Okay, I started this post back in October when my team first moved our work location. Since then, I have moved 3 times to 3 new locations. Every time we moved, I would hear Beyoncé’s song: Irreplaceable, play in my head. Anyway, back to my October post with the song playing in the background ;P.
I am a little dumbfounded.
My life fits in one box.
Okay, one partially filled box.
Well, my work life fills part of a box. This box is actually pretty cool– I think it’s cool because it is what held my birthday present from my parents & brother. I will share that with you soon 😉 You see at work my team is homeless (kind of). At the end of last week, we packed up our work areas to move into a temporary home. I was a little shocked to find that after almost 2 years at my employer, all of my personal belonging fit into the box my convection oven arrived in.
What’s even better, most of the objects in my box are relate to food! I mean if you want to live a healthy, hippie lifestyle you can’t count on others to provide the essentials for you. BUT, I can help you build your own kit healthy, hippie kit of essentials. I really should come up with a cool name for my kit. Maybe you can help? I have by no means perfected the essential items that should be part of every health nut toolbox health-box and mine are always changing. I have slowly added items that make living a hippie life at work EASY! Yes you read that right… you can live a HEALTHY, HIPPIE Lifestyle and work in the corporate world!
I know this because I live a hippie life at work. The best part is, I absolutely LOVE my hippie life!
What’s in my box? Well, let me tell you.
Probably my favorite thing is my mini crockpot. Winter is the perfect time to enjoy soup and is there a better way to heat it up? All I have to do is toss the soup in the crockpot, plug it in and it does it’s thing. I do stop by and stir my soup to make sure it heats up evenly. I know, I know, winter is quickly disappearing, but I still love my crockpot.
How about my stash of spices and seasonings 🙂
I have 2 cute jars, one recycled from a previous purchase, that hold coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. I love having a coconut oil sitting near me. I will toss a sweet potato into my BIRTHDAY present (my cooker!) and once it’s all cooked, I grab the coconut oil and toss a dollop on, let it melt and enjoy my treat! The apple cider vinegar I keep around to make my quick salad dressing! I will give you a hint, keep mustard in the fridge and your stevia handy.
I also keep cumin, turmeric and cinnamon in box. They are great add-ons for almost any meal. One of my favorite treats is so simple. I cut up an apple and sprinkle cinnamon on it and enjoy! Yummy… hmmm I am getting hungry, I wonder if I have any apples handy 😉
Alright, we are getting to the end of my box. The last thing I want to share with you today, is my duck! It’s a slingshot that quacks! I am learning that relaxing and not taking myself too seriously is a good thing.
What’s do you keep on your desk for a stress reliever and to encourage you to have fun and enjoy your job & life?
Do you have a stash of healthy things at work? What’s in yours? I would <3 to hear!
I started today pretty excited & happy. I found a recipe from Young & Raw on facebook recently that I wanted to try. Iced Green Matcha…. mmm yummy! I like hot Matcha; so I thought that I would try it cold. Plus, since I am no longer drinking coffee– I was missing a morning drink. So I thought I would give this drink a try.
I mixed up the recipe quickly, (It’s fast & easy) ,tossed it in my mason jar, and ran out the door to work.
During my 45 minute commute to work, I sipped on my drink– enjoying the fun color. I would say about halfway to work, I realized I had to make an important decision regarding my Matcha. Down the rest of my drink, so my co-workers would not have to see my green drink or proudly rock the Matcha in a Mason Jar. I really wanted to sip on my drink and enjoy it most of the morning. While I debated my predicament, I realized that if I carried my mason jar in, I was sure to get comments and questions. Perfect! I get to tell people about my awesome healthy drink, my coworkers already think I am nutty! So why not give people something to talk about and enjoy my crazy healthy drink!
As I approached work, I wondered if my drink was in a Starbucks cup or a cup from a local coffee shop, would they even think twice about it being green? Probably not. But make your drink at home, put it in a mason jar, and you will have their attention. I mean, they have a drink that looks a lot like mine. Check it out straight from their site: Starbucks Iced Green Tea Photo from http://so–hi.blogspot.com/2013/05/diy-starbucks-iced-green-tea-latte.html
My decision was made- take it in with me and enjoy it. Heck it looks a lot like the Starbucks version as is.
I was ready to have some fun! The way I look at it, if people are noticing my green drink– then I can tell them about it. If I can share, people may start to get interested in living a healthier life. Once someone is interested and is curious, then they might start making an attempt to living a cleaner lifestyle. Once you start living a cleaner lifestyle, then you realize that it is not hard and might start cleaning up more in their lives. I love watching someone become interested in nutrition and health! I am not sure that there is much more that makes me happy.
Anyway, back to this morning. I pulled into my work, popped my backpack on (which I still owe you a post about 😉 ) and off I went into the building. I decided to swing through the cafeteria to top off the ice in my drink. In the cafeteria there were a couple of coworkers and, sure enough, we struck up a conversation about my green drink…………………in a mason jar.
This was great! I had the opportunity to share with them 2 healthy ideas! We talked for a minute about how I drink out of glass and why it’s healthy for you AND my healthy green matcha!
Mission accomplished… I was able to share my green drink recipe with another 4 people before I left the cafeteria and more throughout the day. Overall, I think personally getting the chance to talk with 10 people about my green drink in one day is pretty awesome. So don’t be afraid to make your own pretty packages or to carry them in public. You never know when you influence someone to change their life.
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.
1. 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
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.
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.) I 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.
(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. Just 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.
I guess better late than never! Sorry guys I did not get this to you yesterday… I am making up for it today with Day 17 and 18’s post.
Who said a food processor is just for processing food? Not me! I have used mine for a few different things. One of which is making my favorite natural homemade product: LAUNDRY DETERGENT. I mean, I am a pretty big nerd and hippie to get excited about homemade laundry detergent! I am okay with it.
Reasons I love homemade detergent:
It’s healthy… Free of the bad chemicals in commercially processed detergent.
It’s a great way to get your food processor clean.
You can make it smell pretty with essential oils. If you leave the majority unscented in a big box then you can change the scent at any point in time.
Making detergent is so easy, especially with a food processor. A couple of years ago, many of my friends were posting online about making their own laundry detergent. All you have to do is a quick google search to find just how popular making your own detergent is. (Note, below are a couple of links to other sites that highlight how easy it is to make your own detergent.) It was about the same time that I was trying to cut out fragrances that were not essential oil based, so I thought why not try making my own detergent. You only need a couple of ingredients and a food processor to make it easier on yourself. You can do it by hand, but the processor makes breaking up the bar of soap much easier.
* 1 cup of Borax
* 1 cup of Washing Soda * 1 bar of castile soap – you can buy a scented version but if you want to scent your soap by essential oils buy the plain bar
Here is how I make detergent in a food processor. I would love it if you tried it too!
Cut bar of Castile soap into 1 inch and place in the food processor.
Note: if you do not have a food processor, you will need to grate the bar of soap by hand.
Pulse the food processor to start. Eventually, I turn the food processor on until the soap is close to a powdered consistency.
Add the borax and castile soap. Mix until all ingredients are blended together.
Add several drops of essential oil and pulse. I like lavender, or cedar wood, or a lemon scent. Be creative at this point, add oils that you love smelling!
Place your homemade detergent in a container and wash your food processor! It should it should be super clean, smell amazing, and ready for your next “food” processing adventure.
I hope you have fun taking on this new adventure and try making your own, HEALTHY, smell good, cheap laundry detergent soon!
Google search for homemade detergents: http://wellnessmama.com/462/homemade-laundry-detergent/ http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-laundry-detergent-soap/ http://thehumbledhomemaker.com/2013/05/homemade-laundry-detergents.html
Today’s theme is vulnerable, most people feel vulnerable when you see them without makeup. I have a friend that won’t answer the phone without putting on her makeup. Others feel exposed in sweat pants, or with out of control hair. I am not most people… most days you can catch me without makeup, in sweats during or after a workout and my hair lives out of control if I don’t straighten it. Today, I want to be vulnerable with you… I am going to let you into a personal look at a challenging time in my life.
Recently, I dropped into a co-workers office to share some news and her response to my news was “I guess Skinny does not mean healthy…”
That was a statement I had to choke down the other day after sharing with my co-worker that I have Lyme’s Disease. I love my co-worker but that statement hit me like a ton of bricks… I mean, the word disease is not really all warm and fluffy! It’s definitely not a word that I want to use to describe a time in my life. Hey, I don’t even want to admit that I have a disease. I felt like I had sewn a scarlet A on my chest. No matter how hard I tried to deny it, my body would not let me reject this new title. But when I let that thought settle, I realized it was true. Skinny does not mean healthy. I am not the skinniest girl alive or even the skinniest I have ever been, but I am not my healthiest either. I am however fighting a new, unexpected battle.
Let me back up a little here, I was excited for this summer to be full of great workouts, healthy food, lots of wakeboarding, riding the horses, hanging out with friends, open water swims (I had my eye on 3 more states for the summer) and a GREAT tennis season. What I did not expect was to put all of this on hold to let my body heal. Several weeks ago, I was debating whether or not to play a tennis match. I had strained my elbow, and it was feeling “iffy” at the time. Then,x there was the pesky rash that was extending down my arm. But I am tough—I decided to play.
Warming up, my arm felt pretty good. I had applied Kineseo tape to my arm to help support it. I started to notice that I was just a little bit of off my normal game. Everyone goes through days where you just don’t play your best, but it’s my job to figure out a way to pull myself together and play well. I could not quite place what was wrong. I chalked it up to the heat, drank some more water and stepped onto the court. Mentally, I was feeling pretty good. The court I was playing on and I had some good mojo going from the previous season. This is the court that I had beaten a very strong player on last year in a tough mental match; 6-4, 6-4. Generally, scores like that reflect just a slight mental edge. We started our match, and no matter what I tried I felt like the normal me had checked out. Replaced by a robot.
As the match progressed, I had trouble reading the ball (knowing where it was going when my opponent hit it). I felt like my legs weighed 100lbs. each. I knew what the score was, but when I called it out, different numbers came out of my mouth. I was starting to get concerned. On change-over (every two games we switch which side of the court we play on), I ate most of an apple and a couple of prunes; hoping my blood sugar was low and that the normal me would soon return. No such luck. My vision did not return, and I was beginning to get scared because I did not understand what was going on. I got really concerned when I tossed the ball and forgot what I was supposed to do. The match was over in what seemed like a blink of an eye. I crawled off the court and called for my family to come pick me up. I was afraid to try to drive, thinking that I would not be able to control the car.
As I waited for a ride, I started to panic and called a friend to keep me calm until the cavalry arrived. Thankfully, my dad and brother were around the corner. My brother packed my bag that I left open on the court and carried it out to the car. On the drive home, I reached out to several Naturopathic doctors asking for things I could do to help me feel better. Once home, I showered; I took a handful of vitamin C; and I curled up in bed.
The next day was spent working with a great team, figuring out what all was going on in my body. By mid-day the Naturopaths felt pretty certain it was Lymes. In the middle of that pesky rash, we saw the bullet hole (the bite mark). All I could think, SERIOUSLY…I… have Lymes? And oh wait it gets better! My digestive track was not absorbing the proper nutrients I was putting in it; my heart and liver were stressed! Time to make a game plan to get better. In case you are not familiar with Lymes, it is a disease that one can get from ticks or mosquitos.
According to WebMD the symptoms of Lymes include: “In the early stages of Lyme disease, you may experience flu-like symptoms that can include a stiff neck, chills, fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, and joint pain. You also may experience a large, expanding skin rash around the area of the tick bite. In more advanced disease, nerve problems and arthritis, especially in the knees, may occur. […]Heart problems. Fewer than one out of 10 Lyme disease patients develops heart problems[..]Other symptoms. and severe fatigue, although none of these problems is likely to appear without other Lyme disease symptoms being present.”
I left the clinic armed with supplements to take and an eating plan to stick to. I feel like standing on the rooftop, and telling everyone that I am so grateful to have a great support system of people in my life that will help dig in and get my body back to functioning at its best.
This past month has pushed me to grow more than I thought possible. One of the scariest and biggest symptoms that I have been experiencing is mental fogginess. Strike that, it’s more than mental fogginess. There have been times over the last month that I could not get the words from my brain to come out of my mouth. Or, I have been known to say things that don’t make sense. These are the moments that can scar the crap out of anyone! These moments have earned me a new nickname at work, “Lymie.” One day, I was reviewing my PowerPoint slides & presentation that I was to deliver the next day to the international finance department for my company with my boss. I was staring at the screen and unable to deliver my well prepared speech. A little more than a scary feeling… My boss and I made a game plan, just in case I was not feeling well the next day; I went home for extra sleep. God was awesome, the next day I had a mentally clear day and presented my speech without incident.
No one expects to be sidelined. I certainly was not expecting my summer to be a slower paced summer. I have stuck to the game plan that docs laid out that day. I have been good with my supplements, great with my eating, and have made more than a conscious effort to take care of my body so it can heal. It’s been over a month since the tennis match night and I am finally beginning to work out again. I even was able take a run on the wakeboard…Yay! If all goes well, I will play my first match in 5+ weeks on Thursday.
Thank you for letting me be vulnerable with you. I may not be standing in front of you without make up on, but to me letting you see a little bit of my crazy month is a lot more intimidating.
I have a confession to make. I know we are not great friends yet, but soon we will be and I need to share this with you. Recently, I realized I fell off the healthy eating bandwagon. I was going through the motions but not being as true to my healthy eating as normal. Don’t get me wrong, I was still mostly on the wagon, but I had fallen off enough to notice a change in my body, mood, and energy level. Like normal, I still bought everything organic, ate mostly un-processed food but soon my evil twin, “The Queen of Just One” reappeared. Just one cookie because my co-worker made them, just one piece of pizza, just one brownie. I mean who can pass up a gooey brownie filled with more chocolate?
Not ME, it that was a sure thing. The sad thing is, everything that I ate could be made using healthy ingredients but since I was not making the sweets I was eating, they were made with things like bleached flour and regular table sugar. After realizing just how far off my bandwagon I was, I made the decision to cut out all processed foods, sugars and starches. Break my body of its quickly forming sugar habit, more like addiction and get back on my normal bandwagon.
Normally, I do really well with my eating until I get to THAT busy point. You know the one… when you can no longer tell if the pile of cloths is clean or dirty sitting on your dresser without smelling it. (sometimes even then it’s your best guess.) Somehow my barn looks like a tornado ripped through it and don’t ask to ride in my car because I am not sure where you will sit… on or next to the workout bag, the tennis bag, groceries, horse tack or swimming bag. BUT the worst part for me is when I start hiding things from myself. I don’t remember hitting my final tipping point recently, but I guess I did. I was eating out more than I like to out of necessity. I was beginning to live to eat instead of eating to live, which is not normal for me. Suddenly my clothes were not fitting how they should, my energy level was low, my workouts suffered and I was beginning to feel crummy. It was time to get serious again. The sugar had to go!
I renewed my healthy eating habit and enlisted my mom to get serious again with me. No more just ones allowed. The first few weeks of eating clean were a little rough as I experienced what I would call withdrawal symptoms from sugar. I am several weeks into eating clean again and the sugar withdrawal is finally gone. YAY! I am not craving or wishing for a brownie to magically appear within reach. The cravings hung around for way too long. You see, I did not consistently eat the bad stuff but enough that my body got used to it.
I am strong individual but on my brother’s birthday, I almost broke down for cake, ice cream and cupcakes all within an hour…
That night I got home later than normal and I was a little tired and a little more than hungry. When I walked in the door, my senses were assaulted by the amazing smell of my favorite local bakery’s signature cake. Then there were cherry fritters that my boss brought to work with him on National Donut Day. It seemed like every time I turn around my senses were bombarded by sweet treats tempting me to set aside my newly reestablished resolve. The first week that I had gotten back on my bandwagon, when people offered me something that I am not eating anymore my response was, “I can’t.” Without fail they would reply, “Sure you can” and they were right, I could. I could easily pop a piece of donut into my mouth or grab a piece of cake and sneak in my room, hide and eat it without anyone being the wiser. Instead I decided that I would out smart my bodies cravings… that’s when I developed my new line of defense. So far this new line of defense has been GREAT!
So let me share it with you.
“Thank you but I don’t ___________.”
You can say this to your tempting co-worker or to yourself when things smell amazing and the best part that I have found is that they don’t argue anymore. I have even found myself telling, “Thank you but I don’t eat __________” has helped me. I feel like I am changing my mindset every time I tell myself, Thank you but I don’t.
This simple sentence has become almost like a life changing motto for me.
I have done this in the past that is remove all sugar and processed foods from my life. I have never struggled with it like this time. This experience has been challenging for sure. Remember that birthday cake from my favorite bakery? Well I told it more than once, “Thanks but I don’t eat things like you anymore.” I was able to walk away from it… I did not even take a little bit of frosting and that is my favorite part. The closest I got to that enemy was to take a pic of the last piece. Normally, I would have snuck in a whole bunch of taste tests of the frosting and enjoyed a piece or two of the actual cake. Not this time! I left it for my brother and his buddies to enjoy.
I should say I have two more confessions: wait for it. One: My birthday is coming up soon! Two: I <3 my sweets! Since mom joined me back on the healthy bandwagon and also gave up sugars and renewed her resolve to eat right we both agreed that no matter what, we would not have a cake from my favorite bakery for my birthday. We normally celebrate my anniversary of me getting better with age over 4th of July. Instead of the normal cake, we discussed a few ideas of what I wanted for my “birthday cake.” Remember that I said most sweet deserts can be made as a healthy alternative? Well last summer we discovered Chef AJ. She has the most amazing chocolate cake with a raspberry glaze. mmmmm… craving it now. I wish I had pictures of the last one we made. It was scrumptious! I think it even beats the traditional cake from our local bakery… sorry local bakery! This cake will be showing up at our celebration. I wish I had a picture of this for you. I guess I will have to let you know how it all turns out after the celebration. I am choosing that from now on, the sweets I do eat need to be the healthy alternatives.
Since I have adopted my, “Thank you but I don’t eat that _________” motto. I am walking away from the foods that I should have never started to eat again in the first place. I am excited to be eating my normal healthy foods! Here is a picture of a sweet potato “cheesy” broccoli quinoa bake! Back to the foods that I love. My clothes are fitting better again; my energy level is increasing; I am happier and I am eating to live rather than living to eat. So dear friends if you have recently fallen off your healthy bandwagon or just want to get on a healthy bandwagon, please feel free to join my on mine! There is plenty of room on this bandwagon. In the future, I will be sharing my secrets, favorite recipes, tips and tricks of how I stay on my bandwagon. P.S. we did not talk about this, I am sure we will in the future, but it’s okay to fall off your bandwagon… AS LONG AS, you pick yourself up and get back on!