Another year, and another “My March,” blog in the books. This year is all about being healthy from the “INSIDE” out with the motto of “Get REAL!” It is time to get real about health, home, habits & happiness. I’ll be mapping out goals and implementing new approaches to life. Although the title of the entry is “MY” March it really is an effort to not only improve myself, but also aiming to improve the quality of life for my loved ones as well.
(In the paragraphs below I try to sort out some of my findings from the books pictured above about health, home habits & happiness.)
Get REAL…healthy from the “INSIDE” out…food choices.
Healthy from the INSIDE out, requires mindfulness when it comes to eating. It is really about focusing on what food can do for me instead of simply satisfying my hunger. It’s about eating the salad before eating the pizza. It’s about eating the apple instead of eating the pretzels for a snack. You catch my drift… It’s about putting the vitamin packed foods into the body first!
I have continued my subscription to Blue Apron* This holds me accountable for cooking at least three homemade, healthy dinners per week. It honestly gives me a lot of cooking knowledge too. I have been able to use this new knowledge on my own meals as well. I mean seriously I never knew how easy & delicious pan roasted vegetables could be until they were a part of one of my Blue Apron meals! Now I am more inclined to add fresh vegetables to every dinner.
Although my main goal is to eat unpackaged, whole foods, I do like to drink Isagenix* shakes for lunch. They are super nutritious on their own, but you can also add scoops of greens or ionic supreme to pump up the nutritional value! This just happens to be the system that was presented to me, but there are lots of other similar options that I imagine are great as well.
I also have chosen Ritual* vitamins to help supplement my diet. I like to think that I can get all of the nutrients that I need through whole foods, but just to make sure I'm not missing anything, I opt for a woman's multivitamin to fill in the gaps.
I just recently joined Daily Harvest* and have loved their smoothies. Such a healthy, simple snack for in between meals! The combinations are so great! They are filled with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc…a whole variety of tasty combinations packed with REAL, fresh food!
Get REAL…healthy from the INSIDE out…beauty products.
I was going to add a beauty products section too and then it dawned on me, the idea here is about healthy from the INSIDE out which means food is the beauty product. I'm not saying products aren't helpful, believe me I have a routine that definitely includes several products. Looking back at last years "My March," I talked about a few of my favorites. I will say though that I do try to pick products that align with my values. I lean towards all natural & cruelty-free whenever possible.
The jist of it is this though, drink lots of water for glowing skin, eat an avocado for shiny hair, almonds to support collagen production, sunflower seeds for healthy nails, and on and on. Use REAL food to nourish the body INSIDE which will in turn produce a natural glow on the outside.
Get REAL…healthy from INSIDE out…exercise.
Dedication to an exercise program is required as well. Getting the heart pumping & strengthening the muscles are an essential piece of healthy from the INSIDE out! It goes without saying that yoga is number one on my list when it comes to exercise. Yoga helps with muscle tone and balance. It also works on mental strength as well.
While I wish I could leave my exercise routine at just yoga, I know that getting the heart pumping is super important as well. This turns out to work in my favor anyway because I seem to find great amounts of inspiration while getting my cardio workout in for the week. Whether I am in a spinning class or running(inside or outside) I get some of my greatest, most clear ideas during this cardio induced high!
Get REAL…healthy from INSIDE out…environment.
Moving along to my home. Home is where the heart is and I don’t want my home to look or feel like a clogged artery. Just as I want the blood to flow smoothly through my heart, I also want there to be a positive flow of energy throughout my home. I’ve taken the time to create harmony within my body, I need that same harmony within my home(and the inside of my car as well).
When it comes to my living space(and my car), I am reminded of a Gretchen Rubin quote “Outer order, contributes to inner calm.” Yes, indeed! With kids in the mix this one has been exceptionally challenging! The clutter seems never ending! From school work to goodie bags from birthday parties, it is a constant battle!
I have a few projects that I have taken on in order to create outer order in my house...
First, I was gifted industrial shelves in my basement storage space. I finally have a more organized way to store holiday decorations, memorabilia, and other miscellaneous items.
Then I went through the kids rooms & limited the amount of toys that were in there. They now have book boxes, a small toy box, and a section for stuffed animals. I also strategically went through their clothing. Between the dresser and the closet, there are no superfluous items of clothing...everything accessible fits and outgrown clothing is in a box on the closet shelf to be donated when the box is full.
A project I am trying to finalize is our media room. The goal is to have a charging station for all of the electronics. This way they have a home at the end of the day & will be fully ready for the next day. This also, creates a definitive stop time to the usage of those items.
In an effort to create outer order on the inside of my car, I enlisted a professional. Yes, it is that bad! We don’t even really eat in the car all too often, yet somehow there are crumbs in every crack of the car! Our car is somewhat a house on wheels, so...
-I have a binder to keep all of the DVDs in so each individual case does not need to be in there.
-The kids are allowed to have a book & a notebook in the pocket that is on the back of the seat.
-Kleenex & wet wipes are stowed in cup holders on each car door.
-The kids always have a bottle of water in their cupholder.
-Each kid has a blanket in case they are cold or just want to get cozy.
-In the console is a first aid kit, hand sanitizer & napkins.
-A plastic shopping bag is kept in there to collect garbage so it won’t be left to accumulate.
I am in my car a lot, so I want to feel calm, cool, and collected when I'm in there. The mess & miscellaneous stuff makes me feel out of sorts, so I have to be organized & strategic about what is kept in there & how to keep stuff from building up.
Get REAL…healthy from the INSIDE out…time
My understanding of my nature has contributed to my overall happiness too. Time to connect & time to reflect. Along with the physical space, I also focused on this idea of planning. I have a monthly family calendar that everyone can look at to be aware of the week(s) ahead. I also have a weekly calendar that I map out each week. On this calendar I have activities & meals. I use a few post it notes that can be moved around. Some things are set in stone & others, like my work out schedule, can be a little bit flexible. Not flexible in the sense that they can be taken off, just flexible in the sense that the classes that I enjoy are offered on several different days/times. I am trying to get better about an electronic calendar, but this hasn’t worked for me yet. The intriguing thing about this approach is that I always have my phone with me & I can add family members on to calendars so everyone will know the kids schedules(school, sports, etc.) or work/travel schedules. But, that is another work in progress. For now, I'll stick with a monthly & weekly handwritten calendar.
It may sound crazy, but I very strategically plan out my social calendar. I do this because often times I am so content in my own space doing introverted things that I don’t make time to connect. I get lost in reading and reflecting and I push aside connecting. Although the most of me is introverted, a great percentage of me is extroverted as well. I absolutely love finding out what inspires those around me. I love hearing their stories and I love learning new things from them and about them.
Get REAL…healthy from the INSIDE out…work, life balance
My new endeavors have brought me a lot of happiness, but even these have required a lot of this “Get REAL” mentality. The reality is that I only have certain windows of time for planning & executing my Feelings Fitness ideas.
Feelings Fitness has branched off into many different paths. The main focus being yoga, of course. On the website I plan on adding to the @yoga section more frequently as I continue to immerse myself in the practice and in teaching.
I have also started a book club. The goal of the book club is mainly to open up online "conscious" conversations. The hope is that this will lead to live get togethers in order to expand upon the discussion & create a stronger connection amongst a like-minded and open-minded group of highly positive people.
Kids/parenting is also involved and I plan on including more in this category as it is one that hits close to home for me these days. I know how hard it is and want to share my personal experiences to help others who are experiencing all that encompasses this phrase, “the days are long, but the years are short.” I just have to be REAL about my lot in life right now & the reality is that I still have young kids who require a lot of attention.
Get REAL…about health, about habits, about home and about what brings you happiness. Create your own “My” “Month.” Focus on the things that you CAN do, get REAL and you’ll be amazed at the possibilities. Remember it is what is on the INSIDE that counts. Nourish the mind & body & everything else will likely fall into place too!
My "Get Real' from the "Inside" out plan is in place and well underway. What will your "My" "Month" plan look like? I'd love to hear about what works for you & what health, habits, home & happiness goals you plan to set for yourself!
*I have no affiliation with any of the products mentioned in this blog. They are simply products that make me feel good from the INSIDE out!