motivation

Self-Care for the Soul

Happy Monday! Another week and this week is March Break. While I still have to work for a few of the days of the week, I am dedicating a lot of this week for working on my March goals. This past weekend, I got quite a bit of work done on my dissertation and made plans to see friends throughout the week.

Today, I am practicing some self-care with two of my best friends and we are going to a day spa to relax and have some well-deserved “me” time.

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Here are some of the benefits of having some “me” time and going to a spa:

  1. If you go with friends, it’s a great place to catch up and be in the presence of other people while also being away from the hustle and bustle of life.
  2. Stress relief. Life is busy. Why not do something different from your typical routine and take a break from your busy schedule and go to a spa?
  3. Increase your serotonin and dopamine levels. As someone who has has chemical imbalances in these areas from time to time with anxiety, studies show that massages release these chemicals having positive effects on stress relief.
  4. Detox. Massages, facials, the whole deal – they all have detoxification effect on the body helping lymph nodes release toxins.

 

Whatever you choose to do today, be sure to practice at least one thing for self-care. Happy Motivational Monday!

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March in Like a Lion

Today is the first Monday of a new month March. Can you almost smell spring in the air? Other than the large heaping of snow we received on Friday, I can feel spring coming and I am nothing but excited.

I am looking forward to floral prints, sunny rays, spring flowers, rain boots, and driving around with the windows down.

This month, I have set my intention as Focus. I will Focus on the following three key areas:

  1. Focus on my work and schoolwork.
    For those who don’t know, I am currently completing my Master’s degree and am in the writing process of my dissertation. To make this task a little more tolerable, this weekend, I broke down what I need to do into smaller steps and will push myself to put my best efforts into my work and get it done quickly and efficiently. IMG_1662.GIF
  2.  Focus on my health.
    February was a rough month for me health-wise. I had that stomach bug at the end of Whole 30 and soon after, I caught the flu and am only now feeling better from it. With being sick, however, my healthy eating habits slipped a bit. I ate unhealthy food and justified it because I was sick – a habit I thought I was doing a good job breaking during Whole 30. Well this month, I’m already back to meal prepping and sticking to an overall paleo lifestyle (with a few exceptions here and there).  Tonight I prepped lasagna stuffed chicken with asparagus for the week. IMG_1732.JPG
  3. Focus on my relationships with others
    I have found myself to be distant from some of the people in my life. Not because I don’t want to spend time with them but because I have been busy, sick, and have spent a lot of time dedicating quality time for myself – something I have failed to do in the past few years. Over the next few weeks, with March Break coming up and Easter at the end of the month, I am hoping to spend more time catching up with friends and family as they too are a priority in my life. I am also going to reflect on how relationships in my life make me feel – am I growing as a person with this person in my life? What do they bring to my life? What do I bring to theirs?

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Happy March and Happy Motivation Monday! I hope you start March off like a fierce and powerful lion!

One Brave Night

Last year, I participated in CAMH’s event One Brave Night. CAMH One Brave Night for Mental Health™ is a Canada-wide challenge to inspire hope for those affected by mental illness. It starts now and continues through to Friday, April 6.

For those who are unfamiliar with CAMH, it is the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. It is the largest mental health and addictions teaching hospital. Their One Brave Night campaign has had the following impact for mental health initiatives:

  • Create three new youth clinics to help address the gap in mental health treatment.
  • Inspire hope through discovery by testing new treatment options for people with severe and treatment-resistant depression.
  • Publish over 500 journal articles, sharing the incredible discoveries made at CAMH.
  • Continue to redevelop CAMH facilities to build treatment, education and research spaces that reflect respect for patients and hope for recovery.
  • Expand effective and timely access to mental health services in remote and underserved communities around the country through technology and access to telepsychiatry.

I am proud to say that I am taking part in it again this year and have set my fundraising goal at $250.

If you are interested in supporting my fundraising efforts, you can donate at this link. If you are interested in joining my fundraising team, you may do so at this link. My Team Name is Stomp Out Stigma.

Happy Motivation Monday!

Creating My Own Happiness

To keep me posting more regularly, I am hoping to blog Mondays and Wednesdays – Monday Motivation posts and Well-being Wednesdays with some food posts in between.

When catching up with an old friend last week, she told me about her new Happiness journal. I was very interested in learning more about it and when I did, I had to buy one almost instantly. Since I had to pay $25 for free shipping, and the book was on sale for $24.46 CAD, I also bought the book “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero which was on sale for $11.94 CADIMG_1634

While I have not had a chance to look through all of the Happy journal, it looks promising and I am excited to give it a try.

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This post is also a side-rant on reading in the bathtub. I decided to create my own happiness by having a Pukka Relax tea and start reading my new book in the bathtub with vanilla chai bubble bath and lavender bath salts. The instagram picture above is picture perfect. Looks relaxing right?

Wrong.

How do people read in the bathtub? Pages get wet. Even with a towel close by, it was annoying to turn the pages. I got through the introduction and my limbs started getting raisiny and overheated and I just wanted to get out. To add to it, my tea didn’t cool down enough for me to enjoy it in the bathtub so I am sitting beside it now while I am comfy under my heated blanket.

If anyone has any insight as to how to make reading in the bathtub easier, please share your ideas.

To end, here’s a Monday motivation quote I saw and love. Enjoy. IMG_1631.JPG

Whole 30 Day 23

How I’m Feeling

Dare I say it? ONE WEEK LEFT! woohooo! Feeling great but also feeling excited about being done soon. I am so proud of the self control I have had. But I am excited to have a small sliver of birthday cake I have had to miss out on.

What I Ate

Breakfast: Lara bar on the go

Lunch: white chicken chilli

Dinner: pork chop with a baked sweet potato, butternut squash, and broccoli with a side salad and homemade dressing; it was so good I forgot to take a photo so here’s the pic of the salad bowl. The whole 30 approved homemade dressing was soooo good! 😍

The Fight Within

Today’s post is not about food. I am remaining compliant today and have 9 days left in Whole 30, but in the past 24 hours, something more important has taken over my thoughts. Apologies in advance for my disorganized array of thoughts.

Last night, I received news that a good friend is fighting hard with his battle with cancer but has unfortunately been placed in a palliative care unit in the hospital.

When I received the news, I froze. My first thought: I have to go visit him. My second thought: I haven’t stepped foot in that hospital since my dad died and I wasn’t sure I would be strong enough to do it. I want to and my intention is there, but these multi-level feelings of grief, weakness, and heartache are complicatedly woven. To the reader, it may not appear to be complicated. My anxiety lenses, however, would gravely disagree.

It’s not the first time in my life that someone I love has fought cancer or other medical battles. I get overwhelmed and frustrated that bad things happen to good people. I try to hold onto the idea that there must be some sort of greater meaning out of all of this.

But then this morning I received news that a friend from high school had suddenly passed away. A sweet girl who has just turned 25, just like I did last week, had her life cut tragically short.

I’m a hopeless romantic and an optimist at heart. I like to believe there is more good in the world than bad. But today is just a hard day. I send prayers to the families and friends of everyone I am thinking about today going through the hardships I mentioned as well as the people who have silent struggles and other hardships they are experiencing at this time.

On this motivational Monday, may we be able to look for the good in the world, have strength to face the bad, and learn lessons from both.

Whole 30 Day 20

How I’m Feeling

TEN. DAYS. LEFT. Not that I’m excited to be done or anything but I am starting to reach the point where I’m a bit over the whole thing. I’m so close to being done – but not quite there. My energy levels continue to be great. My digestion is better than ever. I’m learning day by day that more and more of my favourite things have non-compliant ingredients in them and I have had the inner strength to say “no thank you” even if I really want it. Thankfully, the people in my life have been nothing but supportive and when I have been over at other people’s houses, they have had compliant options for me for meals and have been open to me bringing my own oil and salad dressing options. I am so grateful ❤️

What I Ate

Breakfast: I had two eggs (surprise) with turkey breast.

Lunch: salad with roast chicken, a hard boiled egg (cut up on the salad), and some olives. I used my dump ranch as the dressing.

Dinner: Roast beef with roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, and green beans. Dessert was a fruit salad.

I’m currently packing my lunch for tomorrow. I made some cauliflower rice for the week and have chicken (made with coconut milk) in the fridge to use up. I forgot I didn’t have any veggies prepped so I am making some Brussel sprouts in the oven using roughly this recipe. Whole 30 Changes: I used Whole 30 compliant bacon and dump ranch and did not add parmesan cheese. I’ll let you know tomorrow how it turns out!

Whole 30 Day 19

How I’m Feeling

Day 19 – We’re getting closer to the end … but not quite. All the tempting bad foods are all around but I feel pretty in control of what I’m eating and am very mindful of ingredients. It was also a day of eating out today so I have had to be on the ball more than usual. I have had a pasta craving all day but I am keeping it under control. No sugar cravings but I did eat quite a bit of fruit at breakfast.

What I Ate

Breakfast: Mini fruit salad – should’ve had more protein with it but I had a late breakfast and was hyper-involved with binge watching The Crown on Netflix.

Lunch: For lunch we had mediterranean food. I had a grilled chicken skewer with two salads since I didn’t get rice as a side. One salad was a beet salad which was absolutely delicious. The other was a mixed vegetable salad with an oil and vinegar dressing. Was a bit sad that I had to say no to the spicy garlic sauce (in case it had dairy in it) but my friends were very supportive in finding a place that had alternatives for me as well.

Dinner: I am currently writing this while on the way to get dinner. We’re going to a restaurant that I ate at on my last round of Whole 30. They have these almond crusted chicken tenders which are paleo friendly. Will likely get a side salad, dressing on the side and say no thank you to the dips for the chicken tenders (better to be safe than sorry).

Whole 30 Days 12 & 13

How I’m Feeling

Well, to be honest, I am feeling a mix of feelings for days 12 and 13. My birthday is tomorrow so I’ve been celebrating my “birthday weekend” over the past couple of days and I have been really bummed about what foods I can’t eat. My mom made me a birthday cake today and I didn’t eat it.

I don’t feel like I am craving sugar at all. I’ve been doing relatively well reading labels and thinking about what I am eating. But I have also come to realize that I am constantly surrounded by non-compliant food and I still somehow have incredible strength. I am also accepting that I will not be eating cake for my birthday this year, but that’s okay.

What I Ate 

This weekend, I have been eating leftovers and grilled meats and veggies, for the most part. My boyfriend was in town this weekend for my birthday so we went out for dinner and lunch but I stuck to grilled/roasted meat and vegetable options. The oils used may not have been compliant but I didn’t ask as much detail as maybe I could have.

Today was meal prep Sunday so I made paleo-friendly shepherd’s pie and slow cooker gumbo which was incredibly easy and smells amazing as it is currently cooking away right now.

I’m ready to take on this week and the rest of the month. The halfway point is nearly here!

Whole 30 Day 8

How I Feel

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Well, Day 8, here we are and man, do I feel bloated. According to the Whole 30 Timeline:

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Maybe I don’t feel quite as dramatically bloated as the timeline states, but I definitely feel more bloated. I’m just gonna come out here and say it but I am not experiencing constipation or diarrhea (thank goodness) but my bowel movements have been quite regular and normal – better than before. I’m hoping this bloating phase ends soon, however.

On the bright side, I am starting to get a bit more energy. I did not hit my typical 2pm slump. Sure, I wanted a coffee around 1:30 but more for the taste than the tired sensation.

What I Ate

Breakfast: Well, I definitely didn’t leave myself as much time as I would have liked this morning to get ready so thank goodness for the egg muffins I made. I brought two with me on the way to work and they were perfect. Just what I needed!

Lunch: Leftover creamy broccoli-kale soup and a paleo chicken thigh

Snacks: Two tangerines – the citrus binge continues

Dinner: A (thankfully) compliant Filipino dish. I don’t remember the name of it but it’s some sort of leafy green made with coconut milk, shrimp, and pork. It’s one of my favourites despite me not being able to name what it is. I also had a leftover chicken thigh and shrimp as my protein.

Yoga & Well-being

I officially started my 30 days of yoga last night and my leg muscles are quite sore today! I also have been diffusing essential oils before bed which has helped me sleep through the night. I am continuing with the Five Minute Journal and trying my best to keep my moods elevated.