A beet-iful beginning.

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Thank you dear readers for joining me on this journey of  food and mood storytelling.

2014 has come in with a bang and a big dose of brrrrrrrrr! I love the winter but roasting root vegetables every day can weigh on Northern folk. Thinking back to warmer times, I am reminded that my juicer broke in the middle of the summer. This was a blow to my daily routine, but I made it work by incorporating more roughage and increasing my patronage to local juice bars. For years and years I have been an advocate for green smoothies, but juice is a great way to deliver nutrients to your blood stream in a hurry. Graced with a digestive auto-immune disease, juice provides my body with a much needed break.

I am sure that most of you are in the middle of crafting or revising your intentions or resolutions for the year.  And without further ado I will leave you with some food for thought. Our digestive systems work constantly and tirelessly to keep us going. Perhaps we can give it a hand every now and again with a veggie heavy juice fix! Stop riding the coattails of regret over your recent over-indulgence on New Year’s Eve and make this juice.

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Get pumped and play!

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As the holiday season starts to ramp up and our to-do lists reach frightening lengths, it seems appropriate to set out a reminder to stop, drop and play.

Capturing a little wonder in our hearts and exploring something familiar or new is a great way to shed the shackles of stress and find some perspective. A reoccurring best practices theme in The Self-Love Book Club is naming and discovering the avenues to happiness. Letting go by getting a little silly is a great way to nourish your inner-child.  Indulging in tradition or making new ones is something you can carry through the year to bring you that extra joy that seems to creep into everyone’s hearts around the holidays

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At the beginning of the month I deemed to steep myself in a bit of the arts and culture. My budget left a little to be desired, but I still managed to pick two sure-fire feel good experiences and incorporate them into my scattered schedule. David Bowie brought me back to being a child and reminded me that it isn’t the worst thing to dance in the most stoic places. Born Ruffians was a chance to shake it out on the dance floor with my life-long partner-in-crime, my brother. The band decided to open with fan teenage karaoke – there are no words for how much I laughed.

Go ahead, have fun and play, your grown-up life wont suffer from a little self-indulgent excitement now and again!

Latkes and Letting Yourself Win

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Even the best laid plans run into roadblocks. I started my celebration early this month and got quite smug with myself after a barrefit class. Of all things I threw my hip and lower back out trying to wrangle a sick cat into a carrier for a vet visit. It’s funny how delicate and fleeting the body is even when you are admist feeling on top of your game. Four days of committed movement is a huge feat for me considering walking around the block or a casual half hour on a stationery bike was a big deal just a month and a half ago. Last week I hit up three out of my allotted four movement classes in the face of a silly yet painful injury. I spent hours beating myself up this week thinking I should have pushed myself more, feeling even a bit of shame knowing that I didn’t meet my goal. There are so many colloquial phrases to draw from here, for me “you are your own worst enemy” flashed to the fore. To say the least, I lost sight of being gentle and realistic with myself. Even with all of the planning in the world, life will still throw you a curveball.

Thankfully I had a very wise man at my side when I tried to awkwardly step into my athletic gear and hobble out the door. His words quickly silenced my frantic thoughts – “sometimes you need to let yourself win”.

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Movement: Hurry Up & Wait.

I think we are all starting to feel it here in the Northern Hemisphere; darkness at 5pm softly nudges us indoors to blankets and comfort foods. My roommate noted this past weekend that with winter on the horizon she is more likely to stay at home during weeknight evenings. It just feels natural, doesn’t it? I’ve been slowly changing my daily routine by grabbing warm drinks rather than cold smoothies. Even with my goals of movement this month, I am going to allow myself to indulge in rolling myself up with a duvet and a good book. Comfort is key for acclimatizing to the colder, darker seasons.

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Treat Yo’self – Bittersweet Autumn Salad

For so many people I know, the fall and early winter is all about keeping your head down and working hard. Challenging yourself to meet goals, professionally, personally is an important part of growth, but a surefire way to flirt with burn out. I mentioned in an earlier post about my own burn out in a past job, since then I have gotten better at taking time for myself. This is certainly not a new, but I am finally taking on the treat yo’self attitude that is captured in this great comedic moment.

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Finding joy in losing light.

Get S.M.A.R.T., not S.A.D.!

It’s no body break slogan but it’ll serve its purpose today.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder is starting to turn its ugly head in a few people that are near and dear to me. Each day I whisper to the trees in the park on the corner of my street asking them to hold onto their bright red, orange and yellow leaves for a few more days. Continue reading

Come on, get happy!

Over at The Laughing Medusa’s Self-Love Book Club we just finished reading The Happiness Project, a book I had originally picked up two summers ago. In a nutshell, as much as I appreciate Gretchen Rubin’s candor, I really felt overwhelmed with coming up with my own methods to tackle my own laundry-list of goals. Again, The Happiness Project left me wanting more. What I did appreciate was her idea to focus on one goal a month. Rubin gets into some of the science of building habits, and her Happiness Project and website reflect a 21-day project model. I am personally of the belief that it takes around 30 days to develop a habit, for me three weeks can feel abrupt.

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