” at the library – currently, I have 50 titles on hold – and read them as they become available.  I haven’t finished all the books on this list, and I’ll continue to add to the list as I get suggestions from others.

These personal development books span a variety of topics, but all of them are bound together by the common thread of seeking a happier, more fulfilled life.  They encompass creative thinking, business, time management, financial fulfillment, parenting, marriage and much much more!

  1. Big Magic: Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert.
    For me, this book was poignant and well-timed.  Every page was a “right on” moment, for me.I wasn’t originally sure if this one was going to resonate with me at first, because my business isn’t really artsy fartsy or creative – I’m a fitness and nutrition coach!  But then I realized that what I do as a coach IS an art.  Helping others to reach their goals requires far more than technical knowledge – it requires creativity.  So this ended up resonating with me quite a lot!It also helped me to realize that I need to have outlets for my creativity that have nothing to do with my work.
  2. Books for Personal Development: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert The Big Leap: Conquer your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level
    By Hendricks, Gay
    Personal Development Books: The Big Leap 3. Rising Strong, By Brown, Brené Personal Development Books: Rising Strong
    4. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, By Brown, Brene. Personal Development Books: Daring Greatly
    5.  Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash in on your Passion, By Vaynerchuk, Gary Personal Development Books: Crush It 6.  Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, By McKeown, Greg Personal Development Books: Essentialism 7.  Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of A Man’s Soul, By Eldredge, John Personal Development Books: Wild At Heart 8.  The 12-week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks Than Others Do in 12 Months, By Moran, Brian
    Personal Development Books: The 12 Week Year
    9.  The Universe Has your Back: Transform Fear to Faith, By Bernstein, Gabrielle Personal Development Books: The Universe Has Your Back 10.  The 10x Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure, By Cardone, Grant Personal Development Books: The 10x Rule
    11.  You Are A Bad Ass: How to Stop Doubting your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life, By Sincero, Jen Personal Development Books: You are a Badass

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Protected: Tips & Tricks

May 9, 2017 | Posted in Coach Training | By

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Protected: Phase III Coach Training: Inviting

March 30, 2017 | Posted in Coach Training | By

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Protected: Coach Onboarding: Phase II

March 23, 2017 | Posted in Coach Training | By

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Protected: Coach Onboarding: Phase I

March 15, 2017 | Posted in Coach Training | By

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How to lose weight while breastfeeding

August 9, 2016 | Posted in Babies and Kids, Deals, Parenting, Pregnancy and Lactation, Weight Management | By

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Moms, the struggle is real.  Staying fit is hard enough in the first place, let alone after being pregnant for nine months and THEN the responsibilities of being a mom to a growing family.  Even worse, your fitness takes on a whole new dimension after your baby is born – particularly if you’re breastfeeding!  You probably have a lot of questions, like how to lose weight while breastfeeding, how to get your belly back in shape and more.  I’m a mom of two AND I have a Master’s degree in Exercise Science and I want to answer these questions for you.  Read on!

Do you wonder how to lose weight while breastfeeding? What exercises are safe for your core after having a baby? Check out the New Mom's Guide to Fitness.

Lucky for you guys, I put this all in a short and sweet video course called The New Mom’s Guide to Fitness.

How to lose weight while breastfeeding

For me, I was always scared to lose baby weight because I didn’t want to mess with my milk supply.  Most moms don’t know how to lose weight while breastfeeding – and there’s definitely some important points you don’t want to miss.  You should never eat below a certain number of calories, and it’s important to have a specific mix of nutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrate).  It’s also important to lose fat at a gentle pace.  I talk about the specifics in the New Mom’s Guide to Fitness and include a worksheet that shows you how to calculate our daily calorie intake AND your proportion of fat, protein and carbohydrate.

Are you nervous about trying to lose weight while breastfeeding?  Learn important safety tips for protecting your milk supply!

How to safely train your core

The most common abdominal exercises might actually be dangerous after you’ve had a baby – especially the types of workouts you get on Pinterest and in mainstream fitness DVDs.  Crunches, planks, V-ups and burpees can be too much load on your weakened midsection.  There are some very specific steps you need to take to protect your abdomen postpartum, or you might end up with a hernia.  I talk about what NOT to do, and also include a video with a few sample exercises you can do instead.

Preventing baby wearing injuries

A lot of moms end up with VERY sore backs from carrying or wearing their little ones.  Since your kids always want to be held, this is not good. There are a few tips that can help you head off aches and pains and I’ll cover those in the New Mom’s Guide to Fitness.

The right goals

There’s so much else that goes into staying fit after having a baby. Planning and goal setting are two HUGE components where moms make a lot of mistakes.  My goal is to help you get off on the right foot by having the right plan for you.

In closing

I’m an experienced fitness professional and mom.  I’ve got a short, sweet and affordable video course to help you take ownership of your fitness after having a baby!

Learn how to lose weight while breastfeeding, prevent babywearing injuries and choose the right core exercises after you've had a baby!

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Healthy Kids Shoes

Healthy Kids Shoes: 6 Things to look for and a list of brands

July 30, 2016 | Posted in Babies and Kids, Footwear & Barefoot | By

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Choosing the right footwear for your kids is crucial for promoting optimal development of gait patterns, spinal curves, deep body stabilization, proper alignment of bones and efficient control of the body by the nervous system. There are more than 33 joints in your feet; In the wrong shoes, many of them (sometimes all) can’t move properly. You need healthy kids shoes!

Healthy Kids Shoes: 6 Things to look for and a list of brands

Healthy Kids Shoes

Give your kids as much barefoot time as possible. Even a shoe that fits all of my “shoe rules” can’t replace barefoot time – a shoe threshold between the foot and the ground prevents foot nerves from sensing important information like temperature, ground texture, and other environmental factors. Nerves are meant to feel stuff, so they aren’t as healthy when they’re deprived of information (stimulus). In fact, neurologists often recommend wearing water shoes (on my list of good shoes) year round for kids with developmental delays. If your babies/kids can’t be barefoot then consider a double layer of socks. If that won’t work, then find kids barefoot shoes that fit the following parameters:

1. “Foldable” – you should be able to fold it in half from front to back.
2. Thin soled – as thin as possible. You’l’l notice that thick soles interfere with the “foldable” factor, too.
3. Flush from front to back – no heels!! – the toes should sit on the same level as the heels, with no rising or dipping in the sole at any point.
4. Plenty of room for all the toes – no squishing and regularly check the fit.
5. Attached to the heel and the toe – unlike flip flops, which are just attached the toe. Shoes fixed at the toe cause a pattern of tension throughout the foot and lower leg. Ultimately, they can lead to bunions.
6. Fits snugly without constricting the foot – some shoes can become cast-like when they fit too snugly, preventing proper muscular function.


Check out our “Store” link for the direct link to the shoes that are available at

Robeez (Baby & Toddler)
My all time favorite. Robeez are a great brand because they combine an exceptional shoe with an unparalleled cute-factor. Unfortunately, they stop making shoes after 24 months. Not all the shoes have rubber soles and are no-slip, so check the description. My favorite style is the Ethan Minishoefollow.

Skidderz are a very mainstream brand – you can find them at Target, Big Lots and Babies R Us. There are a lot of similar brands on the market, sold as non-skid socks or shoe socks. Like the name implies, they’re more like socks with a grippy rubber sole. Sometimes they’re so grippy that they get “stuck” on things and come off of little feet. Occasionally, I do get concerned about the grips holding the foot in one direction while the knee goes another – however, we’ve never experienced any injuries. These are affordable, ranging in price between $6.99 and $12.99 per pair. I’ve seen sizes for older kids at Big Lots, where the prices are also the lowest, but they’re most widely available for babies and toddlers through size 18-24 months.

PediPed (Infant, Toddler & Little Kid)
I’ve gotten great shoes from Pediped. Many of them don’t look like they have a flat sole from the outside, but the appearance is actually an illusion meant to make the shoe more fashion-y. The shoes are flat on the inside. We got a great pair of waterproof boots from Pediped – they weren’t as flexible as I would like, but they are the best I have found so far.

See Kai Run (Infant, Toddler & Little Kid)
Similar to my PediPed review, mmany of them don’t look like they have a flat sole from the outside, but the appearance is actually an illusion meant to make the shoe more fashion-y. The shoes are flat on the inside. I’ve only purchased one shoe from See Kai Run, so I’m not sure if all the shoes are the same quality and meet my “shoe rules.”

ShoesZoo (Infant, Toddler & Little Kids)
ShoesZoo is like Robeez in bigger sizes. They are also extraordinarily affordable because they make the shoes themselves and there is no middle man. They are a Canadian company with reasonable shipping charge to the US. However, the don’t make rubber soled or grippy shoes – only soft suede, moccasin-style shoes. The ShoesZoo line has hundreds of adorable patterns.

Soft Star(Toddler & Child)
Soft star makes leather and sheepskin shoes in moccasin and slipper styles. Many people I know love them and they may be a good option for your family. I didn’t like the construction of the shoes because they have a thick lip around the outside of the shoe, beyond the point where the top fabric is sewn into the sole. My son kept tripping when he was wearing them and the lip would get caught on tree roots, etc, when we were in the woods. I contacted SoftStar about it and received great customer service – they believe that a child will adapt their movement to the shape of the shoe and tripping shouldn’t be a problem after they get used to wearing the shoes. They are right, but I prefer a shoe that my child doesn’t have to adapt to – to me, the whole point of a minimalist shoe is “minimizing” adjustments the body must make for the shoe.
Water Shoes (Toddler and Child)
Water shoes make great every day shoes for toddlers and children. However, not all water shoes meet the six roles above – and some tend to wear out quickly because they’re made of fabric. Avoid using them on concrete or gravel if you want to prolong their life. I love them for warm rainy days or morning playground trips when everything is still wet – they’re so easy to wash and dry that I don’t worry about ruining shoes from wet grass.
We’ve yet to try VivoBarefoot, but I hear good things about the brand – however, they’re expensive.
Vibram Five Fingers (Child)
They don’t sell shoes for toddlers, but the famous five finger shoes are available for kids. Smallest size is a toddler 11.5.
Minnetonka (Toddler and Child)
We haven’t used these, personally: Minnetonka makes a variety of moccasin products for kids and toddlers. Not all of them meet my requirements because some have padded insoles or thick soles, but a great many do – includingthe Minnetonka Back Flap Booties follow and Minnetonka Classic Fringe Bootfollowie. I have a more extensive list of Minnetonkas under the shoe section of the store (click on the menu bar).
Mostly for infants. Sizes stop at 18-24 Months.
See the “Specific Product Links” below for good shoes that come from manufacturers that make traditional shoes, too.


1. Happy Little Soles

I just made my first purchase from Happy Little Soles – they are a web site and store that stocks products from several different shoe companies, like Bobux, Vivobarefoot, See Kai Run & Livie and Luca. The company is in the UK, so expect the price to reflect the difference in the American Dollar v. the UK Pound AND the price of shipping via Royal Air Mail. Shamless Plug: Use my name at check out (Lauren Saglimbene) to help me work towards rewards points and free shoes!


Some companies have select shoes that fit my “shoe rules.”
1. Bogs Kids Baby Dots Rain Boot for Toddlers: Girls
2. Bogs Kids Baby Zoo Rain Boot for Toddlers: Boys
follow3. Stonz Rain Bootz
follow3. Barefoot Merrell Trailglove
4. Barefoot Merrell Flux
followI wear the adult version of this shoe and it’s my favorite on the market. I haven’t been able to purchase these shoes for my son because they don’t make his size anymore. Merrell sells some infant shoes and other models on their web site, but I find that they have too much structure in the shoe for my taste – particularly where the arch of the foot is concerned.
5. Haflinger Kids’s Slippers for Toddler/Little Kid: My Star
These are intended to be slippers but they have a rubber sole, so I don’t see why they couldn’t be used as shoes. I don’t believe they have any cushioning or arch support but I can’t guarantee it.
6. New Balance Minimus for Kids

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Kid Equipment

Kid Equipment: What do car seats, strollers and other kid equipment do to little bodies?

July 30, 2016 | Posted in Babies and Kids | By

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As a general rule, “kid equipment” can be undesirable in three ways:

1. It forces your child to be sedentary – time spent moving is extremely important for a child’s physical development. Movement is the “miracle grow” of the brain, so it’s also important for learning and cognitive development.
2. It overly supporting the body, so it takes away from the activity of postural muscles.
3. Placing a child’s skeleton into an undesirable position, affecting his muscles, joints and nervous system.

Kid Equipment: What do car seats, strollers and other kid equipment do to little bodies?

Car Seats: Car seats are only good in one way: They are the safest place for your child to be in the event of a motor vehicle accident. For movement, however, they’re bad in all three ways listed above. Time spent in a car seat means time not moving. The child is completely and totally inactive in the seat – since her entire body is supported by the cushions of the seat, there’s no need to use any muscles at all. Lastly, your pelvis is tucked under and your shoulders/upper back are rounded when you sit in a car seat. This is particularly undesirable for infants because they’re still working towards developing the natural curves of their spine – the car seat directly counteracts that. Unfortunately, cars are a real and permanent part of our lives. Here are a few things you can do to help minimize the effect of car seats:

Spend as little time in the car seat as possible. Organize your day to prevent unnecessary trips and time spent in the car. Walk whenever and wherever you can. Don’t take your baby places and leave them in their car seat. Remove your child from the car seat to sleep.
Have an active lifestyle. The only thing that counteracts poor movement/lack of movement is more good movement!
Cloth Diapers & Disposable Diapers: In most cases, all types of diapers force a child’s legs apart and affect their walking gait/leg position in some way. I love cloth diapers because they’re cute and environmentally friendly, but they’re a huge offender when it comes to alignment – they’re so bulky and force little legs apart quite a lot, which impacts your baby’s movement quality and ability. Whether you use cloth or disposable diapers, give your child as much naked time as possible. Make sure you’re choosing the right size diaper for your child so you don’t have too much bulky fabric accumulating between their legs. Change disposable diapers frequently to avoid the “mass” of wet diaper between your baby’s legs. Note: Your pediatrician should check your baby’s pelvis for abnormalities at check ups.

Strollers: Strollers force your child to be sedentary AND often put them in an undesirable body position. Go for baby carrying or baby wearing, instead. Ask your older ones to walk – they’ll learn about how they’re expected to behave as well at the same time they’re getting physical activity.

Wraps & Carriers: I prefer baby carrying (just using your arms) over baby wearing because wraps, slings and carriers often OVER support infants. This takes away from their ability to use the postural muscles of their head, neck and trunk. Still want to use your wrap or carrier? Reevaluate your infant every few weeks and adjust the position of your wrap or carrier according to their abilities . For example, fold your wrap down a little more so your baby is only supported up to the middle back – she has to support her upper back and head herself.

Booster Activity Seats: These are the seats with toys all around them for baby to play with – they only allow a little rotation, so they limit a baby’s movement at an age where what the baby really needs to do is develop functional sitting – the only way to do that is by moving!! They need to be moving via tummy time, being carried (upright stability), rolling and more. The only benefit to a booster activity seat is that it might give mom a brief break to do something that she can’t do while carrying a baby.

Bottle Feeding v. Breastfeeding: The movements of bottle feeding are different than breastfeeding, so the mouth & jaw develop differently. Read more about the implications of oral development here.

Coming soon:
Baby Seats
The Bumbo Seat

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Have A Physical Development Friendly House

Is Your Home Physical-Development Friendly? 5 Tips for Creating a Healthy Home

July 30, 2016 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

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Having a healthy, vibrant adult body starts during childhood. Team sports, PE class and normal play aren’t enough to keep children’s bodies mobile, aligned and healthy.

Our bodies change in response to our environment – everything from the temperature, light and smell to the seating options, floor surface and air quality. School and home environments are where kids spend the most time. The school is a harder environment to control, but your house isn’t.

Is your home set up to promote healthy and normal physical development for your child? Most people’s homes aren’t. These five items can take your kids from sedentary and stiff to constantly moving.

Is Your Home Physical-Development Friendly?  5 Tips for Creating a Healthy Home

1. Eliminate most “sitting” furniture.

Furniture like chairs and couches puts kids in a 90/90 position (90 degree angle and knees and hips) – a passive position that requires little strength, flexibility or muscle activity. Add a cushion and kids will likely sit for a long time without moving. As small children, we all have a natural drive to move around. However, we lose the drive as we get older. In theory, the cultural and social impetus to move should replace the biological imperative. It doesn’t work that way anymore, thoug; Instead of engaging in hunting, gardening and migrating kids now go to school and sit in a desk.

Why is that bad? A lifestyle of constant movement is important for healthy mental development, healthy structural development (bones and joints) and maintaining the level of flexibility that we are born with and are meant to maintain as adults (yes, your teenage son should still be able to sit in a deep squat position or touch his toes. So should your husband. So should your grandma.) Constant movement doesn’t mean running on a tr eadmill all day long – it means sitting criss cross applesauce, then squatting, then sitting with your legs wide apart, then kneeling, then playing hopscotch, then hanging from the monkey bars, then going inside and squatting on the floor again… and so on.

Sitting on the floor is self-limiting; Meaning, you get uncomfortable pretty fast and move into a different position. Sitting on the floor/eliminating “sitting furniture” is the easiest, most no-brainerest (definitely a made up word) way to encourage constant movement in your child’s life. Kids will naturally move from one position/activity to another as they regulate their comfort level and attention levels.

Are you totally confused by how this works in real life? Katy Bowman of Aligned and Well has a wonderful video tour of her mostly-furniture-free home. Click here to go to the postfollow. Also, stay tuned for TLM tutorials on living without chairs.

Not ready to ditch the couches? Save them for guests and institute a “no sitting on the couch” rule. If your children have learned to stay away from great grandma’s China then they can also adapt to the new couch rule.

2. Introduce a squatty potty.
Squatting is easy and natural for a toddler. Keep it up!

A squatty potty is a platform that you stand on while you use the traditional toilet, allowing you to descend into a squat position while you do your business. Yes, I know I’ve lost a lot of you right here! “Weird,” “Gross,” “Freaky,” you might be thinking.

First, let me tell you that many far eastern countries ONLY have squatty potties. As-in the toilet is actually sunken into the floor and you have to squat over it. I first saw them when I visited Japan. It was so shocking for me that I used an entire roll of film for toilet pictures. If you’ve never seen a squatty potty then head over to this Linkfollow.

Second, know that squatting is one of the most important positions to put your body in. It’s crucial for maintaining supple ankles, knees, hips and spines. It was also the only way we sat for centuries. My brother in law called me from Turkey a few months ago in disbelief because everyone squats there. He saw an extremely overweight, very old woman squatting at the bus stop and couldn’t believe his eyes. He wanted to take a picture to show me. Everyone is capable of squatting if they never stop squatting!

A squatty potty is part of a “lifestyle of movement.” Simply trying to squat more during the day may mean that you drop into a squat for 3 or 5 extra times per day. It becomes homework. However, if you had to squat every time you went to the bathroom then you’re naturally integrating several repetitions of squatting into your daily life. No need to think about it. No need to plan.

A side note: If you know anything about natural birthing methods then you probably know that the deep squat position is one of the best positions to eliminate things from your body – like babies and *cough* other stuff. Ideally, your knees should always be above your pelvis during elimination. The higher your knees are the better the position. Traditional toilets place your thigh bone in line with or below your pelvis, so elimination requires straining (a major player in hemorrhoids). Interestingly, many babies and toddlers prefer to potty while squatting but are untrained to do so.

Don’t want people to think you or your kids are weird? Put the squatty potty platform in a bathroom that guests don’t use, or get a squatty potty platform that you can stash away when guests come. Teach your kids about the difference between the different ways of pottying and why they don’t have a squatty potty at school. My husband and I had many heated discussions about the squatty potty and if it would introduce unnecessary social challenges for our son – I believe that offering the squatty potty as an option and also offering the traditional potty as an option is the best course of action, provided that you explain to your child that they use the regular toilet outside the house.

As a side note, if you have daughters then the act of introducing the squatty potty is helping to educate them and prepare them for successful child birthing as adults. The oral tradition of birthing education has been lost over the last century, just as with breastfeeding, but it doesn’t have to be.

3. Have a place to “hang out.”

Kids need objects to hang from.

Hanging from the hands is an extremely important part of a child’s physical development. Most parents know that hanging helps develop upper body and core strength, but many don’t realize that it also helps with grip strength, hand articulation and wrist articulation that are crucial for writing.

Unfortunately, most kids only have access to a place to “hang out” when they are at a playground – nowadays, many kids don’t even have a good tree limb to hang from.

Even a baby and toddler can grab on to a bar and experiment with hanging. At 1.5 years old, hanging made my son giggle and he kept running back to his bar for more.

Get a child-sized pull-up bar or monkey bar set for your home. Some people install monkey bars near the ceiling of a long hallway with a wall ladder providing access for tiny people.

You can also use a trapeze, gymnastic rings or TRX Suspension Trainer – note, however, that A) Children love to swing on these things, which may or may not be a bad thing to you B) the straps are a potential strangulation hazard and your child should always be supervised during use. Also, remove any necklaces, hoodies with strings and jackets with strings.

If you’re worried about your child crash landing (let’s admit it, that’s likely!) then arrange some couch pillows, body pillows or gymnastics mats under their hanging area. You’re never too young OR too old to start hanging!

4. Have objects to climb.

Kids often only get the chance to climb at the playground.

Climbing is also a big part of a child’s physical development. If you make it to a playground or wooded area for your child’s daily dose of climbing then you may not need to introduce climbing objects in your home. However, if your schedule is inconsistent then you may want to introduce at-home options.

There’s no need to buy fancy playground equipment for them to climb on- consider using used items like an A-frame pool ladder, a wooden ladder installed on an angle or an ottoman. Don’t forget about trees, too – those are free! Get creative.

Just as with some hanging equipment, remove any necklaces, hoodies with strings and jackets with strings.

If you’re worried about your child crash landing (let’s admit it, that’s likely!) then arrange some couch pillows, body pillows or gymnastics mats under the hanging area.

5. Never introduce a pillow for sleeping.

Humans don’t actually need pillows, by design. Pillows are assistive devices for sleeping when no assistance is needed (Katy Bowman of Aligned and Well likens them to orthotics in your shoes). We adapt to the stimulus of the pillow, meaning simply that using a pillow makes you need a pillow.

Humans have been sleeping on the ground, without pillows, for thousands of years. Our bodies adapt to every situation we’re in – including our sleeping situation. If your torso, shoulders and neck are malleable, relaxed and flexible then you’ll have no problem sleeping without a pillow. It’s a a chicken-or-the-egg situation because sleeping without a pillow also keeps your body malleable, relaxed and flexible.

Children are born with the perfect structure for pillowless sleep, so don’t mess with a good thing.

Most children A) Never ask for a pillow but are given one by well meaning, concerned parents or B) Ask for one because they see that there parents have one.

Please note that older children who are used to sleeping with a pillow may need gentle exercises for regaining neck, shoulder and torso mobility before they are able to enjoy pillowless sleep. Gradually downsize the pillow from extra puffy, to normal, to flat, to a camping pillow, to a rolled towel to nothing. Immediately removing the pillow can lead to discomfort. You may find that children who sleep pillowless may have some discomfort while sleeping if their bodies are becoming immobile from other parts of their day, like sitting in a desk at school or riding in the car for long trips. This is a sign that daily activities need to become more body-friendly.

Kids are less likely to resist sleeping pillowless if they see their parents doing the same. Stay tuned for tips on helping adults sleep without a pillow.

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Easy Food Rules

July 30, 2016 | Posted in Eating Well | By

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I don’t believe in “good” or “bad” foods. I believe in eating what’s right for you, your life and your family. That depends on who you are, what you’re eating and how much of it.

There are some elite athletes who have included pizza delivery as a regular part of their diet…or consumed up to 20% of their weekly calories from added sugar. In most cases, you can accomplish your goals and maintain your health while including a little junky food. However, there are just as many people who are very affected by added sugars, refined foods and more.

That being said, I do have a philosophy that we stick to in our house. These are our “food rules,” in list format. Stay tuned for blog posts going into more depth about the reasoning behind each.


There are also very specific “proportions” of food intake I recommend (protein:fat:carbs) for different goals – these are NOT included here. For more information on those, contact me about nutrition coaching! Even without thatinformation, you can make a big change to your diet just by keeping this rules in mind.

My philosophy on eating is summed up perfectly by Michael Pollan in his book “In Defense of Food.” They’re general rules and apply no matter what goal you’re working towards – including fat loss, muscle gain, weight maintenance, longevity and just plain ol’ feeling good!

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.”

On the outside, these seven words may seem simple. Here are some “quick notes.”


– More Than 6 Ingredients? It’s not food, it’s a product.
– Can’t understand or easily identify an ingredient? It’s not food, it’s a product.
– Is it more than 2 steps of human processing from it’s original form?
(Flour, for example, is harvested as a grain [1], ground [2], then bleached [3] and sometimes enriched with vitamins/minerals[4]).
– Is it found in nature in its current form? For example, you cannot find low fat cow’s milk or dairy products in nature. They do not exist. Lowfat dairy products are not food – they are a product.
Eat to Nourish.


– Eat only when you’re truly hungry.
– No second helpings
– Or, second helping of vegetables only.
– If you’re having alcohol or dessert then don’t have a starch with dinner.
– Avoid using food as a treat or relaxation method.


Pretty self explanatory! Aim to consume a mostly plant-based diet.

And some more items…

Cultivate your taste for things other than sweets.


– Even natural sugar sources like agave, honey and dates.
– Even artificial sweeteners like stevia and splenda.
– Try to eat more vegetables than fruits, or at least an even amount.
– Choose less sweet fruits over sweeter ones (ie apples, papaya, berries). Save sweeter ones for treats (watermelon, cantaloupe).

– Fruits and veggies can make up a large portion of your daily carbohydrate requirements.
– Refined grains, pasta and bread are not nutritionally necessary when other foods are present in your diet.

– Being healthy is an uphill battle in our social climate.
– Being passionate means you’ll keep learning, helping you to make the right choices happily.
– Your family will feed off your passionate energy and will understand that new changes are important.
– Being passionate about losing weight and being passionate about being healthy are not the same thing.

– Meal time is primarily for nourishing your body, secondarily for nourishing your friends and family.
– Eat with your family and friends.
– Focus on the people around you just as much as the food around you.
– Eating shouldn’t be about filling your tummy or gorging.

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