Perspective

I WANT TO GIVE YOU MORE

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Here we are in the second week of 2018. While most people take the holidays to reflect on the past year and put their intentions and resolutions out there on January 1st, I needed some extra time this year. Time to really think about what you want from me, how I can help you, what's been holding me back from giving it to you, and how to actually make it all happen moving forward. So if you want to get right to it, scroll down to THE TAKEAWAY. Or if you want to read the brief emo/reflective side of Kirsten, read on.

REFLECTION:

On a personal note, this past year did not pass by without challenge, questioning moments, or deep heartache, but it was also filled with SO much gratitude, excitement, growth, love, adventure, and motivation. All of you, and the experiences, conversations, frustrations, opportunities, hurdles, and moments in between the moments that have filled the last 12 months have been nothing short of strengthening and heart opening.

On a professional note, I have to admit, when I left Los Angeles 3 years ago, I had this underlying feeling that maybe leaving wasn't the best choice for my career, but thank you, Seattle, you proved me wrong in 2017. 

Now for 2018, I want to give you more.

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MY REQUEST FOR YOU:

As you look back on 2017, I challenge you to reflect on the things you’re proud of, the moments you felt powerful and strong in your body and your mind, and also those moments that have taken you to your knees and made you vulnerably human. Because being human and striking a balance is what it’s all about.

Life is going to happen. And along with all of life's greatest moments, you're going to have the not-so-great ones that throw you off track, or maybe even prevent you from getting on track in the first place. You'll get sick, your kids will get sick, burnout will happen, you won't have enough time, you'll will eat that cake that you think you shouldn't eat (but I want to tell you why you should) and you're sometimes going to feel the weight of the world on your shoulders.

So the question is, moving forward, how do you work around and through "real life" and stay on track with your health?

THE TAKEAWAY:

Here's what I'm getting at. I chose this path years ago for the same reasons I have today. I want to help you, support you and guide you so you don't feel alone on this journey of figuring out what works for you and what will help you accomplish your goals amidst the chaos. I want to help you figure out where to start, how to continue, and help you live a healthy and balanced life. 

And that means more from me in new ways.

My priority for 2018 is to help you feel even more in control of your health and body, optimize what you're doing, help you understand the how and why so those adjustments you're making stick, and simplify it all. 

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I want you feel you have a resource to the thousands of opinions out there on health and wellness. Because let's face it, there are more than thousands, there are a bagillion, and it can be really effing confusing!

As most of you know, RWF isn’t focused on any one particular style of fitness, nutrition or lifestyle. It’s not about gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, whole30, keto, crossfit, HIIT training, yoga, or any other wellness trend (but those all have their place and they all work for different reasons and different goals).

RWF is about taking you, and where you're at, along with your health history, personal struggles, experience, and the real life that surrounds you daily, and building a solution that works for YOUR body, and YOUR life, right now.

WHAT I NEED FROM YOU:

SO, in 2018, What can I do to help you be your best this year? 

I want to help you through better services, tools, more communication, less communication, whatever your schedule and heart desire. So tell me what you need and want from me.

Here’s to good health, happiness and being more human in 2018,

xx Kirsten

The Power of Posture

Running With Forks Yoga and Posture

The most underrated, yet influential, aspect of our health and wellness is our POSTURE.

We all know the mind and body are connected, but it is far more incredible and powerful than we give credit. Not only does posture affect our physical health and function but very importantly, posture affects our mental health and vice versa – think confidence, happiness and the ability to handle emotional and stressful situations. 

Two things to think about: How posture affects our mental state, and how posture affects our physical health and ability to move.

Consider what your posture looks like when you are feeling sad, blue or insecure in a situation. Our body pulls inward towards a fetal, self-protective positioning. Think about your posture during your daily activities – maybe you're sitting here reading this while hunched over your blue-lit screen of choice, slouching with rounded shoulders and a forward head carry, at your desk, in your car or on your phone .. these positions can negatively impact your happiness, your ability to deal with stressful situations, AND how you move and function. 

When we sit or stand with this poor posture, physically, we are compromising our ability to breathe deeply and fully, move properly, and ultimately down the road will lead to micro-trauma, muscular imbalances and injury such as neck, shoulder and lower back pain. Having a strong skeletal and muscular alignment allows the body to function at its best – efficiently, effectively and safely – minimizing the risk of injury and again, vice versa, improving your emotional state. 

Consider what your posture looks like when you are happy, excited and confident in a situation. Shoulders back, chest open, head up, core engaged and feet firmly planted on the ground. When we stand with a powerful posture – even when we don't feel so confident and powerful, there is a positive chemical shift in the brain which will ultimately shift our mood. AND, you guessed it, we can move safely and efficiently.

Through awareness and small adjustments to your routine, you have the power to change your energy and mood as well as your physical appearance, how people perceive you and your resilience to stress, injury and trauma.

For the sake of your physical and mental health, let's get in line. Exercises to promote strong posture coming your way.

 

SUPERMARKET SURVIVAL

Running With Forks Supermarket Survival

Shop more efficiently, navigate the grocery store like a pro, reduce temptations and distractions and ensure you’re filling your cart with healthy foods!

I don't know about you, but I could spend houuuuuurs strolling through the aisles of my local market.  And the farmer's market?!...forget it, just leave me be and I'll see you at dinner. Most people know that the market is one of my happy places but I know for a fact that some of you absolutely hate it, put it off until the last minute, and then don't have enough time so end up picking up take-out.  You barely have time to throw dinner together, let alone navigate the grocery store to find the healthier items that should be finding their way into your cart.  

Well, I have a few tips when it comes to just that.  

First things first. MAKE A LIST:

Plan ahead and take the time to put a list together and ALWAYS shop with one. If it's not on the list, don't buy it. Just you, your cart and that list! This not only saves you time and money, but it saves the waste from impulse purchases.

DON'T GO UNDER-NOURISHED OR HUNGRY:

I know when I'm hungry, I shouldn't talk to people, make decisions or drive a car. I'm cray. Always be prepared for the grocery store. Have a healthy dose of vegetables, healthy fats and protein before making your way to the store and if you're on the go, never leave home without a little stash of nuts, veggies or a healthy bar in your bag.

MAP IT OUT:

Shop the perimeter of the market.  The healthy items are found along the perimeter, so shop mostly here, where the produce, dairy and meat can be found. Try to avoid the inner aisles as best you can, which is filled with processed, frozen and junk food. If you should have to grab something from an inner aisle, enter and exit from the same side...no need to wander all the way through.  Get what you need and head on out!

BEWARE OF THE AISLE-ENDS:

Markets tend to prop up sale items at the end of aisles and majority of the time they are not items that are going to help you shop efficiently and healthfully. Eeevery once in awhile there might be a good find , but that'll be a gem.

 

CART HALF-FULL:

Unless it is filled with bunches and bunches of kale and swiss chard or you're feeding a family of five, there's probably not a reason to fill your cart.  

LABEL READING CHECKLIST: 

When reading labels, there are a few things that you should look for.  

 - Whole Foods

 - No more than a few ingredients

 - Food that is close to it's original state

 - Organic and local if possible

 - Minimal or no packaging

And a few things to avoid.

 - Sugar (Look for tricky words such as "syrup", words ending in "-ose", words beginning with "malto-", made with/contains real fruit, fortified with)

 - Artificial sweeteners, additives, preservatives, coloring

 - Hydrogenated oils

 - Any ingredient you don't recognize

I hope this helps!  I'm off to my happy place! xx

 

// COCONUT DREAMS //

C O C O N U T // The benefits and excitement of coconuts shouldn't end with the water.

Running With Forks Coconut Benefits

I know it's popular B U T ... there's a wide variety of coconut-derived ingredients that allow you to get those beneficial nutrients in various ways.

Open your eyes and discover different ways to incorporate this goodness into your cooking and your diet.

Running With Forks Coconut Oil

Coconut OIL: use in place of butter or other oils in your cooking. (And rub it into your body! This oil is great for the body both internally and externally) Try adding 1 Spoonful of coconut oil to your morning routine to BOOST YOUR METABOLISM.  This oil contains MCT's (medium chain triglycerides which help you feel more energized, curbs your appetite and revs your metabolism to start the day. 

Running With Forks Coconut Benefits
Running With Forks Coconut Benefits

Coconut MILK: Use canned coconut milk to make creamy dishes like spicy curries or creamy fall soups.  This one here is amaaaaaazing! You can easily  use in place of cream in recipes, but note there will be a hint of coconut if swapping it into another recipe, so make sure it'll work with the flavors!  It adds a richness and luxury to everything it touches and adds a sweet tropical touch. (note: avoid coconut milk that has added stabilizers or gums, or has been homogenized or shaken.  You want to open the can and clearly see the distinction between the milk and the cream on top).

Running With Forks Coconut Water

Coconut WATER: hydrate yoself! Use in place of sports drinks when sweating for an extended period of time for enhanced and healthy electrolyte replenishment or use in smoothies in place of milk. Harmless Harvest 100% Raw Coconut Water is my absolute favorite.  

Running With Forks Coconut Benefits
Running With Forks Coconut Meat

Coconut MEAT: it's delicious, it's low carb and high in good monounsaturated fat necessary for fat loss, but note that it IS high in calories. Eat with care, but savor it!

Running With Forks Coconut Flour Benefits

Coconut FLOUR: use it in baked goods for enhanced fiber and a lower glycemic index. It's one of my favorite flours to use when creating recipes that are gluten free or grain free and it contains lots of fiber! It is tricky to use sometimes, due to the fact that it absorbs a lot of liquid and you will need to use more eggs to help bind the ingredients together, however, once you get the hang of it, it's fantastic and those baked goods leave you feeling way better than regular flour. 

Running With Forks Coconut Flakes

Coconut FLAKES: shredded coconut and coconut flakes are the most common usage of coconut. It's extremely convenient for cooking and baking and tossing into granolas.  You can even use as a healthy crust for meat or fish.

Explore and experiment with this gem!

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LOVE

Running With Forks Venice Beach

I have so many things I want to share with you today!  

I just returned to Seattle from a much anticipated and much delayed trip back down to Venice and all I have to say is, "THANK YOU, VENICE!" You never disappoint.

But, really, that's not alllll I have to say.  You, and by 'you' I mean, your geography, your beauty, your people, your air, your inspiration, your motivation, your yoga, your streets, your juice, your food, oh gosh, your foooood...I've missed you.  You are my people. You are my community. 

Running With Forks Gjusta
Running With Forks Venice Beach

I have always felt that community and support are incredibly important and a huge priority in my own life, but I didn't truly realize how important they really were to me and how important they are for YOU until my recent (well, not so recent anymore) move.  

While transitioning from the little gem of Venice, CA, where I spent 10 years building a life and a community, to my slowly-but-surely growing community in Seattle, WA, I've paid extra-close attention to the goodness that community brings me and how it lights me up and fuels a fire within me. 

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This week in Venice was full of the things that make me feel special, important, and sparked my drive for continuing on my path in this world.  We all need to feel that from time to time. It was the little things that I experienced that brought me to grin from ear to ear and tempted me to squeeze every soul I met with. Bumping into familiar faces on the streets and stopping for a good conversation, walking up to the counter at my favorite coffee shop to have my drink already made just the way I like it waiting for me, receiving huge smiles from the servers at my local watering hole as I stroll in like I never left the place, getting waves from strangers as I sat on a stoop drinking my juice, simply because they are happy and the sun is shining, making new connections with people that are honest and good and true, talking growth and life and modern love with new friends and old friends, the warm feeling of practicing with my teachers again and seeing their expression of joy and happiness to have me back, and of course, catching up with dear close friends and getting squeezed so tightly that I didn't ever want them to let go. My heart left full and ready for more and ready to give more.

And it was my reminder that a good community and a good support system are beyond beneficial in helping you achieve your goals in life, to lift you up and to cheer you on, whether that is in your personal life, work life or the balance of happiness. You need those people, always.  

Just like I shared in Number 6 of the '10 Lifestyle Changes for Lasting Health', "Surround yourself with people who boost you up and believe in you.  Plain and simple. Your friends and family should want the best for you and to see you happy. Seek out workout partners with similar goals, someone you can share your journey with and someone to hold you accountable." 

It's so simple.  And it's so true.  Thank you, Venice.  I'll be back.