Fruity "Noijto"

Mojitos are so versatile and SO easy to make... I like watermelon (when I'm in the tropics) or raspberries (when I'm somewhere they are in season) in mine, but it could just as easily be blueberries, strawberries, pomegranate, or classic mint and lime. What variation do you prefer?

Ingredients

Small handful of mint leaves 4 cubes of watermelon or 8 berries (give or take)

Juice of 1 lime

1 Tbsp of cane sugar (or more or less to taste - I like mine tart)

Ice

Soda water to taste

To garnish

Mint leaves

Lime slices

Fruit of choice

Directions

Combine the mint, fruit or berries, lime juice and sugar in a glass and muddle everything together. The muddling step is important. Despite how fragrant mint is, those leaves won’t give up their flavor until you press them! But you don’t want to crush them. Top with some ice and soda water, garnish and serve.


Pomegranate Lassi

What does Friday mean for you? Is it going out to the club, staying in with a good book, or visiting with girlfriends?

No matter what activity you're partaking in this weekend, a fabulous Pomegranate Lassi might be the perfect compliment to your celebration. Lassi is one of the super foods that infuses your body with tons of energy without having too many calories, which I know we can all appreciate.

Ingredients

½ cup of Pomegranate seeds

1 cup of thick yogurt, Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt

A pinch of cardamom powder

2 tablespoon honey or sugar

½ teaspoon kewra essence or rose-water

A few pistachios to garnish

A few pomegranate seeds to garnish

Directions

First grind or blend the pomegranate seeds. Then sieve the juice to get rid of any crushed seeds. Chop few pistachios and put the rest for garnishing. Now in a big mixing bowl add yogurt, pomegranate juice, pistachios, cardamom and honey. Mix everything thoroughly with a whisk (for this step you can also use hand blender). Now you will see that froth has formed on the top of the lassi... that’s exactly what you want! Pour into individual glasses. Garnish with crushed Pistachios and few pomegranate seeds. Serve it chilled. You can also add one ice-cube to the serving glass to keep the lassi chilled.


Sangria Sans Alcohol

Sangria is really popular here in Mexico, but it's a headache waiting to happen - usually made with cheap wine, Fanta, and vodka! So here's a alcohol-free version that's a little more forgiving...

Ingredients: 

2 cups boiling water

2 black tea bags (or 2 teaspoons loose-leaf tea in an infuser; decaf tea is fine)

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 cup sugar (or honey)

3 cups pomegranate juice

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 medium orange, sliced into thin rounds

1 medium lemon, sliced into thin rounds

1 medium lime, sliced into thin rounds

1 medium apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

2-4 medium strawberries, sliced into thin rounds

3 cups carbonated water

Directions:

Pour the boiling water over tea bags and cinnamon sticks and steep for 5 minutes. Discard tea bags and stir in sugar to dissolve. In a large jar or pitcher, combine tea, cinnamon sticks, pomegranate juice, orange juice, orange, lemon, lime, and apple. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (preferably overnight). Just before serving, stir in carbonated water. Serve in glasses over ice.


Rosemary Blueberry Fizz

Time to unwind! What's your favourite way to unwind? I love treating myself, whether it's a night out dancing or taking time to relax and watch the sunset (depends on my mood or energy level) or even trying a special meal or drink. Tonight I'm trying out a new antioxidant-rich mocktail!

Ingredients:

7-8 Blueberries

1 Rosemary sprig, stripped

1 oz Honey syrup

1 oz Fresh lemon juice, strained

4 oz Sparkling mineral water

Ice

Directions:

Gently muddle blueberries, rosemary leaves, and honey syrup in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add lemon juice and shake, covered, with ice vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain through a mesh strainer into a tall glass of fresh ice. Top with sparkling water and stir to incorporate. Garnish with additional blueberries and rosemary.


Strawberry Chamomile Mocktini

Drinking less doesn't mean you have to bore your taste buds! Take time to make yourself something special every once in a while. Today I'm trying out this refreshing mhocktini!

 Ingredients:

1 oz Elderflower Cordial

½ oz Simple Syrup

½ oz Ginger Base

4 oz Chamomile

1 Strawberry

5 Mint leaves

Orange and lemon wedge

Directions:

Muddle strawberry with simple syrup and ginger base. Add the elderflower and chamomile and five mint leaves along with the orange and lemon wedge. Add ice and shake before straining into a cocktail coupe.


My entire life has led up to this moment...

Hi,
How are you today?

Popping into your inbox to remind you of something very important.

You have a choice:
stay the same,
do it the way they tell you to,
or carve your own path.

You are NOT powerless, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

You are powerful beyond belief.

THIS is the basis of Redefining Sobriety.

It is more than “just another program.”

It is a movement.

It is a new path, one you haven’t been offered before.

One that has been a lifetime in the making.

Did you know that I have 20 years of experience leading up to this?
Yes you read that right. 20 YEARS!

I started as a peer volunteer when I was 15 years old. I was one of the first rural youth trained by YouthCO AIDS Society, Canada’s only youth-led HIV/AIDS awareness and education organization.

That led to a lot of firsts:

I was one of the first youth facilitators hired by a government initiative to travel around the project and do workshops on topics such as celebrating diversity, preventing sexual violence and bullying, at age 17.

I was one of the youngest enrolled in my Child and Youth Care Counselling program (my first diploma). In fact, I had a wait a year because they wouldn’t let me enroll until I was 18.

I was the first Hepatitis C and harm reduction coordinator for YouthCO at age 19.

I created the first youth-led project for youth actively using methamphetamines, at age 21.

I became Vancouver’s first Youth Advocate Mentor, reporting directly to City Hall on behalf of Children and Youth, at age 22.

I co-founded Youth RISE, the first and only global youth-led harm reduction network, at age 24.

This work transformed into several other “firsts” including developing the first regional drug policy reform strategy in SouthEast Asia and Cambodia’s first Drug Strategy for Family Health International.

That was career that you sometimes hear me reference. Yes, the one that led to extreme burnout. But that wasn’t my career’s fault. I grew up in this work from a very young age. I didn’t know how to take care of myself or cope with the huge emotional burden I shouldered by doing this kind of work.

For awhile, I stopped talking about it. It’s as if I was born again 6 years ago, when I left Cambodia and moved to Mexico. And again 4 years ago when I redefined my relationship to alcohol once and for all. I spend a lot of time referencing my recent history, however it’s my 20+ years of work experience that actually lays the foundation of unique approach I take with my work.

All of this work had several key common themes:

  • Being “client” focused, and asking the group most affected what solutions would work best for THEM

  • Outside of the box and nonlinear

  • Explicitly empowering, non-judgement and anti-oppressive

  • Solutions focused - looking at where the gaps in current services are, and creating new ones

  • All about restoring dignity and power

  • All about celebrating uniqueness and aliveness

So you see, in a way, I’ve always done this.

My work is so intuitive because it has lived inside of me for so long.

The specific focus around alcohol and holistic healing was added because of my own journey.

That’s what Redefining Sobriety is all about.

 It’s the umbrella for everything I’ve learned and created and implemented for the past 20+ years.

That’s why it would mean so much for you to join me in the very first Redefining Sobriety Program.
It’s 9 weeks, but you get a LIFETIME of participation.

That’s right - this program will launch again in the new year, at a much higher price point, but you get to join again, for free. And the next time it launches, and the next until either you don’t need it anymore or I stop doing it.

We start on October 30.
No sales page, no frills, no promo right now (all that’s coming in the new year).
This invitation is going out to my current list only and I want to keep the first group intimate.

You will have access to EVERYTHING I KNOW and have created so far.

This will be the playground for testing Redefining Sobriety.
Yes, it will be work, we will go deep, but it will also be a lot of FUN!

There will be LIVE weekly calls and worksheets and Facebook support.

All you need to do is submit your payment of $227 here. 

If you’ve worked with me before, either privately or in a group, you can receive your lifetime membership for 50%!!! One-time payment of $113.

There are only 3 spots left for this lifetime offer.

Will you join us?

xoxo


Is this for you?

Hi,

How are you this week?

Have you ever saw someone taking a different approach - something you yourself would never do-  and scratched your head thinking, what on earth, how does that work, WHY?

Like someone who is into extreme sports, or a particular diet, or religion.

They might be someone you really love or admire or respect, yet you can’t imagine spending your time or focus doing that they chose to do.

While I was studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, we learned about the concept of bio-individuality, which is the now scientifically proven theory that no one diet or nutritional approach works for everyone.

So how did it come to be that there is only one prescribed approach to problems with alcohol?

Before 1935, there was very little in the way of support or study of both the brain and effective addictions treatment. When Alcoholics Anonymous was established that year, it filled a void. The seemingly simply approach it offered - lifelong abstinence from alcohol - combined with a prescribed step-by-step program, quickly became the go-to approach. However, due to the tenets of anonymity and lack of records kept by the amorphous groups, its efficacy has never been properly studied.

Yet AA and the offshoot 12 step programs who claim that one drink might as well equal 100 and peg relapse as a personal failure are the norm. The proliferation of these community-based groups has absolved governments of having to fund and provide evidence-based treatment options.

There is no denying this approach has worked for some who have dedicated their lives to it (including close friends and family members of mine). I am not challenging that it can work for those who work it (one of the AA slogans).

However, according to a study by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, nine out of 10 heavy drinkers are NOT dependent on alcohol and, with the help of a medical professional’s brief intervention, can change unhealthy drinking habits.

Don’t you think it’s high time for other approaches that honour our bio-individuality, our unique histories, and desires for the future, our different personalities, our intuition?

Which is why I am introducing an alternative….

Drumroll please...

Let me present you with: Redefining Sobriety!

 Redefining Sobriety is for you if:

  • You resist having someone tell you it has to be done a certain way

  • You’ve heard about or tried programs that require life-long abstinence and know intuitively that it’s not for you

  • You want to self-define what feels like a “problem,” or not

  • You’d rather not be labelled (you feel they are restrictive and disempowering)

  • You’re interested in holistic approaches that include mind, body and spirit

  • You know that you are NOT powerless

  • You are so ready to start showing up fully, for yourself and life (instead of staying stuck in the same cycle of self-disappointment)

  • You long for a space where you can share your full self, your ups and downs, without ever being judged

  • You want to create your own path to healing, and all you need is some accountability, support, and new tools and strategies

  • You are ready to look in the mirror and feel fully proud of the person looking back at you

During this 9 week beta program, I will share the three pillars of Redefining Sobriety:

  1. Your Unique Plan (future writing, getting clear on your vision, your full life circle, the new “AA” aka your personalized alcohol agreement, strategies tailored uniquely to you)

  2. Your Empowered Ownership (mindset, heartset, confidence, clarity and accountability)

  3. Your Exquisite Life (making a life so incredible that a drink feels like an afterthought, not the main event)

This is not a band-aid or a quick fix.
It is not a prescription, or a one-size fits all model.

You CREATE your vision, you OWN your story, you DECIDE your path.

If you have never worked with me before, join now and receive a LIFETIME membership (yes, you participate in this first beta round AND EVERY TIME THE PROGRAM LAUNCHES AGAIN, until either I stop doing it or you stop needing it ;) for only $227. Just click here.

If you have been a private client, purchased the Drink Less Be More Masterclass, or are a current Be More member, you can join now and receive a LIFETIME membership for 50% off, that’s $113. Whaaaaat? I know. But I love you and appreciate everything we’ve done together. And I would love nothing more than for you to join me in this next phase of the journey. Just click here. 

There are very limited spots available in this super special beta group (with the lifetime membership bonus).

Six are already spoken for - is one of the remaining spots yours?

xoxo


I really want you to know

I want you to know…

You are not broken.

You are not a label.

You are not powerless.

You don’t have to fit into a box.

You get to decide.

You pick your path.

You are in control.

You are free.

If you’ve been told “there is only one way” - and yet your intuition told you otherwise.

If you’ve tried “their way” but it didn’t feel right.

If you are ready to live your “best yes” in the most authentically aligned way possible.

Redefining Sobriety is for you.

This is my life’s work. I know this with absolutely certainty and I will tell you why in my next email.

For now, I want you to know what whatever you are dreaming for yourself IS possible.

During this 9 week program, I will take you through a step by step process based on the 3 pillars of Redefining Sobriety:

  • Creating Your Unique Plan (all of my best strategies, uniquely tailored to you)

  • Developing Ownership Over Your Choices (mindset, heartset, confidence, clarity and accountability)

  • Living an Exquisite Life (making a life so incredible that a drink feels like an afterthought, not the main event... and yes, you are "allowed" to drink, if you want to!)

Will you join me in creating a revolution?

I believe that the “sober recovery industry” needs some new alternatives.

I am convinced with every cell in my body and all my soul that Redefining Sobriety can provide a powerful choice, in particular for women who have had enough with feeling powerless.

I’m inviting YOU to be a co-creator in the movement.

If you have never worked with me before, join now and receive a LIFETIME membership (yes, you participate in this first beta round AND EVERY TIME THE PROGRAM LAUNCHES AGAIN, until either I stop doing it or you stop needing it ;) for only $227. Just click here.

If you have been a private client, purchased the Drink Less Be More Masterclass, or are a current Be More member, you can join now and receive a LIFETIME membership for 50% off, that’s $113. Whaaaaat? I know. But I love you and appreciate everything we’ve done together. And I would love nothing more than for you to join me on this next phase of the journey. Just click here.

There is no website or sales page yet, that’s coming in the New Year.

I will be sending more info during the next week and am happy to answer any questions you have (just send me a message).

I’m just so thrilled to get started and want us to be together all the way until the holidays.

First module released the Week of October 30th. There will be weekly calls taking you all the way until Christmas.

Finish this year strong and supported.

I have limited spots available in this beta group (aka most intimate and amazing community) so please don’t delay.

Click here for $227.

If you’ve worked with me before or you are currently enrolled, click here for $113.

Remember, this is a lifetime membership to all Redefining Sobriety group programs!!!

Will you join us?

xoxo


Me too

Hello ,

Once again, this isn't the post I had planned to send today. I had something else that I wanted to share with you - but it can wait another day. This feels more important.

I wanted to share what I wrote this morning as a response to the "me too" movement you may have seen on Facebook.

Here's what I posted:

***

Me too. Yo tambien. #metoo

About a year ago I started writing and sharing more openly about the sexual abuse, harassment and rape that I have experienced.

I had to... I couldn't stay silent as I watched a man who has a lifetime of celebrating objectification of women and has publicly talked about abusing women run for one of the most powerful offices in the world.

Touched inappropriately in a car by an older guy
Having sex when I didn't want to and just staring at the clock or ceiling waiting for it to be over
Told I was dressed like a slut
Raped while unconscious at a party, waking up to the pain of my head bang bang banging against the wall while he was still on top of me
Drugged and raped, waking up after drinking only 1.5 pints of beer next to a man I'd never seen before, looking in the mirror to see a split lip and finding my underwear stuffed in my pocket
Falling asleep on a train and waking up to find a man's hand grabbing me between the legs

All this (and more) before I'd aged out of my teens

Yes, me too

***

I was told again yesterday that I'm so sensitive, that I cry "a lot"

Yes, it's true

When I stopped numbing and started feeling, I started crying

Sometimes I long to go back.
When my pain was carefully and safely tucked so far away that I didn't have to confront it, where it couldn't reach me.

I used to feel that tears were a sign of weakness.
I needed to feel "strong" to uphold the fortress around my feelings.
I needed this strength to survive.
To shed a few was risking opening the floodgates, and drowning.

Now I know my tears are a sign that I'm awake.
That I'm alive.
And that I am now safe enough (aka truly strong enough) to allow myself to feel.

Yes, I cry.

I cry tears of sadness, loneliness, and pain.
I cry as I carry my grief and the collective grief of so.many.others

Sometimes I crave another person so that I don't have to feel so alone.

Last night was one of those nights.

As I scrolled through my feed and saw the words me too, me too, me too... I just wanted to hand it all over to someone and say, make this go away.

Sometimes having someone else say, "I love you, you're safe, you're going to be okay" is easier than trying to convince myself.

***

I was tagged in a post yesterday about a woman celebrating her sobriety, and likening Trump's election as a call to action/wake up call to the choice to choose "being awake" through sobriety vs numbing.

Someone in the comments challenged her by saying that she didn't see how Trump's election had anything to do with the personal responsibility of sobriety.

Do you know how many of my clients needed extra support as they were triggered by so many of the things he said and represented in his campaign (and continues to)?

It happened for me in a big way as hearing about him brag about grabbing women by the pussies literally brought back a memory that had been buried for almost 15 years.

Because my pussy was grabbed too.

Being forced into a reminder of that painful experience wasn't something I asked for. The shock and the force of remembering had me wanting to run and numb again.

It wasn't even the "worst" of what I've experienced, but it is such a powerful representation of how our bodies are viewed.

Because as I slept peacefully on a train, some man thought he had a right to touch me in my most sacred place. He believed he had more ownership over what happened to my body than I did. He believed he didn't have to ask permission.

I believe that was is happening politically, globally, in Hollywood, everywhere, has EVERYTHING to do with the very difficult decision that some of us make daily to be awake and to allow ourselves to feel.

(and trust me, I have 100% empathy and zero judgement for those who continue to numb. I GET IT. This path is not any easy one and I can choose to walk it because I have a fuck ton of support and privilege - but that's for another post)

***

So yeah, me too.

I'd rather not be reading these words over and over again and feeling such a profound heaviness on a Monday morning.

I'd rather be writing about something else other than this at the beginning of the week.

But.

Together we are stronger, louder.

I am so proud and inspired by each and every PERSON who wrote those two words. Me too.

It takes courage.
For some, it is their first time sharing and releasing themselves from the burden of silence and shame.

I see you. I honour you. I love you.

***

That was what I posted publicly on Facebook.

I'll add more here.

The link between trauma and alcohol/substance use is well-researched. Many of us here have had experiences of pain, abuse and trauma... which lead us to numb (alcohol, drugs, sex, co-dependency, perfectionism, workaholism, etc).

I understand, deeply and profoundly, the courage it takes to look within, to understand and heal from this.

That is why I am so deeply committed to providing the safe space and connection for YOU to feel safe and supported to be with and feel your pain.

If you want to know more about the connection between trauma, pain and connection, please watch this short but super powerful video.

If you are feeling the weight of "me too" or the realization/awareness of where some of your need to numb comes from, please do not continue to suffer in shame and silence.
I'm here for you.

We're here for each other. 

xoxo


Are you getting enough Vitamin See?

Hi,

How are you doing this week?

I’ve been honoring World Mental Health Day and National Coming Out Day this week. Make sure to follow me on Facebook (click the icon at the bottom of the page) to check out my two recent posts on these topics that have both affected my life and many I love very personally.

I also finished reading Girl on the Train this week. I didn’t love the book and wouldn’t really recommend it unless you like a psychological thriller and a lot of writing about alcohol. (It could also be potentially triggering depending on where you are in your relationship to alcohol and whether you still experience a lot of shame around what has happened to you while you’ve blacked out, thankfully I’ve released that).

That being said, something really struck me about the characters. The main character obviously had a problem with alcohol, the entire premise of the book was based on this. However, one of the secondary characters also finds herself drinking towards the end of the book, as she feels her world falling apart.

What did they have in common?
They both felt profoundly lonely.
They both felt unseen and misunderstood.

Alcohol helped soothe the pain of this loneliness and lack recognition.

You’ll notice how this experience also ties directly into the experience of many people who struggle with mental health and those of us living life under the LGTT2BQQII aka "queer rainbow of sexual and gender diversity."

There’s a reason why people with mental health challenges and queer folk struggle with alcohol and drugs at much higher rates than the general population.

One of my first mentors in the self-development space, Dara McKinley, describes our need for “Vitamin See.”

“Vitamin See is a no-brainer for babies and children. They demand it and we pour it on, creating an obvious positive outcome. Then, as we become “rational adults,” our need for Vitamin See is hung in the closet. With no map for guiding us to this critical necessity, we are all left to fend for ourselves. We either become desperate from our hunger for it, which fuels competition and posturing, or we pretend it’s not important, which leaves us drained and depressed.”

For many of us here, a lack of Vitamin See leads us to “supplement” with other substances and behaviors, that attempt to fill the void: alcohol, drugs, sugar, food, obsessive exercising, sex, overachieving, perfectionism, excessive helping etc.

Does any of this feel familiar?

Have you ever been made to feel bad about wanting “attention?”

I feel like there was a shift that happened somewhere between childhood and early adolescence that my want and need to feel seen became a bad thing.

Parents and society reinforced this by reinforcing certain kinds of validation (being nice, academic achievements) over others, such as being a wildly creative, expressive young woman.

I was speaking to someone for her first consultation this past Wednesday and I asked her, “what are the biggest BENEFITS of your relationship to alcohol?”

At first, she balked at the question, and blurted out “wow, that's a good question, nobody’s ever asked me that before!”

However, after her initial surprise, it didn’t take her long to list the benefits of excitement, connection, conversation, loss of inhibitions and self-confidence. It also helped her feel comfortable and open up on dates.

How many of these have to do with being SEEN?

Probably almost every single one.

My own relationship to alcohol was very interconnected with my need to be seen, loved and understood… I just didn’t know how to “do” that on my own. And I learned from a young age that alcohol could “do” a lot of that for me.

Ever since I began this journey of redefining my relationship to alcohol, I realized how important it was to be able to share my experiences with others and how much more powerful we are when we come together to support one another... to truly see and be seen. 

As I mentioned in my last email, I have very few spots available for private coaching. I’d love to work with you now. Remember, that if you sign up with me this month, you can also participate in the Be More Membership for 6 months for FREE.

Click here to set up a time to talk.

Here are a few shares from current clients and members of the Be More members on how they are able to show up and feel truly seen: 

"This feels like a safe space. I don't feel I have to edit my thoughts or emotions to fit what is expected, which is HUGE b/c (as you know) I struggle with trying to show up as "perfect."

"I feel like all of me - including the imperfections, the weaknesses, the struggles - not only have a place here, but are honored in the most genuine of ways. Most self care stuff I've done in the past has felt disingenuous. In my short time here and working with you, I feel a deep sense of being loved no matter what (for real, not just saying it without meaning) and mutual understanding that I have never felt. And that now that I think more about it, I think what makes this group and coaching so special is that genuineness of care gives me strength, courage, and safety to be more vulnerable and open with myself, so that I can begin to deeply "see" myself for the first time."

"When I feel like I have no place to go, I remember that I have HERE to go. Fully, completely ME. Real and raw. And it is welcomed with open arms. There is a support network from our hostess/facilitator/coach but also the incredible support from the group. It is a very powerful experience."

If you would like to experience being truly seen and supported, let's connect.

xoxo,