Tag Archive | Balance

Kicking off 2015…Better late than never!

Haha well so much for writing a post to kick off the new year!  I have to say, I take my hat off to those who work full-time, juggle a social life/family/relationship, AND blog regularly.  I know that part of it is really just making a mental commitment to posting, just like I make a mental commitment to get to the gym 4-5 days a week.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

Okay, so let me try to get back on track by re-capping a few things since my last post (nearly 3 months ago…Ahhh!). Pardon me while I spew random thoughts:

  • Work is going great. I may have mentioned before, but I handle admissions/business operations for a

    Caribbean-based medical school. I absolutely LOVE working with the students, especially when we get to have random chats via email on occasion. I had previously considered (and was accepted to) medical school, so I have a big interest in the ins-and-outs of it. Not to mention, I’m currently dating a 3rd year resident, so I have learned lots about how things work AFTER med school. Which brings me to my next thought…

  • I’ve been dating someone for going on four months now, and since I’ve been single most of my adult life, it’s been interesting to find my own personal balance being in a

    relationship. When you’re single, you’re the only person you have to factor on a daily basis. You don’t have to think about someone else’s feelings or schedule…BUT you also don’t get to experience the awesomeness that can come with sharing your life with someone who truly cares for you. Let me tell you, it is SO DIFFERENT when you are with someone who treats you like a real partner in life. This guy is really nothing short of amazing…and his dedication and passion for his career are so inspiring. It takes effort to make things work, of course…learning how to communicate, balancing busy schedules, figuring out what someone needs when they are stressed, figuring out how to talk about what you need, etc…but that’s kind of the fun part, in my opinion.

  • Speaking of busy schedules, I’ve also stared a Six Sigma management certification course. Basically, it focuses on process improvements, and reducing cost and waste in business. Really good stu
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    Source: My Instagram hahah

    ff for business management whether it’s running your own business or being part of running someone else’s. Since the bf is studying intensely for his board certification exam, it’s perfect timing for me to be busy with this 🙂

  • In terms of diet/exercise, thankfully that hasn’t fallen off with the new relationship. I’m still getting to the gym at least 4 days most weeks and have been maintaining my strength. I have to say the most improvement lately has come from some small tweaks in my diet. Mainly, drinking more herbal tea, increasing veggie intake, and doing more vegetarian options. The herbal tea has helped keep my water intake up during the cold months, since I don’t always feel like chugging cold water when it’s 20 below with the wind chill, haha. And I’ve been adding lots of chickpeas and beans to my diet instead of always going for chicken. I’ll have to share some cool winter salad combos I’ve been coming up with!

Soooo, yeah! Those are a few things that have been going on in my life. Better late than never, right?!  (Actually, my motto is usually better never than late, hahaha I’m BIG on punctuality!).

But, it’s been a reminder that we are all human and can’t be perfect in all areas of our life at all times. I’ll leave off with a quote I remember from “Eat, Pray, Love:”

To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life. -Elizabeth Gilbert

Ciao for now!

-E

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Honey, Aww Sugar Sugar

Due to the craziness that is the holiday season, I’ve been slacking a bit on blogging. Last week I did a bit of a cop-out and re-blogged a post, but I cut myself some slack since it was such a well-written piece. If you missed it, check it out here.

Anyway, I thought that since we are in the thick of the season of sugary indulgences (and you thought it was just about presents! Ha!), we should talk about our friend (and I use that term VERY loosely): SUGAR.

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Looks delicious, right! Everything in moderation 🙂

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The holidays tend to be the sweetest time of the year –candy, cookies, cocktails, and pie…oh my!), and all of those sweet little treats we consume during the holidays might taste great – but the damage they do when consumed in excess is becoming a serious issue. Sugar-related problems range from depression to mood swings to hyperactivity and chronic fatigue. Even worse are such disorders as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

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Now, I’m not saying that you should switch over to artificial sweeteners because, as I mentioned in one of my first posts, those are even worse for you! And I’m also not saying to pass up Aunt Mary’s signature holiday brownies or Mom’s homemade apple pie if you truly enjoy eating them.

What I am saying is:

  • Don’t forget to eat a balance of nutritious, whole foods along with a few holiday sweets.
  • Stay on track with your fitness routine as much as possible. Not only will it keep you fit, it can keep you sane!
  • Get plenty of sleep! Lack of it = increased cortisol, less sensitivity to insulin, & more cravings for sweets.
  • Stay hydrated. No elaborate explanation here. Just do it. Water is good for you.
  • Don’t under-eat in anticipation of a holiday party/get-together. When you try to ‘save’ your calories for a party, you are more likely to overeat and go for high carb/high sugar options.
  • Eat mindfully. Savor the taste and texture of each bite, and you won’t need a bunch to feel satisfied.
  • Don’t have an “all or nothing” mentality. Allow yourself to eat and ENJOY some holiday treats, and you’ll be less likely to throw in the towel and eat a whole pan of brownies just because you indulged in one or two. Remember, it takes 3500 extra calories to gain one pound, so a few treats at the holidays really won’t affect you in the grand scheme of things

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Most importantly, while our holiday gatherings do tend to be centered around food and drinks, I like to focus on the joy of the season. I love getting together with family and friends and celebrating that we get to be together. Plus, the more you’re talking with family and friends, the less you’ll be shoveling food into your mouth mindlessly…unless you talk with your mouth full, which of course, you don’t ;-P

If you guys have any tips on how you stay healthy during the holidays, I’d love to hear them!

Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, Chanukah, Kwanza, etc…Wishing you all the happiest of holidays ❤

Ciao for now!

-E

Sometimes Stress Comes Around and it Knocks You Down…

Do you ever feel like so many little things are stressing you out that it just snowballs into one giant stress cloud that you can’t seem to get away from? Well that’s been me this past week. Some career choices on the horizon, working too much, an upcoming birthday (and with that, feelings of “I thought my life would be different/better at this age), and a few other things going on…it just sort of hit me all at once.overwhelm1Source

Normally I would workout rigorously to relieve the stress, but this week my body has rebelled and all I’ve wanted to do is sleep. I tried muscling through (literally) and going hard at the gym, but then when I woke up yesterday with a sore throat, I realized that my body was telling me to sloooowwww downnnn and rest.

So last night, I was in bed by 9pm and slept in until 7:30  this morning (rather than getting up at 5:15 to get ready for a pre-work day gym session). When I got up, I initially felt guilty for skipping the gym (especially because I had taken off the day before), but I also know better than to over-do it when my body is telling me it needs rest. I’d rather take two days off and have a great workout when I go back than push myself and have a bunch of sub-par workouts and still feel lousy.rest-daySource

It’s taken me years to figure out this balance and practice good self-care. We are all susceptible to stress and things we cannot control, so it’s important to figure out what works for YOU to feel better and manage that stress. Sometimes knocking out a gym session will do the trick, but sometimes you just need 2 or 3 days (or maybe even longer) to let your body unwind, recuperate, and feel   stronger.

As I sip my coffee and write this, I’m already starting to feel the itch for a workout, which makes me grateful that I took a couple days off. Tomorrow is going to be a killer gym sesh…I can feel it already 🙂

Ciao for now!
-E

Digging Deep for Motivation

I have to be honest, I haven’t really felt motivated/inspired to blog this week. Maybe it’s because I did a grueling workout Saturday that forced me to take a few days off from the gym to let my body recoup…which kind of threw
me off my game. I confessed this lack of motivation to my friend and, genius that she is, she suggested that I write about finding motivation. Brilliant!  It makes sense because so many of us, myself included at times, struggle to find the motivation to drag our butts to the gym or squeeze a workout into our already jam packed schedules.  Just like with my workouts, this blog is a commitment that I’ve made to myself and, of course, to those who read it.  And just like with working out, sometimes I just don’t feel like it! Haha

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Now sometimes, it’s good to take a little break…like if you’re sick, injured, or sleep-deprived. Self-care comes first, but there’s a line that we all walk that requires us to know when we truly need a break, and when we are being a tad lazy and self-sabotaging.  How do you know the difference??  Well, for me, that means thinking about how I’ll probably feel after I do the thing I’m procrastinating on. With a workout, sometimes I know I’ll feel better if I do it, but realize I need to scale back the intensity so I don’t push myself over the limit.  With the blog, I think of how disappointed in myself I’d be if I didn’t at least write a little something for the week (since a once-a-week posting was my original goal/commitment to myself).get motivated~Source

If you’re reading this, is there anything you’re procrastinating on that you think you might regret if you don’t do it? Remind yourself of your goal and of your commitment to yourself, and think of how accomplished you’ll feel after you finish it.

You can do it!

🙂

Ciao for now!
-E

Why Has “Diet” Become a “Four-Letter” Word?

Diet

If we look at the primary definition of the word diet, it simply means- food (sidebar: as you can see, I love Wikipedia).  But with today’s focus on weight loss, most people think of a diet as a four-letter word…as a temporary/fad plan someone goes on to lose weight. These “diets” will have a certain gimmick or theme (Atkins, South Beach, etc), and are centered around temporary deprivation as a means of achieving weight loss.

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The main (and obvious) problem with these “diets” is that many simply don’t work long-term because people find them unrealistic, too restrictive, too costly, too complicated, or too inconvenient to maintain.

Most importantly, restrictive dieting (too little calories or inadequate balance of carbs, fats, and proteins) messes with your nervous, endocrine (hormones), digestive, and musculoskelatal systems. Furthermore, with regard to caloric restriction, it’s a fine line. Yes, you want to burn more than you consume, but consume to little and your body thinks it’s starving and slows your metabolism to try to conserve energy. Take it from someone who has been there, done that…temporary weight loss from a starvation/overly restrictive diet isn’t worth it. You’ll wreck your metabolism and lose lean muscle mass instead of fat.

So I’m going to tell you what you’ve heard many times before: What we need to do is reconsider the way we think about food. Rather than thinking we should temporarily go on some fad “diet,” we should be thinking about making changes that we can realistically achieve and sustain for a lifetime.

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Just eat food. Eat real food, be active, and live your life.  Pay attention to how your body feels when you eat certain foods…if you tune into it, you will realize that you have an innate intelligence about the inner workings of your anatomy. Eat what makes you feel energetic and alive.  But forget all the dieting and weight loss nonsense.  Eat for health and nutrition the majority of the time, but if it’s your birthday and you want some cake, eat some damn cake and enjoy it!  Each one of us is unique, different and truly beautiful in every shape, age, ethnicity, and any other form. Focus on health and a balanced lifestyle, not weight, and treat your body with the love and respect it deserves.

Ciao for now!

-E

What is “Wellness,” and How Do I Get It?

As with any goal, you have to know where you’re going (or what you’re striving for) before you can achieve it.  So, presuming that most of you reading this are interested in health and/or “wellness,” let’s see what Wikipedia has to say about it:

Wellness is generally used to mean a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being…The term has been defined by the Wisconsin-based National Wellness Institute as an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence...with wellness being the result of personal initiative, seeking a more optimal, holistic and balanced state of health and well-being across multiple dimensions.

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So, simply put, the state of “wellness” entails actively participating in your own health and state of balance.  It’s about making a commitment to yourself to live a certain type of life…one that enhances your own personal experience of being on this earth.  For me, this means focusing on having a positive state of mind, career satisfaction, meaningful personal connections, balanced nutrition, and a healthy and active lifestyle.

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Now it may go without saying, but it is my belief that nutrition and fitness are the foundation from which other facets of wellness stem.  But, putting that aside, I want to kick off this blog by inviting you to take a look at your life and contemplating what “wellness” would look like for you, personally.  What goals do you need to work on to be healthier, happier, more balanced?

A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.  -Tom Stoppard

Food for thought…no pun intended 😉

Ciao for now!

-E

Ciao for now!

-E