Getting Quiet

If you happen to follow me on Instagram you may (or may not) have noticed I haven’t posted in a week.  If you know me well, Insta is my favorite slice of social media.  I started blogging back in 2011 and I believe it was that year that Instagram made its debut.  I loved my little blogging/insta community. It was real, raw, and pure.  Friends from all over could share their photos instantly with adorable captions.  I had so many amazing connections with women over fashion, food, family, husbands, you name it!!

Fast forward to 2018 and my feed was filled with overly airbrushed images, ads to buy something and picture perfect squares of everyone’s perfect lives.  I knew that when I would scroll, put the phone down and then only to pick it right back up and scroll again, it wasn’t making me feel good.  I kept brushing it off because I still do have some amazing, inspiring and uplifting people that I follow—but that wasn’t how I was left feeling after looking at Instagram.

Instead of feeling empowered, I felt insecure, jealous, envy and literally joy was being sucked out of me.  I’d wish that my house was more perfect, that my kids could strike amazing poses for photos and that I must not really be inspiring anyone because, well? To be honest, I was hung up on the numbers.  I don’t have 21k followers.  Hell, I don’t have 1,000.  And I was beating myself up.  I must not be helping enough people.

Regardless, I was going through a low point, feeling sorry for myself, oh woe-is-me, playing the victim, and if I’m being brutally honest? I was ready to go to a Dr and ask for a little magical pill that would maybe make me feel happier.

All because of Instagram? No.  Absolutely not.

But I can say that taking a little fast from Instagram, helped me quiet my mind, soul and allowed me to truly listen.  I have never been addicted to anything, but I believe that I had a problem with incessantly checking this silly app! So once I removed it off my phone, a lot of things happened.

Instead of mindlessly scrolling, I picked up a book:

56277551107__d1ff2dd3-ec93-45ab-8964-e4c62e5429e0

This book seemed to speak to me and allow me to reflect on what the hell was going on inside my mind.  I didn’t read it cover to cover, but I don’t think that I needed to or was meant to.  I got what I needed out of it.  People need other people in order to not only survive but also thrive.  Staying home I clearly don’t get as much social interaction as I used to when I was a teacher, but somehow I stopped going out pretty much all together.  I’d get the groceries.  Visit my husband at his work.  Do the school drop off/pick up.  Take the kids to the occasional park or library.  Dance class.   But when was the last time I did a mommy meet up?  Play date?  Had fun with the kids some place other than home?

I immediately decided to take the kids to the Museum of Play that very next day since Brooke had a day off.  We had so much fun.  While they played in the “Vet clinic” for no joke, 45 minutes, I decided to look up the local gyms in my area.  Interestingly enough, the gym I was interested in was having a $1 sign up fee and $20 a month membership.  What?!  You know what I did? I took immediate action.  Why? Because that is how you conquer fear.  Anxiety.  Stress.  You do something. Anything!! After we left the museum I went straight to the gym and signed up. I knew that the classes would be excellent for me, I’d be more social and around happy, energetic and healthy people.

Know what? It’s working.

I’m not saying that medicine is a bad thing; if you honestly need anti-despressants or anti-anxiety meds then definitely take them!  I was at my OBGYN’s office Wednesday of last week telling him about how I had been feeling.  It seemed to coincide with my monthly cycle.  The sadness, crying, overwhelm.  He suggested I figure out the root of my problem, come to a solution and execute!  If that didn’t work then he obviously suggested that I go and talk to someone and maybe explore medicinal options if need be.

I can’t explain why I was feeling the way I was.  I have a beautiful life and everything I have ever dreamed of.  I listen to positive podcasts.  I read leadership books. I was grateful, writing gratitude lists, trying to cling to anything that seemed to try and help pull me from that funk.  The guilt I felt about just not feeling happy or well, was becoming overwhelming and only when I took the bull by the horns and acted upon something did it all change.

While I have only been going to the gym for a week, my body, mind and spirit are in so much better of a place.  I feel as though I’ve cleared some cobwebs, decluttered the social media accounts I choose to follow and have really begun to listen to what matters most.

img_9489

I’ve also started to listen to a little meditation on you tube each morning. Maybe about 10 minutes or so, and I just allow myself some time to wake up and listen to good things.  I feel like it helps our crazy morning routines go by with more ease, less stress and certainly more smiles.

As women, we can sometimes take other people’s problems on as our own.  It’s our job as a mom to fix boo boos, wipe tears and lend an ear.  I tend to be overly empathetic and while I know watching the news isn’t great for me, I didn’t realize how much toxic energy I was absorbing through social media apps.

I’m a little apprehensive in sharing all of this publicly, but as Brené Brown keeps speaking into my ear, the power lies in vulnerability. (I’m currently listening to her newest book, Dare to Lead.)  So I suppose I am sharing all of this on my blog so that if you’re feeling stressed, sad, overwhelmed or just not happy, I am suggesting that you get quiet.  I went and got a pedicure and put my phone down.  I read some of a book.  I listened to that still small voice that I don’t make enough time for.  It’s never too late to start something different.  To make one small change.  One step leads to so many more. After you get quiet, I also highly suggest you force yourself to work up a sweat.  10, 20 or 30 minutes whatever–get your body moving! Just as we were intended to be social creatures, our bodies crave movement.

I think I’ll be taking more “social media cleanses” and I know that checking myself has done more wonders than I could have imagined. Once I realized that time is our biggest gift and the one thing we can never ever get back, I knew I had to be more strict with my time.  Where my time goes, my energy flows.

 

And of course, in Jenn fashion, there are a few quotes that really resonated with me…

 

 

 

img_9491

 

You matter. You are beautiful.  You are strong.  You are brave.  You are real.  You are living this one life that is truly a gift.  When you fall down, brush yourself off and get back up.  You are not a victim; you and you alone are responsible for your happiness.  Happiness is your birthright.

All my love,
Jenn

10 Day Cleanse

It was that time again! I have really honed into what my body needs, how to fuel it properly, what I can and should not eat…but I am human!  Enter: Advocare’s 10 Day Cleanse.  I started my AdvoCare journey back in the Summer of 2013.  I could not lose those extra 25 pounds from having my first baby and everything I was trying did not seem to help.

I aim to do one cleanse every season (90 days). The last one I did was in January. 

I did the 24 Day challenge and even that first cleanse I felt so amazing!  It was the perfect match for my personality, and still is.  I love goals and simplified eating.  I realized the more ‘real food’ I ate, the better that I felt.   Throughout the last 5 years I’ve tweaked my diet slightly but over all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Day 1: I was at a number I hadn’t seen in a very long time.  Even around Christmas I don’t think I broke into 140’s! Either way, between not putting myself first, eating a ton of yummy food and not working out consistently, the pounds added up.  I’m not too hung up on numbers, but I was super sad that my clothes weren’t fitting.  It was time.

img_6326

I eat the same foods pretty much daily, and I try my hardest to eat 5-6 small meals.

Lean protein

Greens/veggies

Comlex carb

Fats

I treat myself to a protein shake after workouts.  I love adding 4 ice cubes, 12 oz of unsweetened cashew milk, 1/2 of a banana and a scoop of natural peanut butter. Delish!

Wraps are super easy and a great way to fill up.

I live by these little almond butter packets!

I treated myself to some sashimi for dinner one night.

If I didn’t make it to the gym, then I tried so hard to get in an at home workout!

More meal ideas…

One of my friends taught me awhile back that we should eat like a King for breakfast–the most filling meal of the day!  Break that fast with healthy foods.

Water is HUGE. I was feeling a bit of bloat and knew I had to start CHUGGING water.  You need to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water to keep those toxins out!

Left over smoked chicken wings.  They taste much better with blue cheese, but I behaved! Avocado is a cleanse life saver too.

I did ‘cheat’ on Father’s Day and I did not feel bad about it.  I wanted to enjoy some yummy lobster pasta and a little bubbly with my husband.  I did not feel my best the next day, so all the more power to not over indulge like that!

Once again, I re-learned how great it felt to be full of energy and fill my body with real food that nourishes my mind, soul and tummy.

I had patience, even during a STRESSFUL week of my husband working the tent sale, my dad having major surgery and me solo parenting for the whole time.
My shorts fit, my tummy is tighter and the number on the scale went from 141 to 134.

WINNING!!

img_6610.jpg

 

I don’t share to boast, I share to encourage.  Anything and everything is possible.  We are all a work in progress and while I may never have a rock hard, 6 pack abdomen, I have a healthy body that is working at maximum speed because I’m doing the right things at the very least, 80% of the time.

80/20 is SO helpful for me.

Eat clean, real, whole foods 80% of the week and allow 20% to be maybe not the cleanest. This means enjoy the ice cream cone with the kiddos, or the glass of wine, but don’t do it every day.

Water & Cleansing

Need inspiration to drink more water? Buy yourself a custom tumbler! My friend Rachel’s amazing!  I had her whip me up this pretty little one.

“When life hands you lemons, pray they are lulu.”

Check out her custom etsy shop, Simply Mama Boutique. Stay tuned in another blog post for a giveaway too!

I wrapped up my 10 day cleanse and I will 100% admit, it was SO darn tough!  Being super cold up here in NY, all I am craving are warm baked goods, pastas, and lots of hot lattés.   Was my cleanse a total flop?

No.

I actually think it was the perfect re-boot that my body needed.

  • I upped my water intake (we need 1/2 of our body weight in water at least!)
  • I upped my veggie intake
  • I stopped snacking mindlessly
  • I pretty much omitted sugary foods/drinks (I did cheat and have a soy green tea latté on Friday, my last day before taxes)
  • I ate more lean protein
  • I ate more real foods, not so much bars/shakes/aka processed junk
  • I worked out
  • My jeans are baggy again
  • I lost the bloat/extra flub around my midsection
  • I slept well
  • I had more energy
  • I only drank (wine) on Saturday night
  • I became more mindful of what I was eating

I didn’t lose any weight, but if I had measured inches I am sure that I lost some.  I am at a steady 135 and I am 5’7.  I am in between a 4/6.  My goal is to continue 80/20 eating.  I want to enjoy a latté when I’d like one, but not drink them daily.

I want to tone up and build more muscle, while enjoying delicious foods. My body seems to work best if I eat clean all day, and then dinner I can be a little flexible and enjoy a little pasta or cheese pizza.  I cannot do the all or nothing thing, it never works.

Next up I’m going to play around with intermittent fasting a bit more.  I am fascinated by it, and have several friends who swear by it.  Stay tuned!

I did notice the biggest difference when I started CHUGGING my water.  The fiber for sure helps flush out toxins, as does the cleanse tablets, but more than anything ladies and gentlemen, water, water, water!!!

Top 5 tips to drink more water:

  1.  Cute tumbler
  2. Figure out if you prefer water cold or room temp
  3. Use a straw (I don’t know why, but I always drink more with a straw!?)
  4. Add lemon or fruit to flavor
  5. Have water everywhere.  I have multiple cups going day/night.

10 Day Cleanse

It’s that time again!! You know, when your jeans are just a tad too tight to feel comfortable in.  The extra glass of wine never hurt anyone. Those couple of bites of birthday cake, which turn into several pieces.  Snacking off the kids’ plates and just not really putting forth any effort with your diet. Guilty as charged!

I personally LOVE the AdvoCare 10 day cleanse.  I cannot do Spark due to my reflux (I can’t drink coffee or eat garlic, fried foods, too many starches, sugars, etc without feeling the effects.) What I can do instead of Spark is Pre-Workout. It tastes just like pink lemonade and it doesn’t have any sucralose as it’s sweetened with Stevia.

I try to do a cleanse every season (ever 90 days) and for me it’s more of a re-set of my system. I know what works. I know what I need to eat to feel and look my best. But it’s soooo easy not to…and to just be meh. Well, I’m over that and I’ve used every excuse in the book to put my cleanse off, so today is the day!

I mentally prepared myself yesterday, as I enjoyed some delicious Cabernet and made my beautiful family some ground turkey lasagna. Totally worth it and everyone enjoyed! So what will I not eat the next 10 days? Processed sugars, starchy white carbs, dairy, wine, and of course my beloved green tea lattes are off limits.  Last time I cleansed and was craving a sugar filled latte, I stopped at the local Yoga studio and grabbed a hot freshly steamed apple juice.  Totally curbed the craving!

Side note, I do have a schedule cheat night for our date night this weekend! I will roll with the punches, as we have not had much Jenn and Joe time with holidays and kids’ birthdays, plus bad weather.

What can I eat? ANYTHING in the fruit and vegetable groups.  I need to stock up for some more fresh goodness at the store!

Lean proteins are key–I doubt I’ll eat much steak and if I do, I make sure it’s 90% lean or like a filet mignon. Tons of fish and chicken for sure!  Beans are cheap and easy, and if I’m feeling hungry, I’ll toss some in with whatever I’m eating to keep me full.  You should NOT be hungry while cleansing!

Since this is not my first rodeo, I know I’ll have to fill up water bottles and leave them everywhere. I find it tricky to drink enough water when the weather is cold, but I will get it done!  I sometimes drink caffeine free herbal teas to help get more water in when I’m freezing. Hopefully I can drink enough and flush this fat away!

I’m quite annoyed with myself for not sticking with a consistent gym routine.  Sickness, weather, you name it will cause me not to workout and that’s kinda lame. I can totally work out from home, if need be…so my goal is to sweat 5 times a week. I consider Sunday a win, since I walked Holly for 45 minutes and then had an epic dance party with the kids after dinner. I sweat, so that counts in my book!

I’ll try to keep track of my food on my insta-story as that seems to keep me motivated and held accountable. I’ll probably eat the same thing a lot (for time sake) but I also hope to keep up with it longer than just 10 days.  I hate reaching for a man made protein bar and shake when I know I should be eating real whole foods.  When I’m not cleansing, I aim for 80/20–again, that’s 80% clean eating and 20% ehhh not so clean.

You’ll see the following foods throughout the week:

  • Eggs
  • Spinach
  • Whole wheat toast
  • Oatmeal
  • Fruit
  • Salads
  • Roasted veggies
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Hummus
  • Corn tortillas
  • Ground turkey
  • Venison
  • Chicken breasts
  • Tuna
  • Nuts
  • Dried cranberry
  • Natural Peanut Butter
  • Almond Butter
  • Fish (Sushi too, just no rice and very little low sodium soy sauce)

I have also started doing some research on intermittent fasting.  I don’t know if I truly could go longer than 14 hours, but I may try! I find that when I cut myself off after dinner (6/7pm) I sleep better and feel better in the mornings. I have become quite in tune with my body and since my reflux acts up, I think eating a final meal around then gives my body plenty of time to digest before I go to sleep.  Sleep is SO important–we should not be having our bodies digesting while we’re healing and resting up for the next day.

Do you have any insight with intermittent fasting? I hear that it’s something you should gradually work up to, and I just don’t know how I feel about not eating for like 24 hours. I get pretty cranky if I don’t eat every 3 hours as it is, so I dunno…if it works for some people that’s great, but I am unsure I could get too many hours while breaking my fast.  When I did a strict juice cleanse for 3 days, by the end of the 3rd day I had to eat lettuce with lemon juice…I was so hungry!

 

Stay tuned and keep an eye on my instagram for updates.