spark

This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter, but it received a lot of positive feedback so I wanted to share it here with you all! If you want more of this kind of real-life honesty and inspiration sent directly to your inbox every Tuesday, you can sign up for my newsletter here


 

“You’re only given one little spark of madness, you mustn’t lose it.”
-Robin Williams

Do you have spark?

When I heard of Robin William’s passing, my heart became ever so heavy. Depression is a widely misunderstood dis-ease that I wish to shed some light on.

I have a secret: I struggled with depression.

On the outside, there were no red flags in my life. No one abused me. I never tried drugs. My parents are still married. I never went a day without three meals. We always had a roof over our heads. We had nice things, went on vacation. We were as normal as normal could be.

But inside me, within the walls of my own head, a war was waging. And I did not love myself, or see any value in the person who looked back at me in my reflection.

By the way, I don’t want this letter to depress you, it will empower you! This story has a happy ending… stay with me :)

Depression forms in many different ways. We all have our demons, but how we handle them is exactly how we allow them to manifest their ugly heads.

Do you believe that you have spark? What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see value? Potential?

Right when I enrolled at IIN to become a health coach, I was in a deep, dark depression. I visited a naturopathic doctor in my area for what was going on months of painful bloating, acne and numerous digestive issues. He tested me in all sorts of weird ways, mumbled words I did not understand, and scribbled on his sad, bendy pad of yellow paper. Feeling anxious and curious, I finally blurted out “So, are you going to tell me what’s wrong or is this a big waste of time?” I’ve since worked on my elegance… ;). His ice blue eyes fluttered, and then he raised his chin. The doctor looked me square in the eyes, took a step forward and gently took hold of both of my hands. He said, “Erika, do you believe that you deserve love?” Tears streamed down my face, I fumbled and though I opened my mouth, no words came out.

He sent me on my way with some words to repeat to myself 3x daily. The instruction was clear that I needed to look at myself in the mirror while doing so, and place my right hand on my heart. “I deserve to be loved, I deserve to be loved, I deserve to be loved…”

At the time I did not understand it, any of it. This was years ago… but now I know full well that if you do not love yourself, if you do not practice fervent self-love amidst the chaos of this hurting world, anyone can fall victim to depression.

YOU have spark, so much spark. There is absolutely no one on this planet like you. No one with your same characteristics, or with that same giggle. No one with the same eyes or toes. You cannot be replaced and you have incredible life and love to breathe into the lives of countless others. Do you believe that?

Moreover, there is a direct correlation from the food we eat to the way our colon works to the function of our pineal gland, and brain. Fact: did you know that your colon produces MORE seratonin than your brain does? Seratonin is the primary contributor to feelings of happiness. Did you hear that? Your COLON makes you either happy or sad. What you EAT determines your happiness! Amazing.

I talk a lot about this with my clients in my health coaching practice, but here is what I want you to know: health is all-inclusive, all-encompassing. When you fix one thing, you cannot help but fix everything. Everything is connected.

So the words that you speak to yourself should hold as much value as the food that you put in your mouth.

If there are times that you feel worthless after finding yourself in a dark hole of instagram-comparison, know that there is someone here who believes in you. I believe in you even when you do not believe in yourself. We are rooting for you.

Your spark is glowing so bright; it’s mad, it’s wild, if only you will recognize it.

TAKE ACTION NOW:
No matter the mood, the day or circumstance, repeat these words aloud to yourself every morning after you wake and at night before bed, while looking at yourself in the mirror with your hand over your heart. This is going to feel funny if you’ve never done something like this before, do it anyway:

  • “I can achieve greatness.”
  • “My body is beautiful; brimming with energy, overflowing with joy, love and brilliance.”
  • “I forgive those who have harmed me in my past and peacefully detach from them.”*
  • “My ability to conquer challenges is limitless; my potential to succeed is infinite.”*
  • “Today, I abandon my old habits and take up new, more positive ones.”*

Now I am free, alive and refreshed! I feel so lucky to be able to share my story with you. I hope you can benefit from it in some way.

Choose health today, the all-inclusive kind. Love your body, your soul, your mind and your spirit. There’s only one you.

foodnow

 

This isn’t what it looks like, guys. I am definitely not trying to make junk food healthier. See the kale salad included? I’ve got my priorities straight, I swear.

Ok, but seriously, the weekend is here and you want your health food to be a little more interesting, right? I’m all about living a little. Did someone say nachos? Oh yes.

Plantain Chip Nachos from Against All Grain. Change nothing. Make extra because this will go quick.

Kale Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette  from Damn Delicious. Change nothing except swap the agave for local honey or organic maple syrup. Not a fan of agave and it’s processed BS. Also, I would probably go for organic dried cranberries instead of pomegranates, just thinking about the crunch is making my teeth hurt. I’m a sissy.

Cauliflower Bread Sticks from ifoodreal. Use Organic Valley cheese, it’s my grocery story pick. Or visit your local farmer for grassfed cheese, a chedder/pepperjack combo would be delish. And I usually go for Amy’s marinara.

Salted Banana Almond Ice Cream from Comfy Belly. Do you even have to ask? That’s what I thought.

 

Happy weekend! xo

 

treasures

 

I have a serious obsession with Etsy. Not only am I obsessed with the unique one-of-a-kind items found in this treasure land, but I love supporting small businesses, true artistry and handmade craftsmanship. Not to mention there are some killer deals that are hard to pass up! Here are some recent finds that I’m loving…

Rosemary, Thyme, and Mint Bath Oil | Pour le latte drinking bowl
Turquoise Wrap Rings | Dead Sea Soap

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I’m so excited to share my favorite cookie recipe for Christmas with Glitter Guide today! I’ve been a fan since day 1, so I was completely giddy when they asked me! It’s cookie time, people…

Making Christmas cookies is hands down one of the things I look forward to the most when it comes to the holiday season. I basically want to bake EVERYTHING for Christmas. It’s like a sickness. I can’t stop. And what’s even better it giving cookies away to friends and family and seeing the smile on their face when they take the first bite. The best. I stumbled upon this recipe but made some adjustments to make it healthier and paleo-friendly. These cookies are just perfect: chewy, caramel-y, and honestly the perfect ice cream sandwich cookie. I plan on trying this candy cane ice cream recipe to make some festive ice cream sandwiches ASAP. A batch of these don’t really last long enough for them to cool in our house, but I plan on making everyone suffer so I can make it happen for Christmas. The reward will be great, I’m sure of it. OH I just love Christmas!!

Anyway, you need to make these cookies immediately. This recipe is so easy, you really cannot mess it up.

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Paleo Almond Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips
Yields 16 cookies

1 cup organic creamy almond butter
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1 large farm fresh egg
1 tsp madagascar vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup Enjoy Life Mini Semisweet Chocolate Chips or any mini semisweet chips (optional but highly recommended).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In mixing bowl, combine almond butter and coconut sugar until smooth. Mix in egg, baking soda, vanilla, salt until combined thoroughly. Fold in chocolate chips.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Use 1 tbsp ice cream scooper and drop cookies on baking sheet, about 2 inches apart – they will spread out to be large cookies, no need to smash them down.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. These cookies will easily fall apart if you move them too soon.

This recipe makes an irresistible chewy, rich cookie.

Recipe is paleo-friendly, gluten-free and dairy-free.

Recipe adapted from Pastry Affair.

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These cookies would be a wonderful gift for someone you really love! I wrapped mine up with a little rustic twine, and put them in stainless steel cookie tins lined with white wax paper. Twine and pine stems are a really classic touch for the outside of the tins, too. Either way, everyone will luuuhhhhve this cookie!

Are you as excited as I am to bake away for the holidays? Below are some kitchen goodies to make holiday baking fun!

 

 

 

work

So I guess it’s time to update you.

With all of the many things that I have pursued or tested, I am glad to hear when people see it as perseverance, versus the inability to be a part of the “real world”, or something like that. Though I have heard that reaction a time or two.. eh hem. I’m talking about work. Making a living. My job. Or “job”. Because some seem to think that just because I don’t punch a time card, I don’t have a “real job”. It don’t bother me none.

On the contrary.

I love my now job. (But wait, actually.. I hate the word “job”… *shudder*).

In the past several months I have experimented with a few things in hopes to help me carry out my mission in life: to help everyone I possibly can become healthier and happier. As a result, I have come across some things that worked, and some that didn’t. And that’s ok. I love being able to say that I tried. You never know until you try, right?

I’ll just come out and say it though. In the past several months I spread myself too thin and I was not able to produce quality. I mean I haven’t even been blogging? I hated that. I was mentally frantic and thus physically exhausted. I spent less time doing the things I envisioned doing and more time up to my eyeballs in post-it notes. I was terrible with e-mails and may or may not have accidentally ignored important ones (sorry, everyone). I failed in many ways, but not without a lesson learned. That’s the problem with being “busy”. You end up sucking at a lot of things. And I’d like to try and make it a point not to suck. Stop the glorification of busy. Just. Stop.

SO. Moving on…

I have made the decision to close down Honest Goodness. For financial investment reasons and because I felt as if many doors I came banging to with balled up fists were completely shut tight, and for reasons I now understand. I may have two parties interested in buying the business. If someone does buy the business, then I will keep you updated on that so you can continue to support it and it’s cause. If they don’t, I will release all of the recipes to my products here on my blog. My family is going to kill me for saying that. Oops. I feel like it’s the right thing to do because you have all been the biggest support system. I have been battling with this decision since early September. I am a true believer in “where there’s a will, there’s a way”, but after MUCH prayer and soul searching, I realized this was simply not meant to be. In fact, something better came along and I am 100% confident it was a God thing. If you’re wondering why I can’t make it work, I will just tell you because I believe that yes, I can do anything I put my mind to, but I can’t do everything. And sometimes we have to make a choice. This is mine, and I stand by it.

I had been praying continuously since the middle of August, and providence came down and gave me a big hug. I know it may sound capricious or flighty, but I feel like with everything I’ve been through with my own health, well, it all happened for a very good reason. And that reason is so that I can use my story and experience to help as many people as I can. I felt like Honest Goodness was not that avenue, but it allowed for so much growth and I will always be grateful for that.

So what am I doing now? 

I started working with an incredible nutrition company two months ago that was literally the dream I envisioned, but didn’t know could exist. I’m building a business that will potentially reach thousands and I’ve never been a part of something so rewarding. I feel immeasurably blessed and am beyond excited to wake up everyday to “work”. I’m not going to give specific details here on the blog for the reason that I want to protect my business from sounding casual or impermanent.

I am health coaching only minimally, so I can truly give personal attention to each of my clients. And I am still coaching CrossFit part-time. I have really really downsized. Ironically, I am on track to be more financially successful in 2014 than I have ever been.

And I’m also jamming out to this song a lot and drinking a lot of green smoothies and playing with our beautiful pups.

If you are someone who shares the same vision that I do, that there is no greater reward than giving health and happiness to someone, get in touch with me. We could possibly work together. If your dream is completely different, that’s ok. But go hard and get after it. No one is going to give it to you. And a lot of times you have to try a lot of things before you find something that clicks. But for goodness sake, never give up on your passion. As long as we continuously evolve, grow and learn, we cannot fail.

 

Thanks for reading, as always. And for encouraging me along this crazy ride. Sometimes I wonder how many of you actually think I’ve got some bolts loose…? Anyway, it feels so good to get all of that off my chest. Sidenote: if you need some major inspo, go read some Steve Jobs quotes. Works every time.

 

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