Friday, January 25, 2013

{Time to Detox}

Indulge in...

A Natural Detox

Are you trying to lose the few extra pounds you gained over the holidays? Perhaps your sleeping patterns are abnormal or you aren't feeling as rested as usual? Are you drinking more coffee in an effort to kick your sluggish mood? Is dry skin or dehydration an issue for you? Well folks, I have been dealing with all of these symptoms at one point or another I've decided it's time for a detox. Life simply won't slow down, but that doesn't mean I can't make time for a bodily refresh. I want to feel, look and be a healthier, sexier and more glowing version of myself. So here is a list of things I've added into my daily/weekly routine:

1. Drink more water. I like water, but I never drink enough of it. Part of the reason is because I find the taste of water to be downright boring. The other part is because I love drinking tea instead. So I've decided that I am going to consume at least 6-8 glasses of water per day. Adding a slice or two of lemon, lime or other fruit makes drinking water more appealing...but the fact that it's a primary way of flushing out toxins makes it worth every sip.

2. Breathe deeply. Maybe this comes a little more naturally to me...because my desire to punch someone in the throat during stressful times has taught me to sit back, relax and take deep breaths. Breathing deeper allows more oxygen into the body and helps eliminate carbon dioxide. It also helps you to be more relaxed, alert, not punch someone in the throat, and so on. It's definitely worth paying attention to.

3. Exercise. A lot of sources I've researched list 'exercise' and 'reduce stress' as two separate ways to detoxify the body, but to me they are one in the same. Exercise is one of my most efficient ways to reduce stress; by getting my blood flowing, increasing my heart rate and sweating out the bad stuff, I feel more energetic and focused. It affects my mind, body and I'm happy to start going to the gym again and cannot wait to get back on that rock wall!

4. Dry-brushing. This is a unique exfoliation technique that I've recently discovered. The goal is to remove dead skin, but it also increases blood circulation, enhances detoxification through the skin & helps keep it glowing. Using a natural bristle brush or loofah, move in a soft, circular motion starting with the bottom of your feet, working your way up to your chest. Once you're finished, rinse off and shower as usual.

5. Eliminate refined sugars, saturated fats, alcohol and caffeine. Uh oh! And just in the midst of restaurant week season! I'm currently not a big indulger of saturated fats or alcohol, but I do crave sugar and caffeine to a certain extent. That said, I'm starting to decrease my intake of sweets and main source of caffeine, coffee.

6. Fill up on fiber. Consuming foods such as brown rice, nuts, fruits & veggies are a good way to help cleanse the body; they boost the digestion process and provide you with many nutrients. I love rice, nuts & fruit, so my biggest challenge will be to incorporate more raw vegetables into my diet. Time to get creative!

7. Antioxidants rock.  I mentioned here about many foods that are rich in antioxidants. Essentially, they help eliminate free radicals all while providing great side effects for the body. Green tea, for example, is a wonderful source of antioxidants and just so happens to be one of my favorite things to drink! You want to consume as many vitamins and minerals as the more antioxidants, the better.

8. Be positive. Transforming stress by exhibiting positive emotions really works (and is wonderful for the body), but it isn't always easy. I consider myself a pretty positive person most of the time, but I do think I could be a little less hard on myself. What do I mean? Well, instead of primarily focusing on my 'need improvement' areas, I plan to build myself up with positive affirmations every day. Pampering or spoiling oneself is different than uplifting oneself, and by doing more of the latter we can all better embody a truly positive persona.

“Love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.”

-Leo F. Buscaglia

Images via Pinterest 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

{New Year, New Goals}

Indulge in...

A New Year(ning)

So far, this year has been marked by a lot of relaxing and spending time with family, working on a few DIY projects (coming soon), dealing with some health issues and easing back into my normal groove. That said, I'm really excited for what 2013 has to offer! Not one to typically write a list of resolutions at the beginning of a new year, I did make myself stick to one specific "new year intention" for 2012: accept as many social invitations as possible in order to meet new people, expand my horizons and get to know myself better. I think I did a pretty darn good job! And while I would like to "go with the flow" and see where life takes me throughout the upcoming months, I do have a few more clearly-defined intentions for 2013:

1. Continue to put less importance on social networking. I've been without Facebook for almost three months and it's amazing how much extra time I put into more useful things. I like taking a break now and then to remind myself that Facebook doesn't take the place of having real relationships, having a real life (not just an awesome, virtual one) and shouldn't be a necessary way of receiving affirmation from others. I've even been debating whether to take a break from other forms of social networking, such as Instagram, but only if it becomes a source of distraction for me. Everything in moderation.

2. Make investing a priority. I've received a lot of great advice on investing and, while I want to share it with all of you, I want to first put my money where my mouth is (ha ha) and see what happens. I reached my financial savings goal for 2012 (yay!) and feel very confident in my ability to make big decisions if I choose to do so. However, I must note that the act of investing (to me) extends beyond just making a monetary commitment!

3. Switch professional gears. I am about to celebrate my 3-year workaversary with the federal government (crazy!) at the end of January and, while I have developed so much as both a person and a professional in my current position, I feel it is time to start looking into new opportunities. I'm not quite sure what that means yet or when it will happen, but I do know that my bold heart is speaking loud and clear. I do not take for granted the blessing of a stable job with good pay, benefits, flexibility, etc...but I also know that complacency can hold us back from pursuing our true desires. Life's too short for that. Here's to seeing what the future brings!

4. Volunteer more. I've realized that I want volunteering to be a larger part of my life. Not just volunteering for the sake of it, but seizing opportunities that I actually care about and believe in. I think we need to build into others just as much as we need others to build into us. While serving dinner at a homeless shelter the other night, I had a moment of clarity; that no matter who we are or what walk of life we find ourselves in...we're all humans who crave love in whatever shape or form we can receive it. For me, that makes life a little more precious.

5. Be content. I'm going to be very honest with all of you and admit something quite personal: that despite everything I do and have done, I seem to always crave more out of life. Shocker. Now, I don't think it's a bad thing to want more or continuously strive toward goals...but contentment can be a struggle for me at times (ya feel me?). My current back issues brought this to light recently since I've been forced to take a break from my typical routine. What I'm realizing is that I need to spend more energy into being thankful and appreciative and less energy into being anxious, worrisome and comparative. I seem to forget that God is an unparalleled source of peace and that He knows the real desires of my heart...all while providing me with the right opportunities at the right time. Note to self: re-read this last line (er, paragraph) every day for the rest of the year my life.

I think it's wonderful to have positive and self-improving intentions when entering a new year, as well as continuing those goals already set in motion. For me, 2012 was a year of transition & discovery: being single & independent after many years in a relationship, distancing myself from lousy friendships and embracing new, healthier ones, seeking out awesome opportunities and adventures to enrich my life, putting my personal happiness was an at-times-challenging yet epic year (and the one that I will always treasure). So what about 2013? Oh friends...just you wait!

Images via Pinterest