Thankful for Movement

Happy post-Thanksgiving! My holiday was spent in Moab, Utah with Mike, my mom, sister, brother-in law, niece, nephew, cousin and cousin in law. There was a whole crew of us! We spent our days hiking in Arches National Park, seeing gorgeous natural wonders, magnificent arches, babbling creeks, and huge boulders and jagged rocks. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life and feel so incredibly blessed to have gone to experience it with almost my entire family. There’s nothing like fresh air, family and natural wonders to make a holiday glorious. Our traditional annual Thanksgiving hike landed us at the Delicate Arch – talk about being thankful!

Moab

Unfortunately, a horrible tooth infection kept me down for the count for a good 30+ hours following the hike…coming to the Thanksgiving table for only a brief moment to gingerly nibble on some sweet potatoes, homemade cranberry and cauliflower before heading back to bed. After a trip to the ER the next morning, a dose of antibiotics, and some kombucha to combat the antibiotics screwing with my gut flora, I was on the mend. Our last day, yesterday, arrived and I was feeling so much better, ready to step outside and get a bit of dirt under my feet. My mom and I headed out and ended up hiking two glorious trails, each quite different from the next, both full of incredible sights.

So Day 14 of the Mindful 21 Day challenge has arrived and we are on our way home. An early start to the day hasn’t left time for meditation yet, but I have reflected on the past few days. Being with family is wonderful, but can be challenging if you share different viewpoints on things, have different habits or styles of doing things. That is where mindfulness becomes so crucial. Being mindful of how your actions, words, and behaviors effect those around you becomes so apparent when you’re in close quarters. It’s during these times when taking pause and breathing deeply can make a huge difference. And getting out into the great outdoors, turning off the ipods, video games, tv, means quality time spent in nature.

Family

Tomorrow, Day 15 of the Mindful 21 Day challenge, adds onto the 5 minutes of meditation and meatless meal with movement. Being mindful of our internal state, taking time to calm and center yourself is, I believe, vital for your happy. Taking a proactive approach to what you’re eating and being mindful of how it’s fueling your body is vital to your health. Incorporating movement into your life, feeling the fluidity of your body, adds vitality, energy, longevity to your life. Being mindful of moving your body each day should be a priority – and what better what to move than yoga!

sun salutation

Tomorrow, find time for meditation, a meatless meal, plus movement. Try a 5-10 minute yoga flow or, 10 sun salutations or even splurge and head to the studio. I recently joined Yogaglo, something my girlfriend and cohost Sarah introduced me to, and I am in love! Pick the duration, the teacher, the focus, the body part, the level and do it in the comfort of your own home.

I have some short Yoga videos on my YouTube channel, but there are also a million great FREE Yoga videos out there that will get you moving. Here’s one describing how to do a Sun Salutation. Try something that speaks to you and will work with your practice.

How will you move? Let me know what gets you up and flowing.

Happy movement!

Fat for Breakfast

Fat for breakfast

It’s Day 8 of the Mindful 21 challenge and it’s the kick off of the mindful eating portion. For the next 7 days I’m going to be incorporating 5 minutes of meditation to start my day plus sharing nutritional tips, plant-based recipes, and conscious eating facts. I believe food should fuel us, should aide in our physical and mental activity, should help assist in our health instead of contributing to our sickness.

Let’s start with breakfast!

I’m not a huge breakfast fan. Lunch, bring it. Dinner, I’ll take seconds. Breakfast I can take or leave it. That being said, it’s the most important meal of the day. For real. It gets your brain functioning and stores energy you use for the rest of your day.

Some Fat Facts:

  • 60% of your brain matter is made of fats that create all the cell membranes in your body
  • Fat supplies 60% of the bodies ongoing energy needs during rest
  • Good fats help promote fat burn

Fat totally gets a bad rep and there are plenty of good fats you can start having for breakfast. Avocado being one of them. I often have avocado toast or avocado on a brown rice cake sprinkled with raw sesame seeds (which have omega-6 fatty acids and are FULL of protein) & pumpkin seeds (full of anti-anxiety properties and vitamin E).

Plant-based breakfasts are full of live enzymes, vitamins, minerals….the list goes on and on. I say if you want to start your day on the right foot, drink some water upon waking, meditate for 5 minutes, then eat some avocado, beans, saute some spinach in some coconut oil and top it on your toast, eat some healthy fat to get your body movin’.

Happy Breakfast!

 

Be Happy

Happy

I wouldn’t categorize myself as a hippie, so find it amusing when friends tell me I’m granola, that I should go eat some chia hemp seed smoothies and do some down dog. While that actually sounds like a pretty decent plan, I do reflect on what led them to make these comments. I’ve come up with one major distinctive trait:

I am Happy.

What a notion! That being happy could alter the way someone looks at you, treats you, how they interact with you, how they label or judge you. In a world surrounded by negativity, sometimes being happy and positive makes you the odd man out.

I’ve learned that happiness can not be given to you by others, it can’t be bought, and it shouldn’t be easily altered by others reactions. It should be constant within you, even when faced with adversity. You make your own happy.

Finding my happy has been one of the most important things I didn’t know I was chasing. And I’ve been happy, deep down to my toes, for quite some time.  How did I achieve this? I started to listen to my truth in a way that isn’t profound or earth shattering or even worthy of an epiphany. I started choosing what makes me happy and avoiding that which didn’t.

Yes. It was that easy for me.

Now, by easy I don’t mean it was an overnight breakthrough and I surely don’t mean I don’t have bad or stressful days. I have been working on my happy in small ways, for years, practicing my craft, so to speak. It takes experience, time, trial and error to figure these things out.  It’s by being mindful of that which makes you happy to know to do more of it.

A few examples…
Practicing Yoga.
Quitting smoking and replacing it with running.
Choosing to let go of people who were unhealthy for me.
Becoming an advocate for my own health by cutting out most meat.
Moving to Colorado.
Starting nutritional school.
Saying no to invites because they may not be right, I may not want to do it, or it may be overbooking my time.

Again, not earth shattering examples, but some were extremely hard to achieve. Your happy should be your number one priority, so once you realize that pursuing more of what makes you happy and letting go of things that don’t, it should be a choice you make daily.

So, for Day 6 of the Mindful 21 sit quietly for day 5 and let happy wash over you. Think about those things that make you happy, the people you feel happy around, the activities and hobbies you feel joy when pursuing. And start doing them more.

Happy Day!