What’s Going On With My Body?

These past two weeks have been something. Has anybody felt a shift in their mood or their health? Because I know I sure have.

Some people have said they felt a shift after the eclipse happened, and others have told me it’s because Mercury is in retrograde (I had to look it up). I don’t know if I believe in all of the astrology hoopla, but I know that I do get antsy and feel a hormonal shift with the changing seasons.

About two weeks ago (August 15th to be exact) I started feeling unnecessarily moody and anxious. I couldn’t really place my finger on anything that was different or out of the norm for my daily schedule that I should be stressed about, so I just kind of let it slide without a thought.

But that week my work schedule changed and I went from working 2 days a week to 4 days. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot, but for me it can be mentally tiring. That same week we attended a summer outing for Brendan’s work, and since I don’t always like social gatherings that might have made me feel a little on edge.

Anyway, it was that Thursday night (August 17) that a rash started to appear on my body.

My neck and eyes started itching and I thought it might be an allergic reaction to something. Besides the mild itching and inflammation there were no other symptoms, so Brendan gave me some of his allergy medicine and we went to bed hoping the itch would be gone in the morning.

Well, it didn’t go away and it only got worse as the weekend and week progressed. Friday night I was also fighting an anxiety attack, so that weekend was just a big mess.

The rash ended up spreading all over my body – neck, chest, arms, torso, legs, etc. Thankfully my face stayed clear!

 

This was just the beginning stages of the rash. I didn’t take pictures once it got worse.
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I sent a picture of the rash to my mom, and she thought that it looked like it could be poison ivy. I used to get poison ivy as a kid and there were a couple of times I had to go to the doctor because it spread to my face. But I haven’t had a rash from poison ivy since I was 15, and I couldn’t think of where I would have gotten it from. Besides, this rash looked more like hives to me – small red bumps all over my body, not blisters like I usually get with poison ivy.

If it was an allergic reaction to something, I couldn’t figure out what I would be having a reaction to. As far as I know I’m not allergic to anything, and I hadn’t tried any new foods or used any new health or beauty products.

The only thing that I thought likely to be the culprit was a natural flea/tick spray that we bought for Cheetah (my cat). The only ingredient in the spray I thought might have caused irritation was the sodium sulfate in it. But even that seemed unlikely.

Now, if you know me you know that I avoid going to the doctor at all costs. Like, it has to be a state of emergency for me to willingly go. I just really didn’t want to have sit in a waiting room where I could end up catching something else for hours only to have the doctor tell me that it was poison ivy/hives and have them give me a steroid. While a steroid might have helped by decreasing the inflammation it would have also reduced the activity of my immune system, and I didn’t want to risk catching something else because my immune system was weakened.

So, I set out to do my research on natural holistic ways to cure poison ivy/hives.

On Sunday (August 20th), Brendan and I did a little shopping to get a few things to hopefully help bring healing to my body. Luckily, I’ve been working on stocking my natural medicine cabinet this year and already had a decent amount of things on hand.

I bought the Be Gone Poison Ivy just in case, the Nettle tea to help with allergies, and the Taza chocolate just because 🙂

I tried just about everything for this rash. I used cut up cucumbers to rub on the rash, Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, Essential Oils, an oatmeal bath, baking soda, aloe vera gel, homemade calendula salve, etc. And while all of these things helped in their own way, I quickly realized that this rash was going to have to run it’s course.

Soothing Lavender Oatmeal Bath

We did eventually buy some Benadryl for me to take to see if the antihistamine would help. I really didn’t want to take it because the Walmart brand we first looked at had gelatin in it (that was a big no-go) and the Benadryl brand has D&C red no. 27 aluminum lake and other useless synthetic chemicals and dyes in it. But at that point I figured taking a couple of pills wouldn’t do too much damage to my body.

I honestly hate the fact that you can’t easily find medicines that don’t include some kind of chemical or dye in them. I was reading that most of the time D&C red no. 27 aluminum lake is used simply to add color. Do we really need a Benadryl to be bright pink? No, we don’t. And we don’t need to be ingesting aluminum either.

Anyway, I took the Benadryl on Wednesday night (August 23rd) and then again before work on Thursday morning. The Benadryl made me feel drowsy, light headed, and a little dizzy. I felt ‘bleh’ all day.

I showed one of my co-workers my rash (she is getting her Masters in Public Health with a concentration in infectious diseases) because I figured she could give me advice on what it was and if I should go to a doctor or not. She said she thought it looked a lot like a stress rash and said she had had one similar herself.

My rash ended up improving by Friday (August 25th), a week after it had first appeared. The burning inflammation and itching subsided and started to dry up and I started feeling a lot better.

Whether or not the rash was caused by stress, it certainly brought my attention to the fact that I need to be taking care of myself, both physically and mentally.

Even though the rash was a bit painful and inconvenient (especially because I had to wear long sleeves and and jeans at work to cover it up, which irritated it more), I learned a lot about poison ivy, hives, and stress from all of the research that I did. I also learned the importance of being patient and in tune with my body. So I don’t look at this as a bad thing.

While I am thankful for modern medicine and the doctors that we have today, I feel that too many people overuse medicines like antibiotics and steroids. It would be wonderful to see more people taking the time to get to know their body and how it works and responds to the world around it, so that they could better take care of themselves instead of running to the doctor at the first sign of something as simple as a cold.

Here is a more detailed list of some of the items I used to try and bring healing to my rash naturally:

  • Cucumber – I placed these on my eyelids and rubbed them on my arms for a soothing affect.
  • Witch Hazel – I applied Witch Hazel daily all over my body. Witch Hazel is an astringent and is soothing and can promote healing.
  • Tea Tree Oil – My grandma taught me about the amazing benefits of Tea Tree Oil years ago. She always used it to help stop the itch from bug bites. I used this all over my body (sparingly on and near my face), and while it did sting at first it brought great relief from the itching.
  • Lavender Oil – I used this the same way I did the Tea Tree Oil. I liked using the Lavender Oil at night to help me feel more relaxed and at ease at bed time.
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar – Seriously, what can’t ACV do?! I applied the Raw ACV with a cotton ball all over my body to help soothe the itch and inflammation and to help draw out toxins. And even though it was a bit strong and smelly, it felt wonderful and took the itch away.
  • Baking Soda – I dissolved baking soda in a bath to help draw out toxins.
  • Oatmeal Bath – I placed some organic oats in a tea towel, tied it up, and let the faucet run over them to create a nice soothing milky bath.
  • Nettle Tea – I don’t know if the tea helped or not, but Nettle is known to help with allergies, so I thought I’d give it a try. Plus, it tastes good!
  • Aloe Vera Gel – Aloe Vera is great for soothing skin and easing inflammation.
  • Cold Compress – During the last days I had the rash they burned more than itched, so a cold compress felt wonderful.
  • Homemade Calendula Salve – I made this salve for bug bites, but it’s also great for cuts and turns out it helps with rashes too.

Have any of you ever had a stress rash/hives? I’d love to know if you have any tips on holistic healing and keeping stress at bay!

 

 

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Last Summer

This time last year I was struggling with something that a lot of young women can relate to – body image and anxiety.

During the beginning of 2016 I was feeling beautiful and confident in my own skin. I was working out more regularly and I had lost weight leading up to my wedding day.

Between work, graduation, and wedding planning there were times when I was simply too busy to sit down and eat a real meal. Juices and smoothies became my go-to for lunches when I was out running errands. I ended up losing weight, but I was also feeling fit and healthy.

After our wedding, that all changed.

The week after our wedding was spent packing and getting ready to move into our new apartment. Again, there wasn’t much time to sit down and have big meals, so we were always eating quick bites on the go.

Once we had moved into our apartment and I had unpacked everything and got our little apartment all set up, I almost didn’t know what to do with myself and all of the free time I now had.

The days seemed to stretch out ahead of me with countless empty hours while Brendan was at work. I didn’t know how to fill these long lapses of time while Brendan was away, so I started watching television. Having television to watch was a treat for me since I didn’t have cable when I lived with my grandma the previous year.

Televison became my constant companion. I always left some show streaming all day long, whether I was actually giving it my full attention or not. It was comforting to me to have some background noise of human interaction on.

I was excited to be married and living in a new city with Brendan. But I was also scared and lonely, and this resulted in me feeling depressed and very anxious all of the time.

I started to feel so alone and craving time and interaction with other people (rare for an introvert like me). It didn’t help that our small apartment got little to no sunlight due to the fact that our windows faced a parking garage. I never knew if it was sunny outside or not.

My mood quickly began to reflect the view I saw outside that window – dark, cold, gray, and ugly. I built up walls and literally made a prison for myself. For some reason I was scared to go outside in this unfamiliar city without Brendan by my side. I cry a little on the inside every time I think of how I isolated myself.

I craved going back home and visiting my family. I felt safe and comfortable there, and it was nice to have others to talk to.

I remember being excited to go to the dentist and be around other people. My hygienist complemented my hair, and I thought about that all day long and how good it made me feel.

I eventually found my way back to journaling and blogging and that helped me with getting my feelings and frustrations out. It also helped me to understand myself a little bit better.

I started going to Starbucks to sit outside in the sun to read and write. But this didn’t cure me of all of my woes.

July came and my body image came to an all-time low. I gained weight after the wedding and I began to hate my body and beat myself up for eating more than I had earlier in the year. I took up going to the gym to work out. I felt better at first. I started going to the gym at least 5 times a week and would work out at least 2 hours while I was there. It gave me something to do and helped the hours go by while Brendan was at work (4 p.m. – 12 a.m.).

I began to develop more muscle and as a result I weighed more. This crushed me. I couldn’t shake the number on the scale and the fact that my pants fit tighter. I had also become obsessed with tracking calories again and how many steps I was getting.

This immediately took me back to when I was a teenager, counting every single calorie and on the verge of an eating disorder.

I started regularly having anxiety attacks and would break down crying in Brendan’s arms. I hated looking in the mirror and I wanted to wear clothes that would hide my body.

One evening that really sticks out to me was at the end of August (2016).

Brendan and I had decided to go to Liberty University for a movie night they were having as a way to kick off the new school year, and I was feeling so defeated with my body that evening. Everything I tried on I hated – I felt bloated, fat, and disgusting. The worst part was that I knew we would end up seeing some of Brendan’s former co-workers on campus and I didn’t want them to see me looking the way I did.

Isn’t it stupid?! In my mind I thought I needed to be thinner and prettier, and I felt like I didn’t deserve Brendan. In reality, I’m sure nobody would have even noticed that I had gained a few pounds. I cried before we left our apartment that evening, and we almost didn’t go because of me.

When September rolled around I knew that I couldn’t go on like that much longer. I decided to stop weighing myself everyday and stop looking in the mirror to constantly pick myself apart. I also stopped wearing my Fitbit, gave up tracking calories on MyFitnessPal, and cut down my gym time to just 3 times a week.

And with these changes I felt the shackles loosen and fall off.

Of course, it didn’t happen over night. After a few weeks I started to realize that I wasn’t focusing on the reflection in the mirror anymore and I was actually starting to enjoy my food again.

I’d say it took anywhere from a month to a month and a half for me to start really feeling better. It took hard work and dedication, a change in my mindset, and the support of my husband.

I never really told anyone else besides Brendan that I was struggling. Body image and anxiety can be a difficult thing to talk about and trying to explain it to people can be even harder.

Those were some very dark days for me, and it hurts me to think about how I beat myself up so much. It hurts to write about it too, but I feel like it’s important for me to share where I’ve been.

Thankfully I am in a much better place now – body, mind, and spirit.

I didn’t write this post because I want people to feel sorry for me. I wrote it in the hopes that it might help somebody else out there that is dealing with something similar.

I’m still learning that it’s okay to not always feel okay. Television and social media are always showing us these beautiful little snapshots of people’s lives, and we don’t always see what’s going on on the inside. The important thing to remember is that we’re all human and none of us will ever lead a perfect life.

Learn to listen to your body and its needs. Surround yourself with a support system – even if it’s just one person you can confide in. And don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

Take care of yourself because you are worth it!

 

 

Winter Wellness

Recently my blog posts have been focused on health, wellness, and nutrition. Health is something that has become increasingly important to me over the last 5 years and I have come to realize that I have a fiery passion for all things to do with nutrition and holistic healing.

As my blog continues to grow and develop, I want to do more series focused on health and wellness – whether that be my journey to veganism, holistic healing, or nutrition. If you visited my blog recently, you might have seen my series titled “Vegan Views” where I share my thoughts on a plant based diet, animal equality, and other issues related to a vegan lifestyle. Well, today I am excited to share a new series with you called “Winter Wellness”. Here I will be sharing my tips for naturally strengthening your immune system to help ward off the cold and flu this winter.

I will start by saying that by no means am I a professional when it comes to nutrition or holistic medicine – that’s not what I studied in college. However, I have done some research, read a lot of books on health and wellness, and am simply sharing what I have found works for me.

Today I wanted to share some of my “must-haves” that I always keep on hand to keep sickness at bay during the long cold winter months.

The last time I had the flu was in 2012 and the last time I had a cold was 2014 (knock on wood?). I have never gotten the flu vaccine and since I started putting more focus on my health and what I put into my body, I have realized that I am sick less often.

I didn’t really start caring about my health until my freshman year of college, but even then I didn’t always put my health first. With classes and homework assignments, I was lucky to have time to dash over to the dining hall to get something to eat. Since I had poor sleep habits, didn’t eat the healthiest, and was surrounded by roommates and classmates, I did unfortunately get sick a few times during the course of my college career.

My grandma has always been a big advocate for natural vitamins and herbal supplements. So she kept me informed and stocked up on what I needed to keep my immune system strong while I was in school. My roommates always laughed at me for having a drawer full of supplements, but there were a couple of times when they came to me when they were sick asking what they should take to make them feel better. Sadly, they didn’t realize the importance of strengthening their immune systems B E F O R E they got sick.

I do take a few different supplements, however I think it is of the utmost importance to eat a variety of different fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and grains, to make sure you are getting the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs. I take supplements because sometimes I still fall short on the vitamins my body needs, and also because it packs an extra punch when the cold weather comes around.

Here’s a quick list of what I typically keep on hand during cold and flu season!

  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Ginger Aid Tea (Traditional Medicinal)
  • Echinacea Tea (Traditional Medicinal)
  • Chamomile Tea
  • Kombucha Tea
  • Lemons
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Apples
  • Grapefruit
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Red Pepper
  • Sauerkraut
  • Raw Almonds
  • Raw Sunflower seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Wheat Germ
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Turmeric
  • Ground Cinnamon

Supplements: 

  • Probiotic
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E

By no means does this list include all of the foods, supplements, spices, and teas you should keep on hand for cold and flu season. This is just what I happen to have right now and foods I typically lean toward eating. I also take a ginger shot weekly to help give my immune system a boost, and I drink plenty of cold pressed juices to get all of the benefits of the fruits and veggies that I need.

These foods contain antioxidants, vitamin C, Probiotics, anti-inflammatory properties, vitamin A, vitamin K, and B vitamins just to name a few. While I could go into more detail about the health benefits of each item on my list, that would be quite the long post. So, if you are interested in learning more specifically about each item, you can do some of your own research :). I may try and do more posts in the future that include more detail about the health benefits of these foods.

What are some of the must-haves you keep in your pantry for winter wellness?

 

 

 

 

 

30 Days of Plant Power

On November 1st I made the decision to give up animal products – dairy, butter, and eggs – for a week. I had gone vegan for a week two years ago, but I had never made the commitment to do it again until this year. Well, here I am at the start of a new month and I’m still eating a vegan diet. What started out as giving up animal products for a week turned into 30 days of plant power.

The first week I missed my coffee creamer, honey in my hot tea, and eating cheese pizza. But as the week came to a close I was no longer feeling strong cravings for junk food, I grew accustomed to almond milk in my coffee, and I learned to drink my hot tea with just lemon and apple cider vinegar. Seriously, those are really the only foods I missed.

I was so thrilled that my body started craving more whole foods, my tummy bloat disappeared, and not once did I have the terrible stomach cramps that I had been dealing with all summer long. I’m also really proud of myself for surviving the in-laws visiting, traveling to Georgia to visit friends, AND Thanksgiving day all while sticking to a vegan diet. To me, those were some of my biggest victories.

I had the most fun learning more about this lifestyle and doing a little research to find out which chain restaurants offer plant based options. I discovered that it’s possible to eat vegan at Papa John’s, Dominos, Taco Bell, and even Olive Garden! Getting in the kitchen and cooking vegan versions of some of my favorite Thanksgiving foods was also an exciting experience.

So now that it’s December I’m wondering if I should continue on as strictly vegan, or if I should try occasionally eating dairy again. I’m kind of curious to see how my body will react to cheese after going a month without it. Regardless of whether I stay 100% vegan or not, I want my main focus to be listening to my body and giving it what it needs to thrive.

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Even though we live in a country that is plagued by the western diet, it IS possible to follow a plant based lifestyle. Being vegan may not always be easy, but it’s worth the fight. I’ve gotten some weird looks and snide comments from some of my friends and family about some of the things I eat, but that’s okay. I like standing out. And really, it’s their loss if they don’t want to take the time and effort to nourish their bodies.

I don’t want to push anyone into this lifestyle, but I will always be here more than willing to share what knowledge I have with others. I want to make a difference in this world by helping to educate people on how to take care of their bodies, because we only get one. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and God wants us to take care of His creation. I think it’s high time that we wake up and do something about our health.

 

Vegan Week Victories

As many of you know, starting November 1st I decided to give up dairy products and go vegan for a week as a way to cleanse and restart for the new month. This was my second time going vegan for a week and it has been amazing. It went so well that I decided to continue on with it! I’m not sure when I’ll end up eating something with dairy in it again, but for now I don’t feel the need to.

Today I thought I’d share a little bit about the meals I’ve been eating and how I’m feeling overall.

While I did do a little bit of meal prep for my vegan week, I honestly didn’t make a bunch of fancy vegan meals. My husband won’t eat most of the vegan meals I fix, so I didn’t want to make huge quantities for myself.

For my breakfasts I had lots of avocado toast, oatmeal, and I even made up a batch of vegan waffles. And of course I had to have my coffee! Instead of drinking it with creamer like I usually do, I used almond coconut milk and a little bit of raw sugar. After a week I finally got used to it!

I don’t eat a whole lot throughout the day, so I just had some Go Macro bars, 1915 Bolthouse Farms juices, and hot teas on hand to have for lunch/snacks.

For dinners I made a huge batch of vegan Chili Mac n Cheese (Brendan actually ate it too) last Wednesday that lasted throughout the week, and I also made vegan Cauliflower Sauce Mac n Cheese for the first time. It definitely didn’t taste like normal mac n cheese, but with some practice I think I will get better at making vegan meals like that.

I ended up eating more vegan “junk food” than I had planned on. Brendan and I had Chipotle o Friday night and then Dominos pizza on Sunday night. And yes, it is possible to eat vegan at Dominos. After doing a little research, we found out that their thin crust does not have any whey in it. So, I ordered a thin crust pizza with extra sauce, spinach, and roasted red peppers. I had them hold the cheese and I just sprinkled some nutritional yeast on top.

I need to focus on incorporating more fruits and veggies into my meals, but besides that it hasn’t been very difficult to eat like this. The hardest things for me were giving up my coffee creamer and raw honey that I use in my hot teas. Besides that, I haven’t felt deprived at all.

Now, let’s focus on how I’m feeling physically.

I lost a lot of weight leading up to my wedding back in May. I felt fit, happy, and healthy. But once the stress of the wedding and moving into our new apartment was over with I ended up gaining all the weight back (and more). I tried working out every single day and using My Fitness Pal to track every single thing that I ate to lose the weight. None of that worked and I was left feeling frustrated, fat, and very unsatisfied. I stopped counting calories near the end of August and I slowly started to feel better. However, I was still not making any progress with my weight.

It wasn’t until going vegan for a week that I actually started to lose weight! I eat relatively healthy for the most part, but seeing the affects that giving up dairy products had on my body is amazing. I’ve lost about 3.5 lbs. in the last couple weeks without trying.

Weight aside, I think the real victory for me is the fact that I haven’t felt bloated or nauseaus this entire week. Recently, I had been going to bed every night with a bloated tummy. It didn’t really seem to matter how much or how little I ate, I would always be left feeling icky. I was turning to Apple Cider Vinegar water every night before bed to help ease my stomach. I think it might be safe to say that I might be a little lactose intolerant.

On top of eating a vegan diet, I have been going to the gym a couple times a week and also working out at home. While I believe exercise is important, I think that a healthy weight starts in the kitchen. Seriously, I see a difference in my abs just since going vegan.

It’s not always easy, but everyday I try to focus on how I’m feeling physically and mentally rather than focusing on the number on the scale. I always feel my best when I know I’m nourishing my body.

If any of you have considered going vegan for a week, I strongly urge you to do so! It may not be easy at first, but your body will thank you for it. 🙂

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Vegan Week – Day 1

Yesterday was World Vegan Day and it also marked the beginning of my going vegan for a week. What perfect timing! My main reason for going vegan for a week is because I felt like I needed a restart. Recently I have been eating a lot of junk and slacking on going  to the gym, and my body was screaming at me to make some changes. November 1st seemed like the perfect time to cleanse and recharge.

Right now I am happy with my weight and my body, and that’s something I haven’t been able to say since my wedding day in May. I gained weight over the summer and got so discouraged and upset with myself. I was beginning to hate looking at myself in the mirror because I always felt fat and bloated. It’s been a challenge getting back to a place where I am happy and not constantly thinking about the way I look, but I am slowly getting there.

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Please excuse my bedhead and weird smile. 

Day 1 of Vegan Week was very easy for me. Since I currently eat plenty of vegan meals, it wasn’t a big shock to my body to give up dairy products. The only things I am really missing so far are cream in my coffee and honey in my hot tea, but besides that I’m doing great!

My meals were pretty simple. I had two slices of avocado toast for breakfast and a cup of coffee with almond coconut milk. For lunch/afternoon snack before the gym I had 1/2 a White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Clif Bar and echinacea tea with lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). I made vegan tacos for dinner which consisted of roasted sweet potatoes seasoned with garlic and chili powder, and nutritional yeast in a crunchy taco shell. And I topped that with avocado, onions, corn, spinach & kale, salsa, and taco sauce. And for my bedtime snack I had a bowl of Cheerios with almond coconut milk and a cup of chamomile tea with lemon and ACV.

I definitely need to work on incorporating more fruits and veggies into my meals, but I didn’t feel deprived at all. I went to bed feeling satisfied and I wasn’t bloated like usual. One of my favorite parts about going vegan is getting creative in the kitchen. I love finding alternatives for certain ingredients and doing research and learning more about health, wellness, and nutrition.

I may not post what I eat everyday, but I will definitely keep everyone posted on how I’m feeling this week. Here’s to a happy, healthy November!

September Goals and Healthy Habits

Since July I have been taking time to sit down at the beginning of each month to think about what goals I want to reach and what healthy habits I want to form for myself by the time the month is wrapping up. I know that many people get excited to sit down and make a huge long list of new year’s resolutions (most of which end up getting abandoned after just a few weeks), but I think that many of us never think to make monthly, or even weekly, goals for ourselves.

In my opinion, it’s easier to sit down at the beginning of each month and think ‘Okay, what were some of my highs and lows this past month? And what can I do differently this month to make changes in my life?’. Not only does this relieve you of the pressure to write out ONE long list of goals, it gives you the opportunity to have a positive mindset and start fresh each month.

So, instead of having one opportunity a year to make resolutions this method lets you make 12 smaller lists of goals that you can work toward little by little each month. Sounds a lot less intimidating, right? We’re human, so we have to allow ourselves to be human and fail sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with failure, as long as we pick ourselves back up, learn something from the experience, and try again. This is where many people mess up-they cheat on their diets, or skip a couple of workouts at the gym and then say to themselves “Well, I’ve already failed on my goals to eat healthy and workout every day this year, I might as well abandon those goals now and wait for next year to roll around before I start again”.

STOP RIGHT THERE. We’re human, remember? We’re not perfect- we cheat on our diets and eat ice cream, sometimes we have days where we’d rather sit on the couch and binge watch Netflix instead of going to the gym. The key to achieving our goals and forming lifelong healthy habits is to realize when we have messed up, and know that tomorrow is a brand new day where we can start over. Just because you skipped a workout one day doesn’t mean you should stop going to the gym altogether. And to be honest, I really need to be taking my own advice because I’ve done this time and time again. Sometimes I’ll eat junk food and then feel guilty about it afterwards and think ‘well, I already made one poor food choice today, I guess it won’t hurt to make another’. This can send me into a downward spiral of moodiness. So I’ve learned that if I know I’m going out for dinner in the evening, I make sure to make healthy food choices during the day so I can balance things. Balance and a positive mindset is the key my friends.

I thought I’d share with you guys the list of goals and healthy habits I made for myself at the beginning of the month with an update on how well I’ve been sticking to those goals. Here’s my list for September:

  • Drink at least 53oz of water a day I think I’ve been pretty consistent with this, although I’m sure I’ve had my days where I don’t quite hit the mark.
  • Drink at least 1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar a day I think I’ve missed one day so far.
  • Go to the gym 3 times a week It’s been more like two times a week, but I make sure I workout (whether that’s at home or at the gym) at least three times a week.
  • Take supplements everyday going strong!
  • Write everyday (journal, blog, write letters, etc.)! while I definitely haven’t been journaling as much as I’d like, I think I’ve been doing pretty well with writing more consistently this month. 
  • Read five books While I have been reading plenty of books at one time, I’ve only finished one this month. 
  • Blog at least once a week I think I’m knocking this one out of the park!
  • Pray for others Between everything that’s going on in our country and friends that are going through a difficult time, I’ve been praying long and hard these days. 
  • Read my Bible consistently I’ve started to have my daily devotions and read my Bible at a consistent time everyday and it’s helped so much

While there are some areas I could be doing better in, I’m proud of how well I’ve been sticking to this list and I know that there is always room for improvement. 🙂 What are some of your goals for the month of October? I’ll make sure to share my list with you soon. 

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30 Days of Lists Challenge 

Day 23: Favorite patterns 

I feel like I’m not a typical girl who loves chevron everything! I tend to like more unique and funky prints, some of which I probably don’t even know the names of. But here are a few prints and patterns I could think of that I adore.

  • Stripes!
  • Tribal patterns
  • Any kind of botanical or fruit and veggie prints made into patterns
  • Moroccan
  • Polka dots
  • Quatrefoil
  • Ikat
  • Scales

Day 24: Foods that I dislike 

  • Any and every kind of meat (obviously)
  • Olives
  • Mushrooms
  • American cheese (Kraft singles is NOT real cheese people)
  • Boiled peanuts
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Corn bread
  • Grits