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:

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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!


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

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.

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!


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 

Join hundreds of subscribers and get instant access to my resource library of ebooks, worksheets, and resources for acne sufferers & health seekers alike!

Take the Plunge


Let me paint this picture for you: You have set up your towel in the sand and decide to head towards the water. You take that first daring step off your towel not quite sure what to expect. The sand is scorching hot between your toes but it feels nice for a moment and you sink your toes further into it. You close your eyes and angle your face up towards the sun hoping to leave looking beautiful and sun-kissed. You pause for a moment and take it all in. You let out a sigh because the ocean makes you feel both at peace and exhilarated. But before you realize what's happening that same sand that felt like heaven a moment before has now become unbearably HOT like lava beneath your feet. As you make your journey further down the beach, you begin tip toeing, then sprinting like a gazelle, but clumsy and awkward more like a toddler taking his first steps, down the beach towards the beautiful blue water and crashing waves. Then you finally reach that cool, wet sand before the water begins and you feel instant relief, you will not die from hot lava sand this day! Success! You cautiously walk towards the water and gingerly dip in your big toe hoping it's not too cold. But of course it is and you've once again come face to face with a metaphorical death. Once that wave of foamy water washes ashore and hits your legs you instantaneously become an icicle. But the water is beautiful so you grit your teeth and continue to stand where the water is meeting the shore and two worlds are becoming one. You walk a little bit further out and now your calves are slightly wet. You start thinking "I could get use to this, it actually feels kind of nice" then you relax a little bit. Again, you sink your toes into the cool, moist sand and look up to the sky. You begin to take everything in and try to ignore your freezing feet, the world is beautiful! But while you are day dreaming a big wave comes on shore and crashes right into you. You stumble and and lose your balance, again like a clumsy toddler. You're now on the ground, trying to make sure that all of your unmentionables are still in place under your tiny little swimsuit. You wonder why the HELL anyone wears so little to the beach, yourself included. It suddenly all seems like madness. You stumble away from the water with a look of defeat on your face but pause and glance back at it before you make the long trek back through the lava sand to your towel. The water may have conquered you this time, but next time will be a different story. I hope you enjoyed that! I swear there's a point to it.

So it's summer time now and it's hot outside! You know what the heat make me want to do? It makes me want to tan, and go to the beach, and go swimming. I'll take just the tanning and swimming part also. Pools, water holes, lakes, etc will do, I'm not that picky although I'd be a liar if I didn't say that I love the beach! I'm sure a lot of you have had experiences like the one I described above. it happens often. We want something, but never fully commit to it, then the process of attaining it doesn't turn out to be what we expected, and so we give up or we never actually try at all. Or for some people the prospect of the entire process is too much so they just stay on their towel and watch as others do or get that they want for themselves. I have been talking to so many wonderful people recently who tell me that they want to make changes in their life.

I think it is so awesome that so many people in this world want to do better for themselves and it inspires me every day! Maybe you want to lose weight, eat healthier, change careers, clear your skin or whatever it may be that you feel needs some assistance or change in your life today today. And reaching out to someone, vocalizing the desire to change is an awesome first step! But more often than not, recently I feel that so many people are hesitant to actually take the plunge and start changing things for themselves. Now, I'm by no means saying that I expect everyone to change everything about themselves right away, BUT I just think we could all take a second to reevaluate the reasons that we give for WHY you're willing to hold back from achieving what you truly desire. I am here to help, support, and guide people. I have seriously met so many AMAZING people through being a coach and I love every second of it, I really really do. But I also find myself getting frustrated at times because I can't do all the work for you. There comes a time when you have to do your part!

We're all human, myself included and I get that life is scary. I mean hell I have let fear hold me back so many times in the past, and every decision we make defines our life's course. I can clearly see how some fear driven decisions from my younger years shaped things in my present future. I may have had a ballet career earlier if I hadn't been afraid. Now you can also push through fear and make crappy decisions like taking jobs that you end up hating (raises hand) but that's all part of the process. I now know something that I never ever ever want to do ever again in my life. Progress right? You gotta take the positive out of every situation. At least make an effort to learn from it and do differently the next time! I just want to share some quotes with you today that REALLY resonated with me when I heard them, and I hope they can help you to be a little more fearless today and push through whatever it is that you're letting hold you back from your DREAMS! Whatever those dreams may be :)







Then there was this one quote I heard years ago which I can't seem to find online that said something to the effect of: when the prospecting of doing something makes you nervous, use that as a signal that you NEED to do it!

I think that's a great way to push through fear. So if doing something like performing or even just talking to someone I don't know very well or putting myself out there in someway, makes me nervous then I'm like okay. I need to challenge and push myself to do this! I hope some of these will help you to do the same with whatever you're trying to push through today! I fully realize that this post is very random but I just had these thoughts on my mind so I wanted to put them down on virtual paper. Please don't let fear hold you back from living your own life. It is yours and yours only, to do with that you choose. No one else can live your life for you so make sure that you're living it for yourself!

Remember that story from the beginning of this post? Now imagine if our character had instead decided that from the second they stepped off the towel, they were just going to run and jump into the water? I bet you they would've had a much better experience with the whole thing. They would've skipped the whole lava sand process, they would've gotten used to the water after jumping in, and I bet they would've spent time actually playing in and enjoying themselves instead of all the other crap that went along with their hesitation, including the unfulfilling concept of defeat. They would've walked back to their towel soaking wet, with a huge smile on their face feeling entirely content because they not only faced their fear, but they had a blast in the process. My point is that yes caution can be important in certain instances. But sometimes you just need to jump in with both feet! Take a plunge! Enjoy your life! Just freaking DO IT and you will reap the benefits! Waiting, and hemming, and hawing when your gut is telling you to just do it can hold you back and delay your life. You may stumble, you may fail, and you may fall, or in this instance you may get bitten by a shark. But at least you tried. At least you LIVED. Be honest with yourself about what your reason for holding back on WHATEVER is today and make sure it's in alignment with what you TRULY want out of your life. DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU REALLY WANT? Sit down and start writing. You might be surprised what comes out.

That's all for today folks, enjoy the rest of June as I doubt Ill post again before July rolls around but hey, maybe right!? And as always please email me if you want or need any guidance! But also please understand that it may take me a few days to get back to you due to the large volume of emails I get, OR I might get back to you on the same day! It just depends :)

xoxo Harmony

Join hundreds of subscribers and get instant access to my resource library of ebooks, worksheets, and resources for acne sufferers & health seekers alike!

Vegan Orange Chocolate Creamsicle Shakeology

I've been browsing the the internets all day trying to find the tool people use to post recipes in that little box on their blog posts so I don't have to manually type them in here BUT alas I was unsuccessful so I'm just going to post the recipe here! Just a little update: My black swan performance was last weekend (today is Monday) and I'm still recovering from it. Overall it went fairly well I guess. Not perfect by any means, I wish we have more than one performance so I could get a chance to do a better job but it's okay I will survive! I also decided to become a Beachbody Coach which is super exciting. I LOVE helping people and I feel like this is just one more platform for me to do so. I really hope to help A LOT of people transform their lives! I'll give more details on all that later including pictures from the performance but for now let's cut to the chase - the Orange Chocolate Creamsicle! This thing tastes just like those fun little chocolate oranges I used to buy at the store and eat as an unhealthy kid. YUM! Along with signing up as a Beachbody Coach I needed to try the products out myself obviously, Shakeology being a huge one of them. I got the Chocolate Vegan Shakeology and boy let me tell you I'm actually really surprised by what I've experienced while drinking the Shakeology so far. I kind of expected to drink it and break out or gain weight or feel gross or whatever. They also have this amazing 30 day money back guarantee so I figured I'd just return it if I didn't like it anyway. But actually it's been awesome! Now I know this is a real food and paleo blog and Shakeology is not 100% Paleo friendly because the protein sources are Pea Protein, Rice Protein, and Oat Protein. However, besides that small snafu it's actually gluten, soy, and dairy free and otherwise Paleo friendly. Quite frankly at least at this point I feel that the benefits far outweigh the fact that the proteins come from a grain source. At least it's not crappy processed whey or anything like that. The ingredients are things you might even be supplementing with right now!

Okay most of you know that I dance in the evenings from around 6-9 or 10pm. I get home starving and usually end up eating a big meal right before bed. UH can we say weight gain? And here comes Shakeology to the rescue! I've been making sure to eat lunch late at work around 3pm in order to stay full from it for awhile. I now started making my shake before ballet class and bringing it with me. I usually drink it during and after ballet class. It's so filling that I can't drink it all in one sitting, it takes me awhile to finish! So far since I've started drinking the Shakeology these are the changes I've seen:

  • These Shakes are FILLING! I don't even need dinner when I drink these in the evening
  • My workouts are fueled and I'm not getting as tired during them as I was before
  • My skin is staying very clear - this is a huge one for me. If my body doesn't like what I'm consuming I can ALWAYS tell through my skin.
  • I've LOST WEIGHT. That's right. Not eating that super late night meal helps of course but I think these have helped me burn fat.
  • My cravings for unhealthy food are virtually gone. I really wasn't expecting this one.
  • My eliminations have gotten even more regular.
  • I've been WAY less bloated in general and my hormones are pretty happy right now. I have ways of knowing this and I won't go into those details.

SO I actually haven't been drinking Shakeology for that long yet and I've already seen a lot of benefits. I'm SUPER curious to see what else changes on this journey!! One thing to keep in mind - I have a really clean diet so I think my body is very receptive to new things. I feel like it doesn't have to try to clear all the crap out of my body before showing the benefits but instead I can see the benefits more quickly. That's not just with this Shakeology but with other supplements and treatments as well. At least that's what I've noticed. I could be totally wrong,

Now for the second component of this recipe.... The Adrenal Cocktail AKA Dreamsicle or Creamsicle By Ginger Newtrition that has been going all around the paleo community. I love this Adrenal Cocktail, you should try it out! Find the recipe and more info on Adrenal Fatigue HERE

NOW FOR THE RECIPE! (I know that was a really long build up) I swear this thing tastes JUST like those chocolate oranges you can buy at the store. SO GOOD!


Orange Chocolate Creamsicle (Gluten, Soy, Dairy, Casein, Nut  FREE using VEGAN chocolate Shakeology)

1 batch of Ginger Newtrition's Adrenal Cocktail (recipe here)

1 batch Vegan Chocolate Shakeology (following package directions except OJ from the Adrenal Cocktail should replace the water)

Put the following items into the blender: 8-12oz of fresh squeezed OJ, 2oz water, Himalayan pink salt(as much as you can tolerate), 1 scoop of Shakeology, 1 scoop of beef collagen, 1/2-1 cup of ice and 2tbs coconut cream. Blend it all together and ENJOY!

I hope you try this recipe and love it! Let me know what you think in the comments sections!

xoxo- Harmony

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The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships


Hopefully most of you know where my title line is from but for those of you who don't, it is famous line in Greek Mythology about the Trojan war. The "face" is referring to the ever beautiful Helen of Troy. She left Sparta and it's king for another man in Troy, and by doing so she started a war among love struck men. If you want more info then watch the movie Troy; it's historically inaccurate but it has both Orlando Bloom and Brad Pitt so by watching it you're still winning at life while kind of educating yourself. Or you could google it or read a book, but I still say just watch Troy... Because hotness. Okay now that I have sufficiently "cited my source" I'm going to move on to the actual content of this post and let me just start by saying...Wow.

I mean really wow. I am SO impressed/shocked/elated/surprised/excited by the response I got on Instagram of my acne progress picture. The outpouring of support and kind words has been amazing and I am really truly so grateful for them. I'm going try as much as possible not to get too far off track on this post because I have a purpose. I want to expand what I posted on Instagram and talk about my skin journey in hopes of educating and hopefully helping some people! Hence the name of this blog post. Oh and that picture... They're the "Heroes of Troy" apparently. Imagine them as Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom... Okay sorry, now moving on...

Because trying to get rid of acne is a Battle (like the Trojan War) and my face (not for it's beauty but for it's skin) has "sailed a thousand ships" in that it has hopefully inspired many of you to keep going in your own battles against problematic skin and never give up! You CAN heal your skin naturally! Plus my skin has been waging this war for a very loong time. Without my health and the knowledge I've gathered I would be losing miserably. But instead I am hashtag winning. Yes you read that right, #winning.

Many of you have already asked questions on Instagram and I am hoping that with this post I can answer many of them so I don't have to type the same answer repeatedly on my cellphone where I am prone to many typos and consequently frequently confusing answers. I want to mention that I am not an expert or a professional in this subject. All I know is from hours upon hours of research (don't worry I won't include any of that here) that I have done and my own personal experiences so please do keep that in mind!


Can I be a complete NERD and fan girl for a second!? I am just so excited that freaking Liz Wolfe ( author of Eat the Yolks and the Purely Primal Skincare Guide (formerly Skintervention guide - and possibly the best purchase I ever made) reposted my picture and said that I INSPIRED HER! How freaking amazing is that!? I mean to have someone you so genuinely admire and look up to say that you inspire them is just really life affirming and fulfilling. I really am elated and HONORED and HUMBLED by this. I really truly am. Okay fan girling complete.


I have had acne for what feels like my entire life. This isn't 100% accurate but I remember getting my first pimples when I was around 11 years old. Ever since then it has been an identity that I have worn and I suspect no matter how clear my skin is I will wear that identity for the rest of my life. Plus I have scars... SO there's that. I was living in Korea at the time and honestly I didn't think too much of it. But when I moved to America at the ripe age of 13 and realized that no one else had the skin problems I did I began to become self conscious about it. So began my attempt to get rid of my acne. I started my first "3 step acne system" I don't even remember the name that consisted of a face wash, toner, and lotion of some sort. That did me no good and did not last long - maybe a couple months at best.

I heard or read somewhere else to just use a specific bar of soap so I did that and it didn't help, shocker I know. Then I moved on to good ol Proactive which helped a bit for a few months (by this time I was around 14-15 and at the peak of feeling like crap about myself) but here's where things really took a turn for the worse... I got contact dermatitis mostly on my forehead and T zone but it was really all over my face. For those of you who don't know what this is, it's like poison ivy but you don't get it from a plant, rather it's from touching your face in any way shape of form. It was itchy, scaly(it looked like snake skin peeling from my face), there was pus and it was a disgusting, and super uncomfortable mess. I went to the doctor and was put on steroids and other medications with antibiotics that made me dizzy and ill throughout the day. Which didn't bode very well for my 12 hour days (as a junior in private ballet school I had school for 5 hours then ballet for 4 hours 5 days a week and 3 hours of ballet on Saturdays... I had Sundays free to catch up on homework). But I got through it and was back to washing my face with a very mild bar of soap.

From there my mom and I decided to attempt the whole "natural" thing. We bought witch hazel as my toner, and I don't even remember what brand the random cleanser we found at the health food store was. When that didn't work we went to a dermatologist who prescribed me tetracycline (another antibiotic) for my skin plus Tazorac to put on topically. We called her within a few weeks to say it was all making my skin worse and I wasn't feeling well and she said I just needed to continue with it and give it time. Yeah okay I had a bad feeling about it so we stopped it right after that and never went back to her. From there over the next years I proceeded to try at least 7 more (that I can remember) different acne treatment "kits" or "complete systems" including some "natural" options. Oh and a round of 10 microdermabrasion sessions. None. Of. Them. Worked. I read a book on acne that told me my diet had nothing to do with it that it was purely my sebaceous glands clogging and there was no particular reason for it beyond being UNLUCKY.

I have asked myself countless times throughout this life: WHY do I have acne? Why am I a person who has to struggle with this when for so many people it's a thought that never even crosses their mind? Most people get a singular pimple and complain about being "broken out". Not even.

Anyway, after high school I went to a new dermatologist and was put on the pill. Yippie!! I was so excited because I had heard that it clears up your skin! And along with being on the pill I was given Duac and again the Tazorac plus a few other topical treatments. For the first time possibly since I was 11 years old I had clear skin. It felt like a miracle. I could go outside without makeup on and not die of sheer and utter shame. I finally felt like I was like everyone else. Ya for conforming to "normalcy". Granted my face hurt and peeled 24/7 because it was so dried out and I inexplicably lost a bunch of weight but still I was happy, I thought it was over. I thought I had won the acne battle. "Silly girl trix are for kids!"

Then I lost my health insurance coverage because my new job didn't offer benefits. This meant bye bye BCP and Duac. I was off the pill for about a year and during that time I started putting on weight (over 10 lbs) and got my beautiful full fledged acne back (this includes acne on my chest, back and arms btw). I got back on the pill in 2011 after being off for about one year, but didn't experience the same magical effect as last time. Instead I kept gaining weight (another 10 pounds to equal a total of 20-25lbs weight gain total) and my acne wasn't going away but I was "okay" with it. I told myself: This is just my life. I have acne and that's it. I'm the size of a "normal" person now, I'm just not ballet thin anymore. I'm doing fine.

But I ate and felt terrible all the time. I was genuinely eating mutiple full sized candy bars every day, all sorts of fast food, fried food, really anything and everything. I've always been a thin person so I never worried much about that. But in January 2013 I was sick of feeling and getting sick. I felt disgusting and despite not actually being very large in size, I felt huge for my frame. I did the master cleanse and dropped a good 13 lbs and kept it off. I felt amazing. AND the entire time on the cleanse I did not break out once. True story. When I started reintroducing foods I decided to leave dairy as a food group out all together. I started eating what I thought was "healthy" as in whole grains, gluten free, brown rice, meats and veggies (I've always loved meat) and no dairy what so ever. I also got laser treatment for my acne with chemical peels every 2 weeks and was using Obagi skincare. My skin was looking pretty good for a little while there but I was never breakout free. In order to do more detoxing (and wanting my skin to be a little better) I did the master cleanse again in July 2013. I broke out the entire time I was cleansing, and I lost more weight than I wanted to - I was not happy. My sister in law had told me about this paleo thing and I researched it while cleansing. I discovered Elana's Pantry and realized that I could eat bread made with almond flour while doing paleo. UHM OKAY SIGN ME UP! I've been Paleo ever since  - August 2013. My skin wasn't terrible at this point but it wasn't good either.

I wanted to get even healthier - plus I wanted to be fertile for the sake of being able to have children when I wanted to - so I got off the pill in November 2013 (the same year) which is when everything changed. I started really having acne again. I closed out 2013 with my first round of all paleo holidays and started 2014 with a face and body full of acne. I also purchased a yearly unlimited bikram yoga package and I was still using the Obagi at this point because I felt it had worked in the past. But really I didn't understand why I was breaking out again when I was eating so well and doing bikram more often than ever. I was working 2 jobs, teaching ballet in the evenings and working a desk job during the day. I started in a new job in April of 2014 and revved up my yoga. My skin was getting worse and worse. I bought the Purely Primal Skincare Guide (formerly Skintervention guide) and began to read my tail off. I also started listening to the Balanced Bites Podcast and getting myself further and further immersed in the world that is the paleo community. There is just so much to learn and know! Anyway, I did a 30 day bikram challenge around May/June (the 12th picture below) which is when my skin was at it's WORST EVER. Like in my entire life, my skin has never been this bad. Okay the contact dermatitis may have been worse but that was different... Here's what I was doing at this time:

1. Oil Cleansing (OCM) with coconut oil, using ACV/water as a toner, using baking soda/water paste on occasion to exfoliate, Beauty Balm from Green Pastures to moisturize, and occasional Aztec clay mask.

2. 'No poo'ing on my hair

3. Bikram at least 3-5 times a week including some advanced classes.

4. Supplementing on and off with Vitex, Maca, Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil Blend( FCLO/BO), Milk Thistle, and l-glutamine.

5. Eating pretty standard paleo without specific modifications.

Okay so that all sounds pretty good right? SO what freaking gives!? This went on and was a process for months mind you. While I thought that I was doing pretty great for myself I also found out that my acne is strongly driven by hormones, specifically testosterone. For a female I have some crazy high testosterone levels (tested by my OB/GYN and confirmed again this year with the Naturopath). There is a lot more to that whole situation but I'm not going to go into that here. SO what did I change to start seeing results despite being crazy discouraged? Well here are just a few things that I believe contributed to my overall success:

1. I switched to doing the OCM with Grapeseed Oil. Such a simple change but made a huge difference for me!

2. I stopped 'no poo'ing. It was stressing me out that my hair looked like crap 24/7. I tried to make it work for months but it just wasn't for me. Instead I use JustNaturals Shampoo.

3. I stopped working my second job, started dancing again and almost entirely stopped going to bikram. I think this is a huge one. I was pushing myself so hard in class and it was not good for me. I still love bikram yoga, don't get me wrong but I had to take a step back for my health.

4. I started consistently taking a double dose of FCLO/BO (2tsp instead of 1tsp) ironically because I felt like I was getting sick and read to take a double dose for that but saw improvement in my skin! I reduced my l-glutamine to 1/2tsp of powder in water daily and decided to scrap everything else.

5. I did multiple 21dsd's which helped my sugar (helping regulate insulin) addiction and began trying to get nutrients as much as possible. Sardines, gelatin, offal, fermented foods, and the list goes on. Most recently I did AIP in January and saw my Naturopath who gave me great insight into what was going on with my body.

6. TIME. I swear this seems all tied up into a pretty little bow by this post but man has it been a PROCESS! The body takes time to heal. I'm still working to heal my body. Everything takes time and patience and forgiving, and understanding, and persistence and determination. Repeat after me: "I know I am doing my very best and my very best is good enough."

By the time I went to the Naturopath (or Functional Medicine Doctor) in January 2015 my skin was already really doing well but I still knew that my hormones were out of whack. We did both blood and genetic testing that gave me a wealth of information about ME in early February. The genetic testing specifically was super informative as it showed what medications and supplements I do well with based on my genes. For instance I found out that my body functions optimally with high amounts of Omega 3's. I've been eating a can of sardines a day minimum pretty much since then. I learned a lot of other things too and I am taking a bunch of supplements with his guidance for the next few months to try and fix my hormonal imbalances. Then I'll have my blood drawn again and we will reevaluate. It's still a process but I have been genuinely amazed with the fast results. Knowing what your gene's respond to took so much of the guess work out of what to try.

ANYWAY, this post is way too long and I just want to reiterate that you need to look at every freaking aspect of your life when you're looking at something as complex as a skin issue. And please research and educate yourself as much as possible! Very rarely is there a quick, simple, or easy fix to these problems but the answer is there - you just have to find it! Once you get yourself balanced you have to do your damn best to maintain it and continue to make changes as your body's needs change. Keep that in mind. Your body today is not the same as it was yesterday and it's not the same as it will be tomorrow. We are constantly changing for better or for worse. If you're going through a struggle, please don't be discouraged, and feel free to ask me any questions you have! And just please believe that YOU CAN HEAL YOURSELF NATURALLY! Be patient with yourself. Be forgiving of yourself. And above all else, LOVE yourself. You can do this with perseverance and persistence. Now time for pictures...

The pictures below are all of the same side of my face (obviously) over the course of multiple months starting probably in March or April of 2014 until February 2015. They are unattractive and unflattering. But I hope they give you a visual and I hope they give you hope. None of them are retouched or edited in any way. I'm not wearing any makeup in any of them either as I'm sure you can tell. Now truth time - I totally started slacking with the progress pics as my face started improving... It jumps from: you can tell it's getting better to now in February when it's looking great (I had just woken up in the picture so just pay attention to my skin please haha). I also took a lot of progress pics WITH makeup on but that's not a fair comparison next to these pictures. I apologize for that but regardless here we are! Oh and that last picture is from January BEFORE I saw the Naturopath to show you that I achieved this on my own prior to his help and intervention. I originally took the picture to show my puppy sleeping on my butt again but hopefully you get the idea!

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And now.....


xoxo - Harmony

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The Opposite of a Blank Space


This may be the first time that I've come to this blog without anything specific to say. It's in times like these that I am reminded of those awkward social situations where you're forced to make small talk with people that, well let's be honest here, you'd rather not talk to. You want to be friendly, and people can be great but this whole process just makes you uncomfortable as hell. For me personally, once I'm comfortable with someone I can be very talkative and I have a lot to say. But I swear it can take me forever to get to that point with people. At one time in my life when I was a youth leader I had sort of "trained" myself to be more outgoing and make better small talk. In a setting like that there's no room to worry about what people think of you and worry about how uncomfortable or awkward you feel because you're instead in a position to SERVE others and therefore your main concern becomes them. You find yourself wondering: Are these kids comfortable and having a good time? I hope I'm helping them feel included and not awkward and uncomfortable". It's too bad though that in this life unused skills tend to dwindle or disappear. Like that saying about dull knives needing to be sharpened regularly in order to be useful or something. I know I butchered that saying but I think you get the idea. Well now I seem to have lost the "small talk" skill. I'm no longer a youth leader, I don't do customer service anymore, and I no longer work in a setting that I have to talk to anyone at all really. All of these facts together make for my dull butter knife social skills. Maybe I'll get them back one day but I'd rather keep my mouth shut and express myself with dance anyway... Okay that was a big ol paragraph about well... Nothing really.

Let's start over... I still have 3 different posts that I've "promised" to you, my imaginary readers. At least as far as I can tally it's 1. The year 2014 in review. 2. Different supplements I take and why. 3. Recipes. Now really I'd like to hear from you on which one you're most interested in but I'm trying to be realistic here, I know I don't really have that kind of following. On another note the thought of typing up recipes doesn't sound very fun to me. I'm the type of cook that either strictly follow a recipe, or I wing it in the kitchen and more often than not things turn out delicious. If you follow my Instagram (which you should @thepaleoballerina) I try to post a lot of my meals there. Again, not recipes but it can give you an idea of how I eat and maybe inspire you to eat healthier (if you don't already, or if the idea seems impossible or daunting). Switching gears again (I swear this is how thoughts flow in my brain... Seemingly random but totally connected in my mind)... I'm anxiously awaiting my follow up appointment with the functional medicine doctor in February to have the results of those blood tests that made me so sick. I'm beyond ready to figure some stuff out and start down a new path of healing.

I was just thinking this morning about FODMAPS. Accoding to Google FODMAPS are: "Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and PolyolS. They comprise fructose, lactose, fructo- and galacto-oligosaccharides (fructans and galactans), and polyols (such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and maltitol) that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine." Essentially FODMAP intolerance means that your body is incapable of digesting or absorbing certain fructose that is present in many fruits and veggies including but not limited to: avocado, cabbage, garlic, onions- and the list goes on and on. Anyway the reason I bring this up is because I was saying to myself while driving to work "Self, you could not handle giving up garlic-which is probably my favorite seasoning ever- or most FODMAPS. You already have a super restricted diet and most of the FODMAP items are foods you eat all the time. You're not even using black pepper right now... You love black pepper!". Then I realized that I also at one point in time thought that I could "never give up sugar" or "never go paleo" or "never do AIP" or never not eat pasta or cheese or BREAD again. But I did it. And I continue to do so every damn day. I have accomplished all of these tasks DESPITE my negative self talk at one point in time saying that I couldn't.

Then it hit me: I can do and survive anything. Now I don't mean that in a crazy I could jump off a bridge and be just fine kind of way but I mean that any obstacle I come across I sure as hell am always going to do my best to fight and over come it. Does that mean that this road to health and recovery has been easy? HELL NO. Does it mean that I haven't strayed from my healthy ways here and there? HELL NO. Does the fact that I'm not perfect and this shit is really hard and frustrating SOMETIMES mean that I'm going to give up? NEVER. Honestly this lifestyle IS sustainable. It takes time to get used to and it's an investment in yourself but once you're on the straight and narrow for awhile, the thought of tarnishing all your hard work just isn't that appealing. Yes my health isn't perfect and I'm working hard to fix my crazy endocrine (hormonal) system I still see the results. One day when I gather the courage I'll do a post about my skin and how I've worked through all of the trouble and torment it's caused me... It's tough for me to show some of the pictures and make myself so vulnerable but if it will help someone then I'm willing to do it. (Lookie here I'm promising another future post... I'll get to em eventually). No matter how clear my skin is I don't think I'll ever consider myself as someone without acne. More like I'm someone who's skin is under control at the moment. And I'm not going to lie, right now I'm in a pretty good place with my skin but it is SUCH a delicate balance and I have by no means mastered it yet because it's a never ending process! Just like the road to health. It's not a destination but rather a journey and a process to stay in balance.

Back to where I was originally going with the whole functional medicine doctor thing... Depending on what my blood tests say -even if the news is the opposite of what I want to hear- it'll be okay. I'LL BE OKAY. So believe me when I say that we are all so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for, and if you want to achieve something then by all means try your best to make it happen, I know that I'll continue to do so. And who knows you just might succeed, so don't give up!

One final thought to leave you with... I've been dreaming a lot more recently. Maybe it's part of this AIP Whole 30 thing (today is day 18 btw *happy dance*) but I had a dream last night that I ate a Big Mac. Let me take a second to mention that in my former unhealthy life I never really liked Big Macs. I was always more of a dollar menu girl, or better yet a Burger King Whopper kinda girl. Also yesterday while scrolling someone's "paleo" Instagram I saw a picture of a McDonald's breakfast sandwich that someone ate (YUCK). I don't know if any of that is relevant to this dream but I thought you should be fully informed. Okay back to the dream. After eating a few bites of the Big Mac I then proceeded to FREAK OUT because I had eaten gluten. Like I went into straight panic mode as if I was going to die or something. That was the rest of the dream. Me freaking out from gluten exposure and being in disbelief that I had eaten something so evil as a Big Mac. HAHAHA even thinking about it now makes me legit smile, my brain is so silly sometimes. I have no clue what it meant or if it had any meaning at all but dreams fascinate me in more ways than one. In my conscious dreams I  dream of one day not working a desk job and being able to follow my passion full time. OH and more tangibly I dream of gaining the courage to do some ballet auditions. Makes me super nervous just thinking about it but I know I have to overcome that if I want my dreams to become a reality. So please keep dreaming my friends and never stop.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.... Man I wish it was Friday instead of Thursday and I wasn't sitting here at work... Shhh I didn't say that... Yay Thursday!

xoxo - Harmony

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Paleo Ballerina and a Happy New Year!


That's right, I'm giving myself a title now I am the Paleo Ballerina (patent pending). I feel like I just declared the 10 commandments or something. Okay that's a huge exaggeration... Anyway, it's not that big of a deal obviously it's really not even important, but I just wanted to put that out there. No one take my thing please. I'm in the process of building my "brand". I have a reason behind this 'title' and it has more meaning than the portrayal of the fact that I'm a ballet dancer who eats and follows a Paleo lifestyle. Body image in the ballet community is SUCH a huge and never ending issue, and I want to inspire dancers to EAT and nourish themselves while keeping their dancer figure. Okay more on that later... Moving on. Are there any graphic designers in the house? Does anyone want to design a little cavewoman ballerina for me or something? Because that would be AMAZEBALLS. Happy New Year everyone! This is officially my first post of the new year! I brought in the new year in a great way and on new years day I performed an awesome musical medley for a celebration at church with my brother with around 8-9 songs. It included hits like Shake It Off, All About That Base, Halo, Baby and Radioactive. We did a medley least year on the first as well (using different songs obviously), and it's a lot of fun and really the only time I sing in public all year. It was a fun start and a great way to spend some quality time with my brother. Hopefully we'll do it again next year even though I'm always embarrassed by the video after the fact... I also hope (I sure have a lot of 'hopes') to do a 2014 recap post at some point but I make no promises since I always think of posts I want to write but I never actually want to take the time to write them out. Shame on me. Don't get me wrong, I love blogging. I don't do it very often but I find it to be a great creative outlet as well as a great way to organize and tame the Tasmanian (Taz) devil who likes to make an appearance in my head occasionally. It's a great way to just get it all out which is why I typically find myself blogging most often in times of struggle or distress. But hey, here I am being happy saying Happy New Year to you!

So 2015. 5 is my favorite number. It's actually Ernest's favorite number also. SO it goes without saying that this year should really be stellar for both of us and I hope it's great for everyone else too! We had wonderful holidays filled with a lot of family and friends. I really am blessed to be surrounded by so many great people in my life. Sure I take them for granted often but that doesn't mean I love them any less, this whole appreciation thing is a process but I try to look at the bright side and appreciate as many things as possible every single day!

Okay so I had about two weeks off from dance which I was a bit worried about but I think it was good. I was so super productive around the house with all my down time and I almost completed my bathroom remodel that I've been working on for about a year. Now it goes without saying that I haven't worked on it consistently since it's a small half bath and I don't think there are even that many things I could do to draw a reno out THAT long. Anyway it's my baby, my child, my creation and I'm so proud of it. This is yet another thing I plan to write a full blown post about once I have FULLY completed it. I don't want to post it before I'm 100% done because I may never fully finish if I do that. My pride is already making me not want to put the finishing touches on it... Partially because whenever I get to a new step with this reno I get apprehensive... Anyway more on that when I write my post bathroom renovation post!

Ballet has started back up this week and I had some of my toughest weeks ever at my desk job. I REALLY need to make a career shift this year. IDEALLY I'd like to get out of the normal desk job sector and move over to dance or something related (maybe even nutrition? NTP?) permanently. MAYBE THIS WILL BE THE YEAR FOR THAT. I don't know for sure, but life reveals itself as you go and we just gotta keep rolling with the punches. I'm planning to audition for a few small companies in the coming months and I might even audition for some summer programs that take old people (up to 25 while most only take up to 18) like me. That would be crazy... To leave my job for awhile and go somewhere to dance for the summer... I haven't done that since I was 16 or something. Again, I don't know-these are just options and things I'm thinking about. I'm always open to new things and I don't want to limit myself within reason. Plus I figure that if it's meant to be then it will happen. I of course have to take the steps to make it a possibility, but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason.

As for this new year and new resolutions.... I KIND OF made 1 resolution. But not really. I don't like limiting myself to resolutions. I think it's amazing to want to grow and to be inspired and to want better for yourself but I feel like there's almost too much pressure and disappointment if you "fail" OR if you resolve to do things or make changes that aren't really sustainable, OR to make changes to yourself that can't really be measured. Like "I want to be a better person". Okay that's great. How are you going to do that? And better yet, how the hell are you going to keep track of that? What are your actions steps to make that an attainable and measurable goal? Now as a rule in life we must all grow and evolve (unless you're Benjamin Button or Peter Pan I suppose) and along with that comes setting goals and trying our very best to better ourselves. I'm 100% for this, I just think it's important to make your goals ATTAINABLE and TANGIBLE. Otherwise, you become too comfortable with failure and letting yourself just not follow through with commitments you make. I've been reading a lot of things recently that say "you're worth it" and I couldn't agree more. You're worth the effort of sticking to the commitments you make to yourself. You're worth doing everything in your power to be the best you. Ya catch my drift? We are all worth it, no one life is more valuable than another. We are all living beings. Now onto my sorta resolution for 2015...

I've committed to give the good ol Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) a shot for 30 days. I started on Monday the 5th partially because on the first I was coming off a hard night of New Year's Eve drinking and didn't feel it was a great way to start this, but also because I wanted to start it at the beginning of the week, so I did! For those of you that don't know (probably most of you) AIP is specifically geared to eliminate all typical gut irritating foods that can cause an immune response. If you want more info on AIP and just autoimmune diseases in general then go to and/or Here is a quick list of restricted foods on AIP just to give you an idea:

Dairy, Soy, Legumes (including peanuts), Grains, Refined Sugars, Eggs, Nuts, Seeds, Nightshades(including seasonings), Industrial Seed Oils, Alcohol, NSAID's, Food Additives, etc.

There's of course a lot more to it but you should head on over to those sites I mentioned above if you want more info on it. I haven't actually been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition but with a few conditions I do have TYPICALLY being autoimmune in nature I am giving this a try. I'm treating it more like an elimination diet which it is also referred to as, and I'm hoping I might see and feel some results. There are of course reintroduction instructions but some food may never really be introduced without consequence for some people. I am also going to a Naturopath or Functional Medicine Doctor on Monday to get some testing done to try and get to the bottom of somethings I've been dealing with. If you want more specific info on what I've got going on medically you can PM me. I'm not comfortable airing out all my dirty laundry on the internet, at least not as of right now- maybe some day!

Anyway Today is day 5 (I wrote this a week ago so I'm actually on day 12 now) and I'm feeling great! It has been rough, especially the first few days coming off of eating a lot of treats and drinking more often than usual during celebrations over the holidays there has been some detoxing for sure. I know every day will be different, but today I'm feeling honeymoon-y and I'm loving it (ew McDonald's why did you have to ruin that phrase?). I have eaten a butt ton of fish and steak. Also a lot of salads. If I'm being completely honest I did not prep for this very well but coming off of normal Paleo makes it not the biggest adjustment ever, but for me a big adjustment nonetheless since I relied heavily on nut and seed butters plus I love a lot of nightshade veggies. Ernest bought me so much food to make this easier on me and more possible so we have quite a lot of groceries at the moment but no actual meal plan in place. It's working out just fine though and I'm grateful for his support. On the other hand, Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo (best paleo book ever btw - Liz Wolfe calls it the Paleo Bible... Because it pretty much is) has an amazing 30 day meal plan - well okay there are like 20 different meal plans to accommodate ALL DIFFERENT ISSUES. How awesome is that? There is an AIP meal plan that I want to use for the coming weeks. I might end up extending this whole thing longer than 30 days (like 60 or 90) depending on what goes down on Monday and how I feel after the 30. So that meal plan might be used 100% during the next 30 days, we'll just have to wait and see. It should be an interesting journey. I've been looking at the 'whole 30' (another 30 day paleo program) website a lot since this is essentially the same thing and I've been following the daily "what should I expect" so I can have an idea of what might be to come. My experience hasn't really matched up thus far but it's interesting and entertaining nonetheless! I've been eating A LOT of fruits and veggies. As I hinted at above, my husband has been BEYOND supportive and helpful despite my detoxing bitchiness and I love him for it. He's cooked for me, packed lunches for me, and even grocery shopped for me. He's Seriously the best. Plus I don't think I'm the only one who get's grumpy while detoxing right? I believe it's a normal part of the adjustment period.... At least that's what I tell myself...

Horizons horizons, new horizons. OH! I got caught up on Downton Abbey which is super exciting- all thanks to my Amazon Prime membership!!! Woohoo now I just can't wait to watch 5th season. Okay I'll stop. But it's a great show to watch while also doing yoga or stretching or even cleaning in my case. I cleaned a lot over the holidays(which I know I already said) and since the holidays as well. I love it when my home is clean. I even took down ALL of our Christmas decorations on 1/3/15. I am on top of my game this year. Normally I'm terrible with that kinda stuff. But here's to new year's and turning over new leaves, and being okay with possibly turning that leaf right back over to where it originally started sometimes. Change doesn't happen over night after all. Although in someways it totally does.

On that note I bid you addue! Or However the hell you spell that... You know what I mean though, just think of the Sound of Music and have a great weekend! I'm starting it off by attempting to make the Urban Poser's Tomato-less "Marinara" Sauce (it was delicious) and chillin with my home girls. Tomorrow I have an audition and I'm going to Danielle Walker from Against All Grain's book signing event in Falls Church VA!! SO EXCITED! I feel like I'm meeting a Paleo celebrity... HAHA lame sauce I know.

xoxo -Harmony

ALSO I want to give credit where credit is due for the "featured image" on this post, it's actually a really awesome and touching story... Please read more about the story behind that picture HERE.

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Cracking nuts and toes

image Amidst my schedule that has been unbelievably busy recently I seem to have found myself with some free time. I've been heavily immersed in the world of ballet. I'm currently at a dress rehearsal for a show that I may or may not be dancing in. This is what we in the ballet call being an understudy. I already danced two performances last weekend but alas here I am again this weekend saying 'to dance or not to dance, that is the question.' It's amazing though the magic that happens in a theater and on a stage. When all the pieces come together the result is something that cannot be simply explained, it must be experienced.

Okay let me back up a little bit. Last time I posted was probably a good 2-3 weeks ago and I was just done with my first week of getting back into ballet classes. Well an amazing opportunity was presented to me after an injury occurred at a studio I took class at and here I am, having done two performances as their sugar plum fairy. I'm still only about 3 weeks into taking classes and the grand pas is HARD. Plus I'm in shock that this actually happened at all. I never imagined landing a role period let alone one line this... And so soon. That coupled with a few other complications and circumstances has my body begging for mercy. I had to learn the entire pas -a version I had never even seen before- in a week and be able to perform it. Talk about pressure... Then from crazy blisters, to dead point shoes, randomly swollen feet, uncomfortable nude leotards, stage makeup, brand new tights that ripped on stage and a slew of other factors this whole experience has been a whirlwind.

I've met a lot of great people, pushed myself in ways I did not foresee, and it's been great. It really has. There's been plenty of drama and discomfort that's gone along with all of it but I feel blessed. I had one performance that felt like a train wreak in which my my shoes died during the pas, and my tights literally caught on my partners costume on stage and ripped a big hole in my butt. But more importantly I felt incomplete, defeated, and disappointed in myself after the fact. I didn't feel elated, or even a little bit happy for having performed and survived. I knew I could do better which was frustrating but more importantly I also knew that I hadn't done well. But that second performance was magic.

Everything came together on stage. It still wasn't anywhere near perfect but with how out of shape I am, I was never expecting perfection. All things considered, this time I felt it. I felt the happiness, satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment that I have been accustomed to feeling after performing. That feeling is what I'm doing all of this for. Life is a funny thing, it reveals its meaning to you when you least expect it.

Okay well I need to be ready to dance just in case so I should probably do that. Did I mention that this show is sold out?? Crazy right!? We'll see what happens, I'm fine whatever way this goes. My body would be relieved if I didn't have to dance, that's for sure... Well until next time...

Xoxo - Harmony

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Midnight Ramblings


I tend to write posts and let them sit for a few days before I read them over again and actually post them. I wrote this one on Sunday evening... As will be obvious from the first sentence. I can hardly call this midnight, since it's literally only 10:30pm on this Sunday evening but nonetheless I will now begin to ramble. After watching some Gilmore Girls and falling asleep, then waking back up to turn it off and 'officially' go to bed almost an hour ago my mind is racing  It's amazing how you can just fall asleep during an activity but then when you actually try to go to bed it can be futile. In this case I find myself going over the ballet classes I've taken the past two Saturdays. Now to be fair I don't feel HORRIBLE about them. I mean I haven't consistently danced since the end of 2008 or early 2009. YEP 2009. That's almost 6 freaking years ago. So with that in mind I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. And I mean thank God I do bikram yoga, because otherwise I don't think this whole trying to get back into dance thing would even be possible.

Bikram has allowed me to regain flexibility, strength, mental discipline, and although I haven't fully regained all of it, and ballet is an entirely different beast of it's own, it's helped this process.

Yet I still find myself tossing and turning, going over the parts in class where I particularly felt inadequate. I don't know why, but I swear what I'm struggling the most with in these classes is my brain. As a ballet teacher I always tell my students that they need to know the combinations because otherwise you can't work on refining the steps or remembering corrections because you're too caught up just trying to keep up with the combination. Which is true. But I now find myself being that person who cannot remember the combinations. I have never been this person. In the past, whatever I physically lacked, I made up for with a good mind, I could pick up and remember combinations for days like it was nothing.

Needless to say I am frustrated as hell with myself on this. How can I get my brain to catch up to my body? And I'll be damned if in the next class I take a get stumped by another petite allegro (small jumping) combination. I mean seriously. Yes, I've never been strong in the petite allegro variety but SHEESH it's never been this rough. I see even just as I write all of this out that I'm weighing far too heavily on comparing this 24 year old out of practice version of me to the 18 year old 'best shape I've been in' dancer version of me who had been taking ballet class 4 hours a day 6 days a week for practically 6 years straight, if not longer.

But how can I not do that? I NEED to push myself. I can't settle for just being okay. If there's anything I took away from all of the "Academic Ballet Courses" I took at Kirov it's the line "Ballet does not stand mediocrity." I cannot remember who the hell said it but I seriously have never heard a truer statement, and I knew it as soon as I heard it. Mediocrity just has no place in ballet. No one wants to watch that. Especially no one wants to pay to see that, and sure as hell no one is going to pay you to dance poorly or even just 'okay'. You can barely get paid to dance amazingly... SO yeah.

Why I am taking myself back down this rabbit hole than you may ask? The only word that comes to mind is: PASSION.

I seriously just love it. I don't know why, I can't explain it, there will probably always be at least a small part of me that dreads ballet class and the uncertainty of how my body will perform that day, but I do love it. Being a professional ballet dancer in a ballet company (which by the way I'm sure means nothing to people in the 'normal' world) is a hard life. I have friends who are in it and beyond talented who struggle with their directors just not giving them the chances they deserve. It's a crazy world where people don't eat and they abuse their bodies day in and day out. But there's an insane part of me that just wants a small taste of it.

I don't know if my brain will start to cooperate. I don't know if my body will cooperate. But I couldn't sit in bed tossing and turning going over the parts in class I WISH I had done better in. It gives me anxiety, and to be honest, there is not one damn thing I can do about it right now from my bed.

I needed this outlet, so thank you for existing. Thoughts can haunt us, and drown us sometimes. Sometimes we just need some gratification and acknowledgement and writing can somehow provide that. I actually had a good bikram class just this morning, the teacher even asked me to demonstrate a posture (floor bow) to my surprise. I felt very humbled and honored - I've seen people be called out for demonstrations countless times, and I've always wished to be that person. I also never really imagined that I would be, I am the type of person who needs interaction and validation, as I believe we all do in different ways. I may be more secure with myself in some ways but in others I still lack the self assurance to know how I am doing beyond- "wow, that was really shitty."

I have to put the classes behind me and move forward. The next classes will be even better. Bikram and ballet alike. I actually have an idea of a plan for how to make this ballet thing work... It's still a rough draft but maybe I'll share it at some point if it turns out to be doable (I HOPE!).

There is so much more to life than all this little self centered petty stuff I wrote about above. I needed to get my thoughts out and I did, which I can appreciate  but there is so much more to my life than this here. Last weekend for instance, we celebrated my dear sister in law's birthday on Sunday by going to a winery. It was a nice time, my brother and I baked her a blueberry tart thingy from her pinterest, then on her actual birthday (Monday) we went to a great restaurant that caters to people with food allergies. They had a lot of dairy free and gluten free options on the menu which were great. I also made her this awesome paleo coconut cream pie from Living Healthy with Chocolate that I also made last year. Since it was so well received, I decided to give it a repeat appearance this year. Then yesterday after hanging out in Poolesville at the ballet studio for most of the day, I stopped by my brother and sister in law's house (the same one mentioned above - Johanna) and we ate pie, and talked. Later we made this AMAZING soup that popped up on my facebook newsfeed and went to a game night. I played a whole lot of the game Telestrations and literally laughed until my stomach hurt. I couldn't remember the last time I had laughed THAT hard, and it was awesome. Lastly on this here Sunday I met Johanna for yoga, then we met some more friends at an adorable restaurant in Alexandria for a late brunch which was also great. I eventually made my way home to a lazy evening with my husband and you know this rest about this evening.

That's it. That's all I have for today and this weekend and everything else. I hope I've sufficiently emptied out my brain enough for sleep. I'm excited for lyrical class tomorrow evening, it should be a lot of fun. I'm hoping to hang out afterwards and put my pointe shoes back on. Oh yeah that's another thing. No longer having ballet callouses sucks... Pointe shoes really hurt again. And they haven't since I was maybe 11? It's like I ran backwards for miles or something. But it's OKAY. I'll get there, thank God (and the Secret) for the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction. I feel so much better right now, you have no idea.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

xo - Harmony

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Strap on your pointe shoes - we're going to town


It's a very crisp autumn morning here in Northern VA. It's becoming that time of year when it's really just quite chilly outside. Ya just can't get away with wearing no jacket anymore and in other words.... Winter is Coming. That last sentence will have extra meaning for anyone who watches Game of Thrones. Speaking of watching things, Gilmore Girls is on Netflix! Now I must tell the truth, I already own all of the seasons of Gilmore Girls... I don't know what it is but I've always loved the show and I've seen most of the full seasons at least 2-3 if not 4 times already. But last week I found myself with a lack of TV to watch... That is of course besides the show's I watch with my husband that are sitting in my hulu queue waiting for the day we will sit down and watch them (we watched about 3 last night). With this is in mind, I began watching Gilmore Girls yet again from the very beginning.

I'm now on the first episode of season 2.. Yippee! I have a problem.... But I'm okay with it. Again, hubby does not understand my as he calls it "fascination" with the show. Meh, I dunno. I just like it...?!

Moving on...

Last weekend was halloween, and it was a blast! I of course had to work on the day of, but since it was casual Friday I was able to dress up with some of my coworkers. We were Toddlers in Tiaras(see pictures below). We then went to happy hour after work and called it a night. On Saturday I went to a bar crawl- again as a toddler in a tiara- with my friend Lizz and some of her close friends who are a really fun group of people. It was so much FUN! I used to get REALLY nervous in new social situations or hanging out with friends of friends who I don't really know but there was none of that this time. I think I've become a much calmer and secure person as of late and I love it. I don't care AS much what people think of me and it's liberating. Halloween was good times.

Here is were this update (non halloween related) gets interesting though... Last week on Monday I took my first lyrical dance class really ever.... I've taken very sporadic jazz classes in the past (mostly at ballet summer programs) and although it's very similar to lyrical I'm told they're different. But it was a lot of fun and I can't wait to go back weekly... Lizz posted a video of it on facebook. I swear she and I are like friendship soul mates. I really hope we can keep a good friendship now that we no longer work together. I guess you just never know how things will turn out. I surely didn't expect to make such great friends at my current job, but they really are great. Okay back to the video... The video is not my best dancing, but considering my "out of shape" state, I'm pretty pleased with it. That and oh yeah, i'm a ballet dancer, not a jazz or lyrical dancer. But it was fun!

THEN on Saturday I took adult ballet class locally at Virginia Ballet and ran into my high school math teacher... Small world right!? Okay I took class, it was fun but sheesh I'm out of shape. Even so, the other adults in the class made it quite clear that they were following my lead as is quite customary in these adult type classes. They usually consist of either first time dancers or older women (40's-60's) who just wanna dance! Side Note: I'm not saying that women in their 40's-60's are old, but as far as ballet dancers goes it's an older age group. It's awesome for them, it's not really what I need right now but I still enjoy it as long as I don't upset anyone in the process. It's a great studio and I hope they hire me to sub some classes for them. I did talk to them about it so fingers crossed!

Then this week I had probably the best bikram class that I've had in awhile AND I subbed ballet, tech, jazz, lyrical, crazy hybrid classes at a studio Lizz hooked me up with locally: CDC. ALSO a lot of fun. I love the lack of pressure and relaxed setting, makes the whole teaching process a lot more enjoyable. But at the same time frustrating. Anyway, today is Saturday. I woke up at 7:30 all on my own, and I'm about to drive an hour out for a ballet class. I am a little worried since this is a regular advanced ballet class and not an adults intermediate class. My body isn't REALLY ready for this but I just have to push it. Especially my petite allegro, for some reason my brain has been having trouble understanding it again. I swear it's more of a mental than a physical issue. But I will get there!

Right now the plan is to take lyrical on Mondays, do bikram the rest of the week, and do ballet on Saturdays, schedule permitting. I wish that said I was going to take ballet class every day but I just don't know how to make it work. It is SO expensive and lets be real, the classes are usually too relax for my purposes when you get to an adult level. I can take classes in Poolesville (although it's far out) at least weekly but I wish that was daily... I could try one day to leave work at 2:30 to get there but I worry it'll be pushing my luck in more ways than one. Technically I work a 9-5 although my schedule generally runs more of an 7:30-3:30 kinda thing. I'd literally have to get into work at 6:30am in order to leave at 2:30 and possibly make the 3:30 class in MD. That plus I'd have to deal with glares from everyone in the office, and their moms. But I'm going to see what I can do. I really need class 6 days a week to get back myself. I don't mind making the time commitment.

Right now I'm a bit torn. It feels great to be back in the dance saddle. I still feel nervous and never know what to expect from my body today but I'm trying. The schedule is far from perfect but it's better than nothing! Maybe when the new year rolls around I'll try to make some more changes.... Change, change, change.

Life is fluid, people move, grow, evolve, CHANGE. And that's a good thing right? If we were stagnant and unchanging I might be a bit worried. But change can be hard to accept also. Like when friends move away, or friends you've made at a job change career paths, or you make drastic changes to your life like adopting a healthy lifestyle, or having a baby... Change happens, it's inevitable, and it's good. I say bring it on bitches! I sure hope this ballet class goes well today. The studio I'm going to today knew me back in my ballet prime. I'm so grateful to be able to take classes there, but I'm also nervous. Now i'm about 6 years older, and 6 more years out of practice and shape... It's going to be embarrassing, I know that much. But I hope it's okay and I don't die! Just my last thoughts for the morning. Now I need to leave to make sure I get there on time to actually take class!

Much love as always!


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