Wow… I can’t beleive I just did that!

 I was walking back to my seat hands shaking, legs heavy as concrete, heart racing. It reminded me of exactly how I felt just moments before jumping out of a plane two years ago. I just gave a speech to 15 of my classmates sharing extremely intimate details of my life. I had six minutes to convey my story to them and that is exactly what I did. If there is something I am good at, it is using vividly descriptive words to paint an elaborate scene to make the person listening believe they were there too.

 “Alright so we are all dealt our own hand of shit that we have to deal with in life. “ It was the perfect way to start it off. I had broken the Imageice and gotten them to laugh. “You have had yours and I have had mine. While what you have gone through, might be different from mine, whatever it is has held you back from having exactly what you want in life. I share this with you today so that you can see that whatever it is that you think has such a hold on you doesn’t have to. You can have exactly what you want in life.”

As I spoke I made eye contact around the room. There was not a sound from anyone as their eyes were fixated on me and slightly leaning forward in their seats hanging on for each detail I would soon reveal. It was beyond empowering as my voice brought the words on paper to life. The six minutes came to an end as I left my past on the stage. I had just shared with them the first time I had a panic attack. For a very long time I struggled with depression. I thought it had this consuming hold on me that I would never be able to break free from. I thought I would have to live life by its’ terms just waiting for when it would strike next. I always saw happiness as a temporary thing too afraid to fully enjoy it because I was so scared of losing it again. I was living out of fear. No more though. Through my studies on behavior modification I have learned that we do certain behaviors because they serve us in someway. I never saw it like that before. I had always put myself in the victim position, not willing to look at the role I played in it. So yes, while it may have served me in the past it no longer serves me today. While we all have our ups and downs naturally, I choose to no longer fall into those patterns of the past.

As I walked back to my seat, I felt revived. Before my speech I walked up there scared. I was second-guessing if I should really say what I came to say. Should I take the leap and just see what happens?

Well I jumped after all and it was spectacular.

Whatever is holding you back, whether it is something from the past or the present, I invite you to let it go. Write it down and burn it. Share it with a group of close friends or in my case a group of complete strangers. Notice the sensations that arise in your body: fast heart beat, shallow breathing, sweating, etc. Stay with the physical sensations and before you know it they will start to lesson. If you stay in the presence of your body, it takes away the power of your thoughts. Our mind is a very powerful thing and can make any experience seem much worse than it actually is.

So let it go. Yes, just like that.

If you are ready to let it go you will. If you are not yet ready to, ask yourself, “How are these negative thoughts serving me in this moment?”

Each and everyone of you inspire me everyday to fully embrace my beautiful imperfections. My hope is that little by little you are able to see the beauty in yours as well.

Peace + love,

S

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That’s it. I’m Calling Bull Shit.

To whoever said, “If you can dream it, then you can achieve it.” I have dreamt a lot of things that have never and most likely will never come true. On the flip side though, I believe half that statement is true. Yes, we all have dreams and aspirations, but 99.9% of the time we are not willing to put the work into make those dreams happen. Therefore merely dreaming it, as we are all more then capable of, just won’t cut it. I think the statement should be revised to look more like, “If you can dream it, are willing to put the work into it even when you are tired, are willing to put your fears and doubts of failure to the side day in and day out, are willing to make some sacrifices, and will continually take a small step toward your goal everyday even if it seems like you are making no progress, then your chances to achieve it are exponentially higher than when you dreamed it.” I see why they shortened it.

I believe that no one ever gets to where they want solely on their own. Take the president for example. Look at ALL the people that surround him daily or when he is running for office. Or look at an actor, pro athlete, successful entrepreneur, what have you. They may have all had the dream for themselves, but they also had a team (or that one person) that believed in them to the core to fulfill it. That person that was there on the dark days and reminded them of that dream so they could keep pushing towards it. That team is there for ongoing support and encouragement, trouble shooting ideas with, accountability, and doing the small things so you can focus on your big dream, etc. My point being, it may be your dream, but you are not alone in completing it.

Who is your support?
How do they support you in reaching your dreams?
In what way, if any, could they support you differently that would benefit you better?

Now that you have recognized your support system, GO AND THANK THEM! Be sure to let them know either with kind words, or a thoughtful gift just how much you appreciate them being there for you. Thank them for believing in your talents and thank them for being authentically themselves, so that you can be your authentic self. *Feel free to add any other mushy thank you notes that your heart desires!

I love this following clip. It is short, simple, and to the point. This is Ric Elias on the 3 things he learned while his plane crashed.

Watch it here!

So here is to enjoying the cheap wine in life. To letting go of negative energy, the fears that hold us back, and more so embracing our dreams and the people that encourage us get along the journey.

-S

Better than Sex Cupcakes

I was not sure exactly what was going to happen when I started putting ingredients together the other night. However, I had an idea that hit me in the market and I was determined to run with it. It could have gone really well or really bad and thankfully looking at the title I think you can make your own assumptions as to which that was.

There was still ten minutes left on the timer before I could pull 9 chocolate pillows of delight out of the oven and yet the air was already filled with their sweet, rich aroma. It was completely encapsulating, so much so that my surroundings melted away. My senses became so heightened; invigorating doesn’t begin to describe it. I could hear tiny bubbles bursting like the hot lava of a recently ruptured volcano as the succulent berries melted down on the stove. In the background smooth music danced into my ears making my entire body begin to sway to its’ beat. Five more minutes left. I am not sure how much longer I can wait.

This was my experience baking these cupcakes. I am beyond excited to share them with you and have to say the finished product is equally if not more glorious than the process making them.

Vegan, dairy and Gluten-free as a bonus!

Black Bean CupcakesImage

1 ¾ C Black beans (cooked or from a can)

3 Tbs coconut oil (melted)

½ C raw sugar (pulse it in the blender for added texture)

2 Cheggs (aka chia eggs- 2.5 Tbs ground chia seeds to 6 tbs water)

¾ C raw cacao powder

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ tsp baking powder

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 350° and grease a muffin pan with coconut oil
  2. Create the chegg by blending the chia seeds until they are in a powder. Pour into a separate container, add water and let sit while you prepare the rest.
  3. Pulse the sugar until it is in a fine powder.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Blend until a smooth consistency is reached, but be careful not to over blend it. You will most likely have to scrape down the sides several times. If it is too thick just add a tbs or two of water and reblend.
  6. Put equal amount of batter into the muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Mine came out perfect at about 19 minutes so just keep an eye on them. The edges will be pulled away from the sides of the tin, but the middle will still be a fudge like consistency. (They are vegan so no worries about raw batter!)
  8. Pull out of the oven and let cool before pulling them out of the pan.

Hazelnut Cream Frosting

2 C hazelnuts (soaked over night or at least2 hours)

1.5 C nut milk

1 tsp vanilla

Juice of 1 lemon

1 Tbs maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in the blender.
  2. Blend until a smooth consistency is reached.
  3. Set aside to top cupcakes with.

Mixed Berry Ginger, Red Wine Compote

1 pint each: Blueberries, Blackberries & Raspberries

juice of 1 lemon

2 Tbs raw sugar

½ inch of fresh ginger thinly sliced

¼ red wine

Directions:

  1. Wash the berries and place all ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Stir occasionally and once the berries begin to soften break them up slightly with a wooden spoon.
  3. Continue to reduce the berries until the liquid thickens slightly.
  4. Approximately 20 minutes.

The cupcakes are best when assembled right before eating. I would keep the frosting and berry compote separate and add just prior to eating.

I would love to see your recreations: @sschmuck12

-S

Just breathe, Let it all in

That’s right. Let it all in, fresh air that is (I am primarily talking to you ladies). Our skin is the largest organ that we have and we often disregard that when we layer it with chemicals day in and day out. Each day we run into toxins and different chemicals in the environment, but we also (amazing job if I am not speaking to you in this article!) tend to layer it with chemical filled body washes, shampoos, lotions, perfumes, and MAKE UP.

I want to start off and tell you, YOU are beyond beautiful! And even more so when we can actually see your face hidden behind all the makeup. Now I am not telling you never wear make up again, but for just ONE day a week leave it in the drawer. Allow your skin to breathe, to feel the sunlight on it without anything in the way.

I took two pictures (yes, I took a selfie) to see how I looked different with and without makeup. I don’t wear a whole lot of makeup, but you can definitely tell that the one side looks more defined and a little less tired under the eyes. However, it made me feel more comfortable about going a day without makeup.

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Sometimes we tell ourselves these stories for such a long time, that before we know it they seem like the truth. Well my story was thatwithout makeup I didn’t have a chance at looking beautiful. Self-talk can either be your biggest enemy or your best friend. I choose the latter.

IT IS TIME TO TELL OUR MINDS TO CUT THE BS!

You, you, you, you, you, you, you, AND you are B.E.A.UTIFUL!

If you are not comfortable leaving the house yet, stay home and have a you day. Listen to some music, watch a movie, write, craft, whatever makes your heart sing, because well it is a YOU day.

Some tips for beautiful skin:

*Drink a large glass (16+oz) of H2O first thing in the morning with 2 drops of lemon essential oil. This will rehydrate your body and the lemon helps to alkalize your body to help reduce any inflammation.

*GREEN SMOOTHIES! One of my favorite things in the morning, but the fruits and veggies you can get it first thing will help your skin absolutely glow! Here is mine from this morning:

1 C coconut water

1 C filtered water (this prevents your smoothie from being too thick)

1 ½ C spinachImage

1 C cucumber

¼ avocado

1 apple core removed

¼ in ginger

½ C  fresh pineapple

-Blend the water, coconut water, spinach, and pineapple until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients blend and enjoy! I recommend pouring it into a wine glass or your favorite glass/mug for an added bonus:]

-The spinach is loaded with tons of vitamins and minerals, namely vitamin A,C,E and vitamin K that help the skin tremendously. Its’ high levels of vitamin K and folate help to clear complexion by removing dark circles, bruises, and acne. Spinach is also chock full of antioxidants that fight free radicals, those nasty things that make us age!

-The coconut water is full of electrolytes to help with hydration and is also very good for aiding in good digestion. (Good digestion= good skin)

-Last but not least, the ginger is fabulous for helping reduce inflammation, aiding in digestion, and helping detoxify your liver.

Give it a blend and let me know what you think. I would also love to hear any spins you put on it! Tag @sschmuck12 with your remakes:D

*Sweat once a day! Your pores and muscles will thank you. Exercise has a vast array of health benefits that we can go fully into another time, but it helps boot the toxins out of your body, reduce stress and anxiety, increases restful sleep, increases energy levels, and improve self-confidence!

You are without changing a thing about you already amazing.

S

Chai tea lattes, homemade creamer & a bonus!

The Super Bowl is infamous for the commercials, their halftime show, and obviously the football. On the contrary its known for probably anything but health conscious snacks. These types of snacks typically leave you feeling tired, bloated, and craving more salty and sweet foods.

Instead of reaching for processed foods that will only leave you craving more of them try one of these!Image

Chai Tea Lattes

1 Chai tea bag

4 oz hot water

4 oz homemade coffee creamer (recipe below)

Take and boil 4 oz of water, and place in a mug. Take the tea bag and steep in the water according to the instructions on your box. (Roughly 4-5 minutes) While the tea steeps gently warm up the creamer on low heat on the stove. Then press the water out of the tea bag (use spoons it will be hot!) so that you get the remaining goodness out of there.  Pour the coffee creamer into the mug and enjoy!

ImageHomemade Coffee Creamer

10 oz coconut or almond milk

3 pitted medjool dates

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbs pure maple syrup

dash of cinnamon to desired taste

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until the dates have been broken up completely. Pour the creamer over a strainer to get our any “pulp” so that you get a super smooth consistency. Place in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy for the next 3 days!

And for a bonus…

Coconut Cacao Balls

These could easily be had for dessert or enjoy them whenever you want throughout the day especially if you need a little kick of energy (thank you cacao!).

1 Cup dates

1 Cup desiccated coconutImage

¼ C cacao powder

1 tsp maca powder

½ tbs water

cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbs pure maple syrup

Optional toppings: Goji berries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, coconut

In a saucepan lightly toast the coconut until it becomes aromatic. Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor until well combined. Grab a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into balls. Top with preferred toppings and place in an airtight container in the fridge!

 

Repost your recreations and tag @sschmuck12 on instagram!

-S

My Inspiration

I absolutely love that more and more women nowadays are starting to adopt a different mentality around body image and being beautiful. Growing up I always saw in magazines, it was the women with thigh gaps, a concave stomach, large breasts, and prominent hip bones that were deemed “beautiful”. Now I would just like to add that if this is your body naturally, you are beautiful. However, it is the lengths that girls/women go to, to achieve this look that I do not view as beautiful.

On the other side of things, I can look on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, anywhere really and see posts of strong, healthy women who are embracing that fitness and health win out over being emaciated. I absolutely think this is amazing since I find our idea of what beautiful is has become so skewed over the years.

Beauty lies in the uniqueness of each individual both inside and out.

So with that in mind, I propose to you my idea of beautiful and a goal for myself.

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This is Vanessa Redgrave at 74. My goal is to be as independent and active for long as I possibly can, while reaching for optimal health.

“Movement is lotion for the joints.” -The words of my lovely Bikram teacher the other morning.

-S

 

Do One Thing a Day That Scares You

As the quote goes by the lovely Eleanor Roosevelt, “Do one thing a day that scares you.”

When was the last time you followed this?

ImageWell for me it was this morning at 8am. Bikram Yoga. I had bought a Groupon for 20 classes, thinking I was going to be head over heels for it and be this rock star yogi person. Well I went to my first class back in August and never returned. Truthfully I just think I was not mentally ready for it.

For all of you not familiar to Bikram, its quite different from regular yoga. For one you are performing a sequence of 26 postures in a 105°F room for 90 minutes. Did I forget to mention there is also 40% humidity? So needless to say after my first class I was not hit with the urge to go back instantly the next day. Then as it usually happens life got in the way, and before I knew it, it was now 2014 and my classes were about to expire. I have gone from doing Bikram once every 6 months to now everyday for the next two weeks. I do have to admit something though… I love it! Months ago when I went, I thought I needed a friend to go with me. (So at least I knew there was another crazy person out there willing to go into the heat!) However, now that I was faced with the challenge to use up all my classes in time, I had to go alone. Now I am not one that needs a friend to go to the grocery store or leave my house in general, but for Bikram I definitely felt I needed that extra Imagesupport.

With that in mind I would like to ask you a question. Where are you feeling supported in your life and where are you not? If you are not feeling supported in an area that you would like, how can you change this?

For me Bikram was one of those things. While I would have loved support on it, it was really something I needed to do on my own. I now look forward to the heat. It is my hour and a half to let my mind go and simply just be in the present. It is an amazing mental and physical exercise that leaves my mind at ease and my muscles and joints feeling great! I tend to have really inflamed joints from old sports injuries (although I am rethinking that these days and attribute 90% to my diet over the years. Specifically gluten.) and the heat and deep stretching has really helped them so far! I leave there drenched in sweat, feelings of accomplishment and most importantly revived and able to tackle whatever the day throws at me.

In the comments below, share something you would love to accomplish in the next week that may be ever so slightly outside your comfort zone. It is amazing the possibilities that arrive when you simply open up the door and invite them in.

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The week is young, go out and conquer it!

-S

Is Bigger Really Better?

For years we have seen produce magically getting larger and larger every year. It not only will have more volume to feed your family, but looks as if it was just hand painted for you, it’s that perfect in its’ complexion. This would seem like a miraculous accomplishment of mankind, right? Now just because the fruit or vegetables may look appealing to you, do you know exactly what was done to them to make them that way?

Now I am not trying to slander Monsanto here (though in my opinion they do deserve it), there are many more people on the web that Imagecan do that for me. My mission in this post is to merely shed some light on some of the ludicrous practices that Monsanto uses in order to “save” the world by being able to feed it. [A quick side bar on that. How can Monsanto feed the world and save it if 26 countries have banned their products? Then that poses the question, Why hasn’t the US? Or, why is it so difficult to just get them labeled for consumers to be aware of?]

In my attempt not to be too lengthy here (because this article could really go on for days), I will say a few quick points and then have links to other articles more in depth on the matter if you wish to read. One of the points of GMs (genetically modified) is so that fewer pesticides can be used. However, at what cost does this come about? This new one really just makes your head turn when you think about it. Injecting scorpion venom into the cells of cabbage. Makes a whole lot of sense and of course it can’t be harmful to us. Well if I were them I wouldn’t want that being put on a label either! Now if your head isn’t spinning enough yet, this one may just do it. It shows a lovely connection between officials working for the FDA and “former” (I really felt air quotes were needed on that one) Monsanto employees.

Here is another article showing the growing support for anti-gmos.

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Next time you are at the grocery store here is a quick tip to help you determine which kind of produce you are buying. Do you know those little stickers that you find on apples, bananas and well all produce for that matter? They are PLU (price look-up) codes and contain 4 numbers typically. Now there are 3 numbers to remember here: 4,9, and 8. A 4 stands for conventionally produced. For example, a conventionally produced yellow banana will have the PLU code 4011. A 9 signifies that a product is organic. So for that yellow banana you would now see 94011 as its code. Last but not least, if you see an 8 in front of the PLU number it shows that an item was genetically modified in some way.

Image How can you help the fight against GMOs? Simply avoid buying them. When more and more people start avoiding them and decreasing the demand for their product (hopefully!) they will stop showing up on our shelves. Your local farmers need and want your love! So if you know any in your area or a local farmers market, try talking to them and making friends. While it’s great to know the person whose growing your food, you might also get some awesome deals along the way too! However, if you’re into protests, rallies and that type of thing go for it! I am sure it won’t be too difficult to find something in your area.

Just a little food for thought for you all!

-S

What is your truth?

“When it comes to you, only you have the best knowledge and advice for what is best. Believe in your instincts even if they may seem Imagecrazy, because deep down this is where your instinct is speaking from. This is your truth. Follow it. Do not waiver from it.”

Take some time today to think of where your next step might be.

Ps: Make sure it includes lots of laughter in the process!

I hope you all have a magnificent week full of great ideas, good friends, and smiles!

-S