Healthy Rewards


Hello there! I hope you are doing well  and that you have some fun and relaxing items on your agenda for this weekend. My husband and I are going out on the town for a friend’s birthday party and then I’m sure the rest of it will be spent doing work around the yard and house, grocery shopping, school work and hanging out with our fur children 🙂

I’m sure that many of you may have heard of Gretchen Rubin. She is the author of the very popular and best-selling book entitled The Happiness Project. I read her book back in 2014 and I loved it! Throughout her book, she shares her scientific research on happiness and her experiments with incorporating ways to be happier into her lifestyle. What I liked most about it was that it didn’t feel too self-helpie (even though I enjoy some self-help books) and that she already was a happy person to begin with. Her main goal was just to find ways to be happier and enjoy life more which is something we could all benefit from. If you have any interest in learning about ways to increase happiness in your life, then I would definitely pick up her book or listen to her Happier podcasts.

happiness project
I was very excited when I learned about Gretchin’s Happier podcasts that she hosts with her sister, Elizabeth. I’ve been listening to her podcasts on YouTube<=== (quick access) during my morning commutes and they are very enlightening and entertaining.  Earlier this week, I listened to one of her podcasts about the strategy of rewards. It got me thinking about the ways I tend to reward myself for getting though a stressful work week and how those rewards can undermine my good healthy habits.

I have found that during busy, frustrating and hectic work weeks, I tend to reward myself with chocolate treats, visits to Starbucks and takeout food for dinner. Although takeout can be very convenient in an emergency, my priorities are to eat clean and avoid high sodium comfort food so rewarding myself with treats and takeout isn’t healthy and often continues into a normal week.

I need to start treating myself with healthy rewards like taking yoga, going to my favorite exercise class, visiting my parent’s pool, taking a warm soothing bath, getting a mani/pedi or a massage, or a new book. Rewards don’t have to be something that I have to eat. As long as I know I have something to look forward to either right after work or that weekend then I will save my money and time for the healthy reward 🙂

Healthy rewards don’t always have to be something that you buy also. Here are some other ways to treat yourself without spending money:

1) Go for a walk. Take your favorite tunes or your spouse, family member, friend or dog.

2)  Practice peaceful meditation and calm breathing.

3) Go to YouTube and find an exercise or yoga video.

4) Visit your local library and check out a book you’ve always wanted to read.

5) Give yourself a mani/pedi.

6) Listen to an awesome  podcast.

7) Write in your journal or blog.

8) Go for a bike ride.

9) Take a day off work for a wellness day.

10) Go for a drive or walk by the beach.

These are my suggestions. What are your healthy rewards?

be happy


Surviving the Desk Job

Are you like me working at a desk job and sitting on your keester most of the day?

Call me an old lady but I’m starting to get the worst pain in my lower back, tightness in my hips and a sore neck from sitting and hunching over a keyboard while staring at the computer screen for 8-9 hours, five days out of the week. And let’s not mention the strain it’s putting on my poor eyes. Yeesh….I am really starting to get whiney, aren’t I?

Well I like my job but I refuse to let it get the better of me physically so here are some awesome stretches I found on popsugar (a la pinterest) that are helping me get through the day and relieve some of the soreness I feel from sitting too long at my desk.

Butterfly stretches: These are really good for your lower back and your hips. You can do them on your chair, on the floor next to your desk or in a private conference room. I also do them at home before and after work.

Chest-opening stretches: This one is a yoga pose called the seated heart-opener. I usually do these three times a day for about 15-30 seconds each.

Tight hips: This is another great stretch and I use these not only after sitting but before running since they stretch the hip flexors which can easily become tight so keep this one committed to memory!! Hold for 30 seconds then slowly release and do your other side.

Neck and shoulder stretches: This one feels good on the arms, neck and back and is very easy to do. In fact, I do this every day without fail. Move your head to your right side to give your neck a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and switch.

I also make sure to get up from my desk, walk around the office and stretch every 90 minutes. You can set-up  reminders on your Outlook or on your phone. I also like to take a walk around the building for 5-10 minutes each day around 3pm. It really helps to get some fresh air and move around so my hiney doesn’t fall asleep like I start to around that time of day  😛

For more essential stretches for office dwellers like me, click here.

Chai Tea – An excellent way to start your day

Good Morning folks! Happy Wednesday!

I hope everyone is having a great week so far.

I’ve got a very busy day ahead of me but before things get too crazy…I just wanted to take a moment to enjoy this nice soothing warm cup of Chai tea by Twinings.

I love Chai with milk and peanut butter toast. I think it’s a lovely way to start your day and it doesn’t give you the nervous jitters like coffee tends to do.  

For those of you who are wondering what Chai is, it is a traditional Indian spiced tea that is made up of: cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and other various spices. It can be served warm or cold and goes well with milk or sweet cream and a little honey or agave for sweetener. I would definitely recommend giving it a try.

 Now it’s time to get back to work. I hope everyone has a terrific day!!

Sleepless in WPB

Have you ever had one those nights where you just couldn’t fall asleep and then woke up super early feeling wide awake the next morning?  Those nights have occurred with me way too often and since last night was one of them, I was inspired to write this post.

Maybe it was pent up creative energy or maybe it was the margarita I had last night with dinner. I don’t know. But for some reason, last night had me feeling restless.

I knew that I needed to have a nutritious, well-balanced breakfast and some caffiene if I was going to make it through the day or at least until lunch time. So I made myself some coffee – of course and tried not to focus too much on the fact that this was going to be a loooooong day. Instead, I  focused on the fact that its Wednesday and that the weekend is halfway here. Yayyy!!

Coconut Oatmeal with peanut butter mmmm….

With the following ingrediants:

  • Quaker Steel Cut Oats (or instant)
  • 1 TBP of Peanut Butter
  • 1 TBP of honey
  • 1/2 cup of soy or almond milk
  • Sprinkles of sweetened coconut flakes

And now you we have a power breakfast.  A bowl of cooked steel-cut oatmeal is an excellent way to start any morning as it is full of protein and fiber. I like the steel cut oats because they are less processed and therefore have more nutrients than the regular instant rolled oats but there is nothing wrong  with using the instant kind either. I love oatmeal along with the added flavors of yummy nutty peanut butter, soy milk and coconut. Mmm….Now lets get this day started!! 🙂

For the rest of the day, I made sure to drink plenty of water. It kept me hydrated and also kept me active with all of my trips back and forth to the bathroom. I also took a short walk outside in the sun just to get a little boost. Then I had another power food for my mid-morning snack which was a hard-boiled egg. More protein for me…yayy!!

Healthy Choice soup – Thai Style Chicken with Brown Rice along with veggie crackers and a slice of light swiss cheese. I like the healthy choice soup because not only is it tasty but its also low sodium : )

For a snack, I had a fresh peach and then later on I split a Kit-Kat bar with a co-worker – GUILTY I know!!

Around 2pm it started to rain cats and dogs!! C’mon!!! 😦 It was making me very sleepy but I turned down the offer for an espresso (we have a machine at work) and powered through until 5pm. Woot woot! Now its time to go home and relax!! 🙂

Just to re-cap, here are my tips along with some additional techniques for staying sane and getting through work with less sleep:

  • Drink caffeine!
  • Drink lots of water
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced breakfast and lunch
  • Get up and walk around
  • Try to go outside briefly to get some sun or sit by the window
  • Take a 20 minute power nap if you can
  • Be nice to your co-workers and try and take it easy on yourself!
  • Don’t overload yourself with caffeine and sugar. Otherwise you will crash later and might have trouble falling sleep again.

Question of the day:
Have you ever had a restless night that led to a crappy day at work that you want to share? If so, what are your tips?

How to stay positive and fabulous while job searching

Job searching can be fun and adventourous. However, it can also be very stressful if you are waiting around and there just aren’t any prospects. So how does a nice, intelligent, healthy and productive person stay sane while they are unemployed? Well look no further. Below are some helpful tips that I am sharing with you from personal experience so you can be your absolute best when that interview does come:

1) Go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday.
2) Treat your job search like a job.
3) Get at least 30 minutes of excercise a day.
4) Try and stay off Facebook (if you can help it – I know its addicting)
5) Get out of the house/apartment. Go out for fresh air.
6) Learn something new: take a Spanish or French conversational course, take a flower arranging, cooking, dance or pottery class or work on improving a certain skill you already have.
7) Meditate – goal = 10 minutes  (See link below for more info on meditation):
8) Read – the paper, magazine articles e.g.: Forbes, Fortune 500, Newsweek and the New York Times, blogs or anything you can get your hands on.
9) Volunteer
10) See if a family member, friend or neighbor needs any help with any home or garden projects.
11) Visit a local museum, garden, library or any place you have always wanted to visit but haven’t found the time.
12) Write or start a blog.
13) Start a collage or an image board with images that represent all your goals, values and the things you want and see for yourself in the future.
14)  Clean and tidy up your house.
15) Think of at least one thing if not more to be grateful for each day.
16) Catch up with an old friend.
17) Write down a list of your values, skills, experiences, accomplishments, likes, dislikes and goals.
18) Do some gentle yoga.
19) Go to church or a place of worship.
20) Be the absolute best friend, lover, sister, brother, Mother, Father, husband, wife or person you can be!!!

Since 2009, I have been in between jobs while trying to manage the emotions, frustrations, disappointments and set backs of being unemployed. It can be a real downer and a terrible blow when you find out the job or career you were so hoping would work out didn’t. Whether its your fault or just the downturn of this economic climate we are in, please don’t beat yourself up about it. The way you handle it, your outlook and how you present yourself and your situation to others can determine how fast you recover and land another job. Just try your best to stay upbeat and chalk it up to a learning experience. And when people ask you about it, you can just say ” It didn’t work out” or that “Its an unfortunate reality that non-profit fundraising positions are experiencing heavy turn-over” or that “Law firms are scaling back.” But the upside is that now you have more time to volunteer or travel or do the other things you’ve wanted to do. That’s the impression I like to try and leave. That I have a vital and fulfilled life with or without a job.
And when I do land interviews, I find its best to say “I’m interviewing or I’m looking.”

They say that in order to find success you have to know failure as well. We are all doing the best we can. I hope that this has helped you. Please feel free to share any comments, suggestions or tips that you would like to share.

Here are some helpful quotes that I try to remember when I need more confidence or a pick me up:

In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time.”
~Anthony J. D’Angelo

“If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.”
~Mary Pickford

“If it turns out that my best wasn’t good enough, at least I won’t look back and say that I was afraid to try; failure makes me work even harder.”
~Michael Jordan