Life Lately

 

This post is a bit all over the place, so please excuse my mess. I’ve been on a roll lately, getting two posts a week out to you guys and last week I left you hanging. I won’t lie, it feels like a failure. The truth is, I sat down to write last week, but I couldn’t gather my thoughts enough to write anything cohesive. I wanted to share about the heartwarming joy I felt watching my god-daughter get baptized…

me and Ava

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Things That Matter

I’ve been thinking lately. Hold on tight in case I go down the rabbit hole with this one. Read on at your own risk…

“I knew who I was this morning, but I’ve changed a few times since then” ~Lewis Carroll

The other day a friend and I were talking about criticism. How to absorb it in a way that allows you to grow instead of letting the words form a thick fog that creeps into your confidence and pollutes your self-worth. Dramatic I know, but it is a delicate line. People tend to either deny any fault or let the punches bruise them until they break.

“Learn how to take criticism seriously, but not personally.” ~Hillary Clinton

I think the most important thing you can do in life is figure out what matters, sift through the compliments, criticism, successes, failures, friendships, and relationships to find the truth that you need to build upon. Figure out what is worth holding on to and what needs to be let go.

So like I said, I’ve been thinking lately, about what matters. Here’s the recent list drifting through my mind…


 

What Matters?

  • Writing original thoughtful blog posts matter, the amount of people reading is not as important.
  • Trying to make healthy colorful recipes with beautiful pictures to share with you matters. Exact measurements, flawless grammar, and perfect lighting- not as important.

summertime edamame salad

 

  • Waking up, and getting out the door for a quick run each morning to move my body and clear my mind matters. Speed and long distances do not matter.

1running path

  • Eating healthy, enjoying food, and loving my body matters. The number on the scale is not important.

summertime raw

  • Sending a thoughtful email to a friend going through a rough patch matters. Negative digs and hurtful comments from others do not matter.

 

  • Spending time with my family at the beach matters. Getting behind on emails and work as a result is not too important.

Me and Gma1

  • Listening and accepting others point of view matters. Always being right does not matter.

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand” ~Albert Einstein

  • Being honest, having integrity, and working hard matters. Making mistakes is not important.

These are just a few examples relevant to me. Sure, fast runs make me happy,  and everyone loves beautiful pictures. Hurtful comments will sting and I often beat myself up over mistakes, but these things do not matter. Not in the long run. Dwelling on them won’t help me grow into the person I want to become or help me appreciate the present moment while I have it. These things are heavy and the weight is draining.  Understanding that we can let things go is so important.

 

 

Life Lately

Oh, hello June!

We have some catching up to do. I am back from my writing hiatus and trying to fill in the gaps time has created.

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different…”~C.S. Lewis

Life Lately~

Boxing– Yes boxing, the kind where you wrap your hands to keep your knuckles from bleeding and take all your energy out on a bag suspended from the ceiling. Turns out beating up an inanimate object can be pretty therapeutic even for a quote loving yogi like myself.

boxing

Molly, Me, & Katie @ Title Boxing

My Husband’s Secret – I’ve been abusing my audible account with books I’ve been buying to keep me sane on my hour commute to and from work. I just finished listening to “The Husband Secret” by Liane Moriarty and I am still thinking about it. The interwoven story lines of three families burden by tragedy, secrets, and regrets, was intelligently written. It has a sliding glass door theme about how small critical moments can change the course of our lives. It was engaging and thought provoking. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good summer read.

The Husband's Secret

 

  1. Workout song – “I want to Get Better”, just listen and maybe go run.

Back home- I’m gearing up for a big life change (details coming soon) and in the intermission I moved back home. This means a packed living spaces, family dinners, free groceries, and a constant reminder to take my clothes out of the dryer.

Fall race planning – My life will be different and less predictable in the fall but I am still trying to keep some of the activities I love consistent starting with running. I signed up for the Charlottesville Fall Classic Half-Marathon in Oct. this weekend, let the training begin!

Sweaty morning runs – When sun and I start waking up around the same time again my legs are forced to follow suit. My mornings begin with better views and more miles. I’ll sacrifice getting to work early for a few moments of heart racing,  sweat dripping, and tangled hair.

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Views from the morning run

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it” ~pinterest and someone else

 

Bikram: Why I Spend 90 Minutes in 105 Degrees.

 

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My eyelids were heavy like they had gained 20 pounds in the last hour.  I drove home from work, mentally and physically exhausted from the day. Nothing but dinner and a nap appealed to my senses, but I knew those wouldn’t be my reality. When I’m lucky, if you call it that, the person I want to become is louder than the tired, cranky, hot-mess that I submit to by 5:00 pm. I got home and changed into my yoga clothes before I allowed myself to devour the energy bar, yogurt, and apple I would consider dinner. Then I teased my sense of relaxation with 10 minutes in my bed while mindlessly looking in the digital window of people’s lives. It’s so easy to look at an edited picture of someone and imagine the life they live like it’s a summer night on a beach in Jamaica all day every day. I somehow leave my computer screen feeling a little less positive than before I laid down, reminding me this wasn’t where I supposed to waste my time. I wait until the last minute and gather my towel, water, and mat and head to the studio that has become my second home.

Late and exhausted, I smile at whichever one of my lovely friends is working the front desk and soak up whatever energy their return response provides me. I lay my mat out in the hot dim room and wait patiently for the teacher’s welcome.  It begins with  breath, the basic reminder that I am lucky to have this moment, this day, and this life.  Filling my lungs with air reminds me that I do have energy as long as I have control over my breath. Then it proceeds into a movement that causes me to forget my thoughts and focus on the placement of my body in this heated, glowing, room.

I’m no longer thinking about the mistake I made at work, the gossip I shouldn’t have contributed to, the way I over-reacted in an argument, or the email I forgot to send. Instead I am focusing on learning to lock out my knee, grip my foot with all ten of my fingers including my thumbs, suck my stomach in, push my out my heel and bend my toes back for standing head-to-knee pose. I mean who could possibly carry another thought with all those instructions? Not to mention the heat had begun creating small droplets of sweat dripping in a steady rhythm down my temple. I trust my breath as it leads my  soaked body through all 26 postures.

I am not overwhelmed when I can’t balance on my right toe in toe stand and I am not frustrated when I fall out of standing bow two times on one leg. Surprisingly, the perfectionist in me has chilled out a bit and I am satisfied working towards goals, I trust that if I keep kicking back  and reaching forward that one day I will straighten my leg high above my head and see my reflection in the mirror. I find comfort in knowing I am exactly where I need to be if I am ever going to balance on my right toe with both hands at my heart and get back up flawlessly.

The thing about yoga  is it allows me to start simple with my breath, focus without distractions on small tiny efforts, that I am sure will one day lead me to success. It blocks out unnecessary distractions and allows me to live in each warm dedicated moment. It reminds me it’s okay to fail. The concentration lets me see hard-fought progress on a strong day and humbles me with failure on my weaker ones. Some days when I am not sure why I pass up wishing I was living someone else’s summer night in Jamaica I remember that yoga is my metaphor to the way I want to lead my life.

yoga 2

Vegan for the Week

As a dietitian I hate the word cleanse, as a hypocrite I am embarking on one. The dietitian in me hears starvation, elimination, and fad diets with the word. Sometimes that’s the case when a person “cleanses” but it doesn’t have to be. According to Google, cleanse means to make something thoroughly clean or to rid a person, place or thing of something seen as unpleasant, unwanted, or defiling. The synonyms include: wash, bathe, rinse, or disinfect. I will choose to consider my 4-day vegan cleanse a long fresh shower for my diet .

I plan to spend 4-days eating like a vegan (no meat or dairy). More specifically, I plan to eat a plant-based diet with nuts, legumes, and whole grains for protein. My reasoning is both mental and physical. After a rough week at work I’ve put my body through havoc, not sleeping enough, and eating too many unplanned convenient foods. I reflected on what I was feeding myself: protein smoothies, protein bars, Greek yogurt, granola, cheese-topped popcorn, fried eggs, chocolate and cheese topped veggies. While these things may sound healthy, my diet was largely unbalanced. Protein bars and shakes should not be staples in anyone’s meal plan and my body was left feeling as crappy as my stressed-out, cranky, mind. Focusing this workweek on whole fruits and vegetables is partly for my body but I am also seeking some mental “soul” cleansing. I am trying to work on trashing some bad habits in my life and I have this notion that if I can make physical changes it will remind me of the more abstract ones I’m working on as well.

do better

The best part of my 4-day vegan adventure is that I’m not doing it alone! After sharing my idea with my cousin Heather, she wanted in. The prospect of doing anything new or scary automatically becomes more comforting when you have a friend with you for the journey. Spending way too much money at Whole Foods makes a vegan week more appealing as well.

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So what exactly am I going to eat? Here’s the results from my indulgent trip to Whole Foods…

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(Bannans, spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, avcados, apples, kale, cous cous, almond butter, hummus, almond-coconut milk)

-Not pictured is whole grain rolls, veggie burgers, chickpeas, lentils, edemme, corn on the cob, and brussel sprouts.

The first vegan dinner…

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(Cous cous, kale, chick peas, tomatos and avocado with a side of roasted vegetables)

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Colors make everything better

Basically, I had a little bit of everything because my taste buds were being greedy and indecsive! Stay tuned for more meals and reflections this week.