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Thoughts on the first year of motherhood and owning a business

Written by Nikki Velez | January 18, 2018 | 0 Comments

Okay, I know what you're thinking. 'Nikki, this isn't a mom blog!' But hear me out. There's a golden nugget or two in here somewhere. Or maybe it's just a memo for my future self and baby #2 or maybe, just maybe, another mom or entrepreneur can relate to something here. I'd like to think we all go through a moment of retrospecting in January and looking at our last year. For me it happens to coincide with my baby's birth 1.17.17 so the changes this past year are huge! I've learned so many lessons, have grown a lot and have become a better person along with it. 

Letting Go. This is the very first lesson my baby boy taught me. There are just some things we cannot control. Let go and let them be. Control your reactions and your emotions around them, but let go of having to control them. I laugh at my thought of 'working when the baby sleeps'. I cannot believe I actually thought I'd be able to get 6 hours of uninterrupted focus and work that matters each day. Grandmas are the best. Nannies and childcare are amazing. Without the tribe I have, I truly wouldn't be able to do all this! Okay, back to the point. You go in with a plan and very quickly realize things aren't going to go that way. Letting go and adapting is a huge lesson learned from Day 1.

Patience. I think this is one of the toughest. Baby-led feeding is never going to be mess-free. The thing is, he loves feeding himself and feeling the different textures. He enjoys looking at each piece of food and studies it thoroughly. He absolutely loves running his hands through his hair when he's all done. All I can do is sip my coffee quietly, smile and enjoy the show. I think as entrepreneurs, we tend to work pretty hard and forget that not everyone else operates like this or has the flexibility to make decisions quickly. Learning to be patient and plan for delays has been huge. 

Compassion. The boo boos, the diaper rashes, fevers, stomach aches and all of the other aches and pains are something that he's experiencing, not me. I can be frustrated and slightly annoyed that he's whining so much, or I can be compassionate and understanding and put myself in his shoes. Why is he upset? Is there anything I can do to relieve him? How can I help him work through this pain (teething!)? This translates well into customer service issues here at Nikki's Coconut Butter. How can I relate to this customer and how can I help them have the best experience possible? 

Motivation. I know that I am a better person because of this little human. I wake up each morning wanting to be the best version of myself and doing my very best to be a good role model for him. Most of you may not know this, but right through my entire pregnancy and up until our due date, I worked 7 days a week in production. Yes, my small team and I had a lot of work on our hands with machines that worked well, but making small batches. In that time I had found a wonderful company to partner with to make our products, but I was afraid we couldn't meet their minimums. I was afraid that we would get stuck with thousands of jars of coconut butter that we wouldn't be able to sell. I was afraid of failing. Sure enough, we knew the baby was coming and something had to change. That was the catalyst to the biggest change in NCB this past year. This business couldn't rely on me anymore on that aspect of the operation and I had to give up some control. Our first batch of production arrived the same day my baby was born. Letting go of the fear and embracing the change allowed us to a. spend time with our newborn b. enjoy each moment without the pressure of going back to work and c. focus on my strengths and areas of the biz that I'm passionate about, like sharing our story here! He gave me that extra push I needed to move forward.

Persistance. You know you've got a tough battle when you're facing a tiny human with your DNA and a toy they absolutely want to play with, which also happens to be your computer/work/business/first baby. It's a tough battle for sure. He's strong willed and determined and gets pretty upset when we take things away from him, but perhaps that's a strength to admire. Hopefully, instead of suppressing this, I can help guide him so I don't diminish this determination and fire within him. Hopefully, this turns into a quality that will help him thrive as he grows. And perhaps, I can learn from him and really fight for the change I want in the food industry.

2017 was a wonderful year for us. We grew in so many ways and learned so much. I can now add Mommy to my list of titles and that feels pretty awesome. I'm excited for this next year to see how we grow and and what we do next! 

 

Watch Your Habits. Not Your Weight.

Written by Andrew Frezza | January 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

 

All of this 🙌. Here's a little truth for you. Last summer I stopped eating sugar. Well, almost. Besides the occasional spoonful of coconut butter and cookie, I really did cut it out.
I made a habit calendar and tracked down a handful of #habits I wanted to improve upon

-> less time on my phone, spending time outside, meditating etc. I made a point not to weigh myself or take pics, but just to stick to these few habits every. single. day. Sure enough, my weight started dropping and my energy went up, my strength has increased, my overall happiness and mental state has gotten better and better. All because I stuck to these habits.
I'm starting a new calendar with my gym @crossfitpalmbeach and will continue to watch what I eat, but I'm also removing screens from the table, and adding some reading and gratitude journal.
I hope your resolutions are strong and wish you consistency throughout! Let's make 2018 the best year yet! 

Tag: gratitude, habits, meditation, no screens, no sugar, watch your habits

New Year, New You!

Written by Nikki Velez | January 21, 2016 | 0 Comments

How is 2016 treating you so far? Are those resolutions you vowed to keep still on or have you, like so many of us, dropped the ball a little? I'm not here to remind you about those little failures or to point out your mistakes, but rather to share with you that you are not alone. So many of us create an encouraging list of goals and ideas we plan to keep forever and yet when times get tough, and life happens, we somehow let things slip and after a few days of slipping, we find it so much harder to get back on track...anyone with me here? 

Today, January 21st would mark 21 days of clean eating, or not drinking or maybe exercising for you and according to research studies, this should be the moment these habits become easier and require less effort. Have you kept any of these resolutions? If so, are you feeling stronger and is this new habit becoming easier to you?

If not, I'm here to remind you that it's okay. We're all human and starting new challenges and habits is not meant to be easy. In fact, they are really really hard to keep! When you've grown up with soda all your life and are so accustomed to drinking a can at dinner or at the office, it seems impossible to go through your day without thinking about that soda, right? 

Here are some tips I've learned through times like this when I've tried to change a bad habit or added a new goal. I hope at this stage of your challenge, you can find some of these useful and helpful to accomplish your resolutions for this new year!

 

1. Find your WHY! This is the biggest one and that's why I listed it first. When you find a compelling reason that's exciting and meaningful, it makes the small daily habits much easier to take on. For instance, when you decide to quit smoking because you want to live to see your grandchildren graduate highschool, it becomes a lot easier to avoid that pack of cigarettes. Find your WHY and make it compelling, then write it out on a piece of paper and hang it in a place that you'll see every day. This will be a daily reminder of WHY you are doing this in the first place and it will help in times of weakness.

2. Substitutions. One of the biggest culprits in breaking habits is the void left from removing the bad habit and not replacing it with a good one. We've seen this many times with people who start eating paleo and wonder why they're always hungry around week two. It turns out after removing 50% of their calories from gluten, dairy and sugar they haven't been eating enough food. Instead, they should substitute those for more veggies and protein to fill their plates.  Not only does it make it really hard to follow this diet if you're always hungry, but mentally you'll feel that void because you haven't replaced the bad items, instead of just eliminating them. 

3. Less is More. We tend to get a little ambitious when we list all of the things we plan to accomplish in the new year, but have you reviewed your list from last year? Very few people actually analyze their end goals and see exactly what they have accomplished in that year. In fact, most of us tend to forget what we actually set out to do! Keeping a short list of reachable goals is huge. You're more likely to succeed at a very small number of goals than a ton because you can focus so much more of your attention and efforts towards them. For instance, it's way better to have one habit of quitting smoking, than it is to run 5 times a week, start a new blog posting every day, learn a new language and quit sugar all for just a few weeks before slipping and falling out of these habits altogether. 1-3 goals is ideal. Write them out, along with the WHY and keep copies to remind you everywhere you can, the office, your bathroom, the fridge. Conversely, making sure your goals are attainable will empower you and strengthen you as you get closer. It's easier to set a goal to lose 10 lbs than it is 100 lbs. Small reachable goals will help you gain momentum making it easier as time goes by.

4. Buddy System. Remember going on a field trip and having a buddy that you were accountable for keeping with you at all times? Maybe that was just me since I was a terrible kid, but either way, the buddy system works. It's great if you're both moving towards the same goals, like working out a few times a week or limiting your alcoholic beverages. A buddy will keep you accountable and will remind you to stay on track. Not only that, it's more fun when you can make progress and get stronger together. But, make sure it's someone who won't take any nonsense from you. This buddy has to be serious about making sure you're on the right path towards those goals. Be clear with them that they can't let you slip and this will help you in those weak moments. 

5. Rewards. This is my favorite part! I have an expensive obsession with an athletic clothing brand, okay-it's lululemon. I mentally rationalize my pricey purchases with it's all I wear every day and It's workout clothes, so it'll make me feel better about working out which are all acceptable in my book, but I can't afford to shop there as much as I'd like to. So I created a mental step process so that once I've reached a certain step in my goals, like avoiding gluten altogether for one month, I can reward myself with a small purchase at this store. And let's say once I've gone 3 months in this direction, I can allow myself to purchase another item, maybe a little bigger this time. So not only, is the goal itself a motivation for me, but now I have some fun little prizes along the way that make it that much more enticing-and believe me, I'll work extra hard for those rewards!

 

Now that I've shared with you my top five tips for keeping your habits, I'd love for you to take a look at those resolutions and review them. Did you have a big list? Were they too vague, like 'lose weight'? Have you followed through with them? I encourage you to look at them and make changes to help you get stronger and accomplish them more easily. I would also LOVE to hear from you and see if maybe you have some tips that have helped you attain your goals! 

With that said, I'd like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes and a discount code for 15% off valid this weekend (1/21 through 1/24) discount code: 'newyearnewyou'

 

 

Your friend,

Nikki 

Tag: coconut butter, discount, goal, goal setting, goals, january, new year, new year new you, paleo

Thanksgiving Recipes

Written by Nikki Velez | November 19, 2015 | 0 Comments

Our favorite time of the year is upon us and we are way too excited for it! Sharing these special times with our friends and family is so much fun. This year we'd like to share with you some of our favorite recipes that we've made in the past and some new ones that we are making this holiday season. These can be made for a fun gathering with friends or thanksgiving dinner with the family. If you make them, be sure to post and tag us @nikkiscoconutbutter. We love to see and share your creations!

Pumpkin Pie- We made this one last year and it was a hit! Don't forget to refrigerate the coconut milk the night before for the whipped cream!

Maple  Pecan Baked Apples- These are a great alternative to a traditional apple pie and taste great! 

Shannon's Apple Pie- Pretty much the best paleo apple pie out there. Even better than some non paleo ones too!

Chocolate Rosemary Pecan Bark- This festive bark is such a treat! Perfect for parties or even as a snack to make with kids.

Apple Pie in a Jar- This is one of our favorite gifts to give to friends and family since they make adorable jars and you can decorate them with cute labels. 

Pumpkin Spice Fudge Bites- What's the holiday season without fudge? These will rock your socks off.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Dip- This is a great treat for parties or gatherings with friends. Easy to make and a tasty indulgence.

It's tough to make great decisions during the holidays when it comes to eating, but hopefully keeping some great recipes like these in mind will make it easier. Having healthy foods at home and not taking leftover sweets home are some helpful tips that have helped us stay healthy during this time of the year. 

Enjoy!

Tag: thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Basket Project

Written by Nikki Velez | November 11, 2015 | 0 Comments


Today I want to share with you a little bit about what I'm doing with Nikki's Coconut Butter. When we first started this business, the goal was to offer a convenient healthy treat that would allow our customers, people like us, to stay on track with our healthy lifestyle. Now that we have grown and seen how much of an impact we have on the community, we want to something great with it and give back to those who are less fortunate. 

These next two weeks we will be collecting 10% from ALL of our online sales here to build some Thanksgiving baskets with a nice dinner for families in need. We have partnered up with our local gym, CrossFit Palm Beach to build these baskets and give some families the opportunity to share a nice Thanksgiving dinner, like all of us. 

If you would like to participate in this project, simply order here now through November 23rd. 

Thanks in advance for helping us make a difference in these people's lives. We are so grateful for this opportunity!

Nikki + Andrew

 

Tag: doinggood, giving, gratitude, holidays, nikkis coconut butter, thankful, thanksgiving