Dear Introverts…

I wrote the following article on June 18th, 2022, four days after I returned home from my trip to the Temple of the Way of Light in Peru…

I’m coming to understand why it was necessary for our extraordinary facilitators to take the time and energy to prepare us for what they call the “integration process,” upon returning home after our 12-day Ayahuasca retreat.

As I understand it, explained by our shaman at the Temple, the healing power of “the medicine” (Ayahuasca) is activated during the ceremonies (we had six of these over 11 nights), and then continues to work over the weeks and months to follow in various ways. 

In addition to following certain guidelines, like avoiding alcohol, cannabis, psilocybin, spicy and ice-cold foods, it’s vital that we take time, and give ourselves space to process the inner-knowledge and discover information that will continue to unfold.

My overall intention for my trip was to recover from burn-out and my addiction to “doing,” release the blockages that were fueling my depression and restlessness, and embody inner-peace and freedom. 

Part of my “doing” addiction included being in a constant state of learning from people I idolize as top thought leaders, changemakers, and solutionaries, through books, talks/lectures, and podcasts. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with seeking knowledge from gurus who have devoted their lives to attaining, embodying, and sharing their truth in ways that positively impact the world!

The problem was that I hadn’t given myself the time and space to embody what I was learning.

Determined to break my destructive patterns, during the 12 days at the Temple of the Way of Light, I devoted myself to giving top priority to simply BEING. No phone. No laptop. No internet. No messages. No media. No contact with the outside world. No digital anything. 

We had ceremonies. We had group meetings. We had individual check-ins. We shared. We were silent. We spent time reflecting. We ate food void of salt, oil, sugar, and spices. We read. We wrote. We sat with ourselves. We sat with nature. And that was it.

Today I decided to go to a group movement session at my Budokon sensei’s backyard studio, which was to be followed by a potluck.

I realized about halfway through that I wasn’t ready to be surrounded by people, much less share my experiences.

So when the movement portion ended, and the potluck began, I quietly excused myself.

On the scooter ride home I felt a wave of emotion take over me. Tears started streaming down my face, and the thought, “What is wrong with me?” came into my mind.

It’s a thought I’ve had a lot throughout my life, only this time, it was immediately countered with my true Self saying,

There’s nothing wrong with you!

I then took a mental step back with my conscious mind, to explore the thoughts continuing to stream from my subconscious programming…

Why can’t you just relax and have a good time like everyone else? You’re insecure. You have so much to work on still! You made such a huge investment in time, energy, and money to go on that trip and now you’re back and haven’t changed a bit! What the hell?!

My conscious mind stepped right back in, and this time, with total confidence she declared…

You are who you are, and who you are is perfect. You are enough. So what if you don’t want to hang out with a group of people. YOU DO YOU! Let peace be your north star. You make decisions about what you choose to DO based on what aligns with you BEING PEACE. Fuck the “shoulds”. Fuck the thoughts that judge what you need to do to be at peace. Remember when you found peace during that 2nd ceremony? It was when you finally let go of what you thought you SHOULD be experiencing… when you let go of needing to be in control. LET GO. LET GO. LET GO!

And with that, I let go, and I smiled from my soul. I found peace at that very moment… The peace that I am, that got buried under the “shoulds”. 

I love spending time alone with animals and in nature. I love connecting with my spirituality through movement, music, books, and talks. I value spending time with one, or a few close friends. And I often get great pleasure being out, in settings where there’s great energy and many people involved, especially when we’re all focused on energy-based practices such as yoga, meditation, and dancing.

I don’t need rules or restrictions. I simply need to connect with, and follow, my heart. I need to value myself and love the human being that I am, unconditionally, and make the choices that allow me to access my inner peace.




No way!

It WILL get easier though.

Learning to let go is a practice, and practice I shall.

And now, for a letter to myself, and introverts everywhere…

Dear Introverts,

There is nothing wrong with you.

Who you are is perfect.

You are enough, exactly as you are.

We live in a society that venerates extroverts, and programs us to believe that introverts are less lovable, less valuable, and have less to offer the world. 

Fuck that!

Bull shit.

Let go. Let go. Let go.

You are lovable.

You are valuable.

You are powerful.

The world needs you.


With Compassion for All Living Beings,


Burn-Out, Insomnia, Psychedelics & More [An Intimate Share💖]

This will be the last time you hear from me in a while, and so I’ve taken some time to share a very intimate account of why I’m putting everything on the line!


Before I share the letter I’ve written to myself, which serves as a real and raw account of my current state of being and the journey I’m on, I want to express my deepest gratitude to you, my dear friends, family, colleagues, clients, and audience/followers/supporters, who continue to love and support me as I navigate this extraordinary phase of my life.

I realize that my choices affect all of you.

I want you to know that I have dug deep, and believe strongly enough that the decisions I’m making are for the greater good… Not only for my own health and wellbeing, but also for the benefit of all the people in my life, and ultimately all beings on Earth and the Planet itself. 

In the forward of the book, Letting Go: The Pathway to Surrender, by David R. Hawkins, Fran Grace, PhD, states in the forward,

We learn that the answer to the problems we face is within us. By letting go of the inner blocks to it the truth of our inner self shines forth and the path to peace is revealed.

Other spiritual teachers have emphasized the cultivation of inner peace as the only real solution to personal difficulties as well as collective conflicts. “Inner disarmament first, then outer discernment,” the Dalai Lama. “Be the change you want to see in the world,” Gandhi. The implication is clear because we are all part of the whole. 

When we heal something in ourselves, we heal it for the world. Each individual consciousness is connected to the collective consciousness at the energetic level. Therefore personal healing emerges collective healing…. 

The crucial point is, by changing ourselves we change the world. As we become more loving on the inside, healing occurs on the outside, much like the rising of the sea level lifts all ships, so the radiance of unconditional love within a human heart lifts all of life. 

It is with this philosophy in mind and heart that I am taking what I’m calling a soul-full sabbatical over the next 7 weeks… A personal journey, detox, and adventure that may be both the most challenging, and the most enlightening experience of my entire life. 

I wrote the following letter to myself after having a session with internationally recognized Spiritual Channel, Laura Mirante, who channeled my higher self. 

I have decided to share this letter with you because it is an exercise I recommend to everyone who is ready to explore what it means to live in the light of unconditional love (which includes self-love). 

The letter is largely quoted wisdom imparted by my higher self (yes, you read that right!), which came through Laura during the channeling session. 

As I told my friend, Anne, after a text conversation in which she wrote, “Well you have gone wise on me💖,” to which I responded, “My higher self got channeled, and it turns out my higher self is quite wise😜 (for real – I bawled and bawled listening, and transcribed it and am reading it over and over – it’s insane).” 

If I’ve, “lost you,” by sharing what most people would coin “woo-woo,” I get it! It was not long ago I would have poo-pooed such a seemingly crazy concept (channeling).

The past couple years however, my focus, in regards to spiritual growth, has been on discovering the things I don’t know I don’t know. And the only way to open the doors to such knowledge is to release the notion that the reality we’ve always assumed to be the truth is nothing but an illusion. 

Our perceived reality is made up of programs that were installed when we were young. These subconscious programs create a certain lens through which we view this 3D world that we live in. We truly are living in a matrix, and the coolest part is that with the right tools, we can change our programming, and in turn write a new story for our lives.

Quantum physics (the science behind the Law of Attraction) is so profound because it proves that everything and everyone is made up of pure energy, and we have the power to consciously co-create our lives through our beliefs, thoughts, and emotions (aka vibrations).

It wasn’t until after spending a great deal of time studying the field of quantum physics that I was able to scrap the whole “woo-woo” judgment. When I did, it became clear that I had only begun to scrape the surface of self-discovery and true healing

I was suddenly able to tap into what’s possible when one’s consciousness expands in the absence of the need to be right, and the battle to be in control (or rather one’s perception of control, which actually keeps us in a state of anxiety and overwhelm… the opposite of in control)!


For those unfamiliar with my story, I invite you to read the blog series I released in 2015 HERE.


At the onset of 2022, in many ways I felt like I was in flow.

Physically, I was having a blast challenging my body in new ways, working toward advanced calisthenics moves (like press handstands, muscle-ups, and levers) while improving my mobility and advancing my boxing skills. 

At 41 years old, I was in the best shape of my life. 

And the best part was that the coaches and communities I was training with were in alignment with the energetic and spiritual path I was on (which is no surprise given the laws of quantum mechanics).

Career-wise, the Universe had aligned and connected me with Icons Incorporated, the founder of whom is an avid animal-lover. Kathryn saw in me the potential to make waves around the world with my passion and my voice. We partnered, built my new website,, and began co-creating ground-breaking programming that will be launching this summer.

I had built a fabulous team at Sexy Fit Vegan, and although it was a time of transition, moving away from previous business models, I was proud of the content we were putting out and our audience was quickly growing. Plus, I had the fortune of realigning with my animal advocacy roots by co-creating the Solutionary Vegan LEVEL-UP Podcast (you can follow us on Instagram)! 

Spiritually, I was on a path of exponential learning and growth. I engulfed myself in education on quantum physics. My favorite show was “Interviews with Extra-Dimensionals” on GaiaTV. 

I watched documentary after documentary, and listened to podcasts and lectures, learning from iconic spiritual and thought leaders like Nassim Haramein, Thich Nhat Hanh, Theresa Bullard, Terence McKenna, Ram Dass, Matias De Stefano, David Icke, Gregg Braden, Lynne McTaggart, Bruce Lipton, and Joe Dispenza, to name a few.

I began practicing breathwork and meditation, and experimenting with micro and macro-dosing of psilocybin as a tool for expanding my consciousness. My alcohol consumption dropped to almost none. 

It was at this time that I reconnected with a friend who had been on a similar spiritual path for much longer than me. There weren’t many people in my life at that time with whom I could have deep conversations about all of the things I was exploring, so it was invigorating for me to spend time with someone who “got it.”

We talked about all things self-discovery, as well as the ways of the Universe, quantum physics, and psychedelics. I shared with him that part of the work I was doing on myself was removing my emotional “walls”… walls that have made it difficult for me to make deep connections and achieve intimate relationships with other humans for most of my life… walls that I have been chipping away at for years. 

If I had to guess the reasons I built the walls, I’d guess there are two main reasons…

#1: I spent my whole childhood, in those years that are most crucial in the creation of our subconscious programs, being an outlier, seeing the world through a very different lens than just about everyone in my life. I saw animals as deserving of the same rights to life, happiness, and freedom as humans. 

It was like I could feel the extreme pain of the trillions of farmed animals who were suffering every second of every day, and it broke my heart (and still does). It was devastating to come to understand that few people were willing to open their hearts and minds enough to change their habits. 

#2: In college, I worked as an exotic dancer. At 18 years old, when most university-going girls were going to college parties, exploring their sexuality in teenage kind of ways, I was working nights as an entertainer. Walls were undoubtedly necessary to stay safe on every level. I dated drug dealers, one of whom ended up in jail, another who was murdered – stabbed to death. 

I found that, with this friend, who had his own colorful past, the walls quickly started dissolving the more time we spent together. I experienced my heart opening in ways I had never known. 

It was like I could feel the “oneness” after a lifetime of feeling mostly separateness when it came to other human beings. 

This feeling of oneness is something I have felt with nature and animals for my entire life. And now I got a taste of the feeling with another person.

In many ways however, my friend was a reflection of me. He (self-admittedly) had emotional walls up as well. Only his walls felt even stronger than mine. And his walls were not dissolving, at least not with me.


Following a lot of research on psychedelics, I found myself being called to experience the world’s strongest psychedelic, DMT. 

First, however, I needed to get off antidepressants, which I had been on since I was 16 years old.

In line with my proclivity to impatience, I weaned myself off the antidepressants in a much shorter timeline than recommended, and under no supervision (those who know me well won’t be surprised to learn this!).

And on a DMT trip I went.

For me, the DMT experience was remarkable in that it brought to life a lot of the spiritual concepts I’d been studying. It helped me see this world as the matrix it is, and helped me conceptualize the idea that we have the opportunity to play life like a game. 

Following the DMT, I began experiencing life both from an elevated level of consciousness AND without the chemical aid of antidepressants. I realized that I was navigating my thoughts and emotions from a totally unfamiliar place. 

At the same time, the relationship with my friend had shifted, and I was navigating this new terrain without the comfort of the connection with my friend. It was confusing, and in a lot of ways, I felt more alone than ever. 


It was also around this time a few more circumstances transpired, creating a perfect storm.

First, I realized that the burn-out I’d been fighting for quite some time, was something I could no longer ignore. It had been many years since I had taken more than 1 day off from work, much less taken a real vacation. I was working 6-7 days a week, 10-14 hours a day.

My creativity dwindled. I got up at my typical 4:44 AM every morning, and when I got to my computer, the overwhelm set in. It got to the point where I found myself staring blankly at the screen, feeling paralyzed. 

And second, I injured my spine and could not continue the training I had been doing so intentionally and with so much inspiration and joy. My training was by far my antidepressant drug of choice.

It felt like the fabric that was my wellbeing was quickly unraveling. I’d managed to sew patch after patch onto the underside of the fabric, which held me together for some time. 

From the outside, the fabric continued to look strong and aesthetic. Underneath however, it was scrappy, messy… It was coming undone. 

In the last few weeks, it seemed like I began finally feeling the effects of the antidepressant prescription medications being totally out of my system. 

Things got dark.

I began to experience a whole hell of a lot of emotions bubbling to the surface. 

There have been countless tears, and many times when I’ve said to myself, “I know this is all a game (life)… I’m just not feeling up for playing the game anymore.”

I feel like I’ve been hanging on by a thread these last few weeks.

I am determined to get through this without the crutch of getting back on the antidepressants (despite gentle nudges from certain friends and family encouraging me to consider the possibility), which means I’m choosing the much more difficult path. 

Ha! SO like me!!

However, I truly believe that doing my best to navigate life antidepressant medication-free is the path that will remove whatever it is in my subconscious that is keeping me from taking myself, my life, and my influence/business to the next level. 

So, being the proactive person I am (and with the awareness that I’m staying in line with my ego’s inclination to take action toward my goals), I have decided that what I need is to take a sabbatical of sorts…

With the total support of my business partners, team, family, and friends, I will be taking 7 weeks off from work and life as I know it. 


I will be traveling to the jungles of Peru for a 12-day authentic ayahuasca retreat the first part of June. 

For those 12 days there will be ZERO communication with the outside world. No cell phone. No social media. No email. An opportunity to be fully present and focused on discovery, healing, and transcendence.

As challenging as 12 days in the Amazon without any contact with the outside world, including 6 plant-medicine ceremonies, will be, I believe the toughest part is what I’ll be doing (or rather what I WON’T be doing) leading up to the retreat.

Now, for the most challenging part of all… the part that only my closest family and friends will witness in real time (I’ll share about it with everyone else after the fact)… 

I’m talking about the detox that starts on May 2. 

In preparation for the Ayahuasca retreat, I will be halting all use of cannabis for the one month leading up to the trip. 

It was thanks to cannabis that I was able to remove prescription sleeping pills from my life many years ago. 

I’ve suffered from extreme insomnia for 20 years. Insomnia is the crux of my existence… my greatest barrier to becoming my healthiest self.

To try to “fix” my insomnia issue, as a “doer,” you name it, I’ve tried it… From meditation and breathwork, to yoga, acupuncture, and supplements of all kinds. 

I’ve read the books, and I practice good sleep hygiene, and yet my body hasn’t cooperated. I haven’t succeeded at finding the “off” switch… figuring out how to facilitate the shift from consciousness to unconsciousness, from awake to asleep, without the aid of a drug (cannabis being my sleeping aid of choice).

The last time I gave sleep a shot without medication was well over 10 years ago. I went 8 days with just about no sleep. I turned into a zombie. I could no longer function and gave up (SO unlike me) returned to medication.

So… Here I go again!

I am doing my best to stay positive and hopeful that this experience will be different. At the same time, I feel the need to prepare for dealing with sleep-deprivation, including warning my close family and friends about the challenges I’ll be facing (and by proxy, the challenges they’ll face as people who love and care about me).

One thing I know is that as terrible as it is to not be able to sleep, the idea of continuing to rely on anything outside myself to be well, without going on this new venture, is worse.

In the two weeks leading up to the retreat, there is more detoxing to do.

In addition to cannabis, I’ll also be avoiding alcohol, sexual activiy of all kind, pscilicybin, spicy foods, ice, ice cold drinks, refined sugars, processed foods, sweets, chocolate, oils, carbonated drinks, fermented foods, and caffeine. (Avoiding most animal products/by products is also part of the protocol which of course have not been part of my lifestyle for decades.)

The recommendation is to continue the same recommendations for at least 2 weeks following the retreat as well.


I’m thrilled that I will be traveling to Hogs & Kisses Farm Sanctuary during the two weeks leading up to the retreat (follow us on Instagram if you’re not already)! 

I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to go help out with the animals and help celebrate the one year anniversary of when we opened our barn doors.

As you’ll read in more detail in my letter, my higher self made clear the fact that, 

The animals teach me how to be me… 

They teach me what it’s like to be intuitively inspired to be.
That’s why it feels so good, because they’re real. 

My fascination, my focus, my connection with nature is so much more than my mind has allowed me to know yet…

Saving the planet sounds like a worthy effort. 

Saving the animals feels like I’m saving a part of my soul.

So thanks to Anne Molina (founder), I get to have a more direct outlet and hands-on opportunity to nourish my soul. The timing couldn’t be better.


So there you have it!

Once again, I want to thank you in advance, for all your patience and understanding as I navigate through this time of extreme transformation and growth. 

For me, it all goes back to becoming the best version of myself so that I can ultimately make the biggest positive impact on the lives of animals who are suffering by the billions. 

My WHY keeps me going, and I’m so grateful for all of you, for believing in me and supporting me every step of the way.  

I can’t wait to share with you what transpires during my sabbatical.

See you at the end of June!

Dearest Ella,

I am super excited you’re here, at the precipice of major change, and you’re about to dive in deep because you know it’s worth it. 

You have what you need, even though you’re not even sure what you need, but be assured, the knowledge will unfold, and you will teach what you learn. 

You understand that you do not yet have the control of your mind that you know is possible.  

I know you believe you are open minded, but a truly open mind has no inclination to think it can completely understand any of it. It has no desire to set a plan. 

So where you thought you were open minded, you’ve actually been shutting the door with all of your ideas of what you should do, and what you should be. 

It’s time to listen to yourself… your inner you, not “idea you.” Idea you is full of it… full of ideas, full of insights and thoughts about what people need.

Yet, how could you possibly know what other people need when you’re still exploring who you are, how you work here in this reality, as a soul inhabiting a physical body, directed by a logical mind, programmed by fear-based generations, stuck in angry patterns of shame and guilt, remorse and regret.

You don’t embody all of those negative patterns, but you are a part of the collective psyche. You don’t shy away from the truth. And you’re feeling the need to address all of these energies in you. 

You are ready to embody the true healing process. 

There’s no standard outline for this. 

That’s what you’re gonna see at the retreat center… How important it is to honor how unique we all are. 

There’s no wrapping this up in a nice neat package. We’re more than that. 

Marketing has disempowered our unique expression of being. Our mental capacity to embody our divinity is negatively impacted by all of the compartmentalizing we do, by all of the categories we put people in. 

You’re a unique soul. Sometimes things that work for other people work for you. And sometimes they don’t. And you’re learning there’s not one stock answer for any of this. 

Your body is the vehicle for your soul. Your soul is pure energy – divine awareness. 

And the animals teach you how to be you.

They teach you what it’s like to be intuitively inspired to be. That’s why it feels so good, because they’re real. They’re not edited. They’re not distracted. They’re focused on being authentic, just simply perfectly what they are inspired to be in the moment. 

Animals don’t plan the next moment, the next day, the next week, the next month, the next year, the next decade, or the entire lifetime. They know better. 

Your fascination, your focus, your connection with nature is so much more than your mind has allowed you to know yet.

Saving the planet sounds like a worthy effort. Saving the animals feels like you’re saving a part of your soul.

But could there be more? Could it be that loving animals, having compassionate experiences on their behalf heals you? 

Of course it does. You already know that. 

So maybe, looking to save the animals is actually your soul’s way of healing you, which takes everything and shifts it. 

Because for a while, you thought you were doing something for someone outside of you. And it turns out that ultimately it all comes back to you. 

What does that mean? 

It means that there’s more going on here than you’ve figured out yet. And as you go through the healing process, you’re going to accumulate a lot of tools, a serious amount of awareness to process through, and realizations that will benefit everybody you work with going forward. 

This retreat will help you prepare to give yourself your fullest potential in a way that truly changes people and brings them into alignment with a completely authentic expression of their souls… And that’s your purpose of being. 

You’re here, now, confronting your ideas. You’re confronting your ego’s need to feel like you have a plan. 

You started the ball rolling. And now it’s rolling downhill and it’s building momentum, but you’ve lost control. 

This retreat is you stepping out of the way of it. This is your opportunity to learn, to breathe, and focus on nothing else but your breath.

Give yourself the grace you need to go forward. 

You are not alone in this effort. You are not alone in the resistance. When you fight your own efforts at attaining a state of mind, of calm, it’s not just you that you’re battling for.

It’s vital that you remember that. 

You don’t know them yet – the people I’ll be working with in the future – but you’re already taking up arms on their behalf.

Pay attention to the ego’s resistance to letting go. Because when you surrender into your soul, many will follow. That’s something you’ve always known deep down. It’s something your loved ones know. It’s something your team knows. It’s something your new business partner knows.

You’re excited to learn more about who you are. 

And be aware of the pattern, that in your times of self-doubt, when you see that when another person recognizes the power in you, you tend to give them authority over you.

Pause and release.

Know this… You have a brilliant potential, a brilliant energy of purpose that will affect many going forward when you are in alignment with the highest frequency expression of you. And only you can establish that in you,  and for you, to develop a state of being that serves humanity. 

So you’ll take this trip to Peru.

You’ll build your resource center and establish a state of mind of humility in service to your higher awareness. 

See every effort of your ego to control in thought the direction of your experience as an offense to your soul.

I invite you to stand in a state of neutrality until that offensive effort is diminished and dismissed.

Stand up for your soul. Fight the collective pattern in the human psyche that over-develops the material-oriented ego aspect of self. 

That’s you being the change. That’s what this is all about. If you can just understand that if you embody neutrality, you are the change necessary, and everything else will be available to you in neutrality of thought. You can get that. You can work with that. 

You can take the intensity out of each thought by knowing there’s something more… by knowing there’s a field of higher awareness available to you, beyond the limits of those thoughts. 

That practice will become your pattern. That patterning will create in you a consistent, intuitive, inspirational flow of purpose, direction, and intent to be. 

That’s you in a nutshell – a vehicle for the divine energy of purpose. 

And if you let go of thinking that you can think of what to do with that, you can be it. 


Your Higher Self

The New Kind of Beautiful

We live in a society obsessed with outer beauty. We are all about our Facebook image, our Instagram likes, living off complements, needing the latest fashion trends, constant dieting, the magic pill, cream, and solution to all our problems.

We get so fixed on our outer appearance that we ignore our inner soul’s cry for help. We are ignoring what matters most… Our hearts. We are in a cycle of abusing ourselves. We see the magazine covers with the airbrushed supermodels and we think, “Why don’t I look like that?” We believe there must be something wrong with us because we don’t look that way.

So we do WHATEVER it takes to try to achieve perfection. We take diet pills that poison our insides. We skip from diet to diet plan because they are too difficult and restrictive. We put ourselves down because we can’t diet and exercise our way to a “perfect” body. We constantly compare ourselves to others, making us feel like we are never good enough.

But guess what… You ARE good enough. You ARE worthy. You ARE deserving of love, happiness, and respect. If you think that those models are happy just because they are a size 0. you’re mistaken. Happiness does not come from a number on the scale. Happiness comes from within.

So who I am to be telling you all this? I am someone who was right there with you. I’m a recovering binge eater. I’m someone who hated myself for most of my life. I never thought I was pretty enough or good enough. I was disgusted with my own reflection in the mirror.

But I am now a graduate and mentor in the Plant Empowered Coaching Program. When I discovered the program, I didn’t even know it was what I needed. But it completely transformed my life.

This program is a mind, body, and soul program. It really gets to the core of the eating issues, because, news flash, disordered eating is not about food at all. The food is just the way we cope with feelings of emptiness, hurt, loss, rejection, and fear. Food is the easy part.

When I first found the program, I was totally enamored with the idea of a vegan weight loss program. I have been an ethical vegan for 12 years and vegetarian for 22 years, and finally I was finding a program that was in line with my values.

People assume vegan automatically means healthy but that’s not true. I was a junk food vegan. My passion was to help, protect, and save animals. I didn’t care about what I put in my body, as long as it wasn’t animal products.

But I quickly began to learn from the program that food is our fuel. Food is how we nourish ourselves. It gives us the strength to accomplish our goals. It supports our brains. How can we expect to think straight when we fill your bodies with candy and chips? Just like a traditional car won’t run well on canola oil, your body will not work properly without the proper sustenance. When we eat junk it makes our lives a lot more difficult because poor fuel equals poor performance of mind and body. Now, reflecting on how I used to eat, it’s so clear how negatively it poisoned my mind.

You may be wondering, “Where do I go from here? Where do I begin?

Step one is to start showing yourself some compassion. You are doing the best you can with the tools you have. If you join the program, you will be opened up to a whole new toolbox of tools. The most empowering thing about it is, it all comes from within you. You learn this for YOU. YOU take action. YOU heal yourself because you deserve the moon, the sun, and the stars, and the program coaches you through this process, one baby step at a time.

I share this all with you, not as some sort of promotion but as someone who needed an extra boost to get to where I wanted to be in my life. The Plant Empowered Coaching Program helped me get there.

My mission in life is to help others see their beauty. We all have amazing gifts and importance in this world. I want to help you realize this and shine as bright as the light you are. I now look in the mirror and say “Wow I’m incredible.” I love myself with all of my heart. I approve of myself. My focus is on love, health, and feeling my best. I invite you to join me, and it all starts inside you.

All my love- Lindsay K.

The Extraordinary Gifts of Loneliness & a GIFT!

If you caught me on the summit, click HERE for your gifts…

And then check out this incredible article by our head mindset coach Stephanie Aguilar!

I’d been wanting to crawl out of my own skin for weeks.  

My generally humorous approach to life had left me shivering in my own unbidden sadness. My normal focused and analytical head was traded for a mush-mind that I did not recognize. I felt as if I were simply walking through my days in a misty disconnect from myself and everyone around me. In the middle of my chest was an ache, one that radiated at times to my throat, arms, and belly. Tears entered my eyes with every sad song, heartfelt gesture, and beautiful quote turned into an internet meme.

One Saturday evening, I was alone in the kitchen, and I was struck, almost to the floor, with a realization.  I was lonely. I was profoundly lonely. In my bones, I was lonely. In my eyes, I was lonely. In my heart, I was lonely. Through my entire body, I was lonely. Instead of pushing this loneliness away with a bag of Doritos and a Netflix binge of House of Cards, I decided to dig into the loneliness and see what was there for me.  And here’s where my lonely-heart story gets interesting.

Giving My Loneliness a Wink

Loneliness is an emotion that we humans avoid and deflect with everything we have.  It’s an emotion that we rarely HAVE to face, though it is as common a human experience as any. Yes, we feel it, but do we really have to face it? I didn’t. With endless ways to distract myself and make superficial connections within seconds that would put it off, actually looking my loneliness in the face seemed not only terrifying but completely foreign. Yet, I was compelled to dive in to see what was there.

I wasn’t interested in the WHY… that was simple enough… but I wanted to know what was in the loneliness for me. David Gandelman, founder of, says in his meditation on loneliness, “The more we try to avoid loneliness the more we feed it… but what happens if we walk deep into our own hearts and meet that loneliness?” And with that terrifying inspiration, I walked deep into my heart and gave my loneliness a wink.

I found in my loneliness that I was ashamed. I was embarrassed to be lonely. I have love in my life.  I have friends and family and colleagues and clients that I am connected to and love deeply. And, still, my chest ached with feelings of isolation and being misunderstood and alone.

In my curiosity, I uncovered something really unexpected. I am ashamed of my loneliness not because I believe I have no reason to be lonely but because I am afraid my loneliness diminishes my independence. It is my most cherished quality and yet, my irrational shame was centered on this thought that if I am lonely, I must be weak. If I am lonely, I must not be able to stand alone. If I am lonely, I must be unlovable.

Whoa! That wink had just turned into a full-on, in-your-face, slap-your-mamma-to-Tuesday kind of moment. And just as unexpectedly, my loneliness gave me some gifts.

The Big Reveal

First, my loneliness gave me the gift of vulnerability. I am an open book when it comes to my past shame. I will tell you about my failed relationships. I will talk for hours about my eating disorder. I will even tell you all about my early false starts at motherhood. But, sharing my in-the-moment, private thoughts and inner-most shame is another matter entirely.

Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat. It’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.” And so, in this loneliness and shame, I was all in. I bared my present shame to three people in one day… my two best friends and a complete stranger on Instagram. I said these exact words, “I am profoundly lonely” not knowing if I could trust myself to actually say the shameful words or the people I chose to tell and doing it anyway. And the remarkable thing was this: With the shame exposed, the loneliness lost its power.

My chest still ached. I still felt incredibly alone and misunderstood. But, I was in the light of vulnerability, and the loneliness lost its power. No longer did I feel the need to hide and run away from this emotion. I no longer felt like I needed to hide in a sleeve of oreos or scroll Facebook for hours.  Instead, I was ready to “say hello to my loneliness” as David Gandelman further invites in his meditation.

After exposing my shame, I found that I have the strength to be lonely. I am capable of being lonely while still being me. I did not fall apart. I was not a mess. I found I can sit with my loneliness and carry it around until I am done with it and it is done with me.  

Susan David, author of Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life, says, “We still don’t like the things we don’t like—we just cease to be at war with them.  And once the war is over, change can begin.” I don’t like being lonely, but I am now willing to lay down my ineffective weapons against loneliness because I found that the battle was not one that could be won.  And when I did that, I stepped into the realization that the loneliness was bringing me to the warrior heart I had completely dismissed.

Discovering the Irony

I think that we often fight against our emotions not because we are strong but because we believe ourselves to be completely incapable of sitting with the difficult emotions. We go into battle with distraction and incomparable replacements and all of those other weapons that ultimately fail.  The truth is if I did not face my loneliness, I would not know my capabilities, and isn’t that the irony here? My avoidance of loneliness was due to my shame and perceived dependence on others, when in actuality, my loneliness brought me to a strength I had not yet realized I had.

Through this strength, I started to uncover the causes of my loneliness. I am lonely because I love easily and yet, accepting love is very hard for me.  I am lonely because I have spent the last decade and a half nurturing everyone around me and neglecting to cultivate the friendships that feed my soul. I am lonely because I have often chosen isolation over adventure. I am lonely because I am human.

“Life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility,“ Susan David says in an unparalleled way. I am human and fragile, and that is part of my beauty. My aching loneliness is preparing me for a gorgeous dance, one in which I will feel that inherent beauty and one that only I can create. I am not empty;  I am raw.

Since I am now fully available to accept the penetrating awareness of my loneliness, I am finding that I am deepening in compassion for all. The startling fact is, the loneliness is creating more space for love and purpose and a fullness that I have not yet experienced because I was too busy keeping loneliness at bay.

As Peme Chödrö states in her work, The Places that Scare You, “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” Let me know my darkness. The world needs my compassion. It does not need another pretender.

My work, both as a client and as a coach in the Plant-Empowered Coaching Program, didn’t bring me to the superficial conclusion that I must be positive at any cost. Working through the process brought me to the belief that I am strong beyond the thoughts and emotions that fuel me as a human.

Only I am in charge of my happiness and meaning in this life. No one else has that contract with me but me. And despite my fragility and loneliness, I love all that I am enough to give every emotion a wink and say hello, then take it for a fantastic, terrifying ride. It isn’t enough to recognize the emotion, and through the Program I learned that I am powerful enough to take control of the thoughts that don’t serve me and view my emotions with compassion and curiosity rather than shoving them to the side to be dealt with at a later date.  This is the power of the process. This is the power of freedom. This is the power that is me.

How to Change the Stories Keeping You Stuck to Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

What is one thing in your life you tell yourself you can’t do? ​​

We talk a great deal about stories in the Plant-Empowered Coaching Program, because the stories we create in our heads determine our reality.

What is one thing in your life you tell yourself you can’t do, as if you’re stating fact? It could be something like, “I can’t go totally vegan,” or “I can’t start my own business,” or “I can’t run a marathon.”

​​News flash! This is just a story, and chances are you are making it your reality out of fear… Fear brought on by limiting beliefs about who you are and what you’re capable of.

Here’s the deal though… You are so much more powerful than your limiting beliefs! This is something we challenge people to address within the Plant-Empowered Coaching Program.

​​For many, the Program provides a life-changing opportunity to face their fears and tackle their shame so that they can use their talents to show up in the world in a way that is congruent with their life’s purpose.

Many people walk around their entire lives searching for solutions to their problems with the hope that once they lose the weight, get out of debt, find the right partner, or get offered the promotion, that they’ll then become happy, feel at peace, and find freedom.

The flaw in those thoughts is that happiness, peace, and freedom do not come from a change in your circumstances. Happiness, peace, and freedom are available to you right now, because they are already deep within you.

​​The tools we teach in the Program are the tools most people are missing to be able to step into their power, look inward, dig deep, and move forward with confidence in their lives. I challenge you to tell yourself that you are done robbing yourself of the FREEDOM and ENERGY available to you.

​​Ask yourself… What story are you telling yourself that is keeping you stuck? For many it’s about finances. Money, however, is just a form of energy, and by making decisions from a place of abundance, you are creating a life of abundance.

Anxiety about finances is one of the biggest challenges for people considering enrolling in the Program. What those who enroll understand though, is that making the investment in themselves means the energy, money included, will come back to them tenfold!

What we help you do in the Program, is to embody the REAL YOU, the AUTHENTIC YOU. The person who always makes the “safe” choice and retreats back into their comfort zone is the inauthentic you. I am so grateful that my team and I have the honor of coaching people through the process of discovering and embodying the real you!

Hear what Program graduate Jamie Rottura had to say about making the huge leap of faith and how it changed her life forever!

The Journey Back to Me, Embracing My PTSD

I was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in 2014 shortly after the birth of my son. His existence is nothing short of a miracle in the truest sense.   I still feel the sting in my heart and the tears welling up every time I remember the events of that day. It was the best and scariest day of my life.

It’s Time!

It was Memorial Day 2014 at 6:30 am when my fiancé (at the time) informed me that the mild discomfort I was feeling was indeed labor pains.  My mom was sleeping in the guest room in preparation for my due date, so I woke her up and told her it was time. We were all insanely excited that we were finally going to meet this mini-person growing inside of me.  

I was worried that, it being Memorial Day, traffic would be awful during the forty-minute commute to the hospital, but we managed to get there with no delays.  I was checked-in and getting transported to the birthing room by 7:30 am. I was already getting close to full dilation so there was no time for an epidural, which was fine by me since I seemed to be handling the pain easier than I had expected (though that threshold was quickly surpassed and soon I was yelling like every woman does when giving birth- I am not Wonder Woman).  

It was 8 am and the nurse had just told me that we were about ready to push when the alarms started going off on, what seemed like, every machine I was connected to. After that, everything went so fast and seemed like slow motion at the same time.  The doctor came into the room followed by three more nurses and they all worked together to detach machines and whatever else.

The bed began moving out the door and I asked (in a very loud voice), “What is happening? Where are you taking me? What’s going on?”. A nurse was walking next to my bed on the way to the OR attempting to put an IV in my arm while the other nurses spoke medical jargon back and forth.  I just kept repeating, “What is happening? Is my son ok?”. No one answered me for what seemed like an eternity.

We entered the operating room and the doctor looked straight into my eyes and said, “We are knocking you out now. The cord is wrapped around your baby’s neck and he needs to come out.”  After that, they must have knocked me out because my memory is blank.

Lucky to Be Alive?

When I woke up, my fiancé and mother were sitting to my left and the doctor was standing on my right. I felt so confused and everything looked so blurry. The doctor asked me how I felt, and I had no answer… my mouth just wouldn’t open, for some reason.  The doctor said, “Your son is alive in the NICU. As soon as he is stable, a nurse will bring him in. You are both very lucky to be alive.” Those words both relieved me and sunk into my chest like a stone.

He continued to explain that my son was born blue and it took a while to resuscitate him.  He said that, when I am ready, we can talk about the probable issues that my son will face due to the lack of oxygen to his brain for such a long period of time.  

He told me that there were two parts to my own near-morbidity: 1) I had grown a 3lb fibroid along with my son resulting in a twin-like birth and 2) I had suffered a placental adhesion (my placenta attached to my uterine wall and, when it birthed, it ripped the connective tissues).  The combination caused me to lose too much blood resulting in several blood transfusions. I stopped listening after that…the rest is a blur.

When my son was two and a half days old, I saw him for the first time.  He was still on machines, but I was not so the nurse walked me to the nursery to breastfeed him (I was very insistent). I remember the nurse brought me to his crib and he had tubes everywhere. I was afraid to hold him even though the nurse told me I could.

“I’m Not Enough” Sets In

I had heard that a mother feels an instant connection to her child when she breastfeeds for the first time… I did not feel it.  I couldn’t even breastfeed successfully… the nurse had to match my nipple with a tube to give him formula so that he would eat. I wasn’t enough to nourish my baby… I wasn’t enough to give him what he needed. I attributed my disconnection to the two and a half days that had passed before meeting him outside of my womb.

Two hours later, I went back to the nursery to try to feed him again.  I had read that a mother will recognize her baby in a room full of babies and I wished that would be me this time… that the connection would be stronger this time.  When I went to the wrong crib and picked up someone else’s child (the nurse stopped me the moment I picked the wrong baby up), I broke down and felt like a failure immediately… just two and a half days into motherhood.  

The guilt of not having given him a gentle birth and not knowing my only child even after housing him within my body for nine months was overwhelming. All I could think was that not only had my body almost failed me, but it attempted to kill my unborn child and now it feels no connection to him and it won’t let me breastfeed successfully. I hated my body in a fierce way. I hated myself.

The Diagnosis

We finally left the hospital on day five. The next three months were a mixture of intense fears, overwhelming emotions, dramatic reactions, severe nightmares, panic attacks and random, physical pain at extremely inconvenient times. I struggled to breastfeed, and I worried that my son was not gaining weight, so I was at the doctor often.  I was so sure that my child would die from SIDS or some other, unforeseen ailment that I needed to hold him every second to be able to build as many memories of him as possible.

I literally either had him attached to me using the baby pouch or I carried him. I was terrified to let him out of my sight. The one time I let his father stay with him while I went to the grocery store, I broke down crying while getting a grocery cart and I had to return home immediately to pick my son up and bring him with me.  I knew something was off the night I was suffering from the stomach flu and was holding him while vomiting. I was diagnosed three days later.

The Journey Out of Darkness

It has taken years for me to move through my symptoms of PTSD.  It has not been an easy journey and there have been times when my terror has incapacitated me.  It wasn’t until I learned simple tools like “the power of the pause” and “if that, then this” that Ella so insightfully spells out in her Plant-Empowered Coaching Program that I really got hold of my anxiety and irrational fears. I realized that, for my son to live a happy and care-free childhood, I get to channel that energy into positive experiences for both of us.  I am finally able to feel the freedom that comes with being able to rationalize my fears.

I remind myself (often) that I am grateful for my body.  Instead of resenting it for the challenges I faced, I embrace that it held onto my son and prepared him to be the strong boy that he is today.  My body is my ally in every way, always pushing me to overcome adversity. My body allows me to hug and kiss my son and to protect him and that is a gift. Every moment is a precious gift that could have been lost on that beautiful and awful day in May 2014.

Ready to Soar!

My son is now a happy and healthy 4-year-old.  He is within normal range for height and weight and he consistently scores above-average in every physical, emotional and logical test he enters. We try things together that I would never have thought possible… like standing at the seashore enjoying the water on our feet and taking a walk in the woods together.

I have learned that I am enough because I believe in my ability to care for him in every way and to teach him to live boldly. I am a proud mamma and my mini-me is thriving.  We will have adventures together, travel together, laugh together and remind each other how very amazing we truly are, together and apart. I will let him soar when his wings are ready because I know we will both be just fine.

*If you haven’t read Jamie’s first powerful blog post, Mindfully Ever After, check it out HERE!

What is the Body Neutrality Movement?

The past few years, the media has begun to tell women to love their bodies regardless of their size while at the same time hypocritically continuing to use the same models with the same “ideal” proportions. While those proposing all women shower themselves with body self-love meant well, the message nevertheless often felt hollow and phony to those with physiques that didn’t match the images we’re still seeing.

Additionally, some of those in the health care field felt that while teaching women to love their bodies no matter what reaped psychological benefits, it ignored the reality of the potential health risks associated with obesity.

A recent response to all things body-positive focuses instead on a neutral acceptance of ones’ physical appearance while still admitting room for improvement exists. The body neutrality movement offers a more authentic way for women to end negative self-talk while still focusing on achieving physical fitness to avoid future health woes.

Similarly, Ella’s Plant-Empowered Coaching Program is based on the philosophy that accepting, respecting, and loving yourself exactly as you are is a PRE-REQUISITE for changing your body. This is because when you make food and fitness choices out of love for yourself, and respect for you values (e.g. compassion for animals), you take discipline and will power out of the equation. Nutritious vegan food becomes a form of self-care, which becomes a priority when you develop true self-love. (If this resonates with you, be sure to attend Ella’s powerful master class on the 5 Steps to Ditch Diets and Adopt a Healthy Vegan Lifestyle you Love.)

Let’s now explore how the body neutrality movement came about, and what it can show us about the future of helping all people accept themselves regardless of size or weight.

What Does Body Neutrality Mean?

Body neutrality encourages women to practice true self-love by accepting their physical realities and making choices that promote good health. Body neutrality challenges women to objectively evaluate their bodies, not in a critical way, but rather by honestly assessing their strengths and challenges.

Unlike the body positivity movement that preached love of self regardless of ones’ diet and exercise habits, those embracing body neutrality not only accept their physical limitations but also take proactive steps to improve their diets and overall health.

Those practicing a body neutrality path take personal responsibility for engaging in behaviors that lead to poor health outcomes. This doesn’t equate to beating themselves up over an occasional (vegan) doughnut indulgence or skipping a single workout, but they do take note of these less-than-healthy behaviors to prevent them from turning into daily habits. In addition to accepting their physical realities, followers acknowledge the factors and influences that contributed to their excess body fat without allowing them to become excuses for poor health habits.

Which Approach Works Better — Body Positivity or Body Neutrality?

Both the body positivity movement and the more recent body neutrality movement offer benefits to many women. Even experts in fitness and nutrition disagree as to which approach works better for each individual.

Experts do agree that tying ones’ sense of self-worth to anything related to physical appearance wastes valuable emotional energy that could best be spent elsewhere. Tying ones’ sense of self-worth to physical appearance can lead to mental health issues such as depression and eating disorders. Taking either approach, body positivity or body neutrality, can benefit those whose body size interferes with achieving a sense of happiness and satisfaction in life.

Some women feel most comfortable practicing a combination of body positivity and body neutrality. It’s natural to feel elated after completing a vigorous run or tough fitness class. However, we all have certain days when we feel down or experience disappointments, such as gaining a pound due to normal female hormonal cycles. Part of body neutrality involves treating the self gently and refusing to let one setback completely derail progress toward improved health.

Some nutritionists and fitness experts consider body neutrality a stepping stone toward true self-love of our physical bodies. While this may hold true in some cases, women should take care to reward themselves simply for making healthier decisions overall, not just reaching their ideal weight or pants size.

In this sense, self-care isn’t just about weight. It’s also about things like preventive medicine, scheduling annual checkups, taking care of your bones and skin, staying properly hydrated and understanding the value of eating a wide variety of whole plant foods daily. Self-care is an ongoing project that doesn’t end just because you shed that extra 15 pounds from the holidays. When in doubt, practice this kind of self-care above all else.

Embracing Body Neutrality for a Healthier Life

Those wishing to adopt body neutrality in their own lives can begin by taking an honest and objective assessment of their physical selves. Which daily practices encourage good health, and which areas can be improved? For example, one woman may do an excellent job of attending regular fitness classes after work but may also overindulge in highly processed foods with little nutritional value. Another may consume more carrots than Bugs Bunny but resists breaking a sweat.

Focus on correcting one unhealthy habit at a time. Beginning a new fitness regimen while also attempting to stick to a diet can lead to feelings of disappointment. When the inevitable slip-ups occur, avoid letting one bad day evolve into a bad week or month. Practicing forgiveness and kindness toward oneself is an important part of developing a positive mental outlook.

The body neutrality movement can offer many women a more realistic alternative to expressions of self-love that often ring hollow. By focusing on improving health outcomes over developing the so-called “perfect” body, we can learn to love ourselves by making healthier choices one decision at a time. There’s no greater expression of self-love than keeping both mind and body healthy.

Mindfully Ever After

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there lived a fair maiden who longed for her prince to whisk her away from her circumstance and help her to live happily ever after.

OK, so “once upon a time” is really about four years ago, “a faraway land” is New jersey, “a fair maiden” is (yep, you guessed it, ME) and I never really longed for a prince to whisk me away, per se… but I did wish to live happily ever after.

I was in the depression of my life.

“Quarter-Life Crisis” hit me in the middle of getting used to being a single mom of a baby, moving across the country, having no job and living on government money, and being extremely overweight and unhealthy.  There is probably a few more details I am skipping, but you get the gist.  I was desolate, confused, hopeless and I felt like it would never change.

I tried my hardest to pick myself up.  I moved in with family, walked outside with my son as often as possible, I cleansed a lot, I did a bunch of yoga and running, I even found a fun job. Things were okay for a couple of months and then… I stopped. I don’t know why… I just stopped.  I felt the burden of the job that I was in, which took me away from my son for twelve and fourteen hours a day, I stopped making time to exercise because I was too tired, and I only found time to eat on the run so my body felt cruddy.

I wanted the change to stick but, like all the years of trying before during each of the, what I call “mini-depressions”, (all of the dieting and cleansing… all of the exercise routines…all of the feeling good) I just stopped every time I started getting the hang of the routine. I knew I had the brains to do it- I reminded myself that I am a college graduate and I worked hard to obtain that.  Yet, I could not get off the cycle.  I hated that piece of myself.  I hated the quitter in me that reared her ugly head every time I started to gain some ground and get my emotions under control.

I was 36 years old and had been doing the same things I had done all of my adult life ~ When life got in the way, I left ME behind.  I always did well at the job I was doing because that mattered more than anything else.  All the other stuff (like taking care of myself) just fell to the wayside.

It took me three more years of listing my grievances with myself until I sat in the emotion.

I stood still and listened instead of spewing out the venomous words of who I imagined myself to be.  I still hated myself for my patterns, but I was finally in a place to begin to accept my faults and move forward.  Instead of trying to control my emotions, I let them do their thing and I just… listened.

After a couple of months of this, I realized that I was ready to try again.  I didn’t know what to do, but I knew something needed to change now. I figured I would begin with food, since that would help me to feel good now. I had been eyeing an add that I kept seeing on my FB page called, “Sexy Fit Vegan” and I decided that it would teach me how to become a vegan, which was a life-goal of mine (living in an Italian family made it tough as resisting cheese was not my strong suit). So, I reached out to Ella Magers and we talked.

Oddly, the discussion about becoming a vegan lasted about eight minutes but the conversation lasted over thirty minutes.  Instead of talking about food, Ella asked me questions about me and who I believe myself to be.

She literally said, “If you want an eating plan, I can send you a book.  If you want a life change, that’s where I can really help.”  I wanted a life change.

After a day of deliberation, I called her back and (hesitantly) told her I wanted in.  Something felt different this time, but I was still so apprehensive considering I was a quitter and I knew that about myself.  I questioned spending more money just to be back in the same place I always wound up in.

I didn’t know what could come of the program, but I figured I would trust the process. After all, the Universe has my back, right?

From day one, I decided to go in it full-force and be “perfect” about it (same habit as always).  I exercised that day… woke up at before dawn and meditated, did yoga and ran.  Then I played with my son and went to work.  During lunch break, I was tired, but I listed to all the module one videos and printed out the materials to begin when I got home.  Can you guess what happened when I got home?  Yep- I had to make dinner, give my son a bath, get myself ready for bed, prepare lunches for the next day and then… I crashed.

The exact same cycle happened for five straight days.  Day six, I skipped the morning meditation, yoga and run to sleep in.  I had already felt like a failure just six days in.  However, I believe myself to be the Queen of Reinvention, so I put my big-girl panties on and tried again.

I decided to take a breath and do it differently this time; start small to get big results.  I began focusing on what mattered instead of trying to be perfect.  This change needed to happen for me this time… not because I wanted to look a certain way or focus on my future self. The change needed to happen to focus on my current self… to be a better me now.

In the next few months, I meticulously worked my way through the modules.  I drank in every bit of wisdom like it was the last water on earth.  I listened intently to the videos, I participated in the check-ins, I did my homework and I began to let go little by little.  Along the way, so much came up that I didn’t even realize was on my heart- and I still did the work.

Along the way, anger boiled within me and sadness took over- and I still did the work.  Along the way, regret and shame came up quite a bit- and I still did the work.  Along the way, I wanted to quit and I even wavered on my ability to handle more- and I still did the work.  Moving away from perfection has allowed me to become my true, authentic self.

Fast forward through six months of letting go, understanding, accepting, getting angry, celebrating, disappointment, and just breathing and I have come to the realization that I am pretty freaking awesome!

I like me… I never really liked me before. And that woman who was always a quitter… I understand her now.

I understand that the obsessive exercising and cleansing and crash diets were simply a band aid.  I understand that waking up at 4:30am to do what “should” be done was not sustainable because she didn’t know why it mattered to take care of herself.  I understand that she was so broken inside that a quick fix was never going to be the answer.  She and I are best friends now and we work together to pick up every little piece one-by-one to weave together our beautiful life quilt.

Sure, along the way, I also became a vegan… but that was not until six months into the program, when I was at a place where I truly let go of the emotions I was holding onto so tightly.

It is only now that I realize that counting calories and weighing food and constant dieting is NOT the way I want to live… it is simply too stressful.  I like eating in alignment with my beliefs and I like feeling good about what I am putting into my body and THAT is why I am a vegan. But I had to clear out a lot of who I thought I was to know who I really am.

And so, she lives… mindfully ever after.

You Do NOT Have to Go to Work Today!

I’m psyched to be delivering some fantastic news…

You do NOT have to go to work today!

Nor do you have to pick your kids up from school, prepare a healthy dinner, or get the oil changed in your car. In fact, you don’t have to do anything!

Okay okay, you’re probably thinking, “What the hell are you talking about Ella?”

Well in case you don’t already know, I am all about helping people get out of victim mode and step into their power.

The Power of Words

We’re big on vocabulary at Vegan Life Coach Academy, and how the language we use can dictate who we think we are, how we move through the world, and what we believe we’re capable of.

So one thing we work on with our members is empowering vocabulary changes… And WOW, let me just tell you that it never ceases to amaze me the difference replacing ONE word or phrase can make in our lives.

Think about how many times a week, heck, a day, that you say, “I have to…”

I have to get out of bed now. I have to go to work. I have to go to the gym. I have to make dinner. I have to go to my kid’s soccer game…

BUT, do you really HAVE TO? Are you being forced? Do you not have a choice? Are you really that powerLESS?


Consider this…

You DO have a choice! You DO have the power to choose what you do and don’t do with your precious time and energy.

Now you may be saying, “Ok yeah, but if I don’t go to work, I’ll lose my job,” or “If I don’t go to the gym I’ll never reach my goals.”

And that all may be true!

But here’s the deal… Are there consequences to your decisions? Of course! You choose not to go to work and you’ll probably get fired. You choose to grab fast food instead of making a healthy dinner, you’ll probably feel like crap. You get the idea?

So where are you right now… Are you a victim to your schedule, or are you empowered by what you choose to do with your time?

And you know, it’s not only about understanding these types of powerful mindset shifts, but also putting them into use every single day until they become second nature. And having a structured process with consistent individual and group coaching, accountability, and peer support is part of the formula that makes Vegan Life Coach Academy such a huge success for our Visionaries members.

So, I’m challenge you to own your schedule by replacing the phrase, “I have to,” with one of the following:

  • “I choose to”
  • “I get to”
  • “I’m grateful to be able to…”
  • “I’m fortunate I have the opportunity to….”

And why stop there?

The concept that we have control over our what we do with our time and energy can be applied to every aspect of our lives.

We all have the same number of hours in our day (I believe that number is “not enough”), so we have to constantly prioritize, which is often done without a second thought.

But by saying, “I choose to…” we are forcing ourselves to prioritize our time with intention. Pretty cool if you really think about it, huh?!

Most of the clients I work with are used to taking care of everyone else’s needs before their own. I call it “People-Pleasing Syndrome” and I am definitely a recovering people-pleaser myself! Are you?

But here’s the deal…

Putting our own needs last may seem unselfish, but it’s actually the opposite. You simply cannot serve others to the best of your ability if you’re not taking care of yourself… Not to mention the underlying resentment that undoubtedly forms when you’re exhausted and overwhelmed.

So it’s time to not only replace “I have to” with “I choose to,” but also start to prioritize self-care.

I know, I know, so much easier said than done (which just means that the time to start working on changing this pattern is NOW)!

What will you do, starting TODAY to consistently take better care of yourself? Start with just one activity to add to your routine, whether it be a dance class or just 30 minutes quiet time to read. Put it in your calendar and follow through with your commitment to yourself. (If you’re like our clients, your great at keeping your commitments to everyone but yourself.)

Want support?

Our Empowered Vegan Life Facebook group is a fantastic, free, space for connecting with other like-minded people, and getting and giving valuable support. So if you haven’t joined yet, get into action and join HERE now.

Looking forward to connecting with you there!

How to Instantly Become a Sexy Fit Vegan

There it was… A comment on my Facebook post.  An unsolicited, petty cut on my generally upbeat, self-deprecating Facebook page.

“You aren’t my perception of a Sexy Fit Vegan…”

My first thought?


And this is where I earned my crown as a Sexy Fit Vegan.  Now, I know that vulgarities generally don’t inspire regal images.  But, here I am, nonetheless, A Sexy Fit Vegan Bad Ass Queen.

The struggle to earn this has not been easy.  I have lived much of my adult life avoiding all criticism, insult, and slights.  Just a short time ago, my inner response wouldn’t have been nearly so bold. I would have found myself locked in self-doubt and punishment for days upon days because that comment would have only served to validate my own beliefs about myself.  I believed I wasn’t good enough to be sexy, fit, or vegan. Frankly, my daily life was an exercise in how invisible I could be.

And then, it all changed.

I was watching my daughter look at herself in the mirror, pulling at her clothes, tears in her eyes because she hated her new body and the curves that were springing in places that had been flat just months before.  She had previously been filled with self-confidence…more than self-confidence…a fearlessness that is uncommon in most humans I have known. At her core , that is just who she is: Brave and bold is the way she was born.

Now I watched her and realized I was watching myself.  She had learned this from me. She was putting aside her natural courage and confidence to play small, just like me.

No, I had never verbally criticized my body in front of her, but I didn’t have to. My years of striving to be invisible had spoken for me. And here it was…my legacy landed on my beautiful, fearless, bold daughter.  And the younger one was watching too.

And so, that day, I decided to love my body.

And, here’s how I did it:

  1. I acted.  I didn’t think.  I didn’t feel. I acted.  I invested in myself. I connected with Ella and the Plant Empowered Coaching Program.  I threw away all that I thought I knew about meal plans and exercise and micros and calories.  I trusted the process. I let it take me where I needed to go.
  2. I became relentless with the thoughts that weren’t serving me.  I chipped away at that belief that I wasn’t enough with evidence that I am MORE than enough and never too much.  I dug into the powerful self-coaching that Ella has so masterfully honed. I stepped back with curiosity and compassion to view these beliefs from a new perspective, and then I went to work becoming the master of my thoughts.
  3. I fully engaged in a vegan life.  These are my values. I could no longer put junk and suffering in my body.  I could no longer live in a way that didn’t fit with what I knew to be true for the sake of others’ comfort.  I had to live my values in the ultimate act of self-love.
  4. I began treating my body as I would treat anyone I love.  I made decisions about nutrition and movement out of a place of love.  I wouldn’t feed my children Mountain Dew and Doritos for supper, so why would I do this to myself?  I wouldn’t let my children miss a sports practice for a game that they love, so why would I miss a workout?  I wouldn’t allow anyone to speak unkindly to my children, so why would I allow me to do that to myself?

Somewhere along the way, I began to realize that I wasn’t just acting or deciding. I was believing. I no longer wanted to hide. My butt is still big. I have a mommy tummy.  My arms still jiggle. And I am fierce and loved. Not beautiful for a big girl. Not just a pretty face.  I am fully alive and engaged and independent and strong with all my curves and every imperfection. I am a Sexy Fit Vegan who makes decisions based in love of the body I have TODAY, not the one I might have tomorrow.

When I decided to love my body, my girls decided to love theirs.  Not long ago, the three of us decided to go shopping for new jeans.  We were in the checkout line, and a woman approached me. She said something every mother longs to hear, “You’re doing it right.” She went on, “ You and your girls are laughing and admiring your butts in the mirror.  Mine is still in the dressing room crying. You’re doing it right.”

And, you know what? I am. Now, I talk about how a banana and spinach make me feel alive in the morning. Now, I discuss what a badass I am after my kickboxing workout. Now, I look in the mirror and say out loud, “Damn, Girl!”  I am the example for my girls, not just the voice that tells them they’re beautiful. I’m the example that their own voices are the most important, truly, the only ones that matter

I watched this play out in another way just after that Facebook comment.  You see, I’ve taught my daughter something else through my actions. I’ve taught her to love herself enough to not engage in self-doubt because of someone else.  She had her first, young love break up this week. And when this little boy decided to dump her through text without explanation, her response was to say, “Grow some balls.”  Not, “What is wrong with me?” Not, “Why am i not good enough?” It was, “Grow some balls.” That’s my fearless, beautiful, bold girl!

So, forgive my sailor’s mouth when I say that one of my proudest accomplishments of this decade has been to respond to outside critics with “Fuck off”.  I am a Sexy Fit Vegan. I say that without apology or caveats.

My body continues to respond to my love, and if I never lose another pound I am still a Sexy Fit Vegan. I am fit and sexy and plus size and vegan. And another’s perception of what a Sexy Fit Vegan is simply makes no difference.  The fact is, no one gets to decide if I am a Sexy Fit Vegan but me.