Pamper and Indulge!

January – A Healthy Me
Days 5 and 6

Daily Actions:

Pamper yourself.  Remember how I said my feet and toes were looking a little less than desirable?  Well, I decided to give myself a pedicure.  Any other day, I would have simply removed the old polish and slapped on the new, but my goal was to pamper myself – so I gave myself a full-on spa-like experience.  See below (Warning:  If you don’t like feet, don’t scroll down any further!):

Step 1- Find random pedicure packet in closet

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Step 2: Soak feet for 5 minutes in a foaming sea soak

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*It kind of looks like the tops of my feet are hairy in this picture.  I assure you, they are not.

Step 3:  Exfoliate with sea salts

Step 4: Wrap feet in conditioning marine masque

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Step 5:  Paint those toes and…VOILA!

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Daily Actions:

Mindful Indulgence.  The idea of eating healthy often translates into restricting ourselves from some of the things we love.  But depriving ourselves and feeling miserable does not make for a very healthy body, mind, or soul.  As long as we fill ourselves with nutritional, whole foods the majority of the time, indulging in something not as great every so often is A-Okay!  Tonight I decided to drink a vanilla latte with a friend (yes, I could have probably indulged a little more with say, a donut, but the latte was calling my name).

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And, because I thought it looked so great- my lunch from today:

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: )

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Lessons in Self-Discipline and Adaptation

January – A Healthy Me
Days 2, 3, and 4

Food:

This weekend was all about self-discipline.  During the week, it’s easy to stay away from unhealthy foods (as long as you don’t have Oreos and Cheetos hiding in your pantry), but the weekend brings so many challenges.  Every time I turned around there was something tempting me.  On Friday, it was the buttered popcorn and wild cherry pepsi at the movie theater that was being consumed RIGHT next to me.  On Saturday,  it was the invite to Red Robin for gourmet burgers and fries, and the cheese and sausage pizza that my boyfriend and friend had delivered to the house.

I’m not going to lie, I did have a few bites of the popcorn and several sips of the wild cherry pepsi, but what kept me from mindlessly eating half the bucket was an inspiring story about my developmentally disabled cousin.  Recently, she started the weight watchers program to lose some of the extra pounds she had gained due to a medicinal side-effect.  She has stuck to the program and has exhibited AMAZING self-control (she’s already lost 15 lbs!).  Over Christmas break, she went to the movies with the family, and was expecting to get popcorn like usual.  Because there was dessert awaiting everyone at home, she was asked to choose – popcorn now, or chocolate pie later.  She chose the pie (good choice if you ask me!).  The rest of the family ordered popcorn, and despite the temptation sitting right next to her, she never once complained or even asked for a bite.  Now THAT is control.  Despite her developmental challenges, I sometimes wonder if she may be more brilliant than all of us.

photo (6)Left to Right: Ande (the inspiration), Madeline, Brie, and ME!

Yoga:

I haven’t practiced yoga regularly in a very long time.  I’ve forgotten how wonderful it feels!  After 4 days I already feel more open, strong, and at ease with life.  I’ve also realized that my toes are in desperate need of a pedicure…you stare at your bare feet quite often during your practice.  🙂

Today, a winter storm is making its way through Central Illinois, and I am therefore stranded at Nick’s house in Metamora. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring any of my yoga gear, so I had to adapt!  As it turns out, you don’t have to wear super cute lululemon yoga pants to have a successful yoga practice.  Today I wore my new christmas tree pajama pants and I think I had my best practice to date!

Daily Actions:

Friday:  The 5-minute revolution – Sometimes, we feel a bit overwhelmed by making major life changes, but it doesn’t have to be daunting.  Even doing 5-minutes of something productive can make you feel great!  I decided on 5-minutes of meditation – paying attention and being with the present moment.  I actually did this while washing dishes, and it made the task quite pleasant.  Other ideas – write in your journal or do a mini-workout.

Saturday: Make a healthy snack to share – I prepared guacamole to eat while watching the play-offs with Nick.  Unfortunately, I was a bit heavy handed with the red onion, and did not end up sharing.  Maybe next time?

Sunday:  Clean one room of the house – I don’t know about you, but I HATE it when my living space is a mess.  It somehow makes me feel like I don’t have my life together.  Since I was stranded at Nick’s house, he got a clean kitchen out of the deal!

The Journey Begins

January – A Healthy Me
Day 1

Wow.  I seriously don’t remember the last time I did that many dishes in one day.  When you live by yourself, you only have one pan and one mixing bowl and one measuring cup (okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but still).  Nevertheless, I’m happy to say that I have accomplished day 1 of eating healthier foods that give me LIFE POWER!

Let me back up.  As I explained yesterday, I have created 12 intentions, one for each month of the year.  January is “A Healthy Me,’ because who doesn’t want to start the year with an intention to better the mind, body, and soul?  For the first 21 days of my journey, I will be following the quirky and fun Sadie Nardini on her 21-Day Yoga Body plan.  She has created a full meal plan, a unique yoga sequence, and daily actions to follow each day for the next 3 weeks.  To top it off she says things like “anyone who has vowed never to eat french fries ever again and then hungry hippoed an entire plate of the ones that his or her unsuspecting date ordered knows this to be true.”  HA, she had me giggling with that one.

Sadie believes in the 80/20 rule.  80% of the time, we should be invested in living, loving, eating, moving, thinking, and taking actions that nourish us and brings us more into balance.  The other 20% of the time, you might have a french fry or two, and that’s OKAY! Today, I strayed away from the french fries, and ate a peanut-butter, banana, and peach smoothie, greek yogurt with berries and flax seed, a quinoa veggie dish, and grilled mahimahi with apple-mango chutney.  Yeah, it was delish.

The yoga sequence of the day was all about balance, which really hit home for me.  When you start out on a new endeavor, it can seem so overwhelming, which is why so many of us quit before our program of choice has come to an end.  We, I, have to push past that feeling, because it isn’t until we are a little uncomfortable that true transformation occurs. There were so many times tonight after work where I wanted to just chill.  But I spent the last year of my life just chilling, and it really isn’t all that great.

I did something totally uncharacteristic of me, and I made up my own daily action rather than following Sadie’s.  My action: to complete a nagging task.  Those nagging tasks keep us from being productive and happy, which doesn’t lead to a very healthy life.  My nagging task:  un-decorate the Christmas Tree.  Not going to lie, it wasn’t fun.  At all.  The needles were extra prickly and painful.  But now it’s done, and I can do better things with my time tomorrow. 🙂

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Living a Life with Meaning

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Happy New Year!

The past year of my life was pleasant.  I went up in my first hot air balloon in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I explored Detroit, a city filled with hope in the midst of major decline.  I made friendships and I strengthened friendships.  I read a few amazing books- the kind you wish would never come to an end.  I celebrated 2 years with my boyfriend who makes me laugh and feel beautiful.   I spent quality time with my family for holidays and Sunday dinners.  I began a journey of self-discovery and growth.

Yet somehow, as the year came to an end, I couldn’t help but feel uninspired.  I spent too much time on the computer and not enough time enjoying each moment of this life.  Instead of relishing each passing minute, I found myself wishing the days and weeks would go by faster.  That is no way to live.

From now on, I want to try and live my life in a more mindful way.  I understand this will take practice and work, and in order to succeed, I know I need a plan (I am a planner after all!).  Thus, I have come up with 12 intentions, one for each month of the year:

January – A Healthy Me
February – Relationships
March – Culture
April – Organization
May – Knowledge
June – The Great Outdoors
July – Creating
August – Read More
September – Fashion
October – Socialize
November – Giving
December – Letting Go

At the end of each month I will create a list of daily actions for the coming month.  Things like take Mom out to dinner, go get a manicure, lay under the stars, or visit an exhibit at the Peoria Riverfront Museum.  My hope is that by creating daily experiences, my life will be fuller and more meaningful.  The blog is a way to hold me accountable.

I’m excited to start this journey, and look forward to having some of you with me along the way!