Health/Well Being · Thoughts

Challenge Accepted: Kicking Things Into High Gear

Spring time always gets me in the mood to cleanse – whether 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 🙂 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! 🙂

wizardofoz-noplacelikehometopoop-humor-joke-meme-funny-lol-photo-picture
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)! 😉

12512794_10153418523362794_7438212114060748173_n
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?! 🙂

12508755_10153408369512794_635536152946234835_n[1]

Uncategorized

Housekeeping! FYI Re: Comments

Hi all!

Just a reminder that when you are submitting a comment, submitting your e-mail address is optional – your comment will still go through without the ‘e-mail address’ and ‘website’ section filled out. And if you do submit your e-mail address, it is never made public and I’m the only one who sees it. So for those of you concerned about being spammed, fear no more! 😉

Now that we cleared that up – don’t be shy to say hi! 🙂

Until next time,
Big love xo

For The Soul · Thoughts

Happy Anniversary To Me! What?!

Today marks my 3 year anniversary with WordPress. And although this year I have been rather neglectful on posting regularly, I always come back to this place. There’s something to be said about writing – whether it’s on my keyboard or with a pen in hand – I really enjoy it.

As this year comes to an end, I naturally reflect on the last 12 months. I won’t bore you with all the nitty, gritty details. But there are some things I would like to share. First of all…time.needs.to.slow.down! I celebrated my 29th birthday this year and it seems like every year prior to this one goes by increasingly fast. This serves as a constant reminder to me to be in the now, get my head out of the clouds dreaming about the future and my heart focused on the past.

slide3

This year has certainly been a crazy, interesting one! One filled with high highs and low lows. I had the honor of walking my best friend down the aisle – what a beautiful day that was! I’ve successfully and consistently committed to my well-being on all levels – mind, body and spirit – and established a consistent yoga practice, changed my eating habits, and challenged myself so I can be better than I was the day before. I’ve stepped way out of my comfort zone and it was so much fun  – lip sync battle anyone?! I’ve also had some amazing paranormal experiences.

I’ve also had to re-define my boundaries, learn to let go of significant relationships, habits, thoughts etc. that no longer serve me (and haven’t been for a long time), re-learn to love myself completely again and the importance of self-care. I’ve learned to let go of how things should be and made room to accept things, people and circumstances exactly as they are. I’ve re-membered it’s okay to feel whatever I am feeling and the importance of not abandoning myself emotionally when I feel unpleasant emotions. I’ve learned how precious life is and how it can literally change in an instant.

Someone-I-loved-once-gave-me-a-box-full-of-darkness

That ‘someone’ was some times myself, other times it was someone else. It’s been a year of huge personal growth and I can honestly say that despite the tears, heartbreak, and confusion, there’s been a whole lot of love, happiness, laughter, connecting, courage, growth and proud moments. And damn, it feels really good! I have a choice, just like all of you, to find the silver lining among life’s lessons or I can let it break me and dampen my light. But I refuse to be a victim to my circumstances. I have created my life, the good, the bad and the in between and with this knowing, I owe it to myself to create the best life with what I have within me. It’s not always easy but we were never promised easy, we were promised free will. We can’t get to the goodness without tasting what’s on the other side.

With all of this being said, I wanted to share this with you because it’s important, especially for those of us on a spiritual path, to make room for and express the human You. I’ve been guilty of shooting rainbows and sunshine up my ass -metaphorically speaking, often ignoring the very things that will help me on my spiritual path, because it wasn’t “spiritual.” I won’t make myself fit into a box created by anyone, including myself. For me, it’s all about balance, not perfection. It’s about eating kale salad after yoga then sitting down and eating an entire tub of ice cream while I watch Netflix. It’s about cursing and getting pissed off but then reflecting on what that moment has taught me. It’s about drinking 8 glasses of water a day but then having the same amount of wine in one evening. It’s about crying my eyes out then laughing until I cry about a completely “inappropriate” joke. It’s about maintaining privacy and then completely oversharing about almost everything. My hope is for you to find that imperfectly, perfect balance. The one outside the box.

3265108
“We got to give a little love, have a little hope…”

Big love,
S.

Music

I’m Back!… (Sort of)

I have been away for far too long! My fingers and mind are craving sharing with you all again. I have been having a busy summer since the hot, sunny weather seemed to have taken it’s sweet time getting here; my Canadian friends will know what I am talking about! With that being said, there’s much I have to share but am going to save it for my next entry, which I promise will not be months from today. 🙂

I leave you with these tunes – I can’t seem to get enough of them! They sooth my soul and I am hoping you enjoy them too.

With love xo
S.

And shout out to those of you who found their way to me, on here or my Facebook page, despite my absence! 🙂 Thank you for all the love!

Music

Can You Feel It?

I can feel this song in my soul. I heard this tonight at yoga during our relaxation pose; I loved it so much I had to share it with all of you.

The energies are high lately – can you feel them? No matter how what’s going on in your life now, let this picture below be a reminder of how awesome you are. You are a piece of the infinite universe manifested in this crazy, beautiful world for a short period of time. In other words, you ARE the Universe and you are fucking amazing! Shine on my beautiful friends!

Remind yourself of this every morning until it you re-member what you've forgotten
Remind yourself of this every morning until it you re-member what you’ve forgotten

Namaste,
S.

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!

Tampons-doing-it-really-wrong-5

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. 😉

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.

Thoughts

My 2014

2014 will be coming to an end soon and WordPress had sent me a pretty snazzy report of this year, as some of you may have already received yours. It’s interesting to see the breakdown of the numbers and have it all summed up. 2500 views, most of them from the U.S. *cough, cough* Where’s my Canadian peeps at? 🙂

I tend to get a bit nostalgic at this time of year; as the inevitable end of one year rolls around the corner, I can’t help but look back on the last 12 months – new job, new apartment to name a few of the ‘biggies.’ One of the things that stands out the most to me is how fast time has been speeding up. It’s like as each year that passes and with that, time goes by quicker.

This has been quite the roller coaster of a year for me, personally and I believe collectively, I sense from speaking with others. Despite some things not going as smoothly as planned (I need to let go of this notion of life actually caring about our plans) :), there have been some amazing moments shared with some of the kindest souls I have come to know in this life time. And those are the memories, I choose to hang onto.

And let’s be honest, life would be rather mundane if it wasn’t sprinkled with a little bullshit every now and again…right? 🙂

Whether we’ve never met and you only know me through this blog or if we’ve been part of each others lives since forever…I appreciate you. Your piece brings together the larger part of my puzzle in this beautiful, crazy life.

Keep shining your light in whatever way feels right for you. I truly hope 2015, like all other years, is filled with the love and joy that you encapsulated when you first were born onto this planet.

images
That’s my plan – what about you?!

With Love,
Me!