Nothing says “buzz-kill” like “30-day juice cleanse”


Nothing says “buzz-kill” like “30-day juice cleanse.” But feeling all jazzed about getting started on a long-overdue health-kick doesn’t have to be an exercise in deprivation — or futility. Instead of detoxing for a month (or a day) (or an hour) with some kind of crazy juice-tea-broth regimen, cleanse your brain of unrealistic impossible health goals that have failure written all over them and replace them with these three painless ways to detox.

Oh, Kale Yeah!

Not to get all judgy, but if all you can say about kale is “It’s bitter,” then you’re doing it wrong. Everyone knows that kale has incredible nutritional value, but what’s remained a mystery is how to make it taste good enough to eat more than once a year. A little known fact is that kale actually tastes better the longer it sits tossed in dressing because the acid in the dressing neutralizes the bitterness of the kale. So make a giant kale salad, but leave it in the fridge for 24 hours before you eat it. Your delayed-kale-gratification will be worth it because once it’s had time to think about what it’s done wrong, it’ll taste like a whole new vegetable. Serve it as a side with your dinner for as many days as it lasts. Bring it for lunch (and impress your co-workers). Add it to ice cream and spoon it onto two cookies for a healthy “ice-cream kale-wich.” (Just kidding on that last one!)

Oh, Kale Yeah! Salad:

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1½ tbsp dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • lots of kale (stems removed)

Mix up the dressing in a blender, pour it over your kale, then wait a day! After 24 hours, add your favorite toppings for additional awesomeness. Some favorites? Dried cherries, Granny Smith apples, and a touch of blue cheese. It fancies up your kale and seriously pumps up the deliciousness factor.

Breathe in, Breath out

You’re already doing this, we know. But are you really breathing? Like, the kind of breathing that fills every cubic centimeter of your being? Taking a few super-deep cleansing breaths throughout your day is like taking a mini-vacation and recharging your molecular makeup. Picture your breath filling you up from your toes to your head; then slowly exhale and let it all go. Do this on your commute, at your desk, while you’re running errands. Your oxygen-starved cells will thank you by helping you feel more energized, refreshed, and ready for that to-do list that never gets any shorter.

The little things

A beautiful, organized home is nice, but who has time for perfection? Instead, fixing a few small things (they can be really, really small) to make your home feel less “ugh” and more “ahh” can make all the difference. Vow to fill a bud vase with one fresh flower every week. Swap a new photo in your favorite picture frame every month. Clean out that kitchen junk drawer already. Having just one element in every room that fills you with calm and happiness, even for a second, will make your house less zoo, more zen.

3 Things You Should Do to Avoid Dreading Sunday Evenings

womanreadingDo you dread Sunday evenings? You’re not alone. Even if you absolutely love your job thinking about Monday and jumping back into the hectic weekly routine is stressful. It sucks actually.

Then there’s the dread of the Sunday evening dread. Yes, there is absolutely such a thing, I’ve become absolutely expert at it. Essentially it’s starting “Sunday evening dread” sooner – like Sunday morning. Since I knew it was coming, I started to feel it even earlier. Which often meant that the entire Sunday was shot.

That’s a terrible way to feel and a really good way to miss out on enjoying your weekends. So here are 3 things you should do to avoid dreading Sunday evenings and dare I say, even enjoy them?

1. End your Sunday with something you enjoy.

My Sunday late afternoons and evenings used to consist of cooking for the week, organizing for the week, and catching up on work before Monday. Ending my Sunday by writing work emails or spending three hours in the kitchen was the least-relaxing thing I could do. So I changed things around — moved catching up on emails and cooking to earlier in the day and announced to my family that Sunday evenings will be fun family dinner evenings. We either grab dinner with friends or do something fun at home, but either way, it’s a special little tradition we can look forward to.

Do this: Take out your calendar (digital or physical), and schedule something for Sunday evenings that you can really look forward to. Maybe you want to watch a favorite show, hang out with your friends or family, take a yoga class, go for a walk — whatever you truly enjoy. Many studies have shown that when we have something positive to anticipate, we feel better and more optimistic. Use this research to re-structure your Sunday evening to end it with something you can look forward to.

2. If you have to work on Sunday evenings, make it your favorite work.

None of us live in a perfect world and sometimes you’ll have to spend your Sunday evening catching up on work — I often do. Whatever job you have there are probably parts you like more and those you like less. On Sunday evenings, can you focus on some of your favorites?

I am writing this article on a Sunday evening. I love to write and it’s something I don’t get to do as often as I’d like to. So of all the different types of tasks that are part of this CEO gig, writing is actually quite fun and relaxing — perfect for a Sunday evening.

3. Treat yourself to something tiny every Sunday night.

The worst thing you can do is end Sunday in a stressed-out mindset, not get some good sleep, and start Monday with a serious case of the Mondays. Make a plan to treat yourself to something nice on Sunday night to catch your breath, feel good, and go to bed feeling that way.

Light a candle you like and just sit and breath for a while. Read in your favorite chair. Make a cup of your favorite tea (decaf preferably) and savor it for a few minutes. Listen to a few songs that make you smile. Do some yoga or meditate for a few minutes – whatever that means to you, including just being still, with your eyes closed, or going for a short meditative walk (my favorite way to meditate and to be honest, the only way I am able to do it.

Don’t steal your Sunday evening by dreading the end of the weekend — invest some energy into making it something you can look forward to, and dare I say, enjoy?



10 Really Simple Ways to Make 2015 Amazing Without Making a Single Resolution

I’ve always really loved New Year’s.

In Russia it’s a big family holiday that we used to celebrate with a huge, long, multi-course, late-into-the-night family meal, a New Year’s tree, presents, and even a visit from Ded Moroz. It wasn’t a religious holiday but the New Year’s tree was very similar to a Christmas tree and Ded Moroz was very similar to Santa Claus, although to get your presents you had to sing or dance or recite a poem. (My dad often made some extra money by working as Ded Moroz for a few families:). We still celebrate this way in America and I love it.

The other thing I love about New Year’s is a chance to think about the year ahead and some things I’d like to experience. Kiddo and I got into the habit of making an annual vision board about some of the things we want to do in the new year and it’s one of our favorite things to do.

What I have stopped doing a long time ago is making New Year’s resolutions. We all work really really hard, we run around our lives at increasingly fast pace, and our to-do lists seem to only be growing — at least that’s what I am finding. It’s awesome to aspire to certain goals but making resolutions seems like yet another way to add to that daunting to-do list and put more pressure on ourselves.

Science teaches us that it’s the small things and everyday habits that have the greatest impact on how we feel, not the big accomplishments on which most of our New Year’s resolutions tend to focus. With that in mind, here are 10 Really Simple Ways to Make 2015 Amazing Without Making a Single Resolution:


  1. Savor something small every day.  Enjoy your morning coffee without multitasking by checking your email or cleaning up the kitchen. Take a minute vacation during the day to eat a piece of chocolate and actually taste it. Savoring small everyday experiences makes us a lot happier than enjoying big life stuff, like promotions or vacations.
  2. Make tiny bits of progress. Forget big goals for a moment. Instead, if there is something you want to achieve, commit to making a tiny bit of progress every day. Research shows this is the best way to actually achieve your goals. I love this post by Leo Babauta of the awesome Zen Habits blog about how to create a flossing habit by flossing just one tooth.
  3. Be a little kinder to yourself. Most of us are our own toughest critics. “I suck because I can’t do that yoga pose the woman on the mat next to me is doing,” “I have no self-control so I eat too many sweets,” “If I were smarter I would get that job I want.” Would you talk like this to your friend? No. Try treating yourself with the same kindness and compassion you give to those you love.
  4. Give yourself permission to have a bad day. I’m an optimizer so when something is going wrong my instinct is to try and make it better. But sometimes stuff just goes wrong, you have a bad day, you’re feeling rotten, stuff isn’t going your way. Let it happen. Give yourself permission to have a bad day, not get a lot accomplished, not make it better right away, and well, if the best thing you do that day is have it end and go to bed, awesome.
  5. Make someone feel good once a day. If this sounds daunting and not something that fits into the “simple” list, it shouldn’t. Hug your kids or significant others just a bit tighter in the morning. Say thank you to the barista who made your coffee and smile. Text a friend and tell them they are awesome. Give your colleague a genuine compliment. Making someone feel good takes a tiny bit of effort and is one of the easiest ways to add joy to your life.
  6. Do less. That big home project you’ve been putting off that’s weighing on you? Consider just not doing it. A woman I met recently told me she had been planning to re-upholster a few chairs and had them in her basement for years. One day she realized she would never actually get to it so she called a junk removal company that came and picked them. “I felt so relieved and happy,” she told me. Want to have friends over but don’t feel like cooking? Don’t; get takeout or ask everyone to bring something. Doing less doesn’t make you lazy, it makes you a better caretaker of you.
  7. Move a little slower. I feel like we’re all hurrying through our lives instead of living them — maybe you do as well. Find time every day or at least once a week when you move slower. For me this is Saturday mornings: Instead of my usual early morning walk followed by crazy-paced getting ready routine, I wake up later, take a slower later walk, and then actually sit down for breakfast with my family without also checking email at the same time.
  8. Try new things in small doses. If you want to learn a new language or how to cook Italian food, cool. But trying a new recipe or taking a different way on your run or walk are awesome small ways to add new experiences to your life. Not only does it make life more fun, but research shows that it also helps time slow down.
  9. Don’t text and walk. I think texting has become such a core part of our lives that this deserves it’s own spot on the list. (AKA I have a problem with this and I’m going to try to do a lot less of it.) You know that texting and driving is dangerous, but did you know that texting and walking is more so? Nick Bilton made not texting and walking his New Year’s resolution and wrote about it in The New York Times; I was inspired to add it to this list.
  10. Keep a what “I’ve done list”. Instead of always focusing on what you have to do, appreciate what you have done. You can do this daily when you write your to-do list — it’s one of my favorite productivity hacks — or keep a separate list. Kiddo and I recently started a little learning jar, where we put in notes about things we’ve each learned this year. Whatever format you choose, give yourself some credit and pause to appreciate what you’ve done, learned, experienced as you go through the year.

Happy New Year and here’s to an awesome 2015!

Mindful Break: Meet My Son (15 days old)

21ff76a3-6a13-4709-8450-9697c271c34bOn November 23 at 1:47am, my son Remo Romanelli was born.

As many of you have witnessed before, to see that little human being suddenly appear in the delivery room, all I could think was:


Over the past 12 days, I have spent hours staring at his little toes and fingers and ears and lips that formed on their own in the womb and I thought,


Last night, he lay on my lap and we watched SportCenter together and he lifted his tiny head to stare at me, I thought,


And then, after the 12th consecutive sleepless night, as my wife and I lay awake shaking our heads at the ungodly hour of 3am, I thought to myself,


After doing my best to be supportive of my wife’s 24 hours of labor, I took a taxi home at 5am Sunday morning. It was both the most exhilarated and exhausted I’d ever been… all at once!

I told the taxi driver all about the night and how proud I was of my 6 lb 12 oz bundle of love… AND my wife for laboring for 24 hours!

And the taxi driver, parent of 3, said, “Get ready to be exhausted. You are not going to have anytime to yourself. Kids get sick. They are going to whine. They are going to take everything you have and ask for more.”

And I was thinking to myself, “Geeeez, I’m riding home with the Grinch.”

But then, the taxi driver said, “But you are going to have so much love in your life and it’s all worth it!”

Whether or not you have kids, you know that life is most raw, most awesome, and most wonderful when you are teetering at the edge of ENERGY AND EXHAUSTION, SUCCESS AND FAILURE, HOPE AND DESPAIR.

But you can’t stop digging in and stirring. Because as the taxi driver said, love is what comes from all those emotions.

You need every single one of your losses and failures, wins and triumphs, bad days and bad moods, great days and great moods… to create the alchemy of love.

Happier Jump-Starts: Tips For Holiday Decorating

happier-jumpstarts-120714It’s that blessed time of year… the days are shorter, the demands are greater, and P.S., you’re supposed to be super-happy right now, haven’t you heard? If you’re feeling stressed-out by the season, clearly you’re a Scrooge. (Or, you know, human.)

Many people love dressing up their homes for this month of festive holiday cheer, and some do not love it and do it anyway. Here’s our take on sure-fire holiday decor that’s sure to make you happier.

If you love to decorate, do! Does it make you happier? Do you see it as a joyful experience rather than a chore? Then have a blast! And don’t worry about whether it’s all perfect or meets with the neighbors’ approval. Provided that you’re not setting up a neon glo-dome projecting disco lights directly into someone else’s bedroom window, what you do on your property is your business.

If you don’t love to decorate, don’t! There is no law stating that you must decorate for the holidays. Not even if you’re super-religious. Not even if your mother says you should. Not even if Martha Stewart herself appeared to you in a vision to demand that create a table centerpiece out of pinecones, tinsel, and solid-gold acorns. It’s okay. Not everyone likes to deck the halls. Be honest with yourself.

Find fabulous compromises. If you have children, chances are you have an entire box (or two or three, depending on how many kids and how old they are) of kid-created decorations designed to make you ooh and aah. It can become… a lot. If you’re not a decorator or you don’t particularly love everything in the box, designate a corner or a wall where the kid(s) can showcase their goodies. If you are a decorator—one who loves for everything to look fancy, and feels that pipe-cleaner reindeer damage your aesthetic—do the same. Find small touches that are easy if you’re not big on a whole holiday makeover or tone it done from your dreams of a complete Winter Wonderland if the rest of your family isn’t into it. There’s always a way to make it work.

Figure out what matters to you and do that. If you love a cheesy decoration of questionable taste because it reminds you of important things, use it. If your family gathers ’round for the lighting of the candles or the trimming of the tree and you love it, do that. If you don’t celebrate anything at all but find yourself oddly drawn to a “Season’s Greetings” sign, give in. Or if you simply want to leave your home exactly as it is no matter your holiday plans, because that leaves you more time to enjoy family and friends, more power to you. Seriously.

Remember your holiday mantra. I don’t know what your holiday mantra is, but mine is, “This is not important in the grand scheme of things.” It helps me remember that the flurry of holiday activity that sometimes makes me believe every cookie swap or door wreath is theverymostimportant can pull me away from what really matters. So if I find myself muttering at tangled lights or otherwise bemoaning my lack of decorating skills, I stop, take a breath, and focus on what really matters. (It’s the food.) (Kidding! Just kidding!)

The best decoration for any home is inhabitants who are enjoying life. Everything else is just window dressing.

Mindful Break: The Secret To Power

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 12.26.21 PMWhether you are a world leader, high schooler, entrepreneur, or superstar mom, everyone wants to feel powerful.

Sometimes we feel like we have it. Other times we don’t.

The balance of power is always changing, whether at home, work, or amongst the 8 personalities that play a role in your inner life.

And of course, we all have those times when we feel powerless. Like somebody or something totally owns us.

We can change that and shift the balance of power RIGHT NOW. This is how:

In American culture, one of the ways we define “power” is the guy in the above picture with ginormous muscles and awesome physical strength. But really? Maybe that guy can lift you and your whole family in the air, but unless he can lift your heart and mind, it’s not power!

In his seminal book Power vs. Force, author David Hawkins defines power as a state of awareness, not a sensory experience, look, feel, or balance sheet.

In Hawkins’ research, these are the rarest states of awareness, based on one’s vibration. If you have questions, check out the book. It’s one of my favorites.

LOVE (500): .4% of the global population reaches this level of consciousness. According to Hawkins, love is not based on a relationship. It is permanent, unchanging, unconditional. How many people do you know who feel unconditional love all the time? Pretty rare, right?

JOY (540): This is even rarer than love, experienced by saints, advanced spiritual students, and healers.  It’s based on enormous patience and persistence of positive attitude. How many people do you know who are always patient and positive? We are getting into very rarified territory here.

PEACE (600): Peace is attained by only 1 in 10 million people. Individuals at this level remove themselves from the world. All is alive and radiant. Total bliss. Either these people are hiding in nature, or they are very famous (e.g., The Dalai Lama or The Hugging Saint).

The higher one goes in Hawkins scale, the more powerful they become.

In other words, if you wish to become truly powerful, be more loving, more joyful, more peaceful… not more business savvy, political, or physically fit.

The greatest lesson here is resistance.

The reason Peace is so rare is because peace is a blend of all the emotions. Happy AND sad. Love AND anger. Calmness AND Anxiety.

Nobody in their right mind wants to feel sad or angry or anxious. So we go to great lengths to resist that which is uncomfortable. And then we spend a significant chunk of our time and energy resisting, griping, gossiping, living AGAINST rather than living FOR.

We think things like:

“That person at work has it out for me. I’m going to dominate them and show who’s better!”

“My ex is such an a-hole. I hope I never see them ever again.”

“The holidays are so depressing. I need a drink… make it three!”

All are forms of resistence.

When we allow ourselves to feel whatever comes up without resistance, conditions are conducive to peace.

Loosen, relax, open, breathe.

Power is and forever was yours. Whether or not you accept that is another conversation.