Health/Well Being · Thoughts

Weekend Challenge

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This is my weekend challenge to us.

There’s a great deal of chaos and stress going on in the world, and in many people’s inner world. I say this time and time again, but the energies seem to be relentless as far as giving us opportunities to rise above, to learn lessons, to become refined versions of ourselves. I trust the process; however, it’s challenging. It sucks. I feel you. You are not alone. I promise you this. Being an empath, I can feel it too, even though I personally haven’t got caught in this round of crazy energy, as much as those around me.

I also know it’s easy to get caught in a negative spiral. So I challenge you this. Pick one day this weekend – or all weekend if you’re up for it – to be extra aware of that inner voice. You know the voice I’m talking about – the one that analyses, judges and critiques the behaviours etc. of ourselves and others. The one that doesn’t have anything good to say. Yes, that one. When that inner critic comes creeping in – shift your focus…

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If Steve Urkel was stress…Not this weekend, you’re not. Not this weekend. Challenge has been accepted!

I challenge you to make a list – mental or on paper – of the things that make you feel good this weekend. I’m talking anything – smells, tastes, activities, peoples, experiences, thoughts etc. I’d like to take it a step further and challenge you to go out of your way to find and plan for these feel good things!

I want to hear all about it in the comments below!

It’s easy to get caught in our day to day routines, and schedules that we often forget to do or notice those feel good things. The purpose of this challenge isn’t to encourage you to “hide” from your troubles and stresses, the “reality” of the world affairs, etc. and bury your head in the sand. Not forever. Just For Today. Just for this moment in time – consciously change your perspective, give yourself a break from the negativity and all the shit that is dragging you down. You deserve it. And maybe today will turn into tomorrow, and those hard times you find yourself in may become a little less heavy on your heart and a little easier to get through. That is my wish for you. (Aside from having the best of everything!) ūüôā

For today, and always – big love,
S.

For The Soul · Health/Well Being

A Reminder In Times Like This

Today, this beautiful instrumental song has been on repeat. It feels emotional; a letting go of sorts of what no longer serves. It touches my soul so I wanted to share with you. Listen with me…

It doesn’t take much digging around to see that times are intense. There’s so much going on globally, it can be overwhelming. An uncertainty of where to look and what to focus on. I believe we are on the cusp of great change. I belief that this isn’t going to be an easy shift, but it is a necessary¬†shift.

This song and current times have reminded me of the importance of self-care, more now than ever. We need to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves, emotionally, physically, and mentally, so that we not only can live the best life, but so that we can be ready for what is to come. We’re ready. We’re capable. We’re worthy. Worthy¬†of so much more than what our current systems have to offer us. For this reason, I am so excited for what is on the other side of this, what often appears as, madness.

Letting go has been an on going theme in my life for some time now. I think this is something that we never really stop doing once we get a taste of what it’s like to let go of what no longer serves us. There’s a lightness that comes, a breathe of fresh air, and a freedom that can only be felt. It can be scary to let go of the known; there’s no doubt about that. Some times, it is painful. But on the other side of that, in my experience, it’s been more painful to hang onto the things that aren’t serving me than it has been to let them go.

Letting go is only one part of my self-care routine. Letting go creates a space for more things to come in. So that is where the fun begins, adding in those goodies. My self-care varies from day to day, but there are some things that are NEEDS on my list. These are things I know I need to have in my routine in order to stay centered and feeling good. My main priority above all else is yoga. I plan my evenings after work around my yoga schedule. So yes, that means dinner plans with friends, grocery shopping etc. come after. It can wait.

The better I feel, the better I have to give to those I love. I deserve the best version of me, as does those that have relationships with me. I have felt what it’s like to not have myself very high on my priority list; that didn’t feel good. And once I was reminded of how good it felt when I was taking care of me, I promised myself I’d make it my job to make sure that nothing stood in my way of my self-care.

A little something, just for you, every day will go a long way. That rhymed! ūüôā It’s time we, as a society, stop the glorification of busy. Slow down. Breathe. Prioritize. And remember that we are in control of our schedules. You are worthy of time just for you. Every.Single.Day. No excuses; just do it and you will be grateful¬†you did.

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With Love,
S.

Health/Well Being · Thoughts

An Abrupt Reminder From The Universe

Here’s a little observation I’ve made, or should I say have been reminded of this week – if you ignore the taps on the shoulder by the Universe when it is trying to tell you something, those reminders will eventually become a ton of bricks falling onto you and we’ll be forced to pay attention to the message.

3 days ago, I was enjoying a beautiful, gentle yoga session under the pear tree at my dad’s in the country. It really doesn’t get much better than an outdoor yoga session – Am I right? We went about our day and played around on the inner tubes in the river, after having a photo shoot on the hay bails. It was so much fun. But here comes the ton of bricks. I’m not sure exactly what has triggered this, but I have been in an immense amount of low back pain since. I¬†spent the rest of that day having a hard time walking and doing every day tasks, hunched over like I have some pregnancy swag going on.

I thought I was on the mend when I went to bed last night; I was feeling much better than when this first started. But I woke this morning at 4 a.m. because I tried to roll over and my back was in so much pain. I have never experience pain like this. It took every ounce of my energy to get out of bed to get some pain relieving cream. I broke down in tears and felt like I was partially paralysed. I sat for 5 1/2 hours to get a tattoo done and that was less painful than this. Back pain is no joke.

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Happened and it’s a lie. FML. Haha!

This has been a mentally tough for me as well and I am active 4 days out of the week and I really miss working out. But I understand that my body is asking for a rest. I understand that I have missed the signs somehow that the universe was trying to tell me to rest. So I am focusing on this – that it is time to rest. There’s still the old part of me that I am working on clearing, that thinks that my efforts of getting in shape will be reversed now that I am essentially tied to a chair or laying on my back until I heal. But the bigger part of me know that I will be in worse shape, if I do not listen to my body.

I am also in deep appreciation for that my body can do and does do on a daily basis.I feel so fortunate to have great health. Having an injured back affects so many things since our core line and spine is at the centre of our being where all of our motions stem from. For example, try wiping your butt¬†without twisting your back and only moving your arm. Yep, I went there. We get creative when we have to. ūüôā I’m doing my best to find some humour in this so it does not dampen my spirits too much, as I would like to enjoy the last few days of vacation before going back to work in a few days.

Moral of my story (rant) and why I wanted to share this experience with all of you, as this has been a very obvious reminder about the importance of listening to the signs and symptoms our life presents to us, so we can avoid as much pain and suffering as possible. We’re never going to get rid of the adversities in our lives. This is where we grow and evolve into better versions of ourselves. But we can certainly make it a lot easier on ourselves along our journeys. When we ignore the subtleties, we will be presented with more and more obvious (and often more painful) experiences until we pay attention. This isn’t some form of punishment. This is the Law of Attraction at work and the universe is just responding to your vibration. I still have no idea what signs I missed, and that’s okay too. Going forward, I will be more diligent to hone my acute awareness skills so I don’t find myself here again.

I am going to amp up my self-care routine and get myself back in action, mentally and physically, when my body tells me it’s okay to.

Be easy,
S.

Health/Well Being · Thoughts

What Do I Do? More In-Depth Look At My Health and Wellness Journey

Last night, I posted on my personal Facebook page¬†my excitement and proud moment of how I’ve lost a total of 11 pounds and a handful of inches in the last 2 months. A dear friend asked me¬†for some motivation and healthy eating tips, and what I do for physical exercise. I started to write a novel in the comments, but I’ve decided to write about it on here instead in case I can help any other folks as well. Thank you for the inspiration, Jenna!

I will caution though that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all journey and that I am by no means an expert. I’m simply a woman who got tired of my outside self not matching my inside self. I am a woman who got tired of living most of my life never fully loving my body. I am a woman who was tired of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and often feeling the need to hide behind my clothes. I got tired, had a pity party for myself, and then got angry and said “enough is enough!” after this experience.¬†As painful as that experience was, I am so thankful for it. It’s given me motivation that I hadn’t felt for years.

Everyone of us is so uniquely different and what works for me isn’t necessarily going to work for anyone else. It’s about trial and error and discovering what works and the willingness to change things as needed. Our bodies will adapt and will require more or less of certain things and we need to be flexible.

My focus has been on creating a healthy lifestyle that consists of maintainable habits¬†that I can carry with me the rest of my life. All other times, I focused on “needing to lose weight,” which stemmed from a “I’m not good enough” vibe. I was often left feeling deprived and that I was punishing myself for carrying extra weight. In my experience, the body doesn’t respond optimally if we we’re coming from that place. I’ve focused a lot on loving myself, and not just my external self,¬†and I’ve noticed that I crave exercise and movement, and healthy foods. Our bodies know what it needs in terms of movement and food and I’ve learned to trust it. I learned that I deserve to feel and look my very best.

More specifically, I do 90 minute yoga classes 2 times a week, and lift weights another 2 times a week. Sometimes this works out to being 4 workouts in a row, other weeks, I have a rest day after 2 days of exercise. The latter usually makes me feel better. Prior to the last 2 months, I was doing strictly¬†yoga 3 – 5 times a week for over a year and not getting the physical results I wanted so I added weight training (Body Pump Classes at Goodlife Fitness). Yoga will always be part of my life – because it’s so much more than exercise – it connects the mind, body and spirit. It’s literally part of who I am.

Most important part in terms of exercise is that I LOVE it! I already said how much I love yoga but I love lifting weights. I feel badass, powerful, strong, and I love seeing how each week I can lift more and more. I love seeing the definition it’s starting to give certain areas of my body. Hear me roar!! ūüôā

Yes, I’m talking to you!!
In terms of healthy eating,¬†I’m a strict vegetarian and I follow an intermittent fasting cycle every day. My eating window is 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. The research I’ve done says that is really effective for weight loss and I believe that we really don’t need to be eating all day long. Digestion requires a serious amount of energy and I like the idea of giving my body a break, so I thought I’d give it a try and it’s been successful. I’m quite strict on this time frame. If I’m hungry before noon, I’ll eat and just keep my window to the 8 hours. A few times¬†where I have eaten past my window and I didn’t get ample amount of time to digest before hitting the sack, I slept awful and woke up feeling like I had a hangover.
intermittent-fastingI use the Fitnesspal app on my phone to log my food, exercise, and progress, which has been very helpful! I’ve heard good things about other apps, so I’m not promoting this specific one, it’s just the only one I’ve used. It’s really helpful to keep me accountable. I’m not on any kind of diet – I just eat healthy foods, while having a treat periodically and not feeling guilty about it. Let’s be honest, some stuff that isn’t so good for us tastes really good and I’m not going to deprive myself of that experience. I do notice though that I crave those foods less and less, and food with a lot of salt and sugar have become really noticeable to me and I don’t enjoy them like I used to. I’ve read our taste buds become rewired when we change our eating habits and I’ve noticed that in myself as well.

I don’t have a specific meal plan – I eat what I like and when I’m hungry (within my window) and stick to my caloric intake according to my Fitnesspal app. I stick to water, and every now and again I’ll have fruit juice – which is only maybe a few times a year.

I don’t strive for perfection in any of this and neither should you. I’m repeating myself when I say this, but the most important piece of “advice” I can give to someone who doesn’t know where to start is find an activity you love and do it often, eat foods that you like and know are healthy, and be good to yourself. This shouldn’t be complicated. Don’t hold yourself to expectations that you know are unrealistic in the long-run. ENJOY the process and your body will respond accordingly. There’s a huge energetic/mental aspect to all of this. If you hate what you’re doing and eating, stop it right now. Your body will respond much more positively and quickly if you enjoy the process. I speak from personal experience and from my understanding of how energy and thoughts works.

As cliche as this sounds, life is about enjoying the journey so what is the point if you’re hating every minute of it? Yes, it’s a challenge to get started, but it feels so good once you do. I still get my ass kicked in the gym and at the yoga studio [and if I eat cheesecake like I did yesterday for my birthday (I felt sick afterwards)], but I still do it because I know I’m worth every bit of time I spend taking care of me. I also have much more to give my loved ones when I take care of me. Life happens outside of our comfort zones. After all, you’re only given one permanent home to live in so why not make it as strong, vibrant, healthy, beautiful and glowing as possible? ¬†You deserve nothing less than the best. I know this because you’re alive. It is your divinely given right.

With love,
S.

I’d love to hear from you; please feel free to post in the comments below. xo

 

For The Soul · Health/Well Being · Thoughts

On Days Like Today

Sleeping in on my weekends off seems to be a thing of the past. My body has finally adjusted to the early mornings I get up for work. I’m laying here, on the couch, in the living room with the window wide open. The scent of the cedar mulch surrounding the patio infuses my nostrils, as the cool breeze comes in like a blanket over top of me. It’s rather delicious. The sound of the leaves moving about in the breeze is music to my ears.

Nature is divine.

It’s a gloomy Sunday, overcast with a light drizzle, and a pending thunder storm may be under way. The complete opposite of the beautiful, warm, sunny day yesterday. I absolutely love this time of year. Living in Canada, the changing of the seasons helps me appreciate my favorite season more. We appreciate things more when we don’t always have them or get to enjoy them.

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On days like today, where the sun is hiding behind the clouds, and everything is wet and grey, my mood tends to match. There were some things I wanted to take care of but in this moment, right here is where I want to be. Forget the to-do list for now. Maybe I’ll get around to it later on today or maybe I won’t. We need days of forgetting the to-do lists and doing the whatever-I-want¬†lists.

All is and will be well either way.

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For those of you who are interested in how I’m progressing with my new health and wellness plan. It’s going great! I have lost 5 pounds as of about a week ago when I weighed myself. Interestingly enough, I look and feel different, but my measurements don’t show a change. I think what has happened is I’m gaining definition that I didn’t have before, and losing fat where I haven’t measured. For example, my arms aren’t any smaller by measurements, but I’ve gained muscle definition so they appear smaller. And my waist isn’t any smaller (which is where I measured in week 1) but I’ve definitely lost inches on the “dreaded pouch” below my belly button.

But regardless of what exactly has happened in the last month, I don’t care; I’m not getting caught up in all of those numbers. I am getting caught up on how I feel, physically and emotionally. I’ve gained back a confidence that I didn’t know I lost so much of. Lifting weights makes me feel bad-ass and I like seeing how I can lift more from week to week. Feeling strong is empowering! I love feeling in control of my health. I love not feeling deprived. I still have treats from time to time, I just don’t go overboard. I’m learning about what works for me and what doesn’t. I’m loving every minute of it!

This is what motivates me below in the picture. The only constant there will ever be in my life is me, so I believe I owe it to myself to take care of myself, on all levels. I know better so I do better; I really feel there is no other choice.

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Big love all,
S.

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Maybe not the bitch part, but hey! ūüėČ We can never have enough humour in our lives!
Health/Well Being · Thoughts

Challenge Accepted: Kicking Things Into High Gear

Spring time always gets me in the mood to cleanse Рwhether it is organizing around the house and donating/throwing out what is no longer being used, or cleansing my mind, body and spirit by re-evaluating what is working and what needs to go. I hibernate in the winter, as I am fuelled by the summer time warmth and sunshine, so when Spring rolls around I get so excited by Mother Nature coming to life again!


This Spring I have decided to give my fitness and wellness plan a much needed update and improvement. I’ve known for the last while I needed to change things up if I wanted to get to my goal sooner. I’ve been getting impatient. I’ve been craving weight-lifting. This was reinforced with an appointment I had at my doctor’s. The assistant asked me to step on the scale. So feeling good¬†about my progress, I stepped on the scale for the first time in years. This is a whole other topic, but I don’t like scales for this reason:


I have always gauged my progress by the way my clothes feel and measurements. HOWEVER, and this is a big however,¬†I was in shock and disbelief with the number on that scale. My out loud response was, “Oh my god, do shoes and clothes weight very much?!” The reality is I weight more now than ever,¬†despite all of these great things: the fact that I have fully committed myself to consistently adopting a healthy lifestyle, never felt this good in my body, have lost weight and gained muscle, flexibility and strength, since I started last January. WTF! ran through my mind more times than I could count because I don’t think I look like that number on the scale. And I was admittedly on the brink of tears for a few hours after my appointment, but I was at work and needed to keep it together. I wanted to ball my eyes out. It felt like all my best efforts during these last 17 months were a waste. That I was a failure, and a hypocrite. And so far away from where I wanted to be. This really hung a job on me…

Did I stay in that dark place for long?¬†Oh hell no! I got home that evening and had a really honest conversation with myself. I looked at the facts. Everything from my blood pressure, to my ECG¬†and blood work results, to what I eat, how often I exercise, how I feel etc. etc told me I am very healthy. The reality is¬†a very¬†healthy 5’5″, (almost) 30 year old woman does not weigh 199 pounds, no matter what way you cut it. There’s a part of me screaming inside because¬†I just shared that number with you…the whole of the internet.Oh.my.god. ¬†$#%&! ¬†*deep breath* The number doesn’t matter as much to me as being honest and fearless about where I am at. No more shame.

I was shown quite literally that I needed an overhaul. I needed change. I needed to lose weight. But I wasn’t going to nor will I let that number on the scale beat me down.Or define me. Or take away from all the other amazing accomplishments I’ve made this year. I am using¬†it as inspiration. And it has put a fire under my ass like you wouldn’t believe! I refuse to continue to live my life where I feel like my insides never quite match my outside. Where I’m always this close to being the version of myself I want to be. F*ck that!

Here we are just over a week into this new chapter in this part of my life. So far, so good! Why? Because I refuse to let it be anything else. If you want me to bore you ūüôā with the details on what I’ve changed so far, let me know¬†in the comments below and I’ll do another post on it. I’m proud of myself for using¬†this situation as motivation to be the best version of myself. To love myself even more than I did the day before. This is a big deal for me. I have always struggled with body image issues and circumstances like this has often just made me feel awful about myself, killing my self esteem, bringing me down the road of self-judgement and criticism. Not this time! I’ve reminded myself I can still love my body even if I’m still working on it. I refuse to only love my body fully when I “get there.” I can’t fully love myself if I don’t love ALL parts of me. And I am going to remember that even though I’m not exactly where I want to be (yet), I still look pretty damn good!

With Love,
S.

Health/Well Being

Day 7: Juice Cleanse Update

Day 7 is here and coming to an end! Where do I start? I won’t bore you all with the nitty-gritty stuff. I will note here that I also decided to start watching the ‘Making A Murderer’ documentary series this week as well, after giving into all the hype on social media. Every night this week, except for yesterday and tonight was spent staying up after midnight because one cannot simply watch just one episode! Oh my! My alarm goes off at 6:30 every morning so 6 – 6 1/2 hours of sleep does not do my body good, especially not when juicing. Lesson #2. Check out my first lesson, if you missed it.

Day 3 was not a good day for me. I made a juice the night before for my breakfast and lunch juices the next day. I even taste tested before bottling it in my mason jar – yummy I say! Wrong! The next day, I had to force myself to drink my breakfast juice – it was so bad! The cucumber and celery was so overpowering it was making me feel nauseous. A perfect example of the importance of sticking to a recipe if you are a newbie. The apples were there for a reason, haha! The rest of the day I couldn’t stomach drinking it, so I opted for water and coconut water. Coconut water, again, is not my favorite, but I got it into me. By the end of the day, I felt light-headed, groggy, and very hungry! I came home, heated up some veggie broth, drank my dinner juice, and lots of water – I felt much better.

Day 4 is the day I decided that I need to eat dinner and have every evening since. If tomorrow I feel good and want to do juice-only then so be it. Prior to starting this juice-only cleanse, I don’t have a big appetite and am content with eating just lunch, dinner and a few snacks, so I’ve never resonated with “hungry pains” or the need to eat a huge meal. But I get it now! Oh boy! I have felt hungry the majority of the time since Day 1 and this is something that is really uncomfortable for me. I had a hard time just ‘getting over it’ and the constant brain fog, which made it hard to think clearly.

These are common symptoms of cleansing as the toxins leave your body.¬† But it began to feel more like punishment than an enjoyable challenge. I feel much better – the brain fog is subsiding – but I know I did myself an injustice by not going to sleep early as recommended. And if you’re curious, these are the only symptoms I’ve had with the exception on Day 1 and 2 of frequent bowel movements. TMI? Well, it’s near impossible to talk about a cleanse and not discuss the ‘cleansing’ effects. That’s just how it is, folks! ūüôā

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Too much?

I went into this with the intention of starting this cleanse as a juice-only cleanse and that I would gauge how I felt as time went on and making changes accordingly. I thought I could and was really aiming to do the 10 days, juice-only, no solid food. Well, things do always go as planned. I could have stuck it out without dinner but I don’t want to, to be completely honest. I’d be miserable, mentally and physically, the entire time. What’s the point then if I’m not enjoying the process? There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to this and many folks do exactly as I am doing now. I’m a big believer in listening to my body. If it doesn’t feel right then it needs to change. So I changed it. Easy peasy. No more making myself feel bad for not doing things exactly as I set out to do.

If I created a situation for myself, where my life was in jeopardy, like the two men in the documentary I talked about in my last post, then I’d tough it out. The long-term benefits would certainly outweigh the short-term discomfort. This is far from my situation though – I’m healthy and active – so I’m happy with my decision and proud of myself of sticking with this. I have fed my body so much goodness in this last week and that is what is most important to me.

Today’s breakfast and lunch juice – sweet potato, carrot, strawberry, and spinach! My own recipe actually came out tasting yummy, much to my surprise (and it’s rusty color)! ūüėČ

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Lesson #1: Plan.Plan.Plan.
Lesson #2: Get plenty of sleep.
Lesson #3: Go with the flow. Listen to your body.
Lesson #4: Veggie broth is great for between meals.
Lesson #5: Coconut water tastes best straight out of a fresh coconut, with some rum, on a    beach down South somewhere. No exceptions.

Happy weekend, everyone! I’ll back back next week to summarize at the end of 10 days.

Big love,
S.

Health/Well Being · Thoughts

Juice Cleanse Challenge Accepted

Back in December, I watched the documentary, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” I was immediately fascinated with this new (to me) concept of juicing and before the documentary was over, I decided I was going to do my own juice cleanse in January. Admittedly, I wanted to enjoy all the goodies that x-mas had to offer since I decided to do an only juice cleanse, no solid foods.¬†I also¬†wanted to be prepared – I needed to buy a juicer, gather recipes, etc. so I’d be set up for success!

Yesterday was Day 1 of 10. Pictured below was my breakfast. What you see is exactly what I used for this recipe.

And after getting the swing of things with the juicer, albeit slightly terrifying with the grinding, an apple getting stuck and carrots swirling around in the feeder, I was impressed how good this juice tasted and how it easy it was.

I went about my day –¬†drank water, made my dinner juice (tomato, celery, and carrot combo), had a herbal tea…but by 10 p.m. I was so hungry, like hangry hungry!¬†This is where things went downhill. It is expected to be hungry the first few days but then after a few days (many¬†say by Day 3), it subsides. I wanted to eat something solid¬†so bad but I knew I’d feel like a huge failure if I did. It was only Day 1 and I couldn’t believe I wanted to cave in so soon.¬†But no big deal right?

Well, here’s the thing…my ego doesn’t like not being successful/good at something¬†the first time I do it. I have been this way for as long as I can remember. I’ve always set high expectations (some times too high) for myself and beat myself up when I don’t reach them, forgetting that I am human. It’s not coming from a place to be better than anyone else, I just think I am suppose to be amazing at everything that I do, the first time I do it. “Failure” isn’t something that sits well with me.¬†I¬†know what you’re thinking – it’s ridiculous, it’s a part of life¬†– and it sounds ridiculous to even type it.¬†The bigger part of me knows all of this but¬†my human-ness struggles with this. Over the years, I have¬†become easier on myself, thanks to¬†admitting this to myself,¬†but last night was not one of those nights. I had to make a choice because limbo is not a fun place to be in. I wanted to move forward on the rest of my evening. I caved – I ate a meal- and it was damn good!

Then I had to be honest with myself. I didn’t set myself up for success, despite thinking that I had¬†and I was in for a bigger¬†mental challenge than I anticipated.¬†I only had 2 large glasses of juice, 3 large glasses of water and 1 herbal tea. From my research, it is recommended to do a minimum of 4 x¬†16-20 ounce juices. I wasn’t being mindful of the time passing and making sure that I got all my juices in. I essentially just substituted the¬†2 meals I normally have for a glass of juice.¬†Not good. I know having the 2 additional glasses of juice¬†wouldn’t have cured my hunger pains but I know it would have certainly helped me feel more full. Not to mention, I’d be getting the proper amount of fiber, minerals and vitamins.

I prepared myself well by getting recipes, stocking my fridge so full of produce I can hardly shut the door, signed up for a free 5 Day Reboot ¬†(juice cleanse) with the same guy who did the documentary I talked about¬†but I didn’t plan out my day well enough. I wasn’t being mindful.¬†This isn’t something you just fly by the seat of your pants, just like all other things in life. I believe in being a¬†conscious creator, not a willy-nilly navigator. But clearly I’m not always good at being this all of the time.

I also didn’t prepare myself mentally. The biggest lesson I learned¬† reminded myself of was the¬†importance of being easy on myself.¬†So what¬†things didn’t go exactly as planned – it’s okay, it’s more than okay actually,¬†that it didn’t.¬†I don’t expect anyone else to¬†be perfect – to always say and do¬†things¬†“right” –¬†so why do I expect that of myself? Why is it not okay to make a mistake? Why is it not okay to do better tomorrow? Who decided that I am the perfect expert at everything that I¬†set out to do, especially when I’ve never¬†even done it before? What would someone who loves themselves do…?

So today is a new day! I’ve brushed myself off, put my ego back in check, tucked away this lesson I was reminded of, and have set forth for success! Here’s my breakfast this morning¬†and there was enough left over as you can see for my lunch. Nailed it!


I want to hear from my fellow juicers!¬†Tell me about your experiences – the good, bad and in between.¬†Those of you who haven’t juiced,¬†have you recently¬†been reminded of the lesson I shared today? Tell me in the comments below.

“You were born to be real, not to be perfect.”

Big love,
S.

p.s.¬†check out¬†my blogging buddy. Isn’t he the cutest?! ūüôā

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Health/Well Being

Period Cups and Vaginas – Oh My!

WARNING: I’m going to talk about periods, vaginas and feminine hygiene products so if none of these are of your interest, come on back another time or check out some of my other posts.

I’m going there, people. It needs to be talked about and I wished I discovered this product ages ago – oh, how life would have been simpler. I have been meaning to write about this topic for many months because it has literally changed my life in such a positive way and I want to share this with as many women as possible.

Today’s topic is going to be about menstrual cups. Now, I understand that many women react with disgust or even embarrassment when it comes to menstrual cups. I really encourage you to read this with an open mind and heart. I was one of those people who thought the idea was kind of gross as well but I am SO grateful I got my ego out of the picture long enough to give it a try because ladies…stepping out of one’s comfort zone always pays off as I will NEVER go back to using tampons again. Allow me to explain…

Over the last few years now, I’ve been making the transition to all natural products and personal care products being at the top of my make-over list. One day, I was in need of tampons and was thinking of buying the organic cotton ones.¬† Around the same time, I came across an article similar to this article, where a woman found mold on her unused tampon! My WTF radar went off like crazy, since I already have little trust in the commercial product industry. I started doing more research about the tampon/feminine hygiene product industry and what is actually in these products – what I found out, admittedly, I was mad.

As stated in this article by Dr. Mercola, Feminine hygiene products such as tampons and sanitary pads are an oft-ignored source of a variety of potentially toxic ingredients, including genetically modified organisms and pesticides.” He explains further that these companies are not required to disclose the ingredients in their products. This is a big, fat red flag if you ask me.

Aside from what’s actually in tampons and pads, I was finding articles and videos saying that tampons extend the length of periods (caused by the crazy chemicals in them), they dry out the vagina because it’s absorbing all fluids thus creating more cramping and discomfort, and when you remove a tampon some of those little fibers get left behind. Pads can also cause rashes – think adult diaper rash. There are plenty of articles out there that discuss these points and many others in more detail which is why I’m not going to reiterate what’s already been done. Again, I strongly encourage you to do your own research and find what resonates with you.

Once I got over the WTF factor and I’ll admit here, I’m not sure why I was so surprised considering most, if not all, mainstream corporations do not have the public’s well-being at the top of the priority list. However, I think it was the fact that I had been using products since I was 10 years old that had been messing with such an intimate part of me for so long (18 years to be exact) – for me, that was the straw that broke the camels back. I immediately started looking for other healthier options and came across the ol’ menstrual cup…the ol’ silver lining!

Make sure to get the clear one. No worries about synthetic dyes :)
Note: Buy the clear one (no synthetic dyes) and research different brands. I’m not endorsing Diva Cup. It happened to be the only brand at my health store.

I have been using a menstrual cup since the summer of last year and as I stated before I will never go back to tampons or any other feminine hygiene product again. Here’s why:

1.) Cost

I purchased the Diva Cup brand at $40, which can last you a decade if you take care of it properly. That could potentially mean spending only $4.00 per year for the next 10 years, as oppose to $10/month or more. More value for your hard earned money –¬† you are essentially buying products with your time – this just makes good financial sense.

2.) Environmentally Friendly

I don’t know the stats but think of how many tampons and pads make it to the landfill every year. There is no waste with a menstrual cup.

3.) Freedom

This is probably the most meaningful difference I noticed. You can leave your cup in for up to 10-12 hours. Yes, that long! It holds much more than pads and tampons so there’s no need to change it every few hours. I put mine in in the morning before going to work and don’t have to worry about it until I get home. How AMAZING is that? I feel completely liberated! My period has become less of an inconvenience and just one of those things our beautiful bodies do. And it comes in a cute, colorful cotton pouch which is so much more practical for traveling. No more awkward cardboard boxes to pack or giant handfuls of tampons to shove in our purses. Oh! And did I mention…no more leaks?! Good-bye panty liners!

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4.) Health

This one is tied for 1st place with freedom. I feel so much better using something that is made from medical grade silicone which isn’t absorbed by the body nor breaks down and isn’t filled with harmful, toxic chemicals being adsorbed directly into the bloodstream. Yay for healthy vaginas (and bodies)! Not to mention blood and fluid soaked tampons hanging around in our girly bits for hours at a time, just sounds like a breeding ground for bacteria.

5.) Better Periods

Less cramping and shorter, lighter periods. Say what?! True story, ladies. 3 women who are near and dear to my heart have also made the switch to the menstrual cup and they have experienced one or both of the above. I never experienced much cramping, but I have noticed the little I used to get is non-existent and my period is lighter and shorter. The same thing has been experienced by the women in my life. This may be TMI for some of you, but I only get a day or so of normal flow then the 2-3 days are very light.

It’s important to remember, we are meant to have our periods; our bodies are made to do this. Debilitating cramping, discomfort and PMS are not natural – if this is you, something is out of balance and your body is trying to tell you. I honestly believe tampons especially play a large role in throwing our bodies out of whack thus making that “time of the month” dreadful for many of us.

Yes, there is somewhat of an initial “ick/gross” factor of pouring out the cup but to be perfectly honest, not only has it made me even more comfortable with myself and my body… I find it more disgusting to put a chemically laden, period lengthening, synthetic piece of bleached wood pulp into my vagina. ūüėČ

When you know better, it’s difficult to not do better. I would love to give every menstruating woman on the planet a period cup. Whoever invented this product I will forever be grateful. I’d love to hear your experiences with using the cup. Or if you have any questions, please don’t be shy and feel free to ask me in the comments below.

Let’s start a healthy vagina revolution! And perhaps one day when enough of us boycott these industries, they will be forced to change their products and they’ll come out with something even better…I can’t even imagine!

Love,
S.

Health/Well Being · Uncategorized

Yummy In My Tummy

I discovered tonight what is one of my favorite dinner dishes…baked cauliflower!! No, that wasn’t a joke and…I know…BORING but delicious! It’s so good – I wanted to share the recipe with you. I’ll use recipe loosely because a lot of the time I don’t measure ingredients unless I know it will really screw up what I’m making if I don’t. I’m also no chef in the kitchen, at least not yet I’m not. It was only within the last year I purchased measuring cups. I’m slowing building my kitchen gadgetry.

Here’s the scoop. I’ve been cutting out a lot of meat and dairy from my diet for the last while now – not consciously though, I just don’t have a taste for it anymore. I can’t stop thinking about the poor furbabies ūüė¶ but that’s a whole other topic. I’ve also been pretty sick the last few times after I ate beef (food poisoning had been ruled out) so I don’t eat it anymore. I’ve made it a promise to myself to listen to my body whether that’s more sleep, no beef etc. Some times, the hints are subtle…others, not so much. Anyways, this requires some creativity in the kitchen where most of the life, I’ve based my meals around meat being the main part of the meal. And most of my life, I’ve never spent a whole lot of time in the kitchen either.

Tonight, I bring you baked cauliflower. Super simple to make and only a few ingredients required.

What you’ll need:
– 1/2 head of cauliflower
– dill, garlic, salt to taste
– fresh lemon juice
– extra virgin olive/coconut oil
– mozzarella cheese (optional)
– roaster or baking sheet

Preheat oven to *450F. (I don’t know how to make the degrees symbol, haha!) ūüôā Chop up your cauliflower into bite size pieces and put it in the roaster pan. I used my glass, approx. 3″ deep baking dish (roaster) so it was easier to stir the cauliflower once it started to cook. Sprinkle with dill, garlic and salt to your preferences. I love garlic so I go to town when I use it. I didn’t have fresh dill or garlic so I used dried dill and garlic power (fresh dill and garlic would have been yummier). Drizzle with the oil, approximately 1/4 cup but I just started pouring and stopped when I thought it was thoroughly covered. Give a couple good squirts of fresh lemon juice, stir and bake in the oven for approximately 18 minutes*. Stir occasionally to make sure all pieces are cooked evenly. Optional: sprinkle shredded cheese over top and enjoy!

This dish cools down quite quickly so if you’re going to sprinkle with cheese, do so right after you take it out of the oven.

*Note: my oven is ancient and cooks at a higher temperature that what it says. 450F in my oven is closer to 500F. And I like them a little crispy and brown so I cooked it for a few extra minutes.

*****VOILA!*****

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Yummy In My Tummy

I will admit it tastes better than it looks and I took this picture after I ate half of it. First foodie pic fail. I will also admit, my foodie pictures are to be desired. ūüėČ

What’s your favorite dish you’ve tried for the first time recently? Share in the comment section below – I’d love to hear about them!

With love…and a full tummy.
S. xo

For The Soul · Health/Well Being

What Do Strangers Think of You?

Where have I been?! It feels like so long since my last post. With the nice weather finally here and a LONG winter just passed, I’ve been spending more time outside and less time in front of the computer. With my job requiring me to spend much of my day in front of a computer, I haven’t had much motivation to sit down and write. As some of you may know, for my longer posts, it takes me 2-3 hours to complete by the time I have re-read and edited it about 17 times. Somehow…there is still grammar and spelling errors, haha!

To answer the question/title of this video, I would normally say, “Who the hell cares! People are going to judge you either way so just be yourself.” However, this is a short clip and a must watch! We are all SO damn hard on ourselves, especially on our physical selves. We are so easily able to pick out all the things we don’t like about our bodies. Our “flaws” are often seen as beautiful to others – what we don’t like, others do.

You are beautiful. You are enough EXACTLY as you are, right now as you read these words.

If only we could see ourselves through the eyes of others…

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