What To Do When You’re Too Tired To Workout?

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We’ve all heard of the idea that dog owners tend to look like their dogs. Well, I’ve definitely been looking more and more like my Sammy when it comes to going to the gym;)  BTW, he’s making 14 years this Spring💛.

Honestly, I’ve been freaking out a little bit because I’ve never experienced a lack of motivation to go to the gym for a whole week!  Usually taking a day off does the trick for me, but not this time.

I did have a realization today while I was at the gym.  Last week I completed an intense 14-week muscle building program and really should have taken a full week off.  My husband has been trying to persuade me to take a break, but I was too stubborn and maybe even afraid to listen to him.  Well, I guess he was right, as much as I hate to admit it;)

In spite of the lack of mojo I was able to get in four really good workouts.  Here’s how I was able to push through the tiredness and lack motivation:FullSizeRender (25)

  1. I changed up the scenery.  The weather was nice so I got my dumbells and worked biceps, triceps and shoulders on the back porch.  It felt so good to get fresh air and the alone time was nice.  On another day I trained in a different gym.  Trying out new equipment along with changing up my routine made it interesting.
  2. I got a new piece of equipment.  I’ve been working a lot more hours so I decided I needed to get something for the house when I just don’t feel like going to the gym.  I purchased one of those pull-up bars you can attach to your door frame.  I had the best ab and back workout ever in my hallway!  (If you’re interested I can share that workout).
  3. Instead of a structured workout plan, I asked myself ‘what do I feel like doing today?’ This brought some levity and allowed me to listen to my body.  It was nice to get out of my head and drop more into my body.  So much of our day is spent in our minds.  When we check in with our bodies it actually helps us become more present.  💡The next time you walk into the gym ask yourself, ‘what do I feel like working today? Do I want to make it a short workout or do I have the energy to get after it?’
  4. I took some rest days.  I think there is truth in love and in fitness with the idea that absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Give yourself a mental and physical rest day to recharge and appreciate all your hard work.

I’m interested to hear your ideas and tips for when you are feeling unmotivated or too tired to workout.  Feel free to write a comment:)

 

 

The Art of Making Tea-Beginner

16265627_1317595031654592_6083181443600359016_nI’ve always been a coffee lover but, I have to admit, the health and wellness benefits of tea are appealing. There is something sweet and romantic about tea that I find intriguing.  A couple of weeks ago I saw an ad that a local yoga studio was hosting a workshop on the ‘Art of Tea Making’ so I was excited to satisfy my curiosity.

Herbologist and Yoga Instructor, Brandy Manguno, led the half yoga and half tea making workshop.  It was magnificent!  I left feeling relaxed and empowered to begin my tea adventure!

Brandy began by sharing how Earth gives healing to us by way of her plantlife.  king-pigeonIt’s so easy to pop a pill for our ailments, but if you want to give your body a chance to receive God-given organic methods for healing, tea making is a way to do that.

Whatever your issue there seems to be a tea remedy, i.e. cold–lemon balm; depression— skullcap; insect repellant–lavender; PMS–chamomile.

Here are some of the basics I learned from Brandy’s, “Art Of Tea Making Tea-Beginner” workshop:

Tea Basics 101

What you need:

  1. Make sure your tea is fresh and organic.  Here are websites that provide quality herbs: http://www.wildweeds.com http://www.jeansgreens.com http://www.mountainroseherbs.com
  2. The scoop on prepackaged tea bags: The downside of tea bags is that the plants become more oxidized so they lose a large portion of their flavor and medicinal value.  The positive side is the convenience.  Selecting organic brands will ensure fewer chemicals and pesticides will make their way into your hot cup.
  3. Begin with 2- 3 ingredients.  A general guide is that your daytime base should include green tea and a nighttime base a chamomile.
  4. Brandy provided mesh tea balls for everyone.  I have found it easy to use for a newbie like me. Here is a link for a small mesh tea bag infuser: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/catalog/teas/accessories#product-1698
  5. Tea should be stored in a sealed container as air tight as possible and in a cool, dark place.

How to steep your tea:

  1. Fill your mesh ball half to 3/4 full with herbs.  The herbs will expand in the water.
  2. Pour hot water, not boiling, over leaves, flowers and stems.  Pour boiling water over roots.
  3. Put a plate over your cup and let it steep for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Lick your plate! A lot of the nutrients are there;)
  5. Add honey, lemon, milk and enjoy!

Later on that week I shared with Brandy that I made tea from the herbs I mixed in class and it was nasty!😝  I gave it another shot and used less of my blend and it was much better.

Brandy said, give your tea a chance for your palatte to accept.  Treat tea making just like cooking.  You are learning to put a little more of this and a little less of that.

The Romantic Aspects of Tea:

The act of drinking tea can be a luxurious experience.  Savoring the smell and taking time to sip your tea is very soothing and relaxing. It’s a simple way for all of us busy folks to ground ourselves and have a bright spot in our day.

With Valentine’s Day almost here you might be wondering about a ‘modern day love potion.’

e70d0feb032d7941406e7510ac604c0aThere are many herbs that can boost libido for women and men.  A tea that Brandy mentioned for women is hops and for men, red clover, but there are many more!

When you live with many stresses in life it can take the passion out of your sails. Including tea time as a regular part of your day can recharge your batteries and provide a mental, physical and spiritual boost.  It’s a simple way to take control of your health.

If you would like more information on Brandy, her workshops, or a consultation her website is http://yoga-llc.com/about/

Her tea blends are sold at Cosmic Karma in Mandeville.

Tea making is more of an adventure that I ever realized!  I hope this inspires you to take a plunge into the world of tea.  Enjoy Your Tea Adventure!

 

 

New Year Resolutions: The Ultimate Goal To Reaching Your Potential

I have a confession to make…I’m not making New Year’s goals for 2017.  I guess that’s not entirely accurate, I do have one goal and that is to do absolutely NOTHING!  I am going to be the best- don’t do a damn thing nothinger ever—for at least 30 min or hour every day;)

I’m that person that loves planners and making to-do lists for everything so not ‘goal setting’ in a traditional sense is driving me a bit bonkers.  Not to mention, the actual practice of doing nothing is difficult.

webdscf0592When I begin my ‘do nothing time’ my thoughts bombard me with all the things I could be doing, ie. folding the laundry, organizing work notes, hemming the curtains, searching the web for bootcamp ideas…and on and on the chatter goes.  I acknowledge those thoughts and tell myself, ‘you have permission.’

Rewards Of Doing Nothing

Creativity:  When the mind is given permission to wander and shift down it has this uncanny ability to get us unstuck.  Try it!  If a problem has you stumped, take a mental break and notice the difference when you return.

Productivity:  According to Scientific American, “Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life.”

Authenticity:  It’s paradoxical how this do-nothing space is impactful.  It’s here that the heart and mind can align and there is a return to authenticity.  It’s like you remember that you are not all the things you do, you are so much more.

Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets, essayist Tim Kreider wrote in The New York Times

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Connectivity:  Think about when you’ve been happiest with your life.  Is it during those moments when you’ve been racing and forceful to get things done? Or has it been those moments when you feel connected and present with your work and the people around you?

As you head into the New Year consider creating space in your day to relax.  Go for a walk, listen to some music or just space out:)  What you will find is the world will keep on spinning without you and you will return the better for it. Will you join me in my quest to be the to be the best-damn-do-nothinger in the new year?

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Skinny Peppermint Mocha

The other day my routine was changed and I can’t believe how it caused me to experience a series of missteps.  I won’t go into the details, but let’s just say my morning was a hot mess.  I stopped to get a coffee to help me regroup.  I made sure to lock all the doors because my husband had a talk with me the night before about that.  Wouldn’t you know it, I locked my keys in the car!

15193690_1115804685205782_4856398437908955152_nWhile I waited on my hubby to come to my rescue with a spare key, I decided to try a skinny peppermint mocha. It just sounded so good to me and it did not disappoint!  I’m now hooked and ever since last week I’ve been experimenting to find an even healthier recipe to make at home.

As I sat with my skinny peppermint mocha and egg white sandwich, I decided that I was going to turn the day around!  Maybe the peppermint had a little something to do with it.  Peppermint has a calming effect on the body.  Actually there are few body, health, and mind issues that it cannot help.

Factoid: Peppermint is mentioned in Greek mythology where water nymph Mentha was transformed into an herb by Pluto who had fallen in love with her and wanted people to appreciate her for years to come.

All of this makes me feel even better about stumbling across my new Christmas indulgence:)  This recipe includes a skinny peppermint syrup that provides for several servings to have on hand for whenever your craving hits.  Your wallet and waistline will thank you!

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Ingredients for Skinny Chocolate Peppermint Syrup:

1 cup water
4 peppermint tea bags
1 cup sweetener (I used stevia)
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

*Once it cools off pour in a jar or bottle and store in refrigerator

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, heat a cup of water until it starts to a boil, then add the tea bags, cover and let steep for  5 minutes.
  2. Discard the tea bags and add the sweetener, cocoa powder and peppermint extract. Bring to a boil, and stir until everything dissolves.  Boil for a few minutes then remove from heat.

Ingredients for one Skinny Peppermint Mocha

2/3 cup dark roast coffee
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 tbsp skinny chocolate syrup
To prepare your mocha latte:

1. Brew coffee, I used the smallest cup setting on my Keurig (be sure to use a large coffee mug)
2. Heat milk until hot and pour in a blender: Blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute until mixture becomes frothy and foamy
3. Add chocolate peppermint syrup to coffee
4. Gently pour in the frothy milk

Tip: If you want to make a protein peppermint mocha add in 1-2 tbsp of your favorite protein powder.💪

Tips To De-clutter Your Home

d40976d70bc1349d65879f5ec45cac2bThis week I decided to use some vacation time to declutter my home.  It was an overwhelming project because our home is filled with stuff that accumulated over a lifetime, but so worthwhile. I didn’t read any books or videos about how the pros suggest doing it, I simply started.

Here are some tips that worked for me:

Tip #1  Start small

Decluttering and organizing one small space will help you overcome inertia.  This could be a kitchen drawer, your car, purse, or book shelf.  For me, I started with my makeup drawer because I was so annoyed with rummaging through it trying to find something.

img_3883-1Tip #2  Recycle items for storage

I know the first inclination you will have is to go to the Dollar Store or Target to pick up cute containers, DON’T DO IT!  You will be amazed what you already have in your own home that you can recycle and use for organizing.  I found some empty cigar and wooden boxes in our attic and used those to separate my hair ties and makeup in my bathroom drawers.

Cups, jars, and pencil containers make for great storage.

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Once you declutter areas of your home you will have all kinds of baskets, boxes and plastic containers freed up to use for items you want to keep.img_3886

Tip #3 Rediscover Treasures

I found this adorable coat rack in the attic and love using it to display some of my most worn hats:)

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I also uncovered plenty of empty notebooks, games and art supplies that were unseen and stuffed away in boxes or closets that I’ve organized for the grandkids to enjoy.

After cleaning out my bathroom drawers and cabinets I was on fire and eager to get started on my closet.  I hung my purses up so I could visually see them and will likely use them more often.  I also found some money as I was hanging up my bags!  LOL

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With a clean and organized closet, I don’t dread putting my clothes away.

Tip #4 Keep an empty bag or box for items to be donated

In the back corner, I have a bag for clothes I plan to donate.  Once it gets full I will drop it off at the Goodwill.  You could do this in every room of your home.

Tip #5 Purging your kitchen and home can help you lose weight!

I truly believe that being overweight is not just a physical issue, it’s a lifestyle issue and that’s why I’m passionate about my work as a health and lifestyle fitness coach.

Clutter in our minds, calendars, kitchens, etc. leads to stress and weight gain.  What I discovered is that my energy was unblocked as I started cleaning out unused and expired items.   It’s like the subconscious weight of distractions was removed.  Now I feel more mindful, clear minded, and motivated.

After cleaning out and organizing my kitchen I have more joy in preparing meals and even going to the grocery store.

Tip #6 Don’t buy boxes instead ask your area bookstore or grocery store for their empty boxes

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I was lucky enough to get some from Barnes and Nobles and they worked out wonderfully with sorting  items to keep, donate and throw away.

Tip #7 Less is more

Some of the surprising gifts of decluttering:

Less stress and More PEACE

Less negativity and more JOY

Less griping and more GRATITUDE

Less mess and more TIME

Less apathy and more ENERGY

Tip #8 Bless your home

As you are decluttering envision what you want your home to be like.  What energies do you want your home to exude?  What experiences do you want to have in your home?  How do you want to feel in your home?

And by knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.  Proverbs 24:4

 

The Muscle You Must Work To Break Through Plateaus

Working out is easy, eating healthy is tough but it’s the mind that is the hardest to train.  You can get on the Elliptical for an hour and lift weights five days a week but if you don’t get a grip on your mental fitness you will struggle every inch of the way to reach your goals.

Here are the things I’ve learned from my own life and in observing my clients that might help you conquer the mental game.

  1. Make peace with failure.  I’ve competed in about five bodybuilding competitions and never won first place.  I’ve done duathlons and powerlifting competitions where I’ve won some and lost many.

383850_243108732428192_399410553_nMy first duathlon I rode the entire race with the front brake on.  Talk about feeling like a novice!  The whole race I was so confused why everyone was passing me;) LOL  I learned from that experience and never repeated that again!

If you’re new to the gym or trying a new sport, don’t expect yourself to be an expert overnight.  Give yourself time to learn, consider getting a coach or personal trainer and don’t be afraid to fail.

2.  Your mind quits long before your body does.

This was something my triathlon coach would often say to our team during training.  He would usually say this when we were all dog tired and he would challenge us to pick up our pace.  He was right, I found that my body could go harder.  His influence helped me reach another fitness level, become a better athlete and personal trainer.

img_3708This is one of my client’s who came to me with goals that she wanted to accomplish. I would be doing her a disservice if I didn’t challenge her to push past her comfort zones.  We are always able to laugh, but we mean business;)

There is going to be discomfort, the mind will scream ‘STOP!  That’s enough!’  There can be no change if there is no challenge.

Hire a personal trainer, get a workout partner or join a fitness group that will call your bluff. Think about it – your last workout did you give yourself an out to stop?  A good personal trainer will know when you can do more and push you to achieve your best.

  • What helps me to always give my personal best is to ask myself, “can I go one more minute?  Can I do two more reps?”
  • If you’ve been doing the same 3 sets of 12 for months, make it 4 sets of 12.  If you’ve been running at the same pace on the treadmill, increase your pace or add more of an incline.

3.  When your focus stops your power stops.  The past few months my mental motivation has been slipping and I’ve had a harder time getting to the gym.  I’m realizing that because I’m always multitasking I’m mentally exhausted.

There is value in focusing on one thing at a time.  Focusing the mind helps you be more at ease in the present in the moment.  Focused attention slows the clock down and makes life more full.  My personal goal is to focus in on one task to help me regain my mojo and bust through my mental blocks.

Feel free to comment what ideas you will try.  Remember….b1ckhfziaaakezz

 

 

 

Find A Career You Love

A couple of years ago I was doing a lot of soul-searching about the direction I wanted to take with my career.  I was a chaplain for hospice, and my minister’s license and Bible college degree wasn’t meeting new requirements.  I needed to receive a Master’s Degree to continue working in the field.  Unfortunately, after crunching the numbers, I decided to explore other options.  This would be the start of a long journey of self-discovery.

It was tough letting go of the identity I had with being “Chaplain Sunshine,” and the fulfilling work of providing spiritual comfort.  Even writing about it now brings up a soul ache.  I will always be grateful for the special bonds I was blessed to make with patients and their families during such an intimate time.  This was one of those patients and families that became so dear to my heart.

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(I received permission from his daughter to share this.) 

This photo was taken on his 91st birthday.  He spent his life empowering and equipping underprivileged youth in New Orleans with skills to enter the workforce.  His daughter, Dr. Adrian Woods, shares his passion. She is the Director of Academic Programs at Xavier University.

At the end of the day, I had to pay the bills so I was determined to find a career that would provide meaning along with a good salary.  Since I loved hospice work so much I thought nursing would be the path, the only problem was I had this awful habit of fainting at the sight of blood!

In the meantime, while I was trying to figure out if nursing was going to be a fit, I had several side jobs just hoping that I would stumble into my dream job.  I mean it happens for some people like that, right?  Psalm 37:23 does say the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord

I was a server at Movie Tavern, took a job during the holiday at UPS, was a sitter for elderly patients in their homes, kept personal training . I don’t think I’m forgetting anything.🤔 Oh, I was a Starbucks barista for a day..Yes, A Day!  LOL

woman_kneeling_prayerIt was very humbling.  I was concerned with my image and that the people would think less of me if I made another job transition.

I needed to pull myself together and get a solid direction. I did a lot of journaling.  I asked myself hard questions and tried to listen to my inner voice.

It took a good year and a half for me to finally get real with myself and admit that nursing wasn’t for me.  I knew from my soul-searching that I wanted a career where I could share my qualities of coaching, compassion and knowledge to help others.  I applied for a 2nd time, for a health coaching position and this time I received the job!

I Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Every day I wake up and thank God that I get to do something that I love and that I help people just by virtue of being me.  I might not be preaching before a physical audience, but every day I stand at my “pulpit,” aka, standing desk, and encourage others to live healthy in every area of their lives.

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As a digital health coach, I’m on my PC most of the day, so yes I get to frump mostly;)  I build a bit more activity into my life by alternating sitting and standing.  In the photo with me is Sammy, the floppy dog, and Penny Wink, the guinea in the cage;)

One thing I learned from my Bible college professor, Les Bowling, is that it’s easier to steer a car that’s moving.  I definitely followed that advice very well, but I also needed to trust God to do his part.

We all go through things that take us to the ragged edge.  It’s hard to be patient and wait for things to work out.  There is a spiritual solution for every problem.  Allow yourself the time to look within yourself, discover what makes your heart sing, then trust the process.

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This in an affirmation I used often, and it might bring you hope on your journey.

There are people looking for the exact skills and talents I have to offer, and you are being brought together on the checkerboard of life. 

-Louise L. Hay