“Free Your Inner Misfit.”

Sometimes on the road to self-growth, enlightenment and success … we have to walk alone. However, there’s a difference between walking alone toward something and feeling alone.

I wanna ask you. Have you ever felt that you were someone “outside looking in?”

For me, this has been an on-again, off-again sentiment throughout my life. Although it never stays for good, it does stays long enough to feel misplaced, which ultimately influences me to go inward and evaluate.

Lately, this feeling has been on again. And last week, I took a time out to reflect and journal. During this time, I ended up researching this idea of “outside looking in” to see if there’s anyone else out there feeling the same way.

And you guessed it … I’m NOT alone. Which means if you’ve ever felt this way, you are not either.

I’m not going to lie. This is one of the strangest feelings I’ve ever experienced. And it’s just recently that I have really started trying to understand it.  It’s knowing that you’re doing well but still feeling out of place. It’s feeling that you belong yet you don’t – it’s knowing that your presence is there and people are surrounding you, yet you feel as though you’re a “misfit” and “outsider” just passing through…

No matter what you do to “get rid of it”, the feeling will stay for however long it pleases. Unfortunately, it’s not something you can just push out, you don’t know how to really get rid of it, and it’s not something you can just shake off.

I bet you’ve probably been told plenty of times that you’re “just fine,” to “just think positive” that “people love you” all while the person providing this advice just regurgitates a bunch of cliché life quotes that will magically make you feel better.

Don’t worry, I won’t do that to you.

Sure, it’s important to think positively overall in life, however, we must feel the uncomfortable emotions to learn, grow and evolve.

As mentioned before, the good news is that this feeling doesn’t stay forever. But when it does come from time to time … it’s just so bothersome. Makes you questions yourself and bring about self-doubt.

Therefore, I want to help provide you some insights to my recent research and self-reflection on this “on again” experience with this odd outsider feeling.

The Four Categories of Misfits

Misfits are usually individuals who have a sense of detachment from the world because of their emotional, spiritual and mental makeup. They generally have an increased awareness and sensitivity, usually have different priorities and a way of thinking, while pursuing goals that are different from the masses.

They go agains’t the grain in a good way. Therefore, don’t be despaired! There’s a bright side to being a misfit! And they are highlighted in the four categories below.

  1. Old Souls

    Many people associate with being an “old soul” are thought to have the habits of an older person or those individuals who would rather be in bed by 9 p.m. than go out and party. Although this is sometimes the case, actually being an old soul shows a level of maturity much higher than expected for their age and are classified as people who excel in intelligence and/or sensitivity. Old souls often feel like they don’t belong here, especially when growing up because being passionate about unpopular things may make others pick up on your differences. And this can be painful in your awkward childhood and teenage years, making you feel like a misfit who doesn’t have a place in this world.

  2. Deep Thinkers

    Deep thinkers pause from the fast-moving, automated and technologically centered world to ponder what truly matters in life. They ask the big philosophical and spiritual questions like the meaning and purpose of life. Many deep thinkers are reserved, quiet and introverted. They prefer to slow down, take the time to reflect … and consider their actions, the world, and their place in it. Sadly, the society we live in is giving more and more importance to superficial, material and instant gratification. That’s why seeing people chasing transient goals and being interested in meaningless things can be so disappointing. And often times makes you wonder what you are doing here, among these people … basically feeling like you come from another world all together.

  3. Empaths

    The trademark of an empath is feeling and absorbing other people’s emotions and/or physical symptoms because of their high sensitivities. They filter the world through their intuition and have a difficult time intellectualizing their feelings. Empaths are naturally giving, spiritually attuned, and good listeners. If empaths are around peace and love, their bodies assimilate these and flourish. However, on the flip side, any negativity – through direct or indirect experiences (think news or 3rd parties) can be so internalized that it often feels assaultive and exhausting, provoking bouts of depression and/or a sense detachment.

  4. The Enlightened – or those on the path

    There is so much varying opinion on what being spiritually enlightened or awakened really means. However, based on what I have learned so far along with my own personal experiences, for me it comes down to trying to attain as much balance as we can between our mind, body and soul. It’s using our third eye for guidance, leaning into God daily, and shining our own inner light. Keep in mind, there are varying degrees in enlightenment, however, it’s about a daily intention. Usually people who are enlightened share these characteristics: ability to live in the moment, have an integrated personality, sense of oneness with life, sense of oneness/connection with God, and omit a calm, loving and radiant energy. So as one becomes is working within on attaining these characteristics or practices … they can start becoming more alienated from those who are not.

To close out my thoughts, I’ll get vulnerable and share with you the poem I wrote last week. Here goes (gulp).

And in the meantime, I would love to hear if you’ve ever felt like you didn’t belong? If you’ve ever felt like the person outside looking in? And if you have, you can see you’re not alone and you have many beautiful gifts to help you carry out your life purpose!



Sitting here, all I hear is indistinctive chatter.

With the occasional burst of laughter piercing through.

But all I hear is nothing new.


I hear my thoughts compete with the crowd.

I hear myself talking me out of the ugly cry.

Asking myself why oh why.


Is it me?

Do I repel?

Or deep inside am I not well?


So much to be thankful for.

Yet from time to time,

I wonder if I’m destined for more?


But what is more?

It’s not riches or fame,

But to know the reason I’m made!


My purpose.

My drive.

The reason I’m alive!


Since being just a little girl,

My thoughts have always been,

The foreign girl “outside looking in.”


Shakeology Myths Debunked

I wanted to pass along a write up from a fellow Team Beachbody Coach, Seay Stanford.

She’s an ex-pharamaceutical rep gone certified holistic nutritionist and full-time Beachbody coach. She felt so passionate about how Shakeology changed her life that she wrote the article below to debunk all those Shakeology Myths floating around. This article is so powerful and real that I could not hesitate to share it with you!

So here you go. Enjoy! And thanks, Seay. I obviously couldn’t have said it better myself.

written by: Seay Stanford

#1 MISCONCEPTION: Shakeology is a protein shake.

Meaning just a shake that provides extra protein. I can’t blame the general public for thinking this since “protein shake” has become nearly an interchangeable term for ANY shake. But, all shakes are not created equal—especially ones that contain superfoods. Shakeology is a very nutrient-dense shake that can be used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You’d have to eat a whole lot of fruits and vegetables to equal the nutrition in a single glass of Shakeology—and you probably couldn’t do it for less than 170 calories. Shakeology makes it very easy to cut your calories without substantially cutting down your daily volume of nutrients needed. Truth be told, the majority of people are WAY MORE nutrient deficient, than they are protein deficient. So why just stop at a protein shake?

 #2 MISCONCEPTION: Shakeology is about comparing carbs, proteins, and fats to other shakes.

This is not at all what you should be comparing when you look at other shakes versus Shakeology. Sure, other shakes have 0 grams of sugar. But how do you think those shakes achieve that? Hint, it’s not natural. Yes, that’s right, they are probably using ARTIFICIAL sweeteners to get to 0 grams of sugar. Even fruit has sugar in it. A shake with 0 grams of sugar is using ARTIFICIAL sweeteners. Shakeology has NO artificial sweeteners, NO artificial colors, NO soy, NO artificial stimulants, and NO artificial flavors. One of its main sweeteners is Stevia, which is plant-based.

#3 MISCONCEPTION: Shakeology is just a bunch of extracts, with no whole-food ingredients.

That’s not true. Whenever it’s possible and sustainable for the formula, the superfoods in Shakeology are preserved in their whole-food state to retain maximum nutrient value. It’s a very difficult process to use whole, plant-based ingredients so that the formula retains as much nutritional value as possible, but Shakeology has a whole team of scientists whose mission is to maximize the nutrition in every ingredient in Shakeology. Imagine trying to juice all those superfoods! Shakeology is way less expensive and a huge time-saver.

#4 MISCONCEPTION: Shakeology is expensive.

To anyone who feels this product is expensive I know that I have not done my diligence in breaking down its REAL VALUE. Most people will agree that they would spend an average of $3 to $7 on a HEALTHY nutritious meal. I know most store-bought salads cost even more than that, and don’t contain nearly the dense concentration of nutrients. But on average, I think we can all agree healthy meals run between $3 and $7. Shakeology, at $4.33 per shake, comes in on the LOW END of average. (You can make Shakeology into a breakfast or lunch that you’d be buying anyway.) Not only are you spending less than you normally would, you’re also getting vital nutrients your body needs, that you just can’t get from your run-of-the-mill salad, plus the normal range of vitamins and minerals. So you can replace your VITAMINS, too. Sure, you may need a specific vitamin, based on your conditions, geography, or age—but in general, Shakeology will provide you with a solid base of your whole-food nutrients.

When was the last time you went to your grocery store and bought THIRTY meals all at once? Typically, I’m guessing, you buy a few days’ worth each time. When you buy a bulk bag of Shakeology, you are buying 30 of your shakes up-front. That means you’ll spend less money at the grocery store. Because of the grocery savings, I actually deduct my monthly Shakeology from my grocery budget. For the price, I cannot duplicate its vast quality of ingredients and nutrients.

#5 MISCONCEPTION: Shakeology is only for weight loss.

Most shakes are marketed this way. But here’s the thing. Anything will induce weight loss if it’s low enough in calories. Just because you are drinking a shake, does not mean the fat will melt off. Actually, if you are not getting enough nutrients and calories you will actually inhibit your weight-loss efforts. Shakeology is about HEALTH. When you put the RIGHT nutrients in your body that it needs to develop, heal, recover, repair, and thrive, you may ultimately have MORE energy, LESS cravings, and FEEL better therefore you eat less and become more active. With Shakeology, weight loss becomes a BY-PRODUCT of dense nutrition.

To make my point, when was the last time you dieted and cut calories only to feel tired, grouchy, and had a ton of cravings? That is because you may have been nutrient deficient. What if you’re at your goal weight, or need to GAIN weight? Because Shakeology is about DENSE NUTRITION you can use it as your base and add clean calories to make it 300 calories or more. Not everyone needs to lose weight, but everyone needs to be healthier. Shakeology isn’t MAGIC. It’s just clean dense nutrition made SUPER easy for everyone at a very affordable price. It’s my family’s “fast food” on the counter. Yes, my family goes through 4–5 bags a MONTH because even though we all have different weight and caloric needs, we all share the same NUTRITIONAL needs. Shakeology isn’t a weight-loss shake—it’s a nutrition shake.

To learn more on ingredients, flavors and to order, visit my Shakeology Shop.

If you would like to chat more about how Shakeology can help, feel free to read more of my blog posts on it here or send me an email to schedule a time to chat!


5 Surprising Benefits of Walking Barefoot on Grass

A few months back I was talking to Little Socrates (aka my dad) about feeling a bit more anxious than usual, cloudy in thought and having lousy concentration.

With his cute accent, he told me, “Vanessa you live in a society and era that’s constantly surrounded by technology and artificial surfaces. You even exercise indoors most of the time. You need to walk on grass daily … barefoot.”

This conversation with my father had obviously not only encouraged me to walk barefoot more often, but also sparked me to do some “earthly digging” for more information.

Walking barefoot, is also known as “earthing,” which means walking on soil, grass or sand. Basically any natural surface.

Early studies have shown that there are health benefits from the relationship between the electrons in the earth and our bodies. When you directly connect your body to the earth’s gentle and natural electrical energy, you flood your body/system with free electrons which weaken free radicals by negating their charge and effects.

Throughout history, humans have spent more time outdoors, mostly walking barefoot (or with footwear made of animal skins) and slept on the ground or on skins. Through direct contact or through breathable  animal skin clothing/shoes, the ground’s abundant free electrons were able to enter the body, which is electrically conductive.

In contrast, now in modern times where we live (and stay) indoors, wear rubber shoes and are exposed to EMFs daily, we unfortuantely don’t often come into direct contact with the ground.

Below are the top 5 benefits of walking barefoot. Hopefully this will inspire you to kick your shoes off during your next walk!

5 Benefits of Walking Barefoot

Benefit #1 | Antioxidants

Antioxidants battle against free radicals, which have been linked to everything from cancer to cardiovascular disease and aging to autoimmune disorders.

This is a big reason why it’s important to fuel your body with antioxidant-rich foods and/or take a daily supplement.

But, aside from food the earth’s surface is a potent source of antioxidants. NO KIDDING?! Yup. In fact, the earth is the biggest antioxidant there is. So I say, we can all do a little more earthing! It’s a powerful {and free} antioxidant that can easily support your wellbeing.

Benefit #2 | Less Stress, Anxiety & Depression 

We all have times of both mental and physical stress and it’s so important we SLOW DOWN and find effective ways to de-stress.

A panel of researchers conducted a pilot study (mixed with people who were grounded and ungrounded) and concluded that earthing has a positive effect on cortisol levels and blood circulation that help to reduce tension and stress.

Benefit #3 | Improved Sleep

Our fast-paced lifestyle and #hustle mentality can leave us with very little time to get the recommended 7-10 hours of sleep daily. As a result, insomnia and other sleep issues are steadily increasing.

According to a Journal of Environmental and Public Health study, grounding the body at night with a conductive mattress pad helps with falling asleep more quickly and waking up fewer times at night. It also appears to positively affect morning fatigue levels, daytime energy, and nighttime pain levels.

Even if you’re not grounded during sleep, making frequent contact with the earth directly – walking barefoot – can help improve your overall system, helping you get better quality sleep.

Benefit #4 | Reduces Inflammation  & Muscle Soreness

The majority of illnesses associated with pain have some underlying inflammation in the affected areas, which is why inflammation is a leading cause of pain. Additionally, stress and overworked muscles are some other common causes of aches and pains. This study clearly documented that pain was reduced in those who participated in grounding. This, along with other studies, illustrate that earthing reduces inflammation, stress, and muscle soreness.

Benefit #5 | Better Cardiovascular Health

Researchers in a study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that grounding can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. Direct contact with the earth reduces blood viscosity, or in simple terms, acts like a blood thinner to help improve overall blood pressure, circulation and oxygenation around the body.


Top Benefits of Earthing

So. You ready to kick those shoes off?!

Why not get some exercise and recharge your system at the same time …

One of the easiest ways to soak up the earth’s healing energy is to go for a barefoot walk on the beach or relax on the grass in your backyard. As you can see, research has revealed some amazing positive physiological changes when you start earthing!

Take baby steps, but build up from there. Obviously, the more time you spend regularly with your feet to the ground (literally), the better the results and the higher likelihood of symptom relief.

Please note, that I am not suggesting that earthing is a “treatment” or a “cure” for any disease or disorder. Instead, it can be said without a doubt that the planet has its own natural charge, and it just seems we do better when we’re in contact with it!

Mother nature is indeed amazing.


5 Awesome Meal Prepping Tips

5 Awesome Meal Prepping Tips 

How many of you have had every intention to meal prep on a Sunday night to then find yourself ordering take-out, or just saying, “eh, I’ll do it Monday, this week was tough and I need to rest.” Monday comes, and nothing. So you recommit for the upcoming Sunday. And the cycle continues…

I feel ya!

As you’re on your journey, you’re probably finding that it’s becoming easier to eat healthy foods. But cooking them is a whole different ball game. That’s the real challenge, right?

But with a few simple meal planning strategies – and the DECISION to stay disciplined and create a habit – you can get your nutritional game on point! Plus, you’ll feel like a hero during the week with all of the time you’re going to save yourself.

Here are five tips to help you get started.

1. Set Your Goals

Before you just start choosing recipes and going shopping you have to stop and consider your personal goals. Are you following a specific program that is suggesting a certain amount of macronutrients? Do you have a target calorie count? What foods are best for you? Are you needing to modify a particular plan to suit your specific needs? What do you need to eat more of? Less of?

Whew…. that was a lot of questions. But they’re important so you evaluate YOUR specific needs and you’re set-up for success.

Not everyone’s body responds to food the same way. So find out what foods are best for yours and meets your body’s fuel requirements that help hunger and cravings disappear. It can be an initial trial-and-error period, but when that happens it makes following a nutrition plan so much easier!

2. Make a Master Recipe Plan

Once you know what you need to eat, gather a master list of recipes that you love. That way when it’s time to cook, it’s easier and quicker instead of taking time to comb through every cookbook or recipe website.

To organize – use whatever system works best for you … Pinterest, meal planning apps, index cards in a recipe box, or printing them out and place in a binder.

I prefer to stick to similar recipes for a period of time (about 1-2 weeks). Those recipes also share similar ingredients that help make it easier to plan and keeps costs and food waste down. If you need more variety keep it to one week. It’s important to have variety in your plan so you don’t get bored – but everyone’s threshold to food boredom is different so listen to what your body (and mind) is saying within reason 😉

3. Shop Strategically

Make your grocery list based on the healthy recipes you’ve just pulled from Tip #2. Make a list of the foods you know are a part of your meal plan you’ve just created, and ensure you stock up on those. It’s important to have a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, along with a few different types of proteins, peanut butter, raw nuts, and lots of seasonings (the recipes you pulled already called for these right 😉 )

This way, no matter what meal you want to make you have the ingredients you need. But also know this … when you’re planning your meals for the week, it’s definitely okay to leave some flexibility. So if you go off plan slightly and you’ve stocked up on healthy staples, it’s okay to go off the menu and prepare something different.

And please don’t force yourself to eat something you HATE because everyone else is saying how healthy it is. If you really don’t like kale, guess what, you’re not going to grab it when you’re hungry. So don’t add it to the list.

4. Bang Out the Prep Work Like a Pro

When you return home from the store, don’t just stuff your groceries in the fridge. Do some time-saving prep work as soon as you get home. Prepping your food is a huge part of success.

Peel your carrots, slice your cucumbers, scrub your sweet potatoes, dice your onions and wash some fruits (that won’t spoil quickly with pre-wash). Not only does it become a one-and-done task rather than a daily chore, but it makes you more likely to grab those healthy foods when you’re hungry.

Also, cook some of your food for the week. I usually cook enough protein to get me through three days and some veggies/sweet potatoes to get me through 3-4 days.  This way, when you’re running out the door, everything is made and you don’t have to think about it. Just grab and go!

5. Don’t Self-Sabotage

You’ve worked so hard upfront to save yourself time in the upcoming week. Easy right?!

Maybe not “easy,” but definitely easier. Because you still have to try to avoid the usual temptations and stumbling blocks. Whether at home or in your place of work. Where you DO have the most control is at home. So avoid the temptation altogether and don’t buy the junk food. Don’t have it staring at you when you’re stomach is growling! Here’s the deal, if you have ice cream in your freezer you may reach for it coming home from a stressful day at work. So just don’t have it in there. Schedule your cheat meals (if it’s according to your plan) and go OUT for ice cream. Believe me, I’ve thought I was strong at times, too!


All-in-all … as long as you plan ahead, shop for healthy foods, and keep some go-to recipes in your arsenal, healthy eating will become easier and can eventually become a wonderful habit. Not only will your body feel terrific, but your mind will feel awesome because you’re saving yourself time and avoiding hassle during the hectic workweek.




8 Tips to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Eating fresh, healthy, organic, local foods sounds great! But if you’re on a budget it can seem impossible. But I promise, it’s not!

But I feel your pain, because I used to think that too. And although boxed foods can (unfortunately) be less expensive, getting healthy food can still fit within your budget and not break the bank!

There are plenty of ways to eat well and actually save money in the process.

1. Do NOT shop hungry!

How many times do you go to the grocery store after work tired, hungry, and possibly grumpy? A Cornell study shows that people who shop while hungry are more inclined to not only purchase more food, but buy more high-calorie foods. Haven’t you noticed that you crave the cookies, breads and chips when you’re starving?

My Tip: keep a piece of fruit or a small bag full of nuts in your bag to help keep your tank on medium, helping you avoid filling your cart with foods you’re craving at the moment, but would avoid getting on a full stomach.

2. Buy Produce in Season 

Whether you’re going to the local farmer’s market or your favorite grocery store, load up on seasonal fruits and vegetables. In-season food isn’t just cheaper, it’s also more flavorful and nutritious. Also, your grocery store is probably stocking a lot of local produce and offering deals on it during peak times. Plus, you can when they’re on sale and freeze them for later.

3. Join a CSA

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way to get high-quality, nutritious food at a cheaper price than you’d find at the grocery store. Here’s the way it work … you buy a share of a local farm’s harvest up front (usually $400 to $700 per year), and then pick up a weekly box with fresh, seasonal produce. Every week you get a box of whatever came out of the farmer’s field. Like buying in bulk at warehouse stores, this calls for some time and creativity in the kitchen.

When it comes to CSAs, you’ll only save if you actually use everything in the box. Unfortunately, if you’re cooking for one or are a picky eater, it may not be worth the investment.


My tip: if an entire box seems like too much check to see if your CSA offers half-shares. OR split a full share with a neighbor or a friend.

4. Buy Healthy Staples in Bulk.

Stocking up on canned/dry goods, healthy whole grains and frozen produce can help you create inexpensive meals on the fly. Costco, Sam’s Club or Amazon Pantry are some options for buying in bulk or having the convenience of mail delivery.

When buying in bulk at warehouses like Costco, you’re able to find fruits and veggies at ridiculously low prices! Thats ‘s you’re willing to buy, say, 15 pounds of potatoes or 8 pounds of oranges at a time. You’ll be stocked up for a while and are in for some work at home (organizing and finding space), but at those prices, who’s complaining?

5. Buy Store-Brand Organics

Whole Foods is more expensive than your general supermarket, but there are some deals with their store brand, 365 Everyday Value. In fact, this year, they’re launching affordable stores in some urban areas called 365 by Whole Foods, with plans to double them in 2017.

Many other supermarkets now have their own organic brands, like Publix Greenwise, Stop & Shop Nature’s Promise, Aldi Simply Nature, and Kroger Simple Truth.

The other thing to look for are weekly specials being advertised to get consumers in their doors. For example, Fresh Market has $2.99/lb organic chicken each and every Tuesday.


6. Buy flash-frozen fruits, vegetables, and fish.

While any processing takes away from a food’s maximum nutritional value, flash freezing is a great way to preserve vitamins and minerals when vegetables and seafood are at their freshest. Plus, the convenience factor can’t be beat – especially when you’re crunched for time.

The price? For seafood, fresh is definitely much more expensive. But that’s even if you can find it at all. If you check at your local grocer’s fish counter, you’ll actually find that much of what is being sold in the case as “fresh” has in fact been previously frozen. Next time, you’re in – ask them 😉 I learned this fact, when I was looking for freshly caught shrimp and salmon.

Produce is bit more tricky. Frozen is sometimes, but not always, cheaper than fresh, in-season, fruits and vegetables.

7. Use Meal-Planning and Grocery Apps

Meal planning is one of the simplest ways to stay on track with your nutrition AND your budget. Win-win!

Many of the major grocery chains offer apps where you can browse weekly ads and even create grocery lists. My suggestion, plan your meals based on what you already have at home ad what’s on sale at your grocery store.

Additionally, there are several meal-planning apps available where you can find recipes and build shopping lists if your local grocery store doesn’t have one (or you don’t like it).

Here are a few worth checking out:

  • MealPlan Meal and Grocery Planner
    Best for: Newbies ($4; iOS)
    This is a great app for first-time meal planners. It’s easy-to-navigate where you can drag and drop recipes into a home screen organized by meal. It’s great for someone who’s trying to get more organized and who need something simple and quick to map out their weekly diet. Once you have your list completed, you can either email or print out the list – even have it sorted out by aisle!).
  • Mealboard
    Best for: Budget-Minded Foodies ($4; iOS)
    This app helps you get your budget and diet under control! The app will aggregate a grocery list that also shows you the price of ingredients if you shop at one of the stores also used in the app.
  • Pepper Plate
    Best for: Multi-course masters (free; iOS, Android)
    Add recipes you’ve collected from the web or manually enter your own creations and this app will generate a grocery list to make shopping easy-peasy.
  • AnyList
    Best for: Busy families (free or $8 upgrade; iOS)
    This is a great app that allows multiple users to add items to a singular shopping list, either manually or with the help Siri. Any updates will automatically sync to everyone’s devices, so the entire family is on the same page.

8. Stick to your list.

Now that we have a way to make our focused grocery list … don’t cave for those cookies while you’re at the grocery store. Remember you have that small piece of fruit or the bag of nuts to get you through 😉

Create your meal plan and shopping list at home – then commit sticking to it!

However, there are sometimes some exceptions. For example, sometimes a gorgeously fresh fruit or vegetable will stand out—one you hadn’t planned on. That’s ok. Or maybe you have to get a substitute brand because your favorite sold out. Build some flexibility into your list to account for these unanticipated situations.

A good rule of thumb is to stick absolutely to your list of pantry items, but give yourself some leeway with fresh, seasonal foods.


Do you have any tips to add to this list? Would love to hear them! 🙂