Monthly Archives: April 2015

32 books that will inspire you to live your best life

Last year for my 31st birthday I reflected on the previous years in my post that you can find here. I have seen people do it before and have all kinds of journals and note lying around my home with quotes, inspirations, and my own words of wisdom so it was really fun to put it together in an organized way to share with the world.

This year, as I turn 32, I wanted to share 32 amazing quotes from 32 amazing books I have read, most of them this past year. I love these quotes and use them when  my “irrational self” shows up the world.


My irrational self being, the defensive one, the illogical one, the anxious one, the judgmental one, the sad one, the hopeless one. I know I don’t want to feel this way but it is quite difficult in the moment. We all have those moments and I do my best not to judge them, but not to stay in them too long either. Because you know what?

1. “I am just a bunny trying to work through my issues.”

I Am a Badass by Jen Sincero

And here are 31 other perspectives from books, that I remind myself of often. Some may strike a chord with you and some may seem so obvious, but one of my favorite parts of reading other than learning so much, is that when I read each and everyday I am reminded of all the blessings and opportunities I have surrounding me.

2.“We’re a nation hungry for more joy: Because we’re starving from a lack of gratitude.” The Gift of Imperfection by Brene Brown

3. “They’re working hard and persisting through difficulties because of their internal desire to control their lives, learn about their world, and accomplish something that endures.” Drive by Daniel Pink

4. “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do, and that often means living outside the limits of ones comfort zone.” The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen

5. “Personal importance or taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about “me.”” The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz

6. “…Permission to think a thought reduces the likelihood of thinking it.” The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal

7. “Eliminate the non essential.” The Power of Less by Leo Babuta

8. “Other than eating and breathing, sleeping is the most important source of recovery in our lives.” The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

9.“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.” Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

10. “The most important thing in life is learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.” Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

11. “Let it go already.” Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff in Love by Richard Carlson and Kristine Carlson

12. “One of the most important skills you can develop in human relations is the ability to see things from the other person’s point of view.” How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell

13. “Struggles and hardships and challenges are a necessary component of an emotionally rich life; there are no easy shortcuts to happiness.”  Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar

14. “Rehearsing your troubles results in experiencing them many times, whereas you are meant to go through them only when they actually occur.” Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

15. “Dogs realize when a previously treasured object is missing, but needn’t mull over possible stories for what happened to it. Instead they just start looking for it, or wait for it to show up. ” Inside of a Dog by Alexandria Horowitz

16. “You’ve got to exercise, not just for your heart and lungs, but to keep from stiffening up. It keeps you limber, and that’s important when you get older.”  The Book of Everyday Wisdom” by Sarah and A. Elizabeth Delany

17. “May you see sunshine when others see shadows and opportunities when others see obstacles.” I Wish For You: Gentle Reminders to Follow Your Heart by Lance Wubbels

18. “Maintain social networks. They know how to listen, laugh, and appreciate what they have.” The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner

19. “The universe is abundant. Let go of the fears of deprivation, of doing without…Having more and more will not solve your problem if what you need is to heal your fears. If you open your herat and look without fear, you may see that you have enough now.” Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie

20.“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.” Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

21.“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

22.“Be grateful for what you have now. As you begin to think about all the things in your life you are grateful for, you will be amazed at the never ending thoughts that come back to you of more things to be grateful for.” The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

23.“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.” A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle 

24. “A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts but the attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering.” Loving What Is by Bryon Katie

25. “Happiness is really just about four things: perceived control, perceived progress, connectedness, and vision/meaning.” Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

26. “What we fear doing most is usually what we need to do.” The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

27. “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” Furry Logic by Jane Seabrook

28.“Holding anger is a poison…It eats you from inside…We think that by hating someone we hurt them…But hatred is a curved blade…and the harm we do to others…we also do to ourselves.” The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

29. “If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”  Desiderata: Words For Life by Madx Ehrmann

30. “Difficulties and obstacles, if properly understood and used, can often turn out to be an unexpected source of strength.” The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche

31. “Done is better than perfect.” Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg 

32. “We are living a happy life when we derive pleasure and meaning while spending time with our loved ones, or learning something new, or engaging in a project a work. The more our days are filled with theses experiences, the happier we become. This is all there is to it.” Happier by Tal Ben – Shahar


How meal plans help you fail

What would your life be like if you were not dieting or constantly thinking or stressing about food? What would it be like if your diet and eating felt effortless? The truth its, it can! It does not have to be all consuming and energy draining. You just have to get through the initial phase of feeling like you have to follow rules dictated by someone else for you to be successful.

The first time I experimented with meal plans was during my college days. It was 2 months out from spring break and I started following the Slim Fast plan. A shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, sensible dinner, and maybe and apple or some celery and carrots  during the day. It was not too dreadful, other than the fact that I was starving all the time. I really liked the chocolate shakes and it satisfied my sweet tooth.

I adhered to this for a few weeks like a pro. I was even getting super intense workouts in with my strength coach. (On a side note being a college athlete and trying to do this was one of the least smart choices I ever did make in relation to eating). I was losing weight, feeling great, getting compliments, low on energy, stressing about food, and counting down the seconds until my next meal. Then one day I went out to lunch with some friends and had a mini breakdown inside my head. What am I going to eat now turned into what am I going to eat for the rest of my life. I can’t keep buying these shakes forever! And this is exactly what meal plans do to us.


They keep us dependent and ignorant about our own bodies.

One of the worst things about meal plans is trying to keep it up and trying to be social at the same time. Even if you can, and want to be on a meal plan most days of the week, what happens when you go out to dinner? To a friends birthday party? Your aunts house for dinner? Ice cream with your kids?

What do you do when the meal plan does not tell you what to eat? One of the most common themes I come across is that people get scared when they are left on their own, without anyone to tell them exactly what to eat, or what rules to follow. They fear they will mess and ruin their diet all together. You know what? Messing up on our diets is not the end of the world. It is actually feedback for ourselves now and in the future. Messing up is good because it lets us know what does not work.

It takes away our responsibility completely and does not help us learn about ourselves. 

The fear is, when we are not following a diet, created by someone else, we have to take full responsibility if and when we are more indulgent than we would like to be. And it will happen, its called life. When we have a meal plan or a specific diet, we can blame the program or the person who created the plan for us. When we learn to create our own rules when it comes to eating, we have to take full responsibility. And that can be tough sometimes.

The beauty is, we are also in full control to learn more about ourselves and help create our own unique way of eating. Because it is unique. Each and everyday is unique based on the foods we have available, where we are located and what we are doing. Following a meal plan is a great way to pretend we are always in control with our eating. But it is also a highly stressful tool when our food availability does not go as planned. If we can see our self considered failures as opportunities to learn, we can better create a way of eating that works for us.

Meal plans mess with our minds.

Whether it is paleo, gluten free, slim fast, zone, weight watchers, south beach, it does not matter. All these diets have rules, on or off foods, things we should or should not do. And when we do not comply, we feel like failures. We feel like we lost control and will continue to lose control and spiral downward into the land of failed eating yet again. The thing is eating one bad meal ( or one bad day of eating) will not break your diet just like one good meal (or good day of eating) will not make your diet. Consistency is the secret. 

If you are convinced that meal plans are for you, at least show yourself compassion if you fall off track. Self compassion is a great motivator than self criticism.

Diets and meal plans focus on too many rules.

You may have questions such as:

When should I eat breakfast?

Should I have carbs or just protein and fat? Or all three?

Should I workout fasted?

What should I eat before and after I workout in the morning?

Do I have to eat before if I am not hungry?

Can I have potatoes? Can they be white? sweet? purple?

Look at how much stress is surrounding your thoughts about food and it is not even past breakfast. Too many rules, create too many decisions, which will eventually lead to failure. These questions above are fine to have. But the only way to you can truly know what works is if you try it yourself and see what works.

I have a better way. I created Drop A Size in 5, an at home workout and eating guidebook that helps you create your, own, unique, rules when it comes to eating. YOUR Meal Design. What would it be like if at the end of 5 weeks you would know exactly how to eat for the rest of your life and it would be created by you? It will be launching at the end of April so be sure to sign up to get on the wait list for more info about YOUR Meal Design.

And let me tell you that once you create your own rules, you can end up anywhere, from Starbucks, to McDonalds, to Whole Foods and still make healthy, appropriate choices, in line with your goals.