Tag: thrive

Embrace the Gifts of “Snowing” Down

I’ve always been fascinated by what happens where I live when a snowstorm threatens.

Milk, bread, toilet paper, and bottled water are nowhere to be found. The frozen section in the grocery store has been wiped out. And liquor stores enjoy a pre-blizzard bump in business as fears of wine shortages consume our minds. They were so busy, they probably didn’t even check if half their customers were using a fake id (more here). I feel so bad for those who weren’t quick enough and were only left with a choice between ouzo or $50 champagne. I’m so glad I have one of those wine club memberships, I don’t know I could survive the winter period without mulled wine. I also forgot to get my second cousin a Christmas gift so I’ve set one of my bottles of wines from my subscription aside so I can give that to her. This subscription is a lifesaver in more ways than one! I think she’ll love the wine that much that I’m even deciding to look for some personalized wine glasses that I can gift to her next year. Can you think of anything better than drinking some of the best wine in the most beautiful personalized glassware? I can’t. And all of this can be done online, so I don’t have to worry about venturing out into the cold. So, we prepare to hunker down for an indefinite amount of time, not knowing when our cars will be unburied or when the roads will be safe to drive.

But something else happens in the midst of a blizzard.

When Mother Nature decides to dump nearly three feet of snow on us in 24 hours, our chronic busyness, neverending to do lists, and work pressures suddenly become less important.

The weather has a way of causing us to slow down, or, in this case, “snow” down. It gives us time to focus more on what we really want to do and less on what we feel like we have to do.

We take time to think, play, read, explore, unwind, cook, laugh, and spend time with those closest to us. We actually see and talk to our neighbors…and meet new ones.

Over the past 48 hours, I’ve taken time to enjoy the gifts of “snowing” down. I wanted to share them with you to inspire you to make time for the things that matter, even after the threat of snow has subsided and we return to life as it was before.

Play. On Friday night, as Bill and I were preparing to watch what would end up being the complete series of Making a Murderer on Netflix, he asked, “Do you want to pull the mattress out into the living room while we watch TV?” No sooner had he asked then we were dragging our spare mattress, pillows and blankets out onto the living room floor to set up camp for the weekend. A small Nerf gun (yes, they still make them) also made its way into our time together that afternoon. I felt like a kid again doing something so fun and out of the ordinary.

Explore. On Saturday night, once it had stopped snowing, we trekked out into the fluffy white mounds and snow banks, wandering around the streets of Lutherville for over an hour. We walked in the middle of the unplowed road. We made our way to the park near our house, where we trudged knee-deep through the snow to get to the jungle gym and swing set. We slid down the slide into a snow pile, face planted while jumping off the swings, and made snow angels.

I remember staring up at the calm, gray sky, watching the clouds dance over the moon. It was the first time I noticed the beauty of the barren tree branches above my head and the stillness of the night. I thought to myself,

“This is the kind of stuff we’re supposed to notice. These are the moments when we’re fully present and connected to life.”

Read. I love to read and have since I was a kid. Reading gives me the opportunity to grow, learn, think, reflect, and dream. I have a thing for words and am always open to being inspired by them. During the past 48 hours, I finished Ariana Huffington’s Thrive, read most of the The Food-Mood Solution, and breezed through The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I recommend checking out all of them! If you’re thinking of decluttering your home, take a look at these storage sheds in va.

As I was reading through Thrive, I was reminded of the importance of slowing down and being present to what my body needs. Often, it’s rest.

Unwind. When we’re caught up in the frenetic pace of our lives and the feeling that there isn’t enough time to get everything done in a day, we tend to lose sight of the importance of rest. I made time to relax this weekend. I slept in. Sipped a half dozen cups of herbal tea. Took a nap on the couch. Decompressed in a lavender-infused epsom salt bath. Journaled in the comfy chair in my office with essential oils diffusing beside me.

It is so necessary to do this. Taking time to rest and relax is refreshing and helps us reset our body and mind.

Connect. It’s funny how we can live near people (several hundred feet from them) and never talk to them. In today’s world, most of us are coming and going in such a hurried way, we often overlook something as simple as getting to know our neighbors. Despite the fact that we have lived in our house for almost three years, we saw and talked to some of our neighbors more in the past 12 hours as we were shoveling than we had in the past six months. I grew up in a close-knit neighborhood where everyone knew and looked out for each other. I realize now as an adult how rare something like that is today and how I want more of it in my life.

I also reconnected with my web designer, the person who designed my logo (below!) and who will be helping me with the redesign of my website this spring. It had been on my mind to follow up with her for months, but having time this weekend was what I needed to make that phone call happen.

RNK Logo.png

Disconnect. Aside from Jimmy Fallon, Top Chef and The Voice, I don’t spend much time watching TV. With everything else that inspires and energizes my life, there isn’t much time left for it, but sometimes I just need to zone out. My husband and I binge-watched Netflix – all 10 episodes of Making a Murderer…in less than 18 hours. Quite a feat. (And, yes, it’s as addictive and fascinating as everyone says it is.)

Cook. It goes without saying that I love food, given what I do for a living and why I write this blog, but being cooped up in my house surrounded by food inspired me to get busy in the kitchen.

We made this savory Sweet Potato and Veggie Casserole and this warm and cozy Love In a Bowl White Bean & Fennel Soup

For something sweet, we whipped up Simple Mills chocolate cake topped with this fudgy peanut butter chocolate frosting and some crunchy cacao nibs and these banana oatmeal cookies from Pinterest (I added 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt and about 1/3 cup chopped walnuts).

banana cookies

Release. All of us have a tendency to accumulate stuff. I’m a pile-stacker and sentimental packrat, but there can be so much freedom in taking time to purge stuff we no longer use. When we are forced to slow down and reflect on the space around us, we often start to notice what we need and what we can release.

As I was reading the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and reflecting on my own living space, I was inspired to ask myself the book’s core question to guide the decision about which things to keep in my life and which to discard:

Does this spark joy?

What a simple but profound concept.

I had recently done quite a bit of decluttering, but reading this prompted me to take a few additional steps immediately. I now have several more bags filled with “stuff” that doesn’t spark joy to give away, trash, or recycle. The space I’ve cleared out is now open for something else to enter my life. I’m excited to see what that is.

While it may take a snowstorm to slow us down, let’s continue to give ourselves the gifts we experience and enjoy during times like these.

Whether we’re playing, exploring, reading, unwinding, connecting, zoning out, cooking, or releasing what no longer serves us, let’s reconnect with what sparks joy in our lives and commit to doing more of that.

Let’s continue to embrace the gifts of “snowing” down.

Goodbye Plastic Baggies, Hello LunchSkins! {Perfect for Lunches & Snacks On the Go}

Whether you’ve been reading my blog for some time or are just stopping by, I want to take a second to let you know something about me as you read this post. One of the things I’m passionate about doing is helping people make upgrades to their lives to include more nourishing foods. The products I’m promoting in this post are being done purely because I think they’re super cool and make it easier to pack and eat healthy food, not because I am being paid by someone to promote them. I’m all about transparency!

——————————————————————————————————–

Lunchskins are the perfect way to transport snacks, like my homemade donut holes :)

LunchSkins are the perfect way to transport snacks, like my homemade donut holes

I think everyone knows that we need to start using things like plastic free snack containers and stop using plastic products in order to do our bit to save the world. If we continue the way we are, there won’t be any resources left for us to use and nature will be in crisis. This is why when I first learned about these LunchSkins when I was at the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore this fall I was SO excited. As a blogger, I had the opportunity to take part in an amazing event that showcased thousands of products, foods, supplements and other items in the natural foods industry and community.

It was like adult trick-or-treating…only healthier! I had SO MUCH FUN.

As my dad would say, I was as happy as a pig in slop šŸ™‚

I learned about lots of new products while I was there – some that I never knew existed and others I had tried before but didn’t know much about.

The coolest part was meeting the people behind the brands – Brad from Brad’s Raw Kale Chips, Mamma Chia herself, the Nibmor girls (a fellow health coach!), and Brendan Brazier, a triathlete who wrote the book Thrive and is the face of Vega protein supplements.

expo east

One of the companies I learned about at the expo was 3GreenMoms. They’ve created a product called LunchSkins that basically gets rid of the need to use plastic baggies. They were inspired to create their products when they learned this staggering statistic:

Every day, more than 20 million sandwich bags from school lunches go into landfills in the U.S.

This concern is very similar to that which started the move away from plastic straws and towards sustainable solutions like these metal boba straws.
Their mission was to create a solution to that problem and to do so in a way that was “fresh” and “colorful.” Their bags are lined with European pastry bag material, which makes them eco-friendly, food-safe and dishwasher safe. They come in lots of cool colors and designs and even have a place to write your name, too šŸ™‚

Sneaking a pic of the 3 green moms at the expo!

Sneaking a pic of the 3 green moms and their display at the expo!

lunchkins

I’m an advocate of living in a way that is as health-supportive as possible, and until recently, the impact my choices were having on the health of the environment wasn’t something I thought or cared about…at all.

I’ve used and tossed thousands of plastic baggies without thinking twice about it.

Over the past six months, Bill and I have switched from plastic containers to all glass or ceramic (Pyrex, mason jars, Corningware) and are in the process of making upgrades to other household products to make them safer (To learn more about why we did this, click here).

Our latest upgrade has been using LunchSkins instead of plastic baggies. Bill uses them to take his lunch and snacks to school, and I use them in my lunchbag at work or when I’m on the road traveling to meetings. Not only are we saving money by not buying plastic baggies, but we don’t have to deal with that nasty plastic bag taste that has a way of seeping into whatever food is stored in the baggie. I’m thinking of carrying on in a similar vein of doing our bit for the environment by purchasing foldable reusable shopping bags to save on the use of plastics when I’m out doing the food shopping for the week. They’re 100% natural, nontoxic and machine washable so I’m running out of reasons not to get one!

IMG_8072

When I first learned about LunchSkins in September, I was trying to figure out the best time to share this information with you and thought the holiday season would be a great time to do it.

3GreenMoms make sandwich, snack, and sub bags as well as lunch bags and bibs. I just saw on their website that they have “wet and sweat” bags, which can be used at the gym or pool or for a baby and are meant to replace larger plastic bags.

Any of these would make a great stocking stuffer or holiday gift, especially for someone who has kids, brings lunch to work or likes to pack snacks! I plan to get some for some of the mamas in my life šŸ™‚

Here’s the link to their website to check out their products. You can also buy LunchSkins on Amazon, and I even found some at a local store called Stebbins-Anderson and at Whole Foods.

Lunchskins are the perfect way to transport snacks, like my homemade donut holes :)

LunchSkins are the perfect way to transport snacks, like my homemade donut holes

Oh, and by the way, here’s the recipe for these delicious donut holes. I just posted version 2 (Orange Cranberry Breakfast Bites) the other day, and they are also delicious! Both recipes are paleo, gluten-free and vegan and are amaaaazing šŸ™‚

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

%d bloggers like this: