Today, Cindy, Mary Ann, and a few friends are talking about self-care. Not as an indulgence, but as a discipline. Self-care takes many forms, but it’s the little things we do every day that will make a difference in our health. Be sure to follow their links at the end of the post!
How I dropped 10 pounds in a year
A little self-care and awareness once I started using essential oils led to my healthiest year in a long time. The most surprising thing was that I lost 10 pounds. I’ve wanted to lose a few pounds for a while. Why was it a surprise? It happened so gradually that I did not even realize it was 10 pounds until I noticed the tab on the Fitbit dashboard that gives you a 30-day look, but when I noticed the one-year tab and clicked it- I was shocked to see down 10.1 pounds. I use a Fitbit scale which syncs your stats to your Fitbit dashboard using Wi-Fi.
Last year I started using essential oils which led to a shift in my mindset in an unexpected way. It’s truly the little things that add up and when you look back at a year, it was very positive to see that a little self-care over time added up to be a happier and healthier year.
Here’s what I did in the last year that I had not done in the past, or at least not consistently. Consistency is key.
Do you meditate? This has always been one of those things that I feel like I should do. I should do a lot of things, but with all the apps that make it so easy to start, I finally did. I chose the Ten-Percent Happier app. I mean with a claim like that, why not? I first heard about Dan Harris on The Doctor’s Farmacy Podcast. Episode 35: Is one minute of meditation enough?
2. Move More
When I’m in the city or traveling, I walk a lot. I never walk slowly, which can be annoying, or so I’m told. However, when I am working at home in my attic office space, I realized I could go hours without leaving my desk. At first, I thought, wow…no interruptions, I’m getting so much accomplished. But then I realized that’s not a good thing and I started to set a timer on my watch for 90 minutes. When the timer goes off, I go out for a walk.(The above photo is at the end of the street and I’m always happy when I walk out the door and can take in a sunset)! Sometimes it’s only 10-15 minutes. But at the end of a workday, those 10-15-minute intervals can add up to an extra hour or more of exercise. I also like to keep track of my steps and regular workouts using my Apple watch.
3. Eat More Greens
I was never one to get enough greens in my diet. That all changed when I started drinking a Fab Four Smoothie every day. I pack it full of spinach and then I still add Multi-Greens so I know I’m getting what I need. These smoothies taste delicious and I crave them every day! All you need to start is a powerful blender, collagen protein powder and a few things from the grocery store.Print
Fab Four Smoothie
After hearing author Kelly LeVeque on a podcast talk about her Fab Four Smoothie, I’ve pretty much had one every day since! They are so good that I actually crave a green smoothie!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 1 minute
- Yield: 1 serving 1x
- one scoop protein powder
- one tablespoon almond butter
- one tablespoon ground chia seeds
- one tablespoon ground flax seed
- one large handful baby spinach
- 2 Multigreen Capsules, opened and gelcap discarded
- 6–8 ounces almond milk or almond coconut milk
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1 drop lemon essential oil
- 4 ice cubes
Keywords: smoothie, healthy eating
4. Work on Balance
I have never had excellent balance. As I get older I notice this even more. Working on my balance needs to be a priority. So, Brent made three balance boards. Each is slightly different in terms of difficulty. We keep them out so that we can use them throughout the day. It’s helping! Just for 30-60 second intervals every time I walk by, I jump on one and can see improvement in the last month. I’ll be posting a DIY on how we made them, but they are similar in function to this one and this one.
6. Have Plants in the house
Over the last year, I think I bought a new plant every time I went to Home Depot. They have the best plants and at very reasonable prices. Not all Home Depot stores have the same selection, so you may have to check a few. When I take all of my plants from the living room and dining room and put them in the kitchen to water and prune and then walk back into the room…I’m shocked to see how empty the room feels with only removing the plants. Everything else is the same, but with the plants in the kitchen sink, on the counters waiting to be attended to…the living room looks sparse, like we are preparing to move. Surrounding yourself with plants can be healthy for numerous reasons. One is that it’s a time that I enjoy once a week where I can turn on the music and just tend to them. Sometimes it takes as little as 10 minutes, sometimes if a few need re-planting, it can take up to an hour, but I always enjoy this time. I spray the leaves with Thieves to clean them naturally and spray the soil with Thieves and a combination of oils like rosemary, clove, peppermint, and orange. I do this for all new plants. Not only does it keep the bugs away, but makes the soil smelling fresh. Plants make a house feel like a home.
7. Remove Toxins from my Home
This was a big one that once I started using essential oils, it opened up an entire area of small changes that I needed and wanted to make to have a healthier home. I started diffusing instead of burning candles. I loved candles. Let me say that again…I was obsessed with candles. I thought I needed candles to have a hygge home. Candlelight starting at dusk was something I needed to have. Once I was aware of the toxins I was allowing into my home, it was easy to make the switch to diffusing essential oils. I have two Aria diffusers (like the one above left of the sink) that are made of a wood base and a glass dome. It has a setting with warm amber color for the same (even better) ambient glow of a candle. I also have a Desert Mist diffuser that has a candle setting. It fills a corner with a nice warm, flickering glow and diffuses whatever blend I’m in the mood for. If it’s while I’m working, I may diffuse orange, grapefruit, and peppermint. At night I’ll diffuse lavender, cedarwood, and lemon. In the kitchen, it’s always a mix of citrus oils and Thieves.
Please make sure to check out my friends to see what self-care tips they use. I have known these bloggers for quite a few years and I think this is the first time we’ve collectively shared ideas on self-care. It’s a topic that we all feel passionate about.
René – Cottage and Vine
Sheri – Sheri Silver
Mary Ann – Classic Casual Home
Cindy – Rough Luxe Lifestyle
Annie – Most Lovely Things
Patricia –Patricia van Essche
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