Feb 05, 2018


By: Dr. Kelly Vincent, Registered Psychological Assistant

Ok, so why is moving so important?

If we could do anything for ourselves, especially when we are feeling not-so-great, it would be to GET MOVING. Exercise is one coping skill that provides more bang for your buck.

There is also a biological reason why we should be moving! summarized it best, “doctors recommend that we all exercise regularly because our bodies need to be physically active. We sit throughout the day while working and then sit more while relaxing with friends and family either at home or out on the town. Because of all the sitting we do our bodies do not work the way they were designed to work, or at least we don’t achieve the peak performance that we would if we were still living as hunter-gatherers.  Hence we turn to exercise to ameliorate some of the effects of our sedentary lifestyles.” Essentially, our bodies were programmed to move! Like food and water, our bodies NEED exercise in some form or another.

What do the experts recommend?

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends healthy adults “get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week.” The Department of Health and Human Services also recommends “strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times per week. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week (Mayo Clinic, 2015).”

Now let’s think about this for a second. DHHS recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. When we break it down that is ONLY 2.5 hours per week or 1.25 hours per week of vigorous (e.g. running, spinning, sprinting) exercise. When you think of all the activities you do throughout your week that is really only a small fraction of your time!

For comparison’s sake, let’s look at a typical activity (most of us) do during the day: social media usage. Let’s be honest, many of us are guilty of spending more time scrolling than we would like to admit. However, you are not alone. Research shows “the average person has five social media accounts and spends around 1 hour and 40 minutes browsing these networks every day (The Telegraph, 2015).” Yes, you read that correctly, every day! That is a lot of time spent on a platform that is really not giving much in return. Heck, it sometimes makes us feel worse! So, how about we spend 50 minutes scrolling on social media and the other 50 minutes moving!?

Benefits of Moving

There are so many benefits when it comes to exercise that I could not possibly list them all in this blog post, but, I will highlight a handful that are super important. Specifically, I want to highlight the benefits to both the mind and body.

Body Benefits

  • Helps control weight
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduces the risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Reduces the risk of some cancers
  • Strengthens bones and muscles
  • Improves your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult
  • Increases your chances of living longer

Mental Health Benefits

  • Lifts your mood
  • Reduces stress
  • Boosts confidence
  • Improves sleep
  • Decreases symptoms of depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD
  • Boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels—all of which affect focus and attention
  • Increases energy
  • Builds resiliency

Motivational Reminders

We all need a little motivation from time to time. Not just with exercise, but with anything in life. Below are a few ways to increase your motivation when it comes to taking care of your physical body and mental well-being.

  • Treat Yo Self
  • Power of Positive Thinking
    • Use visualization as a motivational strategy. That is, visualize the benefits before exercise. Maybe in the morning you imagine how the sun will feel if you are going for a run outside or how you are one step closer to your goal (e.g. six pack, leaner muscles, emotionally stronger).
  • Find Your #fitnesstribe
    • Finding a workout that makes you feel good, while surrounding yourself with people that help build your confidence as much as your strength is extremely beneficial. Research shows that working out with a buddy can increase motivation, interest, and accountability.
  • Don’t Judge Yourself
    • We are not perfect. No human is. When you have an “off day” or just are not feeling it for whatever reason (side note: those are the days that you need it the most), remind yourself it is ok. You did not fail at life. Not all is ruined or lost. Commit to yourself in that moment to get back on track tomorrow or later in the day. Maybe replace your vigorous spin class for a short walk. After all, the point is just to GET MOVING. Not every day will be a perfect workout day.
  • Finally, MAKE IT FUN!
    • Do something that is fun. Yes, exercise is hard. But it doesn’t have to be hard all the time. Maybe it is running or walking in a beautiful location, or it is trying out something new with a friend (i.e. laughing yoga). Laughing can be a wonderful workout for the abs.

Alright, go forth and GET MOVING!

Dec 15, 2017


By: Chrissy Abram; Founder, @mndsight + innovation @lululemon + UCSD Health student + iRest yoga nidra

When was the last time you noticed that your mind was drifting into the future or hanging out in the past? Do you remember what it was that you were thinking about? Past and future thinking are great when we can look at them like they a polaroid picture, seeing them as either a direct reflection of the past or a vision for what we could see our future looking. The key here is to not add any additional narrative to round out the story, this is where self-doubt can leak in. Self-doubt is the barrier that lies between us and our fullest potential.

Here’s the deal, just like its impossible to walk by an almost complete puzzle and not put the finishing piece in the right place, the mind also doesn’t like to have gaps or uncompleted pictures; we end up creating stories to fill in the missing pieces. Stories are scripts that are derived from our past or our attempt to conjure up future fantasies. The mind is literally shouting, “tell me a story and make it dynamic with as much detail as possible.” You see, the pieces we are unsure about are left for the imagination to fill in. When we live outside of the present moment, we tend to live in the future or the past, sometimes leading us to ruminate or get swept away by the what ifs or should haves. I call this cycle, the hamster wheel. You keep going around in circles and it feels like there is no exit sign or parachute you can pull.

Guess what? You have the power to find the exit sign and find self-love in the midst of all these thoughts. The practice of mindfulness invites us to stay in the present moment, watching each moment effortlessly unfold. Mindfulness can help you develop an innate wisdom that will lead you back to self-love. So, let’s get real for a minute and identify any repeat thought offenders, they are the occupants of the hamster wheel. Take a moment and write them down. When do you feel self-doubt flood your whole body and mind? What does that look like for you? Identify any thought, word or action that has any lingering of self-doubt is barrier between you and self-love. There is power in being able to identify these thoughts and call them out. Below you will find three ways to connect back to self-love

3 Ways to Connect Back to Self-Love

We All Have Thoughts

How often do we find ourselves thinking about situations, interactions, or previous conversations without realizing we are actually thinking about them? It can be like we are on a thought train that is going a mile a minute down the track. When we start to realize this flow of thoughts that live outside of the present moment, we begin to cultivate self-awareness; an amazing skill that supports us in so many ways but one of them being a guiding light that brings us back to the state of now. The now is where our ability to feel powerful lives.

Try this: next time you are sitting still, this is often when the mind starts to wander, get curious about how fast you can notice the mind wandering and if there is repeated thought theme. The more we can become aware of having thoughts the more possibility we have to nourish our minds and direct it back to the present moment.

Get Grounded

When our mind is living outside of the present moment, our body usually becomes detached from the different sensations around us. We might experience a muted scene we are staring at, the delicious beverage we are sipping might not be noticed or the smell of something amazing may just wash over us. Our senses are powerful and can ground us in the present moment.

Try this: next time you notice self-doubt creeping in, begin to notice something you are experiencing. Ground yourself in one of your senses and release any thoughts that keep you from noticing every detail of what you are tasting, hearing, smelling, seeing or touching.

Words are Powerful

Naturally, we have lots of chatter in the mind. Research shows that we have anywhere between 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day. That is a lot! Unfortunately, the mindfulness practice doesn’t come with a magic shield that bats away any thoughts before they come into the consciousness. However, know that you are human and we all have thoughts, life would be way less entertaining without them. The practice of mindfulness allows us to see the thoughts and release it without becoming attached to it. Words and thoughts are the most powerful thing we will ever own. Notice when you are giving your power away and stepping out of self-love.

Try this: Next time you notice a repeat thought starting to monopolize the mind, see if you can bring an affirmation into your practice. Let your affirmation be a word or a phrase that resets the stage for self-love to be available for you.

Next time you experience self-doubt, remember you can check in with yourself and get curious about what is real for you in that moment. Take a deep breath, re-ground, and remind yourself that you are human and the most impactful conversation we can have is with yourself. The words that build our thoughts and occupy our conversations are responsible for shaping the reality around us. Hold yourself able and trust in your innate wisdom that comes with genuine self discovery. The world needs you.

Below is my self-love practice I use when I feel any sense of doubt creeping in. If you find it helpful, let this be my gift to you.

Chrissy’s Self-Love Practice

Softly close the eyes, it’s time to tune in
Feel the natural beauty of the breath as it unfolds in the body
With each inhale, feeling the body remember what it’s like to feel whole
With each exhale, creating space for yourself to soften
Curious about the space between each breath as it has a message it’s about to tell you
Put your hand on your heart and listen closely


Chrissy Abram is driven by authentic connection and managing creative projects that push the needle of possibility. She gets inspired by listening to top holistic health researchers and people that are passionate about intentionally living a life they love. You will find her leading well-being inspired projects for lululemon athletica’s innovation team, teaching Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction courses, leading yoga for athletes around Vancouver, BC and running MNDSIGHT, her personalized mindfulness business that supports people in finding a practice.


IG: @chrissyabram @mndsight

Nov 14, 2017


By: Ayla Sorochuk, #TeamRawBeauty

When Erin asked me to join her in our social media Raw Detox, I truly didn’t think I could manage. In all honesty, I had no idea how this detox was going to be possible for me. Not only is it an every day clutch, but it’s also my job. I have clients who I am responsible for posting on their behalf on social media Thus, the panic sunk in.

I attempted to get all my clients social posts created in advance, in hopes that this would allow me to only post for them and then immediately sign off. Turns out this not only worked like a charm, but I was also more productive and left feeling more on top of things than ever before. Instead of having to come up with copy and images on the fly, it was all complete for me a week in advance, taking away that stress and anxiety of not being able to think of something creative to post in real-time.  If you work in the online or social media space – you will fully understand this struggle.

Here are 6 ways my social media detox changed my life:

  1.   I found the time to do fulfilling things I’d been putting off forever. I did not realize how much of my day-to-day time was being sucked away because of social media.  By disconnecting, I found myself having more time for myself than I knew what to do with. It was actually quite shocking. Instead of sitting and scrolling before bed, I opened a book – this was the first time I have done this since University (sad, but true).  I was able to sit, think, plan and tackle more in my day-to-day routine than I ever imagined.
  2.   I did things for me vs. Instagram. I realized I was quickly losing my drive to do things for me, and instead doing things that were “Instagram” worthy. Stepping back allowed me to snap out of it, see the bigger picture, and jump back into my own reality.
  3.  My real relationships got stronger. This was a BIG one for me, especially when it came to my fiancé. Since I was no longer participating in the downward daily/nightly scrolling funnel, it forced him to take a step back as well. We started talking after work, and before bed, and during dinner, and the list goes on….I didn’t realize how much of our time together was spent pretty much ignoring one another and scrolling on our phones. This was a HUGE wake up call for us.
  4.  I felt better about my own life.  When there are so many people posting every single day and so much information coming at us, it’s so easy to get caught up in someone else’s highlight reel. During my break I was able to turn the focus back on me, instead of focusing on all the things everyone else is doing. I was able to look back at all my own accomplishments, and be proud of where I am in this stage of my life. I realized that the only power and control I have is my own, and as long as I love what I’m doing and who I’m with, then the rest will simply fall into place.
  5.  I started living moments fully. This one hit me pretty hard in the beginning of the 7-day detox. I honestly had no idea how much I was missing on a daily basis when the majority of my time was being taken up by my phone. I quickly felt as though I had missed so much of my life the last few years – little moments, the ones that actually matter. Without having to post daily I didn’t pick up my phone for every little thing, and instead, I could preserve for the moments that really moved me. I am now finding myself living for the moment, enjoying life as it is and staying present in life rather than documenting/sharing it 24/7.  It’s been the best.

At the end of the day, life is all about balance. As with anything, even a good thing, can be harmful. I’m already back on social media, but the way I approach it moving forward will be different. I have turned off all my notifications, my phone will go away at a certain time of each day (WAY before bed), I will post for me and me alone, and I will remember that it’s important to step out of the virtual highlight reel of social media, and step back into my own pretty freaking awesome world.

-Ayla xo

One more thing! If you happened to miss joining the detox with us, we encourage you to still try and schedule one in on your own time. Trust us, you won’t be sorry.

Let us know how you do by sharing your story in the FB Raw Tribe or by using the hashtag #DisconnectToConnect on social.

Oct 10, 2017


Photos by Ainsley Rose

These are my hips.  The very first part of my body that I wished would disappear. The reason I went on my first diet at age 15.  The point of comparison with every girl in every magazine. There is nothing wrong with them but at the time I managed to find a million problems with them.  If only I understood then how trivial the appearance of my legs is compared to other things happening in the world.  If only then I felt the gratitude I feel for them now.

These faint marks tell a story of a time in life when I was lost.  A time when I placed immense value on the size of my legs and the number on the scale. They are a map of years when I starved myself, then stuffed myself, and counted calories and found my worth in the distance I ran on the treadmill and the size of my jeans.  My body shrank down and then stretched out as food provided an easy outlet for whatever emotion I was feeling. Luckily I never lost sight of a bigger vision for myself, so after years of struggle I got down to the very difficult work of rebuilding the mind, body and soul that is now my home.  Aside from the acute care I received in the hospital, working with a wellness life coach was the most pivotal step in helping me get to the place I am now.

I went from constantly feeling unsettled in my body, unsure of my purpose, fluctuating in weight, obsessing over food and exercise, lacking confidence, dating all the wrong people and never feeling like I was living the life I imagined for myself to being married, having two beautiful babes, a dream job and tools to help me navigate those difficult days, hard conversations and times of transition (because despite what you see on your Instagram feed life just isn’t picture perfect).

When I look at this photo of my legs today I feel proud.  Five years ago I never would have shared it because I only would have seen imperfection. Now I see legs that helped me carry two babies for 9 months and deliver them safely into the world. Legs that have taken me on a thousand adventures. Legs that will take me on a million more. I feel grateful that I’m no longer fighting the battle that left these faint marks.  But I am also grateful for the battle. It made me stronger than I ever could have imagined being. 

Here’s what I want you to know…

  •  It’s not your body’s fault.  Whatever it is that you’re trying to blame it for. Whatever you’re using it for. It only wants love.
  • Your body will only start working with you, when you start showing it kindness, love, patience and gratitude. When you learn to listen to it. That’s when you’ll land at a happy weight.  That’s where you’ll find your energy.  That is how you release anxiety.  That is how you get the most out of your beautiful body for this short time that you’ve been given it.
  • From the countless conversations I’ve had with women I’ve come to realize that the way we look has very little to do with the amount of self esteem we have.  That comes from something much more than skin deep.

I desperately want anyone who is reading this and struggling to feel at home in their body to know that life can be better.  SO MUCH BETTER.  The way I feel now in comparison to how I felt then is what inspires me to do the work I do.  I want EVERY woman to feel the same way.  I want you to be free of negative self talk and the battle with your body. I want you to see your unique strengths so you can step into your power.  I want you to walk through life operating as your best self so that you too can live the life that you dream of.  That’s why I created Raw Beauty Talks and why we’re working hard behind-the-scenes right now to create a program unlike any other designed to help you step into your happiest, healthiest, most confident self.

We will be releasing the course exclusively to our private Raw Facebook Tribe in the next couple of months so if you’re interested in stepping into your best life click the link above and join a rad group of supportive women who are on the same journey.



Jul 16, 2017


Mindfulness and meditation are no longer just trendy buzzwords but proven health practices with a dedicated line-up of high profile practitioners including Jennifer Aniston, Gisele Bündchen, Katy Perry and Lena Dunham.  Despite the long list of benefits (think increased happiness, reduced stress, greater productivity and increased self awareness) it can still feel really hard to squeeze […]

Jun 21, 2017


What is all this talk about self love and self care and can it really make a difference in your life? I know it’s a bit of a buzz word these days and it can sound a little woo woo at times but I truly believe it’s the number one needle mover in feeling healthier, happier, […]

May 17, 2017


Hi beauties, Raw Beauty Talks began with a simple wish. To see more real, raw and honest images and stories of women in media. Why? Because I believe diversity in media expands our personal vision of beauty, helping us to embrace and make peace with our own bodies. To be honest, I created Raw because […]

Oct 23, 2016


By Justine Nichol. “It’s not going to be easy, but it’s definitely going to be worth it.” A week ago today the much anticipated documentary, The Illusionists, was officially released – and we jumped at the chance to get our hands on it.  After eight years in the making, we can certainly attest that it […]

Sep 16, 2016


By Justine Nichol. January 2017 marked the start of a new year, and the launch of model and CEO Katie H. Willcox’s first book, Healthy Is The New Skinny.  After 13 years in the modeling industry, Willcox developed Natural Model Management, a modeling agency that challenges ‘industry norms’ as well as Healthy Is The New […]

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