Ted Talk Friday: Emotional First Aid

I LOVE the idea of emotional first aid. It sounds bizarre, but this Ted Talk does a great job of explaining the importance of practicing self-care from a young age. In mental health, we often focus on treatment and solving problems once they begin. Unfortunately, this does not allow us to prevent issues. The vast differences in how we treat mental vs. physical illness is striking. If we learn how to take better care of ourselves, cope more effectively, and provide a space to discuss mental wellbeing, we can both prevent potential crises and increase mental wellbeing overall–sounds like a pretty good deal to me. I can’t wait to hear what you think of the talk!


What do you think of mental first aid? Can you imagine a world where we give mental health the same priority as physical health?

Relationships and Growing Up Today

There is a scarcity of research on friendship compared to the obsession with romantic relationship advice and research. I think my generation (if I can speak to that) has a certain fear of attachment. The new trend of hook-up culture will inevitably change relationships at some level. While it is too early to know what the effects might be, I am curious how it might play out.

A huge part of long-term dating is learning about your partner; learning their values, quirks, ambitions. So much of that simply requires time. Everyone has different ways of expressing love or addressing disagreement. Some people need time to cool off, whereas other people want to immediately discuss the issue and find a solution. Obviously these two people can still be compatible, but they need to find a happy medium.  

I highly value giving in relationships, and often feel that I express friendship by inviting friends to events, including them in plans, or sending them a gratitude letter. If you are interested in learning more about what matters most to you in relationships, I recommend you check out Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages site and take the free quiz. I can’t vouch for the scientific support behind all of his work, but I have found it useful in my own life.

While relationships are complex, I’ll echo what I said in a previous post about family, we all want happiness. Take a breath. Try and empathize, which means trying to understand where your partner is coming from. 


What’s your love language? What tools to you use to create happiness in your relationships?   

Ted Talk Friday: Givers and Takers

Adam Grant is an amazing researcher and writer; I loved his book “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success”. The book is basically an extended version of his talk that I’ve posted here today. This is a great introduction into the world of behavioral economics. Grant does a great job of sharing the basic types of people and explaining altruism, and how you can use the information to your advantage in the workplace or in everyday life. I hope you enjoy the video as much as I do!

Do you think you are a giver, a taker, or a matcher? Why?

Why Plant-Based?

I’ve made a greater effort to choose plant-based options over the past few months. While everyone is different, I wanted to share a few reasons why I’ve made the slight shift. I am definitely still eating plenty of animal products, but here are some of the main reasons I’m opting for more plant-based options:

  1. It’s better for the planet. Plant-based options have a smaller carbon-footprint; these foods often require less transportation and have fewer environmental side effects (decreased carbon emissions, decreased methane gas–ehem, cows). sky-earth-galaxy-universe
  2. Animals are cute (ethics). While some people think eating animals is entirely unethical, I do not personally fall into that camp. I take more issue with eating animals and byproducts of animals that have been treated poorly. Choosing cruelty-free, local, grass-fed options makes a huge difference, but often those options are more difficult to come by and are more expensive.7479512636_b19884cac6_b
  3. Nutrition. There is a ton of evidence that eating a plant-based diet has numerous positive effects on health. The China Study, one of the few large-scale, reputable nutrition studies, was conducted by Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine. The study found individuals with a plant-based diet where most protein comes from plant sources have decreased cancer rates and lower prevalence of bone fracture, among other health benefits. If you’re curious, read more here.Nutrition-pyramid
  4. It’s not all or nothing. I think this is a huge misconception in our world of extremes. Everyone thinks that you must choose a label and stick with it, but I prefer to stay flexible, eat what I want, and eat to feel good. There is no need to be a strict vegetarian or vegan, but trying to make mindful choices and choose plant-based options a little more often can add up to big benefits.764px-Balanced_scale_of_Justice.svg_
  5. I love Nuzest protein powderThis is a simple one…I fell in love with Nuzest protein powder when I first tried it. This is a super simple pea protein with very few added ingredients and it tastes great. Look out for recipes using this powder coming to the blog soon!Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 5.31.29 PM

Ted Talk Friday: Self-Compassion

This might be my favorite Ted Talk of all time. When I watched this talk, it literally brought tears to my eyes. I think the concept of self-compassion is not always taken seriously–people think it is a light hearted idea not based in science. Self-compassion is so much deeper than being easy on yourself; it is a mindset of forgiveness and self-love. It is completely life-changing. It has really changed the way I treat myself in times of stress or failure. If you like this talk, I highly recommend you read Kristin Neff’s book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself to learn more.

“The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self Compassion” by Kristin Neff


Do you practice self-compassion? Do you treat yourself like you would treat a close friend?

Valentine’s Day Gift Idea Round-Up

Valentine’s Day is coming up! I swear, as soon as December rolls around it feels like non-stop holiday action until late spring. One of my favorite things growing up was the special Valentine’s day card exchanges at school and the sweet gifts my parents gave us–usually a combination of sweets, plush toys, and balloons. Now my taste is somewhat different, although I still love to celebrate. In honor of the holiday I thought I would do a round-up of some of my favorite Valentine’s Day gift ideas.

    1. VIB Ceramics Subscription Box: I recently discovered this amazing subscription box that delivers a handmade ceramic dish, candle, and “something special” to your door every month. I love that it’s a small company and that every item is unique. Plus, who doesn’t love getting a special package every month?    Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 5.23.10 PM        Order your own VIB Ceramics subscription box here:  http://fmtc.co/fec2198c?sid=101.677

    2. Essential Oil Starter Kit: Essential oils are one of my favorite gifts–they can be used for just about anything! I personally use mine in a diffuser at night and it works wonders to calm me down. This 9-piece essential oil gift set is perfect for someone who is just starting to get into essential oils. The set includes Clary Sage, Peppermint, Cassia, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Frankincense, Sandalwood, and Cinnamon Bark. My personal favorite is Peppermint, but this is a great starter kit and is quite the bargain. The regular price for the set is $44.99, but with the code 9PCOILSET you can get it for only $14.99!70172_9pcessentialoilsetopenweb         Order your own Chrislie Essential Oils here: http://fmtc.co/581b07e2?sid=97.677

    3. Quest Bars: Nothing says “I love you” quite like quest bars! These are always a great choice, especially now that they sell variety packs you don’t even have to pick just one flavor! This is perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth or someone starting on the road to a healthier lifestyle.Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 5.13.05 PM

    4. Nuzest Protein: This is one of my favorite plant-based protein options. It tastes AMAZING (vanilla is like cake batter), and it is minimally processed with very few additives. It keeps my tummy happy and makes a super creamy shake–not grainy like a lot of vegan proteins. Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 5.31.29 PM.pngFor 15% off and free shipping over your order of $50 or more click here: nuzest.us/craving_happy (Or use code HAPPY15 at check out!)

    5. Detour Protein Bars: I love these bars! Both the chocolate coated bars and the SMART oatmeal bars are great low-sugar, high protein snacks. The simple protein bars remind me of a snickers and the SMART bars are full of healthy whole-grains and taste like a decadent pastry-like treat.Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 5.28.27 PMUse code HAPPY20 for 20% off a first purchase!

What’s on your Valentine’s Day wish list? Do you have any special plans?


Ted Talk Friday: Radical Self-Love

I am starting a new series: Ted Talk Fridays! I absolutely love Ted Talks, but know that sometimes there are just too many options and choosing one can feel overwhelming. I am planning to post one of my favorite Ted Talks to the blog every Friday. I hope you enjoy!

Today’s Ted Talk is “Radical Self-Love” by Gala Darling


What do you think of radical self love? What are some steps you might take to put her ideas into action?

Podcast Round-Up

I consider myself a little too well-versed in podcasts…according to the NPR One app on my phone, I listed to over 28,000 minutes of podcasts throughout 2016. I am not sure whether I should feel proud or embarrassed…but, I do think it means that I know a good show when I hear one! In honor of the new year, I wanted to put together a list of my favorite podcasts. Most of these podcasts are available on the NPR One app, which you can download to your phone. The app is like Pandora, but for podcasts; it gets to know your preferences, gives your news updates, and makes new recommendations based on what you like. Definitely download-worthy! Whether you do or don’t want the app, these podcasts are fantastic and will keep you engaged for hours.

  1. Note to Self,The host of this NPR podcast, Manoush Zomorodi, connects technology, health, and wellbeing through this engaging series that tackles even the heaviest subject matter with a dose of humor. Topics range from “information overload” to the ethical considerations of parents posting photos of their young children on social media. A recent episode released from early January discusses New Years Resolutions and is FANTASTIC!

    New Year. Same Old You.

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2) The PulseI could listen to this podcast non-stop. If you are interested in health in any way, then I am sure you will enjoy this show. Every episode has a topic like “Rock and a Hard Place” or “Challenging Our Assumptions” and weaves together an engaging narrative that touches on numerous aspects of health, technology, and ethics.

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3) On Being, In an effort to explore my own spirituality, I started listening to this podcast and fell in love. The host, Krista Tippett, has the most soothing voice and interviews inspiring individuals across numerous sectors. Most recently, she interviewed one of my personal heroes, Congressman John Lewis.

Just me fan-girling a bit…


4) RadiolabI might be slightly biased because the host, Jad Abumrad, attended my high schoool alma mater, but it is well worth a listen. I’m not sure where to begin, but if you have a curious cell in your body…you will enjoy Radiolab episodes!

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5) Hidden Brain, the description from NPR reads, “A conversation about life’s unseen patterns.” Now, this might not sounds all that interesting, but don’t let that deceive you. The podcasts generally center around psychology and questions about human behavior. One recent episode that I particularly enjoyed discussed the word “literally” and how its use has changed over time–integrating culture, linguistics, and history.

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6) Impact Theory,  I just recently started listening to this new podcast hosted by Tom Bilyeu, one of the founders behind Quest Nutrition. The podcast is unique and features some amazing guests with some great discussions on topics related to positive psychology and personal success.



Do you like podcasts? What are some of your favorites?