JULY MONTHLY OBSESSIONS

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Well hello hello hello my little hunni’s.. it has been a HAWT freakin’ minute since I’ve blogged and I have ZERO excuse for my writing hiatus other than the fact that I just wasn’t making time or prioritizing it but my fire is relit, my priorities have been reassessed and WE’RE BACK BABY (for good this time I promise)!

I always share the things that I’m loving on my instagram (@lulugodin) and I thought it might be fun to start writing a monthly fav’s post that you guys can all refer back to, so I asked my peeps and sure enough 100% of you wanted this monthly segment so we’re going for it.

The segment will come out at the beginning of every month and will cover everything that I’m obsessing over from beauty to food to health to clothes and everything in between!

So let’s get into it..

FOOD

  • Midday Squares - I’ve talked about these multiple times on my insta and if you haven’t tried them yet then YOU NEED TO GET WITH THE PROGRAM!! You guys I’m not even being dramatic, these are the best protein bars i’ve ever had, they taste like decadent amazing chocolate bars but they’re filled with fibre, healthy fats, and protein and they’re super low in sugar!

  • Vega Sport Protein Powder - this has been my go to vegan protein powder for so long, I always come back to it, it’s legit the best!

  • Vital Proteins Coconut Creamer - I’ve been adding this to my blended bulletproof coffee every morning and OH BABY it makes it beyond creamy! SO GOOD!!

  • Traditional Medicinals Dandelion Detox Tea - I drink this every night, it’s so good for digestion, bloating, etc..

BEAUTY

  • Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask - I’m obsessed with lip balm, I love having moisturized lips at all time and this stuff is seriously NEXT LEVEL! I have it in vanilla and I looove it.

  • Farmacy Cleansing Balm - I’ve been using this for 4 months and i’m obsessed, I use it to take off my makeup and then follow up with a gel cleanser!

  • Olaplex Hair Treatment - Ok I LOVE being blonde but my hair doesn’t exactly agree with me, it’s naturally VERY thin and bleaching it only makes it thinner (HELP) so I use this treatment once a week to try to maintain whatever thickness I currently have and bring the hair bonds back together. Also PRO TIP: my hair dresser told me to leave it in for up to 30 minutes for ultimate benefits!!

  • Drunk Elephant Marula Facial Oil - This is honestly my holy grail skin care product, it’s pricey af but a little goes a long way and it’s incredible !

  • RMS Concealer - this concealer is coconut oil based and it is honest AMAZING! It blends so well, covers everything and lasts, plus it’s clean af!

HEALTH & WELLNESS

  • Headspace app - I have been meditating every day for over a year now and it has honestly changed my life and the headspace app makes it so easy for everyone!

  • Saje Peppermint Halo - this literally saves my life, its so amazing for headaches and it’s super relaxing!

  • Saje Pocket Farmacy - I use every single one of these roller oils weekly and I love the kit so much!

  • Liquid fish oil - this has quickly become one of my most taken supplements, it has done wonders for my hair, skin and nails!

  • Natural Cycles Fertility Awareness Tracking - I have used this Basal thermometer method and app combo of fertility tracking since I came off birth control and I love it so much! But as always, please do your research when changing contraceptive methods.

  • Tampax Pure 100% Organic Cotton Tampons - I recently did a collaboration with Tampax for the launch of these and I honestly use them every cycle and couldn’t be happier to see such a huge brand going organic!

RESOURCES

  • Idiots Guide to Ayurveda - I’ve always been very interested in Ayurveda but lately I’ve been wanting to learn more, so I picked up this book by Sahara Rose (a blogger that I love) and it is such a great resource!

  • The Archetype Diet - this book is based on the concept that there are 4 different categories (archetypes) that women fit into and each needs a specific diet, supplements and lifestyle practices to optimize their health!

  • Dr Mona Vand on Insta - I’ve followed Dr Mona for a while and she is so knowledgeable!

  • The Skinny Confidential Podcast - Nothing new here, i’ve listened to the TSC podcast forever and it never disappoints!

  • Kenzie Burke on Insta - she’s a really great resource for food combining which is something I have been trying to practice more to optimize my digestion! Plus she’s a major babe!

FASHION

  • Biker shorts - okay i’ve made it apparently obvious that I am HERE for the biker short trend! They’re comfy, cute, can be dressed up or down and honestly any opportunity for me to wear spandex is a WIN in my books!

  • Levis Ribcage Shorts - these are the high rise shorts of my dreams! They’re so high and they aren’t too short, I love them so much that I bought them in 2 colours!

  • Flouncey Tube Tops - is flouncey a real word? who knows.. These are SO flattering with jeans or shorts I’m obsessed!

  • Raw hem crop tops - I have this weird obsession with raw hem crop tops right now so i’ve been cutting all my shirts lately. They look so cute with leggings, shorts, jeans, anything really!

  • Raw hem cropped jeans - apparently raw hem cropped things are my jam rn?

  • Adidas Slides - the actual GOAT of summer shoes! I honestly hate wearing socks and shoes I the summer so you can catch me in some kind of slides basically at all times.

  • APL running shoes - I just got myself an all pink pair (DUH) and i’m obsessed, they’re so perfect for training!

MUSIC

RANDOM

  • Healthy Dose of Realness Podcast - not to toot my own horn but f*cking BEEP BEEP! I launched my podcast last week and the first episode is on Spotify. It will be live on iTunes next week when episode 2 drops, I’m just waiting on approval right now but go give it a listen!

  • Okanagan Crush Pad Organic Rosé - you didn’t honestly think I’d post a monthly fav without including my current favourite vino did you ?! I don’t really need to explain myself here.. its organic, its rosé, you need it in your life.. frig I‘m going to go get some right now!

Okay that just about sums it up for my obsessions for this month! Hopefully you guys think this is a good resource for you, and please don’t forget to share on insta if you did find this helpful and if you like these kinds of posts!

XO - LU

HOW TO MAKE EVERY MORNING THE BEST MORNING EVER

What better way to kick off the new week then with a bunch of HOT TIPS on how to absolutely slay your morning’s this week (and every week)..

Okay it’s no secret that I take my morning‘s VERY seriously, I talk about my morning routine almost daily on my instagram (shameless plug @lulugodin) because it really has become a HUGE obsession of mine and is basically non negotiable for me at this point - like don’t f**k with my morning’s or I may kill you okay thanks!!

I love routine, I wake up (roughly) at the same time every morning, do the same things, sip the same drinks and keep my phone off until I’m done everything because it’s my time and I like to soak it all in and be as present as possible. It’s my favourite part of my entire day and sets the tone for the rest of the day so it HAS to be hella relaxing and slow because sometimes my days (weeks) get a little bit cray cray.. This week is about to be especially nuts like SEND HELP PLEASE so it’s times like this that I literally cherish my mornings because it’s kind of like the calm before the storm ya feel??

MY MORNING ROUTINE

  • Wake up at 6:45am

  • Wash my face with warm water then with cold water to wake myself up and hydrate my skin

  • Tongue scrape and brush my teeth

  • Meditate for 5-10 minutes

  • Make warm lemon + Himalayan salt water

  • Write in my Five Minute Journal, look at my planner for the day and set my goals

  • Make bulletproof coffee with Vital Proteins collagen and MCT oil

  • Sip my coffee on the couch while watching the sunrise

  • THEN after i’ve done all of these things i take my phone off of do not disturb and check instagram and my texts/emails

It might seem like a lot but it honestly isn’t, all of this takes me about 30 minutes and makes me so happy that waking up a little earlier to make sure I can do all of this is SO worth it to me..

BECOMING A MORNING PERSON

I wasn’t always a morning person (TRUST ME), I used to work late hours (like I’m talking 2am) in the service industry and I would get home from my shifts every night wired to the point here I would have to stay up for at least another hour and then I would sleep until noon and then get up and start my day with no real rhyme or reason. Oh how things have changed, now I literally live for my morning’s and if I had to stay up until 2am I’d probably die (no joke) and be a zombie all day long!

Morning people are successful people. I’m not even kidding some of the most successful people in the world have literally said that they owe a lot (if not most) of their success to the fact that they have KICK ASS morning routines in place for themselves that they follow to a tee every single day. Don’t believe me? Just ask any professional athlete, CEO, entrepreneur, etc. how they start their day and be prepared for a long winded list of very specific shit that they do every single day and refuse to skip out on!

Creating a morning routine will allow you to take control of your day right away, will start your day on a positive note and will leave you feeling energized and ready to take on the rest of the day, it’s actually a life changing practice you guys - trust me! If you’re reading this it means that you probably want to become a morning person and have a kickass morning routine too right?! Well guuurl you are in luck because I have a few tips that are going to completely change the way you start your day, every day.

TOP TIPS FOR CREATING A MORNING ROUTINE

  1. Try waking up 15-30 minutes earlier than you usually do and actually get up and out of bed when your alarm goes off - even a small amount of extra time makes A WORLD of difference when you are trying to get shit done and establish a morning routine.

  2. STAY OFF YOUR PHONE for at least the first 30 minutes of your morning - I cannot stress this enough but staying off your phone and any other technology is CRUCIAL, when you check your phone/computer or turn on the news you are allowing other people to potentially dictate how your morning starts and adding unnecesary stress into your morning, by not checking any technology for the first 30 minutes minimum you are taking control of how your day starts.

  3. Wash your face - start with warm water and massage your face then slowly make the water colder and repeat until it is as cold as it can go. This will get rid of any puffiness from sleeping, remove any of the built up crusty “sleep” from your eyes and will energize you.

  4. Brush your teeth (and scrape your tongue) - I shouldn’t have to tell you this but while you sleep bacteria builds up on your teeth and tongue (hello morning breath) so it’s important to get rid of all that shiz before you drink anything and send it all back into your body - no thanks! You can read all about tongue scraping HERE!

  5. Open your blinds/curtains - letting natural light into your house in the morning is one of the easiest ways to wake up your body and energize you!

  6. Hydrate - I always start my day with warm lemon water with pink Himalayan salt, it is alkalizing for the body, balances PH, detoxifies, hydrates and helps to balance electrolytes to help you stay hydrated all day long.

  7. Meditate or take 5 minutes to just sit and be still - doing a form of relaxation practice in the morning really sets the tone for your day and if you’re not into mediation deep breathing is one of the easiest ways to instantly calm down your nervous system and change your mood.

  8. Make a beverage you enjoy and sip it slowly - I’m a bulletproof coffee kind of gal, you guys already know the drill (you can read more about bulletproof coffee HERE) I have one *almost* every single morning, it’s become a ritual. You can have whatever you like though, just make sure whatever it is that you’re drinking you take the time to actually enjoy it in peace.

  9. Write in a journal - while you sip your morning bevy is a great time to write down a few things that you are thankful for, your goals for the day (or week) or even just a short sentence about how you’re feeling. Writing is a great way to actually see your thoughts come to life and it allows you to manifest things that you want to see for your day!

  10. Plan your day - even if you aren’t self employed and have a normal 9-5 schedule it can still be super beneficial to plan out your day so you can actually see what it looks like on paper. Write down your meal times, workout, work schedule as well as anything you HAVE to get done and anything you WANT to get done, organization is key!

  11. Get your sweat on and eat a balanced breakfast - I wouldn’t say that these are part of my morning routine per say because they usually happen a couple hours after I wake up but they are both non negotiable for me in the mornings as well so I figured I’d include them! Starting your day with a workout of any kind (even a walk) gets your blood flowing, loosens up your stiff muscles and energizes you and eating a meal balanced in protein, complex carbs, fibre and healthy fat fuels you straight through until lunch and sets you up on a healthy note!

Your morning routine doesn’t have to be perfect or look like mine, honestly anything that resembles some kind of structure and routine is a good place to start! Whatever brings your morning positivity and relaxation is going to be more than enough, all you have to do is commit to a couple small things and be consistent with them every single day until they stick.

If you found these tips helpful please let me know on insta by sending me a DM or commenting on my latest post!

XO - LU

HOW TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

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For a lot of us, the change in seasons and weather comes with a not so nice change in our health - yes I’m looking at you flu season.. I know a ton of people get sick multiple times a year but I am NOT one of those people. Because I prioritize my nutrition and health every single day year round and have for years I rarely get sick, so when I do it’s basically the end of the world (not even over exaggerating).

Well you guys in the spirit of never sugar coating anything, I’m really f*cking sick.. for the first time in over a year. I’m currently typing this from the comfort of my actual death bed. Okay THAT was dramatic, I will admit but I honestly feel like my sinuses are never going to feel normal again and my head is about to explode - it’s freakin’ rough. I’m like the kind of sick where I legitimately called my mom to ask her to come take care of me.. Well to my shock she said no so I guess I have to deal with this on my own, adulting just gets better and better you guys!

But on the rare occasion that I do feel my immune system slacking (and that my mom is busy living her own life - how dare she right?!) I have a few holy grail tips that I always do to kick any germs, inflammation or sickness right in the butt. Let’s get into it.

MY TOP IMMUNITY TIPS

HYDRATE - water helps to flush everything out, it detoxify’s, replenishes your body’s cells and tissues and helps to keep electrolytes balanced.

SLEEP - When you’re sick your body is run down and needs all of the rest it can possibly get so that it can recharge and fight any inflammation or viruses.

LEMON WATER - balances the body’s PH which helps fight inflammation and it’s also anti-bacterial and detoxifying.

OIL OF OREGANO - I take this orally (under my tongue) 3-5x per day when i’m sick. It’s loaded with antioxidants and powerful compounds that are super anti-inflammatory and it is also an effective natural antibiotic and anti-fungal.

VITAMIN C - I take a strong dose of vitamin c (1000mg) every 2-4 hours when I’m sick because it is the vitamin that is most quickly excreted but the body and also the most crucial during times of inflammation and sickness.

GARLIC - I put garlic in literally EVERYTHING that I cook when I’m sick. It contains compounds that help the immune system fight germs and has have been shown to boost the disease-fighting response of some types of white blood cells in the body when they encounter viruses.

FRUIT & VEGGIES - Your body needs all of the inflammation fighting antioxidants and nutrients that it can possibly get when it’s sick and there is literally no better way to get those than through real whole nutrient dense foods like fresh fruit and raw or lightly steamed veggies - so load the F up on those bad boys!

COLD PRESSED JUICES - Remember what I just said about loading up on fruits and veggies well I can think of few better ways to do just that then a cold pressed juice filled with vitamins and nutrients. Whenever I’m feeling run down I make sure to get a green juice with tons of veggies, fresh ginger or turmeric and one type of fruit (usually apple or orange) it gives your body a quick boost of nutrients and it always makes me feel 10x better almost instantly!

VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS - I take my vitamin and supplement routine very seriously, especially when I’m sick. I have an entire blog post on what I take and why I take it that you can read here! As I just explained, one of the most important things to me when I’m sick is that most of my nutrients come from real whole nutrient dense foods but sometimes that’s not 100% possible and that is where the vitamin equivalent comes in. I love love LOVE MegaFood Brand because their supplements are food grade, meaning they are made FROM FOOD and have zero synthetic additives. I take their B Complex as well as their Blood Builder daily when I’m feeling sick to boost my iron levels and promote healthy red blood cell production which is crucial in combatting fatigue which helps fight inflammation!

MY IMMUNITY TONIC - This drink is an immune system POWERHOUSE. It packs every anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory ingredient possible into one drink! I make it every time I’m feeling run down and god forbid when I’m actually sick - like right now! And because I’m a total team player and I love you guys, I’m sharing the recipe with all of you - you can thank me later.

What you’ll need:

1 lemon juiced

2 1-inch size pieces of fresh ginger

2 tbsp raw ACV

2 tsp raw organic honey

1 tsp raw turmeric powder

pinch of black pepper (to activate the turmeric)

5 cups of filtered water

How to:

  1. Place all ingredients in a pot on the stove and bring to a boil, serve and get to sipping!

    *Makes 2 servings*

xo - LU

BEATING THE SUMMER HEAT WITH WIZE MONKEY

I try not to complain during the summer because well it basically rains here the other 9 months of the year and I love all things summer (and hate all things winter) – I love the fresh fruit and veggies, I love how everyone is in the best mood, I love tan lines, I love the heat, I love it all. But it has been HOTTER THAN HOT here lately and while I’m still not complaining it is a little hard to deal with 24/7. It’s been the kind of hot that just makes you feel kind of sticky and like you can’t wear your hair down for longer than 5 minutes because #sweatyaf... yeah you get the idea. So with the hopes of staying as cool as possible I’ve come up with a couple of tricks that I have been doing every day to try and beat the heat.

MY TIPS

  1. Stay hydrated - this is a no brainer but when you aren't hydrating properly your body actually can't produce as much sweat to cool you down or regulate your body temperature. 
  2. Make sure you're breathing - practicing slow deep breathing helps to calm down the nervous system and actually regulates body temperature.
  3. Eat spicy foods - eating spicy food increases blood circulation and makes you sweat so you’ll feel cooler once the sweat dries and the capsaicin in hot peppers encourages your body to sweat more without raising your body temperature.
  4. Make your own soothing peppermint mist - brew a pot of peppermint tea and then chill it in the fridge, once its ice cold pour it into a spray bottle and mist yourself frequently.
  5. Take cold showers - it's better for the environment, improves circulation and will help cool you down.
  6. Make a batch of home made iced tea to sip on - my favourite tea to use for this is Wize Monkey Coffee Leaf Tea . 

Never heard of coffee leaf tea? It's a brand new concept that has a ton of benefits for your mind, body, the environment and the world - plus it tastes amazing and makes the perfect pitcher of iced tea with just one tea bag because it doesn't over steep if it's left too long or dilute in a larger amount of water! If you don't know, now you know

WHAT IS COFFEE LEAF TEA?

Coffee leaf tea is essentially exactly what the name states - it's tea made from the leaves of the coffee plant and packs a much smaller dose of caffeine than coffee itself. It gives you a clean caffeine effect with a subtle boost of energy and clarity (kind of like green tea) but it doesn’t disrupt the nervous system or give you that common spike then crash that caffeine from coffee or regular tea gives! Because the caffeine is so low the tea doesn't really raise cortisol either which if you know me you know that managing my cortisol is something I have been working on for a long time so thats a huge WIN for me!

It also contains mangiferin which is a rare active compound that is found in mangoes and has been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years all over the world. Mangiferin has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial properties and has the potential to prevent and protect against high cholesterol, heart disease and cancer. Coffee leaves are also high in nitric-oxide which helps to dilate blood vessels, improves oxygen flow to the brain and lowers blood pressure! HELLO health benefits!

WHY COFFEE LEAVES?

Remember when I said coffee leaf tea is good for the environment and the world? Yeah I wasn't kidding, the impact of using coffee leaves goes way beyond just being beneficial to your health.

Coffee is one of the worlds biggest growing industries, there are over 25 million coffee farmers worldwide and half a million of those farmers are from Nicaragua. Coffee farming is actually the biggest portion of the economy in Nicaragua and employs the most people out of any other industry, but the harvest season for coffee beans only lasts 3 months out of the year and leaves most of the farmers without any guaranteed work or income after the season is over. A large portion of the farmers actually uproot their entire lives and their families to migrate to and from the coffee farms before and after the season is over which leaves their children with no structure, no schooling and no time to think about their futures because they are constantly on the go. 

Not only do the farmers make the least amount of profit but they also take the most risk because they have to rely on so many different factors that are out of their control. The farmers grow and harvest the coffee beans but at that point the coffee is still green and not ready for consumption so they have to bring in a third party to roast, package and distribute it and THAT is where the real money is. Because of this, virtually all coffee farm owners in Nicaragua end up going bankrupt because the success is not in growing and producing the coffee beans but in processing and selling them to the western world.

What Wize Monkey wanted to find out was if there was a way to turn this 3 month per year industry into something that can sustain itself year round to try and help improve the lives of the farmers, improve the economy of Nicaragua as a whole and empower the farmers to look forward to the future instead of constantly worrying about where their work will come from when the coffee season ends - and they are doing just that! 

Three years ago Wize Monkey partnered with a local Nicaraguan coffee farmer who’s farm has been in his family for generations to supply them with the coffee leaves.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU AND THE REST OF THE WORLD

They are basically tapping into a completely unexplored market which literally gives the farmers unlimited potential to grow this into a successful and thriving industry, make a name for themselves and have a sustained income year round instead of 3 month per year business. This is  ultimately going to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people forever. 

Wize Monkey has already been able to give stable jobs to over 100 people in Nicaragua who would normally have no work during the off season. The income that the farmers are making allows their family to actually settle down and plant some roots and helps their kids stay in school.

Wize Monkey is dedicated to changing the coffee industry for the better and helping the coffee farmers of the world actually thrive and I don't know about you but I personally am 100% on board with this concept and everything that they are doing. And as if I needed another reason to completely resonate with everything about this company, they’re also local to me. That’s right - the coffee is grown, cultivated and processed in Nicaragua and then flown to my sweet home town of Vancouver, BC to be packaged and shipped.

BLACKBERRY EARL GREY ICED (COFFEE LEAF) TEA

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

1 Wize Monkey earl grey coffee leaf tea bag

1 cup frozen blackberries

1 lemon - juiced

2 cups of ice

5 cups of boiling water

HOW TO:

1. Steep your tea bag in a the boiling water in a large pitcher for 30 minutes then place in the fridge until chilled - about 30 more minutes. 

2. In a bowl, thaw 2/3 of the frozen blackberries then mash with a fork.

3. When the tea is steeped, add the juice of the lemon, mashed blackberries, remaining frozen blackberries and ice and stir until combined. 

4. Serve and chill out!

ENJOY!

xo - LU

STAYING HEALTHY ON VACATION

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Everyone loves a vacation - no work, no routine, no alarm clock, new places, lots of good food and drinks, maybe not as much exercise as usual and just living your best life and enjoying yourself as much as possible - heck yes count me in! The thing with vacations though is if you don't know how to balance all of the indulging and enjoying they might throw you off your usual healthy game - but they don't have to..

Two weekends ago Mike and I went away to wine country for my birthday for 3 days and 3 nights, and as I'm sure you can imagine it was glorious. We enjoyed each other's company, reconnected as a couple, relaxed, ate good food, drank wine (duh), slept in and didn't "workout" once - and I managed to come back with zero weight gained, no bloat, no "puffiness", no new acne, no post vacay hangover and no regrets. You're probably thinking to yourself "okay but that's only 3 days what if you go away for a week or more?" Well I went to Mexico for 8 days in November and still came back feeling and looking exactly the same as I did when I left.. Want to know how I manage to stay healthy while still indulging and enjoying my vacation every single time? DUH of course you do! I didn't even need to ask, but I did - in fact I took a poll on my instagram when I was away and 100% of you said that you wanted me to share all of my tips and tricks to staying healthy on vacation. 

Well ask and you shall receive my friends - let's get into it. 

MY TOP VACAY TIPS

  1. Keep up your usual mentality - There are certain daily mental routines that I will never skip, one of which is my morning and evening meditation. I like to bring my favourite crystal with me whenever I go away, it's small and portable and it reminds me to stay grounded and makes me feel at home during my meditation.
  2. Pick easy parts of your routine to stick to - Regardless of where I am or what I'm doing I always drink warm lemon water first thing in the morning before any food, coffee or anything else. Lemon water turns alkaline in the body which helps to balance Ph, it also improves digestion, helps remove toxins and is detoxifying - which is especially good for if you're drinking or indulging!
  3. Bring easy to pack staples from your usual diet - I always pack to-go packages of Vital Proteins collagen coconut creamer so that I can have my usual bulletproof coffee every morning as well as to-go packs of their original collagen peptides so I can add a boost of protein to any meal or drink if I'm on the go! I also pack my favourite protein bars (RXBAR & GoMacro to name a couple) so I know I have a nutritious snack on hand, individual packs of hemp hearts and chia seeds as well as individual nut butter packages to make a quick breakfast or snack if I don't have any other options that work for my dietary needs!
  4. Walk as much as possible - You don't have to have access to a gym for your vacation to stay active, as I said I didn't work out once this weekend and I lived to tell the tail. When I'm on vacation I walk everywhere that I possibly can, it's a good way to actually see the town or city you're staying in, it gets your heart rate up, your blood flowing and burns fat and calories aka makes room for more food and wine!
  5. Pack your usual supplements - I'm not saying pack your favourite tub of protein powder but if you take any vitamins, minerals, mushrooms, herbs, etc. it's important to bring those along with you because your body is used to taking them and going off of them cold turkey for a week and then starting them back up again can result in imbalances, deficiencies and fatigue from stopping them as well as indigestion, nausea and bloating from reintroducing them. 
  6. Start your day with something nourishing and high in nutrients as well as protein, healthy fats and fiber - If you start your day with a nourishing and balanced meal that is high in nutrients from fruits and veggies then you can feel confident if your choices later in the day are a little more indulgent because you already pumped your body full of vitamins and minerals. The protein and fats will help keep you full and the fiber will help keep your digestion on point and your trips to the bathroom regular which is something that a lot of people struggle with while on vacation.
  7. If you have access to a kitchen try to do the majority or at least some of the cooking yourself - not only is this easier on your wallet because cooking is always cheaper than going out to eat but it is also easier on your digestion and your waistline because you know exactly what is going into your food and are more likely to make healthier choices! We made wild local salmon tacos with home made mango guac and home made pico de gallo one night and they were way better than any restaurant tacos could have been!
  8. If you are eating out for most meals try to choose familiar foods for at least one meal - My go to is to find a smoothie bar and make my own. I always do a leafy green, chia seeds or flax if they have it, a healthy fat source or 2, unsweetened almond milk, vegan protein and half of a banana - make sure you tell them you only want half because a lot of places add 1-2 whole bananas and that is a glucose and insulin nightmare and a sugar crash waiting to happen!
  9. Pack digestive enzymes - these are CRUCIAL for travelling! If you have never used digestive enzymes before basically what they do is increase the amount of digestive enzymes that are already in the body to help the body absorb more nutrients and improve gut health. They help digestion (duh) which reduces bloating, keeps you regular and prevents any cramping or discomfort that you most likely usually feel when you eat something a not in your normal diet!
  10. Stay hydrated - whether you are drinking alcohol or not, if you are eating foods and doing things that your body isn't used to there is a good chance that your digestion might get a little backed up so it's important to drink tons of water to help flush out your system and move everything along!
  11. Close your day with something cleansing - I'm not one to party so I'm always back to my hotel or B&B by a decent time to unwind and chill because that's what I enjoy. This weekend I had a bath, meditated and sipped on lemon ginger tea every night before we watched a movie!
  12. Don't stress and just enjoy yourself - This one is honestly the most important of them all !! I always get clients messaging me so stressed out about going away or straying from their routine even the smallest bit and the truth is whether you follow these tips or not I can promise you that your life will not end because you went a little off track for a week. But if you obsess and stress your entire vacation over every single thing that you put in your mouth I can almost guarantee you that you probably won't enjoy yourself or your vacation to the fullest! Remember, memories over calories ALWAYS!

I hope that you find these tips helpful and easy to implement on your next vacation and if you do try them I'd love to hear how they helped you - you can always comment on this post directly, message me on Instagram or use the hashtag #holisticallywholesome so I can find your posts!

xo - LU

THIS IS 23

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Woah hey there 23 I didn't think I'd meet you this fast.. time freakin' flies when you're having fun. I remember turning 20 and literally thinking my life was over because I wasn't a teenager anymore - oh how I was wrong. I also remember thinking that 20 and 21 were hard years, and that if this was what adult life was going to be then I was definitely not cut out for it. But as we all do, I settled into it and realized that maybe being an adult doesn't actually mean that you have to have all of your shit together all the time.. or even at all.

22 was a year filled with emotions, realization and growth - SO MUCH GROWTH. I lost old friends, gained new ones, I networked, I stepped out of my comfort zone (a lot), I built my business, I rebranded said business, I travelled, I laughed, I loved and I cried. If I'm being honest I actually don't think I've ever cried so much in a 12 month span as I did over the past year - I cried a lot.. from happiness, anger, sadness, excitement, frustration, love and all of the above.

I went into 22 newly self employed and not really sure of what the hell I was really doing. I didn't know where my next pay check would come from on any given week and I constantly questioned if I was doing the right thing. I felt SO lost in my life path and my career so many times, I hated that I had to work so much harder to make a pay check than my friends who had 9-5 jobs and I contemplated giving up more than once because I didn't want to struggle anymore. But I stuck with it because I realized that at the end of the day I would rather be broke, happy and fulfilled than rich, miserable and bored. 

22 was the year that I found my way.. I really got into my groove and realized that all I had to do to accomplish the things that I wanted to was believe in myself and my passions. I realized that if I was confident in my ability and the content and services I was putting out then the clients and work would come to me - and guess what? It totally has! In the last year I have changed the lives of so many women through my health coaching business, I have gotten to work with brands that I have actually used in my daily life and admired for so long, I get to touch over 9 thousand lives every day through my social media, I get to show people through my recipes that healthy food doesn't have to be boring and I get to teach women that nourishing your body, mind and soul with real food and enjoyable, smartly planned exercise can get you to your goals way better than starving and punishing yourself ever could!

22 was the year that I learned to actually love my body and appreciate it for what it does for me. I stopped counting calories last year and transitioned to intuitive eating (read more about that here and here) and doing so has helped me develop the healthiest relationship with food and my body that I have ever had. I also changed my workout routine up, I no longer force myself to spend 1.5 hours in the gym 6 days a week doing the same boring stuff every day, instead I do quick 45-55 minute workouts that I enjoy, that get my heart rate up and allow me to be strong, quick and agile which is amazing! I have realized that punishing my body with extreme amounts of exercise and food restriction for years got me nowhere and that fuelling my body properly with real whole foods 80% of the time and not feeling bad about having the occasional indulgences serves me better both mentally and physically and CAN get me to my goals. This switch in my mindset, training and diet has actually allowed me to be in the best shape of my entire life and I couldn't be happier or feel more confident in my own skin than I do right now at 23!

This was the year that I learned to let shit go. For years I have wondered why my upbringing wasn't the same as most people my age, I wondered why all of my friends parents had steady jobs and were able to help their kids with school. I wondered why one of my parents chose to drink away their feelings and I never really knew why they couldn't get their shit together for longer than 5 seconds. I blamed myself for their alcoholism for so long, thought that maybe it was something about being my parent that made them want to drink so much and I have literally let that eat me alive for years. This year I decided that I was going to try and let that shit go, not for them but for me, because I know it isn't my fault that they couldn't handle the world sober and I know that there is nothing that I could have done to make them stop drinking. 22 was the year that I realized that the only person who gets hurt when I hold on to anger and hurt and resentment, is me. I was allowing myself to constantly get stressed out and upset about the feelings that I have carried with me for so many years towards them and it was getting me nowhere and taking a tole on my relationships, my happiness and my health. I know that the reason they drank and the reason that they weren't capable of being a steady or supportive parent to me was not my fault. I have learned and am still learning that people can't change unless they want to and that sometimes letting things go is all you can do to help yourself move on.

This was the year that I realized that holding in all of my stress is actually bad for my health - who the heck knew right? Just kidding I have always known this but this year I really became aware of how much I internalize my stress and exactly what it was doing to my body. If you have followed me for a while then you will know that I lost my period 7 months ago when I came off of the pill (read more about that here) and have yet to get it back. Well 2 months ago my doctor diagnosed me with chronic stress, extremely high cortisol and adrenal fatigue and basically told me that until I calm the f*** down and get my cortisol levels in check then I won't be getting my period back - period (no pun intended). So I devoted literally all of my free time to educating myself on adrenal fatigue and started doing everything that I possibly could to destress, relax and self heal. Which leads me into the next thing that I learned..

22 was the year that I started practicing daily meditation and really got in touch with my inner self. I started meditating in an effort to reduce my stress and lower my cortisol but it honestly has become so much more than that. It is the best stress release (obviously) but it also keeps me grounded, lets me tune back into my intentions and allows me to tune out everything else and actually focus on myself for 15 minutes twice a day. I meditate first thing in the morning and right before bed and sometimes I sneak in a quick 5 minute one in the middle of the day if I'm feeling extra nuts that day (which is basically all the time).

I learned to set boundaries - in life, business, work, social media and relationships. I also learned that it's okay to say no to things and that I don't have to be doing something at all times of the day to be successful. I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to be constantly busy and I felt like if I had a minute to breath then I wasn't doing enough, but I've learned that success comes from working hard but it also comes from knowing how to take time to recharge.

Last year I finally realized that I don't have to be perfect to be progressing. Just because I'm an adult doesn't mean that I have to have all of my shit together, in fact it doesn't mean that I have to have it together at all. It simply means that I just have to be moving forward, every day, regardless of what happens and that all that really matters to me in life is that I am happy and feel fulfilled and everything else comes second. 

I'm excited for 23, I'm excited to see where my business goes and to tackle what life throws at me and I'm excited to continue growing and sharing my life with all of you and hopefully impacting you to make changes for your physical and mental health! I'm also scared to be 23 because I'm not totally comfortable with growing up yet and I definitely don't have my shit together and I feel like I'm going to blink and all of the sudden I'll be 25 and then 30 and who knows where I'll be then.

If I could say something to my future self I'd say - just breathe, you're exactly where you need to be and you can accomplish whatever it is that you're trying to accomplish so don't stress too much. I'm ready to take on 23 and I think it might just be my best year yet..

xo - LU

MY THOUGHTS ON NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS + MY 2018 GOALS

The new year can be daunting to some - between the pressure to make resolutions and promises to ourselves (and others) that we aren't sure we will end up keeping and the guilt of looking back on things that we may have failed to accomplish last year that we desperately wanted to, there isn't a whole lot of room left to be excited about the fresh start that comes with a new year.

I get it it's hard to not beat yourself up a little bit about last years "failed" resolutions, after all no one wants to fail at anything. It's also totally normal that most of our resolutions involve changing something physical/aesthetic about ourselves which makes the guilt of not accomplishing these things even worse. It's not your fault that you feel this way though.. We live in a society that targets insecurities in order to sell products and services and it's taken to an extreme around the new year - yes I'm looking at you corporate gyms. Sure who wouldn't like to be a little lighter when they step on the scale, or to be successful at everything that they do we're only human after all, we have wants and needs! This is why every year when January rolls around we see every corporation advertising a different quick fix or expensive program that guarantees results and people go crazy for it.

NEWS FLASH you guys - there is actually no such thing as guaranteed results. That may sound obvious to some of you but a lot of people are so desperate to be successful at what they have promised to themselves that they are willing to do just about anything to get there, except for actually work for it. 

If you want to change something about your life then you have to be willing to put in the time and effort that it takes and actually do the work. That's the thing with New Years Resolutions, people see them as a way to half ass their goals - if you really wanted something you wouldn't be waiting for a specific date to start going after that thing, right? 

Right. So why do we wait until January 1st to attempt to better our lives

Okay maybe you didn't lose the 5lbs that you wanted to this year and maybe that passion project of yours took a back seat - that's okay. Life is busy and stressful and so incredibly unpredictable and at the end of the day (or year) the only one who is judging you for not accomplishing those things is you. Take the time to acknowledge what you let get in your way and take note of it so you can be prepared for those inevitable speed bumps the next time they come up (because they will). Let yourself reflect and tell yourself that you will do better next time but don't wait any longer to start working towards your goals, let next time be now. 

Too many people spend their lives waiting for the right moment when in all seriousness any moment can be the right one if you want it to be. Put your goals on paper - if you take nothing else away from reading this let it be this - write your goals down, look at them and work at them every single day until you have achieved them and there are new goals written in their place.

Have you heard of the law of attraction? Duh everyone has. Well that is exactly my point here, there's something about physically writing the things that we want down on paper and looking at them every day that is not only motivating but so important when it comes to the power of the universe. When you actually read your goals every day you start to be able to visualize them which makes you prioritize differently because you can actually see yourself getting there. 

Life is not going to slow down and wait for you to be ready, you have to just jump into it and hope for the best and believe me when I say that if you are giving all that you have to your goals and bettering your life then the universe actually will have your back and things will start to happen for you. You don't have to wait for a new month to set intentions or a new year to start working on your goals, you have the same amount of power now that you will have on January 1st, the only difference is whether or not you're motivated enough to start now or do you need the extra push of 7 billion other people setting goals with you? 

If something is truly important to us, we won't ever need anyone else's support in order to try at it. That is what separates those who are successful from those who make the same resolutions and goals every single year and never reach them. 

This goes for any kind of goal whether it be in business, love, relationships, family, money, even the most commonly made resolution which is unfortunately the resolution to change something aesthetic about ourselves, usually through fitness or nutrition. It's a sad but true reality that the most common new years resolution is to lose weight or "diet" - but what if we made our resolutions to target changing what's on the inside instead of just what we see when we look in the mirror?

When you flip that switch inside of your brain and start to change your attitude towards yourself and the world from "I HAVE TO change this" to "I WANT TO change this" amazing things start to happen. When we decide to make goals and resolutions that target who we are as a person, what we do daily for others and what we want in life rather than just the physical changes that we want to see, those changes become inevitable. Okay you're probably thinking to yourself - why would making mental and internal goals and changes help me change physically? Just hear me out okay. 

When you do things because you want to and not because you feel like you have to, the way that you view yourself and your life will start to change. Take exercising for example, if you decide that you are going to do it not because you hate your body and want to change it but because you actually love your body and want to keep it healthy then suddenly you won't be dreading that workout, instead you will look forward to it because it makes you feel strong which ultimately makes you feel good about yourself and your body and view them both in a positive way. This applies to all areas in your life - if you decide to run a marathon do it because it will make you feel good and not because other people will think it's admirable, if you want to start a business do it because you are passionate and not for the money. 

I can guarantee that if you just let yourself get over the idea of failing you will not fail.

SO WHAT ARE MY 2018 GOALS?

1. Practice self care daily - I often find that I am so busy trying to do everything for everyone else (clients, friends, family, etc) that I neglect my needs which can result in burning out so I want to focus on doing something simple for just me every day.

2. Don't let my phone/laptop be the last thing that I see before I go to sleep and the first thing that I see when I wake up - This one is HUGE for me, when you run your own business it can be hard to actually unplug but I find that I sleep better when I turn my electronic devices off about an hour before bed and I am so much more alert and focused when I don't check it until at least 30 minutes after I wake up. 

3. Be more present - We live in  a crazy time for relationships, whether it be romantic or not, everyone is constantly on their phones and laptops constantly and I am totally guilty of this so I want to make sure that when I am with someone face to face I am giving all of my energy to that person. 

4. Practice yoga at least twice a week - I have been telling myself to do more yoga for months and for some reason I can never prioritize it like I do with my other workouts. It's so good for not only your body but also your mind and soul and always leaves me feeling so grounded which is a feeling that I could always use more of. Plus my mom is actually a yoga teacher so I have access to it and I feel terrible that I don't take advantage of it.

5. GROW MY BUSINESS - Something in the last two weeks has lit a fire inside of me and I am so ready to jump into the new year at full speed and grow my online wellness coaching business. I am so passionate about helping women change their lives and I am going to do everything in my power to touch as many women as possible in the new year.  

6. Finally launch my secret project - I can't really elaborate on this because it is a secret but lets just say that I have had this on the back burner for almost a year and I have recently been pouring a ton of time into it and am SO excited to get it launched and share it with you all.. stay tuned. 

But I'm not waiting until January 1st to work on these things, I'm starting today - the best way to do better than you did last year is to be better, starting now. 

xo -LU

REAL & RAW - HOW I BECAME WHO I AM TODAY

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In the last few weeks I have found myself saying “what the f*** is going on” more often than I’d like to. For some reason it seems as though every time I feel like I can kind of breathe again something else pops up and the world is like nope think again. I like to think that I am handling all of my stress with grace and dignity but to be honest with you some days I feel like my head is quite literally going to explode.

Between running my own business, trying to grow that business, sourcing out new clients, being a full time student, having a relationship with my loved ones and making enough money to pay my bills I don’t really have time to even breathe most days. I actually find myself in such a whirlwind sometimes that when I finally have a second to sit down I often can’t even remember exactly what I did all day.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and what I do and I wouldn’t change it for anything but people are not wrong when they say that being an entrepreneur is one of the most stressful career paths that you can take. I wake up before everyone else, I run around all day back and forth from client to client to my house to another client and I still find myself working into the later hours of the evening most days. It feels as though I could have a million hours in a day and it still wouldn’t be enough time to actually get everything that I need to get done.

Okay it seems like I’m doing a lot of complaining and maybe I am but in all fairness I have no one to complain to other than you because as an entrepreneur you’re on your own a lot (like all the time). But make no mistake, I’m not actually upset about these things I just think that if I’m going to tell you about my life I should give you all the scoop on what my life is actually like most of the time because being your own boss is awesome but it’s not always sunshine and f**king rainbows like a lot of people make it out to be.

A normal day for me looks something like this; wake up at 6am and get to work on some school stuff and then hop on my laptop to answer any pending emails and respond to client check ins, 8:30 head to the gym for a workout (aka sanity), 10am-1pm clients, 1pm-4pm more client check ins, do some writing for my blog and probably work on my other projects in there too, 4pm last client of the day, 5pm home and hop back on my laptop until god knows when to finish everything. Oh and somewhere in that craziness I manage to eat my meals and run errands most days as well. I do usually try to turn off all of my electronics and get off of social media for around 8-9pm most nights to try to decompress and spend time with my boyfriend and then I go to bed so that I can wake up and do it all over again.

Most people wake up at a decent time, roll into work for 9am, get off at 5pm and head home to make dinner and sit on the couch and some days that actually sounds kind of appealing to me but then I remember that I tried that route and it did not serve me in any way. Every time that I get tired and start to think about how easy everyone else has it I just remember that I did the 9-5 thing and yes it was very easy to manage and super low stress but it was also very boring and didn’t inspire me at all.

Would I love to know that I have a guaranteed pay check coming in every two weeks? Yes. Would I enjoy not having to stress about paying my bills some months because a client went on vacation and I’m out however many dollars for the month? Duh. They say that the first year of being an entrepreneur is the hardest both financially and mentally and lucky for me I’m only 6 months in. Money is one of the most stressful things on the planet, so for that reason alone sometimes I do question my choice to pursue being my own boss but I decided a long time ago that money is never going to be the deciding factor in my happiness, that just doesn’t make sense to me.

I don’t come from a wealthy family, we never really went without but I remember there being multiple occasions where my parents would say “I only have X amount of money to last until the end of the month” and it was never a large number. I remember wondering why all of my friends were getting cars as we got older and I wasn’t. When I was 18 I was living on my own due to someone in my family having a problem with substance abuse that sadly became more important than paying the rent, I was working full time just to pay my bills while everyone I knew was going to university and for some reason none of them had to work to make that happen for themselves. I’ve been basically on my own since then, I’ve always had a full time job, I’ve saved every extra penny I’ve made and I’ve always been able to pay my rent and my bills. For a long time I actually didn’t realize that not everyones lives were like mine. I thought it was normal to have to be the adult in conversations with actual adults when someone was too intoxicated or emotional to realize how their actions were affecting their children and the ones around them and I didn’t really know what it was like to actually feel supported and taken care of.

I’m in no way trying to tell you a sob story or asking you for sympathy, I know that there are people all over the world that have things a hell of a lot harder than I did (do), I’m just trying to shine some light on how I got to where I am today because I’ve never really told this part of my story before. For a long time I was embarrassed of my life and I didn’t let anyone know about what I had been through or how it made me feel, I never showed emotions and I never let anyone see my weaknesses. I thought that if no one knew then maybe I could pretend that this wasn’t actually how my life was.

I’m not going to tell you that it hasn’t been hard the last few years, because it has – I was on my own, I had no help with my education, no one ever taught me that you should be making a retirement savings plan at the age of 22, at one point a couple of years ago I was so broke that I ate frozen edamame beans and noodles (EW) every day for like three weeks because it was all I could afford and up until very recently I honestly didn’t know what it was like to not feel like the rug was going to be ripped out from underneath of me at any moment.

I think the reason that being my own boss is so important to me is because I finally have control over something in my life for once. The thing about being your own boss is you can actually decide how successful you want to be based on how hard you’re willing to work. If I don’t want to work this hard I don’t have to, I just won’t be as successful at what I’m doing. When you deal with uncertainty for most of your life the second that you have the chance to actually control the outcome of something you go for it.

So yes my life is infinitely harder and more stressful than most peoples because of the path that I’ve chosen when it comes to my career but it is also infinitely more exciting.

If you are ever struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel whether it be in family dynamics, work, relationships, etc – please believe me when I say that if you want to see a change and you work hard enough for it, the change will come. I’ve been through enough to know that all stress is temporary and that working your ass off for something is far more rewarding than being handed it.

xo -LU

GETTING COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UNCOMFORTABLE

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Let’s be honest, no one actually likes being uncomfortable – that’s literally why its called being UN-comfortable because you aren’t comfortable, at all – not even a little bit.

The thing with humans as a whole is we’re actually really lazy. We love comfort, we love easy and we hate actually putting effort into things, we choose the quickest route to our destination, we take the elevator instead of the stairs, we order delivery instead of actually going out to eat and we get mad if our wifi is too slow. We are a society built on convenience and comfort! And that’s great if you are satisfied living an ordinary life but if you want something more out of your time on this planet then I hate to break it to you but being lazy and comfortable is not going to get you there.

You know that saying – “in order to achieve something you’ve never had you have to do something you’ve never done” well that could not be more true. You have to actually take the leap of faith you’ve been putting off, stop being afraid of what could go wrong and just jump. If you live your life scared to fail you are automatically sending that energy into the universe and guess what – you probably will!

In the last year I have quit 5 different jobs.. I had three separate terribly boring office jobs over the span of the year and I hated all of them equally, I had a serving job in a restaurant where I felt under appreciated and personally attacked by management constantly, and then earlier this year as most of you know I had my first job as a personal trainer in a corporate gym who’s sales tactics and values (if we can even call them that) did not line up with mine (I wrote a whole post on it) and to keep a long story short, it was awful. Was I terrified every single time that I quit one of those jobs? YES. Not only because I didn’t want to be jobless and broke but more so because I didn’t want the judgement that came along with quitting yet another job.. It made me uncomfortable to hear people close to me say “Oh look Lulu quit ANOTHER job”, it made uncomfortable to not know where my life was headed and it made me extra uncomfortable to think that I was going to have to scrape money together and dip into my savings to pay my bills.

But I didn’t let that stop me – I told everyone who questioned my sanity that I was not going to work somewhere that made me miserable and that I didn’t want to hear their opinions on my choices, I budgeted properly and did not spend unless I had to, I spent hours every day designing my own website by myself with no one’s help, I did my research and learned everything I needed to know about running my own business and I just went for it. Every job that I quit and every risk that I took led me to where I am now and damn am I happy that I lived through some of the worst jobs ever – in my opinion – to make me that much more grateful for where I am now.

Taking risks is not easy, it’s actually really hard to do for most people. Why would we give up our normal, ordinary and very comfortable live’s for possible failure and the total unknown? That’s crazy talk! Yes being uncomfortable and taking risks is really hard, I’ll agree with you on that one. But do you know what’s a hell of a lot harder in my opinion? Living your entire life passionless, in a job that you don’t love, making a pay check that doesn’t really allow you to do the things you’ve always wanted to do or see the things that you want to see. Did you know that 90% of the population does not own their own business. That means that 90% of you work for someone else, you have a boss and he or she probably has a boss and they probably have a boss and if you look high enough up the corporate ladder, somewhere at the top you will find a person who actually went for what they wanted in life and now they own a major corporation or company of some kind and they have people like you helping make their dreams come true.

If you work for anyone other then yourself you are helping someone else live out their dream.. Let that sink in for a second. Now go do something to change that because that is no way to live.

You probably need to keep your full time job for financial reasons and that’s fine but come home from your full time job and work on your full time goals. Stop being scared to stay home on a Friday night because you think people will judge you. Start reaching out to people who have succeeded in the industry or field that you want to succeed in. Get rejected, over and over and over gain (because you will) but don’t quit! Stop being scared to go for what you want because it’s not the norm, f*ck the norm! Create a world for yourself where being a goal chaser is more than normal. That’s the kind of world I want to live in.

If you invest the time, money and energy into yourself, your dreams and your goals success WILL come to you. Successful and motivated people want to be around other successful and motivated people. Imagine the kind of friends and relationships you will start to build if you just get out of your comfort zone and go for it.

Our comfort zone is the place where goals and dreams go to die, it may sound harsh (and it’s intended to) but it’s true. Don’t live the next 75 years passionless just to look back on your life and wonder what could have happened if you just took that one risk years and years ago. Do something now that your future self will thank you for. I did and look at my life now..

In the last three months I’ve tripled my income from what I was making in that – excuse my language – shit hole corporate gym. I have no boss, I wake up every day motivated and inspired, I get to help amazing, motivated people change their lives for the better and I have never felt so fulfilled. My life is so rewarding and anything but comfortable and if I’m being totally honest, I never want it to be comfortable again.

There is so much opportunity out there for everyone, you just have to want it bad enough to actually chase it. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and thank me later.

xo -LU

HOW TO TURN YOUR STARTUP INTO A REAL BUSINESS AND WHAT TO DO WHEN IT HAPPENS

Did my startup business just become a real business overnight? Holy shit..

A couple of weeks ago I decided to offer my personalized plan package at a promo price for the start of the month so I made a posting on all of my social media platforms and assumed I’d get a couple of hits on it but nothing too major. And then shit hit the fan.. I got so many messages and inquiries that I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself at first. If you’re interested in what exactly I classify as shit hitting the fan, lets just say that for 5 days my phone did not stop going off for longer than 5 minutes and as I’m sure you can guess I was a little bit (okay a lot) overwhelmed because this has never happened before. The response was huge, I would wake up to countless emails, messages and requests and I would go to sleep to the same, my eyes physically hurt from staring at my phone and laptop for so long every single day (first world problems right?) – it got to a point where my family was actually telling me I needed to hire an assistant – oh yeah my two month old start up business needs a assistant.. I don’t think so. An assistant (or any employee) is not in the picture right now for a couple of reasons; first, I definitely don’t think adding another persons salary into the mix is a smart business move for me this early on and two, I’m kind of a control freak and this business is my baby so I’m not really ready to give any of the responsibility away yet!

So after about 48 hours I realized that the interest was not slowing down and decided that I needed a system. I figured that I could sit there and be overwhelmed or I could get to work and I’m not one to sit around so I went at it hard. I manually put every single person into an excel spreadsheet with their full name, email, date they contacted me, interest level and whether or not they had purchased a plan or if they were in the process of it, I also put everything on paper and wrote reminders in my schedule for when to follow up with everyone who had not yet purchased. It took a couple days of full on grinding to get organized but I did it fully on my own without the help of anyone and I felt SO accomplished! It’s not a walk in the park being your own boss, bookkeeper, secretary, assistant, etc etc etc but it is so fulfilling and so damn worth it.

I think that when it comes to deciding to work with an online coach people are drawn to me because of the passion I openly have for every single thing I do in this business. I will never complain about being busy or working long hours because I know that I am helping better my clients lives and that it’s in turn helping to grow my empire and that is what keeps me going even when I’m overwhelmed and exhausted (and my eyes hurt). I make a conscious effort to always be available for my clients whether it’s to answer their questions, check in on them or to give the that extra push they need – they know that they can message me whenever and I will get back to them as son as I can! I know that they’re counting on me to be there for them when they need me and honestly every single one of them is absolutely killing it and that makes it all worth it.

Something else that I do that I think sets me apart is I try to develop an actual relationship with all of my girls, I make sure that they trust me and feel comfortable coming to me with anything and everything. I want to get to know them on a personal level and not just as a customer, because they’re so much more than that to me! I make sure that they all know that I will never judge them for falling off track and that I’m always here for them whether its to cry, vent or celebrate their accomplishments.

I’m honestly getting a little emotional writing this because every single one of them inspires me so much every single day and the fact that they chose me and trust me enough to lead them on this journey is the biggest honour. They allow me to live out my dream and passions with so much freedom and for that I am so grateful.

If you have passion and drive the success will follow, attracting people or “customers” is not only about knowing your business, its about loving your business and what you do. As long as you have a vision and you work towards it every day you will be successful I can basically promise you that!

So I’m two weeks into being the busiest I’ve ever been in my life and I am loving every minute of it. I’m still getting daily inquiries and I’ve been pumping out plans left right and centre and it feels amazing, it’s actually pretty surreal to me that 2.5 months ago I was working in a corporate gym absolutely miserable and struggling to pay my bills and now I’m working by myself and for myself and actually getting ahead financially.

 

I have room for a few more clients before the month ends so if you want to work with me ad get started on your goals hit CONTACT and send me a message!

xo -LU

HOW I DEAL WITH THE CRITICISM OF NOT HAVING A "REAL JOB"

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So I’ve been noticing lately more often than not, people have been talking to me as if my job isn’t a quote unquote “real job” as if running my own online training business, in person one on one training business, writing for my blog, keeping up with my businesses social media and teaching upwards of 8 group classes a week is easy peasy. (HA thats a good one) They say things like “well what have you done all day” or “you’re going to be home right you can do this and this.” My usual response is something along the line of – let me stop you right there, I’m home because I have 20+ clients to check in on, new online plans to make, online and in person consultations and then I most likely have an actual client or two or three or five somewhere in the mix of all this so yes I’m home a lot but home feels a lot like work to me.

Don’t get me wrong, working from home is amazing and being your own boss is even more amazing, I will literally never go back to working for someone else BUT I would be lying to you if I told you that people always take you seriously when you say that you work from home. For some reason a lot of people have this misconception that if you aren’t working a 9-5 you aren’t working at all (I’m sorry what?) that could not be further from the truth. In all seriousness working for yourself from home is a lot more challenging than any old boring 9-5, anyone can do what they’re told for 8 hours thats a piece of cake. The real test is when you have no one to answer to but yourself and have to do things like; discipline yourself, stay focused, come up with your own ideas, develop your own business, market yourself, keep track of sales, clients, etc. It’s actually a HUGE amount of work – but I do understand how people on the outside can think that it’s all sunshine and rainbows all the time.

It think that how hard I actually work gets a little bit overlooked when people think about the fact that – I don’t have to set an alarm unless I have an early client or class, I don’t have to take orders or direction from anyone, I can work in my pyjamas if I really want (I don’t usually though), I get to take breaks when I want, I don’t have to pack my meals, I get to make time for my goals and my workouts during the day and I get to do what I love during all of this! Okay I’d be a little jealous too if I was on the outside looking in, I have to admit.

At first when people would criticize my chosen career and lifestyle I would get pretty upset, I didn’t understand why no one was taking me seriously or why my job seemed like any less of a job than everyone else’s but I’ve learned to not take offence as much to the opinions of others. I honestly can’t be bothered to care about what people think of my life anymore, in my opinion the only things that should matter to you are if you feel fulfilled, if you are happy, if you wake up with purpose and if you are passionate. Oh and if you’re making a sustainable living but that comes dead last for me honestly, if you have everything else in check then the income will follow (trust me).

The biggest thing that this journey has taught me so far is that people do not welcome things they aren’t used to as openly as they welcome the every day norm and that is totally okay with me. I have no problem educating people on how hard we entrepreneurs actually work or explaining what I do in a day (over and over and over) I want the people who have doubts to understand that this is no walk in the park and if that means listening to criticism more often than not and then shutting it down by explaining what I do then so be it! For some people the Monday to Friday 9-5 grind is perfectly acceptable and enjoyable and that is awesome, but that is not the lifestyle I would be happy in,  I want so much more than that and I think that that is pretty awesome too.

I’ve come a long way in the last couple of months, I have a lot more self confidence and a lot more confidence in my business because it is honestly thriving so I know how to deal with the hate. I can laugh the comments off and I can laugh with people when I explain that I do a lot more than just sit on my laptop in my pyjamas all day. This is a crazy adventure and I would never have it any other way, I’ll take every critique that the world has to throw at me if it means I get to continue living out my dreamsand helping people in the process.

Your journey is just that – YOURS – do not let anyone’s judgement or lack of understanding cloud that for you. You have the right to whatever you want, we all do.

xo -LU

HOW TO STAY ORGANIZED AF

I don’t think that I have to explain again how stressful, scary and hectic (all of the above) being your own boss can be (and usually is) at first. Honestly at first it really is (for lack of a better term) quite literally a shit show.. As I’m sure you’ve all come to realize, I’m not one to sugar coat things and I’m definitely not going to pretend I have it all figured out… because I most definitely do not. BUT I am starting to learn a few things through trial and error and I wanted to share them with you fine peeps because thats what friends do. I know I’m too kind you guys can thank me later but for now lets get down to business.

#1 Write. Shit. Down. 

I’m talking anything and everything that is or could be important one day (I’m not kidding). When you’re building your own business (empire) things can get a little bit.. well to keep it PG let’s just say insane, especially if your business has some form of clientele to cater to. From scheduling meetings, client sessions and phone calls to coming up with new business ideas to remembering details about your clients you’re going to have a lot of stuff to remember and at the end of the day you’re only one human trying to keep track of what can feel like 10000 things. So write it all down – take notes on your life, on things that happen and on things that you want to make happen. You’ll thank me later! This brings me to my next tip..

#2 Get a Planner

I am not exaggerating when I say that my day planner saves my life at least once a week. I’m constantly running around – from a client session to a class then back to another client session and then home to follow up with clients or work on/send out plans to new clients or to god knows where for one of my 900 other errands I end up having to run on a daily basis. My planner keeps me in check, end of story. A few things you want to look for when you’re getting a planner are; big enough spaces for each day of the week so that you can write multiple things and times, small enough to fit in your purse but big enough so that you don’t loose it (may god help us all), something inspirational on the front never hurts either – mine says “Like a Boss” because duh.

Also PLEASE for the love of all that is holy – transfer your appointments into your phone or google calendar or something else to back it up because if you loose this bad boy we’re all screwed.

#3 Keep Your At Home Work Space CLEAN! 

Okay I’ll be honest with you I used to be one of those throw everything in a drawer and worry about when you need it in a month kind of people. BUT ever since starting my own business and taking control of my life I’ve realized that that is not even remotely a system it’s a shit show and your work life reflects your actual life and no one wants their life to be a shit show (at least I hope not).  A few things to keep in mind when organizing your work space are; a large surface desk so for the times when it gets a little crazy you can still see where everything is, some sort of filing cabinet or drawer will be your bff – I’m not kidding this will blow your organizational mind it makes everything so easy to find it’s crazy, also the obvious highlighters, pens, etc.

#4 Have Some Form of Release

I don’t care if it’s meditating, jogging, writing, baking, cooking, cleaning, juggling or salsa dancing – whatever it is that makes you completely calm down and able to shut out the stress for a while do that and do it daily. Working for yourself while balancing everything else life already throws at us is no joke, it’s going to get tough and when it does you’re going to want something that makes you a little less crazy even if it’s just for an hour and quite frankly if you don’t want to do it for yourself then do it for your friends and family because from experience you’ll feel like a pretty big asshole (sorry) if you take it out on them. For me it’s the gym, I know that if I’m working out that is a garaunteed 1.5 hours of pure escape. I purposely don’t check or answer any texts or messages and I just live in the moment and focus on my workout and it works every time.

#5 Give Yourself a Break Sometimes

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; we are only human and we can only do so much. I don’t mean a break as in time off (although that is important too) I mean try not to be too hard on yourself. It’s human nature to pick out our flaws and mistakes all day every day but what we don’t do often enough is actually commend ourselves for what we’re doing right instead of picking apart what we are doing  wrong. I can almost garauntee that if you’re reading this it means that you’re doing the best you can and you’re just trying to improve yourself which is more than enough!

#6 Have a Designated Time or Day Off

You thought I was just going to briefly mention this? No way. When you start to work for yourself and build your business you can get a little wrapped up in wanting to pour everything you have into it and sometimes we forget that we have other things in life that need our attention. I personally don’t schedule clients on weekends, I actually never really have requests for weekend sessions so this works out really well for me – my boyfriend has a Monday to Friday job and so do most of my friends so I just find that this works best for my lifestyle because I can actually make time for my people! I work extremely hard Monday-Friday, my clients are one of my biggest priority so I’m constantly making sure they have everything they need to succeed and I love what I do, but we all need a day off (or two) and this is what works for me and I suggest you find what works for you!

So make your lists, get organized, condense what you need to do and get to it and then take time for what is important in your life outside of working hard and kicking ass.

Girl bossin’ ain’t easy but it’s so damn worth it.

xo -LU

FINDING YOUR GROOVE

I know what you’re probably all thinking after last weeks post; what the heck is this girl going to do now? How is she going to make money? She did not think this through.

All are valid points, all are things that definitely crossed my mind multiple (try a thousand) times in the first few days but none of them have actually been an issue for me thus far. I’m sure you want to know how that could be possible when we live in such a money driven corporate dominant world right? Well then let me explain..

Okay at first yes I was terrified BUT once I just took a step back, looked at the bigger picture and realized that I have something to offer that could really change people lives for the better I realized exactly how to go about this new found business venture of mine. The trick to being a successful entrepreneur is not knowing exactly how to run a business or having it all figured out or being financially stable enough to launch said business or anything like that, it’s quite simple actually all you have to do is; find a common problem that people face everyday and then find a solution to it and market it.

The answer to my problem was right in front of me! With obesity rates at an all time high and the entire populations health diminishing as a whole more and more every single day due to unhealthy lifestyle habits – the demand and soon to be need for nutrition and fitness coaching is rapidly growing. People are developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes as early as 10 years old, the obesity rate now exceeds 35% in all American’s and for some reason none of this evidence is enough to actually make people change their ways. The only thing that really motivates people to start a lifestyle change is seeing other peoples real life changes and results from doing so, we are an image driven society there are no if’s and’s or but’s about it.

So my next questions was how do I make this image driven population see that I have an actual solution to their largely increasing problem? I have to show them what I can do duh. I know that when people physically see a person’s results (i.e. progress pics, etc) they are almost 10x more likely to try and find out exactly how the person did it so that they can get the same results. I know that people want to be told exactly what they have to do (and can’t do) to get to a certain goal. I know that reaching out (with no intention of selling) to likeminded people who are already interested in whatever your business caters to is key – the more connections the better. AND I know that changing even one persons life through my business is the ultimate marketing tool because once they have seen results they will tell everyone who asks them how they did it and my name will be at the top of their how-to list. My ultimate goal is to help as many people as possible turn their lives around and become healthy and in turn I know that eventually the success will follow..

Aside from marketing yourself correctly and knowing how to change people lives with whatever it is you cater to, to be successful at anything you also have to have a strong why. What I mean by that is you have to know exactly why you started doing this and exactly why you want to continue to do it every day! If you don’t have a strong why then you will have nothing to come back to when things get hard and you feel like giving up, your why is your safety net in a way so before anything else you need to decide what that is, write it down and revisit it often.

My why; I became a trainer and am now in school to become a nutritionist because as most young girls do I struggled with finding my way when it came to self love and I turned to health and fitness as a way to find the balance between how I looked and how I felt about myself and ultimately found that when I am exercising, eating clean and treating my body properly I feel the most empowered and I want to share this feeling with as many people as possible. I want to take the negative image that often surrounds fitness and turn it into a positive one, far too often I hear that my clients reasoning for exercising is because they hate their bodies or someone else told them that they should make a change because of how they look. I want people to come to me because they want to feel good, eat good and live good, for the rest of their lives. Plain and simple..

The key to success is honestly just believing that you will be successful, if you question whether or not you have what it takes then those thoughts will consume you. You have to want it, you have to know that you can do it and you have to tell yourself everyday that it is okay to fail because one day you will be thriving because of the risks you take NOW.

If you want something more than a 9-5 “job” in this lifetime then stop putting it off and start working towards it every damn day, your future self will thank you. I promise.

xo -LU

WHY QUITTING MY CORPORATE JOB WAS THE BEST DECISION EVER

Exactly two weeks ago on May 2, 2017 I resigned from my job at one of the biggest corporate gyms in Canada. I had every intention of formally giving my two weeks notice which would allow me to set myself up financially, make the transition for my clients to their new trainers smooth and comfortable and ultimately allow me to make sure I finish those two weeks with integrity and do not leave on negative terms – but things don’t always go according to plan.

To keep it short and sweet (and not throw anyone under the bus) let’s just say that my two week notice turned into a forced immediate resignation and I was escorted out of the building.. I know right..

As I walked out of the building I was in complete and utter shock, I mean who wouldn’t be? When they closed the back door behind me I just kind of stood there in disbelief for a solid minute or two and all I could think was “oh shit”. I started to get that feeling in the pit of my stomach – you know the one like you might lose it and start crying at any second? I quickly came to the conclusion that I wasn’t sad but more offended than anything, I walked to my car and immediately called my mom to tell her what had happened and we laughed.. I just lost my job and we laughed about it.. We couldn’t stop laughing actually, it got to a point where I didn’t know if I was laughing because I found it funny or because I was terrified to actually be fully on my own and independent in my career for once.

I decided that it was 100% a blessing in disguise, I didn’t have to deal with any of the awkwardness of passing my clients along to other trainers, I didn’t have to act like all was well for two more weeks or have to pretend my heart was in something that it just simply wasn’t. I avoided everything that everyone dreads when they quit a job (woohoo) and I was free to do whatever I wanted. So I did.

I immediately went to work, I got my shop up on my website, designed personalized training and meal plan templates, started to put finishing touches on my e-book, contacted people who have wanted to train with me for months but didn’t want to pay the extremely high gym membership fee’s and found the perfect location to rent space from by the hour to train all of these new found clients. I was actually making shit happen for myself.

It’s only been 2 weeks but I am not planning on looking back, ever. I get to wake up every day and do what I actually love doing not what I am supposed to love because someone told me to. I’ve never been this happy or felt this fulfilled before and I am going to keep grinding until I am exactly where I know that I can be.

I honestly am very thankful to the company that I left because it showed me exactly where I do not want to be in life. It gave me experience in dealing with clients and I built a few lasting friendships with likeminded people who I respect, but above all else it made me realize that I can’t and won’t be stopped in this life, by anyone.

I believe that we are all deserving of success and that anyone can be successful if they want it bad enough. If you want to change your life then do it, take that leap of faith and just go for it. You might fail miserably – we all do at least once (try a hundred times) – but you might not fail, you might actually succeed and just think of how silly you’ll feel for having not wanted to try.

I believe that nothing in life that is worth having comes easy. I truly do. If someone handed you everything that you’ve ever wanted wouldn’t you be bored? You would have nothing to work towards, no passion, no drive. What kind of a life would that be?

If you want something then go and get it, no one should ever be denied of pursuing their passions.

I have no boss to answer to, I have nowhere that I have to be from 9-5 every day, I don’t have to shy away from posting things that I want to and representing brands that I love because I’m no longer stuck in a contract with a company who’s values I can’t get behind, I don’t have to cold call anyone to try to get them to train with me, people come to me because they see how I can help them, they see my worth and I see theirs. I can finally change peoples lives MY WAY.

This is the start of a new chapter in my life and a new weekly series on the blog where I fill you in on the ups and downs of being your own boss – maybe I’ll call it The Diary of A Girl Boss. Yup it’s settled that’s what I’m calling it.. See you next week loves.

If you want to work with me or you’re ready get started on your goals then click the “shop” page at the top or feel free to contact me just to chat and we can see if this would be a good fit for you.

xo -LU