Latest Posts

Video Journaling : Brilliant or Cringe

There’s a “new” trend being talked about within the wellness spaces as of late. I say new with the quotes because although it’s not a new concept, it’s becoming popularized within a new niche.

Video journaling, the act of setting up a camera, usually one on your phone and talking to yourself about yourself has been gaining a bit of traction as a great way to connect with yourself, potentially more so than paper journaling. In a video journal you may discuss your day, your feelings about something that happened or someone you encountered. You may talk about an issue you are having or something that makes you excited, there are no rules and no limits, you are simply documenting yourself for yourself.

I am of the general understanding that the intention behind video journaling is to be able to not only express yourself, but to be able to go back at a point in time and reevaluate your video. Maybe check and see if things have changed, if you still share the same views, track your growth and mindset and overall just to keep a personal record of who you are and how you are developing. Exactly what you would do in a paper journal, but just this time, visually (which actually seems like a bit less effort. Which could be nice).

Photo by Blue Bird on

Personally, I can see how this could be incredibly useful; especially with checking back on yourself to keep track of your behaviors and mindsets. It could help in identifying patterns, for example, noting a pattern of a depressed, irritable outlook right before your menstrual cycle each month, or checking into see what things seem to set you off and when.

As much as I do love the concept I do have one hesitation, and that would be the invasion of privacy if someone were to gain access to your videos. I feel like someone finding a visual documentation of me crying or talking or whatever I would do on these video journals would be more humilating than someone stumbling upon a journal of mine. But, even with that being a valid concern, I don’t know if it’s enough to keep me from giving video journaling a try.

Photo by Mizuno K on

A lot of people who talk about wanting to journal are sometimes intimidated by the writing and crafting aspect of it, video journaling could be a nice alternative with the same effect. Would you try it or would you be to weirded out to talk to yourself on camera? What do you think? Brilliant, or cringe?

xx Nicole Eva

p.s. Wanna chat? Follow me on instagram (find me here) or twitter (find me here)! I’d love to connect with you, my dm’s are always open!

Top 4 Alternatives to Running for Heart Health

I’m sure you’ve heard everyone talk about how running is great cardio. And, to be honest runners make it look and sound so easy. (I might be a little jealous that it’s not my gifting…just a little bit). Between the marathoners, triathletes, 5k-ers and the casual morning joggers, running looks cool. Plus it’s a great workout!

And the runners, they actually enjoy it. They love the moment adrenaline takes over and it’s just them and the sound of their feet hitting the pavement, or treadmill. Sometimes, I enjoy it, kind of. It’s a really great way to raise your heart rate and get a little sweat going, plus, it’s free. 

But sometimes I just can’t do it. Sometimes running hurts me.

Running is what is classified as a high-impact exercise. That means that it places a high level of impact on your joints. For some people that can cause pain either during the exercise or afterward. For me, I usually feel it a day or two after in my knees, hips, and ankles…not fun. 

If running hurts, what do you do for a great, yet simple cardio exercise without placing undue impact on your joints?
Luckily, there are many alternatives to running that you can do in the comfort of your home or at your local gym that can still give your heart a “run” for its money, here are my top 4.

Top 4 Alternatives to Running for Heart Health


I know what you’re thinking, “walking, really?” Yes, really! A daily walk at a relatively upbeat pace for about 30 minutes can do numbers for your heart health. For added intensity, try walking up hills if you’re walking outdoors or walking on an incline while using a treadmill.  The best thing about walking is that unlike most other activities, you don’t have to schedule it in. It can actually fit into your daily life pretty well! Have a dog? Take them for a walk instead of placing them in the backyard. Have a toddler/new baby? Head out for a stroll before the sun goes down. Live near a common hang out spot (coffee shop, library, food spot or cornerstore)? Try walking to and from your location instead of grabbing your car. My personal favorite time to go for a walk is right after dinner with my husband (it’s pretty great for digestion too!).

Photo of a black man walking his dog in an urban setting in the fall. Photo used in Nicole Eva's blog post "4 alternatives to running for heart health"
Photo by Zen Chung on


Okay, if you follow me on instagram you know how I have felt about cycling in the past. I hated it when I first started. I’ve since grown to love cycling over the last few months. When I first started it was an adjustment because the muscles I use while cycling were different than what I was used to using during my normal workouts. Biking/Cycling is a great low-impact workout because there’s almost ZERO impact and it’s a great way to work your heart and strengthen your lower body. I love to cycle at the end of a workout, especially one that was particularly grueling as a way to take a seat but still get some work in. A goal of mine this year as the weather warms is to purchase a bike so that I can enjoy the benefits of cycling while enjoying nature. It’s quite honestly a win win.

Photo of three people riding their bikes on a long empty rural road. Photo used by Nicole Eva for her blog post 4 alternates to running for heart health
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on

Swimming/Water Jogging

This one is my personal favorite. Swimming is a low-impact workout while also being a space where you can work almost every muscle group at the same time. You can swim, you can kick with the assistance of a kickboard to work your legs, you can jog along the shallow end while engaging your arm, legs, and core, or you can work your core through stabilization exercises. Almost anything you do along with the resistance of the water will be a great cardio workout. This one requires a little extra equipment than the others to start; a swimsuit, swim cap, goggles, maybe some earplugs and a place to swim. Once those are sorted, swimming is a workout that can carry you through many different stages of life. It’s great for injury recovery, strengthening of weak muscle groups and it’s one of the safest forms of exercise during pregnancy (According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists).

Underwater photo of a man swimming in a pool. Photo used by Nicole Eva for her blog post 4 alternates to running for heart health
Photo by Kindel Media on


The elliptical is another great low-impact alternative to running. This is a great one because you can go through the same motions as running, without needing to worry about hurting your hips, knees, back, or ankles. It is capable of getting your heart pumping as if you were running without the lifting and landing impact of running. With the elliptical, there are a variety of ways to use it that all work your body a little differently. You can use it to “run” backwards, you can add a more dramatic bend to your knees, you can utilize it for HIIT (high intensity interval training) or for steady state cardio.

Photo of a midsized woman with a shoulder tattoo training on an elliptical with her trainer beside her. Photo used by Nicole Eva for her blog post 4 alternates to running for heart health
Photo by Andres Ayrton on

There are many reasons why you or someone you know may be looking for alternatives to running for heart health. There may be injuries that limit ones ability to withstand the impact of running outside or on a treadmil. Maybe you want some variety in your cardio routine or you simply just hate running (because that’s valid too). Thankfully there are many alternatives, so what now? Now, you pick one that interests you and give it a shot, but don’t forget to have fun! Happy Training!

xx Nicole Eva

p.s. Wanna chat? Follow me on instagram (find me here) or twitter (find me here)! I’d love to connect with you, my dm’s are always open!

3 Helpful, Healthy Habits to Begin This New Year

Hey everyone! 

Welcome to 2022! While waiting for the new year to come, it seemed like time couldn’t move fast enough, but now that it’s here I feel like 2021 kind of flew by. 

I’m sure that as you’ve thought about what you wanted for yourself out of this year, you may have created some sort of list of ways to achieve those goals. Maybe, you want to rest more and spend less time focused on  things you can’t change. Maybe you want to change jobs this year or start a new habit. Whatever your goals may be, I hope you get all that you can out of this year, you deserve it. 

To kick off the new year here at, I wanted to talk about 3 helpful, healthy habits I belive everyone should start this year. These are healthy habits that are important to make a part of your everyday life regardless of what your big goals are. These are things that will help you to feel better on the inside, and therefore help you to achieve more on the outside.

3 Helpful Healthy Habits to Begin This New Year

Move more | Many of us (not all) spend the majority of our days seated. Whether it’s seated at a school desk or table, seated in an office chair or seated in a bus or car, we can spend anywhere from 5-8 hours a day sitting down. This doesn’t include the time we spend relaxing, watching tv or playing video games at home or with friends. Our bodies don’t enjoy that. We need movement. 

Woman using ropes in the gym to workout. Image used to support point that humans need regular movement to maintain health for Nicole Evas blog at
Photo by Andres Ayrton on

Some benefits of regular movement 

  • Movement helps us to release endorphins which helps us to relieve stress. 
  • Movement gives us a mental break from the monotonous or stressful day to day happenings of our lives 
  • Regular movement keeps your lymphatic system healthy which in turn supports your immune health
  • Regular movement helps your bone health
  • Regular movement enhances cognitive performance 
Woman drinking water. Image used to support point that humans need to drink more water to maintain health for Nicole Evas blog at
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on

Drink more water | More than half of the adults in the united states don’t drink enough water and about 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated and don’t even know it (source: Water is so important to your body; It can help you loose weight, help you perform better athletically, it can help increase brain function, it lubricates your joints and helps them to work properly, and it delivers oxygen through the body. 

Need tips on how to drink more water? Check out this post. 

Sleep Better | Sleep is golden, and getting enough is so important to your overall health. Not getting enough sleep is linked to things like an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, depression and increased inflammation. Getting enough sleep sometimes can be hard, maybe you have trouble winding down at night, or you just keep getting distracted with your phone. If that’s you try out some of these tips to help you get more sleep at night. 

  • Develop a bedtime routine – a bedtime routine is a process you stick to each night to set your body up for a relaxing night of sleep. The benefit to this is not only that it takes the guess work out of what you need to do before going to bed, but that your mind will adjust to this pattern and soon will associate your routine with sleep. 
  • Limit or eliminate caffeine intake – caffeine is great for keeping you awake during the day, but sometimes it does it a bit too well and can affect your ability to wind down at night. If you can’t eliminate the caffeine completely , try reducing the intensity of the caffeine you drink (i.e. replacing your morning coffee with green tea perhaps). You can also make a rule with yourself like no caffeine after 10 am to give your body enough time to flush it out. 
  • Stick to a schedule – going to bed at the same time each night helps your body to understand when it should be getting sleepy
  • Try some breathing exercises – these exercises have helped plenty of people relax their bodies before going to bed. 
  • Put the phone away – Not only does putting your phone away help to eliminate distractions as your drift off to dreamland, but the harsh blue light from your phone can confuse your brain into thinking it’s supposed to be awake. 
Woman taking a nap on the couch. Image used to support point that humans need regular rest to maintain health for Nicole Evas blog at
Photo by Baptista Ime James on

These 3 things aren’t exactly earth shattering, no, but they are helpful. When I’m planning new things, like new goals or New Year’s resolutions, I always tend to neglect the “small” things that can make big differences. Remembering these 3 healthy habits, and taking the time to make them into regular routines you can rely on will help you to get off to a healthier start this year.

Have you decided to make any healthy changes for the new year? If so I’d love to hear about them!

Happy New Year friends, and thanks so much for reading! Talk soon.

xx Nicole Eva

p.s. Hey! Let’s connect with each other! Follow me on instagram (find me here) or twitter (find me here)! I’d love to hear from you and include you in all the new stuff coming this year.

Image of a raven zz plant against a white wall for the blog post by Nicole Eva keeping self care simple

Keeping Self-Care Simple

A big thing I find myself needing to remind myself of lately has been how truly simple it really can be to practice self-care.

I think today we make it complicated. There are so many different routines and products that end up being a part of these routines promoted to us by different influencers and businesses that we start to believe that it’s not really self-care if it doesn’t involve the latest face mask, body oil or facial tool.

We’ve created, and fallen into a kind of “consumerism” version of self-care. A brand of self-care where we require more and more things to do to create an image of being cared for instead of actually caring for ourselves. I’m here to tell you gently that it doesn’t have to be this way. Now, there’s nothing wrong with making purchases and building an arsenal of things to help you with your self-care journey, but these things aren’t necessary for self-care, that’s the point I’m making today.

What Simple Self-Care is not

Simple self care is not necessarily superior to other kinds of self-care. It’s not that deep breathing is a more significant type of self care than going to a spa for a day is.

It’s not lazy self-care, or self-care for those who don’t actually have time to take care of themselves.

What Simple Self-Care is

Simple self-care is accessible self-care. It’s easy to practice by those who may not be able to or have the desire to spend money to create a self-care regimen. It’s accessible and inclusive to those who may be in situations where taking care of ones self is particularly difficult. Simple self-care is also foundational. It’s a skill that lasts through time, situations, financial status, etc.

Okay let’s get into it.

Here are some things that I would categorize as simple self-care.

Practicing deep breathing

Quiet time before bed

Developing a nightly wind-down routine


Developing a grounding technique to combat stress, anxiety + depression

Washing your face

Fitting in body movement where you are able

Go outside

Take vitamins

Stay hydrated

Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet

Practice positive self talk

Develop a monthly budget

Write down goals

Read a book

Talk to a friend

Develop a gratitude practice

Take a nap

Delete something from your schedule

Say no

Hold yourself accountable

Ask for help

image of journal of coffee table for Nicole Evas blog post about simple self care

The items listed above are all things that are simple to do, but can take time to work into a habit. This is why I believe in simple self-care; it takes time to work something into a habit, and the less complicated that thing is, the more likely you are to connect with it and maintain consistency. I believe that keeping it simple keeps it consistent, and keeping it consistent keeps it working.

Before we wrap, I want to note that the purpose of this post was to highlight simple self-care, not easy. Self-care isn’t easy, saying no when you’re a yes person isn’t easy. Finding the time and energy after a long work day when you’ve got a long list of to-do’s to go for a walk is not easy. Taking a nap when you have kids is near impossible. Developing a budget sucks (for me at least). But that’s real self-care. Doing something today to help yourself tomorrow, and doing something now to help you refuel and reset yourself. Value yourself! You’re worth it!

Thanks for reading! Talk soon!

xx Nicole

p.s. Wanna chat? Follow me on instagram (find me here) or twitter (find me here)! I’d love to connect with you there, my dm’s are always open!

Is self care selfish self care or selfish images of selfceare

Self-Care or Self-ish?

Is self care selfish?

This is a question that has plagued me whenever people have asked me what my passions revolve around. I’ve said things like wellness, and health and people as a response, which is true. But I’m also passionate about self care, but aware of how others seem to interpret it.

It’s taken me a while to figure out my thoughts on this, and maybe you have also asked yourself this question and come to your own answers, maybe ours are the same, and maybe they’re very different. I guess we shall see.

My answer: Self care is not selfish. It’s actually the complete opposite, but we’ll get to that in a second.

What is selfish though, is burnout. Working yourself all the way until you no longer have life in your bones for anything or anyone around you is not only selfish, but I’ll take it a step further and call prideful.

To understand why burnout is selfish, you have to understand how we get there. The Miriam Websters definition of burnout is “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration”. This term is most commonly used to define how people feel in relation to work, but this can exist within marriages, parenting and just day to day life. Basically, it’s us, working ourselves too hard, without rest, to the point where we are frustrated, exhausted and unmotivated. At the end of the day, getting to this point helps no one. Not your children, not your marriage or relationships, not even your job and definitely not you.

A stressed out, burnt out Nicole.

How do we know we are burnt out? Well, for starters, things you used to love feel or sound exhausting. You have no energy for basic things that used to ground you (going to the gym, reading a book, calling a friend). You may be edgier, sadder, unmotivated, particularly negative in your speech and overall outlook. I’ve experienced this in a few different areas of my life, and as much as I’ve done what most peole do; blame the job, the people, the tasks or the chores in your life, the reality is that I reached burnout because I chose to overwork myself and I didn’t think that I would suffer as a result. I thought I could do everything and that I needed to do everything. I also thought that I needed to be the one to do everything (that’s where the pride comes in).

So, what happens when you’re burnt out? Our work and our attentiveness to others suffers. You may not perform as well at your job, or in your role. You may not connect with your friends as much, you may find yourself disconnected from your spouse, kids and others in your life. Why? Because you’re disconnected from yourself and you have been for a while. Once you disconnect from yourself, your need to rest, your need for things that bring you peace and joy you end up well, burnt out.

The question here is this; if you know that burnout is the end result of you working your 40+ hours job, and pouring out of yourself for your kids, partner, home, extended family, without taking a moment for yourself, and you do it anyway, resulting in you being the worst version of yourself for everyone including yourself…doesn’t that choice make burnout selfish? And, wouldn’t a solution that not only remedies the effect of burnout, but prevents it be anything but selfish?

Note: Life is hard, and life is tiring. For those of you who are tired, worn-out and exhausted, I’m not taking a jab at you I promise. I’m saying this in love as someone who constantly fights burnout. YOU are not selfish, burnout is. YOU are trying your best and I’m here to coach you lovingly and cheer you on while I also try my best. We’re in this together.

That solution, that’s what self care is and that’s why I say no, self care is not selfish. It’s actually the best thing you can do for your job, your family, your friends and yourself.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to take nightly baths with soaks, candles and a book (I mean if you can afford it…go for it). But, it does mean that you should find a routine that suits you, something that fits into your day and your week pretty easily that you can commit to, for yourself because it’s important. For me, I’ve recently begun listening to a calming playlist and sitting in silence in my room with a journal and tea before I go to bed. Some nights its for 30 minutes and some nights it’s 15. It’s small and pretty simplistic, but for me right now it’s not only been helping me to rest and reset after my days but it’s been making my mornings feel so much better. I actually look forward to my little bit of quiet time in the evenings now and I’m a much better wife, friend, and healthier friend to myself because of it (it’s also the reason I’ve started writing again).

My advice if you’re someone who hasn’t taken the time to prioritize self care in your life, start. Keep it small, ask yourself what is one thing that would make you feel good each day. Maybe it’s taking time to moisturize in the morning or before bed. Maybe it’s putting the phone away in the morning while sipping your tea. Maybe it’s taking a walk during your lunch break during the day. Whatever you choose, if it makes you feel good for prioritizing yourself start there. Once you’ve started, protect that space. It’s yours and it matters because it matters to you. Value yourself, you’re worth it.

xx Nicole

p.s. Wanna chat? Follow me on instagram (find me here) or twitter (find me here)! I’d love to connect with you there, my dm’s are always open!

What makes me “Worthy”

As you know I’ve kind of taken a break from writing. I’ve been journaling and such, but I haven’t been documenting my moments publicly. I’ve been enjoying time out of the spotlight and away from the pressure to create for an audience. It’s been nice. 

Lately though I’ve felt the pull to begin again, to share my thoughts and aspects of my life with others but to be honest, I’ve been kind of burdened by the question “what makes me worthy”? 

If you are someone who also creates, whether in the form of writing, photography, music or another art form I would assume that you’ve at some point asked yourself some variation of this same question. “Why is my life important to others?” “What about me is so special that I feel I deserve a special platform to talk about the mundanities of my existence?”. My very simple answer to myself, would be, it’s not and absolutely nothing. 

I don’t say this to degrade myself, but i’m simply being honest. I don’t think there’s necessarily anything particular about me that makes me stand out from other writers or from others on the internet. Yea, I’ve had some unique experiences, but I don’t really believe they’re anymore unique than those experienced by you or those around you. So what makes me “worthy” of this space on the internet? Literally, nothing, nothing at all.

When I had this thought initially, it was discouraging. I mean, I was coming to terms with the fact that there was nothing specifically *special about me as a writer. I wasn’t an expert blogger who could give tips and tricks to help you grow your blog in a few months. I wasn’t living a scandalous life with captivating stories to update you on each week, and I wasn’t traveling the world and going on adventures in idyllic wanderlust fashion. I’m just a woman in a small city, phasing out of young adulthood who likes to write and share pieces of my life (maybe at times too much of my life) with strangers on the internet. As I ruminated on this, I had another thought; the people I enjoy consuming content from, whether reading their blogs, watching their YouTube channels, reading their tweets or engaging with on instagram are kinda like me. 

They are normal people, living relatively normal lives…and I love them. I tell my husband all of the time that I consider these people “friends”. I care about their ups and downs, celebrate their accomplishments and grieve with their losses… and maybe that makes me weird but I think I relate more to the “mundane” pieces of life from others than the extremely spectacular. I of course enjoy a good travel or van life vlog, but regularly I find myself really connecting with those who aren’t necessarily “worthy” of this public platform. 

Because of that little realization I felt more at peace. Theres nothing wrong with the regular day to day stuff.

That enouraged me, but I didn’t want it to stop there. I want to encourage those of you who may be on the fence about blogging or creating a podcast or starting YouTube or getting involved on social media or just sharing you whatever you do. If your hesitation to share or discouragement comes from you thinking you don’t have anything to offer (as mine does from time to time), remember that you don’t have to offer anything. Most people who connect with you are going to connect with you for you. Have fun with it.

When it comes down to it, if you were given the desire to create, whether it’s educational content for a subject you’re interested in, showcasing your art, or just broadcasting the happenings of your everyday, do it. There’s no one in your way but you and just as there are people who are here and who continually read my content (thank you by the way!) there will be people out there who resonate with you too.

Rebuilding Your Self-Confidence

I don’t know if this is apparent, but I am a highly sensitive person. I do a pretty good job at pretending I’m not simply because the world can be a bit harsh, but, it’s who I am. 

Like most people who are highly sensitive, I’ve grown up always assuming this to be a bad thing. I grew up around labels such as “too sensitive”  or “too quiet” which to me, indicated that this trait was a negative one. 

As I grew into adulthood I went through phases of acceptance of myself and my sensitive nature; it made me exceptionally good at the personal aspects of my work in every job I’ve ever held and it made me a pretty good friend. But along with the phases of acceptance, I also went through phases of rejection of this part of me; it made me a target for ridicule in spaces where this trait was viewed as a weakness. 

Recently, I had an encounter that sent me spiraling. My “me” was again under scrutiny and I had to make a choice. Do I do what I’d done for years, change myself to fit this mold, this expectation of what I should be simply to avoid the sting of rejection? Or do I stick to what I know to be right which is to be who I am? 

If I wanted to deceive you, I could say that this was an easy choice and that I picked me first and foremost and lived happily ever after, but that’s not the truth. The truth is the choice sent me deep into crisis. I found myself not only feeling the weight of rejection from others, but I also found myself rejecting myself. I became enraged that I couldn’t be more like what “everyone” had expected me to be. I became hateful of my quietness, my introspective nature, my desire to observe before jumping in and my slightly awkward approach to social situations. And I was there for days. I knew I was wrong, but I still felt all of this bitter animosity towards myself. 

Even today, almost a month later I’m a bit gun shy when being observed. I stepped away from social media, YouTube and I haven’t written publicly in a while. I’m not completely settled, but what I can say is that I’m choosing myself, as I am. 

Once I made that choice, I had some work to do. I needed to rebuild my confidence and heal the wounds caused by others, but also the wounds caused by myself. I hurt myself more than anyone ever could because when it came down to it, I rejected myself.

I’m still in the process and every day I have to consciously make the decision to take care of myself, but it’s working. So I wanted to share the process of how I’m rebuilding my self-confidence and repairing my self-esteem after a set back. 

How I’m Rebuilding My Self-Confidence After A Set Back

The first thing I did was get quiet and get alone.

What was extremely helpful for me during that time was the fact that I was sent on a work trip alone. I had to trust myself to not only navigate by myself, but to care for myself in the process. There was no one to speak for me, just me. I was able to sit in silence, and get uncomfortable with my thoughts and feelings, by myself, in a hotel room. 

The next thing I did was eat well.

I know that sounds so simple, but there’s a connection between your gut health and your mental health. And if your gut is healthy, that’s another factor working with you towards a healthy mind and not against you. I made sure to stay on top of my fruit, veggie and protein intake, I took my probiotics and stayed hydrated. 

Another thing that helped me was I rediscovered something I loved and made time for it.

I grew up as a competitive swimmer. If there was a pool, I was going to be in it and I loved it. It relieved my stress, made me happy and showcased my strengths. I rediscovered my love for the pool while on that same work trip and as soon as I landed I opened a gym membership at a gym with a pool. I swim almost every day. Not only is it doing numbers for my cardiovascular health, but the way I fill with confidence when I set a goal and conquer it in the pool is unmatched. 

The last thing that I’ve done and it’s actually something I’m still doing, intentionally surrounding myself with people who love me for me.

Being around people I don’t have to impress, people I don’t have to be anyone but me for, it’s healing. From spending nights hanging out with my husband to going out with girlfriends, creating space in close proximity to people who bring me joy has done a number to remind me why I like being me. 

As I said, I’m still in the process. I’m still building (sometimes it takes a while) but I can feel myself coming back and I’m so excited for all these little steps along the way. 

Thank you for hanging out!

I promise we’ll talk soon 

xx Nicole Eva

Why Working Out Isn’t Working For You

Working out. We know we need it.
Whether it’s in the form of taking a walk, going for a bike ride, cardio at home, or lifting heavy in the gym, we all know that working out should be a decent part of our lives. But sometimes, we hate it.

Fitness was a part of my life from a young age. By the age of 10, I was a competitive swimmer and a gymnast. I played soccer, did tae kwon do, ran 5ks, and whatever else I could get into. Maintaining an active lifestyle was all I knew. This lasted up until my freshman year of college, it was just something I did and never needed to think too much about…until I stopped.

Once I slowed down, as people do when they get older and take on more sedentary roles at work and school, I started to gain a bit of weight here and there. That weight gain combined with “grown woman” weight, combined with the slowing of my metabolism took me for a ride emotionally and I started to look for ways to lose it, fast. I never did anything drastic, but I did workout, a lot.

I ran a lot. Lifted a lot. And ran a lot more. It worked for me, but I started to hate it. I hated going to the gym. I hated running. I hated working out. In addition to all of that, I started to hate my body for being the way it was and putting me through this. Even though in theory I was getting physically healthier, I was developing a bad relationship with working out and with my body in general. Eventually, I got burned out and quit altogether.

Maybe that’s you, or maybe you’re not quite there but for some reason, you can’t find yourself committing to a fitness routine for more than a month or two. You start out rocking and ready to go but once your initial high and excitement is gone, you’re dragging your feet…again.

So what’s the deal? Why isn’t working out working for you? Why wasn’t it working for me?

I can’t exactly speak for you, but I can tell you what my deal was.

I was working out to change myself. I was doing what everyone out there was telling me to do, “Don’t like something about yourself? Change it.” So I tried and tried hard.

Here’s the thing about working out purely because you hate your body: body hatred doesn’t simply go away when you lose weight, when your butt gets bigger or when your stomach is flat. We’re human, and as humans, when we’re always focused on what’s next, we risk never being content and finding joy in the present moment and with our present selves.

Today I love working out. I love going for walks or jogs. I’m always excited to head out to rollerblade or work up an intense sweat in my living room. I’ve been this way for a while too, and it’s not changing. So, what changed?

I’ve found that I enjoy working out more when I’m not focused on losing weight but when I’m focused on using working out as one of my many tools to help me feel good. To help me be well. As soon as I stopped trying to change my body because I hated it, I started to love taking care of my body—in all aspects. I loved getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, getting the proper nutrients in my food, using healthy products on my skin, and working out as a means to keep my body happy.

I believe, that when you decide to love your body, the way it is now, for what it does now, you’ll find that doing the things to help heal your body come easier and that they’re more enjoyable.

Here’s an exercise you can do:

Even though where you’re at now may not be your “ideal look” you can still appreciate your body for what it is and what it can do and does every day. We talk a lot about the positive self-talk here on this blog and this post will be no different, I want to encourage those of you that may be having trouble with your body right now to take a moment to write out things about your body that you appreciate.

They don’t have to be physical things necessarily (though that is also encouraged); they can be things like “I appreciate you carrying my babies and keeping them safe” or “I appreciate your strength and resilience” and even “I appreciate the way you tell me what you need”. Whatever it is take a moment to write them down, once that’s done, practice telling yourself these things daily. With such practices, we begin our days at an advantage—You set up a positive tone for your nutrition choices, and for the ways you decide to move your body.
Healing and helping your body needs to come from a positive place, and this is how we get that started.

You got this!
xx Nicole

Caring For Yourself After A Binge

We’ve all been there. You’re doing really well eating what you should, when you should, you feel great, and feel like you look great…then it happens. For whatever reason, you have a terrible eating day.

For me, these usually look like me not eating breakfast till about 1 pm, and then instead of eating something nutritious I run to the fastest, easiest thing available and eat way too much of it, because, well, I’m hungry. This may be bread, chips, bagels, chicken nuggets…literally anything I can get my hands on.

By the time I catch up to myself I’m full and bloated and bracing for the regret that’s going to come any minute.

This moment is an example of binge eating. Not to be confused with binge eating disorder, an episode of binge eating is really as exampled above. A moment where you consume more food than you normally would, in a shorter period than you normally would.

These days, although not great, are normal. And your reaction to such days (frustration, disappointment, and maybe total indifference) are also normal. But there are ways you can care for yourself after a not-so-great eating day to help your body recover healthily and to help soothe the negative self-talk that can come as a result.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and my goal in sharing this post is simply to help others understand how to treat themselves with kindness and grace after a moment of discouragement.

How to care for yourself after a binge

Drink Plenty of Water

Keeping yourself hydrated helps your body to regulate. It might feel uncomfortable to do at first, but doing so will help your body digest and increase your metabolism.

Counter Nourish

Give your body what it needs. Later, when you do eat again (and you should, do not skip meals due to a moment of binging. Your body still needs you to take care of it) fill your plate with foods high in fibers. Veggies are packed with fiber and vitamins that will help to give your body the nourishment it seeks. Fiber also helps you to digest and eventually go to the bathroom, and those bathroom trips can offer some relief after a binge day.

Move Your Body

Chances are after a binge you’re not feeling too great. Getting your body moving accelerates the process of digestion and can eventually lead to you emptying your stomach, which can offer some relief. Not only that but exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good.

Use Your Words Constructively

As much as it may be tempting to get angry with yourself and say some not very nice things, resist. You are human and you are allowed to sometimes misinterpret your body’s needs. Remind yourself that this is a part of life and growth and that growth is good and worthy of celebration.

Take a Nap

Okay. So this one may not be as scientific as the others but, for me, if I take a nap after eating a bit too much of the wrong stuff, I skip all of the weird digestion pains (and mental guilt) and wake up just in time for my body to be ready to….start over. So, not as science-y (sorry) but a helpful tip from my life. Do with it as you may.

We all have days where we fall off track and don’t eat what we should and the way we should. Our bodies though, are stronger and more resilient than we think they are. It will be back to normal in no time, and you get tomorrow to make a positive impact for yourself. Allow yourself space to be human and take care of yourself along the way, you need it.

xx Nicole

Spring Cleaning | Wellness Style

Spring is here!

Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping and it’s finally starting to be warm enough to where we want to open our windows and let in the clean air.

Spring signifies a fresh start to many people. It’s the time of the year where we like to clean out our old and make room for our new. We donate old clothes and home items, deep clean our closets, and just overall make sure that our space is nice and fresh.

A clean home is great, but it’s not the only thing we should be focused on cleaning out and freshening up this season. What I’m talking about is spring cleaning for your mind and overall wellness.
Just as we sweep out the dusty crevices of our homes, we need to make a habit of doing so with our minds and bodies as well.

Here’s how we can do some spring cleaning of our own, wellness edition.

Clean up those thought patterns

What does your inner voice sound like? Is it overly critical? Is it negative? If so, it’s time to be intentional about changing its tone. How do we do that? We practice. Tell yourself positive things about yourself. When you catch yourself being negative, be intentional, aggressively so, about countering those negative thoughts and words with positive ones. Instead of “wow I’m so stupid” try, “it’s okay, mistakes help me grow”. Making a habit of changing the way you speak to yourself, out loud, will change the way you speak to yourself internally.

Put negative people on mute

Sometimes people can bring us down. We all have people in our lives who only want to focus on drama, conflict, bad news, and other things that make us feel bad. You may love these people, but it doesn’t mean you have to give them access to you and your emotions. Unfriend or unfollow them on Facebook, delete them from Instagram or Twitter, and set boundaries as far as spending physical time with them. This doesn’t make you mean, but it does make sure that you are prioritizing your headspace and that is very important.

Take out those negative habits

Alrighty, friends, we all have some bad habits that have found their ways back into our lives since the new year right? I know I do (somehow Instagram has reestablished itself as my morning routine…oops). Well, winter is gone and spring is in and it’s time to send them packing…again. Make yourself a list of what habits you have that need to go. Arrange them in order of easiest to break to hardest and start. Start small, and be consistent, it will pay off. It also helps to hold yourself accountable by telling someone else.

There is no time like now to get starting on a better you! And days like these spring days make me feel so good that I’m excited for a healthy home, body, and mind.

What are you cleaning up this spring season, let me know below!

Thanks for reading, talk soon.

xx Nicole Eva