Saturday, April 30, 2011

Complement Your Style

I think it's wonderful that these two young women have created a new brand of vegan-friendly and toxin-free nail lacquer.  

Check out the Ginger + Liz Colour Collection @

Chocolate is My Weakness!

I love chocolate and that's never going to change.  Here's an interesting recipe for Chocolate Espresso Truffle Pie- Vegan Style

Friday, April 29, 2011

Social Support

Social Support refers to having people to turn to in times of need.  Your support system should enhance your quality of life, by buffering negative life events and providing you a positive self-image.  These relationships serve to broaden your life’s focus and help you decrease stress.  This support comes in the form of physical (i.e. monetary), emotional (i.e. feeling cared for), and informational support (i.e. resources and information).  Building a strong support system will help you handle and enjoy life with those who care about you.  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Where Is Your Healing?

Spas have always been an optimal healing environment for me.  Have you ever stopped to think about your yours?  

Maybe spas don't do it for you, but that warm, clutter-free, space in your basement does the trick.  Maybe it's your favorite park with the hiking trails and flower gardens.  Maybe it's your local art gallery or your warm, creativity-inspiring office.

Whatever environment provides you healing, remember to spend quality time there.  This will ensure that you are relaxed, refreshed and ready to put your best foot forward everyday.

If you have never considered your healing environment, here is a bit of inspiration:  

Healing Environments

A Healing Environment is any space, location, or environment that positively impacts your mind, body & spirit by reducing stress and increasing relaxation.  Begin to create a space at home, work, or where you feel most comfortable, that constantly promotes your health and well-being.  As often as you can, return to this space to rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Stress Effects

Stress is an ever-present part of life.  It can be both positive and negative and results from things we enjoy, as well as things we do not.  Stress is defined as the strain we feel as we respond to events, situations, and pressure.

Without effective coping mechanisms and stress relievers, stress can lead to an overwhelming, unresolvable problem.  Although, you can recover from highly stressful situations, we want to avoid ever reaching this state.

As mothers, we experience a fair amount of stress and it is my desire to provide moms and moms-in-training with tools to help recognize, take control over and alleviate stress.  I’ll do this by providing stress reducing, relaxation promoting, holistic living resources in blog posts that are quick, practical, healthful, and easy to implement.  

Stress affects almost every mom and has negative long term consequences if not well controlled.  Our health matters and we want to live long, healthy lives and be positive, relaxed, healthy examples for our children.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tracie B.

Tracie B.

1. How many children do you have?

I have one son.

2.  Would you like to have more children?  How many or why not?

I definitely would like to have more children.  My husband and I always said we wanted three.  Currently, that's still the goal.

3. What do you wish you would have known before becoming a mom?

I wish I would’ve known that it didn’t matter how many books I read or people I talked to before my baby arrived, I would still feel insecure, and at times, just plain scared about what to do with and what was going on with my baby.

While pregnant, I always said he wouldn’t know that I didn’t know what I was doing, but once he was here and I was sleep deprived, hormonally challenged, and all ability to reason, think clearly or make effective decisions seemed to go out of the window, it was a completely different story.  I was so in love with this little boy and the thought of just winging it or making a mistake was overwhelming to me.  

I just wish I would have known that my feelings were normal and that all babies (even yours) have the potential to come with unexpected surprises (in our case congestion and pretty bad diaper rash).  Knowing that the world was not coming to an end because of it would have made the first several weeks of motherhood tremendously easier and worry free (or worry light-lol).

4. What are the tasks that you wish someone else would regularly do for you?

I wish someone would regularly dust my furniture, mop the floor, and remove all of the clothes that are too small for my baby from the drawers and closet.

5. How did you take care of your health and wellness during pregnancy?

While I was pregnant, I walked all the time, did yoga, got massages, listened to music, prayed, read tons of books about health and pregnancy, and simply enjoyed myself, my husband and my pregnancy.

6. Did you have the labor and delivery experience that you desired?  If not, what would have improved your experience?

Yes, I think I had an amazing labor and delivery.  It was five hours from start to birth and I was able to have the natural birth experience that we hoped for.  My definition of natural is no medication or medical intervention during labor and delivery.  I believe that all of my prep work (walking, yoga, praying) mattered and allowed me to have this wonderful experience.

7. How have you taken care of your health and wellness since becoming a mother?

Well, after becoming a mom, it was almost like I had been spun around several times and all of the tools in my wellness bag flew out and scattered around me.  After I stopped feeling dizzy and gathered myself, I began to stumble upon all of my old useful tools that had been there in plain sight the entire time- I was just too disoriented to realize it.

Now that my tools and mind are back where they belong, I try to walk most days of the week.  I also enjoy doing yoga and journaling.  I also try to do some deep breathing exercises when the situation calls for it and participate in several mommy groups which is great for me and baby.  I also pray all day, every day, which is the only reason that I am able to make it through each day.

8. Are you involved in any mommy groups (in-person or online)?

Yes, I am involved in mommy groups.  Locally, we meet at the library or the mall with our babies and read them stories and let them play.  We moms usually communicate with one another by email.  Online, I enjoy several mommy websites and connections on Facebook and Twitter.
9. What do you do to relax?

Take a bath, aromatherapy, write, go for a walk, do some yoga, get a massage, listen to music, make something (just be creative), or go to a comfy coffee shop or bookstore with a hot coffee or tea and my laptop or a book and just enjoy the atmosphere and whatever I’m reading and writing.

10. What advice do you have for new and expecting moms?

For expecting moms: Try to have a pregnancy, labor, and delivery that are as natural as possible.  It is truly best for you, and most importantly, your baby.

For new moms: If you don’t know, ask.  You may have one million questions, but if you ask them, it will be one less thing to stress out about or that keeps you awake at night.  Each baby has their own set of surprises, so it’s helpful to talk to other moms as well as your pediatrician.  Building a strong support system is very important.

When all else fails, or you just need more time and help, there are options available (follow This Holistic Life to find out more!)  

11. What is the best thing about being a mom?

There are so many wonderful things about being a mom.  I think it is such an honor and privilege to be my son’s mom.  He gives me unconditional love and just when I think I have absolutely no more energy or ideas, my baby will do something to make me melt, which reenergizes me to keep going all over again.  I know he loves and appreciates his mama and we have so much fun together.  

12. What is the most challenging part about being a mom?

Maintaining a sense of balance.  Now, I devote most of my time to someone who does not understand that I do get tired or that the house needs to be cleaned.  I want to give my all and my best to my child, my husband and myself, but doing this is not easy, rarely goes as planned, and requires tons of flexibility and creativity.  I've learned the hard way that if I don't fight to maintain a sense of balance life goes haywire and it brings out the worst in me.  I get sick, angry, and sad, and not very much fun to be around.  So even though it's hard work, I try hard to take care of myself in order to be the best for my family.  

13. Please share any additional story or detail related to your pregnancy or motherhood.  You never know what may help another mom!

Follow your heart as a mother.  Most of the decisions that I have made so far throughout pregnancy and motherhood are uncommon, but I wouldn’t change them for the world.  I had an amazing holistic pregnancy (to find out more, continue to follow the blog), a natural labor and delivery, and I quit my away from home professional nursing job to become a stay at home mom. 

You only live once.  Your children will only grow up once and it happens so quickly.  This job of mothering mattered to me more than anything, so my husband and I made some life-changing choices to make this happen.  Don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of people who would love to stay at home with their children if their circumstances would allow it.  But I have encountered just as many who have never even considered the idea.  Our children are worth it so please contemplate the idea.

If you have healthcare questions, don’t hesitate to ask.  There is so much information out there that it can be overwhelming.  Also, if you don’t know what to ask, just begin to share your story and the answers need will come your way.

If something doesn't feel right, make a change.  Whether it’s your doctor, diaper or daycare- follow your heart. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

What I Know For Sure

I recently received some subscription information for O magazine in the mail. One of the inserts included a postcard written by Oprah Winfrey entitled What I Know for Sure. She describes being stumped by the question “what do you know for sure” and how she has never stopped asking herself the question since. Here is her all-time top 10 list:

  1. What you put out comes back all the time, no matter what. (This is my creed.)
  2. You define your own life. Don’t let other people write your script.
  3. Whatever someone did to you in the past has no power over the present. Only you give it power.
  4. When people show you who they are, believe them the first time. (A lesson from Maya Angelou.)
  5. Worrying is wasted time. Use the same energy for doing something about whatever worries you.
  6. What you believe has more power than what you dream, wish, or hope for. You become what you believe.
  7. If the only prayer you ever say is “thank you,” that will be enough. (From the German theologian and humanist Mesiter Eckhart.)
  8. The happiness you feel is in direct proportion to the love you give.
  9. Failure is a signpost to turn you in another direction.
  10. If you make a choice that goes against what everyone else thinks, the world will not fall apart.

After reading Oprah’s list, I immediately wrote my own list of what I know for sure (right now). Here they are in no particular order:

  1. You are what you think and speak. Eventually you’ll speak what you think about yourself. Those thought and words have life and will become your life.
  2. Change is inevitable so face it with grace and optimism. Complaining about it is a waste of time and energy. Expect great things to from every situation.
  3. What I do and don’t do impacts the world and everyone in it. My decisions effect history.
  4. I was wonderfully created and I’m full of purpose. (So are you!)
  5. I have the capacity to love and forgive unconditionally. I chose whether or not I’ll operate at maximum capacity.
  6. The mind, body, spirit connection matters. If one is off balance, it will eventually cause the others to be off balance as well.
  7. We are all different on purpose. We meant to need, perfect, and complement one another.
  8. Everyone wants and deserves to be loves. (Even if you never admit it.)
  9. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. –Eleanor Roosevelt
  10. If I worry about what everyone else is doing or thinking, I’ll never have time to figure out and carry out my own purpose, vision, and plan.

Take a few minutes and write your own list. You’ll be surprised of what you know for sure.

Why Spas Matter

Spas may not be for everyone, but because I love them so and benefit greatly from their many services, they’ll be featured here at This Holistic Life. Here are a few of the reasons why spas matter.
Promote Relaxation
Provide Stress Relief
Promote Healing and Wellness
Allow you to be pampered, taken care of, and carefree!

Every Mom deserves a Spa Day!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mommy Needs a Spa Day!

Mommy Needs a Spa Day…So let it begin here!

The Spa at The Setai in Miami Beach, FL

This spa expresses a commitment to restoration of strength and beauty, and balance of the mind, body, and soul by utilizing ancient Eastern healing traditions.
Currently, I’d most benefit from The Setai Jade Massage which is designed to eliminate deep muscle tension and soothe the spirit.

Or, maybe it’d be best just to go for it and get The Setai- 180 minutes worth of the following therapies:

The Setai Jade Massage

Aromatherapy Foot Polish
Traditions D’Orient Organic Facial
Asian Style Foot Massage
Himalayan Crystal Body Polish
Oriental Bathing Ceremon

With various mind, body, soul practices and packages, there’s really no way to go wrong!

When it’s all said and done, I could retreat to this luxurious abode overlooking the Atlantic.

Or catch up on some reading here.
Or sip a hot cup of aromatic tea.

Or take a dip here.

Or simply relax on the beach listening to the ocean waves!

Seems you can’t go wrong with The Spa at The Setai. I appreciate their holistic approach to wellness because Mommy Needs a Spa Day!

Click here to visit The Spa at The Setai.

Friday, April 22, 2011

What's for Dinner

My husband recently adopted a vegetarian lifestyle- cold turkey! I'm so proud of him. Here's my attempt to support his efforts. (I rarely cook by the book. Whatever I feel like doing or eating, I go with it.)

A little Oil
Couple tablespoons of low sodium teriyaki sauce

You can put this mixture over noodles or rice or eat alone.

Not a vegetarian, no problem. Add a pound of chicken breasts to the veggies and enjoy.

Complementary Therapies

What are complementary therapies?

Complementary therapies are healing practices used in conjunction with traditional medicine.

Many complementary therapies exist and other names are often used to describe them. Some of these names include integrative therapies, natural therapies, and holistic therapies.

Who should use complementary therapies?

The beauty of complementary therapies is that they can be used by everyone from infancy through adulthood. These practices are universal in their benefits and can be modified for your lifestyle.

Why use complementary therapies?

Complementary therapies are the perfect complement to your health and wellness needs. They enhance your current practices, accompanying your health, fitness and nutrition plans.

Living holistically means caring for your total being- mind, body & spirit. Holistic living includes the use of complementary therapies to promote health and wellness and to prevent illness or discomfort in a manner that is consistent with your beliefs.

Other info:

When complementary therapies are used instead of traditional medicine, this is called alternative therapies or alternative healthcare.

I will most frequently discuss the complementary therapies that I use so that I can describe the therapeutic benefits from experience. However, I will honor requests for information on other therapies.

Here are some of the complementary therapies that I will present in the future:

Animal Therapy


Art Therapy


Creative Therapies

Dance Therapy


Healing Environments




Integrative Nutrition


Massage Therapy


Music Therapy

Social Support


I often use the word complement and people tend to ask me if I meant to use compliment, so I thought I'd explain. These are both words that I'll frequently utilize to describe women and motherhood. I believe that mothers need and deserve compliments for the endless love and care they provide. I also love complementary therapies and think they complement and benefit our lives. Here are their definitions to clear up any confusion.

Compliment- praise, commendation, accolades, tribute

Complement- match, balance, counterpart, accompaniment

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Holistic Pregnancy

As a nurse and nursing student, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing more births than others who are not in healthcare (probably close to sixty). This is quite a bit considering that I’ve never been a labor and delivery nurse. Every birth is amazing. Each experience is special and new and usually a joyous occasion for the entire family.
All of the births that I witnessed over about five years involved physicians. I had become well aware of the routines and the active role that nurses played during labor and delivery. Then, a close friend invited me to be a part of her birth experience with a midwife. What an honor to be asked to be a part of new life entering this world! I was so excited about this opportunity and my life was forever changed by the experience.
Instantly I recognized the difference between having a physician versus a midwife. In most of my experiences, the physician was not present until it was time to deliver the baby. This midwife, however, had been right by her side for hours. I was blown away by how attentive she was and how she genuinely seemed to care about my friend and her labor plan.
I was compelled to reexamine my practitioner choices and to learn more about birthing options and experiences even though I was not expecting. Deep down I knew that what I had just experienced was so unique, and just my style, that I needed to take action. After four years of care from a great OB/GYN, I decided to switch practitioners and become a patient at a midwifery practice- the same practice that my friend used. I felt a bit guilty leaving my physician, but my heart was leading me in another direction.
Let’s just say my first visit was amazing. I felt so affirmed as a woman. Instead of that uncomfortable, let's hurry up and get this over with feeling, I felt strong, secure and empowered by these midwives and their caring practices. There was no doubt in my mind that I had made the right decision.
Several months later, I was pregnant. I had an amazing holistic pregnancy, during which I used several complementary therapies that enhanced the journey. I did yoga, learned some breathing techniques and enjoyed massages and aromatherapy. I learned many simple, yet powerful tools that I used throughout my pregnancy and during labor and delivery. These tools are universal and I enjoy them even more now that I’m a mom.

The spiritual growth that I experienced during my pregnancy journey was amazing as well. I even wrote a book called Set the Atmosphere: Preparing for Parenthood with the Word of God. The book is a devotional with over 600 scriptures to use from preconception, pregnancy, labor, and motherhood. This was the most effective complementary therapy for my journey. Now I’m empowering moms and moms-in-training to have their own holistic pregnancies, utilizing the complementary therapies that best suit their lives, then carry those tools onto motherhood.
I was so blessed by My Holistic Pregnancy. I believe that all women should have the best birth experiences possible and become confident, active participants in their healthcare needs and desires.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Holistic Life

One of the dominant features of holistic living is to learn and understand what works for you. As I live my holistic life, I set goals that I desire to achieve and recognize what can be done immediately and what will take quite a bit more time. For example, I hope to become a vegan one day and regularly focus on integrative nutritional practices. This is not something that I can do overnight, but I continue to collect recipes, learn about other’s experiences and support those who have already adopted this lifestyle. I appreciate the obvious health benefits and believe that we can thrive with a vegan diet, but for me, this is a long-term goal that I must ease into.

Easier, short-term goals that I actively practice each day include prayer and deep breathing, as well as yoga, aromatherapy, and any other complementary therapy I can squeeze into my schedule!

Your goal may be a little different. Maybe you had a medicated birth with your first child but want to try a holistic experience the next go round. Maybe you hate traditional exercise and would prefer the physical activity of gardening. Or maybe you’re under lots of pressure and simply desire ways to relax and unwind. Whatever your needs are, taking a mind, body, spirit approach to wellness will help you to live balanced and feel whole.

This Holistic Life is ever-evolving and requires attentiveness to your changing needs and desires. Mindfulness and awareness of your health and wellness needs are vital to living a balanced life, seeking the appropriate resources and building life-sustaining relationships to support you on your journey.

I thoroughly enjoy and am so thankful for This Holistic Life!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In The Beginning...

I have a passion for holistic care and living and have used complementary therapies for years, but the role of these practices took on a whole new meaning in my life after becoming a mom.
I have an amazing husband and was blessed with a wonderful pregnancy. But my transition to motherhood was a bit bumpy. I struggled to find balance between being a wife, mother, professional, and the woman I desired to be.
I began researching the experiences of other mothers in an effort to relate to and find support from other women who share this amazing role. I quickly realized that in many circumstances, we all struggle to find and maintain balance in our lives, even though this balance looks different for each woman.
My personal and professional experiences have allowed me to witness the harmful effects of stress in the lives of people who simply attempt to care for, and give their best to, the ones they love, but sacrifice their own health and well-being in the process. I did not want to follow this road so I’m taking steps to change where I was headed.
It was clear to me that I needed to do what I could to achieve balance and to restore my sense of wellness as often as possible, even if I only had minutes to spare. This was the only way I could be the best for myself and for my family.
My personal plan is to keep things simple and make my health and well-being a priority by using complementary therapies to maintain wellness. I love talking to other mothers and (mothers-in-training) about their pregnancies and mothering experiences. Simply put, I’m striving to live a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle and share the journey with others.
From this blog I seek to empower moms, and moms-in-training, with tons of encouragement, resources, and support. Join me in making health and balance in our lives top priorities.
I hope you enjoy This Holistic Life!

Living Holistically

What is Holistic Living?

Holistic living is a mindful approach to life that incorporates all aspects of an individual, including the mind, body & spirit. Holistic living focuses on conscious and informed mind, body, spirit decision making. There are varying degrees of holistic living; what matters is focusing on what works for you and your circumstances.

Holistic Nursing

I belong to a great nursing organization called the American Holistic Nurses Association. The following is my interpretation of the AHNA’s description of what holistic nursing is:

They describe holistic nursing as “all nursing practice that has healing the whole person as its goal” (American Holistic Nurses’ Association, 1998, Description of Holistic Nursing). This nursing specialty guides nurses in becoming therapeutic partners with people in their care by drawing on nursing knowledge, theories, expertise and intuition.

As a holistic nurse, I am an instrument of healing and facilitate the healing process, honoring each individual's subjective experience about health, health beliefs, and values.

Holistic nurses may integrate complementary therapies into clinical practice to complement, broaden, enhance and enrich the scope of nursing practice and to help individuals access their greatest healing potential.

Holistic nursing practice requires nurses to integrate self-care, self-responsibility, spirituality, and reflection in their own lives, which ultimately leads to greater awareness of the interconnectedness with self, others, nature, and spirit.

Holistic nursing is not necessarily something that you do: it is an attitude, a philosophy, a way of being, and a way of life.

This blog is my way of sharing the mission and vision of the nursing specialty that is most important to me; inspiring healing and wholeness with all those who read along.

The Benefits of a Holistic Lifestyle

For the nurse:

As a nurse, I am responsible for my own health and wellness. It is terribly difficult to care for others when you are not well. So, I spend tons of time learning what I enjoy, what helps me relax and rejuvenate, and how I can better serve others with the gifts and abilities that I’ve been blessed with.

Holistic nursing encourages me to care for myself with as much compassion and attentiveness as I would my patients. Therefore, I enjoy the benefits of complementary therapies and sharing them with others. Being a holistic nurse and living life holistically allows me to reflect on life and what works for me. It helps me to appreciate the little things, marvel at the wonders of this world, and love others greater each and every day. This is who I was created to be!

For those with whom I serve & share:

Becoming a mother is a major life event that affects your whole life, including your values, beliefs, identity, and relationships. It makes sense to care for your mind, body, & spirit during this transition and reap the benefits of a holistic lifestyle.

I’ve listed the 7 most common benefits of taking a holistic approach to wellness:

  1. Relieves discomfort
  2. Maximizes your physical health
  3. Promotes spiritual growth
  4. Enhances your relationships and support system
  5. Prepares you to be an informed participant in your healthcare
  6. Brings awareness of what works for your body and health; helping you to avoid unnecessary technology and intervention
  7. Reduces stress and enables you to cope with it in a healthy manner

Consider It

If you’ve never contemplated living holistically, take things slowly. Follow this blog to learn how you can simply and practically live a well-balanced, holistic life.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...