Happy New Year!

It’s the 1st. And that’s when resolutions begin. Fitness, health and organization are on my mind.

Wait.

What’s that, my dear calendar? It’s actually the 1st of August.  Oh.  Well, better late than never, right?

So yes, stress has been weighing down on me {mom of young kids} and so “other things” are weighing on me as well.  Hence, I am trying a few new things to focus more on my health.

• Reading.  Currently I’m enjoying a book about chrono-rhythms and timing of when to do things – not just what to do.  Fascinating.  The Power of When on Audible.  Amazing!

• Running.  I tried and fizzled on running a specific program for increasing speed/endurance.  I’m going simple this time.  Running a mile a day.  Makes a fun acronym in my bullet journal:  MAD!  Ha!  So it’s going to look like I was MAD every day this month.  Well, it better.

• Bullet Journal.  I have found something that works for me beautifully, merging creativity, list-making, to-do listing and journaling all into one.  I’m just finishing up my first journal.  And I’m hooked.

• Writing.  I need this creative outlet.  And it sometimes {most of the time} goes to the back burner behind the day to day grind.  I don’t know how I’m going to move it to, say, the front burner.  It’s a work in progress.  And progress I will take.

I have made it through the summer.  {limped through}  And now here we are at school time again.  Back to routine.  Back to homework.  I think that I need this.  So many things are swirling in my life – so much change right now that it’s hard to remember what the consistency of a schedule looks like.

One of those things is moving – staying in the same town, but moving to a new house.  One that fits our family so much better.  When my husband and I moved into this house, we were only dreaming of kids.  Now that there are three very active and loud kids in the house, we need space.  So space we have found!  But now we have to pack up this house.

• Packing.  Going through all the stuff that I was going to go through later…now.   I do not want to be moving stuff that I don’t want – but don’t know that I don’t want yet.  Lots of paper.  So many papers.

And now we are saying goodbye – after more than 10 years in this house.  Saying goodbye to a home is something that can break a heart, even if there is promise on the other side.  Saying goodbye to where I brought my kids home for the first time.  Saying goodbye to the memories made within.  Saying goodbye to the house that was a home.

Happy new year and happy school year!

Air masks

I”m getting to the age that I don’t want to be unfit. Because it might stay that way.  Not that I’m not unfit.  But I would love to start the “hill” feeling a little younger, I guess.

So recently my husband and I did the Whole30.  It was great to have a partner in crime – well a partner in abiding by the diet rules.  It was easier to make meals for 2 than just for one.  And then we were developing our tastes together.  Trying new ways of cooking.  Trying new foods!

I call it a diet, but really it is more of a food experiment.  It served me as an elimination diet – and a food cleansing.  In many ways.  I needed to change the way I saw food.   And it worked.  Eating meals.  Not needing to snack as much.  Eating purposefully.

And that was step one.

I want to be active.  I want to have fitness be an important part of my life.  And I want to be setting this example for my kids.  To do this, I’m going to be trying something new.  I am doing an indoor triathlon.  It’s inside so there is no open water or balancing on a bike.  But nevertheless, it’s still out of my comfort zone.

I’m not so much a swimmer.  Well, actually I’m learning to swim.  Getting into the pool is a brave act every time.  I’m having to learn to breathe in the water.  I really don’t know how to swim.  I can “not drown” but I can’t swim.

ckmqkoc

So… the kids.   They did not do the Whole30.  (they probably ate worse during it)  And they are a little young to do the tri training with me.  But it’s like being on an airplane.  Well at least the air mask part of it…

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Secure the air mask on yourself first.  Then put the air mask on your kids.  I can’t help them and change our ways as a family until I change mine.

And we have reached the end…

or the beginning…

Today – is DAY 30!  The last day of the Whole30.  And I thought it would be a struggle to get here.  Denying myself of my favorite foods – hello cereal and chocolate.  I read that by the time the Whole30 ended, I wouldn’t even want to binge on my favorites or go crazy with a bombardment of all my favorites.  But I doubted that.  Really? 

How could I not want to have my cereal for breakfast?  The beloved cereal that I have had pretty much my whole life for breakfast.  Every.  Day.

But here we are.  My last day of eggs for breakfast.  And I don’t see myself rushing back to my cereal.  Maybe I’ve just gotten in the habit of having something else?  Or maybe my body knows that I need that protein and fat for energy to start the day.  Instead of my sugar/carb laden cereal.  – it really wasn’t that bad of a breakfast cereal… it was a high-protein, low-sugar, high-fiber cereal.

But I’ve made my grocery list.  And I didn’t rush to put my cereal(s) and my almond milk back on my list.  I wonder what has happened?

What HAS happened?  I dread weighing myself tomorrow.  Not seeing the actual number.  But for the number that might not have changed in 30 days.  I feel better.  But that number.  Why?  Why does a number get me?  Maybe it will change.  Maybe it won’t.  But we shall see.

But whatever the number…

My goal was to feel better.  Eat better.  Cut out pointless sugar intake.  Be mindful of what I was eating.  Check.  On all of that.  So I think that this Whole30 thing has worked for me.  I have actually enjoyed it.  I have learned some lifelong cooking skills.  And I have learned to love some foods that I didn’t know that I even liked.  I have learned to truly taste food – and savor.

So on to the next 30 days.  Things might not change that much.  But I’m not going to be the “crazy Whole30 lady” – the one that can only have coffee when I go out to lunch.  But the choices I make will be different.

Cereal.  I might see you soon.  Maybe.  Maybe not.

I was going to say something “corny” here about grains… oh wait.  I did.  

There’s a whole in my heart…

…that can only be filled by

cereal?
chocolate?
I’ll even take oatmeal now!

I am doing the Whole30. It’s eating whole foods – nothing processed, no added sugar, no added fake sugar. A lot of “no” – but a lot of yes too!

So why, why do this? After being sick for almost a month, just feeling blah, feeling out of shape, and having a not-so-great relationship with food (read: comfort food, emotional eating) I figured it was time to do something.  And I think I might have a sugar sensitivity and might have a dairy problem.  I hope not, but we will see.

And if I’m going to do something, then let’s DO IT.

So I’m going for it.  I have said goodbye to my beloved cereal for a month. I am a sweets/carbs girl. And the food on this plan is very savory. I’m not so much a savory girl. But when trying to change how you see food… Savory it is.

Eggs for breakfast. Salad for lunch. Meat and veggies for dinner. It’s a little more involved than that.  *seeing the pile of dishes EVERY day proves that*

Lots of oil.  Lots of fat.  Yep.  Protein, fat and veggies at every meal.  It’s so hard at breakfast.  Gone is my easy yummy sugary bowl of cereal in the morning.

unknown kidding, not kidding

But alas – I’m getting used to it.  I’m past the halfway point of this.  And my need for snacking is waning.  And my desire for my pantry and fridge to continue to look different after this month is over is increasing.  I’m liking the way I feel.  I don’t feel this magical energy that some say they get from this.  But I don’t feel like a total slug.  And I feel like I’m more passionate about choosing what to put in my body.  And the colors on the plate are much more fun!

After the 30 days, there is a “reentry” process.  And it sounds about as complicated as a NASA reentry process.  You test out highly sensitive foods *gluten anyone?* and see how your body reacts.  So halfway to the reentry.

atmospheric_re-entry_demonstrator_-_artist_s_impressionSeeing atmo now!

Cat Nap

I have discovered the cat nap.

I know people that can nap in the afternoon. But to me that was an elusive magic trick.  I only nap if I am sick. Really sick.  If I fall asleep and it’s not bedtime, I know it’s bad.  Sick. Every. Time.

And I’ve always thought of naps being an hour or two.  I don’t have time for that.  And after that long, I just feel gross and sluggish.  As in like a slug.  Yuck.

Alas… I was reading something the other day about the power nap. A nap less than 30 minutes. Because it can increase energy and brain function. Yes, thank you, please. I need both of those.

Challenge accepted!  Let’s get this cat nap started!

cat-nap-name-address-phone-number

Ahh…the cat nap.
I wonder if I look this cute when napping
(answer: no) 

Then I found this cute little app for cat naps (complete with cute kitty cat), I knew I had to try the power nap.  You set it for 30 minutes or less.  It has white noise and a happy little alarm. It’s amazing.

**** What is my deal with cats recently. First the kitten me blogNow the cat nap. I am so not a cat person. Sure, I like them from a fluffy, cute animal point of view, but I really don’t want to live with one.  Weird.  Anyway. ****

So now I’m cat napping during the afternoon.  When that time comes when I come like a slug — needing coffee, staring into space and snacking uncontrollably — I slip away for just a few minutes.  It’s short enough that the kids don’t do anything super CRAZY.  And I wake up more alert and active and functioning like a real live person!  My cat nap is 15 minutes. About 5 minutes to relax and calm down, and then when the happy alarm sounds, I’ve been asleep.  Or at least mostly unconscious.

I may have found the secret to surviving the afternoon…

 

Running with scissors

So this year, as with many of the population, I’m setting resolutions.  But more than a “fizzle soon” resolution, it’s more of a time of setting goals for myself.  With the dawn of the new year, it’s time for a fresh start.  A natural place to take a look around and make some changes.

One of my main goals is to get fit.  Not really lose weight, but I think that will come.  More of just being healthy overall.  So I am starting that with what I put in and what I do (as far as exercise).

I’m taking a step by step journey into more natural beauty and health products.  I love the combination of creativity, science and health that this offers.

And I am trying to make better choices with my diet.  Still room for yummy stuff, though!  My main weakness is the mindless snacking out of the container.  Serving size?  What’s a serving size?  Oh, that.

So measuring out and just stopping to think is really my diet plan.  More of a real-life, real-time strategy.

And somehow last fall before my mindful resolutions started, I stopped drinking soda.  I will have one occasionally, but not 3-4 a day like I was doing.  How could this have stopped?  Well, it was not really my plan.  I had, of course, wanted to stop drinking soda – and I was I diet soda girl, more so for the less sugar than the less calories.  And then my soda of choice – I’m looking at you, Diet Pepsi – did it for me. They changed their formula.  And it was bad.  So much so that I quit.  Instantly.  And it wasn’t all in my head.  A fellow Diet Pepsi friend has also quit.  And she was a 5-6 canner a day.  Whoa.  If she said it was bad…   So soda – Goodbye.  I’m still drinking coffee – I need caffeine somehow!

I was reading a random magazine in a waiting room recently.  And saw an article about Tabata workouts.  Interesting.  The celeb was saying that she could do quick workouts with great results in her living room.  Uh huh.  Do you have 3 loud kids running around too?

I do love to run – I like to call myself a runner, because I enjoy it and can challenge myself to run faster, longer, harder.  But I’m not a “racer” – I will plug along, happy with my personal records and achievements.  It’s my sport of choice.  Mainly because it’s the only sport that does not require equipment.  Me + Equipment = Disaster that ends in injury (myself or others) or hysterical (how did you do that).

I ran in high school.  Not competitively on a team (at least not in high school).  But I ran for fun.  And some of you reading that…RUN for FUN?  Who is this crazy person?  My husband played tennis in high school.  And after taking me out to play a match or two, he understood the running/no equipment thing.

So, back to that Tabata.  I do love to run – but not having a treadmill at home, having LARGE dogs in our neighborhood with no fences, and me having a terrible fear of large dogs – my running takes place at the gym on the safe treadmill (my only exception for equipment).  And that takes a while.  A large chunk out of my already short day.

I had heard of HIIT workouts – but having only applied them to running.  And Tabata is a variation of that.  Working hard for a short amount of time.  You can do anything for 45 seconds.  Then a quick rest.  Like 10 seconds!  I found a few online and tried them – and now I’m hooked!  Now I have time to work in a workout, even if I don’t have time to go for a run.  I can do one that is 15 minutes, if that’s all I have.  And they are made to do in your living room.  Fast and fun!  And I’m even almost about to master my burpee.  Which I thought would never come…  But still, no equipment.

Make my own…

I am in the process of discovering coconut oil. I have read lots of articles like “101 uses for coconut oil” and “Can you believe you can do ___ with coconut oil?”  I’ve started using it in cooking – and now in other ways.  Those big lists are a little overwhelming.  So I’ve found that trying one new thing here and there is the best way… you know, moderation.

My first was toothpaste. I was having sensitive teeth – even with using a sensitive toothpaste. Cold was hurting so bad. Ugh. You better not make me give up my ice cream and my smoothies. So something had to be done. And so… an internet search.  I found several blogs and articles about how an all-natural toothpaste can help with sensitivity. Ok, I’ll give it a try.  My toothpaste is a mixture of coconut oil and baking soda – and a few drops of peppermint essential oil.  The first few times I used it…um, is this what it’s supposed to taste like?  And you have to get used to the non-foaming.  But the cleaning that coconut oil does is amazing.  It has antibacterial properties – so it’s killing germs.  And the slick, clean feeling it gives is pretty amazing.  It sounds weird to be brushing your teeth with oil.  But after a few weeks… no sensitive teeth!!!

My second endeavor was perfect for the winter. And for fun little gifts, too! Lip balm!  Equal parts coconut oil and beeswax – with a few Vitamin E drops.  And then my essential oil of choice.  I started with peppermint for a festive Christmas-time flavor.  Then I tried lavender.  I’m a sucker for lavender.  There are so many choices.  I’m enjoying using my simple and homemade lip balm!

My make my own discoveries are not just with coconut oil.  My new favorite make your own are packaged seasonings – like taco seasoning and dry onion soup mix.  Both have much more flavor than their packaged counterpart and have much more flexibility.  You make a batch and use what you need for each recipe.  You can find recipes for these online – my favorites come from a great blog at Don’t Waste the Crumbs.