motivation mondays: week 7
hey everyone, welcome to a new week and a new motivation mondays post! i hope you all had an amazing weekend and are feeling refreshed, energized and ready to take on whatever this week throws at you.
over the weekend, my two best friends from high school came to new york to visit for the first time, so i spent most of the weekend playing tour guide [which is actually really fun] and saturday night my roommates and i finally celebrated our “new” apartment and threw a housewarming party [better three months late than never, right?]. i’m beat, but ready to get back into the swing of things and there’s no better way to do that than with some good energy and a positive outlook on a monday morning.
we all spend a lot of time thinking about the future. how we need this, want that, how life will be better when i can make this much money, lose 10 pounds, live here, go there. it’s not bad to have hopes and dreams and things to look forward to in the future [if you didn’t have them that would be an issue in itself], but when we spend so much time focusing on the “ifs” and “whens” we can lose sight of the only thing we really have, which is now.
your life now should make you happy and if it doesn’t, definitely figure out what you can do to change that, but find the good in what you do have, even if it’s something as simple as you morning cup of coffee, a friend that you can’t imagine your life without or your comfy, cozy bed that you get to crawl into every night. no matter what your situation is, what you’ve been through or where you’re headed, i guarantee that everyone has something they can be happy about. it’s 100% possible to be happy with what you have while working towards what you want.
it’s also really important to let go of the “shoulds”… i should be making more money by my age, i should be pursuing a career in this instead of that, i should go back to school… there is no “right” way to go through life and just because your parents expect you to do one thing, doesn’t mean you have to do it and just because your friend is a super successful c.e.o. of whatever company by age 30, doesn’t mean that you have to be, too. success looks different to everybody and again, there’s not one thing that you’re supposed to be doing.
so drop any notions of what you’re life “should” be and go after what you want and what makes you happy. whether that means going back to school to pursue a new career, quitting your job to travel the world for a year, volunteering for an organization that supports a cause you believe in or continuing to do exactly what you’re doing now… it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re doing what you want to be doing. anyone in your life who can’t support that can keep it movin’.
as always, i’ll leave you with a few things i’m diggin’ right now:
this list. especially numbers 1, 4, 9, 10, 15, 21, 23, + 37. [insert heart-eyes emoji here]
this english bulldog puppy. i mean come on.
this world map that my parents got for me to hang in my room… i can’t wait to start pinning!
how were your weekends? what’s up this week? would love to hear from you in the comments below! you can always email me, too! i respond to all emails directly and would love to connect. firstname.lastname@example.org is where you can reach me.
image courtesy of live life happy
healthy lifestyle staples: tongue scraping
okay, i know what you’re thinking. tongue scraping? is she serious? what even is that?! well, i’m 100% serious and after you read this article, i guarantee you’ll go buy yourself a tongue scraper and love it.
so, why is this a healthy lifestyle staple? tongue scraping, or jiva shodhana in sanskrit, is an ancient ayurvedic practice that is known for not only keeping your mouth extra clean, but can help to detoxify the entire body, as well. here are three great reasons to start using a tongue scraper asap:
- it improves oral health. because tongue scraping removes the bacteria that forms on your tongue throughout the day, it will ultimately leave you with fresher breath, less plaque buildup and healthier gums. it can also reduce your chances of getting cavities.
- it aids digestion. tongue scraping will clear up your taste buds so that you can really taste the food you are eating and begin the digestion process smoothly. digestion begins with salivation and if you can’t truly taste your food, your body won’t know how to properly begin to break it down, which can screw up the whole process. and no one wants that.
- it boosts your immunity. because the tongue is the first line of defense in your immune system, removing toxins and bacteria from it can prevent them from being reabsorbed into the body, which is especially important during cold and flu season.
i know that this sounds really weird, but give it a try. i guarantee once you start you will wonder how you have ever gone without doing it. it’s best to do it twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, right after you brush your teeth. i personally use this tongue scraper by dr. tung’s. the stainless steel versions are preferable to the plastic ones and you can purchase one on amazon for around $5-$7.
image courtesy of the chalkboard
spaghetti squash with baby kale + pears
hapy friday, everyone! i hope you had an amazing week and are as ready for the weekend as i am! this post was not originally on the schedule for this week, but i received a spaghetti squash, among other things, in the mail from my parents early in the week [yes, that happened, they have a decent sized vegetable garden back in pennsylvania, which is pretty awesome], so i decided to do some experimenting and i wanted to share the recipe with you just in time for the weekend.
spaghetti squash is actually a lot easier to make than i expected it to be and the combination of flavors in this recipe is perfect for this time of the year. for two servings, you will need:
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1/2 c. whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 c. fresh baby kale
- 2 pears, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp. crumbled pecans
- salt + pepper to taste
to prepare the squash:
- pre-heat the oven to 400°.
- cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
- place both halves of the squash face down in a baking dish with about 1″ of water in the bottom.
- roast the squash for 45-50 minutes or until you can easily poke holes in it with a fork.
- remove from the oven and let cool.
- use a fork to shred the inside of the squash, placing the “spaghetti” in a bowl on the side and leaving about 1/2″ of squash inside the shell.
for the filling:
- add the ricotta cheese, baby kale, pears, salt and pepper to the bowl with the shredded squash and mix together well.
- scoop the mixture into the squash shells and place back in the baking dish [face up!]. you may want to line the bottom of the baking dish with aluminum foil.
- sprinkle the crumbled pecans on top and drizzle with toasted sesame oil.
- bake for another 15 minutes at 400°.
- remove from oven, let cool and dig in!
have a great weekend! tomorrow i’ll post that healthy lifestyle staples that i promised you on monday, so come back soon!
fall favorites: pumpkin pie milkshake
pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin. i’m really loving how there is literally pumpkin flavored everything everywhere. i had a bunch of pumpkin purée left over from the healthy pumpkin spice lattes i made last week [did anyone give this recipe a try?!] and wanted to see what kind of a smoothie i could come up with that tasted more like a milkshake, but was still dairy-free and healthy. i threw some ingredients into my magic bullet, trial and error style, and what i ended up with was soooo good. it tasted so much like pumpkin pie that i had to double check to make sure that i had actually used pumpkin purée and not pumpkin pie filling! i’m not kidding… that good. for one pumpkin pie milkshake you will need:
- 1 c. coconut milk
- 1/2 c. organic pumpkin purée [not pumpkin pie filling!]
- 1/2 of a banana
- 2 tbsp. almond butter
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- a few shakes of ground ginger
combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth, pour into a glass, and enjoy!
motivation mondays: week 6
wow, i can’t believe this series is already in its sixth installment… time goes by so fast these days it’s actually scary. i feel like it was just a few weeks ago that i was ringing in 2014, but in reality, the year is almost over already. seriously, where is the time going?
this weekend definitely went by too quickly. i ate at some awesome restaurants [mostly very unhealthy ones, but remember… balance!] and yesterday i ran my first half marathon, which definitely helped me justify all of the indulgent meals i consumed over the weekend! i needed to carb load to prepare for the race… right?
running a half marathon was something i decided i wanted to try to do about four months ago. honestly, if you would have told me at this time last year that i would be completing a half marathon ever in my life, i would have laughed at you. i never thought long distance running was something i could do. when i first started training, i wasn’t sure how i was going to do it, 13.1 miles?! that was crazy to even think about.
at first, my goal for race day was to finish, no matter how long it took, my only goal was to finish. walk it. run it. just finish. i started training and realized i was actually better at running than i thought i was, so i switched my goal to finish without walking at any time during the race. before i knew it, i was surprising myself with my times and setting the goal to complete the race in two hours. it seemed like a stretch, but i was gonna go for it.
i ended up really surprising myself, finishing the race in 1:53:17… almost seven minutes under my goal of two hours! what surprised me even more was that i still was able to do this despite some serious pain in my right knee and hip that started around mile ten. i managed to push through the last three miles without stopping to walk [i think my playlist really helped keep me going towards the end]. my friend, jenna, ran the race with me and also surpassed her goal, so we both felt pretty amazing post-run… and here we are!
we had our post-race meal planned for months to be at queens comfort in astoria. just take one look at that menu and tell me you don’t want to eat there. the menu was slightly different from what is currently listed on their website, but we all shared the atomic fireballs [deep-fried mac + cheese with sriracha and ranch] and capt’n crunch french toast balls for appetizers. i ordered the crispy pumpkin eggs benedict as my main course, which consisted of poached eggs layered on top of deep-fried pumpkin and fresh spinach on top of the most heavenly biscuits, all smothered in chipotle hollandaise sauce [pictured below]. out. of. this. world.
now that i’ve gotten that little half marathon recap out of the way, let’s get to this week’s quote for the motivation mondays series!
like i mentioned before, i surprised myself in so many ways yesterday. not only did i complete a half marathon, i ran the whole thing and beat my personal goal by seven minutes. i’m still in shock over what i was able to accomplish… and it feels great! i put the work in, trained as much and as hard as i possibly could and before the race, i just kinda let go of the anxiety about crossing the finish line in two hours and just did it. if i had been worrying the entire time i don’t think i would have done as well as i did.
we can plan and plan and plan our lives away, but sometimes just allowing things to run their course and releasing control can feel so good. of course, we shouldn’t apply this to every aspect of life, as there are definitely some things that require more attention than others, but if you’re a planner or someone who feels totally uncomfortable in situations where you don’t have control, letting go from time to time is something you should try.
letting go is really good for your mental health, especially if you suffer from constant stress and anxiety. it allows you to step back, take a deep breath and slow down your thoughts. then, you can put all of the energy you were putting towards worrying and stressing towards something more positive, like finishing a project you’ve been working on forever, spending time with friends you don’t get to see very often or just taking the time to take care of yourself. sure, you can do all of these things while worrying about something else, but you won’t get the same results as you would without the added pressure and anxiety.
when your life isn’t consumed with worry, you’ll find that you have so much more time in your day-to-day life to do the things you actually enjoy and want to do. worrying can take so much joy out of life and in the end, all of the worry in the world isn’t going to change the way things end up 99% of the time. in the end, you’re left with a lot of wasted time and energy, the side effects that stress and anxiety have on your body and mind and a situation that was going to end up how it was going to end up with or without you constantly obsessing over it. remember that old song, “don’t worry, be happy“? i think that guy was onto something.
a couple things i’m loving at the moment that i think you will love, too:
malala yousafzai being awarded the nobel peace prize at age 17. if you haven’t read her book, i am malala yet, stop what you are doing immediately and go do it. since reading her story earlier this year, she has been such an inspiration to me and is an amazing role model for people struggling anywhere.
this sundae from pure food + wine, an all raw vegan restaurant in manhattan. i ate here on saturday night and the food was good, but the desserts were out of control. i can say with absolute certainty that this is the best thing i have ever eaten.
thug kitchen’s new cookbook. i’ve read thug kitchen for a couple of years now [and it still gets me] and i’m so excited to buy this cookbook and “eat like I give a f*ck”.
coming up this week, i’ve got another pumpkin recipe in the works and a new edition to the “healthy lifestyle staples” series, so be sure to keep up so you don’t miss out on anything! how are you guys liking the motivation mondays series? is there anything else you would like to start your week off with besides a positive mantra and fun links to check out? maybe a new smoothie recipe or healthy living tip? leave a comment with any suggestions and i’ll see what I can do!
have an amazing week!
image courtesy of La Bonne Vie
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