Changing Myself

I have lectured my family on how to live their lives more than I ever should have. I have come to understand that has caused issues in our relationship and I am trying not to provide input when they did not ask for it.

I had a lot of thoughts, “Who am I to tell them how to live their lives?”, “Are they really hurting me with these actions?”, “Would they not learn a lesson on their own without me stepping in?” and “I love them and need to be more supportive.” I am seeing positive changes in our relationship and their lives. Butting out also has made me feel less stressed all of the time. Although, holding back a lot of thoughts makes me anxious and therefore have moments of binge eating.

On Friday, I wanted to give suggestions about how to plan out the day, my partner and family can feel overwhelmed by my desire to plan everything out. I ended up eating small bits of everything in sight and would pace the kitchen because I could not calm my mind. It is not always this challenging though. I am getting better with going with the flow.

I know my planning can be useful, but sometimes its nice to be spontaneous and open to change. Are you working to change anything about yourself to better your relationships?

Travels – Atlanta

Recently, we traveled to Atlanta to meet the newest member of our family, our nephew. It was a great trip. We really miss this little person we just met and hung out with for only a few days. ❤ He loves to be sung to, found ice shaken in a cup to be the funniest thing in the world, and is growing way too fast. We are in love and have to get back to Atlanta ASAP! So glad we were able to make the trip and focused on getting to know the little one. Here is the break down of this trip.

Fitness

Walking and a little yoga or stretching was mainly the only exercise during this trip. Our nephew loved to just be carried around in a upright position, but you had to keep moving! I walked hundreds of circles around the varies levels of my in-laws home just to keep him smiling. Additionally, we took a short walk as a family, I took a morning walk one day (the beautiful flowers above I spotted everywhere that morning), I stretched before bed each day and yoga one morning. The trip was an active rest break from my typical workouts.

Activities

With our nephew being so young and hating being in the car, we primarily hung out at the house or did things close to the house. We arrived in the morning on the first day. We ate lunch at the house, went for a short walk, played with some toys, picked up take-away from an Asian fusion restaurant and then passed out early from waking up at 3 AM to catch a flight.

Day two, I went for a hour long morning walk and returned to enjoy breakfast with the family. Until lunch we mainly just chatted and played with baby in between each of us getting ready for the day. We went out for lunch and to Target, then returned home to chat and play more until baby’s bedtime. We ended the day playing Wits and Wagers and chatting before getting some sleep.

Day three was pretty chill as well. I did about 20-30 min of yoga in the morning, ate breakfast with the family, helped my sister-in-law keep baby distracted in the car while we picked up groceries, ate lunch, played and chatted with baby, ate dinner, and played card games before bed.

Last day, I only had enough time to enjoy breakfast with everyone before heading to the airport. I took the MARTA, which offered me some beautiful views of Atlanta on the way to the airport. This trip is a good example of different priorities than most vacations. I was there to make memories with our newest member for our family and loved every bit it! He has already grown so much since he was born and we cannot wait to see him again this Fall during a family wedding in New Orleans.

Food

Thankfully, my sister-in-law is a nurse and keeps things pretty healthy. Breakfast was hard boiled or scrambled eggs with avocado/cheese and salsa. Lunches at home were simple salads and our lunch out on day two was at Grub Burger Bar where I got the Hippie Chickpea burger. It tasted like falafel with all the Mediterranean sides on top, YUM!And yes, I also got a combination of onion rings and sweet potato waffles fries because it was my treat while I watched others down milkshakes. ;^P

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Dinner was homemade from scratch bolognese over spaghetti and buffalo chicken and black bean nachos loaded with more veg than you would expect (corn, olives, greens, etc.). Day one, we picked up Doc Cheys, where I chose a sesame noodle special they were having at the time. It was very delicious and I was able to get it with tofu as my protein.

We did not really eat dessert or snack while we were there, since the meals were so filling and we were busy with getting to know our nephew. I felt like the chill environment and focus on creating memories as a family kept me from doing the typical vacationing with family eating… a combination between loss of appetite, over indulging too much and eating when you are not hungry because they are relentlessly offering you food no matter how much you say no. Any one else have this problem?

Trying to Maintain Balance with Visitors

Recently, my sister visited. Visitors mean I can not stick to my plan as well as I usually do when solo or with my partner because I want to show her a good time. Not that my plan is not exciting, I just want to show her things around town that are incredibly delicious! However, I do not let a visitor turn my whole life upside down.

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I woke up before my sister as I typically do before most of my guests. I have always tended to be the only early bird in my family and group of friends. So I was able to workout like usual. Even if my guests wake up at the same time, I either offer that they can join me or they are understanding and use that time to get ready for the day. I have never had anyone question me on why I chose to workout while they are visiting. Exercise is important for your health and I would never expect someone to pass on something so valuable to hang out with me an extra 30 – 90 min.

My sister was in town for a conference, so she had lunch meetings planned. We had some meals at home because she did not feel up to eating out for every meal. Thankfully not too many of my friends and family can afford to eat out every meal. I like to show my guests the town in the way I enjoy it, on a budget! So we might splurge on a special meal, but mostly we hop around from place to place grabbing an empanada here, a vegan biscuits and gravy there to enjoy bites from the best places in the city.

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I try to find a balance between my daily life and showing my guest a good time. For instance, if someone wants to visit you and they plan their trip during a work week, they can not expect you to just take those days off. You want to be a good host, but people can entertain themselves. I never want to turn a friend or family member’s life upside down when I visit and actually prefer to experience them in their natural habitat and state of life. So that is how I play things when folks come visit me. You want to listen to what they want to do, while also letting them know when you have your own things going on.

Do share how you try to maintain some balance when people are in from out of town in the comments below!

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?

 

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!

Defining Wellness

Recently, I participated in a survey regarding how I define wellness. Without being fully conscious about it, this is something that changes for me all the time. I learn things every day that transform my understanding of what it means to be well. I also see how my wellness is not just about me, but the wellness of my family and community.

How we communicate, move around and shop in our neighborhood influences our community. If we are loving toward our neighbors, active to feel great and buying local, good quality products that creates a positive impact on those we interact with. If we buy local that supports our neighbors and what we buy influences what products are available to the community. If we request certain products at the grocery store, it is not just provided for us, but for our entire community!

With this in mind, I feel even more empowered to be healthier this year and to be a benefitial member of my community. In 2017, I will work on purchasing more natural household and hygiene products. I already use some natural household products since the use of the conventional stuff made me sick to my stomach or develop rashes.

Only recently did I start trying to switch my makeup and hygiene items to all natural products. Lately, I am trying the Shea Moisture brand’s shampoo, conditioner and make up. So far so good, but I have to admit my commercial brand mascara is tough to beat in its volumizing and affordable price. However, my hair has not felt this great in a long while.

Also, after 6 months of using natural deodorants (Schmidt’s and Herbal Clear Sport), I find I sweat less and never feel the need to reapply during the day. With the conventional antiperspirants, I would start to smell part way through the day and had developed rashes from certain brands. I may post some reviews this year on the natural products I have been trying, please let me know in the comments below if that would be of interest to you!

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In regards to how I stay physically healthy to maintain wellness, I believe that eating to fuel your body and please the soul while moving around in the ways that you most enjoy will boosts your mood and makes you feel strong. If you feel great, you project that to others. If others see how you make yourself feel great they may recognize that as something they can do for themselves. Its not your job to preach to everyone, but to just do what feels right for you. Just know that how you feel can impact how you behave toward others.

Lastly, I like to put out into the world what I would like to get from it. I want to be better about how I connect with people every day. This includes greeting folks that I walk by (even in the unfriendly city), connecting with people who bring joy to my life and teaching myself how to improve my relationships. I have been savoring opportunities to learn more about relationships and love from The School of Life and The 5 Love Languages.

Since reading The 5 Love Languages book, I have seen my relationship with my partner improve and hope that I can use what I have learned in my other relationships as well. The School of Life has helped me understand our psychology and why myself or others may behave in certain ways. I have also been reading books on ADHD. I want be conscious of how it can impact relationships since I am very close with people who have ADHD. The best one I have read thus far would be Is It You, Me or Adult A.D.D..

For me, I see wellness as something that encompasses not only my physical and mental health, but that of those around me. Since I feel in a good place with myself, I want to begin to work on projecting wellness in my community. How do you define wellness?

Happy Holidays! My Plans Today

Although, I do not currently practice any particular religion, I respect everyone’s spiritual beliefs. However, since I was raised in a Catholic household, I celebrate Christmas with my family. I thought it would be fun to detail what I am doing for the holiday I follow. My day in general is filled with love and tasty food, so here we go!

What I am doing today!

Morning

I am starting off my day with a run and lower workout, followed by some holiday breakfast.

I will get cleaned up and wake up my family to feed them and help them get ready for our traditional eggnog and cookies with our closest family friends. We toast to a blessed year and the new year while we share a lot of love.

We usually open gifts before a light lunch.

Afternoon

We just sit around and chat while watching holiday movies and playing games (both of the board and video varieties).

Evening

We end the day at a long time family friend’s house. We have known these folks since my Mother was a baby and this is my opportunity to catch up with them all each year since I no longer live in my hometown.

What I am eating today!

Check out my Instagram today to see exactly what I eating because I am going to try to post  pictures of everything I consume. Just know, today is special so I am eating sweets, but I try to focus on just enjoying food until I am comfortably full. However this is how Christmas day typically goes:

Breakfast: Tea, Rolls, Eggnog and cookies

Early Dinner: Turkey sandwiches with Brie and Cranberry Sauce

Dessert: Pie

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Before bed: Traditional Medicinals Belly Comfort / Eater’s Digest tea

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season with your loved ones! And please feel welcomed to share your holiday traditions in the comments below! I am always curious to learn more about different cultures than mine 🙂