Healthy You

In the famous words of Pretty Woman, “Take Care of You.” Come for new and old ways to take care of yourself from food to exercise to skincare and everything else we might think to do. Take care of you.

Good night’s sleep

Body full of Soul is a series about life. Let your body and soul flourish.

 
Let’s get a good night’s sleep, shall we? There are endless tips about how to do this, but here are two things you can do anytime to help relax.
Our minds are so much more capable of self-care than we realize. Relaxing and focusing in on certain parts of your body will tell other systems to let down their own guard and rest. We all need rest.
There are small things you can do even at work… even while taking care of wild children… even at the grocery store or in a stressful meeting that will relax you. These same things can help you enter sleep more quickly and with more intentional beauty.

First Try This:
Relax your tongue and jaw.
Let your tongue lay low in your mouth and let your lips part slightly.
(^^That part you can do anywhere. No one will know you are practicing relaxing in their presence^^)
You can take it further and…
Rub your fingers firmly from the inner edges of your eyebrows, along your brow line, gently through your temples to your hairline, and then firmly trace along your hairline, past your ears and against your jaw.
Relax. Breathe. Focus on long exhales.
“Relaxing your tongue and jaw sends a message to your brain stem and limbic system to turn off the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol,” says neuropsychologist Marsha Lucas, PhD (from Prevention.com)
Do this to remind your body that you are safe and can relax.
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Second Try This:
If you are looking for a more complete connection between body and spirit before you enter sleep, try a Body Scan Meditation with a Prayer twist.
A great example of a recorded Body Scan Meditation is here at NPR.com.
The purpose Body Scan […]

Wild and Precious Life

sometimes, I wake up already feeling behind.
when this happens, I let the wisdom in my pen speak truth.
What will you do with your one wild and precious life?
You woke up this morning already listing the ways you will fail – the tasks that will meet resistance and never reach the finish line. You lay, covered in clean sheets and painless skin, and yet you felt strangling discomfort in your soul.
Why, Darling?
Why have you forgotten your place? You are a child – a wild, lovely, free child – living in the world run by the most loving and responsible Parent in the world.
So, what will you do with your one wild and precious life?
or rather
What ARE YOU DOING with it? You can only live right now.
Landsliding to-do lists and performance reviews care for the future, but what are you doing to care for right now? Set time aside to tend the future – a set time to let your mind wander into next month and next year and even this afternoon. Carve out time-travel appointments, but do not forget to come back to this time and this place…this is where you actually live, My Love.
You are a flower, growing for such a short time. Be here. Growth and beauty and achievement will come as you soak up sun, water, and nutrients. Feel the strain and sensation of now – know that it is leading somewhere but that “somewhere” is none of your concern. Take each next step.
The act of attention is a form of prayer.
You’ll be surprised to find that as you witness the universe, the universe notices you right back. This is the glory of a loving Creator.
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The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
[…]

3 Ways to Celebrate Your Birthday

Did I mention it is almost my birthday and I also have issues?
This year, I am facing it head on. My Birthday monsters will not chase me into a dark corner to hide until this sucker is over. I will stay out in the open; sword-of-generosity in my hand and shield-of-oversharing around me.
Birthdays are hard but I sure love them. For our kids, we decorate the entire house the night before their birthday with some of their favorite toys and printed pictures of their favorite things. The year they loved Minions, there was a handmade Twinkies-in-the-shape-of-Minions cake.  In order to get their presents, our kids solve puzzles and clues to complete an epic scavenger hunt that often takes them underwater and to the houses of their best friends. This year we incubated duck eggs and fostered ducklings for a month because my daughter loves ducks. All of this, to show them how loved they are and how seen and how known – that they are WORTH IT… basically to communicate all the things we hope for our children … the rich soil I deep-down believe they need in order to grow up big and strong, so they can go out as courageous adults and save the world while still feeling totally rested and loved because their childhood birthdays were so so so good.
And now it’s my birthday. And I am about to become a moving target for anyone trying to really love, know, or see me.  On other days, it’s so simple.  On my birthday, it’s so complicated. My expectations are erratic because I either change my mind about the actual thing or (really) change my mind about whether it’s ok to want the actual […]

How to Make Your Own Birthday Better

There’s one surefire, tested and proven way to make your own birthday better.
Is your birthday ever hard for you? Do you find yourself moody, disappointed, excited, happy, tired, sad, or a nap magnet as your birthday gets closer?
Doesn’t it feel like birthdays not only make you brutally aware of your actual age, but ALSO bring up issues from previous ages? Did you feel lonely on your 8th birthday? Surprise! The 8-year-old-you is coming to visit on your 28th Birthday as you sit on the bathroom floor quietly singing, “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.”
You know how in sci-fi movies about time-travel, one character will take a piece of paper and carefully fold it in pleats in order to explain to the newbie character, “See? THAT’S how it works. This point touches this point and you can just directly GO TO THERE.”  Well, birthdays are like that: the point in those pleats that lets you travel back in emotional time.
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It is almost my birthday.
Every birthday I find my blood pumping and giving me energy as I simultaneously long to climb in bed and hide til it’s over… I want to work like crazy to accomplish #allthethings and I also want to climb under my cozy nap blanket and wake up in a month… NOT just because I am getting older. No. No good comes from regretting my years. I have lived all of them to the best of my ability and I cannot deny living any of them. Each year adds to the patina of Me.  I am the age that I am.
No, I find my birthday difficult because my childhood ME comes to visit.
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I struggle with the level of influence and worth […]

Take Care of You

It’s time to TAKE CARE OF YOU.
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When I was training for my half marathon (that phrase still makes me laugh, it still seems preposterous, but I did it)….
When I was training for my half marathon, I ate whatever I wanted.  I needed fuel! If I was hungry after a run and wanted In n Out, no problem!  If it was 10p and I was starving, absolutely I could eat some delicious Honey Bunches of Oats (with almonds!).
Then, I ran the race in December!! It was amazing. I’ll tell you all about it soon.
And I just kept on eating in the days after the race too. Want pizza for dinner? Right on! Let’s do it.  It’s almost Christmas; let’s have pie!
Now, it’s been a full month AFTER the race and it’s time to get my act together. My body needs some anti-running exercise. My body needs some lighter food. My skin needs some winter care.  I’ve gotten so lazy after the exertion of the race that I don’t even like brushing my teeth.

Can you relate? You probably didn’t run a half-marathon. (Why would a sane person do that?)  But, you probably have some kind of whole food / walk everyday / drink a smoothie for breakfast / P90x / brush your teeth 2x’s a day ….. kind of goal for this month. Let’s do it together.
To quote one of my favorite movie lines ever; it’s time to “TAKE CARE OF YOU!”
It doesn’t have to be anything big. Small things can change your life.  I will bring you my favorite food, self-care tips and products, and exercise plans both here on the blog and on my Pinterest Boards.  Bring me yours too!
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Today’s Take Care of You […]

By |January 10th, 2014|Healthy You|2 Comments|

I’m Betting On Myself

That’s right, I’m betting on myself.
Because sometimes when you say, “For you, I will,” the you is actually YOU.

In the month of June, I will be part of something that made me laugh and then, as I let it marinate in my brain… well, it inspired me! (kinda like this /\ /\ picture! /\ /\ )

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Do you ever need a push sometimes? Do you ever bribe yourself to workout or finish an assignment? What prize  motivates you?

This time, I am betting actual cash on myself.

I made a little wager that I could lose 4% of my weight in the month of June. It’s a good thing, I promise!

It’s part of a motivation challenge on Casey Ho’s blog-  www.blogilates.com

Casey is a woman dedicated to health and happiness in herself AND others. She is silly and energetic and smart and strong. So, when she started this Diet Bet I wanted in.

(My link is: http://bit.ly/10YD0P4 and http://www.dietbet.com/player-profile/58323)

Already there are over 3,000 people in the mix. Everyone who loses 4% or more wins their $25 back and then we split any money left over if other people don’t reach their minimum goal.

Listen, it could be easy to criticize this idea if you wanted to; I get it.  Shallow? Maybe. Not the point of life? Of course.  For me though, putting a little money on the line for my health … I need this.
Don’t you need a push sometimes? Do you ever bribe yourself to workout or finish an assignment?
What’s your most motivating prize?
Hey, maybe next time, if any of you need a loan that you’d only have to pay back if I reach a new goal, let me know!! I could be like a bank with a […]

By |June 2nd, 2013|Healthy You|3 Comments|

What are you hungry for?

Hi Friends!

 

So I started asking myself, “What do I want in life?”

The answer that came back immediately …

“Coffee, please.”

“Maybe also a chocolate chip cookie and a long nap too.”

 

On one hand, that’s lovely and simple.

On the other hand…  That’s all I want out of LIFE?  Really? That’s it?! That’s just kinda sad.

That’s what I define as an attainable wish.

 
Somewhere in me is a quiet, desperate whisper for more.
 

There’s got to be more to life than the wish for a few sensory comforts, right?  Something real, big, energizing.

The little whisper for real meaning and purpose is so, so quiet most of the time and the longing for comfort and pleasure is oh, so loud: I want it!  I want it!  I want chocolate!  I want a nap!  I want quiet and time to myself!  I want pizza and diet coke and cookies and warm donuts and a margarita (together or separate – I’ll take ’em how I can get ’em)!

If I am not careful to pay attention to my true desires, i will

live from numbing agent to numbing agent trying to escape the boredom, sadness, isolation or frustration  – and when I am not doing that I am using those same things numbers to celebrate or care for myself.

I’ve been asking myself those hard questions you have to ask, if you ever want to change. What do I actually really want?
“What’s the thing behind the thing?” – Rob Bell
I want to feel good. Do you know what feels good?  To eat and drink until you are so full you just need to sleep. aaahhh!  You can then curl up and take a nap or watch a wonderfully mindless TV show and forget everything but that […]

Let’s Celebrate Life

When you go to Disneyland, you can ask for a big button to wear all day. It will say “It’s My Birthday!” or “Let’s Celebrate!”  And you can fill in your name underneath or write what you are celebrating: “Anniversary” or “Graduation”. Then everyone who works at Disneyland will see your button and comment and welcome you.

“Happy Birthday, Princess!”

“Happy Anniversary!”

We live near Disneyland and go often.  The other day my little girls and I were walking through the huge plaza full of people as another woman walking towards us caught my eye.  She wore a “Let’s Celebrate” pin, crew-neck t-shirt, big white sneakers and high-waisted shorts;  Typical, comfy, I’m on vacation from rural (fill in a state) attire.  I always think about the people at Disneyland as they walk past us. Is this their first time?  Are they spending 3 years’ savings to make these memories with their families at Disneyland?  What’s her story?

Then, as this particular woman moved nearer to us, I looked closely at her button and saw that it said “Let’s Celebrate… LIFE.” Instantly, all the details I had subconsciously noticed about her came into focus:  Comfy clothes. Thin, short, newly-grown-in gray hair. Pale and slightly puffy face…  New cancer survivor. Laughing with her friends. Walking through the Disneyland plaza. Celebrating LIFE.  Smiling at me as she passed.  She’s on a LIFE.

 

Life.  I want to be on a LIFE. Let’s celebrate… LIFE.

“Happy LIFE, Princess!”

 

So, step one of going on a LIFE – what that woman in big, white sneakers and high-waisted shorts wore all over her gorgeous face: Gratitude. For Everything. For Life Itself.

(pause.)

Gratitude.  It only happens in this exact moment.

 

What makes a LIFE? How does a person permanently change, ditch […]

Stop the DIE-ette (diet) and Go on a Life

Diet. Die.

“This diet makes me want to die.” “I’d rather live fat and happy than die skinny and miserable.”

Have you ever heard someone say something similar?
DIE ette: A little death. I am on a diet… I am dying a little bit every minute I am on this DIE-ette.
A diet used to simply be what someone or something ate regularly. A lizard eats a diet of crickets.  A koala eats a diet of eucalyptus.   Mythological super models eat a diet of champagne and cotton balls. I eat a diet of coffee, chocolate covered almonds, and pizza interspersed with meals of kale and chia seeds. (balance, People, balance.)  This kind of diet is FACT. It’s what I actually eat.

Then, there’s the DIE-ette. The one that kills your soul and sometimes your body a little each day.  This is the strict, short-term list of rules that You or Slimquick or the 4 Hour Somebody or Fruitarians United have decided you should eat.

I am suffocating under the conflicting Die-ettes I should be on. I don’t want to be on a DIE-ette. I want to be on a LIFE.

I WANT TO BE ON A LIFE.  Hear me?!

Do you want to be on a life too?

People go on diets together all the time. Let’s go on a Life together. We will start tomorrow. But for real this time.

By |January 30th, 2013|Healthy You|0 Comments|

Swag n Stuff – Best Shape of My Life

I’m in the best shape of my life as I write this to you. I am glistening with sweat – my abs hard and my hair somehow still voluminous and sea-breeze blown.  I’m enjoying eating a kale, chia seed salad and drinking a room-temperature glass of lemon water.
…Not really. Not ever. That’s not true.

I’ve been better than I am today, though… God knows. He knows. I’ve. Been. Better.

When I was in the best shape of my life, I actually got there after a 6 week diet and exercise bootcamp.

My abs have never actually been what other people would call “hard” or “fit” but I did have an actual waist. I was smaller at my belly button than at my boobs. It happened.

Funny thing. I thought I was changing for good… Forever. I thought I would never be the same after that bootcamp — I gave it a big push and worked hard.

I was proud. I had swag. Confidence. My hair bounced like you wish yours did.

New, baby, beginning habits were formed. I studied and gained knowledge. I set goals. I learned Right from Wrong (the capital letter kind of right and wrong).

Then, slowly, I made exceptions and had set backs… temptations… and celebrations… Consolations.

And now, I am my old, normal self again. The one who is a slave. A slave to destructive habits of comfort, indulgence, addiction, and doughy pizza. (oh, pizza… you abuse me and I like it)

Part of me still knows eating and laying around don’t lead to a healthy, vibrant life … but that part can’t convince the rest of the parts to get it together again.

Here’s why… That part knows it’s a forever decision this time. That big push.. Bootcamp… […]

By |January 31st, 2012|Healthy You|0 Comments|