What really tickles your fancy?

3 Sep

 

 

 

 

ImageToday I saw the worst shirt.  I am not a big fan of those slogan bearing T-shirts anyway.  But especially when the message is completely depressing.  The shirt simply stated, “Meh.”  Why?  Why would you be so apathetic that you don’t care enough to choose something to care about.  

What are you “meh” about in your life?  Are you stuck in a job that bores you to death?  An unfulfilled relationship?  A dead end yo-yo diet?  

Don’t settle for anything meh.  Don’t settle for anything less than heart-pounding, exhilarating, head over heels, bursting full of life.  

Find your passion, find whatever it is that makes you forget the word “meh” even exists.  For me spending time outside hiking with my girlfriends thrills me.  Dressing up for date night with my boyfriend still gives me butterflies.  Relaxing at home with a glass of wine and a good book is like heaven to me.  And recently I’ve found out what direction my passion will take my career.  I am passionate about leading a healthy and happy lifestyle, and I am learning how to share that passion with others.  I am attending school at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where I am being taught by experts how to coach and support people that are feeling stuck in the “meh” phase of life.

I’ve found my passion and I can’t wait to spread it like wildfire.  Now I leave you with this question, what’s yours?  Share below!

 

I’m back!!

27 Mar

After a long hiatus, I can say that I am back in action in the blogging world!

I needed some time to decompress, reevaluate, reset, recharge…whatever you want to call it.  I also had to take a look into myself and set my intentions straight.  I was on a path that was leading in a million different directions, yet at the same time going nowhere.  With my busy always-on-the-go schedule, I found that I was spending a lot of time and energy on things that don’t make me happy and aren’t leading me down the right path to where I’d like to be in life.

I believe that this is being called the “Quarter Life Crisis” these days.  That’s definitely how I’ve been feeling: in crisis mode.  I know that I am blessed, but, the main feeling I’ve had lately is “blah,” uninspired, apathetic, listless, and sad.  This isn’t depression exactly, just a a yearning for more out of life.

At this point (well, maybe after a couple of weeks of wallowing) I really thought about my passions and what makes me happy. I set some intentions to move forward and started to get my positive thinking back on track.  As we all know, if you’re unhappy with something you have two choices: you can either learn to live with it or you can work on changing it.  I choose to be happy and pursue endeavors that fuel my soul and give me an invigorating feeling as I embrace life.

happiness

I am excited to be back and focus more energy on this blog.  I am also excited to share with you my next path and goals that I am working towards.  Stay tuned for that update!

Invest in Yourself

8 Jan

One of my resolutions for 2013 is to save money.  I am definitely working on being more responsible with my money, but that doesn’t mean I’m stopping spending cash cold turkey.  One thing that I think is a necessity to spend hard earned dough on is fitness.  I think of this as an investment in yourself.

invest in yourself

I have a membership to Colorado Athletic Downtown which is pricey, but close to my office so I know that it is easy to get my butt over there during lunch most days.  The cost difference that I would save by going to a cheaper gym isn’t worth it to me if I never step foot inside it (aka the 24 Hour Fitness by my house that I paid for without ever frequenting).  I’ve learned this lesson and have come to accept that I am paying for great classes and trainers, new equipment, nice amenities (whirlpool, sauna), and prime location.

For me, I get the most benefit (other than a solo run) out of group fitness classes.  Therefore, I am willing to pay for a month subscription to places like Pure Barre or Core Power Yoga if I know they have classes I want to try.  Also, once I shell out money I’m more likely to be committed.

Also, I love to  motivate myself with cute new workout gear.  Each season I’ll head to Nike.com, Lulu, and even Target to stock up on colorful tanks, cute yoga pants, and bright new running shoes.  Being stylish, comfortable, and prepared (for weather) makes me more likely to put on my exercise clothes and actually exercise.  I never feel guilty for these purchases because they’re motivating.

Do you think it’s necessary to spend money on fitness?  Do you save my money by not using expensive gyms or fitness gear?  What other ways do you invest in yourself?

Looking forward to 2013

3 Jan

Without further adieu, here are some of my 2013 goals:

Let go of all dead weight in my life that’s not serving me (anything from negative people to time wasters).

Think positive and loving thoughts.  Not to sound too much like The Secret right now, but I want to focus only on the positive affirmations and thoughts in my life.

Listen to my body.  This ideally means eating clean, nourishing my body with whole foods, and moving my body.

Love my body.  Extension of previous resolution, get rid of negative and critical thoughts about myself.

Embrace financial responsibility.  This is boring and very grown-up of me to say, but I am tired of being stressed about money and wasting it on stupid things.

Laugh at life.  Lately, I have been getting worked up over the silliest things, so I just need to take each day as it comes and not too seriously :)

2012 snapshots

31 Dec

Farewell, 2012.  You were good to me.  Here’s a walk down memory lane for the past year.

January

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Cheers to 2012! NYE

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Dianna and Michelle visit to ring in the new year!

February

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babes on the beach

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happy hour in Puerto Vallarta

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Ed and I celebrating our 1st Valentine’s Day together Stir cooking school

March

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trip to AZ for Taryn’s wedding…sorority reunion!

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Congrats to the beautiful bride!

April

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Chicago with Ed’s family. My 1st time, loved this city!

ImageMay

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trip to San Diego with my mom and cousin Bobby

June

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Father’s day with my family

July

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Celebrating Ashley’s birthday on 4th of July

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getaway to Vail

August

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Wedding season continues…

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Our 1st 14er!

September

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Telluride for Krissi’s wedding

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adopting Hudson!

October

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25th birthday party, complete with hick theme

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pumpkin patch with my pup!

December

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celebrating the holidays

Cheers to the New Year!  How will you be ringing in 2013?

 

inhale. exhale.

19 Dec

What a week it’s been.  I, as well as most of the world, am still trying to process the horrible tragedy that occurred last Friday in Newtown, CT.  There is nothing more that I can say that hasn’t been said by someone else yet, but my heart is just broken.  This school shooting really hits close to my heart for me because the place that I call home is Littleton, CO, the place of the infamous Columbine High School.  It’s amazing how many repressed emotions were brought back to the surface as this news from Newtown unfolded.  We can move through our day-to-day lives sometimes without dealing with our feelings or thinking about how to handle them.  Is this because we’ve taught ourselves to become numb to working through complicated thoughts and emotions?  How does one even begin to work through them, and how do you deal with the fact that they will probably never go away?  I am sure that in 50 years a place in my soul will still be scarred by the CHS tragedy.

All I know is that what I can do now for Newtown is offer prayer, love, and support.  I love the movement that was started by Ann Curry, 20 Acts of Kindness, which has turned into 26 Acts of Kindness, one for each victim of the Sandy Hooks shooting.

This is a great idea, especially during this season, let’s spread our love in as many ways as possible however you can.  One small act can start a ripple effect.  What random acts of kindness can you contribute to the world?

In dealing with the tragic news, I decided to hit my mat.  It’s been far too long since I’ve really dedicated my energy to practicing yoga.  I forget how much my body loves it.  Two of my girlfriends just finished yoga teacher training, so I will be using their free classes the entire month of January to get back into Namaste mindset :).

inhale

Finding a Passion

13 Dec

I have been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (more about that later, I am loving this book!).  One of the key concepts is to find out what your passions are and make an effort to spend more time enjoying them.  So, of course, I started to thinks about all the things in my life that I am passionate about.  Naturally, cooking healthy food, trying new recipes/restaurants, running and working out made my list.  This was only funny to me because it hasn’t always been that way.

I remember growing up I always had my nose stuck in a book or doodling in my sketchbook.  My parents and younger brother embodied an “active lifestyle” and I wanted nothing to do with it.  My dad would buy me rollerblades, bicycles, and soccer balls to try and bribe me onto outdoor adventures with him.  This ultimately ended up backfiring for everyone on a family trip to Moab, Utah.  I don’t know if you’ve visited the middle of the desert in the middle of July, but it is not my cup of tea.  We had mapped out a ton of great paths around Arches National Park, and I was so hot and bored, and probably out of shape, that I had a literal meltdown then threw my bike on the ground and spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in the car crying…Sounds like I was just a little bit of a brat, huh?).  This was the common theme for many years.  Anything outdoors or related to exercising you could just count me out.

Sometime during high school I realized that working out was okay, but I wasn’t an evangelist or anything.  Then in college, I really started to try new activities that I liked.  I lived in Boulder, CO, so I started hiking amazing trails right by my house and was hooked.  I ran around campus because it was so pretty.  I started yoga classes at CorePower to de-stress from school.  I even did workout videos with my roommate in our sorority bedroom.  Incorporating these activities into my life took time, but I am so thankful that I picked up the habit.  Now I thrive off of a good sweat session and look forward to my next long run outside.

passion-running

My whole point is that you can actually develop a passion.  The more time that you devote to an activity the more attached you can become.  Trying something new might lead to your next great passion, career, lifestyle, soulmate…who knows.

What passions have you developed?  Do you make the time to enjoy them?

Pursue your Passion WEB

Happy Motivational Monday

10 Dec

MM

Why are Mondays so motivational in this health blogging community?  Is it really just a way to re-charge after a potentially hazardous weekend?  Typically that is what I think.  I take the beginning a week to set some goals, re-energize my healthy mentality, and hopefully start the week on the right foot.

I dragged my butt to BodyPump today after missing 2 classes last week.  I had a feeling it was going to be brutal and I was right.  It’s amazing how fast your muscles can lose their memory/endurance/tone…whatever you want to call it.  I could actually see my arms getting softer, I could feel my arms getting weaker, and today I definitely regretted letting that happen!  One thing that I am thankful for on this “Motivational Monday” is my trainer Katie.

She is so energizing, but not in that annoying, in your face, bubbly type of trainer that I can’t stand.  She is real and honest.  Today we talked about how she was hung over and laid in bed all day yesterday so that’s why today’s class needed to be payback time.  Now, that’s something that I can relate to and she makes it okay.  During classes she’ll tell funny stories about trying to get into the Bronco’s locker room or watching football with her hubby.  It’s great to have someone that can go from joking with you to demanding one more hellish rep from you.  So, today Katie motivated me, and I appreciate that…even though I can’t lift my arms right now.

Happy Monday, have a great week!

Be Present.

6 Dec

I’m sure you haven’t heard yet, so I’ll be the one to say it again…It’s December already??!  Where the heck did the year go?  That’s how I am feeling anyway.  December is always a month full of mixed emotions.  There is a ton of pressure to be a great hostess, find the perfect gift for everyone on your list, decorate your house to look like it belongs on the pages of Better Homes, attend every Santa themed cocktail party you’re invited to, and on top of all that fit in normal day-to-day life.  PHEW!  I get exhausted just thinking about it.  In addition, this time of year is one of the busiest and most stressful at my job.  Can you tell that I’m about to rip my hair out right about now?  Lately, I’ve found myself wishing this month away and looking forward to a completely new year.

But, why, really?  December is supposed to be a great month full of cheer, family and friends, traditions, yummy food, and thankfulness.  And since I want to fully experience all of those things I need to remind myself to slow down.  I just need to take a deep breath and be present.  I struggle with this, but I am going to make an extreme effort during this holiday season to appreciate the small moments.  This past weekend I was trying to rush through putting my Christmas tree up and snapped at Ed.  I caught myself and realized that this was supposed to be a bonding and memorable experience for us, so I apologized, but it was too late.  I don’t want my anxiety to ruin any more moments like this.

be present

Some of my favorite moments I am going to savor:

  • Baking Christmas goodies while listening to the holiday station
  • People watching at the big malls with my mom while we sip on Starbucks Peppermint Mochas
  • Sitting in front of the Christmas tree lights with a good book and glass of wine
  • The excitement of actually finding that perfect gift and watching your recipient open it
  • Holiday parties with friends that I don’t always get to see
  • Sneaking into stockings with my brother early on Christmas morning
  • Christmas Eve fondue and church tradition with Ed’s family
  • Mayyyybe that first snowfall here in Colorado and a day on the slopes?!

Keep Calm and Merry

Do you struggle with anxiety during the busy holiday season?  What are your favorite traditions you’re looking forward to?

Holiday Side Dish

21 Nov

I don’t know about you, but I am itching for this holiday season to begin!  Tomorrow will be filled with tons of turkey, stuffing, new and old recipes, pumpkin pies galore, and maybe even some spiked cider or mulled wine!  I can’t wait to spend time with my family and take it easy for a day.  Ed and I are heading down to the suburbs to celebrate with my family.  Last night I decided to test some side dish options and came up with a beautiful seasonal squash dish.

I remember trying a sample of wheat berry salad at Whole Foods a few years back.  Although I wasn’t really sure what exactly a wheat berry was, I always found myself craving that salad.  It’s just a small kernel of wheat and it reminds me of quinoa or couscous, only much crunchier (and in my mind more substantial).  I recently realized that wheat berries are sold by bulk at many natural grocers, so I picked up a large bag not really knowing what I was going to make.  As usual, I just grabbed a few ingredients here and there and threw together what looked yummy.  And I must say it turned out pretty great!

Wheat berry Stuffed Acorn Squash

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Wheat Berry Stuffed Acorn Squash

Acorn squash (cut in half, and seeds removed)

2 cups (or more) whole cooked wheat berries (just boil with enough water to cover for about 60 minutes or until tender)

1/2 cup dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

1/2 cup toasted walnuts (dry toast over medium heat for about 3 minutes)

1/2 cup chopped green onion (green and white parts)

3 Tablespoons of olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

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mis en place

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These beauties are ready to be roasted

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I could eat a whole bowl of this wheat berry salad by itself

Directions:

Cook wheat berries as directed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, cut acorn squash in half and drizzle with syrup/cinnamon combo (this really brings out the autumnal flavors).  Roast for about 40 minutes or until the meat of the squash is tender.  Mix all wheat berry salad ingredients together (and throw in any additional fruits or veggies you have!) and toss with olive oil and lemon juice.  Once you pull the squash out of the oven spoon the mixture into you “pre-made bowls” and serve hot!  So easy!

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Voila! Healthier than a stuffed turkey :)

This dish is a great side dish at Thanksgiving or a holiday dinner party.  Also, if you aren’t sure what to serve your vegetarian guests, this is a a great main dish as well because the protein from the wheat berries make it so filling.  Alternatively, you can use this recipe as a guide for stuffing butternut squash, pumpkin, or peppers as well.  The possibilities are endless… Since I am in charge of some sides for tomorrow I will share what I decide on!  Any ideas?  What are your favorite Thanksgiving recipes?

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