Are you a Yes Person?

Hey friends! Thanks for all the congrats from yesterday’s post! Your encouragement means the world 🙂

The other night I headed over to a nearby city for a speaking engagement. I’d been asked to speak at a sleep apnea meeting about fitness, wellness, and low back pain. This was my first speaking engagement about fitness and health, so I was a little nervous:)

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But it went pretty well! They were a very engaging audience and asked so many questions! I talked for about 45 minutes and then did some demonstrations. (I’ll be posting a recap over on Fitconomy soon!

Unfortunately, I got home right around 9…(and drove is a horrible thunderstorm on the way home!)…which meant I missed Glee. I missed GLEE!!! 😦 I’ll be watching it online tonight you bet your bootay. Has anyone found it online yet?

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The “Yes” Dilemma

Never in my life has my calendar been so colorful. For example, this Saturday from 7-9, there are three different shades in that timeslot.

 

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That’s because I’ve triple booked myself. And don’t even get me started on my Mondays…

It’s the “yes” dilemma. Making plans and putting yourself out there is great. But it’s just as great to tell people “no” once in a while.

Guilty!

I have a hard time telling people “no” – either because I feel that it’s my duty to do what they’ve asked or just because it plain sounds fun! But it can lead to stress. It can lead to emailing people at the last minute admitting that you won’t be able to attend __(fill in blank)___ because you have another obligation.

So from now on, I’m going to abide by the first come first serve MO. If I make plans for something, then it gets to have that entire timeslot. It does not get to share it with work, or a volleyball game, or dinner with a friend, or a training session, or class, orrrrr…

You get the point. So I’m a yes person!

I’m sure there are tons out there who can relate. Feel bad about turning down an invite even when you’ve clearly got something else going on? Besides being stressful, it’s really not fair to your family (and pets, for that matter!) I like to spend the evenings with my husband, but lately it’s been a rarity during the week. And Niko’s used to getting both a morning walk and an evening walk, but lately, a rushed morning speed walk as I try to make it out the door in time is all she gets.

OK I’m not here to complain, I promise;) I’m very thankful for all I’ve got going on. But my point is to encourage everyone (and myself) to use the word “no” every once in a while. You don’t have to take up every offer that comes your way!

Are you a yes person? Does it ever stress you out?

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Cheesy Quotes (and Tofu Fried Rice) Make Everything Better

“Life is What You Make It!” “Happiness is a Choice,” “People Can Only Upset You if You let Them!”

I had a realization last night. Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been uber stressed out lately. Work has been taking a toll on my stress levels, because the amount of work I’m doing is going to double in one week, and let’s just say I haven’t been taking it well. I’ve been freaking out, assuming and picturing the worst, and having a woe-is-me mindset. Well, tonight after a kick booty yoga session, I realized something.

 

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I think this is the most therapeutic posture, by the way.

Refer to quotes above. I need to go into work with a completely different mindset. Going into yoga last night, I felt defeated, weak, and physically in pain. I tend to let stress really affect me at times. It always settles with a tightness in my shoulders, and worse, my chest. After a little self-reflection, twisting, and warrior postures, I decided to change my attitude. Aside from the fact that things are changing there, it’s a job where I make good money, and I have really good friends right around the cubicle from me. I’ve been down and out for exactly one week now, and it’s about time I quit feeling sorry for myself, grin and bare it, and try to enjoy myself (or at least not give myself a heart attack ;)) while doing it. We’ve been thr   ough this…right? The power of positive thinking! Or perhaps, the power of revitalizing yoga 😉

The husband has also been a HUGE help in lessening the stress. He knows how much it’s been affecting me, and has been keeping the house SO clean lately. I even came home to him doing laundry yesterday!! He never, ever does laundry, people. This is big. And lastly, he has his gifts to me wrapped before I do! I came home from work last night, and saw these under the tree:

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I have everyone else’s wrapped but Shane’s (thanks to Von Maur’s free wrapping) so I need to get on it.

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And one of my favorite ornaments just because:

 

IMG_1363Two days until Christmas, what?!

Before I headed out the door to yoga, I had a big juicy apple with some almond butter for a snack:

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And then bopped out the door for some cardio, and then said yoga sesh.

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Ew, blurry pic…

Well, we all know how yoga went, but I was just as thrilled to come home after yoga…

 

because I had made some homemade tofu fried rice!

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Fried rice sounds pretty difficult, no? Well it’s not! All you need is some brown rice, veggies, oil, garlic, 2-3 beaten eggs, tamari (or soy sauce,) and whatever “meat" – or non meat you want to add!

For mine I added tofu:

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I finally found a tofu I like! I’m not a fan of the boxed version much, but I love the refrigerated kind – especially Nasoya!

And since Shane thinks he hates tofu, when mine was done, I scooped out all the tofu bites – along with some rice into a bowl deemed mine, and then added some chicken I had cooked and chopped up Sunday into the mix for his portion.

Shhh..don’t tell him there’s tofu juice in there.

Easy and Nice Fried Rice

I adapted this version from Food You Crave.

Soften some minced garlic in some hot canola oil – 1 or 2 cloves will do

Add your veggies, and the rice

Next add your “meat” and let cook for a few minutes

Scoop out a section from the middle and pour some oil in the center – 2-3 tbps

Pour beaten eggs in that center, and stir just the eggs around…looks like this:

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When cooked half way, scramble all throughout the mixture

Pour in your sauce, and you’re donzo!

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SO good, and SO easy! Especially if you utilize your Sundays. This past Sunday was the first time in a long time that I did a little prep work ahead of time for my meals this week. For this meal, I already had the tofu drained, pressed, and cubed, the chicken cooked and cubed, and the veggies chopped. If I had thought about it, I would have cooked the brown rice on Sunday too. This made SUCH a difference yesterday when it came time to actually cook the meal. Instead of running around stressed because cooking would have made me late for yoga, I had an extra 20 minutes, which I took advantage of by getting a little cardio in with my friend, Heidi, before the class! Awesome! I recommend ya’ll try it this week.

Now it’s time to go eat some breakfast! This morning, I’m eating my faaaavorite breakfast cookie combo, that I made and popped in the fridge last night just before I called it quits. I shall call it the Pumpkin Cubed Breakfast Cookie:

 

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This favorite includes: a handful of oats (exact measurement here,) a tpbs of hemp powder (optional, or whatever protein powder you have on hand,) a tiny handful of pumpkin seeds, some chopped pecans, a squirt of agave or whatever sweetener you choose to use, 1/4-1/3 cup of canned pumpkin (use 1/3 if your sweetener isn’t a liquid,) and golden raisins. Mix the dry ingredients together first, then smoosh in the wet until everything is mixed together, and pop it in the fridge! Oh, and I couldn’t resist smearing on some (TJ’s) pumpkin butter this morning. Mmmm – delish and keeps ya full for hours!

Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone! I’ll let ya’ll know how my “new attituuude” fared today 😉

How do you deal with stress? Do you let it get to you, or can you let it roll off your back each and every time. I try, I mean really try this technique, sometimes it gets to me regardless.

Guest Post: Holiday Stress Busters

Hey Everyone! Hope you’re having a great day! Can’t wait to recap some of my Caribbean experience for you, but until then, Voracious Vorilee is here to share with you some of her tips on how to beat the holiday stress before it beats us!

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Hi there! My name is Deva and I blog about food, health, and fun at Voracious Vorilee. I thought that I would share with you some of my favorite ways to destress, especially because I find a lot of people get stressed out during the holidays, even as they are full of cheer, togetherness, baking, and fun. We all need to take a moment and breath this time of year, and here are just a few of my favorite ways to take a step back and do just that, whether it’s during the holidays or year-round.

1. Go for a walk. I am an active person, and sometimes I forget that moving my body keeps my mind fresh. If you find that you’re stressing out, take a step back, pull on your coat (if you need one!), and go for a walk to stretch your legs and clear your head. You can even make a game of it by seeing how many decorated homes you come across, or see what shapes you can find in the clouds. Take a deep breath and go outside – everything will still be there for you when you get back.

2. Play a game. Right before Thanksgiving, I was frantically trying to get things packed and cleaned up so that I could go visit my family and come home to a tidy apartment. When I realized that I needed to stop and breathe, I sat down with my Rock Band guitar controller and ROCKED OUT for a half an hour to destress and recenter myself. It worked wonderfully, and I spent the rest of my time cleaning and getting ready goofing off, instead of worrying about it being perfect. Why not sit down to a game if you’re finding that you’re getting stressed out – it’s a nice way to break things up and to come back to your tasks with a clear head. You can play video games, card games, Apples to Apples, or even Where’s Waldo – they’re all fun and easy to get into, and we all know that playing games isn’t just for kids.

3. Don’t worry about the small stuff. So what if you forgot the chocolate chips in the cookies, or didn’t put a bow on all of the presents. Nobody will notice, and if anyone does, they probably don’t care – they are happy that you took the time and effort to make something nice. If you start to worry about the little things, stop and look at the big picture – whether it’s everyone in your extended family coming together, or the look on someone’s face when they open up the gift you got them. Cookies can be eaten with or without chips (just add frosting and sprinkles), and gifts don’t have to have bows.

4. Eat Dessert! I love dessert, especially pie and ice cream – both of which are abundant at holiday celebrations. Many of us worry about how that slice of pie or extra scoop of ice cream will effect our waistlines, stressing about overeating. I say don’t worry about it and enjoy it. Savor the pecan pie your grandma makes or the pumpkin pie that your mom only fixes at the holidays. if it’s something you love, eat it and enjoy every bite, without worrying about going overboard.

Don’t let the frenzy of the holiday sress you out. Take a step back to enjoy the time with your family, the lit trees and houses, and the smell of warm spices wafting from your kitchen. Whether you do this by medidating, eating dessert by the tree, or rocking out with your family around the TV, have fun during the holidays. They only come once a year, and regardless of what you celebrate, have a happy and stress-free holiday season.

Managing Stress…

When your schedule is jam-packed?? How do you stay calm when your schedule looks more like your 8th grade history notes than a calendar?

I’ve just been babbling about my day-today life lately, and thought I should bring you all to speed on the exciting things that I’m experiencing lately! Let me tell you…my calendar is packed to the max this month. And I’m going to need to practice my tactics for keeping myself stress free.

I’m in a 5k race this Saturday! It’s in my hometown like the last 5k I ran.


I had forgotten all about it, too. My mom used to send me mail all the time, with comics, recipes, jokes, money, etc. She hasn’t sent anything in quite a while, so I was surprised to see mail from her yesterday. Inside was a post-it that said, “5K race this Saturday – me and you!” Doh! Totally forgot about it. (sorry mom) Hey, I’ll take a race and a free T-shirt any day! Plus, I’ll be running it solo (mom is run/walking it) so I can go for a PTR!!! 😀


On the 19th of this month,
I’ll be running in my first 10K!!!!It’s for the Pumpkin Festival in a nearby town. See what you’re missing here in Central Illinois? 😉 I’m so excited. I was kind of going to use this Saturday as my last long run day, but it looks like that’s really not going to happen now, since I’m in a 5k. Oh well…impromptu taper week! I’m so excited for this 10k 🙂

Then…yesterday I came home to this box:


And opened it and was stoked to see Amazing Grass products! Not that this makes me busy or anything, but it’s still something exciting happening this month! Amazing Grass sent me these samples to try:


Including some of their new bars:


I’ll let you know what I think as I consume 🙂

The LAST weekend of September, I’ll be participating in an event called, “Walk for the Mind.” I go with ALL of my family to support my beautiful, cousin, Beth. She has brain cancer, but it SUCH a strong and BEAUTIFUL person. If you didn’t know she had, you honestly wouldn’t be able to tell. I love her so much and am so happy to support her.

Lastly, also the last weekend of September is Shane and my 1 year anniversary!!! 😀


Aww…first dance. *tear* This year has gone by the fastest of any I’ve experienced yet, and I’m so blessed to be spending it with the love of my life.

This is all among 5 different friends’ birthday’s to celebrate, and a bunco night thrown in the mix.

Phew! September is a busy, busy month.

So how do I stay calm when my schedule is not? I have a few different tactics…

  • First and foremost, I keep up with my workouts. Yes, I know, this seems like just another thing to keep up with, but it keeps me sane. As I’m sure you all agree, working out is a HUGE stress reliever, and I’m a firm believer that exercise is what makes me happy on some days. This isn’t to say hat I might skip a day – if I do, I just don’t stress about it

  • I keep up with my day to day tasks. This is a hard one, and it’s easy to let this one slip. However, if I start to fall back on something like laundry (I do 1-2 loads a day, because as I said when I first started this blog, laundry doesn’t deserve its own day) it mounts up, and just weighs on me. So I take the extra 15 minutes to do a couple loads. I’d rather give up the 15 minutes than have the stress and pressure of knowing there’s a mountain of laundry in the laundry room rather than just a steep hill 😉

  • I also carve in time for laziness. If I don’t have anything going on on a Wednesday night, and I’ve caught up with all of my “must-do’s” (vs. my “to-do’s”) I fully enjoy some horizontal time on the couch guilt free.


What are some ways you stay sane and stress-free when you just seem to be on the go-go-go?

De-stressing in a Stressful World

It seems like the word “stress” is being used a lot in the blogging community lately. Whether it’s a tight work deadline, family or personal issues, or just having way too much on your plate, stress affects everyone.

I read Dr. Alan Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tips every Tuesday morning, and today he touched on some wonderful ways to de-stress when you live in a stressful world. Some of them really hit home for me, so I wanted to share them with you! After all, having too much stress in our lives doesn’t help us achieve that healthy balance we’re all striving to attain.

He talked about 50 ways to distress in his Tuesday Tip, which you can read more about his tips here, but I just wanted to focus on the ones that struck a chord with me and that I thought were most applicable to achieving balance in life. He focuses on several different aspects: your environment, body, happiness, actions/words, relationships, and spirit.

“Dr. Zimmerman’s…Ways to Get Unstressed in a Stressed-Out World”

• “Surround yourself with what you LOVE … whether it’s pets, plants, music, hobbies, or keepsakes. Make your home your refuge.”

• “Slow down. You’re never going to get it all done anyway.” – No one’s perfect, so we shouldn’t set the unnatainable goal of being perfect.

• “Spread big changes and difficult projects over time. Don’t lump all the hard things together.”

• “Cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.”

• “Laugh. And then laugh some more — even if you have to fake it til you make it.”
• “Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county or a foreign country … but not to Guilt City.”
• “Keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.” – this one was my favorite! So cute, yet so clever.
• “Be kind to unkind people. They probably need it the most. And if you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.”
• “Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.” – Negative energy really is contageous, as is postive energy!
• “Write down every great thought that comes to you. Chances are you won’t remember them, and it may take you another 20 years to learn the lesson you just lost.” – I definitely need to work on this one!
• Write down one thing you’re grateful for. And then add one more thing to your list each and every day.

Action:

Circle three tips that you will focus on this week, and then consciously follow those tips for the next seven days. Let them become a habit in your life.

permission from Dr. Zimmerman’s “Tuesday Tip,” a weekly Internet newsletter. For your own personal subscription click here.
I hope this helps you see things in a different light like it did me!
What else do you do to de-stress in today’s stressed out world?