How to clear up acne after getting off the birth control pill


One of the most common side effects I see in my clients after they stop taking the birth control pill is acne. Whether on their face or back, they get more breakouts than ever before, and it’s sometimes enough to make them want to be back on the birth control pill again! While acne is annoying cosmetically, this skin issue actually indicates a much larger *internal* issue that needs to be dealt with.


Here’s what’s happening in your body when you get acne after stopping the birth control pill:

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Why are you still carrying her?


The parable of the two monks and the woman is one that I think of often, and whenever I tell this story in yoga classes, I get multiple people telling me they really needed the lesson in the story. It was on my brain again today, so I thought I would share it with you all.


The parable of the two monks and the woman

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Vegan Almond Ricotta Recipe


As a lactose-intolerant vegan who deals with inflammation issues…I’ve stayed away from eating dairy for a LONG time. But in the last year of so, I’ve finally started experimenting with making vegan cheeses, and I will admit, I’m loving it.


For a long time, I stayed away from any food in quotes. veggie “burgers”, “sausages”, “cheese”….just give me some beans and vegetables please. I don’t have much interest in creating fake version of animal products. But I have to admit, the vegan cheese phenomenon has opened up a world of great flavors and textures that I’m loving.


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I’m lucky enough to be spending this week with my almost-2-year-old niece, Bernie (oh yeah..and the rest of my family too 😀 ). Let me start by saying that Bernie is THE. BEST. The girl’s got a cheerful disposition, an insatiable curiosity, and 95% of the time is a content, chill little lady.


Except for last night.


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Creating a Home Yoga Practice Part 2


“Yoga does not change the way we see things, it changes the person who sees.”

-B.K.S. Iyengar


Today is part 2 in a series about creating a consistent home yoga practice. I’ve gotten great messages from readers who have answered my three questions in part 1 about why you’re doing your home yoga practice. If you haven’t checked that one post out, check it out here.


Now that you know why you want a home yoga practice, and what you need from your home yoga practice, it’s time to get ready to move.


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Feeling uncertain about everything? Two ways to stay sane


“When nothing is sure, everything is possible.”

-Margaret Drabble


I had two client conversations that ended on the topic of uncertainty. One has a desire to change jobs and start fresh in life and work, but doesn’t know exactly what that looks like yet. The other knows that a move is imminent so she can live close to her boyfriend and family, but it’s really unclear when and how that will happen based on her ability to transfer jobs or pursue a new one.


Tough situations that are filled with a lot of unknowns. I think we’ve all been there: on the precipice of something new, knowing something is going to  change, but not knowing exactly *what* that change will be or bring. It’s annoying at least, scary and paralyzing at worst.

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Stop feeling overfull and prevent distracted eating


“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”

-Zen Proverb


Distracted eating is something I’ve been working on for years. Literally. In college, living alone, I learned just how easy it was to eat a meal in 5 bites or less. My “food break” from studying only lasted 3 minutes because I was eating so fast. There were a few issues with these fast meals: as soon as I was done, I’d immediately be hungry for more. I was so unsatisfied by the food I was eating that I always requested seconds and thirds. I experienced indigestion and feeling overfull because I wasn’t actually chewing my food. I realized a huge disconnect between my quest for mindful, intentional living and how I was eating.


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When you slow down…


Paradoxically, you don’t fall behind. Rather, slowing down catapults you ahead.


I was teaching an Ayurveda 101 workshop last weekend, and as we were talking about balancing vata,  a student commented that vata balancing by slowing down resonated with her. She shared that about a year ago, after many years at the same job, she decided rather suddenly to quit. About 8 months after that, she also woke up one day and decided to quit smoking. Cold turkey. On her own. And 3 months later, she said that she still hasn’t had any cravings for cigarettes, despite years of smoking them regularly.


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Visualization techniques for physical injury and illness


“By visualizing my desired outcome, the perfect action is always inspired.”

-Abraham Hicks


It always amazes me how much energy and brain space a physical injury or illness can cause. As someone that spends A LOT of time in her head, I didn’t think that a sprained ankle, sore muscle, or nausea could leave me feeling so helpless. I thought that I’d just bury my head in a book, wait for it to be over, and then be okay.




The days dragged on, and I found myself unconsciously rubbing the sore muscle or spending hours on google searching remedies.


I eventually had to admit that I was preoccupied with my physical discomfort. And that meant I had to learn techniques to cope with it when it occurred.


When you’ve gone to physical therapy, visited the doctor, and are doing everything you can do to heal, how do you calm down your racing mind? I decided to replace some of my negative thoughts with positive ones. I will fully admit that I don’t know if the positive thoughts are what heal my injuries. But I do know that it makes the hours much more bearable.


I have two specific visualization techniques that I use myself or with clients facing physical illness or injury.

Visualization Technique 1: Lovingkindness

This technique I picked up from Sharon Salzberg in her book “Real Love” (see more lessons from that book here and here.)

  1. Find a comfortable seat, either eyes closed or gently resting your gaze in front of you.
  2. Start at the top of your head, focusing on each body part (eyes, ears, mouth, neck, etc) and silently saying to yourself “may my [body part] be happy. may my [body part] be free. may my [body part] be healthy, whole, and free of suffering.” You do this as you travel through your body, and you can spend some extra time at any part of your body that you are having difficulty with.


Visualization Technique 2: Imagine Perfect Health and Wellness for the muscle or organ

The second technique is to actually spend some time with the part of the body that you’re having difficulty with and to imagine it perfect, whole, and functioning.

  1. Find a comfortable seat, either eyes closed or gently resting your gaze in front of you.
  2. Bring your attention to the muscle or organ, and visualize it anatomically (google can help you if you don’t have a picture of it). See it smooth and pink, with fresh blood traveling to it giving it the nutrients it needs. See any waste or injured tissue being carried away from the organ. Breathe oxygen into the organ, see it functioning perfectly, being whole and strong. If you know that this organ is not whole (e.g., you’ve had part of an organ or muscle removed), imagine it as it physically is, and functioning perfectly within it’s abilities.


The purpose of these visualization techniques

The importance of these technique is something that I realized when reading “Childbirth without Fear” by Grantley Dick-Read. This book, written in the 1930s, explores how childbirth has been portrayed as an unnatural, painful, scary thing for so many years that most women don’t even *believe* that it can be done safely and in (relatively) little pain. If you don’t think something is possible, Dick-Read says, it’s not.


Same here: I’ve had clients that see their muscles or organs as broken. They don’t believe that they can function correctly, which creates a poor foundation for healing.


What visualization is not

These visualizations are not ignoring, pretending, or “wishing away” your illness. Rather, they help you acknowledge the truth of the situation (that you wish your muscles and organs well), and allow you to envision a future where that could be true. Again, this is not wishful thinking, this is simply allowing you to imagine a world where it could be true.


Finding your mind preoccupied by illness or injury? Give these techniques a try, and for even better results, practice them regularly. You’ll start to make peace with your body, no matter what is happening in it.


  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig


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samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.

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