One Foot in Front of the Other

low section view of three people walkingI got my full eight hours last night, check! I woke up rested, energized, rejuvenated, and completely…overwhelmed. Truth.

Everywhere we turn, there’s words and hopes of a NEW YEAR, new chance, fresh slate, and an abundance of opportunities (yes, I’m guilty for spreading this message too.) The first Monday of 2014, talk about pressure! With a to-do list pages long and thoughts of cleaning the house, packing for a trip, going to the gym, spending times with friends and family, cooking a delicious edible dinner, and so on, I didn’t really know where to start. I stared at my computer for a while, got some things done, made a smoothie, and wondered what the heck is up with mother nature…55 degrees today?!

So, instead of sitting on the angst that is the first Monday of 2014, I got up, got my ugliest running clothes on, the ones I don’t care about ruining or washing until they fall apart, and I headed out with hopes that I may just avoid the rain, get in some nice miles, and come back with pure clarity.

No such luck, but I was lucky enough to stumble upon this swan in this (somewhat) frozen pond and the swan taught me a little life lesson.

photo 1I stopped for a minute and watched the beautiful white creature, who was inching along the (somewhat) frozen pond with quite intention. As to what exactly his intention was I imagined somewhat to be “don’t fall in, don’t fall in, don’t fall in.” as the ice looked thin and swan was ever so slowly progressing forward.

Watching the swan pick up one foot and carefully put it down in front of the other, all the while staying still and concentrating on the mission, reminded me of exactly what I needed today. It’s not about a giant leap, not about tackling my 2104 to-do list all NOW, it’s about slow and steady progress. It’s about literally picking one foot up and putting it in front of the other. It’s about moving forward, not backward, and more importantly, not falling in all together. And ya know what? Even if we do fall in once in a while, we learn from our mistakes and move on. It’s not the end of the world, it’s just a little water.

So, I carried on with my run with this in mind and suddenly felt more at ease. I ran home to get done what I knew had to get done today, but first, I jumped in a lot of puddles and I got moderately rained on. I came home soaked, and that was alright because I knew that all I needed to do was put one foot in front of the other.

One Healthy Breakdown: as long as you’re moving forward, that’s enough to get you there.

What’s Really on My Mind for 2014 and Why YOU Should Care

The saying “this is the first day of the rest of your life” never really resonated with me because there’s always tomorrow (well, hopefully…) But, today? TODAY is the FIRST DAY OF 2014. That feels more real to me, more concrete, more attainable. I can’t really picture the rest of my life, I can’t picture 20, 30, 40 years down the road, but I can picture the next 365 days and I can grasp what, how, and why they’re going to be absolutely amazing.

sabatino-060Rewind back to the fall. I was having a conversation with a friend about what really drove me to start One Healthy Hamptons and what I dreamt it to be. The goal of OHH is to provide a resource and a community to celebrate and grow health and wellness here in this amazing place we call home. I wanted to rejoice the uniqueness of this beautiful place full of incredible people and outstanding resources. But why? Why me? Why here? Why now?

Why not just let people do what they want to do? Health is already a huge part of this community; we love our fitness classes, our kale salad, and our fun nights out, embracing the Hamptons scene, all while penciling in the next day’s workout…right? But, is it a positive thing? Are we just going through the motions and working out to make space for the fun? Are we indulging with thoughts of cardio and detox? If this is you, don’t worry, this was me too.

I started OHH because I am so DONE living like that. We only have one life, only 364.5 more days to enjoy and embrace 2014. So, unless we’re enjoying the process, it’s really just a big, huge waste of valuable time. I started One Healthy Hamptons because I was DONE with this deranged mindset. DONE with society’s pressures to ‘get skinny.’ DONE with the cycle of overindulging followed by detox, diet, and cardio binges. Ugh, what a miserable, unbalanced way to NOT enjoy all of the valuable time we have on this earth. I was DONE with the negativity that’s been so closely wound into such positive concepts of health and wellness. DONE hearing, seeing, judging others, done being jealous, done overdoing it for all of the wrong reasons. I know if I was DONE, that lots of others must be just as fed up, just as ready to turn things around. Once I hit this realization, things began to shift, especially as my eyes opened to the unique world of wellness throughout the Hamptons. Health and wellness became a positive passion, not a negative obsession. One Healthy Hamptons resulted from my growing passion to turn negativity to positivity and to spread that positivity throughout the place I love to call home as much as possible. To connect people over the common theme of embracing health and wellness.

I started One Healthy Hamptons to get the message across, not just to other young girls with deranged mindsets from society’s impact, but to an entire community of diverse people, that being healthy and fit, making wellness a priority, doesn’t have to be a sacrifice at all. It can actually be a balanced, ENJOYABLE process with huge positive outcomes. Eating healthy is fun. Working out is fun. Trying new things, challenging our selves, pushing the limits, attaining goals – it’s all fun. The things that make us feel our best, our strongest, our healthiest, are GOOD for us and they deserve to be embraced.

For me, 2013 was a huge year of personal, professional, physical growth. I gave up time at the gym and put that energy into enjoying moments with family, friends, and growing professionally. (Yes, LESS time working out is what I’m preaching here.) Less dreaded time on the treadmill or elliptical, fewer hours, and less sweat. Why? Because I was DONE working out just to get it over with. DONE eating bland food just to wear certain clothes. DONE detoxing on Mondays to make up for a fun weekend. I do it now for enjoyment. I workout because I ENJOY it and I eat what I ENJOY. One Healthy Hamptons is built on the premise of balance in life, not extreme exercise, not cutting calories, or cutting fun in any way. That’s so last year.

And, ya know what? I’m healthier and fitter than I was last New Years. I’m not perfect, I’m not balanced, but I’m closer and I’m happier. And I’m here to share the health and happiness with YOU. Living a healthy lifestyle and embracing it can be a balanced, ENJOYABLE process. That’s really what a resolution should be about. A goal that you aspire to reach with a process of getting there that is ENJOYABLE. Or else what’s the point?!

My drive to start this community, One Healthy Hamptons, came from the desire to fully embrace the positivity of health and wellness and to make it that much more accessible for all of us. In a few short weeks, once we’ve settled into 2014, gotten used to our routines, and hopefully taken the holiday decorations down, health and wellness in the Hamptons is going to be the MOST accessible it’s ever been. We’re throwing a party and it’s called Hamptons Wellness Week. For one week only, all things healthy and well Montauk to Westhampton will be RIGHT at your fingertips.

If you want 2014 to be THE year, YOUR year, then join me. If you’re ready to set yourself up for success, if you’re DONE with the negatives and ready to CELEBRATE, or you’re ready to make this your healthiest year yet, you’re invited to Hamptons Wellness Week. If you want to learn, try, and grow, you’ve got to be there! Where?

Sign up for Hamptons Wellness Week on January 12th at Hampton Coffee’s Experience Store in Southampton, meet me there between 8 and 11am or 4 and 6pm to commit to getting fit, reinvest in your health, learn a ton, and have some fun. Participants in Hamptons Wellness Week will get: SEVEN premium fitness classes of your choice that work with YOUR schedule, SIX lectures to learn the skills to make 2014 knock your socks off, nutrition consultations, natural facials, a party and tasting at Fresh, the Hamptons top restaurant for healthy, local eats. PLUS, the first 50 to sign up will get awesome gift bags to kick off the week/year/healthier YOU!

One Healthy Breakdown: I resolve to write more concisely in 2014 😉

Get Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Thanks to the CWBC, (Council for Women of Boston College) I got the opportunity to attend “Happiness Beyond the Heights” in NYC last week. We learned all about happiness first-hand from Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project & Happier at Home. You guys know that I am ALL about happiness, so I am so intrigued to learn about happiness in a concrete way from someone who has made a career from studying the subject.

photo(109)Gretchen began by clarifying that happiness is a difficult concept to define, measure, and substantiate; therefor, she prefers the use of the word “happier.” Regardless of our circumstances and how happy we are now, most people can relate to wanting to be happier. It also must be known that being happier involves change and personal growth. (Aka you can’t change anyone but yourself, so if you’re hopping on the happier train, get ready to focus on YOU!)

Young Woman Bending Down and Smiling with Arms Stretched BackAs I learned watching The Happy Movie, 50% of our happiness is determined by genetics, 10% by life circumstances, and 40% is controlled by our intentions.

One of my favorite of Gretchen’s many happy lessons is that happy people are helpful people. For many people, wanting to be happier or taking time for ourselves may be viewed as selfish. In actuality, happy people are far more likely to turn outward and help others. Think about it: people who volunteer, people who are charitable, people who are generous, those who offer to help you out, or do something to make you smile because they sense that you need it – these are usually happy people. Less happy people are more likely to isolate themselves and less likely to seek ways to help others. As Gretchen says, “ We should be selfish if only for selfless reasons.” So, go ahead and let yourself off the hook. Make time for what makes you happy and chock it up to doing a selfless deed, knowing that making others happier makes us even happier. Happiness is contagious. Happiness is a growing cycle. Do good, feel good. Give and you shall receive. Imagine if the world was run by happiness experts?

Gretchen gave us some other great happiness tips I’m excited to share about boosting personal happiness (which, we now know boosts the happiness of those around us too!) Gretchen’s first two simple checklist items for being happier include sleep (7-8 hours, it’s non-negotiable) and daily exercise (even 10-20 minutes is enough to get the endorphins rolling and best if outside in the sunlight). Personally, I struggle to get enough sleep, but I’m committed to making sleep a priority and you guys know I’m big on the exercise thing. Regardless of your fitness level, just get moving everyday. It’s been scientifically proven to boost happiness.

Gretchen advocates for focusing on the value of smell. All our senses can give us pleasure in different ways, but Gretchen explained that smell doesn’t take much time, effort, or money. While fresh baked chocolate chip cookies give us pleasure, the indulgence comes at the cost of calories, and baking them also takes up some time. A shopping spree sure gives us pleasure, but (cha-ching) comes at a financial cost. Also expensive and time-consuming, getting a massage to satisfy the pleasure of touch. Smell is fleeting, it does not take our time, money, or effort to appreciate a delightful smell. While you can buy a candle or perfume you love and indulge in that smell, it’s also about noticing the wonderful smells around us. I would also argue that music is an affordable sense that comes at little cost and little extra time. Hearing a song you love definitely boosts happiness, so give yourself the gifts of music and scent daily. It’s really about finding things that come at little cost to you, but really boost your happiness (ie: hot baths, a good book or magazine, cup of tea, favorite TV show, craft of choice, etc.)

Another of Gretchen’s philosophies: outer order contributes to inner peace. Lots of us feel that organization calms us. Whether it’s the coat closet, our desk, library, bedroom, etc., maintaining order on the outside will help us feel better, calmer, and clearer on the inside. It’s true, as much as I hate to clean, it always makes me feel renewed after a good tidying. Gretchen’s requirements for holding onto ‘stuff’ are; I either need it, use it, or love it. If none of the three, get rid of it. Wow, I really need to clean out my closet with those conditions…(and if you know me at all, no need to confirm that realization…I’m on it…)

It’s not all about purging “stuff;” it’s about value. Happiness has been shown not to be correlated to possessions or a lack thereof, but more to a value for what we do have. Gretchen recommends creating a shine for the possessions we love. For her, it was children’s literature. Instead of her collection being scattered around the house, she put it all in one spot and coordinated it so that it feels special now, that spot is dedicated to her children’s literature collection. It’s not about adding to a collection and needing more, more, more, it’s about treating possessions we value with value.

Lastly, anyone who has studied the concept of happiness will agree that the key to happiness is relationships. Happy people have happy relationships. Happy relationships make us happy. Happy people make for happier relationships. There’s that cycle again. Again, boosting happiness involves personal growth, meaning we cannot change others, what they do, or how they treat us, even if that contributes to unhappiness. What we can do, though, is change the way we react to others or set precedents with our own change-making actions. If you change yourself, dynamics within the relationship change and most likely, you’ll feel that the other person has changed for the better as well. If you want to improve your relationships, improve you. If you want to be happier, focus on building positive relationships.

Man and a Woman with Their Heads Together SmilingOne Healthy Breakdown: Whether you’re up for a complete happiness revamp or you’re curious to know more about The Happiness Project, pick up the book or check out gretchenrubin.com today! And another thanks to the CWBC for hosting this happy event…go BC Grad School of Social Work! Have to shout-out to my alma mater!)

High Vibe Food, High Vibe Life

Kiley’s Intro: I was first introduced to the concept of raising our vibrational frequency and eating a high vibrational diet at Dream Body & Mind Re:TREAT. I am so incredibly intrigued by this realization that I just have to share. Energy – it’s everywhere. And we can control it. You know when a song you love is blasting and you feel so much energy building in and around you that you can’t help from start to dance? Or, when you’re talking to someone about something you’re passionate about and you suddenly feel happier, taller, prouder, and more energetic than you did just moments before? Turns out that the things we think, the words we say, foods we eat, sounds we hear, and everything we interact with, affects our own energy, which in turn, affects our mood and lots more. Energy is “contagious.” Everything in life has a vibrational frequency and One Healthy Hamptons aims to raise that frequency higher. And higher. We have that in common with Not Your Sugar Mamas...that and a deep love for chocolate. Kyleen Keenan & Bennett Coffey, Co-Founders of Not Your Sugar Mamas, explains this concept of connecting to our highest vibration better than I ever could, so read on!

Connecting to our highest vibration is one of the most important things we can do at this point in time. Think about it like this: everything is energy, every little thing contains some amount of energy within it, some things more than others. From a chair to a person, there is energy in each thing.

In regards to people, there are some people who are vibrating on a higher frequency than others. Maybe you’ve felt this but haven’t been able to really put it into words. You hang out with someone and you feel high and excited after you leave them. Another person may make you feel strange or down after you leave them. People who aren’t making the effort to connect to their higher vibration can energetically bring us down. Those who are, on the other hand, can bring us UP!

In regards to food, some food contains a higher vibration or more “life force” than other foods. Take kale for example. Kale is fresh out of the earth, it is a leafy green and it grows up and out, which gives us the same energetic feeling when we consume it. We feel lighter when we eat kale…as opposed to a Snickers bar.

photo(99)A Snickers bar has taken natural ingredients like chocolate, dairy, nuts, etc. and processed them so much that there is very little – to no – energy left in that food. In fact, nutritionally, a Snicker’s bar is hardly a food at all. After we eat a Snickers bar, we feel sluggish and tired, not energized and alive. We are brought down by the lack of energy in a processed candy bar and other processed foods. Not Your Sugar Mamas’ mission is to put really high quality chocolate, infused with good vibes, on the shelves and accessible to anyone. We believe that the energy from the food infused with good vibes will actually transfer into the person eating it, and help, even if in a really small way, to raise the vibration of that person.

Chocolate, particularly raw chocolate, is an incredibly high vibrational food with more antioxidants than any other. It also contains the bliss chemical that we release naturally in our brains, so we feel happy when we eat it. Putting these high quality superfoods into our bodies helps to shift the vibration. When we eat foods with more life force, we feel better. Food affects everything, even our thoughts. By eating better, we will become happier, healthier and more successful people capable of anything we put our minds to.

ChocolateWhen we are aligned with our higher vibration, we are living our truth and we are able to see and think more clearly. We have more positive and powerful thoughts going through our heads and we can attract positive things to ourselves and others around us. When we are on that higher level, we have more energy, we feel inspired, we are happier, we are lighter, we are higher.

Couple Playing on a SwingThink about a downward spiral of energy. You hang out with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself, you go to the store and get a Snickers bar, you feel crabby and pick a fight with a loved one, you continue to spiral downward, feeling worse instead of better.

Now think about the opposite. When you treat your body with love and respect, feed it high quality foods, exercise your body, and strengthen your mind, good things start to happen. This is living a higher vibrational life.

This can be the case all the time. We just have to make the choice. It’s up to us whether to spiral upward or downward. It seems like people have an obsession with control, with controlling their lives to look a certain way on the outside. But really, the only thing that we are in control of is our thoughts. We get to choose what we think about each and every moment, each and every day. When our inner world is peaceful, so is our outer world. It’s really that simple.

Keep a list of the things that bring you down and another list of things that make you feel good. Try to do MORE of the things that make you feel good, more often and LESS of the things that make you feel bad. We can catch ourselves before we start to spiral downward, we can literally stop in the moment and change our direction. How powerful is that? When we are in-tune with this idea of increasing our vibration and staying true to ourselves, there is no other outcome than happiness and success. If we were all doing this, we would change the world. Outer peace starts with inner peace. If we stay responsible for raising our own vibration we will raise the vibration of the planet and heal ourselves and the planet. There is no other way.

The only thing that sets us apart from the most successful people is the way we think. If you think you can, you can and if you think you can’t, you can’t. We have unlimited potential as human beings. So try raising your vibration, now. Why not start with some chocolate?!

One Healthy Breakdown: you had me at chocolate. And happiness!