Certified 500+ hour Pilates Instructor
Certified 200 hour RYT-E Yoga Instructor

Sarah Callaham

LOVE life. LIVE life. 

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How to stay on track with your practice and healthy lifestyle during travel or family/friend visits?

Posted on November 29, 2017 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)


Photo credit: Ben Harper @bharper4000


With the holidays, literally right around the corner, this is the season where our attention is shifted more towards family and friends, travel, and lots of yummy food traditions. It’s a time where we tend to put our “diets” and exercise aside, at least until January 1st rolls around with the fateful New Year Resolutions. We always say “This is the year! I’m going to do it!” which generally lasts a few months, or maybe longer, but then we have travel, family and friends staying with us, and again more yummy food traditions. And again the vicious cycle continues.


This is because the majority of us don’t truly believe in the resolutions, or commitments to health and wellness, that we make for ourselves. We like the idea, the picture of what it looks like, but we haven’t fully embraced it within our soul, within our entire being. Because for a real change to take place, we have to live it and breathe it day in and day out. It has to be a lifestyle change, not just something we do during the week and then cast it aside when it’s not as convenient on the weekends. I’m not saying that we need to all of a sudden be obsessive compulsive and live completely out of balance. No, in fact it’s the exact opposite. When we start to feed our bodies with real food and move our bodies on the regular, we are actually bringing them back into balance.


As a plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free eater, people always seem to tell me that I must have the amazing will power to not eat cheese, or that they could never give up steak. And it always seems like such a strange concept to me. Because for me, the diet I eat is what makes my body feel good. It’s not because I don’t like the taste of cheese, but that I know how much better I feel when I don’t eat it. I am not committed to not eating those things; I am committed to feeling amazing 100% of the time….at least if I can help it.


So I invite you this year to take a moment and think about what is most important to you, because ultimately you have to own the decision you make. Once you have truly chosen to prioritize feeling good, then commit to it. Here a couple tips to help keep you feeling amazing.


Figure out a diet/way of eating that makes you feel great. Maybe try an elimination diet, where you take out all processed food, salt, refined sugar, alcohol, wheat/gluten, dairy, caffeine, red meat, corn, eggs, for 7-10 days and then slowly start adding things back in, one by one, to see if there are certain things that don’t work for your body. From that base you will then have a better idea of which foods to keep in your diet, which ones to take out.


Find recipes that allow you to still indulge within the confines of your eating plan. We all love the delicious foods and treats that come with the holidays, but once we figure out which foods are actually inhibiting us from feeling our best we realize that feeling tired, sluggish, heavy, and uncomfortable isn’t worth the momentary satisfaction of satiating our taste buds. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have amazing tasting foods! Look for new, fun recipes for you to make your favorite holiday treats with the foods that work for your body. You’ll be amazed how many different sites and recipes are out there these days, with the health conscious eaters in mind.


Take time for yourself. As we all know the holidays can be stressful. In fact, visits to the emergency room typically rise during the holidays due to car accidents -people rushing from one place to the next, falls- being careless and slippery conditions, and chest pain- elevated levels of stress on the body, according to Julie Unruh, president of the Eastern Kansas Emergency Nurses Association. So it is important to carve time out for ourselves. Even when we are with family, it is ok to go for an early morning coffee run and then take an hour to read the newspaper; go for a solo after lunch stroll, or take time to meditate whenever you need to ground back into your heart for a moment. Sometimes all it takes is 5 minutes for you to recharge.


Bring your mat with you. Just the simple act and ritual of bringing your mat with you speaks to your body and mind. It’s accustomed to moving/practicing when it sees the mat and you will therefore be more inclined to want to continue your practice, even if it isn’t in your normal setting. Try researching studios in the area with classes you are interesting in taking or with instructors you’d like to work with, to help encourage you to keep up with your physical practice. In fact, why not choose your hotel by its proximity to the studios in the area.


Have a glass or two. It’s all about balance. A glass of wine isn’t going to set you back, it’s the 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th that we really feel the next day. Just remember, listen to your body and do what makes it feel good- not just in the moment, but with more of a long term holistic view in mind.

The End of an Era.

Posted on July 18, 2017 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)



The cleanse ended a couple of weeks ago now, and I can honestly say it also marked the end of an era. No, not the end of eating gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, etc., but that of sugar's domination of my life. The main reason I wanted to do a cleanse was to help rid my brain of its cocaine-esque addiction to the sweet substance, and to give my body a chance to kill off the rising amounts of candida I can only assume were having a field day on my system. The first two weeks were hard, with the physical, mental, and emotional desire to want to have sweets, but once I crossed that threshold, let go of my attachment, and saw the balance in my life, I was home free.


Now that I have had a couple of weeks to start to go back to some normal eating habits, I can vividly see the effects sugar was having on my body. I immediately noticed how it affects my digestion, making it harder for my body to process food. My headaches started playing up more than they had all the past month, knowing that sugar can be a trigger for migraines. Just those two things alone have been a huge wake up call. I already have a tummy who acts like a princess, and my tendencies towards headaches rule my life as it is. I don't have the driving desire to have something comprised of straight sugar at all times, and find myself actually opting for a pear and goat cheese, or watermelon, or a peach, instead of a cookie, coconut ice cream, or dark chocolate covered almonds. So not only have I gotten rid of the cravings, but I've truly broken free from the grips of dextrose.


And with that I've noticed some other side effects- more mental clarity, more energy, less body fatigue, better digestion, less headaches, more of a feeling of being in control of my life! While some have commented on me looking leaner, I'm not convinced and it was never my goal. I just think that my body can finally function the way it's meant too, and so it's simply thanking me for it.


So, will I completely give up sugar for good? No way. Will I have a healthier relationship with it? 100%. Will I cut back the amount of sugar I had eaten previously? Oh yeah!


Life is about balance. Even during my month of cleansing i visited that, having a glass of wine with my sister who is going through one of the hardest things I can possibly imagine. Having that glass of wine didn't mean I had failed. It wasn't going to ruin everything I had done. In fact, I think it bolstered it. That choice showed me that I can have a little something here or there and it's not going to throw me totally off. It doesn't mean I have to start over. It was a perfect example of balance we should be creating in our lives. We need to have some structure, but not deprive ourselves. For me, now that the cravings are gone, I feel like I am free to make my own choices. Having a cookie here or there, but not feeling compelled to eat the whole bag. Being able to have the mental clarity to know that if I do have a cookie or a treat, I may pay for it later in terms of tummy taming or migraine managing depending on how many I have. It's all about choice. Life is a choice. No matter where you are. Who you are. Or what you're going through. There is always a choice. You always have a choice to make in how you live YOUR life.

Simply me.

Posted on June 17, 2017 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)


I can just. be. me. For the first time, I could hear myself say these words. I've said it many times. Other people have told me many times as well. But never did I actually hear them. Hear those words.

It took 20 years of battling chronic tension and pain, the guidance through visualizations of letting go and clearing out old energies, and the hands of a skilled massage therapist in myofascial release, but my body finally was able to give my mind the permission to just. be. me. Through the release and attention that was brought to my consistently knotted neck and shoulder muscles, I felt a sense of relief-and not the usual nice feeling of the physical pain of the muscle finally unwinding itself. No, this one was different. The sensation was more of an energetic rush of relief. The feeling that my head wasn't stuck, chained down, to my shoulders anymore. That my head felt lighter. That I heard my head say, "you can be you." It was like I finally had the permission from my body to simply be myself.

And then that was when it hit me. Since I was a little girl, I have associated my strength and self-worth with the physical strength of my body. But for the past 20 years, I have struggled with shoulder, neck and head pain that has held me back from the dreams, goals, and accomplishments I believed I was supposed to accomplish. I dreamed of being an Olympic swimmer, but by the age of 11, I was dealing with shoulder pain, and by age 14 I couldn't even lift cereal boxes off the shelf without severe pain shooting through my arms. I eventually gave up swimming at age 17 and tried to focus on other things, one namely my performance on our high school ski team. At the beginning of the season right before I turned 18, I suffered a severe concussion at the end of ski practice, which again threw a wrench in my expectations of myself. Leading me to drop out of calculous my senior year of high school, and my GPA to drastically fall from the above 4.0 to a mid-range 3.5. Again, I saw my failure, in never having dropped below a 4.0 my entire high school career. The combined efforts of the damage I had done to my shoulders while swimming, and the head and neck injury from skiing, would prove to cast a shadow on all my physical efforts from there on out. Having to deal with chronic tension headaches, migraines, and shoulder pain, I found myself unable to participate in daily life as I had before. I wasn't performing in sports the way I expected my body should be able to. Getting to a point where I would see progress, only to be sidelined by the inevitable shoulder or neck flare up. I couldn’t sit or travel for long periods of time without taking painkillers, in order to nip the tension headache in the bud, before it could become a full migraine. I couldn't paddle the way others trained in my training programs, because of the impending neck and shoulder pain that would result in weeks of pain, if I pushed it just a little too far. I couldn't do a handstand or headstand without serious overuse of my neck. Playing any sport where I was required to throw a ball was also most definitely out of the question-so there goes softball and water polo. My life had and has always revolved around playing sports, or being active. People were always telling me how strong I was, or at least looked like I was, and so I prided myself on my body's strength- even if that meant not listening to it and pushing it through pain.

While lying on the massage table, in that moment of the release in my shoulder, I realized I had always seen my body's weaknesses and failures as who I was as a person. It was because I had always equated my value and self-worth to my physical strength that anything where my body failed, I as a person was a failure. That no matter how hard I tried, there would always be the inevitable downfall waiting in the wings-just to remind me that I'm not good enough.

It was in that moment, for the first time my mind and spirit were finally free from my body. And I understood on a deeper level, that my pain doesn't define me. I am not my pain. I am more than that. I felt the shell that I had carried around myself for 20 years, start to fall away, and I had a sense of that carefree little girl I had once been started to show her face. Creative. Untethered to expectations or assumptions. Wild at heart. Unafraid of anything. I felt perfectly at ease. With myself. Like I was meeting an old friend I hadn't seen in a very long time. And while although the knot in my shoulder continually tried to grab and pull back into its former ball. It didn't matter. It didn't matter, because it was simply pain. It wasn't going to have any regulation on my life. I was bigger than that. I didn't have any expectations of who I was supposed to be, or what my body was supposed to accomplish. I could simply just be me.

I Just Want a Cookie.

Posted on June 11, 2017 at 1:15 AM Comments comments (0)


I just want a cookie. Or maybe chocolate covered almonds. Or that aioli I made before I started the cleanse, that's ok right?

Hello cravings. For the first time during this cleanse I am feeling the brain. The cravings. The strong pull and manipulation of the mind. Logistically reasoning with me that it's ok to have any of the above things....or maybe even a piece of toast with jam. No! Gah. It just won't quit.

To the point where I feel like I should maybe just quit. That its too hard. Or that I actually should quit because this can't be good for me. I eat healthy. Why am I changing things? This isn't right. It's pointless. A waste. It's better if I stop. If I give in.

But I am not someone who throws in the towel easily on anything. Just ask my parents. My friends. My fiancé. I don't give up even when all the signs are telling me too. Even when I am doing physical harm to my body. So why now? Why is my brain telling me to quit now?

Because it would be easy. Because this doesn't really matter, does it? In the past 10 years, I haven't seriously put myself first. I have followed along with game plans of past relationships. I have focused on my work more than my health. I have run myself to the ground to distract my brain from dealing with stress or pain. I have always found someone else to focus on or help, whether it was conscious or not. So now, when I am forcing myself to truly put attention on me, from the inside out. From a deeply personal platform-food-my brain doesn't know how to handle it. It can take the pressure of having to prioritize myself. Of not caving into that one little bite. Brain on sugar is like a brain on cocaine. Like when can I get my next fix.

But I won't give in. I look at this as a metaphor for every other challenge I am working through. That if I give in here. If I quit now, then what? What does that say about being able to get through the real struggles in my personal life? I can do it. But dammit I just want a cookie.

With Change Comes Discomfort

Posted on June 9, 2017 at 3:00 AM Comments comments (0)


Whether I am changing a job, a school, a city, a family, a tire, or the sheets, rarely do I find myself feeling perfectly cool, calm and collected. With change, comes stress. Maybe not a mountain of it, but there is some sort of response the body and the mind will likely produce when it is told that something in its norm will be different. Even though I am one who travels, and seems to be free spirited with a wanderlust soul, I am a creature of habit. I like things a certain way. I love to plan- in fact I used to have to plan to be spontaneous! I like things orderly and put in a tidy fashion before I can sit down and be productive. So, when things change in my world, it generally throws me for a loop. With that said, I have worked quite hard over the past decade to minimize that reaction, but still there are times when I feel so overwhelmed with life, I feel like I can't breathe, see, or think straight.


Which is pretty much where we enter my life now. Over the past 6 months, I decided to quit my job, leave Maui, move to Australia, get married to the most loving man I've ever known, be a stepmom to 2 beautiful little girls, start a yearlong visa application process- (which we were warned most couples broke up before the process was over), start a side business to help support myself and my new family, all while being apart from the man I love for the next 5 months while I work a waitressing job to pay off a personal loan. So, I think it's fair to say I have had a little change in my life lately. And while although I thought I was someone who could flow with the changing tides, I've come to realize I've bitten more off than I can chew at times.


Finding myself in the overwhelming mind/body reaction to change, is a major reason why I decided to do this cleanse. Not because I was looking for one more thing to add to the "change" list, but rather it is a change I am in full control of every step of the way. That it brings my focus back to me as a strong, powerful woman who has the power to change her health from the inside out. That I can do this.


It is a deeply personal way for me to play the witness to change on a physical level, as my body goes through the detoxification process. And while although I am physically uncomfortable at times, I know why. I know that it's because it is for the better. It's all part of the process, and it is through this process I can see the bigger picture broken down. I can use my positivity through this cleanse to remind me of my strength in the other larger changes happening in my life. If I can get through the uncomfortability here, then I can make it through the next few months being away from those I love. Make it through moving to a faraway land. Through a lengthy and trying visa process. Through getting married. Through making my new business venture successful. Through to this holding pattern to the next chapter of my life. With change comes discomfort, but that doesn't have to mean negativity. Change is inevitable and therefore, we must find a way to embrace it as we throw our head back to the wind, and laugh.

Today I Prioritize ME

Posted on June 6, 2017 at 1:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Today I take the first step in putting myself first, in the most intimate way I can think of, through my intake of fuel. No other way is more personal in my mind. From the food we eat, or don't eat, every organ and system is fueled to either function efficiently or fail. Or for most of us, it falls somewhere in between those two extremes on the spectrum. We as a culture here in the United States have lost sight of viewing food as fuel. Instead of viewing food as the way we fuel our bodies to run optimally; to funciton without headaches, joint pain, digestive issues, heart disease, skin problems, etc., we look at it as a way to entertain or play or excite. We indugle our cravings and have made an industry out of making food that is addictive from chemicals created in a lab. Now I'm not saying that having a gourmet meal or a decadent dessert once in a while, is a bad thing. I'm saying that when we make the pre-packaged, processed, sugar, dairy, gluten and/or chemical laden food our norm, that we should really take a step back and ask ourselves how we can expect our bodies to be performing on all cyilinders  when this is what's fueling it. It's all about balance. It's about remembering food was, and still is, the original medicine. We have engineered many supremely helpful medicines and techniques, but they are derived from the original knowledge of how what we put in our bodies positively or negatively effects us. So why not recommit to fueling our bodies properly to see what changes we can make internally, systematically first.

So with that in mind, I embark on the first cleanse since having discoved my intolerance to tradtional dairy and gluten 7 years ago. At the time, I had no idea that doing a detox/cleanse would lead me to change my eating habits forever. I had all intentions of going right back to eating as I always had, but to my surprise I found a reason for why I hadn't been feeling as good as I could have been. I realized through eliminating different foods and giving my body a chance to reset, that it couldn't process gluten or cow's milk without an intensely uncomfortable response. At the time I decided to do the cleanse, I was feeling off physically and emotionally, and was deeply feeling the need for a change. For the last couple of years, I have found myself feeling similarly. Needing a change on deeper level. On a organ level; a nervous system level; a cellular level. But I have always found an excuse to shy away from it, or to prioritze someone or something else.

But today I prioritize me. I make myself just as important as anything else in my life. I'm investing in my health. I'm investigating my sense of wellbeing. My health. I'm looking forward to the process, not the sugar cravings, the headaches, skin breakouts, or any other traditional detox symptoms, but the process of witnessing my body change. Of my body gravitating towards optimal functionality. Of being able to be that much more intune with my body and its needs. I know it won't be the most comfortable 30 days of my life, but no change is ever comfortable. Just like rehabing from an injury or coming back from an illness isn't my favorite or most fun time in my life, I always appreciate the process. The process of learning that much more about myself, or others I have the privledge of getting to connect with as clients or friends. Of being able to relate to what others are going through. To be able to have more compassion. More empathy. To be able to appreciate the human body and all of the amazing things it can accomplish.

So as I sip my detox tea tonight, I think of the things I listed I am grateful for this morning. And I am excited to take on day 2 of 30. I am excited to take back the most personal part of my life.

Gratitude & Openness

Posted on July 20, 2014 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)


Gratitude and openness. An ethos of gratitude, for all that has come before, allows for an openness, an eagerness to say yes to all that lies ahead. Give yourself permission to be thankful for both the positive and the negative moments in your life, because without them you wouldn’t be who you are today. Who you are right now, in this instant. You wouldn’t be you. You wouldn’t be here. Present. In this moment.

There is nothing without this moment. No past. No present. No future. It’s by giving thanks we allow ourselves to let go of the past. To give ourselves permission to be happy with exactly where we are today. Because if you close your eyes; take a deep breath allowing all of your tensions and stressors- internal and external- to simply wash away, and just truly BE- here, in this moment right now- you’ll see there is nothing inherently bad about this moment. Allowing ourselves to BE, blissfully encompassed in the present, gives us the ability to say Yes. Yes to whatever comes next. Because no matter what the future holds, we know that it is impossibly intrinsically negative.

Find yourself in every moment. Live your life in every moment.

 


Commit to HAPPY

Posted on July 1, 2014 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)


When are you your happiest? Is it with your family? On an adventure? Hanging out with friends? Is it at your job? At school? Or sharing your experiences with others? Take the time to really figure out when you are your happiest, and see if you can make that a bigger part of your life. Then on the flip side, figuring out when you are your least happy, and eradicate that situation from your life. Commit your whole self, no matter what the "cost", to HAPPY. Because once you find it, you'll realize nothing is worth losing it. ❤️ #lovelifelivelife #committoHAPPY #thejourneyisthedestination #thisonesforyouRulli

LOVE life. LIVE life.

Posted on June 28, 2014 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (0)


"In my experience I have found that if you love life, life will love you right back." -Arthur Rubenstein

Presence. It's all we really have.

Posted on June 28, 2014 at 8:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Find the strength to stay in the present. Lose your attachments to the past and the future, and allow yourself to be here in the Now. Forget about perfection. Don't try to wrap it up in a cute little box, with a perfectly tied bow. Let it all hang out. Let it be messy. Raw. Organic. The present is ever changing; so celebrate it's different forms. Learn who you really are-not just on the surface by what job title you have, but who YOU are- and be true to that person. Align your dreams with that person, not some fantastical movie character or what society deems to be the ultimate goal. Live YOUR life. Be YOU. The crazy beautiful person you are. ❤️


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