Find Your Tribe

I am so excited for 2018! As you may recall, 2017 kicked my ass. I mean--I think it kicked a lot of people's asses, but with Scott (my husband) coming close to dying from sepsis...and then just as things were getting back to normal he severely broke his leg...and two of our dogs died. Anyway. I'M READY FOR 2018!

Sometimes life flows and sometimes it ebbs. Last year, in terms of Vibrant Living, things ebbed. And that's okay. I've still been coaching private clients every week which is good for my soul and means I continue to grow my coaching skills. And I also got really clear on who I am and what I stand for in this world. I feel like my business was a like a big ocean liner that I decided to make a U-turn with. It took time! But I did it and now the ship is moving in the right direction.

What are some of the things I stand for? Here's a short list:

  • Kindness above all. I truly believe that kindness is our Super Power.

  • Women are badass.

  • There's a lot of phenomenal men out there, too, and I love creating a new paradigm of equality and respect with them.

  • Women have been fed a load of shit around beauty and our bodies and we've bought into it. It's keeping us down and holding us back and whatever I can do to set us free from that oppressive model I'm going to do.

  • Health is much, much more than good cholesterol and low blood pressure. The concept of health must include mental well-being, emotional well-being, access to opportunity, sense of belonging, freedom from oppression...and many more things.

  • Our value is not in how we look. Our value is in how we live our lives and what we bring to the world.

  • Now more than ever, I believe women are being called to stand up and step up into their power. The world is dying for the feminine.

Over the course of 2018 I'll get into detail with you about all these. You may have questions! You may have thoughts! I'm excited!

If any of this resonates with you, then AWESOME! And if you're soooooo not into it, that's okay, too! Straight up: I'm going to be writing more about this stuff this year and if you feel you need to leave this mailing list because it's not your groove I completely understand (and I will be sad to see you go--but ultimately I want you to take care of YOU. Self-care!)

For those of you that are excited about any of this, I invite you to join me this coming Saturday, January 13th, for my first ever Virtual Goddess Gathering! WOOT WOOT! The purpose of this is my drive, passion, desire...and, yes, my obsession to bring like-minded women together to lift each other up and help us all SHINE. I'm going to be doing several of these throughout 2018 and they are all free. I know the power of coming together and it ROCKS. Women are unstoppable when they are in community.

DETAILS:

Date: Saturday, January 13th, 2018

Time: 10am PST, 12pm CST, 1pm EST

Place: Your cozy sofa in your warm home via Zoom video conferencing!

Click here if you want to sign up. And yes, please share this with other women you know looking for their tribe.

Here's to a new year of shifts and transformation,

Elijah

 

Join Me for a Goddess Gathering!

Happy Holidays!! Along with the joy and cheer, this time of year can also feel a bit crazy and intense for so many reasons. My hope and wish for you is that you're taking good care of yourself and that during this time you're with someone you love and who loves you whether that's your family of origin or family of choice.

As we head into the New Year, it's such a great time to look inward, discover and affirm what is important to us, and make some conscious decisions on how we want to move forward into the next 12 months. It's not about making resolutions...it's about the ritual of renewal and the opportunity that provides for us to examine our past and claim our future.

With this in mind, I am finally doing something that I’ve been dreaming of for years and that is to create a virtual space to bring women together in community and support –I’m calling it the Goddess Gathering!

When I lived in NYC, there was a group of women that would get together monthly, make dinner together, hang out and talk about life and give each other support. We’d also laugh a lot and sometimes even cry. We called it our Goddess Night. Ever since moving to San Francisco I've dreamed of recreating that feeling of love, joy, support and laughter.

This is going to be an online version of that gathering. I also have re-envisioned it to have a little structure. I plan on this Goddess Gathering to be the first of many and each will have a theme.

The first virtual Goddess Gathering is Saturday, January 13th and I would love for you to come! The theme of this gathering is Core Desired Feelings—Setting Intentions for 2018!

This Gathering will operate around the ideas of feminism, social justice, women’s empowerment, spirituality (whatever your idea is of the bigger picture!), and living our lives more fully with the support of a community of like-minded women.

There is no cost for this event. It is all about community and connection.

In order to receive all the information you need to join in on January 13th, you'll need to click here and sign up...all the info will follow! I'M SO EXCITED!

DETAILS:

  • Date: Saturday, January 13th, 2018

  • Place: Your computer :)

  • Time: 10am PST - 11:30am PST (1pm EST - 2:30pm EST)

    • A word about TIME. There's no perfect time for me to host this event, and for that I'm sorry! All of us have busy lives and different commitments. I have chosen a time that I hope works well for most people. Regardless, I am asking you to show up powerfully for this event (and in your life!) which may mean creating a clearing for you to be able to attend. I know it can be hard, trust me. But it will definitely be worth it. xo

I can't wait to see you and dig deep into what we want to intentionally create in the New Year!

Love,

Elijah

 

Dealing with two ER visits in 6 months

Hello dear you! It has been pretty crazy over here in the Selby-Kogan household. This is a long email, so why don't you get a cup of coffee or tea, get comfy and read on!

It isn't me that has been in the ER...well, I've been there but only to BRING my husband, Scott. These visits and the recovery times have been powerful experiences in our household. Yes, they have been disruptive. Yes, they have been challenging. But we've also learned a lot and grown and we've grown because we are both committed to that in our relationship. But trust me, it isn't always easy.

For those of you that don't know, at the end of January Beck (my son) came down with influenza. Influenza is a very nasty virus and every year otherwise healthy people end up in the ER as a result of it. It can be particularly hard on the young and the old. Beck was very sick and had a fever that ran for 10 days but he got better and headed back to school with all his 5 year old energy in tact. My husband, Scott, picked up the virus from Beck during that time and also came down with influenza.

After about 5 days, Scott started to turn the corner and felt a little bit better. So he made the mistake (huge mistake!) of going back to work. A day and a half later he was back home in bed and feeling worse than ever. That was a Tuesday. By Friday he seriously looked like a zombie. I can't explain it but he was so ashen, so changed, his voice didn't even sound the same...it was scary. He saw his doctor and also called the advice nurse over that weekend because he was feeling so miserable. But the doctor and advice nurse kept saying, "You have a virus, there's nothing to do but rest." The thing medical professionals look for in influenza is bacterial infection in the lungs which leads to pneumonia but Scott wasn't presenting with any of those symptoms so they just kept telling him to rest.

Fast forward to Monday and it was clear we had to go to the ER. It is a very frightening thing to see your partner looking like he's at death's door but that is what it looked like. I was clear-headed and strong in my resolve that we needed to go to the ER but I was also scared. The idea of anything happening to Scott was too much to bear.

We went early in the morning which, by the way, is the best time to go to the ER. They checked him inright away and started him on fluids. The ER doc performed an exam and parroted what others had said, "You have a virus, there's not much we can do." I was shocked. It was evident to me that something else was going on and let me tell you there was NO WAY I was going to let him be discharged. Scott was complaining that his elbow was in a lot of pain and by late morning his elbow was red and hot to the touch. Long story slightly shorter: they stuck a huge needle into his elbow and drew out a ton of fluid, tested it, and realized that Scott was septic. The elbow had a septic infection and the bacteria had entered his blood stream. This was scary--sepsis can kill you if not caught in time. Thank goodness we caught it intime. He was scheduled for surgery that day and they went in and "scrubbed" his elbow. Luckily the bacteria hadn't done any visible damage to the bone or cartilage. He was placed on very heavy duty antibiotics.

He was in the hospital for a week. They subsequently discovered he had a sinus infection caused by strep and that the strep had migrated into his blood stream and caused the infection in his elbow! CRAZY. This is super uncommon which is why no one picked up on it. He came home and was out of work for about a month. He had to administer liquid antibiotics into his arm every day...he slowly regained his strength and came back to his old, healthy self.

That experience was intense and when someone you love comes close to dying, it affects you deeply-obviously. But Scott and I have good attitudes :) We also are really good at talking about things and talking through things. We both knew it was important to acknowledge all the feelings that this event brought up for us. I recently heard a great quote: "What you can't be with, owns you." Love that. We really needed to BE with our feelings about all of this. I think both of us came away from it feeling just a little more scared...like hay--bad things can happen to good people! Nothing is guaranteed! Who the hell knows what will happen?!! We felt a little unstable for a while. But slowly, we got into our groove, Scott was well, our routines were back in place and honestly, life was GOOD.

Then July 16th happened. It was a MAGICAL day up in Nicasio (beautiful place up in Marin) spent on our dear friends' ranch. After a catered dinner on a hilltop overlooking the property and then s'mores (withorganic dark chocolate!) over a fire pit, the day wound down and it was time to go. We were last to leave. We hugged our friends goodbye and gathered our things. As I reached down to pick up my bag I heard a splash in the pool. "Why is Scott jumping into the pool? Is he trying to be funny?" That flashed through my mind in a split second because I couldn't make sense of it! Scott pulled himself out of the pool (he was fully drenched) and said, "I think I broke my leg". He was in a bit of shock and shivering terribly. He made us splint his leg (thank goodness--you guys, ALWAYS SPLINT A BONE IF YOU THINK IT IS BROKEN!). We used a wooden hanger broken in half and duct tape. We got the car as close to him as possible and he crawled to the car! I then, very very carefully, drove him 45 minutes to Marin General Hospital. Every brake, every acceleration caused pain for him--so stressful! (Note: thank you, God, that Scott did not crack his skull when he fell in--we were 45 minutes from medical care so it could have been so much worse.)

At this point we assumed he would get a cast and head home. My sister was watching Beck, thank goodness, so we had peace of mind there.

BUT- after the x-rays they came back to us and said, "So sorry. The break is severe and we need to admit you to the hospital and you will need surgery tomorrow." WHAT??????? (He had a spiral fracture down his tibia to his ankle and two fractures on his fibula.) Surgery meant 2 metal plates and 16 screws into his leg.

Here's the odd thing--this broken leg has been WAY MORE DISRUPTIVE than the sepsis! Less life-threatening for sure, but much harder to deal with.

Healing time for the break: 5 months.

Scott cannot drive. He cannot lift things. He's on crutches. At first he was in a ton of pain (that's getting better thank goodness).

What that has meant is all the driving. all the lifting, all the house care and most of the child care has fallen on to me. And at first I truly fell into a deep depression. I know that sounds selfish, and I felt really crappy for being depressed when Scott was the one that broke his leg, but I couldn't deny it. In fact, it threw everything in my life into a state of doubt--including my work. Because I now needed to drive Beck to school every day (Scott usually did this on his way to work) I could no longer make it to my Orangetheory work out class in the mornings. Exercise for me is crucial for my mental health. Because I didn't have help with the housework, my days felt frantic and overwhelming because there was so much to do and I also wanted to WORK!!! One thing about running my own business is that it often falls through the cracks when other stuff rears its head. I just re-read this paragraph and I realize how lame it all sounds. I mean--how much house work can there be? Well--a lot. We are re-doing parts of our house so organizing and scheduling workers actually takes way more time than you can imagine. But just simple stuff like taking out the trash and recycling--Scott always did that! Scott always helped getting laundry done. Scott would often clean the kitchen after dinner. It all adds up. Sigh.

One happy thing about getting older is the fact that I'm getting wiser. Having experiences teaches you things...and I knew that even though I felt like I was in the dark, depressed, lacking faith...I absolutely knew that this was happening for a reason AND that the feelings would pass. That knowledge was so helpful because when I felt especially down I could draw upon it and know that I just needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other and the feeling would pass. Not only that, but I've learned that going through the hard stuff ALWAYS has me grow and evolve and honestly, I was excited about that!

But here's the reality-being a care taker is no joke. The person that needs to caretake MUST learn ways to prioritize their health and well-being because it really is a huge shift. If you know anyone that is a caretaker, please do something WONDERFUL for them today--if you can give them a break, that's probably the nicest thing you can do. One of the best things someone did for us is to order meal delivery! We got to choose what we wanted and they ordered it and paid for it for us. I can't tell you how wonderful it was not to have to cook or do dishes that night--we felt very taken care of!

I'm not totally sure why the broken leg threw me so off course and it's true that I'm a little embarrassed about the fact that it plunged me into the dark night of the soul..but it did. And I'm happy to say that despite that I continued to show up for my husband and my son and now the broken leg is our new normal. I put a freeze on my Orangetheory account and found another place to go to that has a class at 9am which means I can go after dropping Beck off at school and Scott off at work! Yay! And Scott and I continue to talk and figure out how to manage things in the house, what HAS to get done, what we can let go...all that jazz. We're good.

So--if you've made it this far I applaud you! I'm fairly certain this is the longest email I've ever sent. I just wanted to share what has been going on with me. It has taught me a lot about the need for self care, the constant need for good communication in relationships, about the fragility of the human body, about deep gratitude and it has strengthened me as a person. 

Sending love,

Elijah

"If I love myself as I am now, then I'll never lose weight"

"If I love myself as I am now, then I'll never lose weight."

Does that thought sound familiar?

When you hear that common refrain, "You really just need to love yourself exactly as you are NOW!" do you think, "UM. NO THANK YOU. Because how I am now is gross and I need to MOTIVATE myself to lose weight and if I'm all lovey-dovey with myself then I won't be motivated and I'll never lose the weight."

Yeah. Me too. Some version of that anyway. I used to really really struggle with the idea of loving myself as I am now because I didn't like my body the way it was and honestly, it felt really TERRIFYING to love my body--just scary. Because if I loved my body, it seemed like things would become chaos. To me, judging my body and being critical of myself, meant keeping control--of my food and my exercise--and I believed that if I loved myself just as I am then the lid would blow off of that control and things would become chaos. Specifically I believed I'd GAIN weight and become a total mess. Hating my body equalled the hope that I would beat it into submission someday.

 

 

I know a lot of my clients (okay--all of them) have felt that way, too.

HERE'S THE THING:

NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

It's really counterintuitive, isn't it? It just somehow seems "right" that in order to create change we need to be hard on ourselves. But it is MESSED UP and NOT TRUE.

In fact, when we are hard on ourselves (i.e., when we hate on our bodies) we immediately create a bunch of super negative things that actually keep us from having the body we desire. KEEP US FROM IT.

Let me ask you this: has hating your body worked so far? Has it made you happy? Has it put you into a graceful flow of your life where you resonate joy and confidence? Has hating on yourself created freedom around what you eat and how you exercise? NO. IT HAS NOT.

I know it hasn't because I'VE BEEN THERE. Hating on yourself does a bunch of super negative things. Let's look at some of them:

  • Has you feeling crazy self-conscious and makes you hide out when you could be STEPPING UP
  • Creates obsession around food and has you creating "good" and "bad" categories of food in extreme ways--and then severely punishing yourself when you eat a "bad" food (punishment comes in many forms but the worse form is takes is SHAME)
  • Every time you hate on yourself you release a cocktail of stress hormones that actually have you HOLDING ONTO WEIGHT! So that's fun!
  • Constantly judging and criticizing your body lowers your energy and affects how you show up at work, in your relationships and at play. Basically, you're vibrating on "Total Bummer" and people pick up on that.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the consequences of HATING ON YOUR BODY.

Remember when you were a kid and you didn't think about your body or food at all?!

Yeah--those were good times! We were ENGAGED in life! We ran! We played! We sat down and wolfed down a PB&J and then we ran out to play some more!

That's because we didn't yet know that we "weren't good enough". We hadn't been bombarded with all the messaging from advertising that is designed to have us think and feel that we are "not enough". It's powerful stuff and we've all bought in, hook, line and sinker.

But guess what?! LOVING OURSELVES AS WE ARE is the fist step to having the body AND LIFE that we desire! #truthbomb!

When we love ourselves--like TRULY LOVE OURSELVES--we:

  • Stop obsessing every day and every moment about how we are not good enough. That may sound miraculous, but it is true. And WOW that frees up a TON of energy that can be put to far better use!
  • Stop inundating our bodies with that awful toxic cocktail of stress hormones that chip away at our health and keep weight on our bodies
  • We see food differently! Wow! We are allowed to enjoy food but because we actually LOVE ourselves, all sorts of things start to click into place and it because effortless to actually feed ourselves HEALTHY and NOURISHING food!

And that's just a few of the benefits :)

BUT HOW THE HECK DO I LOVE MYSELF?!!

Yes, that's the crux of it, isn't it? It took me a long long time to figure this out. But I have. And my mission in life is to shortcut for you the years it took me to get here.

And one of the most crucial steps in the process is LETTING GO OF THE FEAR that bad things will happen if you allow yourself COMPASSION and LOVE.

So your homework is to start noticing the fear you have around loving yourself. REALLY NOTICE. Dig deep and see where it is hiding. Bring it out into the light--give it a hug and let it know that there's a better way! Bless and release that fear because truly, THINGS GET BETTER when you LOVE YOURSELF.

As always, I love to know what you are thinking and feeling so hit reply and let me know!

XOXO,

Elijah

P.S. If you are excited to go deep around this, I'll be in NYC on June 27th! I'd love it if you joined me!

New York City Workshop!

HAPPY SUMMER! I know it technically isn't summer yet (that happens next Tuesday, the 20th--Summer Solstice!) but it sure FEELS LIKE SUMMER!

I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT SOMETHING!

Is this you?:

Do you beat yourself up if you "eat the wrong thing"?

Does food cause you an underlying anxiety? Does the idea of what to eat stress you out?

Is there an underlying thought in your mind that goes something like this, "What do I need to eat in order to make myself thin?"

Do you stand in the mirror and pull at your body, viewing it with criticism/disgust?

Do you ever say, "When I lose 10/15/20 pounds then I'll....(fill in the blank)"?

Do you have the sinking feeling that you're simply not good enough and if you could just look better/lose weight, then fabulous things would really become possible for you?

Do you constantly compare how you look and how your life is to other people (even strangers!)

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

And guess what?!

I am doing an in-person workshop for peeps who are ready to BREAK FREE from the burden of "what to eat" and "how to look" so that they can stand tall and show up powerfully in their lives.

Are you ready to:

STOP obsessing about food?


Free yourself from emotional eating?


Actually feel good in your body NOW, AS IT IS TODAY so that you don't go through the world feeling bad/self-conscious?


Are you EXHAUSTED from the food and body roller coaster that holds you back and takes up way too much of your thoughts and energy?!


Are you sick of waiting until you somehow have the perfect body in order to do the things you want to do in this lifetime?


Do you know, somewhere deep inside of you, that YOU ARE HERE ON THE PLANET FOR MORE THAN THIS NONSENSE? Are you ready to set yourself free?

THEN PLEASE JOIN ME ON TUESDAY, JUNE 27TH! YAY!

When you set yourself free from this cycle of deprivation, binging and abuse you give your body SO MANY GOOD THINGS HAPPEN. First of all, you literally hold yourself differently and PEOPLE WILL NOTICE.

When we think we are fat, or feel insecure, it is impossible to truly exude confidence.

Guess what else happens when we stop obsessing and get clear on what we are using food for (i.e. emotional eating)? We often lose weight! Yup. It's true.Because you know what? You don't really have a food problem--you have a life problem. And as long as you're beating up on yourself, criticizing yourself, depriving yourself and then binging because you've been depriving yourself--you'll NEVER BREAK FREE. Haven't you been in that painful cycle long enough?!

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE!

DETAILS:

Included in the event:

  • Guidance and transformational exercises on food, body and life!
  • A little gift bag...something special for you!
  • A nourishing dinner to wrap up the evening where we can talk, laugh and connect...and FEEL GREAT!
  • Connecting with your tribe (priceless!)

 

Tuesday, June 27th

4pm - 9pm at Primary, 8th floor 26 Broadway, New York, NY 10004

Investment in your AMAZING LIFE: $97

I CAN'T WAIT TO SPEND THE EVENING WITH YOU!!!!

Sending lots of love!

Elijah

P.S. Please share this to anyone you think may be interested! THANK YOU!

Is Your Body STOPPING You?!

Beautiful!!! HOW ARE YOU?!

Let's get right down to business because this is super super important. Is your body image holding you back from fully living your life? Do you find yourself thinking or saying things like:

  • I'll go shopping for new clothes once I lose weight. Until then I wear what I have.
  • I can't look for a new job right now--I look like crap. Once I get fit I'll be able to finally get that job I want.
  • I'm not even going to try and date right now...I have to lose weight first.
  • I would go in for that summer house share if only I liked the way I look in shorts.
  • Once I lose {X amount of] pounds then I'll be able put on a bathing suit.

(Side note real quick--there's a transformational homework assignment for you at the end of this post! I don't want you to miss it! Okay, carry on!)

And there's hundreds of other examples along these lines...examples of us hating on our bodies and WAITING TO LIVE OUR LIVES until some future date when we've hit the magic number on the scale.

I know I've done it. Countless times. I have had thoughts like these and they literally hurt. I have actually turned down invitations to do fun things because I was not feeling good in my body. And BTW--I've felt this way even when I've been thin and fit however in my mind I looked like crap. UGH.

This is so heartbreaking. If I could add up the times that I held back in life because I felt bad about my body--OR times that I simply couldn't fully enjoy myself at a fun event because I was feeling self-conscious--I'm sure that it would equal YEARS of my life.

You know what? I CALL BULLSH*T.

Not bullsh*t to you. YOU ARE AWEOME. But bullsh*t to the culture and society that from a very young age feed us the idea that unless we have the "perfect" body, we simply aren't good enough. I don't have to give you all the examples of ways in which girls and women are exposed to this idea through magazines, billboards, television, movies and nowadays, social media. We can't turn our head without being bombarded by this message. It's so so painful.

AND WE HAVE BOUGHT INTO IT. Oh yes we have, hook, line and sinker. And I bet you that many of you reading this right now are doing this weird thing of totally agreeing with me while still thinking, "But I still need to get my body in shape before I [fill in the blank]" --it's a different thing for all of us but it all adds up to NOT LIVING OUR LIVES FULLY and NOT THINKING WE ARE GOOD ENOUGH. You know how I know you're thinking that way? Because I thought that way my whole life.

I'm a feminist and I will yell from the mountain top that women don't need to conform to the bullsh*t beauty standard set forth by the patriarchy in order to hold us down and hold us back and keep us spending money (TONS of money) on products that we don't need...but for years I ranted all that while still hating my own body and believing I needed to change it in order to be considered:

  • Pretty
  • Successful
  • Worthy
  • Likable
  • Lovable
  • Worth listening to
  • Allowed to speak up

And honestly, the list goes on and on. It's not that I didn't have many times where I was fully engaged and happy in my life, but there were also way too many times when the hatred and disappointment in my body were absolutely CRUSHING TO MY SOUL.

THAT'S NOT OKAY! Can you see that? IT IS SO NOT OKAY! In the simplest of terms, I'm a human being on the planet and I'm allowed to live fully expressed no matter what I look like! The thought/belief that I have to look a certain way in order to be considered valuable is crazy and depressing.

HOW MANY WOMEN HOLD THEMSELVES BACK BECAUSE OF THEIR BODIES?

WHAT WOULD THE WORLD LOOK LIKE IF THAT WERE TO CHANGE?

It would look CRAZY AWESOME DIFFERENT, that's what.

So what does it take to change this way of being that is so flippen destructive to ourselves and our lives?

It requires that we shift the paradigm around our WORTH. We need to realize that our WORTH and VALUE is not in the way we look. I'm not saying we should all of a sudden reject everything, stop showering and wear a potato sack every day. No. We are allowed to adorn ourselves and dress the way we like to and feel beautiful FOR OURSELVES (which of course translates to the outside world). I'm all for that. However, we as women need to truly throw off the shackles of BEAUTY IS OUR WORTH and get clear that WE ARE TOTAL BADASSES THAT CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. And then we need to get out there and do it!

So here's your homework:

  1. Ask five people in your life that love you what they value most about you (hint: none of them are going to say, "I really value that you have a killer body). Write these things down.
  2. Write down the top five things you truly value about yourself--the things you do, your ways of being in the world that you feel really proud of. If you can't think of five, that's okay--write down as many as you're able. Even if it is just one thing, write it down! Own it!
  3. Think of one way you let your body STOP you from LIVING FULLY and GO DO THAT. For example, if you've stopped yourself from buying a new pair of jeans until you lose some weight, go out and buy a new pair of jeans that fit you great and that you feel good in! DON'T WAIT! FEEL GREAT!

After you've done your homework, please post your results in the comments! Yay!

Let me tell you what you already know (even if you don't have this in your conscious mind, you know it way down deep in your soul):

YOU ARE MEANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

I am here to help you remember that. I am here to wake that part up inside of you. Because THE WORLD NEEDS YOU.

 

With love and empowerment,

Elijah

P.S. Please share this exercise with any of your fabulous women friends that you know would benefit!

Some (possible) reasons you're not losing weight.

If you've known me a while then you know I've really struggled with the whole weight loss thing since my son was born (5 1/2 years ago!)...and if you're new here (WELCOME! I'M SOOOOOO HAPPY YOU'RE HERE!) well then...now you know, too!

I think about weight loss a lot. Here are the two main things I think:

1) We all need to stop worrying about our weight and just love the heck out of our bodies because seriously people, THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL and TRULY AMAZING. They get up every day and just DO SHIT. Wow. Like--I'm TYPING WITHOUT LOOKING AT THE KEYBOARD RIGHT NOW. If that's not magic I don't know what is. So yeah, can we please stop obsessing about our weight already?!

2) It's okay to want to lose weight. Some of us may actually be healthier if we lost weight so yes, that's important (that said--being "overweight" does not necessarily mean you're unhealthy and being "the right weight" doesn't mean you're healthy. So let's promise to get rid of those stereotypes right now, shall we?). BUT--just because we may agree with the BODY POSITIVE movement and really understand that it is crucial to LOVE our BEAUTIFUL BODIES (that do so much for us--see #1) doesn't mean we need to then feel bad about ourselves if we want to lose a few pounds--right? Right. 

Here's the thing-of course it is okay to want to lose some weight. But within that context I believe you need to:

1) Make sure you love and adore you body--and appreciate it--AS IT IS TODAY.

2) Be in PARTNERSHIP with your body--don't be at war with it! If you love and adore it than you can both (your body and you) agree that you'll join forces to lose weight and be on the SAME PAGE. 

3) BE REALISTIC. I talk about this in one of my classes of the 28 Day Total Food Transformation...(which is coming up and I totally want you to join, BTW) you need to GET REAL about YOUR BODY. If you're curvy and voluptuous then wishing you had a tomboy vibe is truly going to make you a very unhappy person AND you'll never get there. Or let's say you have this perfectly decent body but you want a MODEL'S body...you know what I mean. Well, here's the thing--models and actors either simply have genetics that make their bodies that way without effort OR they work really really hard at it. So--in reality--do you have time to spend 2 hours at the gym every day? Or maybe more? Can you hire a personal chef? Yeah. Neither can I! So find a way to understand YOUR body. YOU GET TO DECIDE ON YOUR BEAUTY STANDARD. 

kay, okay--so the above isn't why you opened up this email. You opened up this email to see if you could find the answer to that nagging question, "Why an't I lose weight?!"

Here's some possible reasons why:

TOXINS. Please don't roll your eyes! It is true. Your liver (one of your body's five detox organs) can get totally toxed-out and if it is, your body will have a very hard time functioning optimally. Your liver supports fat burning and hormone balancing, super important stuff for a balanced, healthy body that can perform well and release unwanted weight.

2) INFLAMMATION.  Inflammation comes in many forms and is bad for more reasons than just weight gain (i.e. DISEASE). But in this case, we are talking water retention. People roll their eyes at this but holding onto excess water due to poor diet will literally have you gaining between 5 - 15 pounds! On top of that, you will look puffy and bloated. It's fine to retain water--we need water in our bodies, obviously. But TOO MUCH retention is a sign that we are eating things we shouldn't be eating. Allergies or food sensitivities could absolutely be to blame and when you eliminate them from your diet you DROP THE WEIGHT. (If it isn't obvious this reason directly relates to #1).

3) SLEEP. Meaning you're not sleeping enough. This is HUGE. Why? When you don't sleep enough your cortisol levels rise. This stress hormone is associated with weight gain, particularly around the middle. Cortisol also sends signals to your brain TO EAT. Lack of sleep also increases the hormone, ghrelin (this hormone makes you hungry) and decreases leptin (this hormone makes you feel full). Isn't that a fun combination?!

One more thing about lack of sleep--you know how you feel groggy and foggy and lazy when you haven't slept well? Well researchers at the University of Chicago coined the phrase "metabolic grogginess" which basically means that your fat cells feel groggy, too!  Actually what the study shows is that after four days of bad sleep, your body's ability to properly use insulin is decreased by more than 30%. The short version of this result is that you store more fat and you tend to store it in bad places like your liver (see #1).

4) YOU'RE NOT EATING WHOLE FOODS. It is true. Not all calories are created equal. If you're eating a lot of processed foods and sugar, your body isn't getting the nutrition it needs (so it will have lots of cravings as a result) AND it has to work incredibly hard to process the food you're giving to it. Most likely it doesn't even recognize what you're giving it as food! So you'll feel hungry even after you've eaten! Eating nutritionally dense, whole foods will have you feeling fuller faster and for longer AND your body processes that food much easier--so it flows through your system in the way you want it to (as opposed to hanging around on your hips!). Beware of things like "gluten free" processed foods and the like--just because something is gluten free DOES NOT mean it is healthy! 

5) HORMONES. Ah, hormones. Especially as we get older they get out of whack. Remember when you could drop 10 pounds in a blink of an eye? If that's not happening anymore than most likely you're experiencing changes in your body that go with age (its' okay--please don't fret about aging--the alternative sucks!). Starting at around age 35 (especially for women but for men, too) our metabolism starts to slow down. Around 40 it drops some more. Also around 40, women lose about 1/2 a pound of lean muscle a year and GAIN about a pound of fat. And guess what? That fat is different from the fat of our youth--it takes up more space! HOW FUN IS THAT???!!! Sigh. This is where being REALISTIC about your body really comes into play. Accept and love yourself. You're body is changing but you are still you. At this point, eating whole foods becomes crucial as well as REGULAR EXERCISE (which helps to balance the hormones) both cardio and strength training. I could do a whole class on this...maybe I should! Also, studies show that eating protein at every meal is helpful (but make sure you're mostly eating veggies and fruits!). 

6) DEHYDRATION. h, man! I talk about this ALL THE TIME and I'm 100% certain that most people still don't drink enough water!! DRINK MORE WATER! Right now! Go have a glass of water...I'll wait...water is key for health and weight loss:

  • ater helps maximize our physical performance
  • Water effects our energy and brain function
  • Water supports proper digestion and is one of the keys in eliminating constipation
  • Water can increase satiety
  • Water can boost metabolism (and has been shown to do so by up to 30% in some studies

7) YOU ARE EATING TOO MUCH. Yup. I know--shocking, right? But here's the thing, a lot of people are not aware of how much they are eating, especially if they are not MINDFUL when they are eating. In fact, mindless eating adds up to unneeded calories. This holds true for junk food or healthy food. TW-I KNOW I'M GUILTY OF THIS! Especially working from home with my kitchen RIGHT THERE. I eat super healthy but my metabolism is low and I have hypothyroidism so even a small amount of too many calories stays with me. Sigh. SUPER FRUSTRATING. Oh--and my husband eats like 4,000 calories a day and never gains a pound. Double sigh.

8) YOU ARE NOT EXERCISING. uess what?! If you want to lose weight YOU NEED TO EXERCISE. Do both cardio and strength training. Do I really need to say more about this? It's really important for your heart health and bone health as well. SO JUST DO IT!

9) MACRONUTRIENTS. You need to eat a proper amount of fat, protein and carbohydrates EVERY DAY. And by carbohydrates I mean fruits and vegetables. Also, please stop being afraid of fat. Eat it! Except trans fat. NEVER eat trans fat. 

10) YOU ARE NOT EATING RIGHT FOR YOUR BODY. hat does that mean? When we eat food that is hard on our body/hard for our bodies to digest, we cause break down. Over time that break down becomes worse and it shows up in all sorts of ways. We can get eczema, acne, our hair thins, our skin looks terrible, we sleep poorly or sleep all the time but never feel rested, we get GERD, high blood pressure, gut imbalances, thyroid issues, liver and gallbladder issues...etc etc...and we GAIN WEIGHT. All this tends to happen slowly, over time, so we assume it is about aging or maybe we think it is just bad luck. NO.  NO NO NO. I wish I had more time to write about this but this post is already way too long. Listen--about 80% of your immune system is in your gut! When you eat the wrong foods and you mess with your gut, that is affected. Stuff starts to go wrong. BUT--when you eliminate those things from your diet your BODY IS AMAZING and can start to heal. I HAVE SEEN IT HAPPEN TIME AND TIME AGAIN WITH MY CLIENTS AND IT IS TOTALLY AWESOME. 

So how do you know what your body is having a hard time with?

'm glad you asked! That's where my 28 Day Total Food Transformation comes in. I walk you through it step by step AND you're doing it with all these cool people and it is actually really fun. And the results are phenomenal.

So I hope you do my program because I know it will totally be amazing and life-changing for you.

BUT--if you don't want to do my program, here's what you do: you do an elimination diet. That's essentially what my program is. First you eliminate all potential allergens for at least a week (for serious medical conditions you'll want to go longer than that-email me if you have questions). Then you slowly and methodically reintroduce those allergens back into your diet, one by one. You monitor for reactions. You LEARN. IT IS SO SIMPLE YET SO POWERFUL. 

Okay, gorgeous! That's enough for today!

Go out there and TAKE UP SPACE! STAND UP! SPEAK OUT! MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE!

Also, EAT HEALTHY FOOD!

Much love,

Elijah

 

Hello from my (imperfect) kitchen!

HELLO! This probably isn't what you expected, LOL!

This morning I sat down to do work and research a possible WEBINAR that I'd like to do. I've been thinking about this for a while--my favorite thing about my job is INTERACTING WITH MY COMMUNITY (love you!) and a webinar would be a great way to bring valuable information to my people and getting to interact with my community--and also (hopefully) attract new people into my community. Because bringing new people into the fold is an important part of my business and I'm often thinking about how I can do that.

My son, Beck (5 1/2) went to a Lego camp today (theme of the camp is "Chemistry"...not sure how that is going to play out!). He's there until 3pm so I have a short day to do a lot of work (which is my norm!). Scott, my hubby, took Beck to camp and then came home to do some work as well. We both sat down at the kitchen table.

 

Here's Scott focusing intently on his work! Behind him are all our holiday cards we've received. To his left is our Wall of Art that Beck started. A lot of the pictures are Beck's but many other people have contributed--anyone that visits our home is invited to draw or paint a picture to hang! Scott, my sister, Erin, my , Josh, his friend, Jordan, my niece, Jennie and I have all contributed to the wall!

 

And here I am in all my non-glory! Still in my pajamas (but wearing a yummy sweater over them), no make up on...I hadn't even brushed my hair! And YES--that's a cup of espresso next to me! I don't drink coffee but I do drink espresso (coffee is too acidic for me). Sometimes I give it up and sometimes I don't...it's something I'm learning to live with!

So you see...I'm not perfect. That's important to know because in today's world we are bombarded with images of perfection all day long and boy can that make us feel like WE ARE NOT ENOUGH.

But guess what?! Those images--whether from commercial ads or people's Facebook feed or Instagram feed (or whatever the latest social media trends are out there) are CURATED. THEY ARE NOT THE MOMENT TO MOMENT REALITY OF PEOPLE'S LIVES. Now--you know this in your heart but your mind...your mind will try and trick you into believing that those images are TRUTH. That somehow, everyone out there has:

  • Perfect bodies
  • Perfect clothes
  • Perfect homes
  • Perfect jobs
  • Perfect skin
  • Perfectly toned abs
  • Perfect children (ha!)
  • Perfect relationships

So to disabuse you of the notion of perfection in my world (not sure if you had that notion but just in case!), I wanted to share a slice of my life. I'll also show you my kitchen, which is truly one of the ugliest kitchens I know of! Truth is, I have often sought to HIDE how un-pretty my kitchen is from you guys!! (That said, I've also dreamed of creating a YouTube channel called, "Beautiful Food from an Ugly Kitchen."!!)

 

Oy. HARVEST GOLD. Yup. Our home was built in 1970 and this is the original kitchen with the exception of the stainless steel dishwasher! I didn't arrange anything for the photo--note spoon left on counter (not sure who left that!).

Our stove has only TWO working burners and it isn't repairable because...well...1970. The hood to the stove hasn't worked for months. The tile...well, it pains me daily to see it, LOL! That's a pot of oatmeal on the stove left by Scott. The window looks out to a little "courtyard" that is actually sort of cool--we have a builtin BBQ out there.

There's very little storage in my kitchen which drives me mad! Note the mason jars lined up against the wall to the right of the (harvest gold) sink! What I wouldn't give more more counter space!

Speaking of counter space..

 

This is a little something we've actually titled our "clutter counter"! How many of my OCD peeps out there are going crazy seeing this?! Truthfully--it isn't in that bad a shape today! Often it is worse! Check out the lefthand side wall--see that thing that looks like a radio built into the wall? THAT IS AN INTERCOM SYSTEM! OMG! It was put into the house in...you guessed it...1970! It doesn't work (or barely works) anymore yet there it is, a huge eyesore. Although it is slightly amusing!

To the right you can see my purse with my red wallet sticking out. The peppermint bark was a gift from friends--we aren't going to eat it (LOVE YOU Kathy and David! Sorry!)--Scott is taking it to his work (is it bad that we pawn off stuff we would never eat to co-workers?!). The piece of paper stuck to the oh-so-brown cupboard says, "EVOLVE--DISCONTINUE" LOL! Sounds so funny but what that is, is an organization I've been donating $39 to quarterly for the past couple of years but I want to discontinue it and donate that money in a different direction this year...I still haven't done it despite the big ole note on the cabinet (I'm busy!). The white refrigerator isn't from the 70s--I think more like early 90s.

SO. YEAH. Super IMPERFECT. Somehow in this crazy small, disorganized and highly unattractive kitchen, I manage to make some killer green smoothies and other yummy, healthy meals. I hope there's some small amount of inspiration there for you!

I will also add that due to the fact that everything in our kitchen is falling apart, we are FINALLY going to be updating it. But that feels SCARY because it is a lot of money and seriously--I've never done anything like that before (spent that kind of money, ordered new appliances, etc...). But we have to do it! I mean...only TWO WORKING BURNERS on the stove! (although last Thursday we hosted a Chanukah party for 65 friends and fried up 250 latkes on those two burners! WOOT!). If you have any experience updating a kitchen and want to lend me advice, feel free to do so!

So what's the point of all this? Well, first and foremost--NOBODY'S LIFE IS AS PERFECT AS IT SEEMS. So STOP comparing yourself and remember that EVERYONE IS TOTALLY MESSED UP!Hee hee! I actually think that's probably mostly true to one degree or another.

BUT SERIOUSLY--one of the biggest things we all suffer from in life is the idea that we are "not enough". And that's simply not true. You are beautiful and YOU ARE ENOUGH. I promise. Readjust your thinking on that because you know what? THE WORLD NEEDS YOU! And the more you think, "I'm not good enough etc etc" the more you hold yourself back from KICKING ASS!

Okay...signing off now. Don't forget to come hang out with me and others from this magnificent tribe in the 28 Day Total Food Transformation. Eating right truly does help you to KICK ASS in this world. I promise.

Sending you SOOOOOOO MUCH LOVE!

Elijah

Eat Your Way Healthy Through the Holiday Season!

Happy early Thanksgiving. I know that I truly am grateful for YOU. If you've worked with me you know how mushy I get around how awesome the people are that come to my groups. I'm very very lucky. So THANK YOU.

Soooo...how are you doing? I hope you're finding joy in your days and making sure you connect with the people you love. I find that a true recipe for health and happiness :)

Of course...then there's the food...(hint-the 7 Day Winter Detox is open!)

The holidays are often when everyone gets all worried about the sweet and savory indulgences that will no doubt grace every holiday table. It becomes a time where you often give yourself permission to let loose and eat whatever, and then new year’s rolls around and you feel like you got hit by a food truck (who's with me here?!).

Give Yourself the Gift of Balance

What I’m proposing is a complete mindset shift around how you honor your body and your self-care needs during the holiday season. This is a time for giving, so how about you give yourself a gift that’s going to nourish you beyond the 10-minute sugar rush?

Set Boundaries with Your Family

Talk to your family and explain that you’ll be doing things differently this year, that just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you’re going to settle for nutritionally deprived foods that take more than they give your body.

Explain that you’ll be creating some healthy delicious options and offer to share with them, it is the holidays, after all!

Exercise Your Creativity in the Kitchen

Try new and exciting recipes.

You can splurge and buy expensive superfoods, interesting fresh fruits and vegetables that you don’t always get, nuts and seeds and truffled extra-virgin olive oil.

But truly, eating healthy doesn't have to mean buying expensive and rare foods (although admittedly I can find all that fun!). One of my favorite websites for clean, healthy living is Oh She Glows. Check her out! There's a lot there to spur your Kitchen Creativity!

Tips to Eat Healthy Without Feeling Deprived

Healthy food can be totally gourmet and special too. Make your own homemade chocolate with mint leaves. Adorn your salads with pomegranates and walnuts.

Here are a few more tips and tricks…

  • Swap white potatoes with roasted sweet potato and butternut squash
  • Thicken the drippings from your turkey for gravy with arrowroot or tapioca starch to stay away from gluten and GMO corn starch (if you want non GMO corn starch make sure you purchase ORGANIC corn starch!).
  • Try making coconut whipped cream instead of dairy and serve with homemade roasted pumpkin with a bit of cinnamon, stevia and crumbled pecans
  • Ditch the bread and stick with extra veggies drizzled with high-quality olive oil
  • Use plain yogurt instead of sour cream
  • Make cauliflower rice instead of white rice

Want even more great tips to help you lose weight, improve your digestion and increase your energy?

Check out my new Winter Detox program details and hopefully you'll join me!

Hope you're having a VIBRANT day!

Elijah

Your Genetics on Coffee-How the Genes You Have Affect that Cup of Joe!

This is first part in a series on nutrigenomics—how food affects are genes (and how genes affect how we assimilate what we eat).

COFFEE! OMG soooooo many of us love it so much! We feel like our day wouldn’t be complete without it! Others among us never touch the stuff.

Many of you may know that when you participate in my 28 Day Total Food Transformation that I ask that you get off coffee for the duration of the program. When people find this out there is a huge collective GROAN! For the most part, people have taken on that challenge. And of those people, the vast majority experience huge benefits when they take their bodies off the caffeine cycle including better sleep, more even energy throughout the day, improved weight loss (I know this is true for me) and much more…including that “AH HA” that THEY CAN DO IT! It’s a great feeling of accomplishment.

Setting the controversy around coffee aside (we will deal with that in another email) I want to tell you about really cool research that has discovered specific genes that affect how you experience caffeinated coffee!

My work is based entirely around the concept ofBIOINDIVIDUALITY. This means that all of our bodies are unique and what works for one may not work for others. I help people figure out what their specific and unique body needs to thrive.

Nutrigenomics is the scientific study of how what we eat and drink (nutrition) affects our genes. It’s trying to discover how different people’s genetic make-up is affected by what they eat.

Scientists at Harvard conducted the largest genome-wide association study on coffee drinking to date (Chasman and Cornelis et al 2015) have been looking into how an individual’s genetic make-up influences their response to coffee. So far there have been EIGHT GENES discovered that relate to coffee consumption.

FAST AND SLOW CAFFEINE METABOLIZERS:

They discovered two genes that are involved with the metabolization of caffeine, POR and ABCG2. Because these genes are encoded with proteins involved with metabolizing caffeine, people with these genes tend to break down (metabolize) caffeine faster and therefore tend to be able to drink more coffee easily. They basically metabolize the caffeine faster and better than those without these genes!

Caffeine is actually primarily metabolized in our liver (which is a major detox organ—important to know!). In the liver is an enzyme that does a lot of the work of breaking this down called cytochrome P450, or CYP1A2. This enzyme has a variant (CYP1A2*1A) that metabolized caffeine FAST! So all of this is connected and it explains why some among us can drink a cup of coffee and then go to bed, no problem! (Conversely, CYP1A2*1F is a slow metabolizer of caffeine so if you find you need to cut consumption early in the day to ensure a good night of sleep, you may be carrying this variant!).

TOLERANCE

Along the same lines, the scientists confirmed that two genes, AHR and CYP1A2 (and yes, I know that above I refer to CYP1A2 as an enzyme—and it is…from DNA, to RNA, to protein…the enzyme is the protein expression of gene! Yeah, I know…just trust me) that relate to our tolerance and how well we process the caffeine in coffee.

Because AHR can turn on CYP1A2, people with this combination of gene variant can metabolize caffeine faster and therefore easily tolerate more cups of coffee during the day!

 

HAPPINESS

Ah, the joy of coffee! There may be a reason that coffee makes you happy! The scientists are looking at two regions of our DNA near genes BDNF and SLC6A4 to see if there’s a connection…and it’s looking like there is!

BDNF is responsible for serotonin and dopamine (pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters). These two variants seem to reinforce the positive affects of coffee’s molecular properties—and put you into a good mood!

I think about these genes a lot because there are many times when a cup of coffee really seems to make me HAPPY!

PLEASURE/STIMULATION

Connected to our happy feelings that come from drinking coffee are two genes related to pleasure or “getting a kick” from drinking coffee. It’s a subtle difference and scientists are still looking to understand the connection fully. Two variants found near genes GCKR and MLXIPL are assumed to be associated with a “psychostimulant effect” of coffee drinking! People with these genes tend to drink more coffee because of the associated stimulating effect they receive from it!

So that’s your mini-overview of genetics and coffee drinking!

What’s the take-away?

All of us are individuals and have a unique genetic make-up.Depending on that genetic make-up, we will experience food and drink in a very unique way—OUR PERSONAL WAY.

I really love this because sometimes we can feel a little crazy or annoyed that we seem to have such different bodies and different tastes and reactions to food and drink than our friends and family. There’s a reason for it and science is just beginning to unravel it all!

You don’t need to get your genome tested to figure it all out—you just need to PAY ATTENTION. You KNOW when food messes with you and you KNOW when food makes you feel good! TRUST THAT. There’s a reason for it!

That is also what my 28 Day Total Food Transformation does for you. It helps you figure it out. And when you do, all sorts of symptoms melt away. I’ve seen it happen time and time again and seriously, it can feel MIRACULOUS. I invite you to check out the program. It’s really powerful and I know it will help you feel better than you’ve ever imagined.

 

 

Unsubscribe | Elijah from Vibrant Living | Casita Vibrant Living, San Francisco, California 94131 

Dechelle's Amazing Success Story

Dechelle's Amazing Success Story

I recently asked Dechelle Damian from NYC to share her story with my readers. This is what she wrote:

I was introduced to Elijah through a great friend, Lisa Skye Hain. Lisa had been sending these emails on a program that she was doing and how awesome Elijah was, etc. It looked interesting but I always had an excuse of why now wasn't the right time. At that point in my life, I was feeling pretty crappy physically. Although I had lost some weight after having my daughter a few years back, I was still pushing close to 200lbs. I wasn't eating anywhere near a healthy diet and was feeling pretty gross most of the time. Unhappy with my body, unhappy with the constant heavy feeling in my stomach and probably crankier than I should have been. I was also at a point of being really unhappy with myself and my willpower and nervous of what my future would be. I had a then, 2 1/2 year old daughter and I was pushing 43.