Self Care: The Best Things in Life Aren’t Always Free

A question I’ve been contemplating lately is how can I provide the “self-care” that is necessary to be the best version of myself.  With a toddler, time to myself is the first thing that I cut out, but that needs to be time kept sacred!  Showing yourself some love is essential in rejuvenation and creating healthy habits.  So often, shopping and “retail therapy” is viewed as a self care opportunity but I disagree.  It’s a necessary task in life but I want to make sure the time I spend on myself  cultivates curiosity, growth, and simplicity in my life.

Taking a nap, a bubble bath, exercise or enjoying a cup of good coffee at home are always fun and FREE options of caring for ones self.  But while those all sound lovely, I don’t think that self care always has to be free.  Quite the opposite, actually.  Spending hard earned cash on yourself is the epitome of showing that you’re worth it- and it doesn’t have to be shown through a new pair of shoes or purse.  Experiences and learning opportunities are wonderful alternatives to the societal norm of rewarding with consumer products.  I recently took a writing class from Tammy Strobel called Write to Flourish and it was the best $47 I have ever spent.  I learned new things that have continued to spark ideas to this day and helped create habits to grow in my writing.

self care, journaling, photography

Self Care Opportunities:

(that don’t add stuff to your life besides good memories!) 

-explore a museum

-journal/write/photograph in a new environment (coffee shop, book store, park)

A Simple Year program   

Tiny Wardrobe Tour (coming to Boise next month!  I bought my ticket already- who wants to join me?!)

calligraphy class at Paperie and Pen (or any of their classes!)

-take an online creative class

artBike tour

-join a Paint Night 

Indulge Boise food tour

-take yourself out for coffee or a meal


***This post contains affiliate links, meaning I get a portion of sales made through some of these links.  I am sharing them because these are programs I believe in!  Thank you so much for your support of the blog!


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What I Learned from Whole30

whole30, what i learned from whole30, healthy lifestyle, cleanse
A month ago, we started Whole30. This means, we have officially completed 30 days of eating no added sugar or processed foods, and only foods with ingredients we could recognize. Although weight loss is a nice side effect, I’m amazed at the lifestyle change that took place in the last month and the mindfulness of food that comes with such an experience.

The question that keeps coming to my mind is “Why didn’t I eat this way before this experiment?” How did I eat without reading the ingredient list- didn’t I care for my body enough to know what was going to nurish it? Why is it so acceptable to put toxins into our body because “it tastes good”? I realize it is all because we are just little kids at heart who want what satisfies our sweet tooth or our “cravings” and usually in a lack of moderation. Yet we don’t want to take the responsibility when we get the diseases that come from our childish eating habits. Obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc. Time to wake up!

A major result from Whole30 is that I no longer am battling with my stomach pain. My doctor had prescribed me IBS medication before going on Whole30 and I’m very happy to say I will not be going to fill the prescription. What an amazing feeling to no longer have stabbing pains after every meal! And to think I thought it was normal….

This month has taught me so many things. Like, I ate trash before. I’m embarrased to admit this, but I would seriously eat multiple packs of fruit snacks a day! How old am I- five?! But they had fruit and vegetable juices in them… This month without sugar made me mature my palette, so to speak. I feel I can wave goodbye to my beloved gummies and move on to far better and nutritiously dense foods.  My ever so active sweet tooth did strike throughout the month, so you know what I did? I would have some dried blueberries. Or dried mango. And I kid you not, those items tasted just as good as candy to me.

whole30, what i learned from whole30, healthy lifestyle, cleanse
The main 5 lessons I learned during Whole30 are as follows:

1. Eat bigger meals! But in order to eat more, the substance has to be balanced and wholesome- enough vegetables, “clean” protiens (as organic as possible), and fats. I never left a meal feeling hungry (which was happily realized). I ate avacados like they were going out of style- a half an avacado (which is the appropriate fat amount per meal) paired with an egg for breakfast tastes delish!
2. Drink tons of water. I didn’t drink enough water, so this is a continued goal for me as we continue to adopt the Whole30 eating habits after the initial 30 days. As we all know, water rids the body of toxins. Since Whole30 is a cleanse to the body, there are plenty of toxins that need to be flushed!
3. Sugar is everywhere- beware! That sneaky ingredient is in things like ketchup, pickled asparagus, chicken broth (serious?!) and even Lawry’s seasoning salt (this was a huge dissapointment for me as I am such a fan). Sugar does make everything taste quite good, so why wouldn’t it be snuck into processed goods? I learned I had to read the ingredients on everything!
4. Meal planning is essential. I knew I couldn’t just run to the deli down from work for a quick bite at lunch, so planning for three whole meals each day is imparitive for success. It seems like alot but after the first few weeks, we got into a groove of what recipes we liked to repeat- and we just knew eggs were going to be for breakfast. (We went through 7 dozen eggs the first week. It was insanity.)
5. Try new foods and new ways to cook! It’s amazing how good wholesome foods really are. I never, ever, ever thought I would like riced cauliflower. But you know what? I loved it. I learned you can’t think of it as a “replacement” for rice, but eat it with an open mind, realizing what food it actually is. When things are seasoned well, they can be so, so yummy!

Some of our favorite recipes included sheet pan chili lime shrimp fajitas,  moroccan spiced shredded beef with moroccan cauliflower rice, and salmon patties with mango salsa.  (The later two are found in The Whole30 Cookbook.)  Don’t those all sound great?

I will get off my soapbox now but I do think everyone should give Whole30 a try.  Even if the experiment ends after the allotted time frame, it creates a heightened awareness to consumed ingredients!

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Fasting Day Essentials

Fasting days sound really crazy, I get that.  But when prepared, they can be a great reset (see my original post on intermittent fasting here)- and with the right essentials, 500 calorie days don’t have to be as painful!  Here are my 6 “must haves” when planning for a fasting day:

Fasting Day Essentials

kate spade water bottle //wild sweet orange tea //pop-up vegetable steamer//

                      blender // substantial salad cookbook // mug

1. Mug: To take my mind off of hunger, I drink a lot of hot water and tea.  There is something so comforting about sipping on a hot drink and it feels like such a splurge.

2. Tea: As I mentioned with the mug, I drink a lot of tea to curb hunger.  My favorite tea so far is mint tea, and the wild sweet orange tea shown below (thank you, Katie, for getting me hooked on that one!)

3. Blender: Normally on a fasting day I have one meal that is a blended drink.  I limit the fruits and use a vegetable base (kale and/or spinach).  I sometimes add a scoop of protein powder (my favorite is Usana Nutrimeal).

4. Substantial Salad Cookbook:  Although it is on my wishlist, I can’t say I have used this cookbook!  I think it looks wonderful.  But what I was getting at was that I usually have a salad for one meal.  Salads are extremely filling- but beware of all the toppings!  Instead of any store bought dressing, I usually drizzle on balsamic vinegar.

5. Vegetable Steamer:  This is pretty self explanatory!  I am pretty decent about eating raw vegetables, but I have found that when they are steamed, it feels more like a “meal” and less like just a snack.

6. Water Bottle: I drink SO MUCH WATER on fasting days.  As I have already mentioned, I drink it hot but also I try to fill my water bottle at least 2 times throughout the day.  Gotta flush those toxins!



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