You know, I could actually plan out my blog posts, like I used to…something like every Friday write my “grateful” posts. But that never felt right and let’s be honest, that sort of planning actually works against my whole “Be Here Now” plan. I’m over it. I’m going to write what I want to write, when I want to write. For those that are regular readers I’m sure you’ve already picked up on this transition since I used to post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which is no longer happening.
Although I’ve always had control over my blog, (hello, I write it.) taking this thought and actually living it has felt empowering. I also have to say that my blogging voice is coming through much easier . My posts may not flow all that well (not that they ever did), but lately I’ve found that when I sit down to type there’s a much easier flow from my brains thoughts to keyboard.
So, with all that being said, it’s been several weeks since I’ve posted about things that I am grateful for I figured it’s time to share.
Mobile banking. Since we have direct deposit that last time we stopped at our bank was months ago. Direct deposit is awesome given that we bank with a credit union and there aren’t locations on every street corner. I recently received a check in the mail to be deposited but kept putting off depositing it because it wasn’t convenient to make my way over to our bank. However, I just happened to check if they offered mobile deposits, like Bank of America shows in their commercials, and sure enough they do! I simply downloaded the app, took a few photos, submitted, and within 24 hours the deposit was accepted. Now, I gotta admit, the whole thought is a bit scary but given that it’s not something I’d be doing regularly it’s a rad option to have.
Swanson Vitamins. After mobile banking and now reading this next one you may think I’m lazy. I swear, I’m not. It’s all about convenience! Coming from a small town I often had to order vegan products to avoid making hour-long trips to Whole Foods and such. Living in Phoenix has made things a lot easier, but heading to the store or mall drives me bonkers (can you believe D loves shopping way more than me?). So from clothes, food, and other odds and ends, I’m all about online shopping. The friendly folks at Swanson Vitamins contacted me and asked to see if I’d like to check out their products and services. Free goodies for trying them out? Why not? I must admit I was pretty blown away not only by the prices (the vitamins I normally order on Amazon are actually cheaper from Swanson) but they have so much more than just vitamins. I was thrilled I could purchase so many of the things I regularly use all from one source.
I also decided to order some Justin’s Nut Butter, which I had never tried. That may or may not have been a good idea. I’ll let you decide.
Running mojo. After several months off of running it may be back. I attribute this to listening to my body, taking a break from my daily runs, and adding in yoga. As you know over the past several weeks I’ve added in Zumba and Total Body classes to the mix. I have slowly pieced together all of this cross-training and am back to working out on a daily basis. I am no longer running everyday (like I used to), but I still workout everyday, with the exception of rest days, and still manage to practice yoga. It feels good and more importantly I’m having fun.
Amande Yogurt. I was never a big fan of yogurt prior to going vegan so it wasn’t something I missed. Several months ago I just so happened to see yogurt at Sprouts Farm Market that was made of almond milk. I was intrigued and grabbed the the coconut flavor. Delicious! I have since tried their other flavors, which are tasty as well, but coconut wins hands down. Unfortunately the closest Sprouts doesn’t carry the coconut flavor nor do they carry the large containers (hence, why David went on the hunt). I have since found the flavor and size at Whole Foods, but it takes a bit of a drive, so I stock up whenever I’m in the area.
Grateful Jar. Speaking of gratefuls. Just like many people we chose to start a Grateful Jar at the beginning of the year. Although I’m not great at putting something in each day I usually make up for it the rest of the days and the jar is slowly filling up. I look forward to reading them at the end of the year. Should be fun!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Last week I stated that I was going to begin blogging with no set plan but promised to still write about products, services, and events that I thought were worth sharing with ya’ll. Today is one such day.
If you remember back to October I had the fantastic opportunity to attend Inspiration and Perspiration in Las Vegas. Not only was I able to meet and get to know the fellow attendees but I was able to spend some time getting to know the presenters: Danny J, Bex, and Angie. The cool thing about the experience was that although the presenters were there to present ideas and instill wisdom, they were still accessible. Since then I have gotten to know them all a bit better and am grateful to call them my friends. When Angie approached me about checking out a new program she recently launched, called Your Body Project, I jumped at the chance.
I have since been digging through Your Body Project to see what it all has to offer and must say I am beyond impressed. Angie breaks down the 16 week program into 4 sections or phases: Enjoy Exercise, Peace With Food, Love Your Body, and Manage Stress. Although these topics sound basic I know most anyone, myself included, could benefit from digging a little deeper into these parts of our lives. The project isn’t about creating a healthy woman solely on the outside, but the inside too.
From assignments, questionnaires, and weekly Skpe or phone call sessions, the entire experience is interactive. Not only do participants interact with Angie, but an invite is extended to everyone to join in a private community of fellow participants on Facebook. This provides a safe zone to speak about personal experiences throughout the project. In addition to one-on-one interaction, Angie also provides tasty recipes, videos that show proper fitness techniques (specifically lifting), and mini-circuit workouts to help you along the journey.
Having met Angie and having the opportunity to delve into her program I have no doubt in my mind that those that participate in the Your Body Project will have life altering experiences. Angie is passionate about health and fitness and is sure to provide direction and encouragement to those that need a little boost in their life. If you’re interested in speaking to Angie she can easily be found on her site, Facebook, or Twitter. I encourage you to contact her….You won’t be disappointed.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
You may remember me saying this a few posts ago….
“My life has always been structured. It wasn’t until recently that I realized my life has been so structured that in the end it may be more crippling than helpful.”
For as long as I can remember I’ve dealt with high anxiety…even as a child. I didn’t do well outside of my comfort zone. When any change occurred, large or small, I thought my world was crumbling. I cried most days prior to going to school. I didn’t want to leave my mom. I didn’t want to enter the world of the unknown. I worried myself sick, literally. By 3rd grade I was diagnosed with stomach ulcers and was put on stomach protectant medication.
It should come as no surprise that due to my anxiety OCD-like tendencies soon followed. Funny thing, no one in my family knew about my tendencies until just a few years ago since I kept them hidden. My OCD activities allowed me to feel like I was in control of something. As I grew older I identified that I didn’t really have any control, just displaced energy. Even still, I kept on since it made me feel better.
Although I had a pretty normal high school experience I learned to keep my symptoms at bay by becoming a perfectionist when it came to school work. That straight A student that read every book assigned and went to bed at 9pm on school nights? Yep, that was me. Did I have an enjoyable high school experience? Yes. But if I knew then what I know now, things would’ve been different.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d get married at the age of 18 and move half way across the country….away from my comfort zone. I guess that’s what love will do to you. I also think it was a way for me to say, “Eff you! You can’t hold me back!” to my anxiety.
Over the next few years I didn’t have strong anxiety or OCD issues. After D’s enlistment in the Marine Corps ended we returned to our hometown, settled into our routines, and my issues returned. I dabbled in trying anti-depressants and found they weren’t for me and soon took up running to help ease my symptoms. At that time I began looking at my lifestyle and everything I put into my body.
After my recent trip to the Grand Canyon not only did I see that the world has so much to offer but I also met people that were out their living their dreams….going after what they want. It inspired me and I knew that it was time for us to do the same.
There’s no way I could pull the wool over my mom’s eyes. When we told her we were moving one of the first things out of her mouth was, “What are you running from?” At that time I thought she was nuts and I said, “nothing.”
But she was right. Yes, we are going after our dreams, but I’m also running from something…my anxiety. That “comfort” that so many people seek I’ve learned to try and avoid. Settling = comfort = routines = that much harder for me deal with when my world is flipped upside down. In other words, if I stay on the move, calling the shots, I feel I have the upper hand on my anxiety.
I don’t feel that we’ll be “settling” anywhere soon, but this time around I don’t plan to put a band-aid over my anxiety like I have done in the past. I have absolutely no idea what caused my anxiety at such a young age which in turn created my learned behavior and coping mechanisms. What I do know is that I’m the most open I’ve ever been to change and letting the universe do it’s work….something I’ve never allowed to happen.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
If you’ve read my Inspiration & Perspiration Day 1 and Day 2 recaps you’ve seen that I’ve hinted about some “deep” posts that I’d be writing soon. This would be the beginning of those posts. I’m sure there will be some regular readers that are not interested in these writings and I may lose readership. That’s ok.
The entire experience was eye-opening, challenged my thinking, and whacked me across the head as a wake up call. I’m still trying to figuring out how to put into words the thought processes that are going through my brain. It’s as though a domino effect as occurred with just one idea spurring another, then another, and another. My mind is overly active as it continues to have light bulb moments, which then in turn result in inquisitive questions that challenge my thinking and beliefs.
I began my blog back in 2006 as a means of sharing our lives with family members. Since then it has obviously transformed into something much different. As with life, I’ve found that my blog topics and themes tend to go in phases. Sometimes I talk about veganism. Other times it’s training. The thing is, I’ve never been clear as to what direction my blog was going in. I’m still not. I guess that would be a metaphor for my life right now.
I’m working on getting Blissed In
It’s no surprise that I’m a very driven, goal-oriented person. Throughout my life I’ve always had clear visions of short-term and long-term goals. I knew what I wanted and pretty well how to get to where I wanted to be. I had no doubt in my mind that I would reach what I set out to do. My life has always been structured. It wasn’t until recently that I realized my life has been so structured that in the end it may be more crippling than helpful. (more on this in the future)
Moving to Arizona was just one way for me to step outside of my comfort zone….away from structure. Unlike our previous moves, we were moving to a location where we had no real control on what was going to happen. Scary? Yes. High anxiety? Yes! Extreme? Some people may say so. Has it been challenging? You wouldn’t believe how challenging it’s been.
But I’m right where I need to be. For the first time in my life I have no idea what the future holds. Heck, right now I don’t even have clear short-term or long-term goals. I’m doing my best to figure it out along the way.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
High five to everyone that entered my Mizuno Running shoe giveaway. I will be contacting the winners this weekend so be on the lookout!
Like 99.9% of women I have issues with the scale.
My sister and I are separated by two years. I’m the youngest. Growing up I was always the “chunky” sister and most often people thought I was older due to this. I wasn’t in denial of my weight, I just accepted that I was the chunky one. I was an active child, always on the go, but will readily admit that I had poor eating habits and was quite stubborn. My mom and dad beat their heads against the wall when it came to feeding me. I went through the “only peanut butter and jelly stage” followed by the “only hot dog stage”. No matter what they tried I wouldn’t budge. It’s really no surprise that I was diagnosed with high cholesterol at a young age.
It was then that I started reading packaging labels on all foods. As I entered the 7th grade my baby fat started to fall off. I attribute this to the controlled diet I had while spending a month in the hospital when I fractured my femur and my body working overdrive to heal itself.
Although thinner, I was still the larger sister but didn’t pay much attention to what I was eating and really had no worries. As I went through high school and on into college I still didn’t worry about my weight. When I married D in 2002 I weighed 115 pounds without even trying.
Like so many, within a year of marriage I started packing on pounds. Within 3 years time I gained 20 pounds. D also struggled with his weight.
Happiest place on Earth. Also, us at our unhealthiest.
In 2005 I started to unhealthily limit my carbohydrates and lost some weight. By 2007 I started running. Initially I didn’t start running to necessarily lose weight but to be healthier. However, once I started to see the weight melt off I started paying attention to what I was eating. I didn’t count calories per se but I limited my food intake and I’d weigh myself 10 or so times a day. That’s not a typo. It was at this time that I became obsessed with the scale. With my obsessive tendencies this is no surprise. In no way did I have a eating disorder but I did have issues.
Soon enough I was down to my wedding weight and yet I never felt thin or fit. At that time I flirted with the idea of going vegetarian and decided to give it a go. This had nothing to do with my weight. Unfortunately complex carbohydrates tend to be a staple for vegetarians, specifically those just starting out, and I gained a little weight. Not tremendous, but some. After more research I decided to try living a low fat raw vegan lifestyle in hopes of reducing my weight gain and living the healthiest lifestyle I could attain. I gave up the scale without looking back.
Initially I did fantastic and felt great. I didn’t lose weight but I wasn’t gaining. However, as I stated previously, it was tough for me to maintain. I continued on with the lifestyle even if I could only maintain it part time. Fast forward to now. I’ve noticed my body changing and not for the better. I’ve decently maintained my running and activities so I can only guess this is from my body going into a tailspin trying to figure out what and how much I’m feeding myself (remember, low fat raw veganism calls for large amounts of calories).
I’ve avoided the scale knowing that it could open a can of worms for me…and then something occurred last week.
Long story short I had to step on the scale last week at work and I was not happy with the number. I knew I wouldn’t be. What’s more frustrating for me is that I tout the idea that “It’s not about the number but if the pants fit” and here I am focusing on a number. But I gotta be honest with myself, my pants aren’t fitting as well as they should.
Do I love low fat raw veganism? Yes, I love it. The problem is I can’t be 100% and obviously that’s causing problems. Will I totally give up raw veganism? No, but it’s time for me to move forward in my life journey of finding what works for me and take with me many aspects of what I’ve learned. My hope is to tweak them to my needs. My biggest fear? Relapsing to basically starving myself and returning to my scale obsession. I can’t let that happen. Thankfully at this point in my life I think I’ve realized that thin doesn’t mean healthy.
Why am I writing this? I’m not real sure. I think it just proves that although I pride myself on being a person that is health-minded, I’m still human. It’s also a reminder that we all need to find out what works best for us and that just because it worked before doesn’t mean it will work now. And lastly, our health is an ongoing process. One that must be revisited and assessed often.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
First things first: This is how I live my life. I will not ever say that everyone should eat and live the way I do. This post is not about stating a case for the lifestyle. I often feel like a broken record when I say, “What works for me, won’t necessarily work for you.” Not to mention, I’m still trying to figure out my way through life.
My lifestyle can be best summed up as a low fat raw vegan (LFRV), high carb raw vegan (HCRV,) or 80/10/10 (80% carbs, 10% fat, 10% protein)…all the same.
-LFRV is not the same as a traditional “high raw” lifestyle, which averages 60% fat.
-I eat as much raw fruit as I want. I eat veggies too but most of my intake comes from fruits. The perfect breakdown would look something like this:
- 90-97% sweet and nonsweet fruits
- 2-6% tender, leafy greens and celery,
- 0-8% from other vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, plus fatty fruits, nuts, and seed
-I follow the ratio of 80% carbohydrates, 10% protein, and 10% fats. A traditional “healthy” diet is composed of 40% carbohydrates, 40% protein, and 20% fats (40/40/20)
Heat changes the chemical makeup of foods. Period. Eating foods in their fresh whole forms is the way to go. So often we cook foods to make them edible when in reality these foods aren’t the best fuel for our bodies. Our bodies have to work twice as hard to digest these foods that 1) we shouldn’t have eaten in the first place and 2) are now even hard to digest given their chemical makeup is now compromised with cooking. If the food item is not edible without heat/cooking then chances are it’s best not to put it in your body. Fresh, whole foods allow for our body’s energy to be focused on processes other than digesting food.
Why such the high quantity of fruit?
This lifestyle is different than any other lifestyle I’ve seen as it calls for eating as much fruit as you’d like, standing against calorie restriction. Raw fruits and vegetables yield far fewer calories per bite than cooked or fatty foods. In order to consume sufficient calories we need to eat more bites of fruits/vegetables. In addition, due to the active lifestyle I lead, it calls for that much more fruit for me to consume, hence why I eat such large quantities of fruits/vegetables.
With such a high quantity of fruit to consume in order to meet my needs, I need fruits that are calorie dense. Bananas and dates pack a punch in calories versus other water dense fruits. Could you imagine the quantity of watermelon I would have to consume in order to meet my caloric needs?! I do not survive solely on bananas but will admit they make up the majority of my intake. Not everyone who lives this lifestyle consumes this many bananas but dates and/or bananas are often recommended for those just starting the lifestyle. I’ve been doing this for well over 2 years and still love bananas which is why so much of my diet consists of them.
Why banana bread ripe bananas?
Unripe bananas, or any other fruit for that matter, consist of complex sugars that are difficult for the body to break down. As fruits ripen these transform into simple sugars which are easier for the body to digest. Once again, by doing so less energy has to go into digestion and can be used by the body in other ways.
You may be asking, aren’t you blocked up from all of those bananas?
You know that I’ll answer any question and this one is no different. Can you believe that I’ve already blogged about this topic? If you really want to know about my poo feel free to read on about my scoop on poop.
Why have I chosen this lifestyle?
Within the past few years I was diagnosed and treated for both endometriosis and kidney stones. It was a reminder that I only have one body in this lifetime so I need to take care of it to the best of my ability. I also attempted this lifestyle in hopes of alleviating symptoms and must say have been quite successful. That alone makes it worth it for me.Am I 100% raw? If you couldn’t already tell from my vegan adventures, no. Would I like to be? Yes. I’ve dabbled in doing 1-2 months 100% raw at a time. I honestly feel like I thrive on the lifestyle and would ultimately love to be 100%. With that being said I understand that this is a journey and considering I’m well over 95% raw I’m taking steps in the right direction.
I’m sure this blog post will lead to more questions, which I would love to answer. I’m also sure it will lead to criticism. To each their own. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
For the first 2 months of venturing into LFRV I weighed all of my food and logged my intake on the Cron-O-Meter software program. The program graphs my ratios and shows me where I stand in regards to my vitamins and nutrients. I also kept a journal on how I was feeling, what I ate, and my workouts Trust me when I say I am healthier now than I have ever been in my life. I’m listening to my body and how it reacts to food and the environment. For the first time in my life I am fueling my body appropriately instead of counting calories and starving myself.
I’m also diligent in keeping up with my health. I visit the dentist at least twice a year to have my teeth cleaned (no cavities or gum issues noted since starting this lifestyle). In addition, at least once a year I have full blood work and urine panels performed to make sure that I am receiving appropriate nutrients needed for my body to thrive. (Which reminds me, I need to post my most recent results!) Lastly, my doctors who are non-vegan not only respect but applaud my lifestyle. I’ve even been asked on numerous occasions, “Will you go stand in my waiting area and tell/show people how being healthy is done?”
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to discussing my lifestyle. I hope to share more with you in the future!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I drink tap water on a daily basis. Not bottled water. Not filtered water. Just straight up tap water. Recently I had a group of people that were absolutely flabbergasted by the thought that I drink water from the faucet. They went on to tease me by saying, “You haven’t grown gills yet?” and “Do you like drinking toilet paper with your water?” After those comments I didn’t dare admit that room temperature tap water is also fine for me…no need to be ice cold. Who knows what would’ve happened if I told them that!
I’m not going to sit here and share facts about tap water vs bottled water. You can easily search the web and find countless claims for both sides of the argument. I just thought I’d share why I’ve chosen to drink plain ol’ tap water….
Our world has changed but people drank tap water for years and years without any issues.
Municipalities have water standards to maintain. Some may be stricter than others, but all water must be potable.
People make claims that tap water contains toxins. Have they ever stopped to think about the toxins that leech out of the plastic bottles into the water? Especially since bottled water isn’t shipped or stored in a controlled environment.
The thought that people hate the taste of tap water and say that bottled water tastes “clean” is beyond me. Bottled water has never tasted natural to me and I think that’s the case with most people. However, they have acquired the taste for bottled water and now assimilate it to being natural and clean.
With the way we go through water (at least 3 liters a day for me and probably twice that for D) it’s cost prohibitive. In addition I try to reduce my carbon footprint and don’t want to add anymore unneeded waste to the landfill. (remember when I had it out with a clerk over using a plastic bag?)
So many bottled waters have been proven to simply be filtered tap water. Yes, I could use a filter but from previous experience I never paid attention to the filter status, which in turn defeated the purpose. Now I just fill up a plain ol’ pitcher and stick it in the fridge.
I find it hard to spend so much money for a natural resource. In certain circumstances bottled water is valuable. But in day to day situations tap water will do for us.
What I find most interesting is that people are so hung up on avoiding tap water like the plague due to “impurities”, yet they continually expose their bodies to unnatural products and processed foods full of toxins on a daily basis. All without blinking an eye. Even more, they also eat fish that swam in the water that they won’t drink….
Once again, my point isn’t to criticize, but to provide some food for thought.
Have you ever stopped to think about this idea? Am I in the minority? Is it really that weird to just drink tap water?
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Here’s the deal. Bex from BexLife, Danny-J from SweatyBetties, and Angie Gooding are heading up a workshop called Inspiration & Perspiration in Las Vegas October 20 & 21st. (Do you realize how close I am to Las Vegas now?!)
Not only do I want to meet up with Bex again, but I’d absolutely love to meet Danny-J and Angie too. (Hello, powerful women!) Not to mention, the topics they are covering….wow!
I pulled this off of the website….
You will leave this weekend with
-a renewed sense of self-confidence and self-love
-ways to deal/cope with stress and anxiety
- knowing how to balance work, family, life AND fitness
-knowing how and what kind of food to prep
-what diets are complete CRAP
-why calorie counting is complete BS
…and some great affirmations, meditations and yoga poses for healing.
The way I look at it, there’s always room for improvement in my life. Most people who read my blog or watch my videos would probably think I’m quite confident. Although I have my moments I will be the first to admit I need work on my self-confidence and image. In addition, although I’ve overcome stress and anxiety, they still try to rear their ugly heads at me on a regular basis. Most importantly I’m always looking to surround myself with positive, uplifting people. What better way to do so than to join in this workshop?
Unfortunately for me, with our Arizona Adventure money is beyond tight. Although the workshop is realistically and affordably priced, I cannot afford to partake in the workshop. Not cool.
The excellent news? I noticed on Sweaty Betties last week that they are giving away free registrations to FIVE bloggers and fan pages. That’s me!! I have a blog and fan page!!
The rules to enter?
#1. Publish a 50-100 word blog about “What Inspires you to sweat”
— include link in the blog to registration page: http://www.bexlife.com/shop/inspiration-perspiration-oct-20-21/
#2. Post Blog on FB and Twitter using the hashtag #inspireLV12
#3. EMAIL the link to the blog to InspireLV12@gmail.com BY midnight SEPTEMBER 10, 2012
**WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON OR BY SEPTEMBER 14th**
I am on it! Without further ado….
Here’s what inspires me to sweat.
Working out is not something I’ve ever excelled at. No matter how hard I try I recognize that I will never be a world-class athlete. I don’t do it for the medals or to be the best of the best. I’m inspired to sweat because every step I take in my run, every circuit I complete, every mile I ride, and every length I swim makes me a better, healthier, and happier person than I was yesterday.
There you have it! Want to help me earn an entry? Simply click this link to tweet. You’ll be my best friend for life.
What inspires you to sweat? Since they are giving away FIVE free registrations ya’ll better get on it too. Check out the details and get on it!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Lately I’ve been dealing with some inner demons…specifically dealing with raw veganism, cooked food, and my self-image.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Since going Shampoo-Free in June 2011 I have reduced the use of many unwanted toiletries. I share what 5 products I do use.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)