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Barefoot Parenting

FAQ’s: How my Naturally Healthy Programs can Empower You

My Naturally Healthy programs are customizable, one-of-a-kind, life-changing, innovative and fun. I’ve shared the top questions I receive regarding my programs. To read all FAQ’s, visit my program page.

Be Empowered.

Lead by Example.

Live Authentic.

 

This is my promise to you and myself. Be empowered with your health. Lead by example and be a positive role model for others. Honor yourself by being true to your values and purpose. We’re going beyond talking the talk. We’re going to walk the walk together!

Get ready to see BIG changes in how you feel simply by making small changes in your lifestyle. As your guide along the way, my lifestyle “hacks” will help you make the shift you want to a more natural, simple, stress-away and empowering lifestyle.

I offer 3 programs to choose depending on your goals and needs, with additional customization options available.

These programs are near and dear to my heart. As you might guess, I do what I do because of the powerful and positive impact these changes have had on my own life!

A Naturally Healthy Program is like a RIPPLE EFFECT. Your new lifestyle choices will positively impact your family, community and environment.

What is my METHOD?

No matter the topic, I teach Foundational & Empowering Practices. In other words, I don’t just tell you what to do. There’s no longevity or sustainability in this approach. You can read something on the internet, but information is not enough to make and maintain a habit change.

Instead, I show you how (and why) to bring a new practice into your life, switch something up or swap something out. Then you give it a go on your own, and I help you through any roadblocks you may run into. Roadblocks happen, by the way. And that’s okay! There is no golden formula for healthy living. And it’s constantly changing depending on your environment and YOU. It’s important to honor where you are at in this moment and respect that what works best for you may not work for another. This is why I personalize your program (including programs specialized for expecting & new mama) and offer 3 options to choose from.

My approach creates sustainable and empowering lifestyle change. I like to think of myself as a friend who opens the door for you, yet it’s YOU who has to choose to walk through and act on it.

Remember, even the smallest of changes can make an enormous impact on your lifestyle. It’s like ripple effect – throw a small stone into a lake and you’ll see the ripples expand far beyond.

What TOPICS can we cover?

My extensive background in health and wellness offers a wealth of inspiring lifestyle solutions.

During your consultation call, we will discuss your goals so I can best support you with my guidance and handy resources. Depending on your goals and the amount of time we have together, we might focus on one area or “sample” several topics.

Here is a detailed list:

EATING CLEAN

  • Shopping & sourcing the best quality foods.
  • Making your own quick and healthy meals.
  • Eating well while on-the-go.
  • Easy (and healthy) snack prepping.
  • Growing your own fruits, herbs and veggies.
  • Healthy solutions for athletes and weekend warriors.

SELF CARE

PERSONAL WELLBEING

  • Find personal direction and purpose.
  • Goal setting and visualization.
  • Boost energy and focus.
  • Shifting to a more holistic lifestyle.
  • Decrease stress and create life balance.

LIVING TOXIN FREE

  • Introducing essential oils into your life.
  • Swapping out household cleaning or personal care products for more natural, toxin free alternatives.
  • Composting.

FEEL AWESOME (PAIN FREE)

  • Office wellbeing: Swapping out your conventional office set up for a healthier alternative.

  • Rebalance with restorative yoga therapy and active stretching.

  • Improve your posture with lifestyle solutions & corrective exercises.

  • Injury prevention and recovery for athletes and weekend warriors.

Who are my programs best designed for?

With my Olympic background, being a new mom and entrepreneur, I specialize in working with:

  • Youth athletes

  • Professional athletes

  • Expecting & New Moms

  • Those going through transition / change

  • Business Professionals

  • Young & Adult Women

While I have worked with such a broad spectrum of clients, I do feel my programs are best suited for the individual who is ready to explore or dive deeper into whole body wellness. You are curious about natural and holistic health, yet not exactly sure where to start. Now you do!


How is a Naturally Healthy program different health, life or nutrition coaching?

I have to be completely honest with you. I haven’t seen anything out there in the universe like what I do. My program is unique because of my all-encompassing approach while taking into account the impact our modern lifestyle has on our whole body health. My expertise is so broad, I am able to assess your lifestyle in a way that goes beyond just your health or nutrition. Addressing your entire lifestyle, I see where there are opportunities to make small changes that lead to big (and positive results). I find the “gaps” and guide you in bridging them. We focus on areas like daily habits, posture (in a variety of settings), self care, daily mindset or transitioning to cleaner products for your body, home and family.

Are you ready? Pick your program here!

Do you have a question of your own? Ask away in the comment section below.

DIY Creation Station: Espresso Body Scrub + Replenishing Face Serum + Balancing Spray

What you put on your body goes inside of your body. And what you put inside of your body becomes your body. So I figure one of the best gifts I can give those I love, are things that help them become a body of wonder. Yes, you deserve to be a Natural Wonder. Mom’s are definitely Natural Wonders. They’re like their own category of Super Hero. We shall call them Wonder Mama’s. Now let us flourish our Wonder Mama’s with natural gifts from the earth so they can be Natural Wonder Mama’s. All while cultivating your own creativity!

While I’m totally not a fan of holidays that appear to be popularized by Hallmark and candy companies (ahem, Valentine’s Day. Do I really need a holiday to tell my husband I love him? I love you, Matt. See? It’s May 12th, and I did just fine without the flowers and candy. Okay, I’ll get off my soap box now.), I’m all for celebrating amazing people in your life. So I’d like to proclaim everyday Mother’s Day and Father’s Day (can’t leave the gents out!). And while we’re at it, let’s make everyday Valentine’s Day! So even if you don’t make these goodies for your Wonder Mama, just know that you can make this for any Natural Wonder in your life. Including yourself! 

Click here to go to my live class on Facebook, “DIY Creation Station”.

Do you want to take more online classes with me? Let’s do it! I will be posting my classes publicly on Facebook and we will also be sharing them via AYT lifestyle’s page.

Below is the ingredient list for each item we created. I share the recipe, how-to’s and essential oil tidbits in the class. Remember, the quality of your essential oil matters. I’m using Young Living and really appreciate their quality (you know I love researching and getting down to the nitty gritty on how products are made and sourced!). I liked them so much I became a distributer for them! So if you want to learn the 101 on essential oils and get your party started, reach out, I can help guide you. Email me at aytlifestyle@gmail.com.


Invigorating Espresso Body Scrub
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup organic ground coffee
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp organic cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • Container: 2 x 4 oz glass jars*
Balancing Essential Oil Spray
  • 3-6 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 3-6 drops Tangerine essential oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • filtered water
  • Container: 2oz spray bottle (dark glass)*
Replenishing Face Serum Roller
  • 3 drops Purification essential oil
  • 3 drops Frankincense essential oil
  • 3 drops Lavender essential oil
  • Organic Hemp oil
  • Container: 10ml roller (dark glass)*

* We purchased these spray bottles and rollers on Amazon. The 4oz glass jars are often available at your local Target, Ace Hardware, Walmart, etc.

mark your calendar…

Next online class:

Creating a Peppy Protein Plant-based Bowl

 

Self Care & Motherhood: My practices for finding balance as a new mom

Self care and motherhood. Is this an oxymoron or do they go together like two peas in a pod? I’m 3+ months into motherhood and I’m voting the latter. But how and why should I take care of myself when I have a newborn? Isn’t Kovy the priority? Well, yes. But this is where it gets tricky. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Either way, you need them both.

The HOW: To me, I’ve learned to be multi-functional with my time. That doesn’t mean multi-tasking. That wears the poop out of me (even though there never seems to be a shortage of poop with a baby). I can actually feel my head getting fuzzy when I try to do too many things at once. By multi-functional, I mean creating an opportunity that can serve many purposes. An easy example might be our changing station. Matt and I change Kovy on the floor, which means we have to get up and down from the floor. Watch this video to see how we set it up. While he’s laying on his back or tummy, I have the opportunity to lay down too. Do I need a restorative pose as I lay next to Kovy? Or should I wake up my body by rolling around like him? What do I feel like stretching or moving?

The WHY: If I’m not taking care of myself, what is that teaching Kovy? How does that influence him? If my hormones and stress levels are totally out of whack, how does that affect my breastmilk quality and production? And if I’m not taking care of my physical health, I can more easily injure myself when carrying him or picking him up.

I think this goes for any human being of any age. If you proactively invest in your holistic health, you’ll reap the benefits down the line. You’ll pay much less in the future in money, energy and time.

Here are just a few of the ways I like to practice self care while balancing motherhood and my work with AYT lifestyle. You might notice a theme throughout, much of my self care is blended with my AYT lifestyle work. That’s not a coincidence folks…

  • I ALWAYS eat breakfast. Whether Kovy is in my arms, still upstairs with Matt or laying on a yoga mat nearby, I prep our morning smoothie or other invigorating concoction. If you need some inspiration, download our Wee and Free Recipe eGuide or search my blog for smoothie recipes.
  • I practice SELF-COMPASSION. And I say practice, as it’s sometimes a challenge for me. But boy, I enjoy my day so much more when I’m kind to myself. I’ve accepted that even though I might be a perfectionist, that doesn’t mean I have to be perfect.
  • CREATIVE EXPRESSION. This is why I’m writing this blog while Kovy spits up on my shoulder. Man, I’m always misplacing those burping cloths. Writing fuels my soul, whether it be journaling, blogging or doodling in my notebook.

  • While Kovy chills on his play area with homemade hanging doodads, I sit next to him at the tatami table (a low rise Japanese table) MAKING JEWELRY. What started as a fun hobby in 7th grade with my best friend Rachel Roellke, hand making gemstone jewelry has grown into a passion and business for me. Putting happy energy into natural gemstones that already resonate with their own energy properties is such a balancing experience for me. How balancing? It satiated my creative spirit and balance me during my strict and structured time training for the Olympics. And those were some tough days where I was in need of a LOT of balance. Have you seen my most recent handmade pieces on this website? These blend my love for natural gemstones and healthy living.  
  • I find NATURE. I keep getting this quote on the tag of my Yogi Tea (what a clever idea, by the way) that says something along the lines of if you truly love nature, you will find it everywhere. And it’s true. I may be in a suburban neighborhood, but we go on daily walks and search out the hummingbirds, plants, shading trees, blooming flowers and rocks to step on. Here’s how I go off roading in our suburban neighborhood. There’s something about being outside that soothes both me and Kovy. We chill out. I guess you could say we find our zen. I definitely think we’re meant to be outdoors more, surrounded by earthy things. Not just Kovy and I, but all of us.
  • I KEEP EATING food throughout the day. Yes, it takes preparation when going out and about. Yet it’s totally worth it to me. And for Kovy, since what I’m putting in my body is going into his body. By prepping and making my own food for the day, I know what I’m putting in my body and don’t get stuck either with nothing to eat (eek!) or having to get something that’s super expensive or totally lame (aka not good for my body). I post many of my recipes on this blog (ahh, serving my creative expression while eating good food. 2 in 1 fun!)

Well, I’m going to practice self care and finish my blog so I have time to prep my food before we all head out for the day. I have to stop myself when writing, as I’ve been known to go on a tangent or two (say, what?). Let’s be honest, there’s countless ways to practice self care as a mother or any human being. How do YOU like to practice self care?

Okay, I’ll add one more. I MOVE MY BODY. Instead of doing a full 30-60 minute yoga or other fitness session, I break up my movement throughout the day. Did I say this is actually BETTER for your heath and body? Yep, it’s true friends. Anyhoo, one of the ways I get my moving in (and practice self care) is while changing his diaper or during his floor time. I move with him! I try not to poop with him though. Ha. This is why I started filming Diaper Sessions, mini workshop-like sessions for me, you and anyone who’d like to move well and mindfully! I’ll leave you here with Diaper Sessions #3: “Tummy Time” to awaken your core and back extensors:

Hey, these images look pretty gosh darned similar! What do ya know, Joe!

 

 

Don’t start your day on the right foot. Start it on two Balanced Feet.

What do your feet have to do with your whole body health? Are they that important? Can’t I just wear orthotics or cushy shoes and call it a day? Aren’t my toes supposed to be smushed together in the shape of my favorite shoe?

Why am I so enamored with feet these days? Uhh, why wouldn’t I be!

(Body nerd alert! Body nerd alert! Come on, you know you’re one too, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this!)

Let’s start with baby feet. We all started with baby feet, after all.

I am in the middle of my 2 year biomechanics-based certification as a Restorative Exercise Specialist with Nutritious Movement. What is Nutritious Movement? It’s a “whole-body movement program that utilizes exercises, alignment adjustments, and habitat (lifestyle) changes to better move all trillion of your body’s parts.” Or as I like to phrase it, (re)discover how to use and move your body while adjusting the lifestyle habits that got you in this pickle. Or something along those lines. I began nerding out on feet several years ago when I was introduced to the Nutritious Movement blog of Biomechanist, Katy Bowman. She’s the creator of this program and best-seller author of many o’ books, including Whole Body Barefoot and Simple Steps to Foot Pain Relief. As you read through her blog posts, listen to her podcasts, take an online movement class or read one of her many books, you’ll begin to notice a trend. If the focus is on one area, say “foot pain relief”, she’ll spend much of the time on other areas of the body. Say, the calves, hamstrings, standing alignment and posture. Say what? Why?

Let’s compare your body to a ball of yarn. If you pull on a string, it will tug down the line and you’ll notice the ball changing shape somewhere else. You tug on another string and the ball changes shape in another unforeseen spot. You can’t really see where it’s connected, but you know it is. This reminds me of how your body works because you’re made up of trillions of cells. And all the cells touch other cells. Together, these cells create tissues, which form into things like organs, muscles and all the stuff in between (including fascia). It’s all connected.

With that said, let’s give your hamstrings some love…

So how you treat your feet will influence the happiness of your knees, pelvic floor, back and so on. So cool!

I do not know how everything is connected (where do all those strings in that ball of yarn attach?), but I do know that everything is connected. I think this “everything is connected” approach gives you a sense of empowerment over your health. It certainly does for me. It creates a broader perspective for you to apply when dealing with any health issues.

When I had plantar fasciitis, I learned that this was the symptom (where I was experiencing pain) caused by a bigger issue. My right gluteus muscle was no longer firing properly. Meaning, it wasn’t doing what it was supposed to be doing. So every time I walked, stood, sat, squatted, sat on the toilet, ran or anything else where my gluteus muscle should be playing a role, it wasn’t. And the rest of my body had to take the slack for that. Important to note: I went to  professionals who also approach health from a whole body perspective. Always do your vetting. Don’t know anyone? Ask around. I saw Dr. MaryAnne Harrington and Dr. Stephanie Tyson. Two very different styles yet both approach an issue with your whole body health in mind (they focus on the cause of the issue, not just the symptom, yay!).

Even though you need to address how you use your entire body when it comes to your foot health, you still need to address your feet! Try this one on for size…

Are you ready for more whole body awesomeness?

 

Get on the waitlist for my upcoming eCourse,

Center your SELF.

You’ll be the first to know when more details unfold. 

The Diaper Sessions: free yoga-ish movement classes

Welcome to Diaper Sessions!  These short movement classes infuse yoga therapy, body alignment, restorative annnnnd dynamic movements, all aimed to help you find balance in your body (and hopefully lifestyle). I find these help me, so I hope they can do the same for you, my friend.

I recently spoke with a lovely gal who has 4 month old twins, along with 3 other kids (she was with her husband and their new twins on a date night at the Ecology Center’s Lay of the Land event. Clearly, they’re rockstars). We got to talking about fitness classes, recovering postpartum, and that feeling of finally wanting to move more (and knowing that your body is ready for it). She said her body was finally able to unravel itself, so she could focus on releasing the physical tension and tightness that comes with holding babies, breastfeeding, repetitive movement, childbirth, etc. I think that’s a great way to describe what your body goes through postpartum. An unraveling period that takes place after you’ve gotten in the swing of things and ready to move more. Or as I like to call it, desticking the sticky spots or defunking the gunk.

So here we go…Diaper Sessions!

These sessions are called Diaper Sessions because, go figure, I film them during Kovy’s diaper change. We made our changing station on the floor, which makes it super easy for us to move around while changing him. There’s other benefits too, including these (plus why we’re transitioning our lifestyle to moving more throughout the day – creating big change!). If you feel like a diaper changing station on the floor is too much on your body, try out this savvy (and vital) way of moving to help prep your body for more floor time and help strengthen your back, core, glutes, eyeballs, eyebrows. Ha! But seriously. Your body is all connected. So in some capacity, your eyeballs and eyebrows are influenced by how you move.

You don’t need a floor changing station to do these classes, let alone a baby. All you need is some floor space and an eagerness to move your body and stimulate your awareness!

If you want to stay up to date with Diaper Sessions, subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can get notifications of new videos. Have you looked at our channel? We’ve got all sorts of shenanigans on there, from nutrition to travel to eco-ideas to lifestyle tips. Yay!

#1: You want to stretch out your body. It feels tight. Your baby is sleeping (who knows for how long). You know you feel better after you move around a bit. Your mid back is especially achy from how you’ve been standing, walking, carrying things (read: baby), looking at your phone and sitting in bucket seats. What can you do? Well, this is what I do when My body needs some love…a short therapeutic yoga session focusing on releasing mid-back tension…

#2: In this session I share 3 mindfully magnificent movements, focusing on unsticking your sticky spots, particularly in your mid back and shoulders. Yum!

Are you ready to be your own Guide in navigating a healthy lifestyle?

 

Then I made this for you…

 

 

 

 

Why & How to Make a Diaper Changing Station on the Floor

I’ve been transitioning my lifestyle into one where I’m moving more often throughout the day. Why? In a nutshell, it improves my health right down to the cellular level. And believe it or not, moving throughout the day is more beneficial than compressing my workout into selective sessions (as I used to). Why? Because you adapt to the position you’re most often in. And when I was teaching / taking my varied fitness classes, I hadn’t brought this other varied movement into the rest of my day. Because I was tired. And I thought these workouts were enough. In other words, fitness classes aren’t bad at all. I find them quite fun. It’s just that it’s not enough if you really want happy cells (which equals a happy body) (which correlates with a happy head).

With all this mumbo jumbo said, the type of movement you’re doing is super important, as well. Doing the same activity or workout everyday plateaus your metabolism. You adapt. And on top of that, we get so much less movement in our life with our modern conveniences (read: any person, place or thing that makes your day easier. e.g. driving instead of walking, smooth sidewalks instead of rough terrain, grocery stores instead of growing your own food, etc.). Personally, I’m crazy grateful for our fantabulous conveniences. I’ve been able to visit countries on the other side of the world thanks to technology and airplanes. I have time to write this blog because I can walk up to the grocery store instead of tending to crops for all my food. You get the picture. We’re all very lucky to have the time and conveniences that we have! I sure hope people don’t take them for granted. That wouldn’t be cool.

Here’s a few of the transitions we’ve made in the Komer Posse: We’re not using a stroller so we’re carrying Kovy either in our arms or in a baby wrap. I often opt to walk to the grocery store instead of driving, even if it means it takes longer. This also gives me the opportunity to work my upper arms as I carry the groceries home. In our previous home, we got rid of our couch entirely and used pillows to pop a squat on the floor. It’s amazing how much of a change this brings to your body in how you feel and even, yes, how you look and carry yourself. As we currently live at Matt’s parents’ home, we don’t think they’d appreciate us chucking their couches to the curb (ya think!?). So we do our best to:

1) Minimize chair / couch sitting.

2) Create alternative spaces to hang out and play on the floor.

3) If we do sit on the couch, we change our position often. And get up often to do things (or let’s be honest…to get more food.)


This brings us to a new way we’ve been moving throughout the day…Diaper changing! Say what? How does diaper changing get you to move more? Ahh, well, this is where you can get super clever pants McGee, whip out your minimalist skills and nourish your trillions of cells! Changing Kovy on the floor has been so much fun. I can’t believe I just said that. Changing diapers are fun? Well, in this case, they are. Not when you’re cramped in the back of a Prius trying to balance a ginormous baby on your lap as he releases a wrath of fresh poop. Thank goodness for water (and poop) proof material. I know it’s not organic, but I’m still grateful for it.

Enough poop talk. It’s naked time. That’s right. Naked time. Here’s why & how we chose to create a diaper changing station on the floor…

Are you ready to be your own Guide in navigating a healthy lifestyle?

 

Then I made this for you…

 

 

Say Adios to Routine & Repetition: Sneaky ways to stimulate your life, brain & body

“If you think Adventure is dangerous. Try Routine. It’s lethal.” 

I may not have written this quote, but I sure feel like it was written for me, a gal who comes alive with new experiences, traveling, creating and exploring. So what happens when your daily “adventure” is now packed full of repetitive, or somewhat routine, experiences? Read: changing diapers, breastfeeding, doing laundry, changing diapers, breastfeeding, doing laundry, making meals, shopping for food, doing the dishes, feeding the dog. Eeeeeeeek! Sound the alarm! Call out the guards! Run for the hills! I’m yawning and freaking out at the same time. I’m a learner, a curious kid, an explorer, and adventurer. How am I supposed to awaken my senses and embrace my zest for life during these non-stimulating tasks? 

IS YOUR ROUTINE FOR A GOOD CAUSE? Hold up. Rewind. Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. When I’m speaking about routine, I am solely addressing the tasks, chores and repetitive duties we take on. I am not addressing the purpose of the duty or whether they’re worth doing in the first place. You and I wouldn’t be doing these repetitive duties if we didn’t deem them worth our time. Of course they are! (I like saying duties, can you tell? But you have to say it like, doooodies. Ya know, like poop.) Please don’t mistake this blog as a means to complain about doing duties. That would be silly. And energy sucking. You know, like energy vampires. Those people who are always complaining and sucking the energy out of you. I say no thank you to their drama-rama.

THINK LIKE AN INVENTOR + PROBLEM SOLVER + CURIOUS KID. Being and inventor, problem solver and curious kid, you should probably have a cool detective-like name. I’ll be Himay Ponderosa. Got yours? Good. Now let’s get out a pen and paper. Write down any repetitive duty you do throughout the day in which you’d like to add a little zest, pizazz, stimulation or learning experience. You get the picture. Here’s my list:

  • breastfeeding
  • Preparing our meals (we spend a lot of time in the kitchen!)
  • changing diapers

Now being Himay Ponderosa, I’ve come up with opportunities to liven up these duties. Using these videos as a take off point, write out ways you can liven up your own daily tasks. If your hands are busy during a task, watch the first two videos. During your daily duty, if you’re looking at something and have to actually focus on thinking about it (like writing this blog), check out the third and final video.

Housebound? That’s exactly what these videos are geared towards. In-house time. There’s heaps of great ways we can stimulate our life, brain & body outside of the house. And often times we can take our daily tasks outside, which provides a refreshing change in itself.

And if all this talk of inspiring yourself, livening up your day, and adding good quality zest to your life, gets you all, well, inspired, awakened and zesty, then sign up on the waitlist for my upcoming eCourse, Center Your SELF. It’s right up your alley.

Stimulation Station

BREASTFEEDING & PREPARING MEALS…Is this a hidden opportunity to inspire yourself, learn more about the things you love and continue exploring your passion? Heck-eee-doodle-eee-doo-doo! (That means Yes) It takes initiative on your part and it’s totally worth it. Here’s how I stimulate my brain, even during things like breastfeeding or preparing meals…

CHANGING DIAPERSCan you make changing diapers fun? Can you do it in a way to benefit your own body? How about your brain? Is it actually possible to make it stimulating for both you and your wee bebe? We think so! This is how we roll…literally.

BONUS DUTY. SINCE WE ALL STAND SOMEWHEREDo any of your duties allow you to be standing? Say, working at a standing desk, writing emails at the kitchen counter, preparing dinner. Here’s a little something you can do to stimulate & awaken your body (from the feet up)…

“Don’t do chemicals, kids” • Our minimalist, natural and DIY approach to a baby’s room and household cleaners

This is what happens when you inhale chemicals, kids. Ha, just kidding. But seriously. Maybe this picture expresses how we feel on the inside when we ingest or inhale toxic substances. Hmm…

How much money do you think goes into the anti-drug campaigns? I’m guessing millions. Will there ever be an anti-chemical and anti-sugar campaign? Regarding chemicals, it’s possible we come into contact with products each day that contain carcinogens (a substance capable of causing cancer). Think: cleaners, paints, beauty products, even foods. As for sugar, it’s said to be more addicting than cocaine and is linked with a multitude of diseases and illnesses. Sadly, I doubt the big companies that make and sell said products and also happen to sway much of U.S. policy would approve of such a campaign (or the politicians who are backed by them). But there’s no need to fret, change starts with the individual. You and me.

Besides…Despite the serious impact of chemicals found in our household products and the refined sugars in our foods, I’d prefer we all opt for a proactive approach to making positive changes in our lifestyle as opposed to me just telling you “don’t do chemicals, kids”. Doesn’t that ever even work? If you tell me not to do something…I might consider that a challenge and go do it! (my mom and dad will attest to that) Let’s focus on adding positive, clean products and practices into our day. Ahhh, so where do we start? Well, this is where we started…

I hope these videos help conjure up creative ways for you to organically infuse natural products and practices into your life! Below you’ll find “A minimalist and natural approach to a baby’s room” and “Skip the chemicals: Natural household cleaning products, DIY options and resources.” You can find more eco-happy videos on our YouTube channel, including “Don’t Stink: Products we use to be fragrant-free and chemical-free (save the baby’s skin!)” and “Eco-Happy Tips & Ideas when Painting“.

 

 

Hungry for more healthy and au natural lifestyle practices? 
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, AYT lifestyle.

A Life Lesson on Compassion: When to clean up your sh** (and the sh** of others)

Do you ever feel like your life is a ridiculous comedy? You know, those too-funny-to-be-a-coincidence moments, where all you can think is Seriously? I can’t help but laugh at this experience otherwise I’d totally break down. This is exactly what happened when I had a life lesson on cleaning up my own sh**. Literally. Wait, why would I do that? And yes, I am using this as a metaphor…but also literally. Ew.

SHOW COMPASSION. CLEAN UP AFTER OTHERS’ POOP.

Kovy is 4 weeks old and his digestive system is at its optimum. Translation: we are changing a lot of diapers. There is a lot of poo.

It takes a lot of energy to deal with your shiznit.

We also have an elderly doggy (Sir Maximus!) in the house who is having issues with his bowel control. Translation: There is a lot of poo.

Hi, I’m Sir Maximus.

Thankfully for our wee little man and this gentle giant of a dog, we’re here to pick up after them.

To me, these situations reminds me of showing compassion to others who are in need. Think about it, sometimes we’re not able to pick up after ourselves. We need help. We need support. We need a loving hand. And I’m talking beyond babies and old doggies. I mean when we’re going through a tough time and we need a shoulder to lean on.

Has there been a time when you needed a shoulder to lean on? Why? Who gave you a shoulder? What did you learn from it?

I admit, it’s not always easy for me to show compassion. I have this sense of independence ingrained in me with an unpractical dogma that we each can and should take care of ourselves. If you look at this on the lighter side, I feel we should and can be accountable for our actions. But sometimes this view takes a more dominating approach when I think someone is only willing to blame the world for their problems (and never look inward), which leaves little room for compassion. As Tom Hanks’ character so aptly states in A League of their Own, “there’s no crying in baseball!”. I agree. Well, I did…

“Are you crying?”

With the entire experience of bringing Kovy into the world (pregnancy, the birthing process, being a new mom), this has released a nurturing, sensitive and compassionate side I had been holding back (totally like Tom Hanks…remember how by the end he’s a total softy and connects so well with everyone because he finally opens up? And stops binge drinking, of course).

I think if you don’t live with compassion in your life, you shut yourself out from experiencing connection and community with others. And that sounds pretty lonely. I have felt that before and it’s no fun. It was my own doing. I isolated myself and didn’t put myself out there to connect with others. I didn’t want to be feel vulnerable. And I felt like I was so different from others, I didn’t understand how I could connect on the same wavelength. But it’s only when we’re vulnerable, that we can create connections and community with others. Plus, I finally realized it’s possible to be different from others yet still connect in other ways (we’re all different, duh! That’s what makes each of us unique!). Hmm, I think if every person in our country (and planet) showed a little more compassion, everyone would be a wee bit happier (and cooler).

You may be a lobster and I may be a pirate ship, but we can still show each other compassion.

SHOW COMPASSION FOR YOURSELF: CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR OWN POOP.

Ya…so back to I can’t help but laugh at this experience otherwise I’d totally break down…

THE NIGHT IT ALL CAME OUT.

After a full day of diaper patrol and doggy-duty (more like doody)…I took advantage of a free and peaceful toilet moment (aka: I had to poop. hey, we all do it. hopefully). I did my business. All was well. And then it happened. The toilet was clogged. The plunger didn’t work…it overflowed. And I mean it ALL overflowed. The last thing I expected after a long day was to be staring at this horrific chaos overflowing. Matt’s in the bedroom holding Kovy. Can I ask him to help? No. This isn’t his battle. This one’s mine. I got myself in this mess. I gotta get myself out.

Hmm, suddenly little baby poops don’t seem so bad.

IN JUST A MATTER OF UNFORTUNATE MOMENTS, I LEARNED SOME OVER FLOWINGLY SIGNIFICANT LIFE LESSONS:

  1. Sometimes shit in your life has to get worse before it gets better.

  2. You have to deal with you own shit. The drama, the issues, the source of it all. Other people can try, but when it comes down to it, you have to figure yourself out first.

  3. Show yourself compassion. You deserve it. 

  4. Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and a hilarious moment to blog about.

And there you have it folks. A real life lesson from poop. I kid you not, I was thinking – in the moment, while cleaning everything up – how this would make for a comical blog. Funny enough, Matt was in the other room thinking the same thing.

I am grateful that I am learning to show myself more compassion (I’m pretty tough on myself – could you guess?), as well as others. I think this is all we can ask of ourselves – to love ourselves as (truly) we are, and do the same for others.

Awww, such a sweet moral of the story from such a stinky experience. Now THAT’S the difference between an ordeal and a hilarious moment to blog about!


 

Where in your life can you show yourself more compassion?

Welcome to Lifestyle Exploring (with our new addition: Kovy Zealand Komer!)

New blog focus. New videos. New eCourse coming your way. Oh ya, and a brand new baby! Geez, we’ve been busy.

I’m really excited to be writing this blog to you. Why? Because it’s my first since Kovy Zealand Komer was born on 1.6.17. We have so much to talk about! While I’ve been journaling before and after Kovy was born, there’s something about writing to you (whoever you may be) that’s uniquely fun and therapeutic for me. So thanks for being here, it honestly means a lot to me! I hope I’ve returned the favor in some capacity with my quirky humor, random knowledge, curious perspective and lifestyle adventures. In fact, that’s what I’m writing about…lifestyle adventures. More specifically, lifestyle exploring! What is lifestyle exploring? Well, I made a video to answer this and introduce you to our lifestyle approach and why we do what we do (what do we do, anyhoo?).

If you subscribe to our YouTube channel, you’ve noticed I’ve been on a video kick. Well go figure, it’s easier (read: more efficient) for me to post videos than write blogs. Why? Because I can hold Kovy while doing a video and I can’t hold him while writing a blog. Don’t worry, this blog won’t disappear. It will, however, begin to include more of my personal experiences to navigating a healthy lifestyle. Consider this more of a “this is what I do and why I do it” space instead of a “this is what you should do and why”. Besides, you don’t want to be told what to do. You’re a clever and accountable kid. I do hope that by sharing my experiences, I can inspire you to take charge of your own health and wellbeing (remember, health to me means: balance, awareness and connection within your entire lifestyle, or something along those lines). This is definitely my goal. My other goals for you include: Get to know the whole-istic connection with the health of your body, mind, community and planet • cultivate the gumption to create your own path • ask why • find balance in your life • build a positive legacy. Those are big goals! Well, what can I say, I’m ambitious. I’ve also been rambling on a bit. So let’s watch this video and see what Lifestyle Exploring is all about!

You can also be sure I’ll be sharing bits of my pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience here. I hope to be a handy resource for women interested in a non-invasive, natural and peaceful birthing experience (seriously, I do mean peaceful. It’s all about perspective, friends), as well as the lead up and post-birth experiences. I’ll just say this for now: your approach to a situation is everything.

Oh wait, you were looking for baby pics? Well in that case, here’s an official welcome to Kovy Zealand Komer…


And a ridiculously special thank you to Beach Cities Midwifery as well as our BirthWorks teacher and Doula, Janell Bartzatt!