self love

Hello April!

Happy Easter, everyone! Here we are in a new month and with a new month come new opportunities and new goals to be set.

This month’s focus is: eliminating distractions.

Like the rest of us (probably…I shouldn’t generalize), I enjoy unwinding with a Netflix show or spending countless hours on Pinterest pinning recipes or clothing ideas or exercise ideas (rather than actually exercising).

This month is going to be a busy one:

  • My first draft of my master’s thesis is due in three weeks from today.
  • I am going on a trip at the end of the month
  • My friend is visiting next week
  • I am helping develop a training guide for work

Goals:

  • Get work done each night.
  • No Netflix as breaks, unwind at the end of the night when productivity has decreased
  • Take breaks with music, short youtube videos, or stretching. If surfing on Pinterest, set timer on phone
  • Go to the gym 2-3 times a week
  • Reduce the amount of dairy and grains I am consuming – perhaps reintroduce a paleo-type diet.
  • Use the Self-Control app when working on my thesis so there is no access to social media during that time.
  • Make lists to help make tasks more manageable
  • Have a bit of a social life (if possible)
  • Meditate 2 times a day

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Mid-Month Checkup: March Goals

Here we are at another Monday. January seemed to drag on so slowly and now here we are more half-way through March.

Let’s reflect on how my March Focus goals have been doing so far:

Focus on my work and school work:

  • I downloaded an app called HabitBull to track my good habits. I love it because I’m very data driven and it creates graphs based on your performance!
  • I’ve started breaking down more of my tasks into smaller parts to make them easier to complete. I have completed quite a bit of work on my dissertation so far because I’m made it seem more manageable.
  • I have tried to take on more of an active role at work while also trying not to spread myself too thin. I know when to say no and how to prioritize things a little better.
  • To keep myself engaged in what I’m doing, when I do work at home (school or otherwise), I set a timer for about 30-45 minutes. I work on one task for that time, take a break, and then switch gears to something else. It seems to be working so far.

Focus on my health:

  • Well, if you asked me how my immune system is doing, I’d say not great. But judging by the last three months, I’ve started seeing a pattern of when I start getting sick: the week leading up to my menstrual cycle. In the past few days, I’ve started taking supplements daily to help kick my immune system and overall health into gear: probiotics, Omega 3’s, Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, iron, and a multivitamin.
  • I got a gym membership at a new gym this month and have been twice already and have created a fitness journal and written down workout ideas. I am hoping to start going 2-3 times a week (perhaps more).
  • I started stretching every morning!
  • My skin care routine is great! Feels like a normal part of my morning and evening and it feels so soft.
  • I have written in my Five Minute Journal every day this month so far! Haven’t missed a day. It has been a great, positive way to start and end the day and it has become more of a habit than it was in the past.
  • My anxiety has been up and down this month with a few more down times than I was expecting. Meditating and remembering to stay grounded has helped and I have been looking up other strategies to get through tough moments of panic.

Focus on my relationships with others:

  • I have taken more of an active effort in my friendships – spending more time answering texts, talking to them on the phone, and making plans to see them.
  • I continue to reflect on these friendships and welcome new ones into my life.
  • I am appreciating times with my mom more. She has always been my best friend and my number one support system in my life and as I grow up, I want to return the favour and support her in any way that I can.
  • During this incredibly busy time of year, my boyfriend and I despite distance and responsibilities manage to appreciate the time we do get to talk and spend together even if it’s working on things together, sharing things about our day at the end of the day on the phone, and support one another with all that we do and I am so grateful to have him in my life in such a positive and loving way.

I still have some work to do this month in each of these three aspects, but there is still time to “focus” on them.

Happy Monday, everyone and have a great week!

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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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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 27

How I’m Feeling

Well it may be day 27 if whole 30 but it’s also day 3 of the little stomach virus that could. Last night I slept for ten straight hours and haven’t had much of an appetite. Probably out of fear of having to run to the bathroom immediately after, but alas.

What I Ate

Well…not a lot. I had scrambled eggs for breakfast but had to give half of them to my boyfriend since I couldn’t stomach them all.

For lunch, I had a roasted chicken leg and homemade potato wedges (approximately 2).

For dinner I made homemade chicken soup without the noodles. Just drinking the broth has made me feel a bit better. But I also have some kombucha to try and get me through the night.

I’m going to try to go to bed early and get lots of rest to kick this stomach bug’s butt. Fingers crossed!

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! 😍

Whole 30 Day 22

How I’m Feeling

First, I want to mention how I’m feeling outside of the Whole 30 experience since this is also a blog to share my anxiety experiences. If you read yesterday’s post, you would have seen that maybe yesterday was not exactly a great day. Today, I will say, is much better for the most part. I went to the hospital to visit my friend. Although he was not awake, I enjoyed speaking with his wife and family members there. Praying for his lovely family and friends.

Whole 30 wise, I feel pretty good. My energy levels continue to be high. I managed to stay full from lunch until a late dinner at 8pm tonight. I appear less bloated in the mirror and I am beginning to regret not taking before and after pics for my Whole 30 Journey.

What I Ate

Breakfast: egg muffins! I forgot I froze some. So glad I found them.

Lunch: White chicken chilli. Also forgot I froze some of this as well.

Dinner: roasted bacon brussel sprouts with buffalo chicken tots from one of my new favourite recipe books: The Keto Diet by Leanne Vogel. So easy and so tasty!

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 Day 18

How I’m Feeling

I felt so much better today than yesterday. I was far less irritable and felt happy and focused all day. Tiger blood is in full force.

What I Ate

For breakfast, I had some eggs with an avocado.

Lunch: leftover gumbo and cucumber slices with dump ranch.

Dinner: I had dinner at my best friend’s house where the meal was mostly compliant (I didn’t have any of the quinoa or bread). Steak, baked potatoes, roasted veggies, and sautéed mushrooms with a side salad was more than enough.

My friend is also choosing not to drink alcohol in January so we had a splash of pomegranate juice in wine glasses.

NSV: my pants fit looser and the shirt I wore had not fit in a long time! Woohoo!