Drink it Up: H20

I read something crazy the other day that stuck with me and has been in my head ever since…

Do you know what the #1 nutritional deficiency in the American population is?

WATER.

That’s right.  The majority of the American people are walking around chronically dehydrated.  This blows my mind, though it’s not really that hard to believe when you actually think about it.

First of all, the body can only produce 8% of its daily water needs on its own - the rest (that’s 92% for you math-wizards) must be ingested through foods and beverages.  You heard me right, you have a DAILY requirement for WATER, did you not know this?

Here’s a simple formula to figure out how much water you should be drinking every day:

[your body weight in lbs] / 2 = the number of ounces of water you need daily.

But that’s not all.  If you’re drinking diuretic beverages, you need even more water.  What’s a diuretic beverage, you say?  Funny you should ask, I just happen to have made up this pretty little infographic for you:

2014-04-22 11.11.49

So how much extra water do you need to drink if you’re partaking in diuretics on the reg? It’s not rocket science: multiply the number of ounces of diuretic by 1.5-2 to figure out the additional number of ounces of water you need to take in.  For example, If you drink an 8oz coffee, you need to consume 12-16oz of water in addition to your daily intake. Seem like a lot? Hm, maybe it’s time to consider cutting back on your 6 cups of coffee in the morning, non?

What happens if you get dehydrated? First of all, if your body’s water content drops by as little as 2%, you’ll feel fatigued (Say whaaat? You mean all those times you felt tired, you could probably fix it with a glass or two of water? Yep, that’s the truth, people).  If it drops as much as 10%, you will experience even bigger issues, such as digestive, cardiovascular, immune, and musculoskeletal problems. Whoa! Pass the pitcher!

2014-04-22 11.57.47

It’s pretty amazing to think that half the time we are reaching for the bottle of ibuprofen to relieve our aches and pains, we really should just be reaching for a glass of water first. (More in a future post on how anti-inflammatory meds actually do more harm than good for our long-term health!)

Aside from all of the annoying side effects of dehydration, maybe you want to know all the great things about water for our  body and why it’s so important to stay properly hydrated.  Say no more:

2014-04-22 12.11.11

It’s pretty important stuff.

For more information on hydration and why it is so important for our health, I highly recommend the book Your Body’s Many Cries for Water: You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.  Some crazy cool information in there… in his research, Batmanghelidj has used WATER alone to help his patients reverse conditions of asthma and allergies, eliminate aches and pains, combat premature aging and lose weight without strict dieting. In essence, water is a miracle cure-all… and nearly all of us are deficient!

Anyone else feeling thirsty all of the sudden?

xx

e

Big Changes on the Home Front

Are you even ready for this mamma-jamma of a post? I don’t know if you are. Buckle up, it’s a doozy, and it’s Monday morning, so if you haven’t had your coffee yet… maybe you should.  I have a few big announcements to share and I figured it best to just knock ‘em all out in one post.  Ready or not…

.

.

.

Wait for it…

.

.

.

2014-04-18 15.38.07

Holy crap, we’re having a baby! That’s right, I’m a little over 13 weeks and out of the “danger zone” for the most part so I figured now would be a good time to officially share the news with family, friends, and the world. (For the record, most of our family knew this already, and we made the announcement on Facebook on Friday, but now all the distant cousins and what have you can be in on our little peach-sized secret). We are over the moon excited about it, though at times it still seems a little surreal… that is, it did until I was in a fitting room last week and had a moment checking out my profile in a suddenly tighter than usual tank top. Don’t worry, it was a happy moment – I was actually relieved to have something resembling a bump versus looking like I’ve been overdoing it at every single meal (which is how I’ve been feeling I look for the past three months!).  The first trimester has been rough, but not as bad as I’m sure some moms experience, so I count my blessings.  I’m finally starting to feel more like myself which means actually eating real food (more on this in a future post) and not having to take a nap every single day, which is MAJOR progress. Things like registering for gifts and setting up a nursery still seem like… “What? We have to do these things?” right now, so I’m hoping that feeling will fade and we can get busy getting ready. By the end of October, we should have our very own little pumpkin to enjoy! (Cheese, I know.)

i heart charleston

With this little (big) change on the horizon, and with our recent move to Charleston, SC, (i.e., new life phase, new city, turning a page, etc.) it felt fitting to get back to writing more regularly on the Diaries, to revamp a little (again), and to make this blog what I’ve always really wanted… which, I don’t think I ever had completely figured out. I’ve been poring over a lot of my favorite blogs lately to get some inspiration and trying to figure out what it is that makes me love them and keep coming back for more. The common denominator? Personality and real-life-ness (new word I just made up), often combined effortlessly with a little bit of niche expertise. There’s the DIY blog with humor that cracks me up left and right, gives me useful information on how to complete any number of household projects, and throws in a little bit of that real-life-ness (there it is again) with sweet photos of the authors’ newborn baby or posts cataloguing conversations with their three-year-old. Or the fashion blogger or foodie blogger or personal organizer blogger or life coach blogger or crafty-stay-at-home-mom blogger… all of whom provide valuable resources that I have actually pinned and used at one point or another and who also keep me completely hooked and entertained with personal stories about their lives, their families, their wins and their losses.  It’s something I’m striving towards.  I updated my “Meet Erin” page the other day to reflect this evolution of The Heyday Diaries… so when you’re ready, pop on over and have yourself a gander.

facebook breakup

And last but not least (are you still with me, I know this is a lot to take in)… I’m CONSIDERING quitting Facebook. That’s right, you heard me. Insert horror movie screams here. Here’s the deal, when I get on Facebook, it’s usually to actually look for something like an article I read or a link I wanted to send someone, or to find a “Page” in search for more info about a company or WHATEVER – the point is, I usually get on there with a purpose.  And then this madness ensues:
Oh look, a cute photo of someone’s baby, I have to comment/like/etc. [Click on baby photo] Oh look, so-and-so also commented, I haven’t seen her in forevvvver, I wonder what she’s up to? [Click on so-and-so's photo] Oh look, she posted a funny video, it’s only TWELVE minutes long, I should watch it immediately. [Watch video] Oh look, here’s a link here to another funny video… Four hours later, I’m still in my bathrobe with un-brushed teeth, it’s mid-afternoon, my hot tea is now cold and I have significantly less time to complete everything I wanted to complete in the day, to-do’s get pushed to the next day, and I feel like a worthless blob. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but we’ve all had those moments of self-control, or should I say, lack thereof, with Facebook and to be honest, that is really ONLY reason numero uno for our semi-breakup.  Equally important numero dos is that… well, Facebook just isn’t what it used to be.  Once upon a time, my newsfeed (or whatever it was originally called) was filled with photos of family and friends, and Facebook was a way to keep in touch with loved ones across the state, the country, and even the world.  It was a people-connector.  Now, I have to scroll through dozens of ads and links and articles and “sponsored posts” before getting a glimpse of a friend’s new baby or reading the exciting news that a cousin has just been accepted to grad school.  Sadly, it has just become a huge disappointment, an even HUGER (new word) waste of my time.  The only real reason I feel obligated to keep it for now is because, as obnoxious as it is, it’s still the primary photographic connection to family and friends across the miles.  I’m baby-stepping down from having a presence there (which, I suppose, I already was), and we’ll see how that goes for a while before I cut ties completely. I’ve started by removing the app from my phone and connecting my blog to post automatically to my Heyday “page”… which, is still there for now and will probably be there indefinitely, assuming that “social media is here to stay“, and blah blah, so you can find me there I suppose, but probably more often on other platforms, such as InstagramTumblr, Pinterest, and Twitter… all of which are more for fun anyway and much less time-consuming for me. Oh, and this blog. This is definitely here to stay, so I really, really hope those of you who stumbled upon this post via my Facebook breakup announcement on the actual ‘book will subscribe to receive posts via email if you care to keep up with the Frazees and possibly learn something about nutrition or yoga along the way.  OH, and also maybe we can share a few laughs while we’re at it. I promise I will do my best not to bore you to tears.

That’s all… for now. I think three huge announcements are enough for one post, non? ;)

Stay tuned.

xx

e

 

Be A Gym Rat

2014-01-14 21.38.02

Or not.

I’ve rounded up my top 5 favorite internet workouts… mostly because I wanted to have them all in one place for myself to refer to, but I figured y’all would enjoy this little compilation as well.  Who wouldn’t?  Most of these are free, with the exception of YogaGlo because, let’s be honest, I can’t not include it.

I say “or not” because not all of these workouts require a legit gym membership.  But in the event that you do have one, and you enjoy throwing around a pair of dumbbells or can’t resist checking yourself out in the giant mirror as you do one-legged barbell dead lifts (done it), rest assured, I’ve got you covered.

Side note: I wasn’t paid for any of these endorsements… they’ve all been tried and tested over the years by yours truly and come with an honest recommendation!

  1. Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer.  (for the gym) You’ve probably heard me talk about this one more than once.  It’s my #1 go-to, the one I always come back to, particularly if I’ve spent any amount of time off from working out. Why? Because I hate cardio. Lucky for me, this program starts off with an entire month of strength training ONLY, to get your body ready for month two, where cardio is added into your workouts throughout the week.  That first month is crucial – I develop the habit of going to the gym in the first 30 days doing something I enjoy (lifting weights), and add in the part I don’t enjoy so much after I’m already in the habit of going to the gym… so I might as well do the cardio… genius. (This is really the only workout listed here that includes any amount of cardio, aside from BodyRock which includes quick, interval bursts of cardio like burpees and jumping jacks, etc.)  The workouts in the LiveFit Trainer are fairly simple, and fairly quick, so you don’t spend hours in the gym, because, who has that kind of time?  (Side note: Guys? This isn’t just for the ladies!)
  2. The New Rules of Lifting (For Women). (for the gym) Don’t worry fellas, they have one for you, too. This is not technically a website – it’s book, but it’s worth having on your shelf if you truly want to learn how to lift weights the right way to avoid injuring yourself and most importantly, to get the most out of your workouts. Ladies, this one will get you out of that silly 2-8lb dumbbell mentality, and feeling strong enough for 25lb-ers in no time, which will in turn, show up on your bod in the form of gorgeous, cut, lean muscle mass.  It’s simple, and, my favorite part, the workouts are short.  Trust me and stick with it though, you’re likely to get bored or feel like you’re not doing much, especially if working out is not new to you.
  3. YogaGlo. (at home) Okay, this one isn’t free.  But friends, for the measly price of $18 a MONTH for access to unlimited online classes, I consider it a steal.  Why, you ask?  Because $18 happens to be preeeetty darn close to the going drop-in fee (for a single class) at pretty much any studio in town no matter where you live, AND you’re getting awesome sequences from some stellar well-known teachers such as Jason Crandell (my personal fave), Kathryn Budig, Amy Ippoliti, and many, many more superstars.  You have the option to search by teacher, by style of class, by length, or by level of skill.  It’s the bees knees and my go-to choice for at-home yoga practice.  Love.  (P.S. I’m pretty sure you get a free trial when you sign up for the first time, so it’s worth checking out!) Again, this is not a paid endorsement, I just really do love it that much.
  4. Blogilates. (at home) Do not make fun of me, this is not a joke.  I have a love/hate relationship with Cassey Ho.  Mostly love because I can’t not smile-slash-laugh when she’s talking non-stop through her workouts (warning: some may find this mildly annoying), but also hate because when you’re holding a certain pose or “pulsing” in a pose for 17,045 minutes (what?) while the chatter continues, you may want to collapse and then immediately stab her through your computer screen.  Simmer down, the burn is worth it, and you will be thanking Ms. Ho up and down for your perky new butt in no time.
  5. Bodyrock. (at home) Whoa, this one is not for the faint of heart… and I mean that in ways more than one.  First of all, the workouts are IN. TENSE. and, the first time you’re able to complete a single one (they’re typically around 15 minutes long) you will feel like a damn superhero.  Not even kidding.  Invincible.  The other part of that “not for the faint of heart” thing is… well… what was once a sweet home-movie style free bootcamp workout site created by a husband and wife duo, then turned drama-, break-up-, and slightly soft-porn-filled (complete with the new main hostess/trainer undergoing multiple obvious cosmetic surgeries)… ehh… yeahhh, just a little warning for those of you not expecting the eyeful you may get when you visit the site. Let’s just say it’s not a site I frequent as often as I once did, HOWEVER – that is not to say that the workout content is not still top-notch! It used to require zero to very little equipment (none that you couldn’t makeshift for yourself at home), though now it seems some of the workouts require a bit more home-gym type equipment, probably as a result of the inevitable affiliate links to equipment retailers.  It’s still worth a gander… you may love it, just as I once did.  Let’s be honest, if my bod looked as smokin’ as Lisa-Marie’s, I would be working out in my teeny tiny hot pink bikini, too.  I mean, I’d probably be doing all of my grocery shopping and dog-walking in it, too.  Maybe.  ;)
That’s it for now, but stay tuned AND STAY TONED (that’s right I said it…go ahead, you know you want to laugh… eyeroll, head shake, etc…) I may do another round-up in the near future!
Ciao!
xx
e
*Side note of all side notes: just a reminder that not all workout routines are suitable for everyone and that goes for those listed here or otherwise. To reduce risk of injury, make sure to consult your doctor before beginning any one of these, or any other, workout program. Anyone who chooses to participate in any of the above listed workouts assumes the full risk of injury resulting from performing the exercises as presented. We cool? ;)

Don’t Call Me Puddin’

Goooood morning, fellows of the interworldwideweb.  Who here is getting bored of eggs and bacon or any variety of paleo baked good for breakfast? Right. Second question: who here loves pudding?  What about something that is sort of the consistency of pudding with little bits of crunch-slash-goo, not terribly unlike tapioca, aside from the mild grit-feeling bite that you’ll get from time to time.

HA, am I selling it or what?

chia seeds

Okay, by now, unless you live in a hole a hole that does not know the likes of Pinterest or the interwebs in general, you’ve heard of this magical healthy treat known as chia seed pudding.  I was skeptical – I will admit.  The idea of a little seed that looks like a tiny dinosaur egg (see photo – I took that picture, btw, not lying) growing a slimy outer coating when allowed to sit for an extended period of time in your liquid of choice… seemed a little weird.  And yes, we’re talking about the chia seeds from the 80s phenomenon…

Side note: since when do pigs grow fur like that...?

Yep, same seeds. Side note: since when do pigs grow fur like that…? 

Chia was first introduced to me during my yoga teacher training.  A fellow yogi student was raving about how delicious her homemade chia pudding was and I was intrigued.  Kind of like how I was intrigued by kombucha and coconut water and ghee and coconut butter and a million other weird-at-first-until-you-try-them things.  Anywhooo, my first up close and personal encounter with chia was later that same day with a bottle of GT’s chia+kombucha, a glorious concoction I picked up at Whole Foods (which was probably $7, just sayin’):

black chia gts

YUM.

I was basically in love from the first cautious sip-turned-gulp of tart, slightly fizzy, tapioca-textured goodness and believe I instagrammed a photo of the label with the caption: “If black chia is wrong, I don’t want to be right”… or something equally cheesy.  As I type this, I realize my sister is somewhere reading and cringing and most likely gagging at the idea of slurping down something like fizzy, tangy, runny tapioca pudding-gel… she has a thing with textures.  It makes me el-oh-el every time I type out a description of this stuff because I secretly envision her reaction. Ha!  Love you, Rach. Winky face.

chia pudding

ALL RIGHT ALL RIGHT, let’s get down to the biz.  What’s so great about chia?  For starters, it’s packed with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, and protein.  On top of all that good-for-you stuff, it’s been known to help regulate appetite (helps you feel full) and improve blood pressure, improve your sleep, and improve your mood! Um, okay. Sign me up!

So here you have it: my version of chia seed pudding, slightly modified from a few recipes I found on the blogosphere earlier this week, and packed with a little extra protein punch from the help of my new favorite protein powder, tera’s whey. (Another side note: tera’s whey is super clean and slow-processed super carefully so as not to destroy what’s good about the protein and create nasty bi-products that aren’t so good for you, and comes in not only an organic variety, but a goat’s milk variety AND an rBGH-free variety.  OH, and it doesn’t taste like garbage or fake sweeteners like most “good for you” protein powders do – phew!).

Banana Cream Chia Seed Pudding

1 can organic coconut milk

2 ripe bananas

2 scoops tera’s whey (I used the bourbon vanilla, but chocolate would be delish, too)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

4 Tbsp chia seeds

Mix the first five ingredients in a blender until well combined.  Add the chia seeds and give your blender a few quick pulses just to evenly distribute the chia seeds, but not to pulverize them… unless you like that sort of thing.  I like ‘em whole.  I split the mixture between two mason jars and left it in the fridge overnight to chill/gel/pud’/whatever.  And then I ate that stuff for breakfast like it was goin’ out of style!  (Makes 4 servings.)

The best part – you don’t need any added sweetener because the banana takes care of that.

banana chia pudding

What are you eating for breakfast these days?

xx

e

Magic Potion? Healing Elixir? Tummy Soother?

How about, all of the above?

Spring is in the air, my friends, and with spring cleaning and open windows and rushing out into slightly warmer temperatures* in less-than-usual clothing… OH, and with a hubby who frequents airports and other cities and comes in contact with a zillion people a day… that means, GERMS are in the air, too.

While we can usually boast about our hearty immune systems and hardy digestive systems to kill off any bugs we might consume (thanks to yours truly, the resident nutritional therapist keeping us both in tip-top shape, ahem!), wouldn’t you know it, the sniffles and sore throats somehow made their way through our household last week and kicked our little butts.

Enter the magic potion of all potions, my favorite thing to have on hand at all times for any given number of recipes, the great gut healer and digestion booster-extraordinaire, lovingly known to some families as Jewish penicillin, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

Bone broth.

bone broth

Bone Broth!

By now you’ve probably heard about how good bone broth is for you, but do you know why?  For starters, when bone broth is prepared properly (low & slow, with a dash of apple cider vinegar) it is insanely nutritious, full of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which the vinegar helps to draw from the bone, cartilage, and marrow of your carcass of choice. In addition, bone broth is rich in gelatin, which acts as an aid to digestion and has actually been used (successfully) in the treatment of many intestinal disorders, such as colitis and Crohn’s disease.  Though gelatin isn’t a complete protein, it acts as a helper when it comes to digesting protein specifically, which is why it is extremely beneficial for those who have trouble with meat in their diets… who am I kidding, that pretty much means it’s good for anyone who has meat in their diet!  In addition to gelatin, other important ingredients in your bone broth include cartilage (which has been used in the treatment of cancer and bone disorders) and collagen (used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other joint ailments). AAAND modern research has confirmed that bone broths actually help prevent and lessen the severity of infectious diseases!  Phew, good thing I made some!  Just two mugs later, I can feel my sore throat going away as I type!

Bone broth is a staple in my freezer, and it couldn’t be easier to make.  Whether you search on Google or Pinterest, you’re bound to find a dozen or more variations on a recipe, but it doesn’t have to be rocket science, people.  I tried a few different recipes the first few times I made it and now, I just make my own very basic version which goes a little something like this:

STEP ONE: Take a couple chicken carcasses out of your freezer. (Because now you know to save/freeze the carcass when you cook a whole chicken, or to save the bones when you cook bone-in chicken parts.  Of course it’s best if you’re using a free-range, organic chicken, but I feel like that goes without saying.  Also, you can really use any bones, beef, pork, chicken, it doesn’t matter – they all work and they’re all delicious in their own way).

STEP TWO: Throw the chicken carcasses, skin, random parts and all, into your slow cooker and cover them with water, making sure they’re fully submerged.

STEP THREE: Add a tablespoon or two of organic apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs.  The vinegar is what helps draw the minerals from the bone to give your broth super magical healing powers – true story).

STEP FOUR: Put the lid on and set that bad boy to cook on low for up to 24 hours (or more, go for it.  Eight hours minimum, but you really can’t overcook this stuff.  I like to throw a crock pot together after dinner and set it for 20 hours or so… it will be ready in time for dinner the next night).

And there you have it.  How simple is that?  Somewhere toward the end I like to salt my broth, though some people prefer not to, or to salt it when they use it.  Other recipes call for garlic or other aromatics like carrots and celery, but I find my broth tastes best just plain and simple.  If I want to make chicken soup with it later, I can add whatever I want at that point.  Once I strain out the bones and bits, I like to store my broth in mason jars in the freezer – the jars make for perfect portions whether I’m thawing and heating the broth to split between two mugs or whether I’m using it for a recipe.

Enjoy your comforting cup of broth and stay healthy this spring!

bone broth mug

xx

e

 

*Slightly warmer temperatures? You must think I’m joking. No jokes here, kids! We made the move from balmy South Florida to South Carolina almost a month ago and let’s just say… hitting the 70s this past week was a welcome heat wave in comparison to the 40s-50s for which we had to break out the sweaters when we arrived!  Adios Miami, and… hey y’all, welcome to the Lowcountry! ;)

 

Highly recommended resources: Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD

 

What Workouts are Best?

2014-01-13 17.09.41

A lot of the time, when people come to me seeking nutritional advice, they have more questions than just what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  People who want to change their lifestyle, change their level of wellness, have another question in the back of their mind…

That question:  What type of workout is best?

My answer:  The one you will commit to doing consistently.

Often, the biggest mistake people make is creating that squeaky clean 6-month workout schedule spreadsheet with every day planned and no room for error (cough – no, I have never done this, why do you ask???).  So what happens to 80% of us when we try to stick to that plan?  We’re setting ourselves up for failure.  We skip the gym one day, one day turns into two days, and before we know it we’re binging through the rest of the week because, we already blew our gym schedule, might as well call it a loss for the week, order that pizza, and start over on Monday.

It’s a vicious cycle.

So when people ask me what they should do to workout, do I always answer yoga just because I teach it? No! Do I tell them to get in at least 30 minutes of cardio a day, because that’s what the doctors say is best? Um, no. Do I say, hit the gym at least four times a week and lift weights because that’s what I like to do?  No way.

I ask them to think outside the box (pun intended – that one’s for you, cross-fitters) and figure out what it is they enjoy doing.  Still at a loss?  Here’s a list to help you start thinking creatively…

  • Walking the dogs more, playing with them at the park
  • Bicycling
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Walking the mall or an indoor track (if it’s raining or snowing where you are)
  • Racquet ball
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball, kick ball, soccer – join an adult league!
  • Boxing
  • Muay thai
  • Acro-yoga
  • Playing tag with your kids, grandkids, nieces/nephews
  • Climbing, indoors on a climbing wall or out in the wild
  • Dancing… any style, anywhere, anytime!
  • Stand-up paddle boarding
  • … the options are truly endless as long as your body is moving!

Be creative.  Try something new.  Enroll a friend to do it with you – having company always makes exercise more enjoyable, AND keeps you accountable.  Maybe you LOATHE spending an hour on the elliptical at the stinky gym amidst a mix of meatheads and chicks in full makeup and teeeeeny tiny hot-shorts… but spending an afternoon riding your single speed cruiser along the beach or through the park might be a game changer… giving you a chance to log off, miss calls, texts and emails for an hour or more while you get some fresh air and see your day, your neighborhood, the world, in a whole new light.  And then the thought of how great that hour was, the great feeling you had and the clarity of your mind afterwards, keeps you coming back for more.  Success!

But let me guess, you still have an excuse not to get moving, right?  I know, it’s hard to get started, but save it.

Here are some common excuses/complaints and my responses to those:

  • I don’t have enough time.  Fine, but someone else who is busier than you is working out right now.  Wake up an hour earlier, it’s as simple as that.
  • I have an injury / mobility issues / arthritis / pain / etc.  First, consult your doctor… then, find a lower impact exercise that you are comfortable doing.  You may even find that exercising helps to ease your pain.  In addition, excessive soreness after moderate exercise may be a sign of nutritional deficiency, in which case… call me!
  • I’m too old to work out.  Okayyy.  Google “old man workout”.  Or just watch this video.  Or read this article.  Then tell me you are too old.
  • I hate the gym.  Scroll up to the top of this post and start over.  ;)

If you want to be a badass at life, you have to get yourself out there and BE IT.  Not tomorrow, not after the weekend,  not after three pizzas.  Just. Go. Do. Something.  Move your body and the rest of your life will change for the better, too.

Pinky promise.

xx

e

2014: Living Intentionally

2014-01-07 10.23.46

Hi friends, we’re a week into resolutions… how’s it going?  I’m only one day behind on my gym schedule, so I consider that a win. ;)

If you read my last post on setting goals for the year, you’re familiar with the concept of a 30-day-challenge-a-month-challenge, as inspired by Danne from Twelve Months of Lent.  As a former employee of lululemon athletica, the concept and structure of setting goals is now second nature to me, but what I realized on December 31, 2013 when looking back over the year is that I need a little boost when it comes to accomplishing those goals, particularly now that I’m no longer surrounded almost 24/7 by a support group of people whose culture deep down to their bones consists of setting goals and crushing them… basically killing it at life left and right. 

Let’s back up for a minute.  I did some amazing things in 2013.  In January, I completed 30 consecutive days of yoga in various studios back at the beginning of the year; my head was clear and I seriously felt more aware than I ever had (not to mention my shoulders were lookin’ preeeetty hot).  In June, I finished my 200-hour yoga teacher training… an experience I will never forget and one which gave me my first true sense of community and acceptance and belonging as an adult… wow, I mean, if I had to have a Groundhog Day experience and could choose 3 months to live on repeat for eternity, it would be those!  I rode my bike 17 miles through the Everglades in the middle of the night under a full moon, something I was terrified to do but felt safe and adventurous surrounded by some of the best friends I’ve ever had, and STILL talk about what a cool experience it was – a reminder that getting outside of my comfort zone once in a while is, well… where it’s at.  (P.S. Yes, we saw alligators up close and personal.)  In September, I bit the bullet and finally decided to get certified as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner after looking at the program for over a year, one of the best decisions I have ever made.  Over the course of the year, I made trips to California and Connecticut, and took long road trips to Ohio and North Carolina… all of which served to show me the beauty of other parts of the country and to scratch my ever-present itch to explore.

I’m proud of all of these things and know that I can do even better.  That is why, this year, I’m choosing to live with more intention than I ever have before.  There are things I want to accomplish, places I want to see and things I want to do, and BIG goals toward which I want to start working… starting this month.

I sat down this past weekend with my trusty goal sheet and revised my 10-year vision and my 1- and 5- and 10-year goals (a process I revisit once every few months or more often as necessary).  Then, I opened up excel and got to work creating a calendar for the months of 2014, breaking down my longer-term goals into mini-goals, personal, health and career-related, which I will accomplish each month to make progress toward the BHAGs (ahem, that’s short for Big Hairy Ass Goals - and no, I did not come up with that on my own, people).

So what are a few of these goals and mini-goals I plan on accomplishing in 2014? I thought you’d never ask.

  • I work my way up to meditating 30 minutes every day.
  • I fill in the holes on my website and work up to blogging 5x/week.
  • I complete a 21-day Sugar Detox.
  • I take a month of minimalism – I get rid of 5 things every day and wear the same 6 pieces of clothing for 30 days
  • I become a morning person by sticking to a new evening/morning routine every day for a month.
  • I grow a scoby and make my own homemade kombucha on the reg.

scoby

  • I learn how to climb and take two trips to the mountains with Tim to actually do it.
  • I learn to make my own homemade skincare and household cleaning products.
  • I practice yoga in various studios in our new city (when we move) every day for 30 consecutive days.
  • I take a trip with Tim to Acapulco and teach yoga there at an all-inclusive resort.

las brisas

  • I ride my bike every day for a month.
  • I learn how to operate my camera and use it every day for a monthly challenge.
  • I build a raised bed in my backyard and cultivate an organic vegetable and herb garden.

how to grow a garden

  • I combine and put my creative writing degree and background in wellness to good use and submit articles to Mind Body Green.
  • I re-learn to play the piano.

Seem like a lot?  This is just the beginning.  That’s only 15 things, and if I begin by tackling one a month (hence my spreadsheet mapping it all out), that means I only have to double up on three months.  Besides, setting goals doesn’t mean you have to accomplish every single one.  I like to imagine how great I am going to feel at the end of the year looking back at this list (which I will probably revise, add to and subtract from, more than once over the course of 12 months) and seeing that I accomplished a LOT of the things I said I was going to accomplish.  As for getting started, there’s no time like the present!

I hope this inspires you to get organized with your resolutions goals so that you can set yourself up for success and live 2014 with intention!  Tell me, what will you accomplish this year?