I am Habit

Life is one big habit… It can change, evolve, morph– but when you step back and really look, we live by habits. They can be long term habits or short term. We all live by them.

Don’t get me started on how hard it is to change them… 21 days to establish a new one or break an old one! That takes dedication.

I have a habit of staying snuggled in bed, enjoying the cool fall air, and my warm blankets.

I develop new ones and retire old ones.  I have  had a habit called, the “just one” habit but it had to go. This habit was my,  just one cookie now, just one cookie later, just one more… You are smart, you get the picture and can see my waist line growing by the second. This is why the just one habit was retired.

Out with the old bad habit–in with the new healthy one. One habit I am in the process of making a staple in my life is Foundation Training. Have you heard of Foundation Training? Feel free to ask what it is. You (reader), “What’s Foundation Training?” I am so glad you asked! Foundation Training or FT is a workout that strengthens your lower back through a combination of yoga and squats. Sounds weird huh? I thought so too. In fact, the first couple of times I saw it, I thought to myself, “1. That does not look hard. 2. Does that really work? 3. I don’t really need to work on my lower back- or do I?”

Out of curiosity, I tried the FT video found on YouTube, check it out below!  I do the workout that is just shy of 12 minutes.  The first time I tried this training,  I learned a couple of quick hard lessons.

FT11. It may not look hard, but it IS most definitely challenging.
2. It really does work. My lower back had never really experienced that type of concentrated workout. I was expecting to be sore after a workout like that. BUT, I was super surprised to realize I was standing up straighter, and my lower back was not nearly as sore at the end of a workday.
3. Uhm YES dummy- your lower back needs work. In the words of Toby Keith, “I am not as good as I once was.”

Me really enjoying FT Time! –>

Honestly, it did not take me long to realize that I needed to add this healthy habit to my daily schedule. I can tell you that when I do FT in the morning before work, I feel 10 times better throughout the day. I have also noticed that my tennis game has improved. Double bonus. I have even gone to the park on my lunch and done FT. I hope no one was watching me

Matcha in a Mason Jar

Mmmmmmmm…. this is soooo good you HAVE to try it!

Recently, my body decided it did not like coffee, but I was still missing my morning drink. Tea just has not been cutting it.  Then I saw this recipe on facebook from Young & Raw  and my mornings seem complete again. I have adjusted this recipe a little from the original that Young & Raw posted.  I really liked it and wanted to share with you.  I did make a small change to the recipe.  For the original recipe: click here.

Ingredients:
photo 12 tsp. Matcha-  I chose organic

8 oz. Milk – I use Organic Almond Milk, unsweetened. (it’s only 30 calories for 8 ounces!) You can use any milk.

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp. Almond Extract

1 tbs. Maple Syrup (you can use more or less… my sweet tooth shows)

Stevia-  Use this after you try your drink if you need to sweeten it more

Okay, here is how you can whip up your own Matcha in a Mason Jar.

I toss all the ingredients in the blender and mix.

Once mixed, pour over ice and ENJOY!  If you need to sweeten it more, add stevia to taste.

You will have a awesome Iced Matcha in a Mason Jar!

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Life’s little bumps.

Do you ever have moments when you plan out your hour, day, month or year only to have God laugh and change them for you? Well, this morning was one of those mornings. Mac, from Mac’s Ez Lemonade’s daughter is getting married today and the family is attending the wedding. The wedding is a couple of hours from home. That’s not that a big deal. My trouble today is the dogs. My normal dog sitter is out of town today and I did not want to leave Teague (6 month old Great Dane) and Nash (11 yr old Great Dane) home overnight without a babysitter that could stay. So we decided that they could visit their buddy Riley, Mac’s Great Dane and tag along to the wedding. Well kind of tag along to the wedding, they will be hanging out at Mac’s house during the festivities.

My plans this morning were to get up, workout, make food, wash dogs and shower then leave for the wedding. Reality: woke up, no workout, went to bath dogs and I could only find Nash. Teague was MIA- for an hour and a half.

Nash got his bath… Teague? Well he was in the woods playing. We drove around the “neighborhood” for 40 mins calling his name with no luck. Finally the puppy came bounding out of the woods. After a quick bath, the puppy got tossed in the van and we are now on the way to the wedding.

I am actually proud of my family! While the puppy was MIA, we did not loose our cool or get grumpy with each other. Let’s be real, life is too short to be grumpy. So we might as well roll with the punches.

The dogs are happily camped out on the backseat of the. I think I need to go rescue Nash. IMG_0439.JPG

Have a great Sat. everyone. And remember when life hits you with little bumps just roll with it. Yes I am running later than I want to today, but everything will work out and the wedding will go on and we will be there to shuttle people in the party bus

Mac’s EZ Lemonade

Summer is quickly slipping away…  I wish it would stay a little longer.  I am going to miss it, are you?

Days are getting shorter and soon we will be bundling up in big sweaters and jeans. Temperatures are dropping and soon the leaves will be changing, this makes me pretty excited.

Don’t get me wrong, my favorite season EVER is Fall.  Normally,  I am looking forward to fall’s arrival, but this year Louiesummer seemed way too short.  I wish it would hang around a little longer.   Maybe it was because we had a record breaking winter for both temperature and snow accumulation.  Heck, we even had to plow the horse pasture!  That was a first for me, the drifts were so big that the babies could not climb over.  I was a little worried they would get stuck and we would have to launch a rescue mission. Check out a video of the horses playing in the snow on one of the coldest days last winter: Here.  It is pretty cute, but I am biased.

IMG_0199Anyway enough about last year’s monster winter, back to me not letting summer go–by sharing a favorite summer drink, “Mac’s, EZ Lemonade” with you.   This recipe is so quick and easy, you will wonder how you have been living without it! I know that I have asked myself that exact question more than once when making this lemonade recipe.

Before I share the recipe, I think I need to let you in on a secret and the secret ingredient…  as a rule, I make things from scrap, with whole ingredients and fresh, but…I am also all about quick and convenient!  So when a great family friend, Mac, showed me a bottle of squeezed organic lemons, I fell in <3.  I mean, it’s not hard to use the hand squeezer to make your own lemon juice.  It just seems to take me a few minutes that I never seem to have. I almost feel like I am cheating on life by getting my organic lemon juice from a bottle, but when life gets busy, you have to play smart.  Thanks to Mac, I can have one of my favorite drinks in no time at all now all year. Because he introduced me to the secret time saving ingredient: Italian Volcano’s Lemon Juice.

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Reasons that I LOVE this juice:

1. It’s ORGANIC!

2. 1 Jar contains 80 lemons worth of juice… do you know how long it would take to hand squeeze that many lemons?  I don’t even want to imagine how long it would take or how sore my arm would get.

3. It’s a great buy.  You can find a two-pack of these at Costco for $7.00!  Do you know how many glasses of lemonade you can make with a two-pack?  MANY!  More than I could count… okay maybe I would get distracted before counting them!

4. I don’t have to clean the hand squeezer.

5. It’s stored in glass… I will tell you about my love of glass soon.

6. It’s waiting for you in the fridge.

 I think you get the picture… I really <3 this product and you should fall for it too!

Now for the recipe: Mac’s EZ Lemonade!

There are only 3! Count them 3 Ingredients!  Simple right?

1. Italian Volcano – Lemon Juice
2. Water
3.  Stevia

Alright… here is how I make Mac’s EZ Lemonade!

Grab a jar, a glass, a water bottle… something that will hold liquid and fill it 2/3 full with water.
Here is my favorite jar… it’s such a fun blue.

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Bonus:  it’s 34 ounces , which means I am not running for refills every two minutes!
Double Bonus: It has a lid with a straw (not pictured) but makes spills less likely.
Yes, I am pretty much a big kid and need a lid with a fun straw!

Fill your cup with water.

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Pour some of your Italian Volcano juice into the water. This is where you will have to experiment to see how much you like.  If you want your drink really lemony, add more.  If you don’t want it as strong, then add less. To start,  I normally add just enough juice that my water turns cloudy, taste and then adjust my lemonade from there.

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Next grab your stevia and sweeten your drink. I have a sweet tooth so I tend to use 1-2 droppers full in a 34 ounce jar.  If you are not used to Stevia, start small and add 5-10 drops until your drink is sweet enough.

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Secret tip: you can always add more lemon and stevia, but you can’t always take it back.

Now that your drink is made, add ice, and enjoy!

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If you want to spice up your lemonade, you can always add some strawberries or raspberries.

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Italian Volcano’s Lemon Juice has revolutionized how I make lemonade!

What’s your favorite easy recipe or “cheat” healthy ingredient?

The day I gave up COFFEE!!!!

IMG_0041I have yet to pull my hair out or gone insane. Well anymore insane than normal. However, I am pretty sure hell might have actually froze over this week because I gave up coffee pretty much cold turkey.  I am the type of person that would live with a coffee mug in hand with plenty of coffee, a little almond milk and stevia.  I am pretty sure that my coffee mug was my adult security blanket. I have to admit that it’s been a little freeing not carrying it with me everywhere.

I am not even sure how my body decided it wanted to give up coffee, but it did!  All I know is that while doing the “Green Smoothie Girl’s” detox program last month, I was not refilling my coffee cup like normal. Some days I was not even finishing the original coffee I started with in the morning. During a visit, my boyfriend went old school mom on me and checked my temperature on my forehead when I dumped coffee out of my mug. Yes, it was the original coffee from the morning.  I promised him that I was okay. I filled up my mug the next morning and still could not finish it. This happened for about a week.

Then three days ago, I took one sip of my coffee on my way to work  and found my mug full under the backseat of my car when I got home later that night. Thank God the lid stayed closed. Although a car that smells like coffee would not be the worst thing in the world.

Friday, I did not even take my mug in with me. It sat empty and lonely in the car.

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I can tell you it’s really weird to wake up and not crave coffee.

I will be honest… I am not sure how long I will be 100% coffee free… I really enjoy the taste but I know that my coffee consumption was not healthy.

Here are a couple of reasons that I am okay with not drinking coffee.
* Coffee is acidic and I want to keep my body alkalized to help prevent cancer growing. So I will probably be coffee free for a while.
* Coffee stains your teeth… and a white smile is more attractive than a yellow smile.
* Coffee breath smells. Let’s be real… after drinking coffee we have all looked for gum or mouthwash!

Last night, before my sister’s college volleyball match I missed an iced coffee for a minute, but then realized, I was going to live without it.

So here is to living coffee free… or freer.

What’s one thing you want to give up?  I would love to hear what it is and what your game plan is to make it happen 🙂

Ps. I found the cup of coffee picture one day on Facebook and it sums up well how I have lived my life the last couple of years. I have had this pic saved on my computer for months.  Now I need to find that picture with the empty cup.

 

Why must you judged… me?

Why must you judged me? I don’t judge you…  I am a little confused why you feel the need to make faces at me, the comments behind my back,  or even to my face?  I choose to live my lifestyle, just like you choose to live yours.  Don’t you know that your snide comments and dirty looks can hurt even a tough professional?  Because, deep down,  I am just like every other human… I am vulnerable too!

Insert disclaimer here: Do me a favor and hang with me for this post… I just need to get this off my chest.

jar

I carry my water in glass jars.  Okay, I carry lots of water in my glass jars.  I tend to take about 100 ounces with me to work everyday. Believe me, people have noticed my glass jars that go everywhere with me.  They may be kind of hard to hide–because, let’s be real, a  34 ounce jar is enormous and not easily hidden in a meeting room.   Sometimes they are even filled with a green smoothie, then they are really hard to miss. I have been told that my green smoothies are great for keeping  my team from munching at work.   I guess not everyone thinks it’s normal to drink a green or sometimes deep purple drink.  I am so glad to help my team stay away from sugar filled snacks while I enjoy a super nutrition-packed smoothie.
The looks and comments that were made when I brought in a real knife to cut my apples… I remember them every time you ask to borrow it to cut your apples. Amazing how handy that real knife really is, huh?  (I hope I am not coming off too sassy.)   appleI find it very ironic how you tend to pick apart my life and my efforts to live healthy; while I don’t say a word to you about your choices.  Do you need to make the comments about my food  because I don’t go running to the vending machines for a snack? Instead, daily I bring my fruit, veggies, and my beloved peanut butter hummus. (If you are looking for the recipe… Click: HERE!)  Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I desperately want to break down and buy one of everything in the machine, but I don’t!  It’s my choice. It’s my life… my beliefs, and I want to live a healthy life. Don’t you realize that my healthy lifestyle has helped me fight Lyme’s Disease quickly this summer?  I have only missed a few days of work, like 4 full days and a couple of halves since being diagnosed. Most would have ended up on short term disability…  Instead, I am almost all the way back! Considering it affected my liver and heart functionality, I am feeling pretty blessed!  Seeing the fast results from the Lyme’s recovery only makes me want to continue my healthy lifestyle and improve it even more.

Why do you make faces when I use my toaster oven instead of the microwave?  Thanks to my brother, J, who gave me the oven for my birthday this summer.IMG_7344

(I must be a super nerd if I get excited over a toaster oven!)  Now I can get a warm meal at work without using my little crockpot, or heating it on my running engine.  engineJust kidding about the engine.  I do warm my food in a toaster oven because when you use a microwave it changes your food on a molecular level.  I don’t look at you cross-eyed when you use the microwave so do you really need to make the comments about how I warm my food?

 

Recently, I changed how I carry everything into work. Because of the weight of the jars and the amount of food I take with me,  I bought a small hiking backpack. One with a waistband, to take the weight off my shoulders…so that my back can get some relief.  I will show it to you later this week.    I am super excited about it, and It’s a super cool blue color!  It also makes my eyes pop!  In all seriousness, my back is really grateful for the new bag.

Okay, every so often I will say something about a co-worker’s cologne or perfume…  I am not perfect, if I were I would be sitting at Jesus’ right hand… but I am not.  So, I guess for now, you will have to put up with me.   I probably should be better and not make a comment. Note to self, no more perfume comments, even when I turn green and want to throw up.  This might be hard, because I have lived fragrance free for over 2 years now and perfumes can make me turn really cool shares of greeeeeen. We can talk about that later. I do use essential oils, and they smell so amazing. They are a great alternative to the chemical filled fragrances common in society.

I am different from your average person…  I know it.  I accept it. In a weird way, I enjoy it!  I hope that by walking what I talk people will start to realize that living a healthy lifestyle is not hard. It’s completely obtainable. You can eat organically without breaking the bank.  It’s why I started this blog to share with you, as a young professional, how easy it is to live a healthy lifestyle.  I used to think that junior high girls were the worst when it came to judgment against each other, but I am beginning to think that professionals are worse.  Maybe I am over-reacting. Maybe I am completely wrong.  All I know is that the comments that others make to me based on my lifestyle is getting old and won’t change my mind. Instead, they strengthen my resolve to continue to live an organic lifestyle.

 Don’t judge me for doing… because I don’t judge you.

judge

One Day

One day: I will have a clean house… like you can eat off the bathroom floor

One day: my car will be beyond spotless

One day: laundry will be completely caught up & put away.

One day: Dinner will be served with candles on the table.

One day: The garden will not have any weeds.

One day: I will have a balanced schedule. Get the proper amount of sleep, exercise, and work time.

One day: I will read more non-fiction

One day: Someone will sweep me off my feet and I will say yes to giving him my heart.

One day: I will sit by the pond and read a book with coffee in hand before work… watching the sunrise.

One day: I will enjoy all parts of my day.

One day, I promise to grow up… Stop… WAIT…. Hold on a minute! No I won’t– sorry. I can be an adult kid right?

Guess what one day is here.  I am tired of telling myself, “One day I will_________” So today is one day!

today

Today: I will work harder.

Today: Pick up more.

Today: Weed more.

Today: I will Find a way to challenge myself.

Today: I decide to NEVER grow up because being a big kid in life will keep my young in body, mind, spirit and heart.

What is your one day?

Just a little cursed…

My family has a little secret, okay maybe not a secret but a history, more like a pattern…

Almost every time my mother catches up on paperwork– like does not need to think about it for a while; pat herself on the back; award winning amount of paperwork completed we end up being challenged as a family.  I am not talking about little bumps in the road that as you pass them you barely notice the car of life shake,  or even the speed bumps that you have to slow down for.  I am talking about the speed moguls of Speed bumplife. I equate these speed bumps to the ones that  the city put on the access road during my senior year of high school. This was the city’s attempt to slow the speed racers trying to escape from school, and the super-speed racers trying to beat the morning bell to avoid detention by adding the biggest speed bumps to the only road that lead to the school.  These speed bumps are the king’s of speed bumps, you can ask my sister… after taking hitting one at 35mph in the truck she blew out a tire and broke the radiator.  My family has been cruising through life when mom catches up on the family business paperwork, the family paperwork and is all around ready to relax when we encounter the king of all life speed bumps like the one pictured right.

F TruckIn August 2001, she caught up on the paperwork in the middle of the night and mid-morning the next day our house caught on fire.  This was probably on the biggest bump we took as a family.  Because of that fire,  I learned a lot about insurance, organization, living without my belonging, construction projects and you guessed it,  fires.  I feel pretty lucky, no one was injured in our fire and one of my uncles by marriage was one of the responding firefighters.  Thanks TFD for being awesome that day and taking care of our family.
Photo of Toledo Fire Truck.

In the mid 1990’s, we tragically lost an office manager shortly after mom was caught up on everything.

I am pretty sure that in 2008, she had caught up on her paperwork just before we had a pipe break in a the kitchen and flood the house.

I am sure that there are old ones that I can’t remember, but those are the main ones that come to mind.

Mom’s paperwork curse struck again late last week.  This time, unfortunately, my brother received the brunt end.  At 5:15 pm on Friday, my dad received a phone call that my brother had broken his leg at a local wakeboarding park.  Well it was localfor my brother, but 2 hours away from our family homestead.  Needless to say, the family has rallied around my brother and his hurt leg, making sure that he is well taken care of right now and will continue as he heals.  The X-ray is pretty gnarly.  He not only broke his leg, but severely dislocated the ankle.  If you get queasy look away because here is a pic:

OUCH!
OUCH!

Okay it’s safe to look again!

Every time we are challenged with a new speed bump, we rally as a family.  Normally, this means making a game plan and tackling one little part until we are once again in control of our life.  To be 100% honest, every once in a while, I ask God why he feels our family can handle so much?  I know He only gives each of us only as much as we can handle, but that does not stop my from wondering why we get challenged this way. I am always looking to grow and be better… stretch myself, but sometimes the stretching that occurs because of the speed bumps hurts more than I would like.  But just because it hurts does not mean that I need get angry or bitter… I choose to grow through each situation.

Now you may be wondering how in the world would you ever notice a pattern of hitting speed moguls after paperwork was caught up on? To be honest, I am not sure.  We were sitting in church and mom leaned over and told us she had caught up on her paperwork the night before J broke his leg.

Have you noticed any patterns in your life like this?

Do you have any family superstitions?

How do you handle your family speed bumps?

I can tell you this we, as a family, have requested that she NEVER be caught up 100% again.  She can leave one piece of paper untouched! At minimum, she can warn us that she is up to date on everything!  That way, I can wrap myself in bubble wrap… or I can plan on arming myself with tools that will make me strong and ready to handle any challenge that comes my way!

Oh and I am arranging for a token stack of “paperwork” to stay on mom’s desk:Paper_Stacks_Desk

 

Chilling on the couch…

Today I hurt.

It’s not normal for me to share openly that I am not 100% okay. I am just stuck on the couch sick and feeling like a 5 year old that is cranky and crabby.

I shared with about a month ago that I was diagnosed with Lymes Disease earlier this summer and despite being religious with my supplements; a fanatic about the food I am eating; and making sure my body rests–today is a down day. Yesterday was a great day. Mentally I felt great, and physically was a pretty good day too. But this morning, it was like a switch flipped. My whole body aches, my head is pounding and staying awake is a challenge.

Idk about you, but when I hit a wall like today and I am extremely mentally fatigued, and the frustration of not getting better results faster makes me want to drown my sorrows with a chocolate, gooey brownie. Oh, or I could totally go for spinach pie from my favorite local Mediterranean restaurant, Zingo’s. Chinese food sounds pretty good right about now. BUT! (Yes it’s an all caps kind of BUT). If I break down and eat anything not on the meal plan I will not only undo all the good work that I have been building on but I will probably feel even worse.

So instead of breaking down and falling off my healthy bandwagon I will stay strong and if I eat, it will be foods
I am supposed to eat. I will continue with the liver detox program because I DO see results and I am winning overall. I guess I am pretty fortunate that leaving the couch today does not seem to be happening. This will definitely keep me away from Chinese food, chocolate brownie and Zingos… None of which are in my house at this time 🙂

When do you feel closest to giving up? What do you do to keep yourself away from temptations when you don’t feel good?  Currently, I am curled up on a couch counting my blessings and listening to the bugs chirp in the woods by the house.  I live in the county and its pretty cool to just sit and listen.

Cherish it before it’s gone.

It’s been almost a week since I last posted, YIKES!  It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in front of my computer wrapping up my birthday month. As I walked out on the barn to feed the horses, Nash walked next to me.  Since he was a puppy, he has pushed his head right under my left hand and we walk together.  As he is showing more signs of nearing the end, I cherish these times more and more.  The last week, I have slowed down and enjoyed things around the family more than usual. The baby sister just pulled out of the driveway to leave for college. It’s been fun to have her around for a week.   She brings a unique fun to life and makes cherishing the little moments worthwhile. Today I challenge you to take a minute, smell the roses and enjoy life… All aspects of yours!  I promise it will enrich you.  Look for the positive things, find ways to bless others because it’s good for you!