October 3, 2013

New Website!

Hard to believe that Return to Balance turned 8 years old this month!!

Farewell blogspot you've been good to me for the last 7 years but the time has finally come to have an actual website. Post launch I may transfer over some recent posts but this site will stay live for archived posts. This is the final post for this site...

See the new online home of Return to Balance, LLC &

Heather Rizzo, Pain Relief Specialist at www.heatherrizzo.com

While at the new site, check out the NEW Body ~ Mind ~ Spirit Vitality Club!
NEVER before have I offered so many discounts let alone bundled together: unlimited discounts on ALL services, bonus sessions at 50 -100% off, and EXTRA BONUSES to celebrate the Club’s launch. See more details on the Club page at http://heatherrizzo.com/body--mind--spirit-vitality-club.html
IMPORTANT: There is a limited number of memberships that I will be issuing so contact me to reserve your spot today!! 

September 27, 2013

Special Gift with October Appointment

To see the most current schedule, please visit the blog post "Special Gift with October Appointment" on my new website: www.heatherrizzo.com/blog

Hard to believe that Return to Balance turns eight years old next month! As a small (hint, hint something BIG is coming soon) part of the celebration, all of my October clients will get one of my favorite "must have/can't live without it" items as a special gift from me.

Here's all that's left for October openings** so contact me to schedule today and reserve your bonus gift!

Open time-frame appointments*
10:00 - 11:00 - Tues, Oct 22
10:00 - 11:00 - Tues, Oct 29
*Your session can start at ANY time within the indicated time frame, on the hour or half-hour preferred but not necessary.
Additional specific daytime openings:
11:00 - Oct 22, 29
3:00 - Oct 16, 29
4:00 - Oct 16
Additional specific evening openings:
5:00 - Oct 17 (NEW opening)
7:15 - Oct 9
**Schedule up to date as of 10-2-2013. Sessions are by appointment only. Must contact me to receive confirmation of appointment.

September 26, 2013

Transforming Inspired Ideas into Reality

Article overview: I’m currently working on transforming ideas I’ve collected over the past 2.5 years, in how to better serve my Return to Balance Community, into a reality. Also if you like discounted, even *free*, sessions and bonus gifts read on.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the past year has been challenging with the announcement of my husband’s job being relocated. Through this challenge, however, has risen opportunity. While being able to take care of my daughter between our two schedules was a wonderful option that not all families have the luxury of, it made it infeasible for a variety of reasons to implement all of the expansion ideas I had for Return to Balance.

For the past 2.5 years I’ve been compiling ideas in how to better serve my Return to Balance Community and now, because of the space created by having to utilize additional support for the care of my daughter, I have the opportunity to transform these inspired ideas into a reality. There are so many projects scheduled for the next 3-6 months that for the first time in the seven years of my practice I’ve hired someone to help me execute these ideas.   

October Anniversary Celebration: I’m SO excited to announce that I will be launching one of these BIG inspired-ideas early next month to celebrate the beginning of Return to Balance’s 8th year! I’m so over-flowing that I can’t contain myself so here’s a hint:  if you like discounted, even *free*, sessions you won’t want to miss this BIG announcement. (If you aren’t already an ezine subscriber, click here to visit my tips page to subscribe.)

October Bonus Gift: as part of this anniversary celebration/client appreciation I am giving all October clients one of my must-have/can’t live without items as a special gift from me!!  Contact me today to schedule a session and reserve your gift, limited appointments available.

My goal is to help you find simple ways to return to balance and live a pain-free, happy, healthy life. These changes, upgrades, etc. are designed to also simplify your life as a Return to Balance Community member. Details of these projects will be announced in future ezines and posts but for now here’s a Sneak Peak of the Vision for Fall 2013 and Winter 2014:

  • Expanded Office Hours (including daytime spots) to reduce/eliminate time spent waiting for an appointment – launched September 2013
  • Reintroduction of Advanced Scheduling – launched September 2013
  • Convenient/User friendly systems such as online/advance payment and booking---no more rushing to the ATM or worrying about forgetting your checkbook ;-)
  • New Individual and Group Programs, Workshops, Webinars and Products
During the last 2.5 years I’ve also spent a lot of time expanding the tools in my healing toolbox. Some of these were reflected in the upgrade of the Intuitive Bodywork and Digging Deeper sessions and the Transcending Pain Program for Women launched earlier this year. That, however, was the tip of the ice berg of the advanced trainings I’ve been doing…one of which is going to be taking me overseas very soon :-)

I can’t wait to share more about my vision with you! Stay tuned!

September 19, 2013

Pain Relief Through Perspective Shift

In this post I’m going to reveal information that up until now has only been shared with my closest friends. I share this personal pain story because there are common threads in our human experiences. Perhaps you will see some of your life challenges reflected in my words and that the pain-reliving perspective shift that I reveal will help bring healing and transformation to your life as well.

The last few months every time I sat down to share a favorite insight or health tip through my blog, Facebook or ezine, I’d cringe. The more I tried to overcome this resistance the more I felt pushed back sometimes even to the point of physical pain (digestive upset, headaches, fatigue, etc.)…crazy right?!? To make matters worse, I was also turning down networking opportunities, chances to be a featured author in various publications and even PAID speaking engagements---what the heck was going on?!? 

Fortunately my perspective began to shift when a dear friend/mentor flat out asked me “do you even want to work?” In hindsight I realize that while I responded “yes” a part of me was saying “no”. You see at that point in time my family life had been turned upside down with the news that my husband’s job was going to be relocated by June 2013. What did this mean??---commuting?, closing the beloved practice that I’ve spent the last seven years building?, moving?, rebuilding my practice from scratch?, changing jobs?---it all seemed to be one big question mark.

Now you might be wondering how this relates to the internal struggle and physical pain I previously mentioned. Well, many business coaches and trainings teach that blogging, posting on Facebook, sending out ezines, etc. are necessary to build a successful business. When I first started following these guidelines, to my surprise, I actually enjoyed this new way of connecting with others. In hindsight I can see that my withdrawal from/resistance to networking (online and in person) increased the closer it got to June and escalated after. Why?

A part of me felt that as a result of doing these posts, publications and speeches, someone might want to work with me…oh no, right?, lol. I’m a people-pleaser and I didn’t want to have to turn someone away. I started blogging and posting, however, even when I didn’t have openings for new clients. (I have been so blessed in the support and client loyalty of my practice and as such haven’t had many openings for new clients in over two years. In fact most months there is a waiting list.)

So what changed? As fear, worry and a whirlwind of uncertainty swept into my life with the news of my husband’s job being relocated, my head took over and it became about me instead of you. The instant that happened was the moment the resistance was created. Once I finally realized that my focus had shifted away from my heart’s desire to serve my Return to Balance Community (my beautiful clients, readers and followers) and was throwing me out of alignment, I was able to readjust my mindset (i.e. back to connecting for the sake of connecting and bringing forth information that may help others live a life of less pain and more energy and joy). This mindset shift released the resistance that was causing my internal struggle and physical pain. Hence you getting to read this post :) I’m sorry for the past few months’ decrease in tips and insights but what can I say I’m human. As I always tell my clients, “being in balance is not a state you reach it is a daily practice and journey. The importance is in recognizing when you are out of alignment and then taking the steps to return to balance”.

So the nugget of wisdom to take with you is that if your head and heart are not on the same page you will struggle and feel stuck regardless of the effort you put in. (It can even cause dis-ease in your body.)

This holds true for pain as well, especially if you’ve tried “everything” but nothing seems to give you the pain relief you desire. One common pain pattern scenario is you don’t want to be in pain anymore but on a subconscious level you believe holding onto the pain is serving a purpose. Often this deeper issue is what is keeping you from being able to release the pain.

I’m happy to report that the pieces seem to have come together allowing my husband to work as he needs to, me to not only continue my beloved practice in Madison but expand my hours, and our daughter to get the care and support she needs. Ironically, for the first time in over two years I am accepting a few new clients.

If you are ready to release your pain and live a life of more energy and joy, contact me to schedule your 30 minute complimentary Pain Relief Discovery Session.   

You can also learn more tips on how to live a life of less pain and more energy and joy by subscribing to my ezine via the form on my “Tips…” page on this website and as a bonus I’ll send you my guide “9 Simple Tips for a Pain-Free Work Day”. This guide is a great resource whether your “work” involves being in an office, being CEO of your family, both, or something altogether different.  

July 7, 2013

From Sun Burned to Beautifully Tanned, Naturally

Today's post is short and sweet as it is WAY too nice out to be sitting in front of a computer.

I hope you got to enjoy the spectacular weather this holiday weekend. If you got sun burned due to excessive exposure try one of my favorite remedies for soothing sunburn and reducing peeling:

Mix 50-50 water and therapeutic grade lavender oil.  Apply the milky liquid as needed throughout day until sunburn turns golden.  (Warning: this has a strong scent.)

April 6, 2013

Healthy Fried Food?

Yes my friends there is a healthy fried food. In one of my recipe posts I mentioned one of my favorite ways to cook vegetables was sauteed in coconut oil. Well today the day got away from me and before I knew it, it was dinner time. Nothing planned, nothing thawed...ekkkk! I threw chicken in the microwave to defrost while getting some cauliflower and broccoli steaming. No time to marinate the chicken or roast it...now what. Suddenly coconut oil popped into my head and the following wonderful recipe was born:

Coconut Oil Fried Chicken
Place coconut oil into nonstick pan (enough to lightly coat pan approx. 1-2 Tbsp)
Add thawed chicken (can be pieces, thighs, etc)
Sprinkle with spices (pepper, salt, cayenne pepper...etc.)
Cook until underside brown, then flip and cook until other side brown

I also added more pepper once I turned the chicken over. I had to use both pieces and thighs so I added all at same time and just removed the pieces when done, which we ate while the thighs finished cooking. Serve with steamed veggies tossed in butter, salt and pepper and a side salad...voila dinner saved :)

Even though this cooking method was fast (especially since there was no marinading involved) the chicken was beautifully browned and super moist. Yeah no more cardboard-like chicken when there's no time to marinate. Best of all the oil it's cooked in is healthy for you :)

Some coconut oils have a stronger coconut flavor than others. I personally like a stronger flavor and often use Nutiva brand.

April 3, 2013

Is Brown Rice Really Healthier Than White Rice??

Many people choose brown rice over white because they think it is the healthier option. After reading this post, you may just change your mind and your diet.
Most varieties of white and brown rice have moderate glycemic index (GI). Low GI foods help maintain stable blood sugar while a diet rich in high GI foods has been linked to an increase in heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Some people choose brown rice because of the fiber and mineral content, however white rice provides other beneficial minerals. Neither is really a nutrient dense food but both are healthy options for those who are gluten-intolerant. Rice is also easy to make, versatile and affordable. Mixing different rices together can help lower the GI. Jasmine rice (which has the highest GI for rice at 89) mixed with wild rice (a GI of 57) drops the rice mixture to a GI of 49. Rice combined with beans also provides a complete protein for a meat-free meal (see my recipe page for some meat-free protein packed meals).

Brown rice can be hard for some people to digest because of the phytic acid. See my recipe page for an easy solution in how to absorb more nutrients from brown rice...and it also makes the best brown rice I've ever tasted!

So in conclusion I say mix it up...eat brown rice...eat white rice...try different variations in both categories and mix them in different combinations. Keep in mind though that it really comes down to portion size. Check out my video titled "Are You Sure You're Hungry" if you struggle with portion control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygU0_9mcsRQ

March 11, 2013

The Gift of Silence & Stillness

The other day I ran into a friend who has been following my blog and Facebook page. She said "your posts are so..." I braced myself waiting to hear something synonymous with sporadic or nonexistent but was unprepared for the word that came out of her mouth and touched my heart..."thoughtful". I fought the old habit of brushing off this compliment and simply replied "thank you".

It is often my experience that a friend, colleague, loved one or sometimes even a perfect stranger will say to me exactly what I need to hear at the right moment. You see, I had been feeling guilty about the frequency of my postings. The truth is though that I don't want to post several times a day or even week like so many others I know. In a previous post I made mention of "honoring your energy". For much of my life I've fought for consistent energy. The truth is though that my energy pulses. The more I accept and honor this the more I am able to have a balanced life. When I try to fight this natural cycle...life becomes HARD. Have you ever taken the time to think about your energy other than having the thoughts "I want more" or "I don't have enough"?

One of the posts I have been wanting to write is about a book I read last month, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. This book quickly made it onto my "Books That Have Had an Impact on My Life" list. Reading this book reinforced a decision I had made years ago to give myself permission to be still and silent and to see this as being just as valuable as (if not more than) being active and productive. This book highlights how being an extrovert has become praised by our society over being an introvert. In my twenties I often played the role of a pseudo-extrovert. I worked hard to overcome my anxiety regarding "small talk" and "networking" and thrust myself into the social arena. In a short period of time I even became the VP of one of the networking groups I had joined. Then I hit thirty and said "Enough! This is exhausting! Life is too short to spend it doing things that you don't enjoy." In fact it was on my 30th birthday that I not only resigned my position in the networking group but I left it completely. That was a big step in honoring my energy.

Can you relate? Are you "putting yourself out there" just so you don't get left behind? If so, I suggest the first step you take is reading this book. It is chock full of research on the importance of introverts and how in some instances introverts come out on top. There is also VERY interesting research regarding group versus individual work.

Now in writing this post I am publicly taking another big step and at the same time removing some of that self-imposed pressure we humans are so good at creating. So if you see me at a networking event, speaking in public or are reading something I posted; you know that what I am sharing is something that I consider to be important and that may enrich the life of another. Perhaps that offering is a recipe to challenge you to try a nutrient-packed food you may have never tried before or an insight to help you achieve more balance in your life. And those times when there is no online activity from me, I'm simply honoring my energy...choosing to be still and silent so that I may hear that next thoughtful insight.

I came across this quote the other day and found it to be very timely as I was drafting this post: "Remember, you are a human being, not a human doing."

Give yourself permission to just "be" for at least 5-10 minutes/day this week and at the end of the week take that time to reflect on how your week went. Were you able to move through it with more joy and ease? Perhaps in those quiet moments you even heard the answer to a question you've been asking...more on that "powerful whisper" in a future thoughtful post :)

February 7, 2013

Small Steps Create Big Change

It's a little over a month into the new year, how are you doing with your new year's resolutions? So many people make goals in regards to exercise, diet, weight loss, etc just to have them fall flat a month or so into the year. A mentor of mine once told me small steps create big change. Below is a recent personal example of that principle in action. Make 2013 the year you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

The other day I decided to spend my daily 20+ min of nurturing/feeding my spirit doing some physical activity. As I mentioned previously, I spent January cocooning and so much of the self care had been in the form of power naps and so my "exercise" was reduced to chasing my toddler and doing massage. My body was telling me I needed more though...my back was a bit sore and I had been having some headaches. When I went to stretch, my hamstrings were so tight I could only reach the middle of my shins. As I started to scold myself my own words to a client a few nights prior surfaced. She had commented on how she was at "bottom". I told her that she was actually starting at baseline. "Ok" I told myself, "I'm gonna take my own advice I'm at baseline". Truth is we are constantly changing and evolving...it's not possible to go back to square one.

So rather than spend time berating myself, I began to stretch and repeatedly tell myself "I am becoming more flexible and vitally healthy every moment". After doing some hamstring active isolated stretches (AIS) and moving meditation, I was able to reach my toes. My back and neck were also more relaxed with the decrease in hamstring tension...woohoo no more pain or headaches! The next day I started out reaching my ankles and by the end of the hamstring AIS protocol (which took 10 minutes less than the day before) I was able to relax into a position holding my toes. The third day I started out touching my toes and was able to use the time doing other AIS stretches and a moving meditation and by the end was reaching beyond my feet. Three less than 30 min sessions to increase my flexibility from uncomfortably reaching the middle of my shins to easily reaching beyond my toes.

Try asking yourself, "what is one baby step I can take today towards that ultimate goal"? Celebrate your baseline and focus on the times you do work towards your goal...that's you making a conscious choice to step up and move towards a happier, healthier life.

December 10, 2012

Stay Happier, Healthier and More Sane this Holiday...and Beyond

Below are the videos I posted on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Return-to-Balance-LLC/309904055773492?ref=hl) and my YouTube Channel regarding tips on how to stay happy, healthy and more sane over the holidays. The tips in these videos can also be applied to help you stay more balanced year round. The first video in this series is at the top of this post as some of the concepts built upon one another. I hope to add a few more videos before we begin 2013 so make sure you scroll down to the end of this post so you don't miss my latest tips. Feel free to email me comments or questions about the topics covered.

11-6-12: Setting Up For a Smooth Week
(See video description on http://www.youtube.com/ReturntoBalance for content referenced in video.)
11-9-12: Avoid the Pitfalls of Multitasking
A few techniques to help you stop multitasking so you can have more energy and mental clarity/focus and be more efficient and present.
11-13-12: Finding Your Reset
Stress can build up over time leading to physical tension and pain as well as mental stress. Learn some quick ways to reset your stress level to help you feel more balanced and centered.
11-16-12: Are You Sure You're Hungry?
Working with your body to reach and maintain your ideal weight plus tips to help you curb overeating.
11-19-12: Missing Piece to Achieving Your Ideal Weight? 
Learn what may be the piece of information you have been missing in your struggle to achieve and maintain your ideal weight. Change your relationship with food today!
12-1-12: Reduce Your Holiday Debt
It's amazing how many people start off the new year with holiday debt. Check out this video for some tips to help you have a better start to the new year.
The Holiday Craftacular in Madison, WI is Dec 14 & 15. See more here: http://madisoncraftacular.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/date-change/
Online custom gift site I mentioned is www.etsy.com
12-4-12: Being Your Best Self: Taking the 3Fs Principle Further
Expanding on the 3Fs Principle introduced in the "Missing Piece" video from last month. Learn more about how to be your best self. I'd love to hear what you are doing for your 21 day challenge to help you start the new year off right!