Write a love letter… to YOURSELF!

My dear friend and an absolutely inspiring woman is on a journey to educate and empower women. Will you help her out?
Hello, all! My apologies for the delay. A Cliffnotes update on what I’ve been up to:
  • Returned from Costa Rica
  • Started working with AMAZING new private and group clients (to add yourself to the list, click here)
  • Got in a yucky biking accident (wear your helmets please!)
  • Began coaching & wellness programming for local business and their employees
  • Have missed blogging TERRIBLY in the meantime!

But I’m back at it and couldn’t wait another moment to share with you the story of my beautiful and inspiring friend, Jillie, and her non-profit organization Love Letters to Yourself. 

Let’s take a look at what she has to say: 
Love Letters to Yourself is a project that was started when I was struggling with my own journey to find self-love. After my parents divorce, my world was turned upside down and I was sent on a journey to define what love meant to me. During this time, I found self-love. After I graduated from college, I had all the dreams and hopes to get my dream job, buy a house, travel the world, and make a difference…all within 1-2 years after graduating. Well, a year after graduation, I was still at home, living with my mom, hating my job, and feeling like I had no purpose or worth. I was at a low point in my life. At this point, I just wanted someone to tell me they loved me. I wanted someone to write me a love letter saying they love me, they are never going to leave, and they love me unconditionally.
Why must this flower tell me my worth?

Why must this flower tell me my worth?

But, I soon realized that this letter would suffice for a day or two and then I would want someone else to write me a love letter because the other one would no longer be good enough. I felt this way because
I didn’t love myself. I wasn’t enough.
So, I decided to write myself a love letter.
This action changed my life.
I made the commitment to myself to love myself no matter what I did, what I said, or how I handled something. I forgave myself for past actions and mistakes I had made. I gave myself patience and understanding, things I gave to others thousands of others, but never thought to give to myself.
Why is self-love important? You cannot love anyone until you love yourself. And, no one’s love will be good enough until your love is good enough. We spend our lives trying to get others love and approval. But, what we are truly looking for is our own approval. You don’t have to change, conform, or sacrifice who you are or what you believe in. You are enough and once you realize that, all other’s love and approval are just a bonus.
Society creates these expectations, regulations, or standards of love. What love is supposed to look like, who we are supposed to love, and how we are supposed to love. But, we are the only ones who truly know the type of love we need. So, this letter doesn’t have to be a letter. It can be a poem, song, picture, painting, collage, or five pages, or two sentences. The only important things you keep in mind are that it is genuine, and it resonates with you. This will be the most important letter you write in life. Once you write this letter, it is not over. This journey of self-love is long one. It is something you will encounter every day, but overtime it gets easier. This love cannot leave in the middle of the night or decide to fade away one day. This love is unconditional and worthy of your attention.
So, take a chance on you. Write a love letter to yourself. I am collecting copies of these love letters to compile a book and use the profits to support women’s empowerment organizations, send girls to school, and take this message globally. I would love your help and support with my mission. Please check out my blog for more guidance and help,loveletterstoyourself.wordpress.com.
And also check out an amazing opportunity I have been offered to help women in Peru, http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bringing-self-love-to-trujillo-peru/x/4174237. Thanks for your time and energy!
With gratitude and love,

The Energy Booster We All Forget About

Sleep. Caffine. Sugar. Alcohol. Exercise.  What do you use to cope with those sluggish moments for a quick pick-me-up?  Somehow, we are rarely taught the simplest tool for instant energy. Something that has been proven for thousands of years to work the most naturally and effect…breath! 

Most people hardly think twice about how they inhale and exhale. It happens naturally and our mental energy would be better focused on other things, right?  Not quite.  Breathing can be a passive activity, but by focusing on the breath we can channel and create even more energy and fire for whatever our life demands.  Before we dig deeper, give it a try:

Find a heavy object around you (a big rock, 12-pack of drinks, your purse, whatever) and experiment with picking up the object in one hand.

First Lift it without thinking of your breath.

Next, lift it while holding your breath.

And lastly, exhale first and then on a big inhale, lift your object.

Did you notice any difference?  The third option should have been the easiest.  Why? HOW?!

Um...what not to do.

Um…what not to do.

This part is rarely taught.  When your spine is straight, shoulders relaxed, and heart forward, you can inhale into your belly.  From here, your body creates and utilizes the proper amount of space needed to absorb the oxygen and send it to cells all over the body.

On the other hand, when our bodies are slouched over, or we are only breathing into the shoulders and chest, the oxygen flow throughout the body is restricted, and it becomes less accessible to your cells.  Here’s the anatomy behind it:  The respiratory system is categorized in two groups: Primary (essential for breathing) and secondary.

  1. Primary Respiratory Muscles: the lower part of our torso—the diaphragm, abdominals, and intercostals (the muscles between the ribs).  They are larger and perform most of our breathing work. *We should use these more. 
  2. Secondary Respiratory Muscles: the upper region of our torso—the pectorals, trapezius, and throat muscles.  These smaller muscles aid and allow for adaptability in breathing.  *We use these too much.
English: Animation of a diaphragm exhaling and...

English: Animation of a diaphragm exhaling and inhaling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Inhaling and exhaling our breath into our lower torso, we are not only allowing ourselves to breathe deeper, but we are making ourselves more grounded and stabilized, by lowering our center of gravity.  Benefits of long deep breathing include releasing toxins, invigorating the mind and body, relieving pain, strengthening muscles, strengthening the immune system, improving digestion, and improving the nervous system, just to name a few!  

So that all sounds pretty good, and essential, right? It’s very doable, simply requiring some mindfulness.

  1. Asses your breathing.  Lying down on your back, place a hand underneath your navel.  Take some deep breaths, and notice what’s happening.  Is your belly expanding?  Is your ribcage expanding?  These are good things.  Are your shoulders lifting towards your ears?  Is your stomach caving inward and upward?  Just be aware of what you’re prone to doing, and focus on expanding and relaxing.  Long deep breathing is always a work in progress.
  2. Work on your posture. When sitting or standing, try to keep a relaxed, lifted posture.  This means straightening the spine, rolling your shoulder blades down your back, lifting your chest, and tucking in your tailbone.  Now, that is a lot to think about, but a good thing to practice.  Just imagine and feel the expansion of your breathing capacity as you try it.  It only gets easier over time!
  3. Wear non-constrictive clothing. Tight or immovable waistbands, tight bra straps, neckties, and high heels can all alter your ability to breathe deeply and fully.  Stick with loosely fitted and stretchable clothing as much as possible.
  4. Try breathing through your nose.  Long deep breathing allows for lots of oxygen to circulate through the body, which is a beautiful thing.  However, much of the air we breathe today is full of toxins and pollution.  Fortunately, our nasal passages have tiny hairs that act as filters for our breath.  Additionally, nasal breathing allows for a slower and more controlled inhalation, allowing for a deeper breath.
  5. Listen to your body.  Altering your breath can create subtle changes in your bodily functions, mood, and energy that make a huge difference in the long run.  Slow down, be aware, and treat your body to the oxygen it deserves.

Doing these things will bring you increased energy over time, but in a pinch we can also look to breath exercises instead of reaching for a cup of coffee or taking a nap.  My favorite instant re-charge is called stretch pose.  Lay down on your back.  Place your hands under your lower back to align your spine.

stretch pose

Lift your head and heels six inches off the ground.  Begin a rapid inhale and exhale, either through the nose, or through the mouth with your tongue out (panting like a dog).  Watch your belly expand and contract with the breath.  It’s challenging at first, but becomes more comfortable with practice.

Do this for 30 seconds or more, and then relax and feel the energy you’ve unleashed into your body and mind!

These are just some basics on breathing, but there are many more related elements to it.  If you notice that you could improve from changing your breathing (most of us can), I’d encourage you to do some more research for yourself, or talk to a doctor, yoga teacher, or wellness coach.   Let’s use our body’s natural tool mindfully to increase energy and improve wellness.  Breathe!



Asha is a certified yoga teacher (RYT 200) with an emphasis on Kundalini Yoga.  In yoga, conscious breathing brings prana, or life force and energy, into the body.  Asha likes to deal with another main source of prana…FOOD!  She works as a vegetarian chef at a  yoga bed & breakfast and is working on a digital cookbook for her tasty recipes and knowledge on eating for wellness.  Stay tuned for a preview!

Learn more about…

Breathing: The Breathing Book: Good health and vitality through essential breath work by Donna Farhi (It’s a fantastic book!)

Stretch Pose: Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose with Anne Novak (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9J7AcNLdV0)

Long deep breathing: Take a Deep Breath (http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2009/May/Take-a-deep-breath)


What Yoga Can Teach You About Life

What Yoga Can Teach You About Life.

I watched an interview with Sean Corn a while back where she discussed the connection between the yoga mat and life. Sean explained that how you practice yoga translates into how you live your life. The two are connected. What you need to work on in life often expresses itself on your mat during a yoga class. For example if you are someone who pushes themselves too hard, injuring yourself in yoga as a result (e.g. a pulled muscle) you probably take on too much in life, put too much strain on yourself outside of the yoga studio. If you often give up during a class, tell yourself that this pose is “too hard” or that you are “too weak” you most likely defeat your own self in the outside world as well. Maybe you make excuses for why you can’t make it to the studio, putting everyone else’s needs before your own.

Yoga means “union” in Sanskrit, and this union between the practice of yoga and the practice of life is one of the reasons I have fallen deeply and consumingly in love with the practice of yoga.  The practice of Yoga doesn’t always refer to the postures themselves, but rather everything else that goes into the postures (e.g. the mental strength, the need to have a connection to your breath, proper hydration and nutrition, the connection between your mind and body)

I recently finished the book “Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga” by Benjamin Lorr which was all about the author’s immersion into the Bikram Yoga world. This book was soo wonderful. It was funny, honest, insightful and informative. It was entertaining from cover to cover, and there were often times when I would laugh or gasp aloud from what I had read. Lorr made connections between small experiences/concepts and larger existential questions.

In “Hell-Bent” there is one part where Lorr describes a particular Bikram class he took. A large, linebacker-type man was taking a class for the first time and appeared to be suffering and wheezing, right before bolting for the door. The teacher, Esak, (Esak is a Bikram champion, and celebrity of sorts in the Bikram yoga world) stops the linebacker right before he is about to open the door and exit the studio. Esak tells the man that he’s free to go but has a choice. He explains that “Sometimes your yoga is in the postures. Today, your yoga is recognizing that you have a choice”

Esak turns to the class and orders them to “stop listening! Stop thinking! Don’t imagine his class is easier than yours. Don’t flatter yourself with your effort. Right now, this is the person working the hardest in this class. He is getting every benefit he can.”

For the linebacker, his yoga that day was to simply recognize that he had a choice whether or not to leave the hot room. His yoga was to work on the mental aspect of the practice, because that was the issue that arose for him on the mat that day.  Esak explained to the class that even if they were doing the postures perfectly, if they weren’t “putting the same effort into it” they weren’t getting the benefits from the yoga.  Yoga isn’t about the postures, it’s this “union” between the mat and life, mind and body, you and the universe. It’s about doing “work”, and maybe your yoga for now is just to identify what your “work” should be, what issues you may need to work on. Maybe your yoga is to back off and let yourself sit out once in a while, or to stop comparing yourself to the other yogis in the room, or to become comfortable with the way your body looks in the mirror during class. Benjamin Lorr explains that

“It’s a funny thing that way. Someone standing and looking very impressive in the mirror and someone sitting hunched over doing almost nothing. Same yoga.”

How to Not Fail. And other existential crises essentials.

What is life? What am I here for? What’s the point? We’ve all been there. Or will be. Or are there now. How am I handling mine? I’m moving to Costa Rica for one month. But I digress…

Sometimes there is just a phase of life that comes into rotation every few years that makes you question your whole path. If the choices you have been making thus far have all been for naught and are, in fact, leading you nowhere. You have self-diagnosed Failure Disease.

Failure Disease [fay-uhl-yer dys-eeze] (n): a made-up thing people think they have when life doesn’t look totally perfect right at this second. Common symptoms include: tears, excessive moodiness, emotional-eating, and a chatty, egoic mind that wont stop taunting and accentuating your flaws. Ask your health coach before self-diagnosing. May cause low self-esteem, weight gain, decreased energy, and early onset of aging and chronic disease. Failure Disease is not recommended for optimists, go-getters, or the general human population.Seek immediate care from your best friend and/or your neighborhood Coach Katie for a speedy recovery.

I think these times are important. And maybe even a beautiful (albeit challenging and uninvited) opportunity for introspection. It is in this time of total panic and self-doubt that we have the opportunity to see ourselves the clearest. To turn inside and figure out what it is we are supposed to learn from this madness. Yes, I am one of those people. One of those people that sees every situation, interaction, and flaming mistake as a chance to learn and grow.

*insert motivational quote here about how there is no such thing as mistakes, only lessons; get knocked down 7 times, stand up 8; etc.*

I mean, let's be real.

I mean, let’s be real.

Don’t get me wrong, I can throw an EXCELLENT pity party. But then, I clean up from the party and move on. Here is how:


This is self-diagnosed. You control if you get it. You control if you get rid of it. It is in your hands! This is an intimidating and powerful process for all of life– use it often, and wisely. If you don’t want Failure Disease anymore, then decide that. Boom. Cured.


Literally. Take out a pen and paper (brownie points if you don’t use your computer). There is scientific and experiential evidence in the healing power of putting your problems onto a piece of paper so your brain doesn’t have to deal with them anymore (1). Give it away. Let the paper deal with it. Seeing all of your worries and fears literally spelled out somehow makes them less scary and life-ruining. Then burn the paper if you have to. Shred it, chew it up, spit it out, and throw that sucker AWAY. (I would say recycle, but it’s probably past that point with the spitting and such.)

[1] A recent study on journaling: Result indicated that participants with greater levels of distress derived greater benefit from Journaling. Benefits include: Decreased heart rate, less physical symptoms, faster rate of recovering and healing (1). 

3. LET IT GO. 

Let go of the garbage that is clogging up your beautiful mind and body. Let go of the need for control. Spoiler alert! WE NEVER HAVE CONTROL. Truth is, there is no way for us to know what will happen in a few minutes let alone the next few years. Trust that if you listen to your heart, do the work, then get out of your own way, the right opportunities fall into place. It’s foolproof. It’s simple. But it is NOT easy. I work with clients for months on this step alone.  If you’d like a session to dive deeper into your goals and how to get out of your own way to make them happen, let me know!

All of us have a role that we’re uniquely suited for. Imagine our planet without trees, oceans, or clouds. In this same way, when one of us doesn’t develop or use our special gift, a universal void takes place. This unique talent or ability may be hidden from your own sight like a golden treasure buried under shifting sands. Often, we spend so much time dazzled by the talents of others that we can overlook our own gifts. So sit down. Right now. I’ll wait….


  • 3 fears
  • 3 of your greatest strengths. Is it creativity? Logic? Throwing awesome parties? Making people laugh? Organization? We all have something. Ask me or a trusted friend if you need someone to help kickstart your list.
  • What you would be doing if nothing was holding you back (not money, location, age, etc).

Your answers may surprise you. It’s all in there. I promise.

Respond with your answers or with more questions and I will get back to you!

SPECIAL GUEST BLOGGER NEXT WEEK!! Tatianna Barrera, holistic health coach and author of No Milk, Please. will provide us with her insightful knowledge and witty expertise of all things dairy. Sure to be very informative so don’t miss out!!

Tatianna milk banner

Anything else you’d like to learn about? Let me know!


1. Expressive disclosure and benefit finding among breast cancer patients: Mechanisms for positive health effects.

Low, Carissa A.; Stanton, Annette L.; Danoff-Burg, Sharon

Health Psychology, Vol 25(2), Mar 2006, 181-189. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.25.2.181

Eat Fat, Get Skinny.

Hello, my name is Katie. I am a Health Coach, nutrition fanatic, and I LOVE FAT! Yes, it’s true. I love fat– GOOD fats, that is. It is time to rethink everything you’ve ever thought about fats. The government has made saturated fats, and all fats for that matter, out to be the delicious incarnation of the devil. First of all, since when did politicians become experts in nutrition? Second of all, they are wrong. Good fats are the delicious incarnation of everything that is wonderful with this world. Puppies, rainbows, avocados (more on these in a second!), Ryan Gosling, etc.

It is now my goal to include him in every post.

It is now my goal to include him in every post.

Let me backtrack by saying not all fats are good. I am not talking about the hydrogenated fats found in a Snickers bar or in a sirloin steak. First and foremost, we should be eating:

REAL, Natural, and WHOLE foods. 

**We can all benefit from cutting out processed food and limiting our animal-product consumption. ** Good fats are found abundantly in real, natural and whole foods. Don’t be afraid!

So where did the fear of fats come from?

There was a theory from the 1950’s that said there was a direct relationship between saturated fats and cholesterol to coronary heart disease. Here’s the thing: NOBODY has proved it. SO many studies since then have questioned and proven this hypothesis wrong, but alas, the original study’s conclusion remained and the food industry ran with it. Hm…..

If you learn anything from today, make it your next goal to cut out processed foods– especially anything that says “Low-Fat”. This is an outdated diet trend that really means “High-Chemicals, High-Sugar, More Weight Gain, More Depression, More Mineral Deficiencies”. Sounds fun, right? Let’s Be Real. Harvard School of Public Health even found that low-fat dairy products can contribute to infertility, while full-fat, organic dairy can help. Low-fat dairy has also been proven to cause acne. But let’s save dairy for another day….

Here’s the Real deal about GOOD FATS:

FATS chart jpeg

It goes like this:


    • highly stable solids (all carbon atom links are filled, or “saturated” with hydrogen)
    • Found in animal fats (less good) and tropical oils (way good!)
      • EX: coconut oil, coconut milk…aka magic elixir to life


    • your body makes these from saturated fats to use them for awesomeness
    • Most common form: oleic acid. The main component of olive oil (so good!)
      • EX: AVOCADO!!, nuts, nuts, wild-caught salmon, healthy oils (grapeseed, flaxseed, hempseed, coconut, olive, AVOCADO, etc)


    • Most common is double-unsaturated linoleic acid (Omega-6) and triple-unsaturated linolenic acid (Omega-3)
    • YOU CANNOT MAKE THESE in your body! Thus, ESSENTIAL. Thus, **must get them from your food.** (From whole, natural, Real food).
      • EX: AVOCADO!!, trout, olives, nuts, healthy oils

ALL fats and oils, whether from veggies or animals, are some combo of all of these! Like, AVOCADOS.

At long last, the magic fruit itself….


Nutrition Facts

My one true love.

My one true love.

Amount Per 1 cup, sliced (146 g)
Calories 234

% Daily Value*

Total fat 21 g 32%
Saturated fat 3.1 g 15%
Polyunsaturated fat   2.7 g
Monounsaturated fat   14 g

Guess what?? WebMD agrees with me: see?

I love avocados. I put them in everything. My morning green smoothie, my veggie wraps as a “spread”, raw for fun or to take with my fish oil pills (essential!), and my most favorite and famous form: GUACAMOLE.

Looking for the recipe?? Here it is. Granted I cook from the heart and soul, people. Rarely do I follow measurements. Who needs the restrictions, am I right? But I did my best for you. Because I care.


4 avocados

1 med tomato, or 2 smaller roma tomatoes (easier to cut), diced

1/2 large red onion, diced

1 tbs minced garlic

2 tsp ground sea salt

1 tbs lime juice

Cilantro, as much as possible!! Don’t get me started on cilantro.

Jalapenos (optional)


  1. Pit the avocados and empty contents into large bowl. Mash to your heart’s content or until you no longer have anger issues. I add a little sea salt and lime juice here for good measure.
  2. Add the chopped onions, garlic, and cilantro. Add remaining sea salt and lime juice. Stir just until combined.
  3. Wait to add the tomatoes until just before serving. This will help it stay fresh the longest. If eating immediately, as recommended, fold in tomatoes and add any remaining garlic/cilantro/salt/lime juice to taste.
  4. Pair with your favorite organic, gluten-free corn tortilla chips and you have yourself a party.
  5. Seems simple, but you will make many new friends because of this recipe.
  6. You’re welcome.


  1. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Fats and Fatty Acids in Human Nutrition; 2010
  2. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
  3. European Food Information Council; Fats; June 2006
  4. Dr. Andrew Weil, MD
  5. Weston A. Price Foundation
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TODAY IS THE DAY. We have Diem to Carpe.

Attention, attention! Today is the day I begin bestowing upon you my infinite wisdom of all things health, happiness, and wellness. Okay, Let’s Be Real…I rarely know what I’m talking about. Though my educational degrees and passion for nutrition may disagree, you and I are on the same page as we sift through all the garbage out there until we can clearly see our inner-AWESOME™ again. (Not actually a trademarked term, but I’m working on it).

So why should you read this blog? Why should you listen to what I may post on here? Because you are a young woman(or man, or old woman, or Ryan Gosling who is beyond human) who has low energy, extra pounds, and very little time to spend reading the latest research on the new All Fro-Yo Diet, or “256 Things You Must Do to be a Perfect Human Being”. I am here to help you:

English: Ryan Gosling outside a concert for hi...

  • INCREASE your energy
  • LOSE weight (the safe and sustainable way)
  • DECREASE stress
  • SAVE money
  • IMPROVE relationships with food, with others, and with yourself
  • ADD more joy, vitality, and silliness into each and every day!

Does that sound lame to you??

If so, I send you all the good vibes in the universe and kindly ask you to find another blog to read. We are in it to win it, people. Here I will post pictures, videos, recipes, memes, and random thoughts that I believe you will benefit from. I am here to help YOU and your Inner-AWESOME™ (still working on it).

Send me your thoughts on what you’d like to see or learn about here! I have some great things and guest posters lined up for your technological and culinary enjoyment, but remember– this is for YOU. Check our all that I do at letsberealwellness.healthcoach.integrativenutrition.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/letsberealwellnesscoaching. Follow me on Instagram (food and cat pics, anyone?) or Twitter @healthcoachKM

Here’s to REAL life, REAL food, REAL health, REAL YOU!

Why wait?? You heard the man.

Why wait?? You heard the man.