In this episode, Mary Ellen Valverde teaches us how to nourish our bodies and look after ourselves so that we can handle stress and avoid burnout.

We cover information about self-care and nourishment, including paying attention to our eating habits and stress levels, and how concepts like mindfulness and play can greatly benefit food bloggers.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Guest Details

Connect with Nourished By ME
Website | Instagram

Bio Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist & Holistic Nourishment Coach who guides women to feel clear and confident about what is uniquely nourishing to them. She works with busy women who are frustrated and confused about wellness and helps them reframe their beliefs around food & movement, their inner wisdom, and their full potential. By using a combination of scientific research, embodiment practices, and intuition, Mary Ellen helps equip her clients with the tools they need to deeply understand their own body’s unique cues, needs, and desires so they can experience true self-care free from rules and restrictions.


  • If you’re burnout, put everything aside and take time to work on yourself.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of meditation.
  • No one’s self-care can look exactly the same, but there are 5 similarities in how we can optimally nourish ourselves.
  • Focus on your nervous system first and make sure you get enough rest.
  • Aligned eating is less about what you eat but how you eat – are you taking time to sit down and have a meal? 
  • How can you fit movement that you enjoy into your busy schedule?
  • Be conscious of what your body needs most and adjust your workouts and meals to your current needs.
  • Mindfulness is being fully present and aware of our surroundings.
  • Tune in to your senses when you’re working in the kitchen. 
  • Bring in creativity and play to feel happiness in your day and have fun.

Resources Mentioned

Nourished by the Elements (free resource to get started)

Nourished by the Moon Sessions

Nourishment Coaching


Click for full script.

EBT466 – Mary Ellen Valverde

Intro 00:00

Food bloggers. Hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat, Blog, Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blog’s growth and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom, whether that’s financial, personal, or professional. I’m Megan Porta. I have been a food blogger for 13 years, so I understand how isolating food blogging can be. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you know, that you are heard and supported. 

Megan Porta 00:38

Hey, how are you feeling today? I’m asking you this question because as you know, food blogging can be really hard. We can lose sight of taking care of ourselves and nourishing our bodies and doing all of those things that we know we need to do, like eating well, moving our bodies, taking care of our nervous system, being mindful, tapping into creativity outside of our work and all of those things. Mary Ellen Valverde from Nourished by Me joins me in this episode to address all of these things, and she gives us so many great tips about how to take simple steps to start taking care of ourselves in ways that will have a lasting impact on her life in business. I absolutely loved this conversation with Mary Ellen. She is so full of knowledge. She was a food blogger for nine years and ended up selling her blog. She had so much going on in her life, and once she sold her blog, she started focusing more on all of these pillars that she talks about inside the episode that really transformed her life. I think you’re gonna be really inspired by this. I know I was. I wanted more as we were talking. I didn’t wanna stop. This is episode number 466, sponsored by RankIQ. 

Sponsor 01:48

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Marin 02:36

Before I joined the Mastermind, I was pretty overwhelmed and ready to quit, but then the Mastermind kind of helped me keep going. Like those meetings every week made me realize I’m not the only one in the boat. There are lots of people struggling with the same things. And I even asked, I was like, is this better off? It’s just a hobby, or is the income at the end of the line like really worth it? Is it worth it to sacrifice the time in my other part of my career to be devoting to this working for literally less than pennies? And they said yes. So that really kept me motivated, and I’m starting to see that they are not wrong.

Megan Porta 03:07

Mary Ellen Valverde is a licensed nutritionist and holistic nourishment coach who guides women to feel clear and competent about what is uniquely nourishing to them. She works with busy women who are frustrated and confused about wellness and helps them reframe their beliefs around food and movement, their inner wisdom and their full potential by using a combination of scientific research, embodiment practices, and intuition. Mary Ellen helps equip her clients with the tools they need to deeply understand their own body’s unique cues, needs and desires, so they can experience true self-care free from rules and free from restrictions. Mary Ellen. Hello. How are you today?

Mary Ellen Valverde 03:47

Hi. I’m really well. How are you?

Megan Porta 03:50

I’m doing good too. I can’t wait to talk to you. We chatted recently about this amazing thing you’re gonna talk about. You’re nourished by me sessions, so Yeah, I’m be, I’m feeling great and ready to have another chat. Yay. Before we get started, do you have a fun fact to share with us today?

Mary Ellen Valverde 04:09

Yes. I was thinking about it a little bit, and I love animals. So my fun fact is that I used to, I adopted three Guinea pigs. I like rescued them. Oh. And I was looking online and stuff, and people made these like, like big, like, I don’t wanna say cages, but like, you know, they’re like, I made a three story Guinea pig condo. What for them? And I used to decorate it and they had little like ramps and like, you know, I decorated for all the holidays and things like that. So yeah, like I love animals so much, and so they had a nice little, they had a lovely little life and they really loved all the like ramps and, and running around in it, so.

Megan Porta 04:47

Oh my gosh, that’s so cute. I wanna see a picture of it. That sounds amazing.

Mary Ellen Valverde 04:51

I have pictures I’ll show you.

Megan Porta 04:52

You do? Yeah. Show me. And then what is your absolute favorite animal of all time since you’re such a lover?

Mary Ellen Valverde 04:58

Oh, that’s hard, but I think it’s a platypus. They’re just so cool. When I was in Sydney I saw one and I was like, oh, I’m in love. And yeah, they like glow in the dark. I don’t know if people even know that they have like some high lumen.

Megan Porta 05:14

Platypus grow in the dark?

Mary Ellen Valverde 05:17

Yes. It’s just like so cool. They’re so cool and they like lay eggs, but they’re furry and like, I don’t know, amazing animals. I mean, I love them all, but.

Megan Porta 05:25

Yeah. Okay. That is not what I expected you to say a platypus, but that’s so cool.

Mary Ellen Valverde 05:31

I’m a little weird.

Megan Porta 05:32

It’s like an under, yeah, an under loved animal creature for sure. Cool. Alright, well, going from platypus, is it platypus? Platypus? You know what, it’s, how do you say the plural?

Mary Ellen Valverde 05:45

It’s, oh my goodness. It’s platipodes.

Megan Porta 05:48

No way.

Mary Ellen Valverde 05:49

Yeah, I had to look it up.

Megan Porta 05:49

Platipodes is the plural. Who knew? I learned something today. I don’t, let me know if you’re listening. And you knew that because Yeah. I don’t know. I never would’ve guessed that.

Mary Ellen Valverde 06:01

Me either. I had to look it up.

Megan Porta 06:03

Yeah. Going from that topic to what we’re gonna talk about today, which is self-care, nourishment practices for food bloggers, because food blogging can be really stressful, as you all know, if you’re listening. And Mary Ellen, you were a food blogger for nine years, so I think we can just start there. What did you blog about and what kind of led you to stop blogging?

Mary Ellen Valverde 06:27

Yeah, so about nine years or so, I, I was a blogger. I got into blogging to show people that you can still eat tasty food if you’re vegan. So that was one of the reasons, and I got really, really into like food and nutrition and things like that. So then I, this is, this will all tie into our conversation, but after a while I decided to go back to school and get my master’s degree in nutrition because I wanted to support others with their health. So I thought, oh, that’s great. Then I’ll, I’ll start putting like nutrition posts up and things like that. So during that whole time, I had a full-time job. I was taking classes on the weekends outta state for my degree. I was doing like this a thousand hour internship. Then once I graduated, I started a nutrition business and I was like, again, just blogging all the time, like taking the pictures, doing all of it, making sure Google was happy, things like that. And really, like, I just burnt myself out. Like I was just done with everything. Yeah. Yeah. So like in about 2019, I had some personal stuff going on. I don’t have kids, but I have two dogs. Well, I had two dogs and my one dog got sick. Hmm. I, I was terrible. And then I started experiencing all these health issues and I’m like, I was so overwhelmed. I was so tired, I was so stressed. Like I didn’t even know how to help myself at that point. So I knew I needed to take a step back. So I just put everything to the side. Even my blog, like I was trying to do a little bit with my blog and I obviously I still had to like do my full-time job, but like everything else was just like done. I just had to like, focus on me. I started to do some deep diving into like who I was and what I really wanted to do with my life. I came to realize like maybe nutrition, like just doing like nutrition con consultations and I was working at a clinic part-time, all this stuff that maybe it wasn’t for me. And even though I loved my food blog, it got so intense for me that I just, I couldn’t, I just couldn’t like handle stressing about it so much. So I ultimately sold it even though I didn’t want to. I love it. I still love it. It’s still up. It’s, I didn’t even say the name of it. It was the nutrition and wellness. It’s still up. Someone else has taken over it, but my recipes are still up there and which is really nice. So yeah, like that does make me happy.

Megan Porta 08:58

Oh, I’m glad it’s not like just dead. It’s still in existence.

Mary Ellen Valverde 09:02

I know. Yeah.

Megan Porta 09:04

So, yeah. Okay. So once you sold it, how did that feel? Did you feel relieved?

Mary Ellen Valverde 09:09

I did. It was a combination of feeling like relieved and sad. Yeah. So it, it was more relief than sad. So I knew I did, I did the right thing. because I did think about it for like AY like I had it going without putting any new posts on for a while. And yeah. And ultimately I just, I knew that part of my life had a, had a go. But that’s why I have so much respect for food bloggers, like out there doing it because it’s tough.

Megan Porta 09:37

It’s no joke. I mean, for real.

Mary Ellen Valverde 09:40


Megan Porta 09:41

So getting rid of or selling your food blog, was that kind of the first step in making some other changes in your life?

Mary Ellen Valverde 09:48

Yes. Even before that, even when I, I just, I started, I realized I just, I listened to everyone else all the time. it was like, okay, somebody said that I have to do this and that’s the way to like be healthy or trying these different diets or like trying these different workouts and, and all these things. Like, so I actually just took time out and started listening to myself and, and my body and my intuition, which I have like pushed down for years and years and years. And then just started like trying everything, like trying little different things here and there and seeing what worked for me and, and what doesn’t.

Megan Porta 10:31

And what was like when you started experimenting with that sort of thing, what takeaways did you have? What worked? Were you, you know, those things that you were like, oh gosh, that actually worked. I’m gonna do more of that.

Mary Ellen Valverde 10:42

So just getting quiet. So like, I really got into meditation and just getting quiet so I could hear my body really helped me. I do breathing, like I took a breathing course and I help people with that. Now getting into yoga has helped me. Like I was always the one who was like yoga. No, but yoga helped. And then like, because even at the end some people might know, like, you know, you lay and like just sit . And I was the one like running out of class right after I like did my workout. So actually just paying attention, like, and, and being mindful of like my body and what it need and things like that. I don’t, it just, yeah, it helps so much.

Megan Porta 11:25

I just wanna acknowledge that it’s, it seems so easy because when you say it, it’s like, oh, of course, get quiet. Sit with yourself. But it’s really very hard to do that, especially as a busy person, a person who maybe has a family or a job and then you’re trying to juggle all of the food, blogging things to sit quietly for a period of time seems that almost seems overwhelming.

Mary Ellen Valverde 11:49

Yeah, it totally is. Because when you would sit and go quiet, it’s like, oh, you know what recipe I should do or, you know, what I should add, you know, to that.

Megan Porta 11:59

Yeah. So how do you get past that hurdle? Just like forcing yourself to do five minutes or something. Like where do we start with it?

Mary Ellen Valverde 12:08

Yes. That’s what I just, I was like, you know what, I’m gonna do five minutes and what’s five minutes? Like five minutes in your whole day? Yes, you might be busy and stuff, but like taking five minutes out in the beginning of your day or at the end of your day and just relaxing and breathing like so people don’t like, like I can’t meditate. I can’t meditate and look, I’m there. Like, I couldn’t meditate forever, but just focusing on your breath. That’s why I almost, I, I’ve moved, not that I don’t do meditations, but I’ve moved almost to helping people with their breath more. Because if you’re breathing and focusing on that or like focusing on like a mantra when you’re breathing or something like that, and it, your mind still like kind of wraps around something instead of it going like full out the other way. And even if you are meditating, a thought comes in like, we’re human. That’s, it’s gonna happen. So I tell people like, okay, a thought comes in, thank you very much. Yeah. Think about that later or something without like getting yourself upset about it. I used to get so upset.

Megan Porta 13:06

Instead of resisting it. Right? Instead of like, why are you here? Just acknowledge that it’s there, it’s okay to be there and then let it float away. I mean, easier said than done.

Mary Ellen Valverde 13:17

But it does, it’s, it’s, it takes practice, right? Just a little time each day to help, but it, it gets better. And some days you could be like, , I don’t know. I meditate all the time and then just one day out of the week or something. But I, I, you know, my thought it’s too much. And then that’s okay too. So yeah. Even if you get really like good at meditate, it’s every, every day is so different and you just have to go with the flow.

Megan Porta 13:42

Right. And not beat yourself up on days when you can’t or you don’t, because that is only gonna make things worse, I imagine.

Mary Ellen Valverde 13:49

Yeah. Don’t get your stress all up just because you can’t meditate that day or something.

Megan Porta 13:56

Yes. This is such an important topic because we’ve touched on this a little bit, but food bloggers have so much to do and I feel like our minds are always occupied even when I’m sleeping. Mary Ellen, I am not kidding you. I will wake up at 3:00 AM and be like, okay, what should I do about that project? And, and 30 minutes goes by and I’m like, what am I doing? I am like in the middle of sleep and I’m thinking about work. I mean, it’s constant for us because there’s so much going on and all of these different platforms and different tasks and different people and oh my goodness, it’s just never ending. So I feel like this is such an important topic and just thank you for being here to address this and talk through this with us. Yeah. So I know you have five pillars of nourishment that you came up with. Can you talk through those?

Mary Ellen Valverde 14:48

So I have five pillars of nourishment. So I just wanna say like, I am really into personalized nutrition and personalized nourishment, and that’s why I work with people to do it. One-On-One, but you, there are some areas that I found that we all need nourishment in. So the, that’s where I got the pillars from. And so my pillars are like aligned, eating, intentional movement, nervous system, care and rest, mindfulness and spirituality, and then creativity and play. So those are my five.

Megan Porta 15:20

Okay. Are they all equally important? Is there one that is more important than the others, do you believe?

Mary Ellen Valverde 15:26

I think they’re all equally important because if any of those kind of areas are off, the rest of your body might be a little bit like stress in some ways. But what I start everybody with like my, like, everybody’s like, oh, what should I eat? You know, I am a nutritionist and I’m very into what people are eating, but nervous system care and rest I feel like is the first place to start. And we were even talking about that, like the meditation and the breathing and all that stuff. Yeah. It, it helps your nervous system. So I would say that’s the place to start. Maybe it’s a little more important just because I feel like what if you’re stressed and not getting enough rest? You really can’t even focus on nourishing your other pillars.

Megan Porta 16:07

Yeah. Do you have tips for just making your brain quiet for a little bit? ? I think that’s probably a question that everyone right now is thinking. Right. Because like I said, it’s, you know, it’s a full job and full life. So that’s, I get hung up. I’m like, I know I should be giving my nervous system care and rest. I know this, but I don’t want to, I’m gonna keep thinking about my work. So yeah, just any tips you have would be amazing.

Mary Ellen Valverde 16:35

Okay. I have a few things. First, the breath is amazing. It’s something we can actually control. So that’s why I always have people like, if you’re feeling a little anxious and want to just get out of your head or whatever, I start with the breath. It’s, it’s something physical that actually can affect our, the nervous system that you can’t control. So we can’t just control our blood pressure, we can’t control like things like that. Like our, our hormones, like you get stress and your stress hormones are like, go into your, you know, go into overdrive, but the breath actually can calm your heart rate and can lower your like stress hormones and, and you know, so they’re not released as much. So what I say is just to start focusing on your breath and if you’re stressed or something comes up, if you can make your exhale longer than your inhale, that’ll start calming your body down, like physically and mentally and everything. So I always say like, take a deep breath in for like three counts and then take an exhale for like five or six counts. As long as it’s, as long as your exhale’s longer than your inhale, it is creating that like rest in your body.

Megan Porta 17:54

And I love that you said that’s something you can control other things in your body. Other systems can’t be controlled, but this is so easy and it’s always amazing to me how little I pay attention to my breathing. And when I do, it feels so good. Like even just one deep breath. If I’m like, oh my gosh, I’m stressed. Breathe Megan, and I take one really deep breath, my whole system feels better instantly.

Mary Ellen Valverde 18:22

Right. Me too. And I do this like now for a living is like helping people with their breathing and, and calming down. And then sometimes I’m like, why am I so stressed? And then I’m like, oh, well just breathe for like a second.

Megan Porta 18:35

Why do we forget it? Why do we forget to breathe?

Mary Ellen Valverde 18:37

I don’t know. I know, I know. It’s, it’s like, like, okay, we have to breathe. So you don’t think about it much, but like, if you can remember that it does, it can like you’re nice deep breath. Yeah. That’ll affect you for the better then, yeah.

Megan Porta 18:51

Yeah. It’s almost like we should set, I think we may have even talked about this on our call, just like setting a timer once an hour or something. Like just breathe. Like take one or two or five deep breaths and then, you know, go on about your day. Much better off. Yeah. Like, we need to be reminded to do it.

Mary Ellen Valverde 19:11

Sometimes that’s, that’s what we need. And then once you get into that habit, maybe you don’t need the timer as much or something like that. Once you start feeling into your body. Yeah. Like, oh, I do feel the stress because we, for like, I just feel like the more stressed we are, the less that we actually feel that we’re stressed almost sometimes. Ooh. Like, oh, this is normal. Like, it’s normal to feel this like, like lingering anxiety. Right. But once we realize like, oh wait, no, that’s actual stress, what can I do about it? You know?

Megan Porta 19:42

Oh, that’s interesting. So yeah, it, I think that is definitely true for me, which is kinda sad. And then in retrospect, like when time has passed and you’ve kind of figured it out a little bit, you can look back and definitely recognize it, right? Like, oh yeah, I was so stressed and I wasn’t taking care of myself. But in the moment it’s really hard to see it.

Mary Ellen Valverde 20:02

Yes. You can’t see all the signs all the time when you’re in it. When you’re in it. It’s hard. But that’s why I want people to really get out of their heads and like back into their bodies and, and feel into, you know, what your body’s actually telling you.

Megan Porta 20:17

Okay. So if we can get some breathing into our lives and our days and get used to that, what would be another thing that we can do? Just a little step to give ourselves care and rest?

Mary Ellen Valverde 20:29

Well, if I wanted to do just a little eat for each pillar people do talk about eating and like, so as food bloggers, I mean, I don’t know how many times that I’m like taking pictures and then I’m eating cold food, right? Like, or I forgot that I needed to eat because I’m, I’m doing a photo shoot or I just have one more blog post to write and things to, you know, things to do. I was just like snoring food down when I can in between my posts. Yeah. So like my aligned eating is a little bit less about what you eat and a little bit more how you eat. So just taking time to make sure like art, like that you are listening to your body with your hunger cues. That’s a big thing. I mean, you and I talked about that as well. Like . I’ve done this before. Like I’m not listening to my body. I’m hugely hungry. I know I’m hungry. My stomach’s actually growling and I’m like, right after this I’m going to eat. And then it’s like two, three hours later and then I’m like so tired I can’t even think about the post I’m writing. So yeah, just tuning into your hunger cues.

Megan Porta 21:42

Yeah. It’s easy to ignore those two . It’s easy to ignore all of this, but we talked in, in our session together about how this is a huge thing for me that I need to start paying attention to because like you, I think you put these words to it, like you get in your head about there’s a certain type of day you eat and if you’re hungry outside of those times, then you push it aside, right? . But we should instead be like, oh, my body truly feels hungry right now, so go find something nourishing to eat and that’s going to sustain and support all of your systems going on in your body instead of pushing it.

Mary Ellen Valverde 22:20

Exactly. Yeah. It really does help.

Megan Porta 22:23

It does. I know I’ve started doing that in the last week and it’s like, yeah, it’s made a huge difference. because I’ll, I mean it doesn’t have to be a huge thing. I’ll just go get a snack, like a healthy snack. In our report you generated this report for me that was like, these foods are good for you. And those happen to be foods that I love. So I’ve been trying to reference that. Like, okay, just go get a little bowl of nuts or you know what, whatever is healthy in the fridge and that’s all. And then I feel good and then I can go about my day.

Mary Ellen Valverde 22:53

And you can do your work and you can actually focus Yes, yes. On your blogging that you actually needed to do instead of pushing yourself through like I used to do. And then like I realized like, okay, I messed up like eight senses because I just am too tired. Like I just didn’t eat. I don’t have the energy. Like food is energy. It is our, it is how are we get our energy. So if you can look at it a little bit like that too.

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Megan Porta 24:16

Do you feel like if you ignore those hunger cues and you push past it and get to that point where you’re so starved and your body’s just like depleted, can you recoup easily? Or is it something that you’d need to listen to initially? Do you know what I mean? Like, can you quickly fix it? You know, like if you realize, oh gosh, I’ve gotten to the point where I’m starving and now my body’s just shutting down, my mind is shutting down, can eating fix it? Or is it something like, oh, I need to start again tomorrow.

Mary Ellen Valverde 24:46

No, I think it can fix it. I think it just depends on the day too. Like your, yeah, what your body’s going through in general that day. Like did you do a real hard workout and then you’re doing this and then you’re, are you, then you didn’t eat like then maybe you need to just rest and then come back the next day. But if you are pretty okay, but I know you push through a little bit, see how you feel after you eat. Like again, it’s all about listening to your body. Like what does your body tell you? Does your body now after you take time, do little breathing eat, do you feel refreshed? Like if so then go for it. Get in there, do the rest of your day. Like that’s what you want to happen. But if you push yourself so hard and you’re literally just spent go and rest, you’re not gonna help yourself. Like you’ll be okay the next day, you know?

Megan Porta 25:30

And I think we know when that happens, that feeling of, I just was there last night, I was sitting on our couch and I was like, I have to get this post started. And I was just staring at the screen like, this is not going to happen. I just knew it. I was like, I don’t have the energy for it, I don’t have the brain power. I just knew it wasn’t gonna happen. So I put my computer down. But some days I actually try to push through that, which is crazy. And then it’s like you’re not efficient, right? You’re just pushing through to push through and you’re not Yeah, you’re not making the most of your time.

Mary Ellen Valverde 26:05

No. Because you probably would have, you’d have to go back and do that post like half of it.

Megan Porta 26:10


Mary Ellen Valverde 26:11

Yeah. I’ve done it. Yes, I’ve done, I’ve been there. So, yeah.

Megan Porta 26:14

Yeah. Okay. So being so intentional with your breathing, that’s a really good easy place to start listening to your body with eating. Will you talk through a few tips in your other pillars?

Mary Ellen Valverde 26:26

Sure. So there’s intentional movement and it’s just thinking about movement in a different way. Being intentional about the movement you do. So like as a food blogger, you might not have time for this long workout. I try to say like, how can you fit movement that like you actually enjoy into your already like busy schedule. Maybe that’s just waking up a little earlier. And I know people say that, it’s like I kind, I can’t, like I’m already up at four trying to do this blog post because I have a full-time job and I gotta take care of the kids. So that might not be you and that’s okay. I also say just getting any kind of movement in, so like taking the stairs or walking like, like parking a little farther from a store that you have to go to or whatever. Just getting some extra steps in. Maybe it’s like instead of going to dinner with a friend or your partner or something like that, it’s like, okay, let’s have little food. But then like, let’s take the time to like go for a walk and talk together. Maybe it’s taking the kids to the park and getting a movement that way. Like, so it doesn’t have to be like a full workout. And maybe it is for you, maybe you do need that, but some days maybe it is just like, okay, let’s take it a little bit easier, but let’s get that movement in. Like what feels good in your body today.

Megan Porta 27:39

Yeah. And that depends. Like it, for me, it goes day to day. I’ve been super stretched lately. Like, so September has been absolutely bonkers for me. I don’t know that I’ve had a month like this in a really long time. So I, this week I was just like, you know what, I’m going to sleep in a little bit and not do my workouts. And that felt right. And it’s okay to kinda let your intuition lead in those, like don’t, I’m saying like, don’t push the workout just to push the workout. You know what I mean?

Mary Ellen Valverde 28:09

Exactly. Because then what are you doing then you’re just, you’re forcing, like it’s more stress on your I we always talk about the nervous system and stress. So it’s like, it’s more stress on your body. You actually put your body into more stress. Yeah. And then if you don’t have the time to rest from that recuperate, it’s like a cycle. It’s just gonna be like a stress cycle.

Megan Porta 28:29

Yeah. And it’s all goes back to intuition, right? Mary Ellen, just like listening, just taking the time to sit for a moment and just listen to what you need.

Mary Ellen Valverde 28:40

Yeah. And it’s hard. It’s hard to sit and listen when you have a lot to do, but I’m telling you, it’s worth it. It changed, it changed my life.

Megan Porta 28:47

Oh, okay. So you, I wanna talk through your other two pillars and then I wanna hear how it changed, like , how different your life is now. But let’s talk through those other ones.

Mary Ellen Valverde 28:58

Okay. So my next one is mindfulness and spirituality. So people always like, what actually is mindfulness? And I kind of define it as being like fully present, aware and conscious of our surroundings or our state of being. It just helps us connect back with ourselves and our environment and being around us, like the being around, like the people being around us, the people next to us. I said that wrong. And then spirituality is a little bit harder to define because it’s unique to each of us. But basically it could be like a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves or people can take it as like finding your own spirit and what nourishes your soul. So both of those things, you know, it’s kind of mindfulness and, and what you want and what your spirit needs kind of. . . And that’s helped me like when I’m too in my head or to get in, getting too involved in things like maybe I don’t need to worry about right now. So that it’s getting into those things has helped. So some practices you can try just getting quiet and, and things like that. Mindful, like being aware of like who’s around you, like taking a walk in nature and just like, like being aware of the sounds and like using your senses and things like that. I do a lot of journaling. I’ve started actually, and I, my clients like to journal, to get things out of your head before you go to bed at night. So I always say like, leave a little book by your bed and like write it all out before you go to bed. Like you have any ideas, write it all out and then your mind can say, okay, I can go to sleep. That kind of thing. If anybody follows me on Instagram or whatever, I, I do Oracle card pulls or tarot card pulls and it’s more for like not, I don’t use it as like, what’s gonna happen, like this divination kind of thing. I do it, it’s just like something to reflect on something I could journal on something that like maybe my higher self’s just trying to tell me like, oh, this is what I need to hear today. So I like doing that. And like as a food blogger, I was thinking like, ways to be mindful when you’re cooking or you’re doing something like that is just like tuning into your senses. So like really take a good like, like smell all the s sense in the kitchen. Like just take a second and breathe it all in. Like that’s being mindful, you know, taste the food and really taste it instead of being like, do you think people like this is this, you know, things like that. Like really give it a good taste. Things like that. Even listening to nice music in the background when you’re cooking to just like try to calm you down a little bit more or something that like maybe could help.

Megan Porta 31:32

Yeah, there are so many senses at play when you’re cooking that. That’s a really good suggestion, especially considering your audience. We’re all cooking in the kitchen all the time, so I love that. And just like something to pull you into the moment and also something to pull you into an enjoy, enjoyable part of the moment, right? Like, ooh, that smells really good. Or like how the carrots feel as you’re cutting them or something like that just like pulls you out of your head a little bit. I think.

Mary Ellen Valverde 32:02

Yeah, just tuning in, just tuning into all of it, it’s again, it’s makes you outta your head and really feel into your body, so…

Megan Porta 32:09

Yeah. For me personally, it’s going outside even if it’s cold, snowy, like there’s always something to appreciate outside for me, like the sparkly, I love the sparkly snow or right now it’s fall, it’s my favorite season. I just go out and I’m like, oh my gosh, these leaves are so pretty. Like that for me is like my go-to when I just know like, I am stressed, I need to just come back to myself and get out of my head.

Mary Ellen Valverde 32:37

Yeah, nature will do that to you. Nature. Yeah. And nature is like a number one for me. I have to get, I have to get outta the house, I just have to be in nature just for a little bit, just to the park for like, you know, 20 min, 10 minutes even. It’ll help.

Megan Porta 32:50

And since you’re an animal lover, I think animals do that too, right? Just like being with a dog or a cat or a platypus, or whatever.

Mary Ellen Valverde 33:03

But yeah, just petting your animals, being with them, like they don’t care, they’re not stressed. I mean maybe they’re stressed about like when where’s my treat or something, like where’s my dinner kind of thing. But other than that, they just wanna be with you and hang out. Like, can we be more like that?

Megan Porta 33:18

I know. Our dog is so cute, we can leave the house for like 60 seconds and come back and he’s like, oh my gosh, I haven’t seen you in a year. It’s like, we’re the best people and we’ve been away and, and we came back after a year of not seeing him and we’re just, it’s like the cutest thing ever. Like, wow buddy. It’s been a whole minute, but, okay. Good to see you.

Mary Ellen Valverde 33:40

I know, but don’t you want that joy? Like I want that kind of joy.

Megan Porta 33:44

Exactly. Yes.

Mary Ellen Valverde 33:45

Yeah, let’s be like animals.

Megan Porta 33:46

I get kind of jealous. Like, I wish I could be more like that. Okay, your last pillar is?

Mary Ellen Valverde 33:51

Is creativity and play, which I don’t think I would’ve put on there a number of years ago. But when I realized, like when I was, you know, taking my time out of everything, I just got creative and I was doing all these different things that made me happy. Like just I forgot how to play. Like I just forgot about that. And when I brought it back into my life, things like really changed. So I like, when did everything get so, so serious? That’s what I think about. So we have to like find ways to bring in like the creativity that we lost maybe, or play. I mean, with bloggers you can be very creative with like your food styling and everything like that, which is great. So definitely play around with that. But if there’s like, if that’s your job or your, you know, you think look at it that way also. What else? What’s something else that you could do that you could be creative with? Yeah, just having time for fun. Looking for ways to get out of the kitchen, away from your laptop, away from your camera, things like that. I often ask my clients like, what did you like to do as when you were a kid? Did you like to dance? Did you like to sing? Did you like to color or crafts? Like, get that back into your life. I mean, we only live once. Let’s like, you know, let’s keep, keep the happiness going, keep the joy back.

Megan Porta 35:09

I know. I just think that sometimes just little things in life, I’m like, this is a, this day’s going to be gone tomorrow. I only live once. Why not do those things? The creativity, the play, the hanging out with the kids or the dogs, you know, it’s just good to, it is good to step away from your computer, but again, there’s such a pull, like you’ve gotta get this done, you have to do this. It takes intentionality big time.

Mary Ellen Valverde 35:38

Yeah. And then once you do, I feel like once you do have that creativity and you go and play or whatever, when you come back to your computer or your recipe or whatever it is, I always feel like I had a little bit more to give a little more creativity for what I’m doing too. So just a little, just a, it does help a bit with that, too.

Megan Porta 35:59

Yes, absolutely. I totally agree with that. Okay, so back to my question earlier. How did all of this, like once you started implementing it, how did it change your life?

Mary Ellen Valverde 36:09

It just changed it fully. Like, I enjoy life more now. I still have a lot of things going on. It’s not like , it’s not like I don’t, but I take, it’s like I take time now to be grateful and to realize like all the abundance I have in my life and how even though I’m one person, I can change things. I could help other people with this. I could, I just notice myself, I’m not as angry anymore. at life at every, like people around me or whatever. I just, I have, I’m more of a calm demeanor. It seems like. That’s what like my family and friends say even too. Like, I’m just less stressed. And when you’re less stressed, you can be more of yourself, who you really are at your core and how like you actually can shine more in the world. . . And I just feel like the pillars has helped me in doing different things for them. And you know, just to support myself and just listening to my intuition. We’ve talked about that so much, both you and I. But like that is huge. I, again, I said before, I used to listen to other people. I used to do like, oh, this diet and, and this work Yeah. And all this stuff. And it’s like, no, like my body now will tell me what I need. And it’s, it’s huge. It helps fully with everything.

Megan Porta 37:33

You mentioned gratitude. I feel like gratitude is such a simple thing, but when you can get into the habit of practicing gratitude, like we were talking about earlier with our breathing, like at first it might be okay, sit down, write out some gratitude points. It might be that, but then eventually if you do it, it becomes more second nature. That is a game changer, I feel like. Do you agree with that?

Mary Ellen Valverde 37:57

Yes. I started with like, at the end of every day writing down a few things that I was grateful for or if I was just too tired and not even write it down. Just I would think like, and actually send gratitude to the things that I thought about. And it would, I would change it every day. I mean, some things like, like, oh my dog, I’m grateful every day. But like, then I tried to have like little, little things that I, you I wouldn’t even notice. Like, oh my goodness, I saw like the water glistening today and like I was very thankful for that. So just things like that. It, it really does help. Yeah. Because the world’s tough . You know, you wanna bring in the joy part too.

Megan Porta 38:35

And there’s so much there. If you start just noticing the little things, like I mentioned the sparkly snow, like most people that live in Minnesota go outside during the winter and they’re like, I hate you. Why are you here? So go out and find something that’s beautiful or that you appreciate. Like can your kids play in the snow and are they having fun? You know, just little things like that will completely change your perspective on life, I’ve found.

Mary Ellen Valverde 39:01

It does. Yeah. Totally does. So that’s a huge thing.

Megan Porta 39:06

Yeah, totally. So this, everything you’re talking about, Mary Ellen is a game changer if you can do it. And you’ve given us so many great tips about how to start really simple breathing, just moving even if it’s for five minutes eating, listening to what you need, being mindful creativity play. I mean, it’s like such a simple list, but like we’ve mentioned many times also seeming like it’s very hard too at times. But yeah, like what, do you have any other recommendations for keeping it as a habit too? Like how do we keep doing it? Do you journal it? Do you, how do you just make sure that you’re on track and sticking with it all?

Mary Ellen Valverde 39:47

So I habit stack, so in the mornings I will like, I do wake up a little earlier and I will do, I wake up, I do my breathing, I do my meditation and I do my yoga. So that’s what I do in the mornings. Does it happen every day? No. Can’t. But like, you know, so if, if you do have a time, then yes, do that. And in the evenings I have my own li you know, my own little things to do in the evenings. But sometimes you take what you can get throughout the day, like we said, okay, put an alarm and now we’re breathing, put an alarm and now I’m gonna go outta the house and go for a walk, put an alarm and I’m just gonna sit with my, even just sit with your thought and just feel into your body or something like that. Sometimes you have to schedule a workout, you know, you put it in this should, it took me a while, but this should be as important to you as other things. because It’s your health and it’s your mental health. So scheduling it, like you would schedule a meeting or whatever could be like if it, if it works for you, you know, I don’t like to tell anybody exactly what to do. Yeah. It has to like feel good in your body, but maybe if you do that, maybe it’ll feel good. I’m like, nope, here’s my workout, here’s my walk, here’s my, you know, meditation time and I scheduled it and that’s it. And nobody can, nobody’s gonna come into the room for 10 minutes while I meditate or breathe or whatever it is. So.

Megan Porta 41:06

And to have grace if it doesn’t happen too and not beat yourself up. I’ve done that so many times. I’m like, I was gonna work out and I didn’t and now I feel crappy all day just to be okay with not, if it doesn’t align.

Mary Ellen Valverde 41:19

Exactly. Yeah.

Megan Porta 41:21

Yes. That’s hard.

Mary Ellen Valverde 41:21

Don’t get hard, don’t like, be hard on yourself. I’ve done it my whole life. I know. It’s, it’s tough. We’re hard workers. We’re doing a lot. So if it doesn’t happen that day, it doesn’t happen that day. Tomorrow’s a new day.

Megan Porta 41:34

We women are really good at being hard on ourselves. I feel like. Oh gosh. Yeah. I’m, I’m an expert. Okay. And then also just to point out that this is not selfish doing all of these things is actually serving not just you, but it’s serving everyone around you. It’s serving the, your clients, your family, your friends, everyone.

Mary Ellen Valverde 41:56

Exactly. Well. I know you usually ask like, is there anything that you want to, you know, to leave with your audience or whatever. And that’s exactly what I was gonna say. So you stole my line, but.

Megan Porta 42:08

Oh gosh, well I wanna hear it in because you’ll say it much better than I did. So go ahead.

Mary Ellen Valverde 42:13

But you’re not being selfish by doing these things, you’re helping yourself and by helping yourself, you help the people around you where whoever they’re, you have kids, you’re showing them like, no, like mom or dad, dad’s listening. is taking time for themselves and, and is doing the things for their health. And then, you know, you’re showing them like, oh no, it’s good to take care of yourself. It’s just not selfish. It, you can’t be the best version of yourself if you’re constantly stressed all the time. because I’ve been there and I’ve stressed and I’ve snapped at people or I’m like, I don’t care what things like that and like taking the time to, to for self-care and really working on yourself. because Self-Care. Oh, go take a bath. Self-Care doesn’t, isn’t just like go take a bath sometimes. It’s hard work sometimes, but once you get into it and can see the results, it really, really helpful. Really can change your life.

Megan Porta 43:06

Totally agree with you. This is the perfect audience for you, Mary Ellen, because yeah, it’s, it’s rough out there at times.

Mary Ellen Valverde 43:16

I’ve been there. I hear you all. It’s a lot. And I have a lot of respect.

Megan Porta 43:20

And it’s becoming a kind of a more wild world. Even There’s so much coming at us, even like every day I feel like, wow, I didn’t see this coming. Wow. Okay. Is there anything we’ve forgotten before we say goodbye that you wanna make sure to mention?

Mary Ellen Valverde 43:36

I don’t think so. I think we went over all the pillars and everything.

Megan Porta 43:39

We covered a lot. Thank you for all of this inspiration. I loved this chat so much and I know this is going to resonate with so many people listening. So thank you Mary Ellen for your time today. . and you have shared your amazing words of inspiration. So I will just share where your show notes are. If you wanna go to You can see Mary Ellen’s show notes and all of the things we’ve talked about today. So I know you have a freebie for my listeners, so why don’t you talk about that and then you know, direct people to find you if they are looking for you.

Mary Ellen Valverde 44:16

Okay, great. So yeah, you can find me at and on Instagram I’m @nourished_by_me because everything else was taken. So yeah, I have this free download and I worked with Megan about, I do these like Nourished by the Moon calls. So what I do is take your, like I got into astrology I think. I think it’s a fun way to like start like one way to like, people are like, how do you start working like with your body and things like that. So I look at someone’s moon sign, which is like your body and astrology and I’ll go through the pillars that way. And it just gives it a point of like a way to start with things. So there’s a free download that I’m offering and working with your moon signs like element, so like earth, air, fire, or water just to get started. Like, okay, here’s maybe some foods that could help or might not like, be great for your body or some movement and some like mindfulness practices and, and journal prompts that you could get started. And then if you wanna work with me, I have my nourish by the moon sessions and I do one-on-one coaching. So we can go through all the pillars and really see where you need the most support. And I know bloggers are, can be so stressed and stuff, so I really wanna help them. So just reach out even if you have questions or anything like that. I’m, I’m here to support you. 

Megan Porta 45:35

Oh, thanks Mary Ellen for supporting us in such a meaningful way. So everyone go check all of that out and thanks again for being here, Mary Ellen, and thank you for listening food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode. 

Outro 45:50

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