Hi Beautiful Friend,photo 1

Last weekend I hosted my first yoga retreat in Dahlonega Georgia. The success of the retreat was beyond my wildest dreams. I’m forever grateful to Rebecca Galla-Jones for co-hosting the retreat with me and the 16 yogis who joined us.

Driving up to the beautiful mountain property, I couldn’t have imaged life getting any better, when I suddenly caught a glimpse of my two best friends. They had come to surprise me and joined us for the weekend. My heart is filled with joy and if I could infuse each of you with this feeling for the holiday season I would.

Our intention for the retreat was to help participants unwind, unplug and set the stage for a peaceful holiday season. Too often we get lost in the to-do list of the holidays and forget to take care of ourselves. We burn the candle from both ends trying to be Superwomen only to end up as Super-Grinch come Jan. 1.

Set an intention to stay calm, relaxed and energized this Holiday Session by following my Holiday Self-Care Guide. It’s full of ideas to keep help you unwind, unplug and enjoy a peaceful holiday season AND I made a printable version for you.

Holiday Self-Care Guide –


Schedule “Me” Time.  It’s not selfish (or impossible) to take 10-15 minutes a day to rejuvenate and restore. I get up earlier than everyone over the holidays to have a couple quite moments to myself. This time energizes me and allows to be less reactive to the stresses of the day. Here are a couple of my other favorite “Me” time activities:

  • Guided mediation (Headspace.com is a free app)
  • Have a cup of tea while reading your favorite blog or inspiring book (Meditations on the Mat or the Happiness Project are 2 of my favorites)
  • Take a bath with Epson salt and a lavender essential oil
  • Bundle up and go outside for a brisk walk with the dog
  • Call a best friend you won’t see in person over the holidays
  • Do a couple sun salutations or hit up an early morning yoga class (stream online classes on www.poweryoga.com or www.yogaglo.com)

Drink a Glass of Lemon Water and Continue with Water throughout the Day. Staying hydrated is one the best ways to keep your skin glowing, digestive system moving, energy high and cravings at bay. Starting the day with lemon water helps flush your liver from toxins and alkalizes your system to even out the intake of acid foods like alcohol, sweets, meats and cheeses.

Breathe. Take 10 deep breaths in the morning before you get out of bed and before you go to sleep. Even try taking 3-5 deep breaths before each meal. This small pause before eating will bring more awareness to your food choices and portions.

Plan ahead. If you are cooking Thanksgiving dinner I bet you already have the menu and grocery list ready to go. Take it one step future and plan to make a batch of soup (or my Spicy Chili) this week to freeze for an easy lunch or dinner next week. Make sure to have chopped veggies and apples for snacking so you aren’t left noshing on chips and treats.

Prep for Success. Cut down on kitchen time on the big day by dicing, chopping or roasting vegetables the day before. Put on some music, light a candle and even invite your husband, kids, and guests to help in the process. Going to a party where you know there will be nothing healthy to eat?  Offer to bring an appetizer like my Spinach and Artichoke Dip.

Join the Maintain Don’t Gain Challenge. Forget about losing weight this season and focus on maintaining with the help of the Embrace Wellbeing Community. The Challenge runs from Nov. 26 – Jan. 9.  For more details go HERE.

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Add a Green Smoothie. If a green smoothie doesn’t sound appetizing first thing in the morning, try one for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon pick me up. It will make you feel a lot better than a handful of M&Ms or chips and will give you a dose of vitamin rich greens. Smoothies freeze well so make a batch, store in mason jars and pull them out when ready. Try this smoothie below and share it with your guests.

Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Greens – Serves Two


  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2-3 TB cocoa powder (or one scoop chocolate protein powder)
  • 1 to 1-1/2 bananas (frozen if you want a cold smoothie – or add 2-3 ice cubes)
  • 2 Tbs. peanut butter
  • 2-3 cups spinach

Directions: Using your favorite blender – blend liquid and greens first then add other ingredients until desired consistency.

Take action now by printing off the Holiday Self-Care Guide and picking at least one self-care practice to focus on this holiday season.