5 ways to make "wet" February work for you

Where I come from on the West Coast of Canada, February is one of the wettest months.

The days are still too short, darkness encroaches too quickly, the sky is more often overcast and grey than not.

The combination of two SADs (Seasonal Affective Disorder and the Standard American Diet) can create a powerfully destructive force in the middle of winter.

It’s no surprise that the momentum of New Year’s resolutions and intentions can get lost and the temptation to seek sweet alcohol-fuelled relief becomes stronger.

The resolve you felt during your Dry January or enthusiasm for redefining your relationship to alcohol may become diluted.

The trend is common across the health and wellness sector.

Quora.com reports that 80% of the New Years Resolutions crowd drops off by the second week of February. Meaning only 20% remain, and the rate of sign-ups tapers off by February.

Whether or not you need in a cold climate, the following tips can help you stay on track with your resolutions around your drinking.

Learn how to moderate.

Sounds simple, but it’s not necessarily.

Now is this time to set clear goals for yourself around alcohol moderation.

Let me repeat, clarity is key.

Set a reasonable goal for yourself, such as no more than 5 drinks a week, and no more than 2 drinks on any given night.

Decide to stick to it for a month, just as you would have tried to stick to the 31 days alcohol-free in the month of January.

The most common challenge I see when people try to moderate is that they are too vague with your goal and how they will achieve it, and that they give themselves too much wiggle room.

Moderation requires guidelines, just like abstaining from alcohol does. What will yours be?

Plan your alternatives.

What are you going to drink of alcohol or do instead of drinking?

We all know that restrictions suck, which is why yo-yo diets don’t work.

What delicious, yummy, fun, sexy (you fill in the blank) alternatives can you add into your life instead of booze?

You will only ever be successful at moderating alcohol if you figure out what alternatives work for you.

I’m talking both replacement drinks and activities.

For drinks: Avoid sugary alternatives and go for seltzer/mineral water spritzers will a splash of real fruit juice or a virgin mojito. For relaxing evening drinks, try homemade cocoa or aromatic or sleepy time tea.

For activities: Try exercise or social activities to start.

What about that new hip hop yoga class, a spin class, a romp around the park or a games night?

Planning alternative evening activities will not only help with your fitness and health goals and relieve stress, but will also help in the friend department, proving you really can have fun without alcohol.

Understand your triggers and how to manage them.

Are you someone who drinks to gain confidence? To feel free-spirited? To get crazy? To release stress? When you are alone and overwhelmed with your thoughts?

Once you learn a bit more about your triggers, you need to start investigating other ways to “feel and deal.”

The options are so varied, it would be impossible to go into them all here.

You might decide to make a rule for yourself to not drink on days you are noticing your triggers, until you get a handle on what to do instead.

Otherwise, it could be a slippery slope into drunkenness again.

Plan your AFDs (Alcohol-Free Days).

Make sure you have more days during the week (at least four) when you aren’t drinking.

This gives your liver a break and forces you to implement the first three points above.

Plan these days in advance, and put them in your calendar.

Set reminders on your phone, and include motivational words as to why you don’t need alcohol today.

This will reduce the likelihood of an “oops I forgot I wasn’t supposed to drink today” moment.

Try to make one of your AFDs a weekend night to prevent any temptation of weekend binges.

AFDs help break the mindless habit of ordering a drink as the first you thing you do at a restaurant or at the bar, or heading for the fridge the first thing you as you walk in the door at home.

Shake up your routine and bring more mindfulness into your day.

One of my clients came up with the acronym AFD, and I absolutely love it!

Start a bedtime routine.

That’s right; a bedtime routine isn’t just for babies — and the adult version doesn’t include drinking out of a bottle!

The point is to find alternatives to alcohol to help wind down before bed.

As Dr Oz writes in his healthy drinking guidelines a 2013 analysis of more than 30 studies found that consuming two or more drinks during the two hours before bed decreased the amount of REM sleep.

Even though you might feel like you are falling asleep more quickly after a nightcap, the quality of your sleep will be reduced.

Instead of alcohol, try a cup of soothing tea, run a hot bath, do some stretching or a guided meditation and for the love of deep sleep, put your phone on airplane mode and stop scrolling.

Do these things, and I promise you will start reveling in the benefits of sweet beauty sleep, without resorting to counting sheep. Having a good night's sleep is essential for waking up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the next day, which will in turn help you end your day with ease and without feeling the need for alcohol.

These are a few of the strategies that will help you redefine your relationship to alcohol through the entire year. As always, change is easier within a support system. Do not hesitate to reach out if you feel you’d like added support. I mean it! I love you to comment below.

Nailed It

I'm not sure if you know this about me already,  but I'm like a sponge for self-development.

I love it, I'm hooked on it, and I also see it as professional development. Bonus! This means that whenever I invest in another course (which is pretty much all the time because I'm always learning) I'm also investing in my business, and my clients and community also get to reap the benefits.

I'm currently taking a course called Infinite Receiving. The title is pretty self-explanatory... it's all about expanding our capacity to receive. We have daily dares and a few days ago, the dare was to use this reframe: Instead of downplaying all of the great things you do in a day, claim them and end the sentence with the words: NAILED IT.

This seems to simple but it's so powerful. I see women downplaying their accomplishments way too often. Or, finding the one little thing to criticise about something that is otherwise awesome.

Three times this past week, I opened up emails from three different clients that had the subject line using the word FAIL in it. WHAT!?! The body of the message included many great changes and different choices they had made, yet it was what they did wrong that they were focusing on.

I caught myself doing the same thing yesterday when I watched the sneak preview of a video I'm in to promote the upcoming launch of my business mentor's course (more on that soon). Instead of praising myself for the wise words I shared, for my poise on camera, for how great my hair looked, for showing my energy and personality on camera... I immediately started thinking about how annoying my voice sounded. (Not what I was saying... just the actual sound of my voice) WHAT!?!?

Thankfully I had accepted this dare a few days before and I immediately switched how I was talking to myself about it. That on-camera interview: NAILED IT!!

I shared this with our Facebook group and there was a really great response.

One person shifted their perspective from "I haven't reached my weight loss goal yet" to "I've lost 9 pounds already, nailed it!"

Another shared "I've worked through 2.5 hours of emails I've been putting off, now I have relaxing ME time planned - nailed it!!"

And another "Instead of focusing on the things I'm not doing great yet, I'm choosing to focus on all of the healthy choices I HAVE made recently - nailed it!"

Isn't it fun? Don't you feel better just reading these? I sure did. And if you are feeling overwhelmed and in a stuck place and not sure what you are nailing... if anything? (I know this can be tricky, similarly to how finding things to be grateful can be hard when you are feeling really down on yourself.)

Try this:
Got out of bed this morning - nailed it.
Read this email (which is a form of taking action on my health) - nailed it.
Thinking about change, which means acknowledging some uncomfortable truths about myself - nailed it.
Making myself a cup of tea instead of pouring a second glass of wine - nailed it.
Stocking up on healthy alternatives - nailed it.

So tell me, what have you nailed this week?


Intentions don’t mean **** if you don’t have this

Time for some real talk here.

I was speaking with someone during a strategy session awhile ago. She mentioned that she had read my book, but that she was having a hard time following through on her intentions for herself. She would set a plan in her mind, but ultimately at the end of the night or the next day, she found herself back here she didn’t want to be, having drank too much and paying the consequences. As we discussed the specifics, it became clear to me that there was an important part of the equation that was missing… can you guess what it is?

I’ll give you a hint. Starts with an "A" and ends with "ILITY"…
Yay! You got it.


You see, having solid accountability systems in place is often what separates “good intentions” and intentions followed through on and achieved.

Now, it’s really important for me to clarify something.

One of my big motivators for doing this work is because I needed it. And still do.
(You know the ol' adage - teach what you have to learn? Very true for me)

I am a work in progress.
I am not perfect.
Sometimes I let myself down.

Sometimes I can be really good at talking myself out of doing the thing that I know is best for me.

You might think that I’ve got my shit together all of the time. I don’t.
You might think that alcohol moderation is easy for me all the time. It’s not.

Almost exactly two years ago I was in New York.

Six months prior, I had set my intention to never get drunk again. I had tried periods of abstinence and was feeling pretty good about moderating.
But I hadn’t been in NYC and tried to moderate yet.

(My love affair with New York is about 5 visits strong. The city unlocks AAALLL of the wild child tendencies in me, and provides endless variety - something I thrive on)

In some situations, I did great. I was open about my intentions and the focus of the coaching practice that I was launching.

But in other situations, I let myself down.

I didn’t tell the people I was with exactly what I was doing and what my intentions were.

This was especially true when I was with old friends I used to party with a lot - and it was so easy for one glass of wine to turn into three, and then another specialty cocktail at the bar.

Was I moderating? Well, yes - compared to how I used to drink.
But was I staying true to my intentions and upholding my vision for myself?
Honestly - no. I wasn’t.

I lost my grip on the reality that I wanted to be living as I felt myneuroligicalresponse change under the influence of alcohol. I let alcohol be my permission slip again - to be “bad,” to stay out later than was good for me, and to have a few hookups that weren’t in my heart’s best interest.

EVEN THOUGH I was there for a health conference - I still ordered that extra drink I didn’t need.
EVEN THOUGH I knew I didn’t want to get drunk, I still said yes to an astronaut after11pm on a SUNDAY (If you've never heard of an astronaut, I won't be the one to introduce you to it. Let's just say  was the last shot I ever drank).
EVEN THOUGH I had an early meeting on Monday in Brooklyn, I ended up chasing adventure from Brooklyn to Washington Heights in the wee hours of themorning, and missing the breakfast meeting
EVEN THOUGH I had an early morning flight on a Tuesday, I said yes to going to the Apothecary and trying artesian cocktails after a couple of glasses of wine at a friend’s house... which should have been enough but of course.... it never was.

As you are reading this it is likely that I have just touched down in New York.
I will be in the City That Never Sleeps for a series of events lined up to launch Drink Less Be More.

I am so excited to share this message with more people, and, I’ve gotta admit… I’m also a little nervous.

I’m going back into an environment where I lot of my triggers are lurking, and it’s going to be a challenge.

I could let fear dominate this time around and shadow my perceived ability to follow through on my intentions, but I won’t let it.

My intentions are to take the best possible care of myself, to get enough sleep (minimum 7 hours a night) and to be clear-headed, present and heart-wide open the whole time.

After careful consideration, I decided to set the intention of no alcohol for the entire time I’m here.

I shared my intentions with one of my best friends and she seemed surprised when I said I wasn’t going to drink at all. "Not even one?" She asked.

City that never sleep + a girl with a propensity to pile waayyyy too much on her plate and fill her cup until it runneth over (in all senses, literally and metaphorically) = lots of potential to fall out of intention.

How incredible to try this city alcohol-free? To explore all of the other options available to me.

I already know what it’s like to order a 20$ cocktail at the Hudson, to get giddy off of prosecco at the pier, to feel fuzzy after too many glasses of red at a wine bar on the Upper East Side, to shoot astronauts in Brooklyn (it's a shot), get drunk off of some random spicy homebrew at a speakeasy in the East Village, drink sickly sweet maraschino drinks at the Dominican joint in Queens, to share a bottle of Patron with on-duty parking lot attendants in SoHo (don't ask) and of course throw back rounds of the seemingly requisite mimosas at brunch.

I’ve never been to New York and sought juice over booze.
I’ve never sipped hand crafted jun mocktails.
I’ve rarely been to networking events completely sober.
I've never given myself the chance to feel confident without alcohol in the Big Apple.
I've never considered what kind of adventures and experiences may come my way once I stopped following the alcohol and started following my intuition.

It’s exciting, and unknown and feels like a challenge.
It’s what I need to do for myself now. I feel sure of it.

Here’s where the accountability piece comes in.
Last time ‘round, I didn’t have it. It was up to me and only me. This allowed me to be selective in my follow through.

I’ve already shared my intention to be alcohol-free in NYC in our private support group.

Now I’m making a declaration and holding myself accountability with you too. 

So you see how this works?

It’s ongoing.
It’s a process.
It involves evaluating and re-evaluating.
It involves setting yourself up for success.
It’s not only about setting intentions, but developing the mindset that change is possible, and putting accountability systems in place.

I'm not suggesting you need to do this publicly.
The key is to find what works for YOU.
That person with whom you feel safe sharing.
A trusted confidant, best friend, lover, spouse, relative, therapist, coach... you decide.

The community where you can find like-minded and compassionate peeps.

Do me a favour and stop beating yourself up for not making change happen.
This *ish is hard, as they say these days ;)
No one should have to figure it all out alone.

Spend some time now thinking - what accountability strategy can you start TODAY so that things will be different?

Remember: Intention + action + accountability increase your probability of change.

If you'd like - write to me and let me know what your accountability strategy is. If you have any questions about this process - let me know!!

Change Is Scary

“I have to let you know… I’m really nervous.” This exact same sentence was repeated to me about 5 times this week as I did intake sessions with new clients.

“I know this is in my best interest, but I’m scared.”

“I’m nervous about changing and not knowing what the outcome will be, and I’m also nervous I won’t be able to change and will fail.”

“I don’t know what’s going to happen next, and it’s triggering a lot of fear for me.”

These are really common feelings and something that every single person I’ve worked with has gone through at some point. The nervousness and fear show up in different ways, such as saying yes (to a coach, therapy, accountability, a new intention, a break from alcohol, etc) and then talking yourself out of it, or procrastinating and waiting for the “right” time (there is never a right time). Sometimes the fear of change can keep you stuck in more of the same, even though you know that's not working so well for you.

Heraclitus famously quoted back in 400 A.C.,  “There is nothing permanent, except change.”

According to Darwin’s Evolutionary Theory: change allows organisms to better adapt themselves to their environments. Moreover, the better the organism is able to adapt, the higher the likelihood of survival.

If change is a fact of life, and not only a given but an evolutionary requirement, then why is it so scary sometimes?

This fear harkens back to our cavepeople days. Even though change is necessary for evolutionary survival, our human brains came to rely on certainty for survival. We knew the path to take to the water source that was less likely to cause harm. We’d take that same path because we knew sabertooth tiger lived on the other side of the mountain, because that path was less likely to flood, and because it was the fastest and surest way to go and avoid a rival tribe.

Our fear of change can also be traced back to our more recent history as children. If a change in routine signified something painful was going to happen, our brains became hardwired to associate change with trauma. As adults, we may come to associate change with loss.

According to Lifehacker’s article “Why are you so afraid of change and what you can do about it”:

“Sometimes change involves a significant loss, and our brains hate loss. When we invest ourselves emotionally in anything, it becomes harder to change because we don't want to lose all the time and effort we already exerted. As a result, we have a hard time letting go of a project we know deep down will fail. We also struggle to end doomed relationships because we're terrible at accepting the whole thing was for naught. In reality, time isn't wasted but our brains like to see the entire time as a loss rather than just a part of the inevitable conclusion.”

The fear and nervousness associated with redefining your relationship to alcohol is totally understandable. For many of us, our relationship to alcohol has lasted in some form or another for at least half of our lives, and for some of us, alcohol has been involved from more years than not. That’s a long time to rely on it for a certain outcome. Even though we know it might not be good for us or that our relationship is unhealthy, at least it is predictable, right?

“Breaking up” with alcohol, or seriously redefining the parameters of the relationship, can be just like any other break up - it’s hard!! And yes, it involves loss, grief, disappointment, and more.

You may be confronted with thoughts such as “what the bleep was I doing for so many years!?! I’ve wasted my life!!” Alternatively, you may grieve the desired feeling that alcohol brings and feel loss at never being able to feel that same way again.

While this is part of the process - it doesn’t mean that it’s easy. Here are some suggestions for “feeling and dealing.”

Feel the feels: The nervousness, the fear, the uncertainty, the confusion, the sadness… all of it. Know that it’s okay, and part of the process. Also know, that just like everything else, it’s temporary. Because why? You got it. The only constant is change!!

Permission to freak out: Take it one step further and freak the f*** out if you need to. Permission granted. Do what feels good to allow these emotions to move through you: cry, punch a pillow, scream, howl at the moon, curl up in fetal position, etc. Feel it but don’t fixate on this phase.

Accept the inevitability of change: Coming to a place of acceptance is essential for moving forward into the new and healthier you.

Flip your fears: Same as a coin, there’s always two sides (or more) to every scenario. Instead of dwelling on the fears of everything that could go wrong and all the ways life is going to suck now that you are making these changes and how hard it is going to be to relax, go to sleep, make friends, unwind after work, have sex, feel creative etc start thinking about the fact that the exact opposite could be true. What is the best case scenario? What is your most positive vision for who you will become as a result of these changes? Focus on that!

Take baby steps: If making a huge change feels overwhelming, start small. Focus on one things you can try to change this week and then once you are comfortable with that change, try something new next week. Sometimes the “all or nothing” approach can be a case of too much too soon - which is why it’s hard to maintain. Does having no wine on weeknights feel scary for you? Then how about trying one night with no wine this week, and see how that feels? Can’t imagine socializing without any alcohol? Cut out one drink, or two, and once you realize all of your fears don’t come true (it’s like that no one around you will even notice) try cutting back by a few more next week.

Get yourself ready for greatness: Sometimes change can be scary because you’re afraid of GOOD things happening. An article in Psychology Today explains: “Traumatic events, physical or emotional, can create such a powerful memory that it overshadows other important but evocative events. When strong emotional memories develop around the experience of happiness and a subsequent disappointment or pain—again, physical or emotional—then perceptual filters develop that contribute to avoiding opportunities for joy out of the fear that something bad lurks around the corner.”

You may also fear happiness because deep down, you feel you are unworthy, undeserving, or that your happiness will somehow elicit negative feelings from others.

It’s important to understand these fears and actively work to release the fear that might be preventing you from change.

Make a plan and get support: Change may be inevitable, yet that doesn’t make it easy all of the time. If you feel your anxiety, nervousness or fear is blocking you from making a change, then reach out for support. Talk about what’s coming up for you. Speaking the words out loud will help take the power out of the fear. We’ve got an amazing group of Evolver’s in the secret facebook community (more info below). Also, those who have had their free strategy session with me describe a huge weight being lifted after the first conversation. Change isn’t quite so scary when you have a plan. If you and I haven’t talked yet, book your session here.

I've love to know what resonated with you, whether you notice fear or resistance showing up for you in the way described in this post, and what tips work for you! Reply to this email and let me know!



Do you find yourself feeling "spun out," filled with anxiety or having your brain blank out because of fear? One of the fastest way to ground yourself can be by using floral or plant-based scents or essential oils. These scents connect us to earth energy in a very grounding way and also stimulate the limbic system for a fast-track to a more pleasurable feeling. David Crow of Floracopeia suggests putting a few drops of lavender, rose, geranium or orange blossom oil into your palms, rubbing your palms together and cupping around your nose, and then inhaling deeply for a few breaths. This works wonders for an immediate and grounding "brain break."

I did this just the other day when I was feeling totally overwhelmed by something. I felt I couldn't deal and was about to have a major meltdown. I went into the bathroom, put some rose oil on my palms, did some deep breathing and immediately felt better. The amazing thing is I can't even remember what the initial anxiety was about!! Try it out and let me know how it goes!

Pick one thing today ... and then DO IT

Today's topic is simple. Pick one thing, and then DO IT.

It's easy to get overwhelmed.

It's easy to get lost in all of the "shoulds" and the enormity of the big picture vision that we forget just how simple and more easily digestible change can be when broken down into bite size pieces.

Think of your vision for yourself? If you could change just one thing this month, what would it be?

Now break it down further: what is one thing you can do differently, starting today, that will nudge you in that direction?

Don't get carried away!! Just think of one little thing. Doing this little thing will confirm to you that you can do things differently. You'll receive positive reinforcement and feel emboldened to take the next step.

So, what's your thing going to be?

I actually started mine two nights ago. I realized that I was feeling overwhelmed and putting a lot of pressure on myself. My goal this month is to ease up (again) and TRUST that the outcome will be what I desire. I also realized that I had let my evening ritual slide and was scrolling Instagram immediately before bed rather than using this time for affirming my intentions, desires, and positive visualizations.

My one thing was to delete Instagram from my phone.

Just kidding! I didn't do that. In fact, I still scroll a bit before sleep as I find it therapeutic and inspiring, haha.

What I'm doing differently is putting my phone away earlier (after my Insta-fix) and then spending 5-10 minutes journaling my desires, affirmations and intentions.

Then, filled up with all this good juju, I lay in bed and visualize it all coming to fruition. Sometimes I put on Chakra balancing meditation music or deep sleep delta wave music to help transition me into sleep.

The past two days I've woken up feeling calmer, with more faith, focus, and things are flowing more effortlessly.

You might chose to do something differently with your morning routine, drink one less drink a night this weekend or try an alcohol-free night, or try a new meditation or activity that will shake up your regular routine.

Just pick something, and do it! I promise you will feel better come Monday.

As always, I love to hear from you. Comment below and let me know what your "one thing" is - that would be wonderful!

5 top tips to create a shift (plus embarrassing moment to affirming one)

Yesterday I pulled up to my dad’s hotel and there was a woman standing outside. She was hoping to rent a room, and was being informed that the hotel was full. I was about to start suggesting some alternatives as she turned to me and exclaimed “Caitlin! We met 6 years ago.”

“We partied together,” she continued. “It was with you that I drank absinthe for the first time… it made me kind of crazy.”

I wish I could say that my eyes flashed recognition as my brain recalled the memory of meeting her but I drew a complete blank.We partied together? Absinthe? Surely I would remember some of the details. I racked my brain to try to remember the times I had drunk absinthe in our town (because there were plenty of other times in other cities around the world), and whom I would have been with at the time. Very quickly I felt myself flooding with shame, embarrassment and remorse for the completely and total absence of a memory.

Then came the words that changed the entire interaction from mortifying to affirming.

“You know,” she said. "I follow your blog now. I know that you decided to get sober. I think it’s so cool that you live here now, where we used to party, and that you’ve chosen and been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle even though the possibility of that other life is just down the road. It’s really inspiring.”


And it’s a truth that I feel that I sometimes do not give myself enough credit for.

I live in a town known for its debauchery and excess, where the party doesn’t start warming up until midnight, where as a woman you can drink for free anywhere you chose and the amount of alcohol available staggering.

I live here, and every day I am making a choice to be healthy when all of the other options are available to me still.

I am sharing this story with you because if I can do this here - in the face of daily temptation - so can you.

There is nothing special about me. I simply made a choice to start doing things differently, and I stuck to it.

On September 19th, 2013 I firmly made the declaration to never be intoxicated again (I say firmly because I had said this before but it hadn’t stuck. This time was going to be different).

I tried periods of abstinence and of carefully planned moderation. I explored my triggers and dug deep into healing. I faced fears about myself that I had been hiding from for years. I researched and rallied the resources that would work for me. I declared my intentions and mindfully created new habits that would serve my health long term.

None of that makes me special or different from you. I made a decision just as you have. I know you have because you are reading this blog. The only thing that might separate me and you right now is how we are following through on the decision.

Everything that was available to support me on my path is available to you too.

I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 tips that can help create that permanent shift you are seeking.

These are the tips that clients and readers say have helped them the most, and have created “aha” moments or helped press the reset button.

Five tips to create that shift:

  • Visualize yourself the next day, and work  Create your vision: If you want to wake up with energy, clarity, positivity, passion, whatever it might be… then what needs to happen the night before? This isn’t just about how much alcohol you drink, but how much sleep you get (and the quality of sleep), how hydrated you are, how peaceful your brain is, how calm your heart etc. We spend so much time thinking about what we don’t want (I don’t wanna be drunk anymore, I don’t want to feel like shit, I don’t want to let myself down). It is critical to shift these thoughts to what we do want, and focus on that vision DAILY, and especially before a night out or heading into a trigger situation.backwards

  • Arrive and Assess: I consistently receive feedback from readers that this is one of the tips that has helped them reset their drinking habits in a big way. Wrapping up after a stressful day at work? Arrive and assess. Is pouring yourself a glass of wine really the best thing for you right now? What could you do instead? Going to a restaurant or bar? What about ordering something non-alcoholic instead and sipping that slowly, while you remind yourself of your intentions for the evening. At a networking event? Challenge yourself to start three new conversations before grabbing that free glass of liquid courage.

  • Find fun alternatives: This goes for both activities, and beverages. Simply trying to remove alcohol without adding in anything that stimulates your senses, provides stress relief, or a feeling of pleasure (insert your desired feeling/experience here) will make follow through a lot harder because, let’s face it - restriction is boring!

  • Make a declaration: stop living in your head! We often self-sabotage when left up to our own devices. It’s waaaayyy to easy to succumb to the easy way, or the unconscious habits we’ve spent years cultivating (and this is especially true when we are triggered). Sharing my story with others helps me stay accountable to myself. Whether it’s telling your partner, best friend, sister or making a public declaration about your intentions on Facebook, stating your intentions clearly and honestly will help you follow through. I’m so open about my lifestyle choices that now when I arrive at an event or dinner party, friends automatically offer me something non-alcoholic and make sure to have yummy, healthy alternatives ready. This certainly makes it easier for me to follow through on my intentions. Now, I’m not suggesting that you need to start blogging or posting about your intentions around alcohol. It took me years to get to the place where I am comfortable sharing what I do. In the beginning, I had a couple of trusted friends, and my coach. Then my boyfriend joined the support team.

  • Build Team: Speaking of support teams, who’s on yours? No one should go through this alone. As I said to a new client this week - it is invaluable to have someone in your corner. We all deserve that kind of support. Mine came in the form of friends, family members, mentors, coaches and now my online community as well. Who can you enlist?

As always, I would love to hear which of these tips is working best for you and why. Or, if there's another tip that you have tried that I haven't included, let me know by commenting below!

Holiday Thrive Guide

For the Americans, Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away. For everyone else, this guide will serve as preparation for the rapidly approaching holiday season... which comes with work parties, celebrations, family feasts and ramped-up drinking which can not only challenge your limits but can also hurt your heart.

Wait, what?

Yes, you read that correctly. Holiday Heart Syndrome, a term coined in 1978, is a condition brought on by overindulging in alcohol, salty and fatty foods, caffeine and stress, causing a short circuit in the heart’s electrical rhythms, typically in healthy people without a history of heart disease.

The opportunities for excess and stress are plentiful, and this guide will help you navigate the holidays with more ease.

Set your intentions

How do you want to feel during the holidays? At that potentially-triggering family gathering or work party? How do you want to feel after the holidays?

Get crystal clear on this image, and then work backwards. In order to feel and embody those qualities, how much should you be drinking or eating? What kinds of drinks, foods or substances should you avoid altogether? How many drinks (if any) will allow you to follow through on your intentions? Create a plan and write it down.

Plan your alternatives

It’s one thing to say “I don’t want to drink as much this year” or “I’m not going to eat the whole pie or my weight in candied yams (my personal fav)” but without alternatives in place, these intentions can fall short.

What tasty non-alcoholic drink can you bring instead? Now’s the time to search recipes and stock up on ingredients. Same goes for healthy treats. Bringing healthier alternatives with you to a party or event can ensure that you will have options on hand. *See below for some of my favs.

Start your day the healthy way

Try to stick to your morning routine as much as possible. For me, when things get busy and the season of temptation is in full-force, I know that realistically I’m not going to be eating 100% healthy all the time. And that’s okay. What makes me feel even more awesome is when I’ve started my day with my water and lemon juice, green tea and then green juice or green smoothie ritual.

During the holiday season I make an extra effort to stick to my morning routine. It eases my mind to know that I’ve started my day giving my body a boost of vitamins, minerals and alkalizing foods.

Arrive and assess

When you first arrive at the dinner party or holiday event, do a quick survey. What are the healthy alternatives? What beverages are on hand that are not alcoholic? Go ahead and pour yourself one of those first (or the one you brought). Think about what you will enjoy eating a little later on. When you are hungry, make yourself a plate. Remember, eating will also help you stick to your intentions around your alcohol consumption.

Allow yourself to indulge

While sticking to your intentions is important - so is giving yourself permission to indulge. You deserve it!! Deprivation is no fun, and is likely to cause bingeing behaviours or for your to unnecessarily beat yourself up. Tis the season, so make sure you enjoy it, mindfully.

Avoid stress

Yeah, the holidays can be stressful, no doubt about it. Family or work obligations, expectations from our significant others, temptations left right and center, the list goes on.

Take stock of your stress management techniques and start practicing self care, now. Book a massage, have relaxing baths, listen to a guided meditation to unwind or prepare for an event - in one word: chill. You deserve it and it’s an essential component of your holiday thrive guide.

Also - consider doing something totally revolutionary and politely declining any invitation that doesn’t make you feel more than awesome. Is it really worth it to attend every single event, especially if it’s likely to derail your wellness plan, or your mental health?

What is your favourite strategy for thriving during the holidays? I’d love to know. I’ll be updating this Holiday Thrive Guide as the season progresses and would love to shout out your favourite tip!

Some of my favourite healthy alternatives:

Drinks: play on holiday themed flavour combinations such as cranberry, apple, pumpkin pie, ginger and more. For a collection of easy and amazing cold and hot holiday drinks, click here for Martha Stewart’s favourites.


  • Hummus offers healthy fats and protein and can keep you full longer.

  • Roasted vegetables cut lengthwise can be a great snack to bring and can also accompany the hummus.

  • “Candied” carrots, yams or sweet potatoes can be made with a small amount of maple syrup and butter (these vegetables are already sweet and a little sweetener goes a long way). These root vegetables have a grounding effect and the slow release complex carbs will help you feel full longer, and won’t cause your blood sugar to spike.

  • Pro tip - studies have shown that cinnamon can help reduce glucose in the blood and prevent those spikes in blood sugar. Adding some of this lovely spice to your holiday food or drink will help steady the possible yo-yo effect that comes from too much sugar or alcohol, reducing cravings and crashing.

Do you belong to the cult of busy?

I really wanted to touch on a theme that become so glaringly obviously to me during my last 2 month long trip in Canada.

I’m sure you’ve seen many other articles or blogs in the past couple of years about the so-called “cult of busy:" the normalization of being too busy all the time, wearing busy-ness like a badge of honour and making it a part of our daily identity.

If you are a member of this cult, you’ll know the common answer to the question “how are you doing?” is something along the lines of “crazy busy! Oh, you know, swamped. Like, so busy. There’s just so much going on right now.”

I felt like I was extra sensitive to it this time round. Maybe it’s because by “normal” standards, my life in Mexico isn’t that busy. Busy-ness certainly isn’t celebrated in the same way. My busy-ness is here is actually met with scepticism and concern, because it goes against the grain of the reasons why most foreigners chose to live in this chilled-out beach town. People here are busy doing things they enjoy: surfing, spending time with family, reading books… just like retired people are busy with their social activities. It’s a different kind of busy, a soul-satisfying kind of busy that differs from the “cult of busy” I’m referring to here.

I also feel particularly sensitive to other people’s busy-ness in relationship to this precious time in my daughter’s life. I am so acutely aware of how quickly time is passing, how fast she is growing, and that she’s only going to be a baby for so long.

Good friends proclaimed they were just too busy, couldn’t make the time, or could we squeeze in a visit during a 30 minute lunch break, or combine it with a power walk? I was keenly aware of the impact of these words. I felt sad. Not so much for me, but for the fact that they were missing out on such a beautiful experience to share with me and my daughter.

Then what hit me even deeper was that it was like a mirror to my own entrenched experience in the cult of busy that has only recently begun to shift (and as you read in the last newsletter, I still struggle with taking too much on). I realized I was also sad for myself, the part of me that had missed out on experiences like this in the past.

It wasn’t so long ago that living life in a chaotic whirlwind, only just managing tiny increments of time for the things that ultimately should matter the most: family, connected friendships, new life, relaxation, creation. I kept myself so busy that I know that I damaged relationships. This again is why I was so sensitive to this behaviour in others, because it was an insight into how some people in my life must have felt around me. When I was so deeply embedded in my self-imposed mania, I didn't see how hurtful my actions were to the people that were closest to me.

I was curious as to where term “cult of busy” came from, and it turned out it was coined by author Scott Berkun. He writes, “When I was younger I thought busy people were more important than everyone else. Otherwise why would they be so busy? I had busy bosses, busy parents, and always I just thought they must have really important things to do. It seemed an easy way to see who mattered and who didn’t...This is the cult of busy.”

Yet for me the drive to busy-ness is often about something deeper for many of us women. It can be tied into our feelings of self-worth and value, yes, but it is also a way of keeping us so distracted.

It’s a way of numbing ourselves to feelings of loneliness, disappointment, pain, and anxiety.  We keep ourselves excessively busy for the same reasons that we drink alcohol, binge eat food, or move quickly from one relationship to the next, never allowing ourselves time to really just be with ourselves.

I also know that when I was entrenched in busy-ness, the only I ever gave myself permission to turn off or slow down was when I was either drunk or hungover. Rabbi Elise Goldstein eloquently writes: for many of us, our busyness is a drug, and we use it dangerously. We overprogramme on purpose. We stretch ourselves to prove something. If we are brutally honest with ourselves, we will admit that often we use our excessively hectic schedules to escape ourselves. To escape the one thing we strive to cope with over these holy days: our inner life, our minds, and our spirits.

What about you? Does any of this feel familiar to you?

If you find yourself spread too thin, missing time with close friends or family, or answering the question “how are you?” more often than not with something to do with how busy you are - try some of these tips.

Reframe your response

We all get busy sometimes. Have a looming deadline for work? Say so. Inadvertently overschedule our week? Offer an apology and acknowledgment that you are stretched too thin. You can also try shifting your language using the following suggestion from Laura Vanderkam’s article in the Wall Street Journal.

Instead of saying "I don't have time" try saying "it's not a priority," and see how that feels. Often, that's a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don't want to. But other things are harder. Try it: "I'm not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it's not a priority." "I don't go to the doctor because my health is not a priority." If these phrases don't sit well, that's the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don't like how we're spending an hour, we can choose differently.

You may decide not to say “this isn’t a priority” outloud - but it can be a really great indicator of what is going on inside.

Is it a "hell yes?"

Ask yourself… is this a “Hell Yes??” If it is, then go for it. If not, then consider prioritizing differently.

Chose quality over quantity

Do you really need to go to every event you get invited to? Are all of your acquaintances bringing something meaningful into your life, or are you saying yes to your boyfriend’s sister’s boss’s birthday because you don’t want to be home alone on Friday night?

Log your time

If you are really confused about where all your time is going, and to help gain clarity around how you are spending your time, it can be helpful to log your time spent doing different activities. Are you really as busy as you think? Are there areas of your life that can be readjusted in order to prioritize self-care and connection? In her article in LifeHackers, Janet Choi recommends connecting your attention and action with a time audit. “Break down how you spend time on the computer with RescueTime. Or see how you answer the questions of "What did you get done today?" and "What did you pay attention to today?" over time using iDoneThis.”

Be revolutionary

Creating a new normal and going against the grain can be tough sometimes, especially when you are surrounded by SO. MUCH. BUSY-NESS. I used to brag that the reason I accomplished so much at such a young age was because I didn’t sleep. I now make a point of emphasizing the things I do for self-care. I communicate my desire to free up more time, rather than fill it. And I’m honest about when this is a struggle and when I’ve fallen back into the time-trap.

Together we are strong, right? Let’s create a new normal together…

Is the cult of busy really one that you want to be a member of? What about the cult of revolutionary self-care and connection?

Are you with me? Let me know in the comments if you are. I’d love to hear one action you will be taking (or have already taken) to make more room for presence in your life.

I’ve also included a chapter with even more strategies on this topic in my upcoming guide: Drink Less, Be More. Pre-sale info will be coming soon - are you excited!?! I am!! I can’t wait to share it with you.

Cheers a relaxing weekend ;)


Ps. I have a new instagram account dedicated to Drink Less, Be More! Follow for daily inspiration, yummy drinks and lifestyle tips. Find me at @drink.less.be.more

Ugh... crash and burn... now what?

It happened. After such a wonderful high from finishing my manuscript (yay!! Drink Less Be More to be published next month!!) and starting off my "supercharged September" with vigour, intaking new clients, new collaborations, whirlwind visits in Canada, a professional photoshoot for my book cover, studying and writing the final exam for my advanced coaching certification, aaaaand being a super-mama to my almost-11month old daughter who is going through a sleep regression phase, then a week of travel to finally make it back to my home in Southern Mexico... I crashed.

Like, meltdown couldn't hold back tears state of total emotional and physical exhaustion kind of meltdown. Meltdown like my basic problem solving / rational skills where gone. Meltdown like I had to stop myself from totally spiralling out of control by remembering all of the self care tools I talk about with my clients kinda meltdown.  Meltdown like all of a sudden my commitments felt like too much, I felt guilty about not sending my blog last week (though I know you weren't holding your breath, right caitlin? And don't worry, those juicy revelations are still coming this Friday ;), like all I wanted to do was curl-up in a fetal position on the floor kinda meltdown.

I won't go into the details as they aren't really important. A lot of it can be summed up by the fact that this is my "deep work:" my pattern of taking on too much, overcommitting myself, and putting way too much pressure on myself. It runs deep and is almost ever-present. I am getting a lot better at catching myself in the pattern, at saying no, at taking sips rather than gulping at life and opportunities but it is a new way of being I must learn and remind myself of.

Just like you, dear one. I know we're in this together, which brings me comfort. We're committed to unlearning the patterns that brought us to the point of wanting / needing to change, and writing new stories for ourselves.

I am committed to sharing this with you because I have a feeling you can relate. Another aspect of my "deep work" is the need to appear perfect, like all is well, always.

The fear bubbles up.... if I share this, you're going to think I'm incompetent. My clients who read this are going to question my abilities. The people who are thinking about working with me are going to have doubts.

I've come to listen to the fear. It is usually a signal that something is worth doing. We don't get to do the deep work without pushing through the fear that usually protects us from going deep. From showing up and being real and raw and vulnerable and human. 

I've also come to appreciate these meltdown moments because they are usually an important indicator that it's time to check in with myself about my self-care habits and rituals. It's probably not surprising to you that some of my most important rituals had fallen by the wayside recently.

These are the rituals and habits that keep me grounded and more able to handle the ups and downs that life inevitably throughs my way.

1) A non-negotiable morning routine: This is the basis of almost a whole chapter in my upcoming book. Starting the morning with a solid self care routine is one of the #1 factors that highly successful people state they do daily. This includes "you time" ie if you have kids and / or a partner, it's even more important for you carve a little slice of time just for you. I recommend that your morning routine be holistic and nourishing for your mind, body and soul.

The focus on the mind/soul can include meditation and/prayer, practicing gratitudes, journaling on desires or intentions, mindfulness or self-compassion practices.

The focus on the body can include starting your day with an alkalizing water + lemon, a cup of herbal, green tea or yerba mate, a nutritious and alkalizing green juice or smoothie, stretching, yoga, a walk in nature, a bubble bath (to start the day, what a treat!).

The key is to find a few of these practices that work well for you, and make them a priority no matter what. Even if it means getting up 30 minutes earlier (you might also try going to bed 30 mins earlier - we'll get to that in a bit).

When you start each day with intention and focus on self-nourishment - you are more likely to make decisions with clarity and calm, feel prepared for the unexpected, and welcome more abundance and awesomeness. 

My morning routine was only half there with so much travel, different accommodation, and exhaustion. I am recommitting to the mind/soul aspect of my practice. What can you do right now to change your morning routine to a more nourishing one caitlin?

2) Call in an SOS: There's a reason why I have an extra 20 minute session built into my monthly coaching program for my clients. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball, have a fight with family or a partner, or you suddenly find yourself completely overwhelmed (or any combination of these things and more). Having a safe person(s) you can call and express your raw, uncensored feelings to is so important. Sometimes the very act of reaching out and saying "I'm feeling like sh*t right now, I can't cope, I need help" can help you feel less along.

This also allows us to feel our feelings without stuffing them, or turning to food, alcohol or even more business to hide the pain. Feel and deal, as they say. The first has to happen before the second is possible.

Yesterday I put the call out to 3 people. As soon as I gave myself permission to have these feelings and share them, the weight started lifting.

Who can you call for an SOS caitlin? Make a list of at least 3 people, more if possible. People are busy and it's great to know there's more than one person you can call in case of a meltdown moment. If you need support in this area, respond to this email and let me know.

3) Follow through / keep your word: This is a biggie. In times of overwhelm and pre-meltdown, you might start to feel things slide. You miss an appointment. You don't respond to emails. You have outstanding bills. You change your mind about a commitment you've made, but instead of being honest about it, you avoid the situation all together.

From the outside, this makes sense. If you aren't able to show up for yourself, how can you be expected to show up fully for other people? 

The problem is that leaving things undone creates an underlying anxiety that will keep you feeling stuck and unable to work on the deeper healing that's needed. It is emotional baggage that weighs you down.

Set aside 1 hour of time, and follow through on everything you've left slide. This doesn't mean you have to say yes again to everything you've committed to. It means being honest about what you can do. If you've changed your mind or are too busy / overwhelmed / financially stretched / fill in the black - let the other person know. If you've missed an appointment or cancelled yet again on coffee with a friend, write to them and let them know that you are sorry that you can't follow through right now.

Is there anything you've left hanging? Any amends that need making? Any bills left unpaid? Set aside an hour THIS WEEK to take care of these things. Trust me, you will feel better, lighter, and will create more energetic and emotional space for your own healing. 

4) A nourishing bed-time routine: Just as important as starting your day with intention, is ending it with intention. The following are some steps to take to ensure peace of mind and healing sleep:

  • Turn off cell phones, social media and tv at least 30 minutes before bed - though an hour before is ideal.

  • Do a "brain dump" - write down anything that's nagging at you, any of your major to-dos for the next day.

  • Make amends - did you fight with your partner? Find a way to make peace before bed. My grandma always used to say, "never go to bed angry," and I try to live by that. If it's not possible to speak directly to the person you'd like to make amends to, write them a letter in your journal. You may or may not ever send it, but it's important to clear the energy around this. You might want to revisit this during the hour you've set aside for the step above.

  • Self-care - tea, cacao, bubble baths, stretching, candles, self-massage, gentle music, meditation, guided meditations / visualisations, the list does on. Again, the key is to find what works for you to let go of your day and prepare yourself to sleep. You might need to start preparing yourself for bed earlier than you are used to.

  • If you are someone who relies on a glass of wine or three to unwind at the end of the day - the step is particularly important. Really spend some time exploring what alternatives will work for you. If you aren't able or wanting to cut wine out completely, try cutting down on the quantity - such as from 3 glasses to two, or from one glass to half a glass.

Also try to drink your wine earlier in the evening and not right before bed. I also go into this in a lot more detail in my upcoming book, but drinking alcohol right before bed disrupts your sleep cycle and though you might feel like you are shutting off your brain and falling asleep more quickly - you will actually sleep more fitfully and wake up more tired.

These are my top tips for dealing with overwhelm and impending meltdowns. We are creatures of habit and creating solid routines and rituals are crucial for our health. We are also social creatures, so having a support system and following through on our social bonds and commitments are equally as important for your well-being.

What are your favourite strategies for coping with overwhelm or meltdowns? Have I missed anything here? Let me know!

As always, can't wait to hear from you.


7 Strategies for Avoiding Blackouts (that don't involve quitting alcohol)

“The last thing I hear is my heels, steady as a metronome, echoing through the lobby. And then there is nothing.

This happens to me sometimes. A curtain falling in the middle of the act, leaving minutes and sometimes hours in the dark. But anyone watching me wouldn’t notice. They’d simply see a woman on her way to somewhere else, with no idea her memory just snapped in half.”

Sarah Hepola, author of Blackout: Remembering The Things I Drank To Forget


When I first read the above passage from Sarah Hepola’s new book Blackout: Remembering The Things I Drank To Forget it gave me the chills.

I have had more blackouts that I can count. For me, blackouts were the ugly, scary end result of “too much fun.” The irony is that too much fun led to shame, regret, and grief … an aching sadness over significant periods of time “lost” with no means of recollection.

Many of my clients come to me with similar experiences. Blackouts are listed as one of the worst negative consequences of their drinking. For many women the goal is learning how to manage their alcohol so that they can go out, drink, have a great time and remember every second of it.

Blackouts seem to start at a blood alcohol content of around .20, and women often reach that level quicker than men, which means that we are more prone to blackouts. Why does this happen?

In her article “Anatomy of a Blackout,” Julie Beck writes that women have less alcohol dehydrogenase in their guts—an enzyme that helps break down alcohol. The effect: a woman will likely absorb about 30% more alcohol into her bloodstream than a man of the same weight who has consumed an equal amount. Women also have less free-floating water in their bodies than men do, and since alcohol disperses in body water, we maintain a higher concentration for longer. Simply put, if you are going shot for shot with a dude at the bar, you are going to get way more wasted, and be much more likely to blackout.

The Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse describes low risk drinking as no more than 3 drinks a night for women, and 4 drinks a night for men. I used to think this was “crazy low” - something concocted by the fun police rather than put in place to provide sound health recommendations. But the more I researched, I realized the guidelines are not meant to oppress women and take away our freedom to drink as much as men. And as Drinkaware.uk writes, “It’s not sexism, it’s biology.”

While it’s hard to know the exact number of women who suffer from blackouts because so many go unreported, recent studies of college students show that 1 in 4 students who drink alcohol will experience a blackout.

To counter this, here are 7 strategies you can try so that you might not have to quit drinking altogether.

7 strategies:


  • Set a clear intention before going out: How many drinks are “too many?” We know that you definitely don’t want to drink more than 4 in the span of 2 hours which is the fastest way to a blackout …Try limiting your drinks to the recommended amount of 3 drinks a night. If you know that 3 drinks obscures your judgment so that you coincidentally forget your best laid plans … then drop it to 2. The key is the pick a number that keeps you from crossing the line to the point of no return.

  • Eat something: Alcohol is absorbed through the walls of the stomach very quickly. The less that’s in there, the faster it will enter your bloodstream and the more quickly your blood alcohol content will rise. Eat before your drink and the alcohol will drip into your body's systems, rather than flooding them. Try eating a meal with healthy fats, such as avocado, salmon, chia, olive or coconut oil, as fats take the longest to digest and will stay in your stomach longer.

  • No pre-gaming: Find another ritual to get you pumped and feeling confident for your night out. Pounding alcohol before hitting the bar is a sure fire way to have your BAC escalate quickly and for you to lose count of how much you are drinking.

  • Arrive and assess: Instead of being on autopilot and automatically ordering your usual drink when you get to the bar, try ordering something non-alcoholic first. Try a juice mixed with mineral/seltzer water. Assess the situation, see how you’re feeling and wait about 30 minutes before ordering your first drink.

  • Try the 2x1 rule: We've all heard about alternating one alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink. If you really want to change your habits and break out of your blackout behaviour, try two non-alcohol drinks in-between every alcoholic one. You will be forced to drink slower and you'll be getting the benefits of extra hydration.

  • No shots or doubles: This might seem obvious but shots and doubles are one of the fastest ways for your BAC to rise quickly. If you "have to" do a shot every once and awhile, make sure you chase it with a non-alcoholic drink and give yourself some time before the next one.

  • Buddy up: It's hard for many of us to keep ourselves accountable. If we keep our intentions to ourselves, we are more able to talk ourselves out of them. Do you have a friend you could talk to about this? Finding an accountability buddy and telling them your intentions will help you stay on track.

It’s also important to do the inner work necessary to avoid repeating the same cycles. If you have experienced a blackout in the past, and have lingered feelings of shame, regret, embarrassment or sadness, give yourself some extra love and forgiveness. Reach out, share your story with a trusted friend.

If you are a friend on the receiving end and hearing of someone else's blackout, make sure to offer them safety, non-judgment and support instead of laughing it off or minimizing it.

We know that by stuffing these feelings, we will only keep setting ourselves up for the kind of artificial release that comes with alcohol, then we drink too much again to escape brain chatter or pain, and the cycle continues.

Are you committed to breaking this cycle? Which strategy will you try?

Have you ever had conversations with friends about blackouts? Please forward this info to them ... let's work together to make this less of a taboo topic!

Cheers to clarity and crystal clear memories,