Anxious? 5 Tips to Reduce Anxiety Immediately!

I know that many people have mixed feeling about the outcome of the election, and many people have strong feelings one way or another.

I'm not going to state my political views here, BUT there is no denying that in times like these it's important to remember to take care of ourselves. Forces that are completely outside of our control at this point are not worth sacrificing your health and happiness for.

With that being said, I don't know about you, but my newsfeed and reading about so many distraught friends triggered some huge anxiety for me today. Because of this I wanted to give you some tools for combating anxiety! These are small tips you can do right now or sometime today, regardless of circumstance.

I think all of us have some anxiety here or there, and it's totally normal. When you feel that pang of anxiety, dread, and stress welling in the pit of your stomach or in your chest, try these techniques to help relieve the feeling.

I want to mention that I know debilitating anxiety disorder is very different from the mild anxiety that I'm talking about here. But even if you suffer from extreme anxiety and take medication for it, these techniques surely won't hurt!

1. Find a quiet space to be alone

It can be a stall in your work bathroom, sitting in your car, sitting in your bedroom, or maybe you have the luxury of taking some time to sit on a bench outside. Wherever it is, just find a quiet space where you can be with yourself and collect your thoughts without all of the overwhelming outside influences. If you have essential oils with you like lavender, take a deep inhale of the scent.

2. BREATHE & MEDITATE

If you have headphones I recommend you either put on some music that makes you feel good and makes the rest of the world melt away, or you can pull up a guided meditation either on YouTube, or using a fee app like Head Space. No matter the method you use, start by counting your breaths, making an effort to make them long, & deep breaths. Count up to 10, then start back at 1. Breathing in is 1, breathing out is 2, until you reach 10. Slowing your breath helps to slow your heart rate which sends your brain signals to calm down and that everything will be okay.

3. Move

That's right, this is so important! After you've found a space to be alone and collect your thoughts, listened to something that makes you feel good and chemically helped your body to calm the eff down through breathing, it's time to move a bit to help you feel even better. Depending on where you are, you could do some simple stretches while you're still sitting, really working to expand your range of motion, maybe do a couple jumping jacks, or my favorite is to go for a nice brisk walk, which leads me to my next tip.

4. Get outside

There is nothing more life affirming then going outside and connecting with nature, even if it's just a tree outside your office building. Nature chemically helps our bodies relax. If social connections make you feel good then recruit a friend to come along with you for your nature walk - BUT make sure if you decide to bring someone or talk on the phone with someone, that you still make a point to connect and notice the nature around you while you walk and talk. ALSO it's very important to steer the conversation in a direction that will make you feel good & NOT cause more anxiety. Chose your walking mate wisely! Taking a walk alone is amazing also, no need to go with someone, unless you know it makes you feel better to talk it out.

5. Remove the trigger

Now I know, this can't be done immediately in every case. If your boss is what makes you anxious and you can't quit your job, then you can't easily remove them. However, I would say it's worth evaluating what you CAN change in order to change your circumstances. Maybe start looking for a new job, maybe find a passion project on the side, maybe start earning some side hustle so there's less pressure at work. There are always steps we can take to move towards the outcome we want, even if it can't be attained immediately. For instance, if people on social media are stressing you out, then take a break from social media for a day or two. If it's a specific person or people who are stressing you out, then possibly just unfollow them (don't unfriend, unless you really no longer want a friendship) so you don't have a constant trigger in your newsfeed. It's not worth keeping something so triggering in your everyday life.

More than anything, concentrate on the things in life that make you happy. I know there's a lot of doom and gloom out there, and sure there are A TON of negative things we can concentrate on. But worrying, stressing, and getting anxious over those things doesn't change them, and it doesn't make them any better. Instead do something with what you CAN control: YOURSELF.

The only thing in life we have control over is ourselves. We can try to control everything else around us but it's just not possible and it'll leave you defeated and frustrated. So control you today, and remember that we have SO much to be grateful for in this life.

If you're reading this, you have some sort of access to the internet, you have some sort of computer, tablet, smartphone, or a friend or family member with one of those things. You've had some form of education that allows you to read at all. You probably have a roof over your head, food in your belly, and people in your life who love you. You ARE blessed! So choose to concentrate on the good, and let's choose happiness today! <3

Also just as a side note, this is a guided meditation from YouTube that I used this morning and thought it was pretty good!

Have a beautiful day everyone and make sure to share these tips with someone who you think could benefit from them!! Sharing is caring, and no one should have to feel helpless because of their anxiety - so help someone feel better today!

PS: READY FOR NATURALLY CLEAR SKIN & RENEWED CONFIDENCE?
Join hundreds of subscribers and get instant access to my resource library of ebooks, worksheets, and resources for acne sufferers & health seekers alike!

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween everyone!!!

I had a super fun weekend celebrating the Halloween by dressing up first as a ballerina for a fun coaching event, then I was Maggie to my husbands Glenn from The Walking Dead, and finally yesterday we went to the Renaissance festival out in PA so I wore a flower crown and deemed myself a flower princess.

Tonight we're just going to pass out some goodness knows bars to kids in the neighborhood and take it easy! No trick or treating for us!

 With fellow coaches Jen &amp; Casey at the DC Super Saturday event for Beachbody Coaches!

With fellow coaches Jen & Casey at the DC Super Saturday event for Beachbody Coaches!

 Glenn &amp; Maggie AKA hubby &amp; I... I think I did a great job with our cuts, dirt, &amp; bruises!

Glenn & Maggie AKA hubby & I... I think I did a great job with our cuts, dirt, & bruises!

 We met Thor at the renaissance festival!

We met Thor at the renaissance festival!

The real reason I'm checking in today however is because I didn't want to leave you hanging on Halloween without a sweet clean treat option!

Enter there magical bars by Juli over at PaleOMG!

I made these as my post competition "cheat" earlier this summer and not only did they hit the spot perfectly as my treat but they are a REAL crowd pleaser! I ended up sharing them with everyone because I had so many and everyone loved them! I mean seriously they're rich and chocolatey and delicious!

This is a short post today - I really just wanna share the recipe with you! The opnly adjustments I made were using sunbutter as my nut butter along with a little bit of real peanut butter ( OH MY!) and lastly I used coconut palm sugar instead of maple sugar.

I also traveled with mine in a insulated lunch box & ice packs. They don't hold up too well unless they're cold! I might even just free them individually next time!


 Gorgeous picture from PaleOMG.com

Gorgeous picture from PaleOMG.com


Thanks so much as always for tuning in and I hope you have an amazing Halloweeeeeeeen! Be safe out there!

xoxo -.png
PS: READY FOR NATURALLY CLEAR SKIN & RENEWED CONFIDENCE?
Join hundreds of subscribers and get instant access to my resource library of ebooks, worksheets, and resources for acne sufferers & health seekers alike!

PCOS & Thinning Hair?

Well ladies - and I suppose possibly some gents - I have had beyond a ton of requests to talk more about PCOS and specifically what I do about the thinning PCOS hair thing that SO many of us are dealing with.

I gotta tell you, having thinning hair might have been one of the hardest part about getting PCOS. Yes the acne was bad, yes the thought of possibly never having children was unbearable, BUT my HAIR was something I never had to worry about.

My hair had always been rather cooperative. It was nice and thick, but not too thick. It was silky and undamaged.... I could grow it long without it looking dead, and of all my features, I'd say that for most of my life my hair was the ONE thing I actually liked about myself. Genuinely. I talked more about my PCOS hair and natural 'no poo' experience in a previous posts and I also shared my favorite natural mask recipe in THIS blog post. The recipe is magic and I STILL use it!

It not only makes your hair soft and silky, it also helps promote new growth in your hair follicles and strengthens your existing strands with nutrients AKA a dream combination for those of us struggling with PCOS HAIR ore really anyone with thin hair! I've had a ton of friends add it to their weekly routine and they've seen great results!

I want to mention WHY so many of us ladies with PCOS deal with the same thing, and I'm sure you can pretty much figure out the culprit:

ANDROGENS and specifically a type of testosterone called DHT.

Those damn male hormones that are swirling around and wreaking all kinds of havoc in our bodies are essentially also making our hair follicles more manly, AKA alopecia AKA male pattern balding, BUT FOR WOMEN. Fun right? Not so much, but don't worry - it doesn't have to be forever.

Just like men tend to start balding and losing their hair as they age and their hormones shift, the same thing happens to us women with PCOS because of our hormonal imbalances.

Now that you understand why this is happening, let's talk a little bit about what you can do to combat this beyond throwing temper tantrums and walking around with two strands of hair.

Below you'll also find a hair tutorial I did over on facebook the other day, AND I'll give you some updates on my current fav hair-care products including my not so secret weapon: EXTENSIONS!

What can you do to combat PCOS thinning hair?

1. Eat nutritious food! 

Yep, I know you probably didn't want to see this one, but I'm sure you're also not surprised by it! Your body needs nutrients on the inside and out in order to balance your hormones and keep the hair you DO have healthy! Include things like Salmon, Sardines, Cucumbers, Beets, Kale, Spinach, Bok Choy, Raw Sauerkraut, Sweet Potatoes, Yuca, Taro, Mushrooms, Goats Milk Kefir, Kombucha, Blueberries, Avocado, Bone Broth, Oysters, Grass Fed Beef, Liver, Lamb, Seaweed, Kelp, Eggs, Cinnamon, Turmeric, and any Coconut products. BUT just eating nutritious food won't necessarily get the nutrients into your body. You gotta make sure that your body can absorb the nutrients you're feeding it by healing your gut, which brings me to number two...

2. Heal Leaky Gut...

I hate to break it to you, but if you have hormonal imbalances ie PCOS - then you're def dealing with some leaky gut. I'm not going to go into details here but you need to remove gut damaging foods like sugar, gluten, grains, and beans like asap! On top of that here are some great supplements to add into your diet to help nutrient absorption, healing leaky gut, & building up your hair, skin & nails! a) Collagen Peptides b) Liver Caps c) L-Glutamine or BCAA OR Leaky Gut Repair depending on what your overall goals are, and last but not least d) Probiotics

3. Don't Stress It!

Yep, stress is just going to make you lose more hair, so try adding in some outside time with a walk during the day, maybe reading a book or taking an epsom salt bath, whatever is going relax you and help you de-stress - DO IT!

4. Don't Be Rough!

Take a gentle hand with your hair, don't constantly touch it and run your fingers through it as that will just make more hair come out. When you do brush your hair I recommend using a boar bristle brush and ALWAYS brush from the bottom to the top. So start with small sections at the tips of your hair and work your way up to the root! But don't brush too often! Again all the pulling isn't great when you're trying to hold onto your locks! Also make sure that you're not over washing your hair. Some natural oils are good, so keep the washes to just 2-5 times per week, and just wear your hair up so you're not tempted to mess with it!

5. Ditch The Conventional Stuff!

Yep, forget about regular shampoos, masks, serums, gels, and conditioners, that clog your hair follicles and mess with your hormonal balancing efforts, instead go the natural route and again do that hair mask I mentioned above, you won;t regret it! Some of my favorite natural products for thinning hair are a) Just Naturals b) African Black Soap - this is what I currently use c) Morocco Method.  

Last but certainly not least....

6. Don't be afraid to wear some hair extensions!

I don't care how hippy dippy or into self love and self care you are - if your hair is making you feel like crap about yourself it's NOT worth the stress and agonizing over. Seriously I wish I had bought some a lot sooner. It would have saved me a lot of stress & heartache. Especially if you know it's going to take some time to really build your hair back up the RIGHT way, then get some clip in extensions!

There ain't no shame in my game!

I'll admit that I myself was totally judgy about extensions until I wore them for my bikini competition earlier this year and realized.... WOW these make me feel AMAZING! And it's in that moment that I realized that if there's something about yourself that you're kind of unsatisfied with, it's OKAY to do something about it! You should NOT feel bad about doing things that make you feel good about yourself - even if it's getting a boob job, or removing excess skin that drives you crazy, or getting some friggin hair extensions! By doing something to feel differently about yourself you're not saying that there's something WRONG with you. You're just doing something that makes you feel AWESOME! Isn't that worth it? Your body and hair is not going to suffer from you putting in some extensions. Your body will however suffer from you STRESSING about your hair every day. Now what COULD as a result of wearing extensions is that wearing them will make you feel LESS stressed about your hair and outward appearance and make you feel like the banging ass woman that you most definitely are. Having that renewed confidence in yourself can lower your stress, help you to be more outgoing, make better connections with people, and let's be honest - GO OUT IN PUBLIC without feeling ashed, or being worried about how your thin hair looks the entire time!

I know all too well how it goes to see pictures of yourself from an outing or event and just feel like your hair looks so thin and wispy and gross. Or to blow dry the crap out of it in hopes of giving it all of the volume and hiding the fact that it's gotten so thin. Seriously, I feel you boo! Don't let your PCOS have that much power over you when you can easily do something about it!

So while you're working on making your hair and hormones healthy with my methods above - why not help your self confidence out by putting  some extensions in!? I swear it's funny how one little thing can make such a huge difference. And people tell me ALL THE TIME how amazing and thick and healthy my hair looks when I wear them! 

 Def wearing my extensions here! I love them!

Def wearing my extensions here! I love them!

I plan to get some more "semi permanent" ones soon using either keratin strips, or itips, when I have room for it in my budget. But today is not that day, and until then I'll keep using my clip ins!

I do only wear the extensions when my hair is down - I want to mention that. I don't really wear them when I have my hair up unless I do a low side pony or a braid of some sort. But when it's on top of my head I typically don't think it's worth the hassle of putting them in! Oh and as far as the hassle goes - once you get a system down they don't take long to put in at all maybe 5 minutes tops! But I won't lie that it took me a minute to figure out what I was doing on that front! Maybe that'll be my next hair tutorial if you guys are wanting to see it? If so then leave a comment below - if I get enough comments then I'll tutorial that ish. If not then, meh we'll see. I make no promises!

Speaking of tutorials.... Here's my hair tutorial for that PINEAPPLE HAIR that everyone goes crazy over!!! It's really easy to do and a fun look! I don't wear any kind of extensions for this look, and I wear this look almost all week long, not gonna lie!

Well folks that's it for me today! I hope you have an amazing Thursday, I've gotta run off and go teach some ballet, but in the mean time don't forget to ask any PCOS specific hair questions in the comments section below right here on the blog! And also let me know if you enjoy blog posts like this so I can bring you more of em in the future! Please share this post if you know someone who struggles with thinning hair and may find it helpful! <3

PS: READY FOR NATURALLY CLEAR SKIN & RENEWED CONFIDENCE?
Join hundreds of subscribers and get instant access to my resource library of ebooks, worksheets, and resources for acne sufferers & health seekers alike!

NEW YouTube Channel Launch!

I'm super excited AND super nervous to share this with you guys! I've been documenting my journey on both Snapchat and Instagram stories very regularly and with some pretty good reactions, which is what inspired me to create this channel!

I've been told I should vlog and that I'm good on video... So honestly that's the ONLY reason I even gave this a shot! Because I've wanted a vlog forever, but I've never had the balls to actually DO anything about it before besides record some videos and never use them.

I'm going to tell you right now that this video makes me cringe. Like A LOT. It is SO FAR from perfect and the standard that I want it to be, BUT I knew I just needed to get the content out there and start the vlogging process. I'm sure my video editing skills will get better and I'm also planning to get a new camera that's exclusively for my vlogging content, instead of recording with my iphone.

Let's not even talk about my current editing skills... The next one WILL be better, I promise!

But alas here goes.... Find my very first youtube vlog below!

Please do like and subscribe to my channel to help it grow and allow me to keep bringing you new content on a regular basis! I love sharing info with you guys to make your lives better so I hope to continue to do so! Thank you SO MUCH as always for you love and support - it makes all the hard work worth it! Also I want to say that it's people like you who really make it possible for projects like this one to come to life instead of just being a pipe dream! I see you boo, and I appreciate you.

That's all for now - I gotta run to teach some ballet. Go figure I'm running late because I'm sitting here blogging instead of leaving! Until next time...

PS: READY FOR NATURALLY CLEAR SKIN & RENEWED CONFIDENCE?
Join hundreds of subscribers and get instant access to my resource library of ebooks, worksheets, and resources for acne sufferers & health seekers alike!

New Product Review: Farmstead Apothecary!!!

I'm super excited about this post today!

First I'm giving you a full, honest review about some products I recently tried out from Farmstead Apothecary, then I'm providing you with an EXCLUSIVE discount code for my followers only at the end of the post!

I want to mention that I am super stingy and skeptical when it comes to most products on the market today regardless of the source. It's important for us as the consumer to vote with our dollars, and arm ourselves with knowledge to make the very best possible decisions when it comes to products for our selves and out families!

My general skepticism hat goes for food products, supplements, topical skincare, and even goes all the way to home products. Unless I've personally vetted the products, I can't fully trust them! I'm sure we can all relate to this! Hopefully you know that most conventional over the counter beauty and self care products available over the counter today are filled with harmful toxins, dyes, scents, chemicals, and various other damaging ingredients. This is true for skincare, shampoos, and really just about anything and everything we are using daily without even thinking about!

When I switched over to a more natural and Paleo lifestyle, I think making the transition to natural home and beauty products was one of the last things I did! It's hard to change our beliefs when it comes to things we're comfortable using and know work! I mean I was really attached to my conventional chemicals and I didn't want to part with them!

Eventually I did, and it was the best decision ever! This doesn't mean that all chemicals are bad by any means, or that there isn't a time and place for certain things, but I realized that if I truly wanted to rid my body of toxins then I needed to rid my environment of them as well. There are still some aspects in my life where I need to transition to more natural things, like my industrial carpet cleaning products, but for the most part I live a very natural lifestyle and I totally LOVE IT!

With that being said, I will never recommend or blog about a product that I don't full 100% support and have personally tried myself. When any company approaches me with a product to try, my first response is ALWAYS to ask a ton of questions. Based on how they respond, I then carefully scan through all the ingredients in their products and let them know which ones I am willing to try! I test everything on myself and my family and friends before I recommend it to you! And after all that I then carefully decide which products to blog about and which ones I don't believe will serve you! And so here we are because some companies do things right and create a stellar product in the process! I can't help but want to support them, and I hope you do too! 

I seriously LOVE when companies like Farmstead Apothecary pop up and share an amazing all natural product line with the world. When the owner and creator of Farmstead: Lauren, approached me with her philosophy as well as some info about her products, I got such a great vibe and I was instantly interested in trying them out!

At farmstead they strive to use no  more than 8 ingredients in each product because they like to keep everything both pure and SIMPLE.

SIMPLE is like my favorite ever when it comes to product ingredients! So obviously I was intrigued!

There are way more details about how each item is made and all of this on the site, but consider this a spark notes version! Needless to say, I looked through their products, asked her questions about the ingredients, she asked me quite a few also to make sure her products would work for me, I told her about my skin sensitivities, and I mean, talk about a SUPER sweet and inspiring woman! She and her husband created this company in order to allow other families to experience natural products at an affordable price! Such a wonderful mission for a company! You can read more about their story over on their website - but I'd say they've succeeded on both accounts! These products are made with so much love and using only the very best quality ingredients. Plus they work well which helps!

On top of that I gotta say that I was super impressed with the cute packaging and the great prices. As soon as I opened the box I all I could say was "WOW"! I honestly didn't expect everything to be so beautiful and professional. But my expectations were totally exceeded! The adorable packaging of each item literally just makes me happy every time I use them!. No lie.

Okay now on to my review of the specific products I tried!

1)   Boysenberry Vanilla Lip Balm

AKA MY OBSESSION.

Okay that sounds a bit crazy, but in all seriousness, I've purchased a lot of natural lip balms and I have liked them all except for the fact that they don't last very long. But this particular lip balm not only feels great on your lips but it also hydrates them, reduces cracking and peeling, lasts for hours, and omg it tastes really good! I'm not eating the stuff, don't worry! But we all know that you usually end up tasting some of your lip balm because it sits on your friggin lips! And seriously this lip balm is the BOMB! Or should I say the BALM!? Okay I'll stop. It's my fav. I love it. The end.

Ingredients: Organic coconut oil, organic beeswax, organic shea butter, organic natural fragrance, organic stevia, organic vitamin E oil

2) Lemon Lavender Foaming Hand Soap

Yep, you read that right. naturally FOAMING HAND SOAP! This hand soap not only smells wonderful with the lemon and lavender scents, but it leaves your hand both clean and soft after use without all the gross fillers in other hand soaps. I should mention that it also lasts a looooong time even with regular use! I have mine in my master bathroom and I don't think I'd ever buy another hand soap at this point. It's just awesome stuff that I know I can trust.

Ingredients: Water, organic saponified coconut oil , organic sunflower oil, organic leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate, organic fragrance oil, organic vitamin e oil

3) Fig & Honey Body Wash

I honestly think the name alone really sells this one! But I do have to tell you that this is one of the products I was the most hesitant to try!!! I don't actually wash my body with any soaps, I simply exfoliate with epsom salts and sea salts and I sometimes do rinses with baking soda and or raw Apple Cider Vinegar. ANYWAY my body is super acne prone and sensitive which is why I was kinda scared to try this out. It smells amazing, but I didn't particularly love it on my back and chest just because I'm so used to exfoliating. It didn't break me out but or anything, but I'm pretty attached to my scrubs for my back and chest! However, it has officially become my "shaving soap" and I really do love it for that function! I use it on my legs and armpits when I shave, PLUS I also use it on the rest of my body when I feel that I need a little extra freshening up! I even mix it with my salts to scrub sometimes because it feels great! It goes on smooth and silky like butter and feels amazing on your skin. Plus did I mention how good it smells, like seriously!? I smells amazing just like every other product. I love this stuff!

Ingredients: Water, saponified organic coconut oil, organic vegetable glycerin, organic sunflower oil, organic guar gum, organic leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate, organic natural fragrance, organic vitamin E oil

4) Citrus & Fig Foaming Face Wash

Okay now don't hate me.... I was too scared to try this product! I am honestly such a believer in "if it ain't broke don't fix it" and I love my skincare with my oil cleansing so much that I just couldn't bring myself to do it! I also have had BAD reactions to coconut oil on my face in the past which is what really made me hesitate. HOWEVER, I did give my bottle to a trusted friend who absolutely loved it! So I would say that if you don't have any known sensitivities to coconut oil then give this a go for sure! I probably would've been fine with it also. I'm just a scared little baby when it comes to my face! The ingredients are honestly fantastic and I will probably give it a try at some point since I've loved all the other products so far and my face is WAY less sensitive than it was before!

 Ingredients: Water, organic saponified coconut oil, organic jojoba oil, organic leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate, organic fragrance oil, organic vitamin e oil

5) Rosemary Lemongrass Pet Shampoo

Yes, they even have pet shampoo! Because what you put on your pets matters too! Not only do you come in contact with many of the same surfaces as your pets, but if you don't want toxic chemicals on your skin then why would you want them on your pet's skin and coat? 

I really love this pet shampoo! Full disclosure, I have a wee yorkie baby so her fur is a bit different than most other dogs. But this smelled great and left her coat feeling nice and soft. We do still give her baths using the 'no poo' method AKA baking soda and ACV occasionally to help avoid ticks and fleas, but when we do that we still usually finish the bath off with this awesome pet shampoo so that she smells wonderful! We haven't noticed any issues with her eyes and the shampoo so I would say you could probably consider it puppy safe and "tear free" like so many puppy shampoos advertise with all the insane ingredients! It does have a fairly thin liquid consistency but a little goes a long way at least on her coat, so it's not an issue!

Ingredients: Saponified organic coconut oil, organic olive oil, organic jojoba oil, organic natural essential oils, organic rosemary extract, organic aloe vera

 Isn't Addy just the cutest!?

Isn't Addy just the cutest!?

And that's a wrap on the review folks! Now for your exclusive discount code!

Lauren has very generously offered a discount code just for my followers - AKA YOU!

Use code: PALEO10 to get 10% off your order when you order directly from her website!

They also have a huge line of baby products and other items, but of course I have no baby to test those out on! If you have any questions you can leave them here on this blog post, or you can always find Lauren on Instagram @farmsteadapothecary   or on their website!

Enjoy getting your savings on and have an amazing day!

xoxo -

Harmony

PS: READY FOR NATURALLY CLEAR SKIN & RENEWED CONFIDENCE?
Join hundreds of subscribers and get instant access to my resource library of ebooks, worksheets, and resources for acne sufferers & health seekers alike!

How to have a GOOD Morning!

.Well when you write a super stellar blog post with great info and you lose the whole thing... Sometimes you decide to write a random blog post just to make yourself feel a little bit better. And sometimes the post that started off as a random post actually takes on a bigger purpose and meaning, yay! This is that post.

So I want to start by saying that I'm sorry for being a bit MIA this month.

You know how when there's something that you're supposed to do (like write a specific blog post on a specific topic) then it makes you not want to do it at all even though it's typically something you enjoy doing? No? Well anyway that's what the post I just lost was for me. It felt like pulling teeth to get myself to sit down and write it, and I had finally done so...

But I will rewrite it again at some point but today is not that day. Everything happens for a reason so I'm honeslty not even upset about it! GAH there are so many exciting things happening in my life and business I just want to share them ALL!

Life has been kind of crazy recently! 

It's been good. It's been great. But it's also been crazy! First I'd like to just mention - how in the hell is it already October, and almost 2017!? The fact that my September bday already came and went this year is blowing my mind. Less than 90 days til we're at a new year again. That's scary! What are you planning? I know I'm circling back to some goals I set for the year and trying to stay true to the word I assigned for 2016 - and that was GROWTH.

With growth in mind - I wanted to write this blog post about my morning routine and how it has really transformed things for me in a BIG WAY. It might even help you to incorporate some, if not ALL of these habits into you life! Proceed with an open mind and believe me when I say that I was never a morning person before. In fact I would roll out of bed after snoozing my alarm for about an hour and reluctantly go on with my day, usually pissed off that I had to adult in some way shape or form.

So on to the purpose of this post! My morning routine to balance hormones, improve digestion, and start every day with true PURPOSE

1. Oil Pulling

Yep I know it sounds weird. I literally roll out of bed every morning, pee, and then put about a tablespoon of coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil, or castor oil in my mouth! Oil pulling is an ancient Indian practice of swishing oil in your mouth for up to 20 minutes! You can start with about 5 minutes, and daily try to work your way up to 20. I'll give some more details on this below. I like to multitask while I'm oil pulling - sometimes I get dressed and organized for my day, and sometimes I have dance parties as my snapchat followers can attest to, it just depends on the day!

Benefits:

Oil pulling improves digestion by detoxifying the area where our digestion starts: the mouth. Not only do you pull toxins from your mouth into the oil, but it also stimulates your mucous response and typically when you spit it out, you end up spitting out some phlegm. Gross I know, but even when I'm not sick or congested that stuff comes out - and I'd much rather get it out of my body then have it sitting in there - gross! This reduces inflammation, aids digestion, and whitens teeth - all things that are good on their own, but in the grand scheme of things they will also help clear your acne!!

Method:

Put one of the oil listed above in your mouth. You must do this on an empty stomach or it might make you throw up a little when you spit it out. Swish around for ideally 20 minutes, but work your way up to it starting with 5-10 minutes at first. Do not swallow the oil. By the end of 20 minutes the oil will be filled with toxins, mucous, and particles from your mouth. You will spit this out into a trashcan and not your skin - because that will clog your sink in no time! Immediately after spitting out the oil and getting out some mucous, you'll want to brush your teeth!

2. Tooth Powder

Yes, it's true. I brush my teeth with tooth powder! Dun dun dunnnnnnnnn! I thought it was weird at first but I actually like it a lot personally. There are a lot of different ones on the market these days but I can't really speak to those - my personal favorite is by Dr. Christopher that you can find on amazon HERE   not only is it a great price, but it's a great product and lasts forever! 

Benefits:

By using this herbal tooth powder you're mouth is getting cleaner than it does with conventional toothpaste and without all the chemicals! Enough said I think! Oh also if you're breaking out around your mouth - your toothpaste is likely the culprit! I was always told to put toothpaste on pimples as a teen - it never worked - and the reason I now know is because BAKING SODA that used to be in toothpaste and isn't really anymore, can help pimples. Anyway....

Method:

I hope you know how to brush your teeth.. Wet tooth brush, dip into powder, and brush in circular motion. Rinse and repeat if you so desire!

3. Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)

Okay.... so a few things here before I get into the nitty gritty... First off - and my clients all know this - I typically recommend doing the OCM in the evenings in order to take off any makeup, and just wiping your face down with a damp towel in the morning and or spritzing with some topical probiotics OR some natural toner. This is accurate - HOWEVER since I no longer wear makeup on my skin daily and I typically do some kinda face rinse midday after a workout, I honestly don't "wash" my face before bed often. I will say that when I have done OCM the night before then I won't do it in the morning - I do it once a day and that's it - again unless makeup is somehow involved then it very rarely happens twice in a day. Another thing I'd like to mention is that I often do this WHILE I'm Oil Pulling to save time! I can't officially recommend this because it takes some practice and I don't want people choking on oil because they tried to multitask. Plus it isn't necessary in any way - but it's a time saving trick nonetheless!

Benefits: 

 Depending on the oil you use you will see different benefits! Oils actually carry a lot of great nutrients in them for our skin! One of my faves for OCM is Grapeseed oil which has oleic acid that's wonderful for skin health, it's non comedogenic (doesn't clog pores), restores collagen, reduces scars, fights aging, helps acne, tightens skin, helps with those dark circles around your eyes, a ton of other things. PLUS contrary to popular "conventional" belief, oil actually cleans oil - it doesn't clog you pores. However, I'll say if you're switching from conventional face wash or especially prescription grade face wash then you're skin will have to adjust to the new routine. You could start by just using grapeseed oil as a moisturizer after your cleanser and progress from there! This could take a few weeks, or even up to a month or so. But in the long run it is totally worth it! Just take it slow and let your skin adjust! There's no rush!

Method:

Pour about a quarter size of oil into the palm or your hand and take some time to really massage the oil into your skin. It's like getting a facial at home! I like to massage it in circular motions for 10-20 seconds making sure I get every spot including my neck. Then take a warm, clean, moist hand towel and set it on your face for about 10-30 seconds to allow the oil to be absorbed into your skin. Make sure the towel is NOT hot. Just warm. After about 10-30 seconds use the same towel to wipe the oil off your face thoroughly, and then rinse the towel and you're done! It feels soooo good! In the evenings (when I wear makeup) I end up doing OCM twice in a row. I use grape seed oil to take off my makeup with the method above, then with a new towel I use Fatco to cleanse my face. More often than not I only end up using the Fatco oil in the mornings (it has grapeseed oil in it) which you can find HERE. And in all honesty I'm kind of obsessed with the "oily skin" Fatco face cleansing oil!! You should def give it a try!

4. Morning Tonic

There are many different things you can drink as your morning tonic, but this is the mixture that I not only can tolerate, but I actually enjoy it! Feel free to mix it up, and also take it slow! Start off with just a small amount of Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) around 1tsp and in time you can work your way up to about 2 tbs! But beware, depending on what's going on in your gut and how much you drink, it can make you feel nauseous!

Benefits:

I'm sure you've heard all about the magic that is ACV. It's said to lower cholesterol, help you lose weight, regulate blood sugars, heal leaky gut, aid in digestion, break down mucus, so on and so forth! But the reason I find it particularly beneficial is because it contains organic acids and enzymes that help to balance Ph in your gut and creates an environment where probiotics can grow and flourish. This is HUGE! Probiotics are essential for gut health and gut health is essential for really every single aspect of your life far beyond just eating and eliminating food. I believe it was Hippocrates that said "all disease starts in the gut". No matter what ails you, I guarantee that you need to work on healing some leaky gut issues! Also if you suffer at all from acid reflux (which I did severely for years) then it can help again to balance the Ph and acids in your stomach and therefore aid in breaking down your foods in digestion, AND nutrient absorption. SO if all that isn't reason enough for you then I don't know what else to tell you. But I'd say this is pretty important!

Method:

I like to have this in the morning 20 minutes before eating. I usually shoot it, then drink some water & tea, then eat. Mix your desired amount of ACV (1TSP - 2TBSP) with one half a juice of lemon, some water, and I like to add a dash of ground ginger, turmeric, & cinnamon! You can also add some manuka honey if you'd like, or slightly heat up some water for the same concoction if you're dealing with candida. But make sure the water isn't boiling or too hot as that will kill those delicate enzymes in the ACV! Again I recommend having your breakfast about 20 minutes later! You can also do this during the day 10-20 minutes before any meal! Below is my YouTube video with the recipe & method as well!

5. Life S.A.V.E.R.S

I got this directly from the book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. I recommend you get this book ASAP as it has transformed not only my mornings, but really my life in general. I got it on audiobook, but the paperback is great as well! You can find it on amazon HERE. Also once you read it you'll know what I mean - but if anyone wants to do a 30 day MM challenge with me I'm seriously always looking for people to do it with in order to help hold me accountable! I do the actual S.A.V.E.R.S just about everyday, but I don't always manage to wake up at 5. The truth is though, I honestly feel my absolute BEST when I do! Seriously, if you skip everything else I recommended in this blog post, PLEASE do not skip this one! It is truly a life changing practice!

Benefits:

I mean where can I start....??? I feel more motivated, I feel centered, I'm aligned with my purpose and my vision, I feel productive, my dreams and goals are clearer, I am able to manifest and pour energy into the places I want energy to flow in my life, and I honestly finally feel like I'm tapping into my true potential. I know that's a lot, and I can't make a promise that you'll feel the same way, or that you'll even feel good about it at first. But I swear, it's SO worth it!

Method:

S - Silence or meditation. A - Affirmations. V - Visualization, I like to turn on a visualization radio station on Pandora and it really helps me to focus in on what I want to visualize. E - Exercise, I usually save this for the end. R - Reading, I always read a Personal Development, business, or self help book. My current favorite is Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins which you can find HERE. S - Scribe or journal. I sometimes use this time to write out my goals for the day, sometimes I just gather my thoughts, and sometimes I just vent about everything and sort out my feelings and emotions. You can do each activity for 1 minute each if you're short on time, or you can do 10 - 20 minutes on each thing which is my fav! If you want more resources for this book and what its all about click HERE. I highly recommend finding a spot to do these daily activities that is NOT your bed! For instance I have a little window nook where I do them, and it's my favorite spot in my house! I've added pillows, and often my little puppy Addy will join me! 

I absolutely LOVE my little nook and having a place the automatically puts me in a good mood is a good thing also! Okay so that's all for today folks! I hope this post helps you with creating an empowering morning routine you can stick to in order to optimize your health!

I swear, it may not seem important, but how your morning goes can really set the tone for your day. So don't start it off by breaking promises you made to yourself, or running around stressed and pissed because you had to wake up and leave you bed at all! Trust me I get it, I love my bed, but I love having a full and flowing life even more! You deserve to have  GOOD morning also!!!!

As always, please like, comment, and share this post if you found it helpful or think it might help others in any way! It allows me to expand my reach, help more people, and you never know how something like this could change someones life! Leave any questions in the comments section also ya'll!

xoxo- Harmony

 

Also the links in this post are my affiliate links which means you pay the same amount you usually would but I make a small percentage off the sale for recommending them to you! 

PS: READY FOR NATURALLY CLEAR SKIN & RENEWED CONFIDENCE?
Join hundreds of subscribers and get instant access to my resource library of ebooks, worksheets, and resources for acne sufferers & health seekers alike!

Why I left my 9-5 job to pursue my passion!

I have never really considered myself a leader or influential. I've always shied away from leadership because I was scared of failure or "what if people don't like me?" I have let fear run almost my entire life.

But my attitude towards life has totally changed over the past few years and that is largely thanks to becoming an online health & wellness coach.

But let me back up a little bit. This transformation really all started with a decision to stop feeling like crap all the time. Go figure right? This decision lead me to a plethora of new experiences and a brand new lifestyle that's driven by my passion to help people FEEL better and learn to love themselves.

a glimpse into the old me...

When I decided to get healthy I really just wanted to feel better and I wanted to one day be able to make some super healthy babies with my super healthy body (and with the help of my super hot husband of course, can't exactly make a baby alone!) In the process I was faced with and overcame more challenges than I ever anticipated, lost 25lbs, broke out of my own personal prison, and gained a LIFE!

 I was at my heaviest weight here - about 25lbs heavier than my lowest adult weight

I was at my heaviest weight here - about 25lbs heavier than my lowest adult weight

Now I don't want you to think this is some weird unrealistic story full of BS promises and some miracle. Because it's not. This journey has been filled with hard work, disappointment, and more failures than I can count.

But it's also been filled with learning, and joy, and a new take on life.

I used to sit in a cubicle for 8-10 hours a day. I had a commute in horrible traffic that took me about an hour each way. I made decent money, and I would say I had a pretty awesome job for a 22 year old with no college degree - I had built a resume to die for just by being driven to succeed and being willing to work hard. It's safe to say that by all "normal" standards I was doing pretty well for myself.

But the problem was that I was miserable. I was bored. I was uninspired. I was stuck in a life I hadn't really chosen. I knew I was meant for more but I had NO CLUE what, or how I could make anything happen. I also knew that I didn't think more was an option for me at that point in life. I had arrived at this miserable adulting thing that everyone had been talking about. Yippieeee?

In reality I really HATED the work I was doing, I HATED not moving all day, and I HATED feeling so damn stuck when I thought I was doing the "right thing" by having this "good job".

The matter of the fact is that I had given up on myself and my dreams and settled for what everyone else was telling me was the "right thing" to do. Notice the use of the word HATE up there. I was a BIG OL negative nancy. (PS sorry to anyone who's named Nancy - I'm sure you're wonderful!)

 My coworker captioned this picture "My coworker Harmony is grumpy today. Stay away!"

My coworker captioned this picture "My coworker Harmony is grumpy today. Stay away!"

I can honestly say that the lost and oblivious girl who ate bread and pasta at every meal with some kind of creamy cheesy sauce, followed by a king sized candy bar and ice cream, (I'm honestly not even exaggerating) and felt yucky in her own body while being unhappy daily was not a believer in Harmony. I tried to fill that hole with food.

That version of Harmony did not love herself. That version of Harmony, the my entire life up until January 2013 version of me; never thought she was good enough and she can't believe that the future version of me is doing what I am now.

Like she's literally rolling her eyes and sarcastically saying "yeah OKAY sure, whatever" in disbelief because there's just no way she would believe this in a non joking matter. I honestly LOVED being unhealthy and wore it like a badge of honor. As if it's a hard thing to do! 

Life is just crazy like that! Moving along back to who I am now and how I took charge of my life.

so what does my life look like now?

WELL it hasn't been all rainbows and unicorns, BUT I was able to quit that soul sucking job I mentioned above, and I now mostly work from home with my puppy and hubby by my side as a holistic health coach, and the CEO of Team Primal Alpha.

I workout, snapchat, blog, make healthy paleo foods, take photos, explore business opportunities, talk to people online all day via text and video chats, I create meal plans, I provide helpful content, and I drink my superfood shakes! Sounds pretty cool right!?

 

There has been a lot of hard work involved with being my own boss - but every second is worth it because I know I'm working towards a bigger picture goal and a passion that lights me up!

In a sense this life feels like a DREAM to me. There is work involved, but it doesn't FEEL like work and that makes all the difference in the world! You know what I mean??

I have not achieved everything I want to by a LONG shot. I still have so much more to do, so much more to grow, and so much more to spread to the world.

Iused to dream and WISH that I would be able to create my own schedule and be my own boss and help people and be a role model, and be a leader, and make a difference, and do all these things... Then it's like wait... Why the hell not just start TRYING. 

I'm not saying it'll happen overnight. And I'm not saying you won't need help. But what I'm saying is that you have to go for it and MOVE towards what you want out of life, otherwise you'll always feel unfulfilled and wonder "what if?"

Now that I make my own schedule, I have been able to pursue another lifelong dream and join a professional ballet company! This was a dream I had genuinely given up on. But God has a funny way of showing us that he is always there, and he is always leading the way.  

Am I 100% where I want to be financially? Nope not even a little bit! I'm not where I want to be financially YET - we still have debt to pay off and we have some huge goals to achieve. But that doesn't mean that things haven't gotten better!

One HUGE thing that coaching has instilled in me is the practice of NEVER giving up, and always trying to grow into a better version of myself in order to better help others! Because without investing in ourselves how can we expect to serve others!?

i'm an average person just like you!

I'll admit that I'm also an avid Netflix and Hulu-er and there are plenty of days that I don't want to work out, eat healthy, or prioritize my skin health! But I also know how much better I feel when I live my life with purpose. These days I'd rather work on myself and my business than watch TV! Some days I end up watching TV! It's life and we all need balance AND hustle!

 MAY 2015 - JULY 2016

MAY 2015 - JULY 2016

in a nutshell...

I'm a professional ballerina turned online health & wellness coach who specializes in helping women feel unstoppable in their own skin & finding their own personal freedom!

Specifically I help people adopt a Paleo, wholesome, Primal lifestyle and overcome a myriad of problems! I myself have struggled with acne, PCOS, hormonal infertility, a past with anxiety, eating disorders, and confidence issues. I have been able to manage all of my symptoms 100% naturally and I am proud to say that through the programs I've formulated through education & experience, I have helped many others do the same as well.

sooooo what does this mean for you?

It means that I'm here for you, I want to help you, and you're NOT alone! I have resources available for for everyone at all stages of life. Are you wondering where to get started?

I recommend you start with my Real Food Acne Detox that's available for free. It's complete with recipes, supplement lists, shopping lists, and just about everything you need to kick off your healthy journey to clearer skin!

You will also gain access to my full resource library with worksheets, printable guides, check lists, ebooks and more all for free! Lastly, there are of course exclusives to my email subscribers like secret product launches, and recipes! Just enter your email address below and you'll have access to everything to move forward feeling empowered & ready to tackle this thing!

Aaaaaaaaandddddddddd LAST but not least, if you didn't want to read this whole detailed post, I tried to give you a general run down of my story in the video below!

Thanks again for stopping by, I hope you've enjoyed your visit and I'm sure we'll be seeing each other again soon!

If you're looking for some recipes to get started right away then be sure to enter your email address below and get access to my free resource library!


PS: READY FOR NATURALLY CLEAR SKIN & RENEWED CONFIDENCE?
Join hundreds of subscribers and get instant access to my resource library of ebooks, worksheets, and resources for acne sufferers & health seekers alike!

My Journey from Ballet Dancer to Bikini Competitor and What You Need to Know Before You Commit to a Competition...

Before I get into the bulk of this post I want to start by saying that I am insanely proud of that picture above. It's true that I didn't get myself where I wanted to be (you'll read more about that below) for my competition but damn a little over one year of hard work and, I have come so far! That's something I need to take a second and celebrate. I'm excited to see what I'm capable of by this time next year!

I ALSO want to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to all of you who supported me, sent me kind snaps, texts, IG messages, FB messages, comments, etc all cheering me on and making me feel amazing. I was embarrassed that I didn't do well in the competition so I'm sorry if I didn't say thank you to you personally, but I want you to know that your support really does mean the WORLD TO ME and I could not have done it without you guys! It's ironic because YOU - my virtual fit fam and online family have supported me more than most of my real life "friends" have in this process! Not all - but many people in my life couldn't have cared less, and just quietly judged me instead. I love that I was able to learn so much about myself in this process - and I also learned a lot about people in my life and how much they actually care!

Wow okay, I'm sorry that became a rant!! Moving on!

I'm thoroughly sad right now because the big brain dump I started of this post disappeared! But that just means that I wasn't meant to share this journey in the way I had originally started writing it, so here we go again! Second attempts are usually better than first attempts anyway right!? Ironic how that's also REALLY applicable to this topic!

First and foremost I feel it only makes sense to go back to when I first signed up for this competition. I feel like not many people really supported me in the decision (besides my team and fit fam of course) but a lot of people in my life were kinda judgy about it and always asked "what made you want do it?"

Although I've talked about it before, I'll say it again: I signed up to challenge myself.

I wanted to push myself beyond anything I had done before!

I also had the balls to sign up really because my friend/teammate Lorie and I decided to do it together in order to make it less scary for ourselves, and also to hold each other accountable since we both have backgrounds with disordered eating. And obvi we weren't trying to go back down that path of misery again! She had a family emergency come up so she was unfortunately not able to compete in the end, but who knows maybe next year she and I will sign up for a legit competition and train for it "virtually" together again! No promises, but we'll see!

I ended up linking up with another one of my teammates Shea as an accountability partner and she and I shared our mutual struggles and victories together - and we were even able to compete side by side in the end!

 

Anyway, I just felt like I wanted something to work towards. I was terrified to sign up but also felt very nonchalant because I had 20 some odd weeks to get myself ready, and I was already thin to start. I went between NBD to OMFG many times over the next weeks. Don't get me wrong, I knew I had hard work ahead of me, but I had NO idea the amount of a brain fuck I was headed into!

If you know my story at all then you know that I've struggled with a very bad relationship with my self image as well as with food. The two things really go hand in hand considering that I abused food by both over and under eating in order to feed my body image obsession for years. I spent about 90% of my life in pink tights and a leotard comparing myself to other girls who were gorgeous and stick thin and clearly I couldn't really handle it and be happy at the same time. I'm not making excuses for myself - I made my own decisions given the situations I was put in - and my disordered thoughts and behavior - I'm just trying to help you understand my past and who I used to be a little bit.

So anyway, through gaining happy married weight in a very unhealthy way after high school at a desk job (fast food, candy bars, all of the cheese and all of the pasta) to losing weight in a healthy way and finding a new healthy lifestyle you guys know that I found and fell in love with the Paleo diet/lifestyle in addition to rediscovering my love for ballet, finding a new love for at home workouts, drinking superfoods and nutrients with vegan shakeology, and really learning to love and appreciate myself as a whole, outside of all that body image BS I was so accustomed to. Woah that's a lot.

When it comes to finding health and fitness and staying a healthy weight my focus has really always been on taking care of my body and balancing my hormones for PCOS and Acne. I loved the effects of this lifestyle - I stayed thin and toned, but most importantly I never worried about what I was eating because I knew it was good for me. At the same time, I had sorta been in the same spot for awhile - and I wanted to spice things up a bit and see what would happen.

Then here comes this bikini competition that's taking place at an event I'll already be attending in Nashville called Beachbody Summit. I hesitated to sign up but I remember last year (2015) at summit seeing the competitors and thinking "I could do that!" and like I said, I really wanted to push myself and my body to a new level and do something really challenging. Plus it scared me which I took as a signal that I NEEDED to do it! My comfort zone ain't gonna grow on it's own after all!

Right away signing up added some umph to my workouts. I was doing a lifting program at the time (Hammer & Chisel - still one of my fav programs ever) and I was still dancing because my contract with the ballet company hadn't ended quite yet! So I was pushing harder in my workouts and really I wasn't really worried at this point. I had a plan. I was gonna be fine. I trusted myself and figured  would research posing, a bikini, and all that other stuff later. So I continued to eat paleo, workout hard, ballet ended, then Hammer & Chisel ended, and the plan was to follow this "countdown to competition" eating program for the last 4 weeks leading up to the competition, it's especially designed for bikini competitions and provided in Beachbody's 21 Day Fix Extreme program.

So I was all set.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly WHEN things started to go wrong, but I think I'd have to say it was when I started researching competing when I was about 18-16 weeks out. You see, the first things I found on doctor google were blogs about girls working out twice a day in the gym doing weight training and 45 minutes of cardio in addition to having "preps" (referring to the amount of time that you intensely prepare for a competition and lean down or 'diet' etc) that were a MINIMUM of 12 weeks long.... SAY WHAT!? I was just planning to do that crazy eating 8 times a day thing 4 weeks before the competition! This new information changes things!

And just like that my original pretty plan went out the window and I started to second guess everything that I knew.

I mean that automatically sounded like torture to me but I figured there had to be something to it right?? And by this time I had finished Hammer & chisel again, my ballet contract had ended, and I had moved on to doing random cardio programs in the morning (think Brazil Butt Lift, Cize, etc BTW if you don't know what the hell I'm talking about with all these programs just check out my products page) and even just working more intensely on my PiYo live rounds (the ones I teach) at home. At one point I got a good hybrid down where I was doing 22 minute Hard Corps for cardio in the mornings, then Body Beast in the evenings. It's too bad I got bored of that because that was a good plan! But I was constantly second guessing myself and what my body needed! Plus everything was really just jumbled in my brain so I of course just kept doing more and more research.

I read meal plans, I read about refeed days, and carb cycling, and IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros), and just basic low carb, and sodium depletion, and ketosis, and water manipulation, and just OMFG SO MUCH RANDOM ASS INFORMATION! I mean I already knew a lot - but all of this was in the context of competing... SO it was different.

At that same time every single resource SAID that you need to make training and dietary decisions on an individual basis and it's not one size fits all. Yes - accurate. But quite frankly it can be hard to KNOW where the eff you are in the world and how you measure up in comparison to these super human women who are both lean and buff as hell.

Because it's a COMPETITION. Yes I signed up for me and to push myself to my very best, but I'd be lying if after time it didn't become at least a little bit about "well I'd like to do well and at least make top 10!" and at times THAT became my focus... BAD HARMONY!

I think that's one of the things I struggled with most. As I delved deeper and deeper into reading and watching youtube videos, and really just immersing myself into the world that is bikini competitions I started to lose sight of why I originally signed up and I just became obsessed with how my body looked and measured up to others. I also lost sight of most other things in my life and absorbing competition info became my main daily activity.

On the other hand - in this particular competition everyone uses Beachbody programs (or at least they're supposed to) and a lot of people participate NOT at all competitively and really just for the sake of showing off what they're accomplished (like 100's of lbs of weight loss for example like my amazing friend Shea who competed with me and has lost close to 200lbs using Beachbody programs - which is SO beyond awesome) or just for the sake of doing a competition because they've always wanted to do one! More power to yah ladies! Unfortunately I've been bred to compete and I am too competitive, I just hide it well.

Taking all of these factors into consideration though, I really went between "oh I'll be fine" and "omfg I need to work much harder!"

I would look up other competitors and compare my body to theirs. I would sit around and read articles and watch videos for HOURS, but I didn't actually take much action because I became overwhelmed and felt like I just didn't know what to do and I didn't want to do the WRONG thing. SO instead I did virtually nothing and switched programs and plans almost weekly. THIS is why you need to work with a coach! Anyway....

Turns out that for me, weighing myself, counting macros, and really closely tracking just about any detail of my body and food really puts me into a bad state of mind. I honestly didn't see it coming even. But in general this is why I'm so into PICTURES ACTING AS YOUR SCALE! I say it all the damn time. Throw that thing out! Pay attention to how your clothes fit and take pictures! Because especially for people like me with a past of disordered eating - tracking every little detail about myself took me right back to that high school mentality where I was obsessed. I started weighing myself every morning again, and sometimes in the afternoon, I started constantly checking my reflection, I was annoyed that my weight wasn't moving and BLEHHH omg I really hated going back to that mindset!

I actually got in a good streak for awhile there and was feeling good. Then I got too obsessive like I described above, so I stopped weighing myself and measuring my foods (sorry 21DFX!) so I could hold on to my sanity and I'm so glad that I did.

Those color coded containers are AMAZING for portion control and learning to eat for your health. They really truly are, and I believe in them wholeheartedly because I've seen them transform peoples eating habits. But for those of us with a history of disordered eating, they can be a trigger. They can take you to a bad place - which is why I stopped using them and went back to eating Paleo... But not before... 

 I started down a path where my prep went entirely to hell. I let myself drink again at a wedding and then again a week before competing (which is a HUGE no no on prep. Like a HUGE no no) I ate CANDY which I haven't done in YEARS. I ate ice cream, and I even got accidentally glutened (there was gluten in my food) by some damn duck that I got at a restaurant! Talk about #FAIL! I just went all kinds of crazy which lead me to not only emotionally feeling like crap for "ruining" my results, but I also physically felt ill. And that's where I was really done.

So I did indeed go back to paleo and eating in a healthy way that I know keeps me thin AND makes me feel good both mentally and physically. 

I stopped forcing myself to eat 20million times a day (I was eating 6-8 meals a day because GAINS) and instead went back to eating more like 4-6 times a day and things got better.

So I recovered from that.

But then my exercise mojo went out the window - and let's not even talk about the fact that I yoyo'd from program to program like I mentioned above because I was CONSTANTLY unsure of what my body needed - to lean, or to bulk!? That is the question!

I was dumb and I spent WAY too much time and energy in all this research! I let my business slip, not to mention I went through a rough patch in my business back in mid May all the way through June that had me on the verge of quitting in July until I hired business mentors: Get It Done Gals! But that's another story for another time.

Anyway. I made a lot of sacrifices.

I went on trips where I felt alienated because of everything I had to keep up with for my prep like waking up early to exercise and eating like an insane person, plus not being able to drink. I actually felt great in my body - but people act like you're crazy and it's not fun. It's not even that anyone intentionally alienates you, but the prep is consuming and it kinda takes over your life if you let it. And clearly they were just like "why is this girl so crazy and torturing herself?" I promise it didn't feel like torture. For the most part I really genuinely ENJOY exercising and eating healthy - this was just different.

I honestly didn't fully grasp what I was getting myself into when I signed up. I thought it was simple - buy a special bikini, buy some heels, learn to pose, eat well, & exercise. But there was really a lot more to it and these are the things I wish I had known in hindsight, and I'd like for you to know if you are thinking about competing:

  1. You have to have tunnel vision - what other people did, what they ate, how they look - all of that is just going to mess with your head. Just concentrate on YOU.
  2. Be careful WHO you take advice from. There are a lot of coaches and athletes out there who have been fed misinformation and they will unknowingly pass that info on to you in an attempt to be nice and help.
  3. FOLLOW YOUR GUT. Don't change what you know to be true and good for your body OR what you believe about nutrition to fit into someone else's mold. Be you through and through even if all the "gurus" say it's wrong.
  4. Similar to the two above - DON'T SACRIFICE YOURSELF. Now don't get me wrong - you'll have to make sacrifices if you want to compete, and that doesn't have to be a bad thing. BUT do not sacrifice ANY essential part of who you are, what you believe, or standards that you live you life by just to look good on stage.
  5. The prep is long, the comp is SHORT. Literally I was so unfulfilled on the day of. I felt like I had spent so long working so hard and sacrificed so much for 15 seconds of posing and really just nothing. DON'T BE LIKE ME. Have a realistic expectation of what this is! There are people out there who have sacrificed more than you have, worked harder than you have, and who have actually stuck to their prep (unlike me - woops!) the entire time without waivering. Don't throw a pity party. Be damn proud of yourself no matter what.
  6. Don't do it alone!!! Get a coach, an accountability partner, someone you can talk to who's going to be honest with you but also love you. Someone you can trust and someone who's opinion you actually give a crap about, because otherwise you're not going to take their advice and you're just going to secretly go crazy.

Needless to say I DID go into this for me, and to push myself. But things got all muddied along the way - partially because I don't think I was mentally ready to take all of that on. I just wasn't! I thought that I was farther along in my emotional healing from my past of self confidence issues but I just wasn't, and that's OKAY.

I learned a shit ton about myself. And even though I didn't even place top 10 which was a hard pill to swallow, I know that I made huge improvements and really this was just like a practice learning round. I had no clue what I was doing about 90% of the time and I learned more and more every day.

I might actually do another competition. MAYBE.

I just feel like I was kind of cheated by myself and I became a crazy person along the way. Maybe it was the lack of carbs and salt plus being 2 gallons over normal hydration levels - or maybe it was just me not trusting myself. WHO KNOWS!?

I don't think I would ever compete in the Beachbody Classic again.... I'll don't want to say NEVER because I know myself well enough to know that I could easily change my mind on that... But I do feel that it took away from my experience at the event in Nashville a bit just because again - I was consumed and it was an extra responsibility on top of the travel and everything else! 

I was also in a place in life this time when I just NEEDED A WIN. You know?? Nothing was going the way I wanted and I just felt like if I did well in the competition then it would AT LEAST make all of the sacrifices and letting my business slip somewhat worth it and justified. Another lesson learned Harmony - Just because you THINK you need a win doesn't actually mean that you need one.

Sometimes when you think you need a win is actually when you NEED to lose and have that super fucking real reality check with yourself and reevaluate where the hell you are in this life and how you got there, THEN you can move forward and grow from there.

And boy I really do feel like I've grown.

Had I gotten top 10, then who knows - maybe I wouldn't have this renewed passion and umph I'm experiencing in my life and business, and I wouldn't be helping people the way that I've been able to now that I'm feeling on top of the world in Gods love and energy again!

Everything happens for a reason. This whole prep was a hard experience for me. But hard is NECESSARY. Without hard we would be the most boring and annoying people ever. I'm so happy that I had the opportunity to do something that so genuinely terrified me, yet when the moment came to step on stage - I felt comfortable and sure of myself. I did something wildly out of my comfort zone. I learned A LOT about myself and a world I previously knew nothing about. It was a unique experience that I wouldn't trade for the world - because without it I wouldn't be who I am sitting here today. Stronger, bolder, wiser - and I'll tell you what - I don't need anyone's damn approval ANYMORE. I'm sick of trying to make everyone happy and please everybody. Especially "friends" in my life who didn't give me even the SLIGHTEST love or support to me in this process but instead quietly judged me. I actually had a lot of anger going into this - I wanted to prove people wrong. And I still will - just in my own different way.

POWER.

That is what I gained from this experience. God's power to push me forward. It's the first time in my life that I've been able to feel and experience God's presence outside of a church affiliation if that makes sense. There is SO much more that plays into this WAY beyond this competition experience and I'll talk more about that in my next post!

I want to say that, competing it's for everyone. Just because I grew doesn't mean I recommend going through the shit that I went through to get to this point. But if you want a challenge - competing for sure will give you one and you're going to emerge either stronger for it - or possibly broken. What you do with your experience is entirely up to you.

A few other things I'd like to mention since I have promised my followers I would provide the info in past posts as far as what I ate, and my weight change.

So I measured my body fat % AFTER I got home from my trip to Nashville and had eaten quite a bit of food and I was at around 11% body fat if I measured correctly. HOWEVER my weight was nowhere near what I had grown accustomed to. This was a huge part of the mind fuck that happened during my prep! Ever since I went Paleo I've been a solid 120-125lbs at 5'8.

Yet during my prep because I was focused on building muscle and really seeing it GROW - I got up to 133 at my heaviest. Now I'm NOT saying that I am heavy AT ALL. But remember all the google research? Everything said that I should be LOSING WEIGHT. But I was just gaining/maintaining my my weigh between 127-131. This is why I had to stop weighing myself and THANK GOD I did because I felt so much better as soon as I stopped caring about it.

In general though as you grow muscle and lose fat and go through this whole process of getting fit a swol, if you're naturally a thin person (like a dancer) then you're going to feel like you're expending because the scale is going to rise and your pant size might also because #BOOTYGAINS. This is NOT  a bad thing! In fact quite the opposite - I mean who doesn't like a nice toned booty?? So don't freak out, and start tracking your progress with pictures. I promise it'll make you feel much more sane and you're gonna be like "oh heyyyyyyyyyy, I see you growing back there booty! You keep up the good work!"

ALSO as far as what I ate: I did count macros for awhile which was simply awful for me and although I stayed Gluten free I def did do the whole Oatmeal and Egg Whites thing! I mean - my whole idea was that I'm willing to TRY different things and see how my body reacts. I def learned even more about myself here and also even more about ACNE. Absolutely every single experience and experiment can turn into knowledge you can use to help other in the future. I promise no matter how bad the experience, something good can always come from it.

Towards the end I did do a week of no salt although I did get a little sodium from my shakeology. I wasn't about to sacrifice my health for a sparkly bikini and some heels. I also did do a few days of drinking TWO GALLONS of water per day and I did months of drinking one whole gallon of water per day. I ate a lot of chicken breast instead of my usual chicken thighs, I ate a ton of salmon and cod, and I also started cooking everything in coconut oil again instead of bacon grease. Again, learning, learning, learning. And yeah, I generally eat healthy anyway! Ironically I think I did some of my MOST unhealthy eating during my prep because I mentally felt too restricted! THIS is why I love Paleo and it works for me. Yes there are rules and some find them strict - but I really do a Paleo Intuitive eating where you listen to your body and do what works for you!

NOW FOR PICTURES..... Some of these bikini somes make me cringe! My posing was way off in the beginning - but they mostly go in chronological order from when i fist signed up all the way to the day after! I'm making two albums below, one to show you some of the meal tracking I did/what I ate (mostly from SNAPCHAT so the quality is TERRIBLE), and one to show you pictures of me throughout this process. I tried to take a lot of pictures so I could see the vast difference on the day of after a magical "peak week" and prep - but there's actually not that much of a difference because I did NOT do the best job with my training OR with my eating... But hey, that's okay! I'm still proud of my final product, and I did work hard for it - so here goes!

 

 

 

 

 

Now for the food one which is also at least moderately in a chronological order, although extremely RANDOM....

So that's my wrap up!!! If you're wondering what I'm up to now with my training and eating - well after I got back from Nashville I took an entire week off from exercise and it was awesome! I did miss the movement but I know my body really needed it and it also gave me the opportunity to really invest back into me and my business - so investing in you too!

Now I'm doing the newest Beachbody program called Country Heat with my MOM who is 68 and modifying, but loving it! We are on day 4 today, and I also taught PiYo live earlier and I helped lead Country Heat live last Saturday also. I'm actually thinking about joining a gym because I want to train with some heavier weights that I don't have at home, so I might be taking the program Body Beast OR Hammer & Chisel to the gym with me! But for now I'm sticking to Country Heat at home with my mom for the next 30 days and just kinda taking it easy although the workouts do have me dripping in sweat by the end!

My eating hasn't been the best because I've been having a lot of Paleo treats like Honey Mints from Trader Joes, and indulging in things like the amazing Paleo(ish) pizza I made the other night (you can find it on my IG linked below) but I feel good, and I'm really just kinda taking it easy, putting on some fat because I DON'T want to be at 11% body fat (and I don't think I am anymore), and letting my body chill out a bit while still taking care of it and having fun!

If you have any questions for me, or you're getting into your first competition and you'd like to work with me and get a customized meal plan plus supplementation and workout program I am here for you and I'd love to work together! Simply click the banner at the top of this screen to schedule a 1:1 Discovery Call with me and we'll see if working together is a good fit or not! <3

xoxo - Harmony

PS: READY FOR NATURALLY CLEAR SKIN & RENEWED CONFIDENCE?
Join hundreds of subscribers and get instant access to my resource library of ebooks, worksheets, and resources for acne sufferers & health seekers alike!

Eat For Acne Meal Plan & Detox Protocol

Are you struggling to clear your skin and get your nutrition on track? Are you holding on to stubborn weight that you can't seem to shake? Maybe you have PCOS or acne and you're looking for natural options to begin the healing process? Sounds like you need my FREE Eat for Acne Meal Plan and Detox Protocol!! Keep reading to find out more...

Don't be fooled by the title of this guide, absolutely anyone and everyone can benefit from my real food based Eat for Acne Meal Plan and Detox Protocol, especially my ladies with PCOS!

This protocol includes loads of super foods, satisfying and nourishing meals, nutritional shakes, supplement options, recipes, tools to help you detox, shopping lists, a complete meal plan with both 3 or 5 day options, and a detailed explanation for all the madness to help you understand the WHY behind it all! As someone who has struggled with both PCOS and severe cystic hormonal acne, learning to naturally heal myself from the inside out with diet and lifestyle has truly been a lifesaver! The hours and years of research and experience on this subject has essentially allowed me to formulate this guide just for you!

Unfortunately acne isn't really a one size fits all when it comes to the root cause or treatments. This is why it's very important to listen to your body and pay very close attention to any minor or major reaction! When eating for acne and optimal health there are multiple factors that must be taken into consideration:

  • Digestive issues
  • Leaky Gut
  • Insulin Regulation
  • Sugar & Alcohol Consumption
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Inflammatory & Gut Irritating Foods in Diet
  • Liver health
  • Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratios
  • Stress Management
  • Sleep Cycles and Quality of Sleep
  • Lack or Excess of Strenuous Exercise
  • Detoxification
  • Internal Imbalance
  • Underlying Autoimmunity
  • Food Sensitivities & Allergies
  • FODMAP Intolerance
  • PCOS & Other Hormonal Disorders
  • Topical Irritants
  • Surface Contact (phone contact with your face, pillow cases, laundry detergents, resting your chin on your hand, picking at your pimples etc)
  • Environmental Factors
  • Nutrient Intake and Absorption

Honestly these are just some of the areas that we must look at when it comes to acne. Skin issues can go from extremely simple to very complex and it's imperative to find the root cause of the issues in order to treat them correctly! One universal rule is: if there are any acne or skin problems present, then there is some form of leaky gut and /or digestive issues also present. Even if you have come to think of bloating, gas, acid reflux or indigestion as "normal" they really aren't. Kind of scary right? Well never fear, with time, patience, and self love, you can absolutely heal you leaky gut, hormones, and other skin issues from the inside out! My protocol address many of the categories above by taking a real food approach with a simple 3 day detox protocol with a 5 day option. This is meant to be a beginning point and stepping stone to reaching optimum health and wellness in your every day life. You may complete this protocol as often as you'd like however, it is not recommended for long term use. Rather it should be used as a periodic reset, or after times of prolonged indulgences. 

After completing this protocol it's crucial to move onto a real food, nutrient dense lifestyle that balances sleep, stress, diet, and exercise, in order to continue the healing process from within! I can help you come up with a plan for success! 

Now we know that healing from the inside is 100% necessary, but we can't forget the importance of topical treatments as well! If our topical and environmental treatments are working against us then we may see little progress at all! Every aspect of our lives must work together in order to find clear skin, balance, and health. This includes practicing self love on a regular basis, and choosing to keep a positive attitude despite how emotionally taxing skin issues can be. Even if you don't fully believe these kind words, just say them out loud to yourself every day : I am beautiful regardless of how my skin looks today. My skin does not define my worth and I love myself just the way I am, no matter what.

Your mind is much more powerful than you realize, so don't work against yourself and your goals by participating in negative self talk! As a former self hater, trust me... It's just not worth it!

If you'd like to receive my Eat for Acne Meal Plan and Detox Protocol along with my 3 best 100% natural skincare tips directly to your inbox for FREE just subscribe below:

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Are you an existing Coach or Client with Beachbody

Do you want to work with me 1:1 to heal your skin naturally!? Check out our Try It My Way Program for details and apply for a FREE 1:1 Discovery Call with me HERE!

Your success in this journey heavily depends on you and your commitment to yourself, but that doesn't mean you have to do this alone! You may need some help and support along the way! Connecting with others will also increase your likelihood for success! I run free monthly support groups on Facebook for people completing this program and as support for people with the same struggles as you! So if you'd like to join, please click HERE then add yourself to the group and message me on Facebook with what month you'd like to participate with us!

Please check out the Resources page for a one stop shop and access to all the products you'll need for the detox protocol in one place! Plus there's MUCH MUCH MORE! Also see my blog post on Paleo Diet & Lifestyle for my favorite dietary info, real food tips, and a better idea of how to eat for health and acne in a long term sustainable manor without suffering!

REAL TIME UPDATES:

The Eat for Acne Meal Plan and Detox Protocol was recently updated to include the most current information from this website and me. 

xoxo - Harmony

PS: READY FOR NATURALLY CLEAR SKIN & RENEWED CONFIDENCE?
Join hundreds of subscribers and get instant access to my resource library of ebooks, worksheets, and resources for acne sufferers & health seekers alike!

The Full Scoop Behind the Paleo Diet & Lifestyle

I know, so many people hear or read the word paleo and just think of some overly beefed up caveman-esque dude or chick who's obsessed with crossfit, and eats raw meat & sweet potatoes all day. Or some of you might just think of Tarzan (ahem Davina! haha). While it's true that Tarzan WAS in fact paleo (or so we can assume) and many people who eat and follow Paleo are pretty fit and HOT, that mold doesn't exaclty apply to everyone in the world of paleo.

Paleo has gotten so much mixed press over the years and there is honestly so much misinformation out there about it! Whether you're reading this just to learn more about Paleo or you're thinking of transitioning over to following paleo, my biggest recommendation is that you go into this with an open mind! And if you're planning to transition to a paleo lifestyle, or even if you're just kind of interested in paleo as a 30 day challenge, then I recommend you start by following some of the amazing people in the paleo community to get some foodie inspo and see just HOW doable it is to eat paleo on a daily basis! Plus follow me of course - thepaleoballerina - Some of my recommendations of accounts to follow on IG/FB and their blogs are listed below at the end of this post! 

And yes, it really is a "Paleo community"! my brother always laughs at me when I say "paleo community" like it's a cult following or something. Don't get me wrong, some people take the whole thing WAY too far IMO but seriously for the most part it's just a bunch of people who believe that when it comes to nutrition and lifestyle choices, Paleo is the way to go!

 

When I first heard about paleo my response was "I could never do that. That sounds literally impossible and crazy. Like what the hell do you eat if you're not eating GRAINS? Only meat and veggies? I love eating a lot of meat, but that sounds impossible, plus I don't want to give up  my bread and pasta". But I kept it in my mind because there was this whole thing about eating as much meat as I wanted to, and I liked that.

About 6 months prior I had done the master cleanse and realized that there was a connection between my skin issues and the food I was eating. I had already given up my precious dairy after that first round of the master cleanse so I wasn't eating cheese, or creamy sauces, or ice cream, or any of the things I held so dear. I never even thought I could survive without CHEESE or ice cream. Now I was supposed to think about giving up BREAD AND PASTA also!? BLASPHEMY! 

But I did another round of the master cleanse and during an evening that I was particularly hungry while cleansing, I started writing out menus for when I could eat again and I decided to look into this whole paleo madness. My first search pulled up Elana's Pantry and a recipe for paleo banana bread and regular paleo bread, both made with almond flour. SAY WHAT!? Almond flour is a thing? That's bread!? I can eat bread on this paleo thing!? Maybe I can do this after all, I'm going to give it a try! Once I realized that I could make healthy paleo versions of the foods I loved and didn't want to part with I was sold. Easiest "diet" ever! That was in August of 2013 and I have been paleo ever since!

Now there are about a million different shades of paleo. I honeslty think that's why I love it so much and why it's become a sustainable way to eat for me while maintaining optimal health.

on paper the "rules" of paleo sound strict, but nutrition including paleo is NOT a one size fits all model so it's important to individualize your eating plan.

product Block
This is an example product. Double-click here to search for one of your own products to display. Learn more

There are some people who take the rigidity too far, and there also is a real benefit to strictly following the "rules" for periods at a time - like a Whole 30. But more on that later.

Now all of the above is not to say that you wouldn't benefit from a super strict 100% paleo or Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) lifestyle, because absolutely anyone would benefit from it. But, for the average person living in the age of twitter, snapchat, and reality TV, eating 100% strict paleo 24/7 is virtually impossible, and for most there is really just no reason to sacrifice their happiness for stress of eating so strictly. But again if you're managing or healing a condition (like acne, pcos, psoriasis, diabetes, migraines, etc etc) then it might be not only beneficial to follow the rules rigidly, it might be almost necessary.

However way you spin it though Paleo is not meant to be dogmatic and it is not meant to control your life. EVER. It's about finding a way to make paleo work for YOU and your unique life. I really like to concentrate more on the individual when it comes to diet, and most importantly just eating REAL FOOD. Processed crap is just never acceptable. It's one thing to decide to have some raw organic cheese on occasion, or some sushi, it's another entirely to randomly chow down on a sleeve Oreos or a Big Mac! It's important to understand the WHY's behind each paleo "rule" and to learn the big difference between eating the cheese, or eating the Oreos...  Always weigh the pros and cons relative to you in your own life, but be smart about it. If not eating those Oreos is going to send your life into a tailspin where you're stressed and can't sleep, and obsessing, and going into that disordered eating mindset, then by all means, eat the damn Oreos.

I WOULD like to say though - please at least choose GLUTEN FREE OREOS! I only say this because gluten is a bitch and the effects of a gluten exposure can last for MONTHS. Like literally those damn gluten proteins can linger in there for 4 months after the fact. That's why for ME I will def have some froyo, GF or paleo cookies, rice, or cheese here and there, BUT if I have gluten it is always 100% BY ACCIDENT - we call this getting "glutened" and it's no fun.

Regardless, the extra stress of avoiding those GF Oreos is not worth it. Stress wreaks HAVOC on your hormones and those bad boys regulate how you store fat, your fertility, your mood and personality, and so much more! Just remember, this is meant to be a long term sustainable way to LIVE. Hence it being a paleo LIFESTYLE! It spans much further beyond just the food you put into your mouth. It is about choosing to live your life differently. Not some short term crash diet. Now that I've hopefully cleared up some of the common misconceptions and assumptions you may have had about paleo, I want to mention that with a focus on eating REAL FOOD there is an opportunity to really truly heal yourself naturally from the inside out.

Depending on what your background is, or the biggest challenge that you're working to overcome by transitioning to paleo, I typically recommend trying a Paleo Whole 30, AIP Whole 30, or just 30 days of strict paleo as an elimination diet to see how your body responds. With time you'll learn to listen to your body and know what you can and cannot tolerate. If you're not trying to "heal" anything specific then you can do a more moderate transition where you substitute foods you're already eating with paleo versions like paleo breads, paleo ice creams, etc. I'd like to mention that you can't heal years of damage in 30 days, but it's a great starting point to move forward from! For those of you who are new to paleo, let me do some basic explaining. 

There are a lot of AMAZING experts on these subjects and I would never attempt to live up to their standards of explination, but consider this the "Paleo for Dummies" or Spark Notes version of the Paleo lifestyle!

SO, WHAT IS THIS PALEO THING?

Paleo (pay-lee-oh) refers to the Paleolithic era and the age of our cavemen ancestors who were hunters and gatherers. Some refer to it as the caveman diet, primal diet, or an ancestral diet. Essentially the idea behind it is that our bodies evolved to digest the foods we were eating as hunter gatherers, before the agricultural revolution, and did not evolve to eat the shit that we do on the SAD (Standard American Diet).

Now that's great and all but again we ARE living in a modern world where McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, and Taco Bell are on every corner and being healthy is considered picky, annoying, and unnecessary. Life just isn't as simple as it once was. But that doesn't mean that we can't learn and take a hint from our ancestors! Here is a super simplified version of what NOT to eat while following paleo:

Standard Paleo no no's:

  • Dairy  ( ice cream, cheese-including raw, yogurt, sour cream, froyo, milk etc)
  • Grains (wheat, barley, spelt, buckwheat, quinoa, rice, amaranth etc) 
  • Legumes (chickpeas, peas, peanuts, beans - all varieties except green beans- etc) 
  • Soy (soy lecithin, soy milk, tofu, soybean oil, soy sauce, edamame, etc)
  • Sugar (especially processed white or brown sugar)
  • Fillers & Additives (any ingredient you can't pronounce or don't know what it is)
  • Processed Foods (fast foods, cookies, crackers, anything "instant" etc)
  • Damaged fats/oils (sunflower seed oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, safflower oil etc)Click HERE for my favorite guide on oils! Print it and put it up in your kitchen!

AIP (Autoimmune Protocol for those with autoimmune conditions) Paleo no no's in addition to the list above:

  • Eggs (specifically egg whites)
  • Nuts & Seeds (sunbutter, almond butter, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, etc)
  • Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, all varieties of peppers, eggplant etc) 
  • Alcohol (especially gluten containing alcohol like beer and drinks that are high in sugar)

Okay so those lists look a little intense I know, so let me show you what you CAN eat!

Also to take a closer look into the madness behind the government regulated food pyramid, read this awesome article HERE all about the BS that is fed to us about how we "should" eat!

SO this is really where the fun part begins and that's customizing this to fit you and your needs. Yes there is a huge list of foods that we come in contact with on a daily basis that we are NOT supposed to eat, but hey everyone's body works differently! SO after a 30 day elimination diet, you can start trying to introduce foods back into your diet and pay close attention to any detail big or small that happens within your body. You must eat that ONE food item at all three meals for at least one day. Did you get gassy? Did you get any pimples? Maybe you instantly felt a little yucky after eating that egg? These are all pretty good signs that whatever you reintroduced did not agree with your body! There's more to this but this here post is not the time or the place!

Now there's also the fact that your bodies are changing. As we eat for optimum health and heal our guts and hormones, a lot of times we can successfully reintroduce foods that we couldn't even imagine tolerating before! But this is also not always the case. For instance, I know that cannot tolerate dairy. But I do sometimes indulge with organic raw dairy or some ice cream, but I do so knowing it will lead to a breakout of some sort. I must admit though at this point if I just have a little dairy I don't always break out. The LONGER you follow this healthy lifestyle the more you body heals and becomes resilient! Also some people tolerate dairy just fine, so if it works for you then by all means, reintroduce it and keep healthy versions of it present in your diet! Again - QUALITY matters here!

While I can't tolerate industrial seed oils AT ALL, and mostly can't tolerate dairy or soy without some sort of reaction, I CAN tolerate some legumes like peas, and peanuts on occasion (though they make me bloat and give me gas if I eat too much) and I tolerate gluten free grains like rice just fine. However, I don't go out of my way to eat them. I do drink a Vegan gluten free superfood protein shake called Shakeology every day that sources it's protein from gluten free grains like rice, amaranth, pea, and quinoa, and my body loves it, I have had no issues whatsoever!! Quite the opposite in fact! I can even tolerate whey protein now without breaking out which is awesome! Hellooo cafe latte flavor!

Moving onnnnn....

Besides my shakeo, I don't consume gluten free grains unless I'm going out for a treat of sushi, the super occasional gluten free bread or bun, or a gluten free treat! Again, not things that should be eaten daily, but in moderation they are a-okay and for me my body does just fine with them. It has taken me a long time to figure out what I can and cannot tolerate, and honestly I'm still figuring it out! I experiment with new things and I have my own gray areas when it comes to AIP, because my body responds so well when I follow it, but I find it to be too restrictive for me to do consistently.

But I do mostly avoid nightshades, I try to extremely limit my nut and seed intake, and I go through periods of egg elimination as well. It's all about balance and paying close attention to what your body is telling you. The fine tuning comes in time, you just have to decide, and commit to taking that first step to get the ball rolling!

I do want to mention that eating something gluten free does NOT mean it's healthy! So many gluten free products on the shelves these days have so many gross ingredients in them that I pick it up and start to read it, then I almost instantly put it back down. Get in the habit of reading the ingredients of everything you eat. Know what you're putting into your body and don't leave it to chance! Of course concentrate on getting real, whole foods into every single meal, but almost everything comes in a package with a label these days, so don't be fooled by labels and false advertisements! Always always always read the ingredients for yourself!

It's so important to educate yourself on pesky hidden ingredients and especially always watch out for things like sugar, and damaged oils in packaged foods! Plus my biggest rule of thumb: if you can't pronounce it then don't eat it! Also follow me on social media, I post about my fav clean, healthy, paleo friendly brands and products all the time!

Speaking of following....

Now on to my favorite people in paleo without whom I would literally have none of the knowledge or experience that I have today! For direct links to my favorite paleo products please refer to my Products page!

Everything Paleo:

Diane Sanfilippo - My favorite and practical resource for ALL things paleo and also awesome motivation and business tips! I linked two of her books on my resources page (Practical Paleo, and 21 Day Sugar Detox) that are game changers, and if you're into podcasts she has TWO amazing ones, The Balanced Bites Podcast that she co-hosts with Liz Wolfe (listed below) and also the Build a Badass Business Podcast! Plus amazing recipes

Liz Wolfe aka Real Food Liz - This woman has taught me almost everything I know about natural skincare and she's made me laugh in the process! I secretly wish that I was her, or I would settle for being her best friend! Her Purely Primal Skincare Guide made me believe that I could heal myself naturally and I learned so much from that ebook! I also linked her book Eat the Yolks on my resource page, it's another must read for paleo and laughs!

Dr. Sarah Ballantyne aka The Paleo Mom - Author of The Paleo Approach (linked on the resource page) she is the AIP queen! I have learned SO MUCH about the science and WHY's behind what our bodies do and everything paleo. She explains everything in a tangible manor and has written amazing blog posts on the importance of sleep, exercise, and just the real nitty gritty stuff when it comes to the lifestyle side of paleo and especially AIP. So much amazing knowledge and info here! When I teach people about paleo I honestly link to her website the most often!

Robb Wolf - Yet another paleo guru who has and shares so much knowledge on his site!

Chris Kresser - Also like Robb and everyone else mentioned above, a total real food guru and he has an awesome podcast called Revolution Health Radio.

Mark's Daily Apple

Elana Amsterdam - Elana's Pantry 

Juli Bauer aka PaleOMG 

Stupid Easy Paleo

Nom Nom Paleo

Civilized Caveman

Against All Grain

Primal Palate

Paleo Parents

Paleo Porn

Paleo for Women

There are a ton more out there, and honestly too many for me to write descriptions for at the present moment. I will try to update this with more detailed information at a later date!

Still feeling overwhelmed or confused? I can help!

I do take 1:1 coaching clients if you're looking to work with a mentor and want a fully customized plan created just for you! You are 90% more likely to succeed with a coach or mentor by your side instead of trying to do it alone! I have created a program that is going to help you find that missing link and get your health back on track! If you are READY to take charge and see what a healthy lifestyle can do for you then click HERE to apply for a free 45min Discovery Call with me! I only take 5 clients PER MONTH and I want to make sure we will work well together so it is imperative that you complete the application even if you're my bestie! I will ALSO send you my free 5 day quick start meal plan once I receive your application!

Until next time! <3

xoxo - Harmony 

PS: READY FOR NATURALLY CLEAR SKIN & RENEWED CONFIDENCE?
Join hundreds of subscribers and get instant access to my resource library of ebooks, worksheets, and resources for acne sufferers & health seekers alike!