Meghan

Penne & Butternut Squash Recipe with Organico Bello Sauce



Tomato sauce will make or break an Italian meal. If it's not good, your meal will taste off. And if it's not healthy, your body will feel it. 

I grew up in a home where we ate spaghetti and meat-sauce just about every week-night. Literally. But we loved it. My parents are pretty awesome cooks and we grew up on homemade pasta and homemade pasta sauce. To this day, I appreciate the love and attention that goes into preparing marinara sauce. It tastes so radically different than others riddled with sugar, salt and other preservatives. Most sauces have tons of additives and it really effects the taste, and of course, your health. 

Personally, I have yet to master the art of tomato sauce. Mom and dad, if you're reading this, I need another lesson, please. Because of that (and time), I rely on store bought. But I'm a tough critic, based on growing up in a home with Italian roots. 

On top of that, tomatoes are part of the "Dirty Dozen", a group of highly pesticide laden foods. While eating organic isn't always cost effective for every item on my grocery list, tomatoes are one food that I do try to buy organic, especially when it comes to marinara sauce.

 

I was really excited when my favorite organic brand, Organico Bello, asked me to write this blog and create a recipe with marinara sauce using their product. Their sauce is non-GMO, has no added sugar (hooray for calm kids!), no added salt and is totally organic. Healthy, delicious sauce? Yes, please! Plus, it's 30% off til Aug 12 - using the code BACKTOSCHOOL. Shop here

So, to prepare a new recipe, I grabbed some sauce, pasta, butternut squash and some other goodies and created this dish for you.  

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And just for the record, both of my kids had seconds and I think my hubby had thirds ;-) 

 
 


Liam

 


Here's the finished product. It's super simple to prepare and is sure to be family favorite. Plus, tomato sauce is a great way to "hide" and disguise veggies. Your kids will get a healthy serving of butternut squash which is full of fiber, vitamins C & A and even magnesium (the calming mineral)

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Penne Pasta with Butternut Squash


Ingredients: 

1 or 1.5 Jars Organico Bello tomato sauce (any flavor)
1 Butternut Squash
10-12 ounces cooked penne pasta
1 pound ground turkey
1 onion
1 tbsp chopped garlic
olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel the butternut squash with a standard ve
getable peeler and use a sharp knife to carefully cut it in half. Slice into 1" pieces and put them in a 9x13 pan, coated with a few tablespoons of olive oil and about a teaspoon of salt. Roast in the oven for about 35 minutes or until fork tender. 

Begin to boil a pot of water for the pasta. While that's boiling, chop one onion and saute in a pan with the garlic for about 5-7 minutes until the onions are translucent with a bit of salt (about half a teaspoon). Put them in a separate bowl and then add a bit more olive oil to the pan on medium heat to cook up the turkey. Once it's browned, add the onions and garlic back in the pan and add one jar of Organico Bello tomato sauce. I used Tomato Basil. We love a very "saucey" pasta, so I added about a half jar of their Tomato and Kale sauce to it. That's optional. 
Cook the pasta al dente according to the box. Once it's finished, add it to the turkey and sauce mixture. When the squash is finished, add that to the pan and mix it all up. Voila! 

Oh, and we added a little Pecorino Romano cheese on top for the kids. 

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I hope you enjoy this fast back to school meal. Make sure you stock up on Organico Bello sauce from now until August 12th - 30% off is a great deal (Code: BACKTOSCHOOL). 

Happy, healthy eating my friends! 


Wishing you the best of health, 
Meghan 

 

Meghan

Magical Mindful Opportunities

The magic is in the mundane.

Over the last few years, our family has been on a journey of seeking: joy, balance and clean laundry. Truly, we are perpetually overcome with our laundry baskets. My husband is constantly asking if I know where (insert sought after item of clothing) would be located. I never know. Neither of us like doing laundry (shocker) but it's one of those pesky things that needs to be done. It's one of our grace points. But yes, also joy and balance. Insert mindfulness. Mindfulness is a technique that I teach my clients and family and it's served us in so many ways. It's one of the best ways to enhance mood and promote inner peace, despite living without neatly folded clothes.  
It’s in noticing the everyday experiences (that seem so trivial) that can make a huge difference in mindfully enhancing our lives.

One Christmas Eve morning I was up early before the rest of my family and was preparing to start our unavoidably hectic (but fun) day and was brewing coffee in my Keurig. Because every mom needs coffee at Christmas time. While I would usually press start and then go on my way to do other things, I found an opportunity to center myself. It's a little bit of magic when you receive messages to slow your roll. Right then and there. Right there with my cup of coffee. I stood in front of it and just watched the coffee pouring into my cup. I focused on my breath (mindful focus) and just watched. As thoughts popped into my head which were either judgmental (what in the world am I doing?) or anxious (I could really be rallying in this moment and be productive!) I returned my attention to watching the movement of the coffee into my cup. I was tired and this was not a perfect practice, however it created a small shift in me. And I found a meaningful message that seemed to be meant just for me in that moment. And that message is to find the magic in the mundane.

Find the opportunities for growth in the seemingly insignificant moments.

Again, it’s not a perfect practice. But nothing truly is. There are days that I hurriedly prepare whatever it is that I’m drinking that morning. The grace point comes when I am aware of this and I am able to shift back to balance.

Find simple ways of being balanced that work for you and continue to shift back into them whenever you find opportunities to do so.

If you are ever around children, you will find that they do this quite often. They will pause and look at the ground and notice an ant. They might stare at the ant until it scurries into the grass, simply watching it go by. In all their wonder, they may enjoy watching cars drive by in front of their house. Watching in awe as these huge machines speed by. Humans of many mindful talents, children are also able to shift back to center much faster than their adult counterparts. If they are unhappy, we usually know about it. And they typically either release their emotions quickly through expression or do something else to make themselves feel better. These seemingly small acts of children are truly meaningful and admirable. They find small moments and whirl them into a fun, impactful experiences.

Practice:

What are some activities or tasks that you practice every day that you can recreate into something mindfully magical? Do you typically quickly drink your coffee, and could perhaps take a moment to slow down?

With love and mindful growth, 
Meghan 

Meghan

Why Mom Self Care Matters


The greatest gift you can give to your children is to heal, love and nourish yourself.

Hey sweet, beautiful moms, this one is for you.

I want to share the number one reason why you should take care of yourselves: Your child is watching you.

Well, we all know our kids are watching us. They follow us into the bathroom, tug on our shirts, jump on us as a friendly wake up call, and demand to be fed 24/7. As they get older, they call us, ask for help with home projects and cry to us when life gets tough. The bond between parent and child is forever. They are always watching us, and this begins as a child.

They learn minute details about how to live their lives…. From watching us.

What I mean is that their little brains are processing the information in their lives as facts. They are creating subconscious patterns of awareness that will guide them throughout their lives. As they grow older, they will understand how to deal with difficult situations by referencing their past, even subconsciously. As a psychotherapist, I have seen the way that this plays out with my dear clients. They struggle with self-care and valuing their needs because it was never taught to them.  And while we cannot safe guard our kids from everything, and they will experience hardship, learn some unhealthy coping, or struggle with anxiety or depression, we can try to protect them with solid skills that they can take with them no matter what occurs. These are the skills that we can model that will help get them out of the muck, when they are inevitably going to be in it.

We can teach them how to deal with the hardships in life with self-care and good coping skills.

Be the kind of person you want your child to be. Practice self-care and care about your mood, not only for yourself, but for your child. We are not perfect, nor should we strive for perfection, but with awareness, we teach our kids how to deal with life. Do not strive to be perfect, which is unattainable…. strive to be aware. Aware of our growth points. Because even if our kids learn unhealthy coping, it’s never too late to model how to move beyond it and grow.

You see, children learn by watching. Little sponges, they absorb everything from their environment and they create both conscious and unconscious beliefs about life and what it should look like, largely from us, their parents. They take cues from us on how to treat other people (neighbors, family, waiters, friends), how to be happy, have fun, take risks, and how to treat ourselves.

Throughout my decade as a therapist, I’ve seen and heard firsthand the many ways that parents have made an impact in their lives. And really, it’s largely good! We are molding them, helping them draw on strengths and doing the best damn job we can. We ought not get down on ourselves for our shortcomings (common). Rather, let’s be more aware of them and work to overcome them with self-love, compassion and self-care. No, it is not selfish or egotistical to take care of yourself or to like yourself. It’s how we are meant to be. When we feel good, we can help others feel good. Can’t water your garden from an empty bucket. Fill er’up, mamas.

What I’ve found that many parents struggle with, is taking good care of themselves and modeling it to their children. Coping with stress with healthy self-care techniques (or seeking therapy for help with this), apologizing (and then letting it go), exercising, eating well, the list goes on. We often stuff our emotions, struggle to model resolution of anger, or mindless-ly engage in our lives.

Taking care of ourselves and modeling self care is not easy. It’s a challenge and one that requires awareness and constant revision. It’s important to realize that it’s a journey, not a destination. But when we practice a positive coping technique, it becomes easier to make it a habit. Even if you move in and out of coping, we still have the experience of it. We can “un-practice” it, but it’s still a part of our consciousness. We can get back to it with effort, support and desire.

Giving to ourselves and receiving love isn’t as simple as it sounds. It’s easy to slip into a constant state of giving to others and forget that our needs are important, too. Giving is in our genes. It’s a part of who we are. As mama, the moment we conceive, we begin giving of ourselves. It’s no longer about us when that little person starts to grow. Literally and figuratively. The baby gets all the nourishment first (and that continues – goldfish for lunch anyone?), we house a baby in our body and then feed him and her. Forever. The greatest joy. The greatest love. I had no idea how huge it was. With that love comes so much giving.

And often, we forget what is means to receive.

And when we forget what it means to receive, we get depleted.

And when we get depleted, we often go to the doctor to find out what’s wrong, or sink into bed with our wine, or cry, or eat, or (fill in the blank). But the part that we fail to look at and consider is: are we are depleted because we are constantly giving?

Constantly giving and not receiving.

Life is about give and take. Relationships are too. And we take the love that is bestowed to us from our children. And it’s magical and wonderful. But just like we need that love, we also need something else right along with it. We need the love of ourselves. We need to give that love to ourselves and feel it. And be thankful for ourselves. And take time to nourish ourselves.

Move beyond guilt.

If you’ve ever actually taken the time to give to yourself, perhaps you’ve felt guilty. I have. It’s something that I continually work through. And that’s just it. If guilt creeps up, simply acknowledge it, and release it. Knowing and reminding yourself that self-care is crucial for your own well being and to model it to your child. (…and it’s never too late to model good self care. I’m talking to you, Grandma. Our children are ALWAYS our children. Always learning from us). As self-aware, progressive moms, we are constantly on a journey of self-discovery, growth and healing.

May we show our children what it means to live joyfully, peacefully, with ease. Because if we show that to our children, it means we are living it for ourselves. And what a happier world it will be.

So go ahead moms,

o   Eat the cake
o   Celebrate your birthday
o   Call the therapist
o   Smile more
o   Take risks
o   Speak up
o   Share your opinion
o   Release judgment
o   Have fun
o   Put on the bathing suit
o   Get in the pool
o   Laugh
o   Be silly
o   Make mistakes
o   Learn from them
o   Forgive others
o   Forgive yourself
o   Reconnect to your child self
o   Pray
o   Take quiet time by yourself
o   Read
o   Meditate
o   Sing

Let your light shine. Take care of yourself and model what it means to overcome pain, heartache, grief, anxiety, depression. Take time to heal yourself: a gift for the entire family.

With love, gratitude, and both a giving and receiving heart,

Meghan

**If you would like to attend one of Meghan's upcoming mom retreats or get on her coaching waiting list, email Meghan@MergeintoHealth.com

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Meghan

My GO-TO Essential Oil

I burned myself on my 425 degree oven yesterday. I feel like I could hear the sound of my poor finger screaming. I had a huge and heavy pan of roasted garlic cauliflower (YUM) and made the mistake of using one hand to pull it out. My finger was pretty seared. And it hurt. Panic mode and then I took a breath and thought herbs, oils, natural healing modalities. 

I remembered that Roman Chamomile helps prevent burn injury. Shoot, don't have any of that. But my favorite blend, Serenity did! So I put about 4-6 drops of the oil on my burn. Literally, NO pain after that. Did not hurt, barely bubbled. I am so amazed. In fact, I totally forgot about it the next day until I looked down and saw it, realizing I HAD to share this with you. 

Not the prettiest thing to look at but the main thing is that there was NO pain. 
Serenity burn pic

As a holistic therapist focused on enhancing your natural state of calm and serenity, this oil is naturally my favorite. I keep it in my purse if I feel stressed, or just want a little boost. 

Here's what it's made of: Lavender Flower.
Sweet Marjoram Leaf.
Roman Chamomile Flower.
Ylang Ylang Flower.
Hawaiian Sandalwood.
Vanilla Bean Absolute.
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It helps promote a restful sleep, can help calm nerves and boost your mood. I highly recommend keeping a bottle in your medicine cabinet for mood, sleep and small kitchen burns for adults. 

What's your favorite oil? 

To purchase Serenity, click here

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Meghan

"This is my Story. I'm in my Story." When you're going through a personal struggle...


“This is my story. I’m in my story”

This is what I tell myself when I’m going through a tough time or having a personal struggle.

Hard times make us stronger. They give us the juicy details that make up our life. They give us perspective. They give us lessons to teach others.  We may know that to be true, but that statement doesn’t make it any easier to be in the hard times. And if you’re really feeling low, it can just sound annoying.

The “muck”, what I call the hard times, sucks. You may know many techniques to boost mood and feel better, but what happens if you can’t get there when you’re in the muck? Well, my friends, sometimes you just need to sit there in it for a bit.

Slosh around in the muddy muck. With some help and love from your shrink or a trusted friend. Don't be in it alone. 

So often we want to push away heartache, pain and anger. Well... 

Whatever we resist, persists.


We have to be in it, for just a bit, in order to get out of it.

And when you find an opportunity to crawl out, take it. But take it slowly. You can’t get up from a muddy, mucky puddle, drenched in dirt and slime and step right into a diamond encrusted robe that smells like chocolate chip cookies (so quickly).

It takes some time. And some patience.  Step out of the mud and brush it off just a bit (using good coping), then brush off some more, and then building on your strength, allow the rain to come and wash all the muck away.

Getting out of a hard place takes time. Don’t beat yourself up or assume you should be able to get over things more quickly or move on more quickly. There IS a lesson in it. There is a gift in the hard times. It will be revealed soon.

Self-compassion is a gift.

The sun will come out. Just keep the faith. 

Xo, Meghan

 


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Meghan

Open your Heart to the Possibility for Change

Are you choosing to do things in your life that are unnecessarily difficult? Do you sometimes feel like you stress and struggle in secret? Perhaps you are in a job that stresses you out to the max, or in a relationship or friendship that burdens you. Maybe you find yourself hyper-focusing on your environment: staying up late to clean your house, do laundry and chores to the point of exhaustion. Ask yourself, "do I really want to be doing these things? Do I really want to be doing ________" or be in a friendship with _________. Do these things uplift me or drain me? Of course, we can't always just abandon these things, jobs and people, entirely. But open your heart and your mind to the possibility that these situations can heal, change and the stress can be lifted over time.

A few nights ago, I had a one of those dreams that you almost forget when you wake up and then, while laying in bed snoozing the alarm, realize the importance of it.

I was with a small group with a child. We were trying to get from the very top of a huge cliff down to the bottom. And for some reason, we were trying to do so quietly so that no one knew what we were doing. We climbed down treacherous rocks at almost a 90 degree incline.

By the time we made it to safety and reached the bottom of the cliff, I looked up and saw a huge, long, paved driveway directly next to it. I said, "why didn't get go down the driveway?" For some reason it was clear that we didn't want anyone to see us and we went down the difficult path for that reason. Then I woke up.

What are the things, situations and people that are in your life that make you feel like you are climbing down a steep cliff? It's hard to imagine the smooth, paved road nearby when things feel so rocky. This is where our awareness and intuition steps in.

Your negative, stressful or painful emotions are your indication that there is a smoother path to take. This is your internal emotional radar giving you clear messages and permission to take a step back and seek more balance, peace, relaxation.

We are not meant to constantly struggle. Yes, life is challenging and there are situations that are out of our control that cause us stress. But, what are the stressful situations that you can control? This might be friendships, relationships, our attitude, self-care, or choosing to do or not to do things that we absolutely do not want to do.

And furthermore, how can you strive to control the stress that surrounds situations that are out of your control? For example, if you do not like your job, while looking for another one, how can you practice good self care in order to manage the stress of the current job?

When we feel like we have no choice but to be miserable in our current situation, we cannot see the paved path that's right next to the cliff. Sometimes we must rely on faith that there is another option out there for us. And the only way to see that paved path is to quiet our minds and tap into our intuition. In the quiet, solutions are presented.

If you are quietly struggling, climbing down the cliff in secret so that no one notices your pain, have faith that there is a path nearby, calling your name.

Quiet your mind and find solace in your breath, and in the stillness, the path will be revealed.



Meghan

Smoothie Bowl Recipe, Purple Lips + How to Combat Stress

It's a packed post, y'all. 

Me on Monday Morning:

Wake up, happily at 7 am. Think to myself: “oh, great! I have so much time.”

Leisurely make breakfast and kids’ lunches while listening to “100 greatest Disney songs”

Sing along to The Little Mermaid.

Crap, it’s 8:00.

Need to make a smoothie bowl for the blog. Mom and sister say it’s the newest smoothie crave. Gotta get on it.

8:15 – Eating said smoothie bowl. Still in pajamas. Mouth turning purple. Think to myself: “Great, now everyone at my meeting will think I was binge drinking red wine all night.”

Run upstairs and scrub my mouth. For real.

8:25 – Still in pajamas. Kids too.

8:40- “GET IN THE CAR!” Kids still in pajamas. Think to myself, "how are we ever going to get on the bus at 7 next year?" Start worrying. 

8:45 – One kid in car. Go inside to make coffee. Horn blaring from garage. Husband bolts down the stairs – assuming that surely this is me signaling some emergency to him. Son locked himself in car. Smiling hugely and blaring the horn. He thinks this is hilarious.

Find spare key. Unlock car and strap son to car seat to prevent escape. Arm him with a snack. Buys me a couple of minutes.

Come inside and find daughter in a dress 3 times too big for her. Re-start the getting dressed game.

8:53: Leave for school, coffee in cup. Think to self, “I really should’ve put this in a coffee container.”  Silent prayer I’m not covered in coffee in three minutes.

Didn’t spill the coffee. Finally breathe during the car-ride. “I vow to be more organized on Mondays.” Ha.

A crazy Monday morning. I must say, I haven’t totally mastered the whole, ‘get two kids out of the door in time’ thing. It’s one of my grace points. I love leisurely mornings. Unfortunately, I can’t have leisurely until 10 am. Oh well.

Stress Rebound

The point of sharing my craziness is to discuss the subject of rebound. Stress rebound. The key to overcoming stress and working more towards balance is the art of coming out of stress quickly. The longer we sit in it, the more it compounds and creates a ripple effect. Have you ever had one of these crazy days, and weren’t able to get out of it? Maybe you stayed in the stress and found yourself in traffic. Getting more frustrated, you brought that to work. Then you got in a fight with your co-worker, struggled through the day only to come home to a messy house and hungry kids. I get it. I’ve been there.

Compounding Stress Effect

The secret to overcoming stress and moving toward balance is to notice the stress and to cut it with something to help you move out of it quickly. You can begin to notice stress in your body (heart racing, sweaty palms, tension headache, etc), in your mind (negative or racing thoughts) or spirit (turning stress inward). No matter how you identify it, notice it and then work to get out of it. Practice positive coping to move beyond the stress and stop the compounding stress effect.

Some of my favorite and most effective ways to cope:

Taking deep breaths

Repeating a positive mantra

Listening to my favorite music. Loudly

Calling a friend

Going for a walk.

Drinking or eating something very cold.

Next time you are faced with stress, or a crazy morning, take steps to notice it and prevent the compounding stress effect. Do your best to move away from it so it doesn’t take over your day, as it can commonly do.

How do you cope best and prevent the compounding stress effect?

Oh, and here’s the purple smoothie bowl recipe. Warning: May cause lips to turn purple. Don’t eat before a big meeting J

Xo, Meghan

Blueberry Banana Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 handful of leafy greens like spinach or a green blend

1 ¼ cup non-dairy milk (can add a bit more until desired consistency is achieved)

Toppings:

Flax meal

Walnuts

Directions:

In a high speed blender, add the frozen banana, frozen blueberries and greens and begin to blend very low. Add the non-dairy milk slowly, until the consistency is similar to icecream. It should be a bit thicker and icier than a typical smoothie. It will look much thicker. Pour in two bowls.


Add toppings. I added a tbsp. of flax seed and a tbsp. of walnuts. Other options may include fresh fruit, chia seeds, shredded coconut, or other nuts. Enjoy!



Meghan is a licensed psychotherapist and certified holistic health coach. Her mission is to empower and inspire others to create the life they desire integrating the science of psychology, total health and an awakened intuition. You can contact her via email at Meghan@Mergeintohealth.com or www.MeghanToups.com

Meghan

Be the Light on this Inauguration Day

Be the light. 

Outrage fatigue. It’s a thing. I have a feeling that many of you have experienced it during these trying political times. Whatever your political affiliation, there are issues that have outraged all of us. As a therapist, I have talked with countless people who are struggling with true anxiety, depression and stress related to our political (and social) realm. It’s real, true and important. We feel helpless and out of control. The perfect recipe for anxiety. Anxiety has a lot to do with feeling out of control.

In our political and social climate, it is incredibly easy to feel out of control and as if nothing we do makes a difference. But, there is a way to make a difference. By focusing on (personal) inner peace and joy. It seems like a small solution, but it’s a big one. And one that yields major results. When we are happier, more peaceful and more joyful, we create physiological changes to our body. When our body feels better, we can be more joyful. When we are more joyful, we allow our own light to shine which affects everyone. This is how change begins.

The greatest thing you can do, in wanting to contribute to a peaceful nation, is to be peaceful yourself. Be aware of your mood. Be very aware of your mood and care about it deeply. Avoid things that deplete your energy. Embrace people, places and things that bring joy.

Care about your mood.

Yes, there are some difficult and awful things going on in the world, showcased 24/7 in the news. Limit your time watching it and when you do watch anything upsetting, counter it with something positive. Watch an episode of Modern Family, or Super Soul Sunday, or go for a walk and listen to some inspirational music or talks. This helps create more balance.

Science has shown that our thoughts can create change in the body and in the world. Jung’s work in consciousness, specifically the collective unconscious, shows the importance and power of our societal thinking. What you think, do and how you act contributes to the world.

Research has shown that when we practice a loving kindness meditation, focusing on sending love and positive vibes to other people, our vagus nerve (our largest cranial nerve) is stimulated creating a positive, physiological change in our body. There is a true mind body connection that has been demonstrated with science. An exciting field that is now becoming more mainstream in the West.

When you feel out of control, anxious about the days ahead, stressed about the political or social realm, practice creating peace from within. If we all practiced this, every day, things would begin to change.

Teach your children about the importance of their thoughts and that their mood matters. Teach them ways to feel relaxed, peaceful and at ease. Talk to them about their strengths. Practice loving kindness meditation as a family.

Breathe into the only part of this culture that we can immediately control: ourselves.

As we move more toward peace and joy, we will be able to share that more deeply with the world, creating change. If we are strong from the inside, we can make more change.

A crushed flower, no matter how beautiful, cannot continue to bloom. Take care of yourself. And care about your mood and your own personal inner peace. Your inner peace will radiate and affect the world’s consciousness for the better.

Let’s create change one person at a time.


Here’s how to practice Loving Kindness Mediation:


Begin by taking three deep breaths. Breathe in and out focusing on the heart center, and begin by generating this kind feeling toward yourself. Notice any self-judgments that might come up and gently work to release them.

Continuing to breathe in and out, use either these traditional phrases or ones you choose yourself. Say or think them several times.

May I be free from inner and outer harm and danger. May I be safe and protected.

May I be free of mental suffering or distress.

May I be happy.

May I be free of physical pain and suffering.

May I be healthy and strong.

May I be able to live in this world happily, peacefully, joyfully, with ease.

Next, move to a person who most invites the feeling of pure unconditional loving kindness, the love that does not depend on getting anything back. This could be a child, your teacher, mentor, a parent or grandparent, or teacher. It should be someone that it takes no effort to feel respect and reverence, someone who immediately elicits the feeling of care. Repeat the phrases for this person: “May she be safe and protected….”

After feeling strong unconditional love for that person, move to a person you regard as a dear friend and repeat the phrases again, breathing in and out of your heart center.

Now move to a neutral person, someone for whom you feel neither strong like nor dislike. As you repeat the phrases, allow yourself to feel loving kindness for their well-being. 

Now move to someone you have difficulty with–you may have hostile feelings, resentments. Repeat the phrases for this person. 

Feel your mind, body and spirit connected-ness throughout this process. 

After the difficult person, radiate loving kindness out to all people and animals... all living beings. Stay in touch with the any feelings of warmth, love, energy or peace that stems from the center of your being, and begin to envision loving kindness for all people.


May all beings be safe, happy, healthy, live joyously…..

May all living beings be safe, happy, healthy, live joyously…..

May all breathing beings be safe, happy, healthy, live joyously…..

May all individuals be safe, happy, healthy, live joyously…..

May all beings in existence be safe, happy, healthy, live joyously….. 

Finish with three more cleansing breaths.


With love, Meghan 

Meghan is a licensed psychotherapist and certified holistic health coach. Her mission is to empower and inspire others to create the life they desire integrating the science of psychology, total health and an awakened intuition. You can contact her via email at Meghan@Mergeintohealth.com or www.MeghanToups.com 
 


Meghan

New Year's Resolutions Check-In

Many years ago, I made a list of resolutions. It was a long list. I was feeling rather adventurous and was determined to cross off my goals. I was going to learn a new language, work out every day and a few other lofty ideas. A few months later, they were abandoned, a lost cause, forgotten in the wind.

New Years Resolutions.

They are the catalysts that sends people to the gym for a few weeks, blending up smoothies til March and scrolling through online travel websites at 2 am in order to hopefully scratch off bucket list spots. Sadly they get a bad rap because they don’t last very long. And many of us avoid them altogether in order to avoid disappointment.  

I now know a missing piece to my lovely list of resolutions. I didn’t take a time to truly evaluate where I currently was and jumped too far ahead of the line. I neglected to list my progresses in the past, a sort of past year review, and now that I’ve made these changes, it makes all the difference.

Taking a moment within the year is a great way to evaluate your progress and where you want to be. Whether it’s January 1st, March 24th or your birthday, it doesn’t matter when it happens, just pick a date (or many) to take a look at the parts of your life that are serving you, and those that aren’t.  

Take a look at your life and the parts that you wish to improve and create goals from there. Review the last year and notice ways in which you grew, struggled and found joy. It’s far too easy to overlook our growth and automatically think that we haven’t changed and use that as an excuse to fall back into our poor self-care ways.

Think back on the year and note and progresses or challenges made in the following areas:

1)     Health

a.     I have grown in the following ways:

b.     These were my health struggles:

c.      This is how I want to approach the new year:

 

2)     Career and Finances

a.     I have grown in the following ways:

b.     These were my career and financial struggles:

c.      This is how I want to approach the new year:

 

3)     Relationships

a.     I have grown in the following ways:

b.     These were my relationship struggles:

c.      This is how I want to approach the new year:

 

4)    Self Care:

a.     I have grown in the following ways:

b.     These were my self-care struggles:

c.      This is how I want to approach the new year:

 

5)     Other

a.     I have grown in the following ways:

b.     These were my ______ struggles:

c.      This is how I want to approach the new year:

Whenever you are trying to make a change, it’s important to remember the positive steps you have actually made. This will help boost your morale, help keep you on track and give you a marker to review when you lose that January 1st post champagne toast gusto.

Happy new year, y’all!

Meghan

Green Kale Smoothie



I created this recipe when I was just finishing up my health coaching certification and was introducing my then eleven month old daughter to the world of smoothies. I wanted to create something green with plenty of fiber, that she actually ate. And she did! If you are not yet used to drinking green smoothies, it’s totally okay to omit the kale and replace it with something a bit more palatable like romaine. Romaine is full of nutrition, fiber and is also very hydrating. If a smoothie is too “green” for you, scale back on the lettuce. Your taste buds will change over time.

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Ingredients + How To:


1 1/2 cups packed spinach (I used organic girl)
1/2 c. kale
1/4c. 100% juice (I used Odwalla Carrot Juice)
1/2 c. Fresh or frozen antioxidant packed berries (I used frozen Cascadian Farms Raspberries)
1 banana
1/2 tsp. Ground Flax (can be found at any grocery store. Contains fiber and Omega 3's)
Squeeze of a lemon (lemon juice helps with detoxification)
Water


Place all ingredients in a blender and puree. Add water as needed until you find the right consistency.
Makes 2 large glasses or 4 champagne glass "cocktails"

Meghan is a licensed psychotherapist and certified holistic health coach. Her mission is to empower and inspire others to create the life they desire integrating the science of psychology, total health and an awakened intuition. You can contact her via email at Meghan@Mergeintohealth.com or www.MeghanToups.com

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