Relationships Take Work

Maintaining healthy relationships is important to having a healthy life. Now, I am not saying all my relationships are perfect. I have relationships that are in complete shambles, but I try to focus on maintaining a loving, supportive connection with my family and friends.

For example, my relationship with my father is not good. We currently do not talk. This relationship has brought me great stress and at times depression. I really wanted to move past the turbulent and abusive years of my childhood. However, I have come to realize I worked hard on that relationship for years and feel that he chose to not do the same. His actions and decisions hurt me and made me feel unloved for so long.

I made the choice to a few years ago to stop putting so much energy into one relationship that after decades was only progressing into a weaker state. It was a burden on my other relationships and myself. To be honest, it still has negative impacts, but in a diminutive way. I no longer feel drained of everything I have to be able to provide other people with love.

I appreciate those who somehow stuck through all my drama with this and I became aware of how much a relationship can influence your daily life in so many ways. Healthy relationships are critical to a happy life. Maintaining these take work. I am a firm believer that you get what you put into something. I can not expect for people to keep in touch with me if I just sit there. Is it easy to connect with everyone, no.

I use to think Facebook and other social media was the best way, but who is to say that a post will be seen by everyone in your networks on such platforms. I also stopped really using Facebook years ago. I want to call or video chat with people more if I can not meet with them in person. I also want to try to figure out how best to communicate with people, maybe decipher their love language so I can speak theirs.

The thing is, if you do nothing there is no relationship. So all relationships take some work. Then to keep some relationships that are important to you healthy you may need to do things that you do feel are your strong suit to maintain them. For example, I feel I am terrible at giving physical gifts and showing my appreciation for the physical gifts I am given. Stuff is just not on the top of my list for what is most important to me.

By list I mean, if the house caught on fire what would I take with me. My loved ones and the memories with them are so much more valuable to me, but who is to say that for someone else it would not be their grandmother’s handmade tablecloth or husband’s leather jacket that they wear to feel connected to them when they are away or after they have passed.

To get back on track, I see that some of the people need my appreciation in ways that I feel are part of my weaknesses. I am working to improve that though because I care about them and want to show that. This is the work I am talking about. It may not seem easy to me, but completely worth it.

How do you work to maintain relationships?

 

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Post Bulk Update

Currently, I still feeling stronger than before the bulk, but tired from all my work trips. And although I have indulged a bit during these work trips, I have maintained weight and size since I last spoke of my bulk. My digestion feels much better from the switch to more produce than grains. The focus on protein and carbs through fruits and vegetables has me not experiencing bloating so regularly.

I have also stepped up my cardio routine and am up to running 4 miles instead of 3 every weekend. I was getting in 5-7 miles per week when I last spoke to you and now it is 6-8 miles per week. In addition I am doing a circuit of HIIT once or twice per week with my strength training.

Now with the conferences I have been able to keep up with workout out and doing yoga, but I have been also able to get in a lot of walking which likely has helped with any extra calories consumed due to the snacks provided.

I feel like I am on a good track to maintain my strength even with all the unhealthy opportunities over the past 2 weeks. However, I am looking forward to returning home today and eating as gut friendly as possible for a while. This week I am planning to consume sauerkraut, tempeh, sourdough bread, kombucha and maybe yogurt. Plus, I am going to try to not eat outside my meal times.

Hope you had a great week!

Natural Product Review – Pest Repellants

Happy Mother’s Day!

I am in between my work trips and want to share with you a way I use all natural items around the house. As I have said before, my partner and I live in two different cities with household issues not everyone loves to talk about. Our place in the city I work in is a “garden level” room, i.e. basement. Spiders are an issue and man are they big! Then in the city he works in we have a 2nd story apartment across from a river. We have assumed our neighbors must poorly store their food, so not only have we seen a lot of spiders due to bugs around the place, but mice have been an issue.

Honestly, putting out to the world that we have had mice made me nervous because I had been taught it was something that made you dirty/messy, but we do not seem to have control over the presence of mice. We keep things clean and store our food in airtight containers. However! We were able to find brilliant natural solutions that does not involve traps or killing of any critters. 🙂

Pantry Bugs and Roaches

These are really all about proper food storage and cleaning up after yourself. First, you NEED air tight containers or at least bag clips like the ones from IKEA. Second, after you cook and eat, wipe down your counters and table, then sweep up at least the areas where food was prepared and eaten. Pantry bugs especially love to hang out in your flour or sugar, so air tight containers are a must! Though, I also store them in the fridge at one of our apartments which keeps them safe as well.

Mosquitos

It is not as big of an issue in the Great Lakes region as it was for us growing up in Missouri and Louisiana along the Mississippi River, but you can still run into them in July and August. This year we are investing in a citronella plant for our balcony. I was talking with one of our neighbors who I noticed NEVER has cob webs hanging around, like the rest of us and she said it was all thanks to that little bush they bought. It keeps the bugs away and therefore keeps the outdoor spiders away. I am looking forward to finally enjoying that balcony.

Spiders and Mice

This really is our most common “pest” in both our homes. I personally do not have an issue with some spiders around, but I am concerned with possible infestation of and poison-ness spiders. Spider bites can be scary. Now, taking care of the other bugs do help with spiders, so that is why I started off with those. For this, I keep two things around:

When the hedge apples start popping up in the farmer’s market or I find a osage orange plant, I get about half a dozen of them to place in different corners of the apartment. In the 2nd story apartment they dry out and we keep them around all year. In addition, we use lemon and peppermint essential oils, drops of them, in the corners of the apartment and behind or under furniture. We have noticed a significant difference in the amount of spiders since starting to use these around our apartments.

Mice

Story time, about a year after moving into our apartment, my partner saw his first mouse. He had never experienced mice before and immediately felt panicked and stressed. Naturally, with that state of mind he just did what ever he could to get them out. After some research though, we found some more humane options.

  1. We tried traps to catch them un harmed, HA! Those clever mice escaped in no time.
  2. We tried to block where they were coming in and they just squeezed through our or CHEWED through.
  3. I tried sweeping and mopping daily to make it seem like an unappealing place. They would just come in to have a little walk around the apartment!
  4. Lastly, I saw hedge apples at the farmer’s market and a sign that said, “Naturally keep mice away!” I thought, if this works, we do not have to move. THEY WORKED! Ever since we bought some and left them one in each room, we have not seen or heard a single mouse! THANK GOODNESS!

Please share any natural pest control methods you use! Also, if you are a fan of Bob’s Burgers like we are… Hugs Not Bugs!

 

 

Traveling Again

Sorry, short post this week. I am amidst a lot of work travel again so I am hitting trains, planes and the road with my yoga mat and a new set of resistance bands. I will be staying with family or at AirBnBs for all my travel so I will get to prepare some of my own food as well as go out to eat. I love trying the local grub and staying active, especially when attending conferences.

Meals

Out

Confluence Kombucha: I meet up with a dear friend for a walk and gut healthy lunch. We shared a Kombucha flight and I had Kimchi and Thai Green Curry soup! AMAZING! If you love fermented food, you should try this place if you are in St. Louis, MO.

4 Hands Brewing: Guava King beer and Mussels

In Minnesota, I am not quite sure yet where I will go, please do let me know any suggestions you may have!

Home away from home meals

Breakfast: Oatmeal made with whole milk, cinnamon and dried fruit

Lunch: Tuna with flax seed and rice crackers

Afternoon snack: Mango and kiwi

Dinner: Tofu tacos or Garlic asparagus pasta

Fitness

I’m looking forward to playing around with these bands so I can better add them into the workouts I make up myself!

Fun

While in St. Louis for a conference, I have the chance to meet up with family and friends. Then in Minnesota I get to check out a Twins baseball game and maybe a musical performance. On top of these fun things I get to visit all the local museums, which I love to do!

Check out my Instagram for travel posts!