TREAT YOURSELF!
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Check out Teresa (above), treating herself to a Chef V Green Drink, poolside!

How do I keep my cool? I treat myself – and you should treat yourself too, because it makes healthier easier! On the surface, it might seem like I’m the luckiest woman on the planet. Well, I kind of am. But truth be told, if you really knew what was going on, you wouldn’t envy me one bit. Thankfully, I know how to treat myself when I’m stressed out. Here’s how I keep my sh*! together…. 

Sure, it may look like I’m someone who has it all: a thriving business, a handsome and devoted husband, a fit physique, cooking skills, the ability to turn any cocktail into a healthy mocktail, and, I have another love on the side–Coconut (my canine kid).

Let’s not forget that I live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet: sunny, temperate San Diego, where I live right by the beach. Some people go their whole lifetime without ever seeing the ocean. But I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve taken an early-morning beach walk, watching the dolphins surf the waves (while sipping Green Drink, natch).

But recently, I’ve had to at least temporarily abandon my beloved San Diego condo by the beach.

Am I somewhere more exotic? Am I taking an Eat, Pray, Love vacation, learning how to cook Balinese cuisine? Nope, that was so 2016.

I’m in New Jersey … for the foreseeable future.

A couple years ago, yeah, I would have said that I’m the luckiest woman on the planet. Don’t get me wrong, I count my blessings every day. But trust me, I’m not someone to be envied right now. I’ve been faced with more stress lately than I have in a long time.

CHEF V IN NEW YORK

Dealing With The East Coast Rat Race

So why did I swap laid-back San Diego (except for the freeways) for the rat race of the greater NYC metro area? And why, for the first time since probably college, when I was cramming for final exams, has my stress level been this high?

To grow my business, that’s why.

See, being an entrepreneur might sound glamorous, but there are so many unforeseen headaches you have to deal with. In opening up a new storefront on the East Coast with the goal of expanding the nation’s most successful Green Drink and Cleanse/Detox delivery empire, I’ve had to deal with contractors who don’t keep their word, maddening permitting and licensing bureaucracy and …

… well, I don’t want to bore you with all the details. And I certainly don’t expect you to cry me a river.

I realize that I’m extraordinarily blessed. But I just want to share with you that even yours truly can feel the weight of the world on my shoulders.

And here’s how I keep my center: by sticking with healthy habits – I tell myself – today, you treat yourself!

Check out Teresa, treating herself to a Chef V Green Drink, poolside

Teresa treats herself with Chef V
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Meditation, Yoga & Green Drink: The Holy Trinity of Stress Management

No matter what’s going in my life, three things are a constant every morning: meditation, yoga and Green Drink.

As soon as I get up (and use the potty), I sit cross-legged and do some pranayama breathing. Pranayam is the foundation of any yoga practice. Even if I know that I’m going to have to face lots of frustration later in the day, these breathing exercises are so important. They’re like the equivalent of recharging your cell phone, only for your mind.

And no matter how exhausting the previous day was, I always find that practicing pranayama breathing is like a natural cup of coffee. Within a couple minutes, I notice a dramatic boost in my energy level, even if I didn’t sleep well. I feel the stress melting away. Even if my stress level will rise later in the day, this is the ultimate stress-management technique to do first thing in the morning.

There are a ton of YouTube videos you can follow along to. (Maybe I’ll create my own video after the new store is up and running on autopilot.)

Pranayama breathing warms your body and mind up for the asanas, (physical postures) of my yoga practice.

Despite 14-16 hour long days in trying to get this new storefront up and running, I make sure I do a minimum of 10-15 minutes of yoga. It’s so easy to let stress get the best of you and say, “I’ve got no time today for yoga, I’ve got so much work to do….”

But I’m telling you the more stressful your day, the more you need to start your day off with yoga to manage your stress.

To those who know me, I might seem centered but without meditation and yoga, I might be a mess.

Treat yourself with yoga
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Keeping Your (Third) Eye on the Prize

Speaking of meditation, I finish my yoga practice with 5-10 minutes of silent meditation. If you don’t think you can sit in silence for even a minute, no worries. There are free guided meditation apps you can follow along to.

While I meditate I try to think of nothing other than my breathing. Then, after that, I take a few minutes and visualize what I want to achieve for the day. Although dealing with contractors and building inspectors makes me want to pull my hair out, I think it’s really important to keep your eye on the prize and not let annoying impediments get in the way of achieving your goals.

And immediately after I’m done with my yoga and meditation practice, I nourish my body and keep my immune system healthy with 16 oz of Green Drink.

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Free week of green drink
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Treating Yourself When You’re Stressed Out

When you feel like crap, try to resist eating that pint of Ben ‘N’ Jerry’s, no matter how strong a temptation that Chunky Monkey is.

Going for sugar snacks is a misfiring of the reward mechanism of the brain. It’s no different than alcoholism.

Your brain tells you that you’ll feel better about things if you allow yourself to indulge by eating a bunch of ice cream.

But in the long run, you feel lousier. The sugar from the ice cream, along with the highly inflammatory dairy, causes foggy brain and sluggish energy. You might feel blissed-out eating the ice cream for maybe 10 minutes or so. But an hour later, you’re going to feel like you’re dragging. Try my healthier alternative, my vanilla “Milk” shake and indulge yourself without bloating and weight gain.

So what can you do when your back is to the wall and you just feel like curling up in a ball?

Book a mani-pedi, a massage, a facial, or sign up for a 3-day silent meditation retreat. Better yet, do all of the above.

As I said last week in my post about managing back to school stress, it’s critical that when you’re feeling stressed out, you need to do things to revitalize your health.

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vanilla milk shake recipe

Treating Yourself When Stress Strikes For Pennies on The Dollar

And if money is really tight for you, there’s always a way around that problem. Many yoga studios offer free classes in exchange for cleaning or other trade. If you don’t have $100 for a 60-minute massage, go get a rub down at the local massage school, which offer hour-long sessions for pennies on the dollar. If you want to start meditating, there’s a good chance there’s a free introductory workshop.

If treating yourself when you’re stressed out with spa treatments is more your style, check Groupon for deals.

And just remember that stress is like a cold. Eventually, it’ll go away and rarely is it as serious as we make it out to be. But if we don’t want that cold to stick around for very long and worsen into a flu, we need to stay healthy and manage stress….

You know something, just writing this has helped me put things in perspective. I’m ready to take on those pesky contractors tomorrow. I vow not to let anything stymie one bit my goals of taking Chef V to the next level. Om. Namaste.

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