Introducing Monthly Challenges

Every month we’ll feature a 21- to 30-day challenge to help overcome specific obstacles, break old habits or form new ones. These challenges revolve around the monthly theme. In May we’re focusing on natural remedies to reduce anxiety. Anxiety is something I’m constantly working to overcome. Yoga and meditation have been great tools, but in the last couple of years I’ve begun to realize what a big role my eating habits play in managing my mood. You can read more about my personal connection to this challenge in Eating my way to less anxiety: an experiment in 21 days on the COOP online lifestyle magazine.

The 21 Days to Less Anxiety Challenge runs Fri., May 8 – Thur., May 28. Your goal is to eat a high protein diet with 75% of the food you consume coming from the list of anti-anxiety foods while avoiding preservatives, alcohol, fast food, soda, coffee and added sugar. There are daily mediation goals (10-20 min.) plus at least 25 minutes of physical activity that elevates your heart rate.

Anti-Anxiety Foods List

  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Beef (grass-fed if possible)
  • Oatmeal
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Beans/Lentils
  • Berries
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Tea (Green/Chamomile)
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Low-Fat Dairy
  • Soy
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Spinach/Leafy Greens
  • Whole Grains
  • Turmeric
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell Peppers
  • Quinoa
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Mushrooms
  • Cottage Cheese

Your diet should consist of protein, whole grains and whole foods. Whole foods are fruits, vegetables, nuts, unprocessed meat and fish. At least 75% of your diet should come from this list. You can supplement with fruits, vegetables and other whole foods or homemade snacks. Starting the day with a high protein breakfast is key. Aim for 20 grams of protein in your first meal.

Next Thursday I’ll post full details of the 21 Days to Less Anxiety Challenge. For now I wanted to get you thinking about the dietary guidelines before your next trip to the grocery store. Looking forward to getting started next week!

Comparison is the thief of joy

Compare Monday Mantra-01

The internet is a great resource that puts information at our fingertips and helps us stay connected to the world in ways we never could’ve imagined just a few decades ago. It’s also a great tool to make you feel like a total loser as you compare yourself to every selfie, vacation photo or new car post in your newsfeed. It’s important to remember that the curated images we see on Facebook are just a snapshot into someone’s life. We present our life in the best possible light because we want to impress people. And maybe because it helps us feel good about ourselves. I’m not saying it’s good or bad, but I bet that we’ve all done it. Whatever.

We’ll never know what other people’s lives are really like. We’ll never know the thoughts that go through their head. We all put on a front to some extent. Maybe it’s as simple as automatically replying “Good” when someone asks how your day is going. Online we’re able to take it to another level. The bottom line: Stop comparing yourself to people online because their lives probably aren’t as awesome as you think. Besides, time invested working on improving yourself has a far better ROI than time spent worrying about how you measure up against others.


Real. Life. Yoga. Introducing a new online resource to teach you practical ways that yoga and meditation can help you live your best life. Expect weekly blog posts, videos and links, monthly themes and 30-Day Transformational Challenges to help you overcome obstacles in your life.

I’ve even included a special section for yoga teachers and wellness professionals pursuing their dream of starting a business. More coming soon! Namaste.