What Energizes YOU?

What Energizes YOU?

The past few weeks I’ve shared a variety of ways to feel more energetic.  Everything from changing how you eat to how you sleep.  However, I’ve found through working with a variety of clients that there is one more BIG thing that can really cause a dip in our energy levels. Boredom. By boredom I don’t mean you don’t have plenty of things to do, I mean you aren’t enjoying what you are doing and are starting to feel disinterested in life.  Many women who are super busy are just going through the motions.  They are accomplishing a ton each day, but none of it is meaningful or fun.  They aren’t doing the things that make them feel alive. If this feels like you, summer is a GREAT time to start to think about what you love and adding a little of it to your daily life. Ask yourself: What topics do I feel passionate about? Is there an old hobby or pastime I used to participate in that brought me joy? What would I like to learn more about? Once you’ve got a list of three or four ideas, find a way to schedule one or two of them into your week.  Give this a try for the next few weeks and see if you aren’t feeling more excited about life in general.  Don’t look at it as one more thing to do – look at it as something you are doing for YOU – in fact, if possible, don’t add it to your list, but replace something you don’t enjoy with something new and more interesting.  Or...
June 2016 Book Reviews

June 2016 Book Reviews

A little late on the post for my June books, but rest assured I’ve been reading a ton!  I enjoyed quite the variety of books this month – a little heavy on the fiction as a good summer should be!  I’m heading to Las Vegas for our “Annual Grown-Up” trip in July, so there will be lots more fiction reviews later this month!  As always, everything I read is located HERE. FICTION One of a few good thrillers I enjoyed this month – seemed that lots of them popped up as available from my hold list this month.  Did you like The Good Girl?  If so, pick this one up – same author, same intense writing.  Quinn’s roommate has gone missing and simultaneously a mysterious new girl has shown up in Alex’s small town.  The book goes back and forth between the two stories.  I did end up guessing the mystery, but there were still some surprises at the end.  My rating 4 out of 5. CeeCee, a 12-year old girl starts the book trying to deal with her mother’s rapidly progressing mental illness and absent father.  When her mother is suddenly killed, CeeCee’s Aunt comes to collect her and takes her back to Savannah.  There, CeeCee meets an amazing cast of strong, independent women – all unique and sometimes a bit wacky.  She learns to trust again and realizes her past doesn’t have to predict her future.  My rating 4 out of 5. Pretty typical teen lit – girl’s life turns upside down, girl meets boy, they have some conflict, etc.  The characters were well developed and fun...
4 MORE Ways to Increase Your Energy

4 MORE Ways to Increase Your Energy

In my last post I shared some food choices to help you increase your energy.  Today I’m going to delve into some additional energy adding lifestyle changes: Sleep.  If you’ve ever been short on sleep, you KNOW how badly this affects your energy levels.  Even getting enough “hours” won’t help if they are interrupted (new baby, stress, etc.) hours.  A full seven to eight hours of sleep most nights is crucial to feeling energetic.  If I start having issues getting up in the morning, or am dragging by evening, sleep is always the first area I look at for improvement.  If you want some tips on getting a better night sleep, check out this Huffington Post article and this blog post. Physical Exercise.  I know when you are feeling tired, the last thing you want to do is exercise.  However, that old adage is true – frequent exercise increases your energy levels.  If heading to the gym just seems like too much, next time you are feeling worn out, head outside your front door for a brisk twenty minute walk.  Do this five or six times a week and your energy levels will begin to rise! Stress.  Stress is a real energy killer.  The constant cycle of your brain racing, increase heart rate, tight shoulders and back.  All of these side effects from stress can really wear you out.  If stress is an issue for you, it’s something you need to begin reducing today.  There are dozens of ways to reduce stress, and I recommend finding four or five that consistently work for you – it might mean some experimentation,...

Eating for Energy

Does what we eat really matter in regards to our energy levels? You bet it matters.  A lot. Really there are two parts to this one, because not just what we eat, but what we don’t eat can affect how much energy we have. What should we avoid? Caffeine.  Sure it seems like caffeine will give us energy, but depending upon it will disrupt our bodies’ natural rhythms.  Not good.  As someone who loves coffee, I can’t tell you to never drink it – I still enjoy a cup every morning, but I don’t drink it all day long. Sugar.  Another food that appears to give us a strong energy rush is sugar.  Although it may bring us up quickly, the downside is that we will soon crash and feel worse than we did before we indulged. Processed foods.  Processed foods are full of sugar, chemicals and other ingredients we often can’t pronounce.  If it’s not real food, why would we assume it will give us energy?  Our bodies need nutrients, not chemicals to run efficiently. Alcohol.  Like caffeine, a drink or two once in a while isn’t a bad thing, but alcohol can interrupt sleep patterns.   If you aren’t sleeping well, you are going to be tired the next day. What should we add? Water.  So many of us run around every day dehydrated.  Simply drinking more water can resolve that.  If we are hydrated we feel better. Greens.  Dark leafy greens are FULL of nutrients.  Most people don’t eat enough of them.   Try adding them to your salads, soups or enjoying as a side to...

Where did my energy go?

Are you feeling it too?  Lack of energy and motivation to tackle your days? This is something I hear ALL.THE.TIME from my clients, friends and even casual acquaintances. I’m sure you hear it (or say it!) also.  That “I’m so tired.  I just don’t have enough energy anymore.” Instead of complaining about it, or fueling yourself with “fake” energy from excessive sugar and caffeine, why not attack the cause and make some healthy, natural changes to increase your energy levels? This month, I’ll delve into why we lack energy, and how we can increase our daily energy levels.  If you are feeling sluggish, I encourage you to follow along each week and try out some of the ideas to see if you can end the month feeling energized and ready to tackle each day with enthusiasm. This short series will cover the common causes of lack of energy and how to overcome them.  We’ll look at what we eat, how we take care of (or don’t take care of) our physical and emotional needs, and how to get that spark back. To kick things off, what ARE the common causes of lack of energy? lack of sleep poor diet artificial stimulants lack of excitement dread or boredom draining relationships Recognize any of these in your life?  I’d say most people encounter most if not all of these issues at various points in their life.  But just because we are experiencing it, doesn’t mean we have to accept it as the status quo.  Often we can do something about it and increase our energy at the same time. So, if...
May 2016 Book Reviews

May 2016 Book Reviews

Another fun reading month!  Nice variety and I have a TON of new ones in my library basket for June.  HERE is a list of everything I read and below are my favorites: NON-FICTION As a old-time fan of Shonda Rhimes, I was quite curious to read this book.  I loved the idea “a year of yes” – so many good things happen in our lives because we say yes.  Plus lately I’ve read so many books on saying No that I was interested to see how this would play out.  The book was funny, insightful and full of encouragement.  I borrowed it from the library, but thanks to a Starbucks incident in my car with my dog I now own a slightly stained version – however I’m sure I’ll read it again!  My rating 4 out of 5. FICTION My daughter has been waiting and waiting for this book to be published and I was lucky enough to snag it first from the library for her.  Just like the rest of The Mother Daughter Book Club Books (The Complete Mother-Daughter Book Club Collection: The Mother-Daughter Book Club; Much Ado About Anne; Dear Pen Pal; Pies & Prejudice; Home for the Holidays; Wish You Were Eyre) we both loved this book.  It was fun to see how the girls have grown up and what has changed for them.   When it was done my daughter said she wishes there was another one or at least an epilogue to find out about their college years and beyond.  My rating 4.5 out of 5. Seems like I’ve read a lot of similar...
Lighten Up Your Morning

Lighten Up Your Morning

After talking this month about getting outside to play and changing your viewpoint, another area to consider making some “summertime” changes to are your mornings.  As the weather gets warmer earlier in the day, and the sun starts coming up earlier, it’s an easy time to lighten up and improve your morning routine.  (You don’t have a morning routine?  Check out this amazing course by Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom and create a fantastic one!) I don’t routinely set an alarm clock in the summer months – I just keep my blinds open and the sun wakes me up – which is a wonderful way to start the day.  It also means I’m up earlier and have more time to enjoy the morning before my workday begins.  So, I get to add a few more fun things to my routine. To lighten up your mornings, try a few of the following ideas: Wake up with the sun or at least make your alarm a pleasant sound Head outside as soon as possible (this is easy as I have a dog that has to go out when I first get up!) Enjoy a glass of water or smoothie before your coffee Try 10 to 20 minutes of yoga or light stretching to slowly wake up your muscles and get out all the kinks Add fresh fruit to your breakfast Most importantly, don’t rush through your mornings.  The first hour or so of the morning can set the tone for the rest of the day – so make sure the feelings you invoke are the ones you want to cultivate all...

Ditch the Chemicals in Your Cocktails

I can’t lie – I love a good cocktail.  Especially one that has a variety of flavors and quality ingredients.  At this point in my life, I’d rather drink water than a chemical-laden, artificial-tasting, poor-quality cocktail. Since so many cocktails include simple syrup as a key ingredient to sweeten the drink, I felt it was critical to figure out how to make a better for you version.  Most recipes use equal parts sugar and water and you just boil until it becomes a syrup.  Easy enough, but I prefer to limit sugar when I can, so I figured I’d give it a try using honey – a little bit better for you and perhaps I could use less.  Turns out it was super simple.  So easy it’s sad that I didn’t start making my own sooner: Better for you Simple Syrup 2/3 cup honey 1 cup water Mix honey and water in a pan and heat at medium high, stirring constantly until completely mixed.  About 5 minutes should do it.  Do not boil.  Cool and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. This does change the taste of some of your cocktails, but since I like honey, I think the taste change is for the better.  Later this week, I’ll do a quick Google+ Hangout with recipes for a few of my favorite summer cocktails using this simple syrup.  So, make a batch and join me Friday, May 20th at noon for cocktail hour! Have you gotten your FREE copy of my 3-day Refresh?  It’s a great way to start feeling healthier and happier right away!  Get...

Do you need a new vantage point?

Recently I was reading an issue of Southern Living magazine, and I came across an article with some advice for landscaping.  There was a paragraph in this article about providing different vantage points in yard.  In other words, finding small spots in your yard to enjoy a different view or to invoke a different feeling. For some reason, that idea of a different vantage point got stuck in my brain.  I started to think about how we could and should often have different vantage points for our lives. Think about that for a second. How fabulous would it be to be able to view any aspect of your life differently?  Especially areas that trouble or stress you out.  Guess what?  You can totally do this. Let me give you an example: First Vantage Point:  “My evenings are crazy!  I’m so busy hauling kids around to their practices that I don’t have time to get ANYTHING else done.  Forget healthy dinners, exercise and a clean house – I spend all my time in the car and when we finally get home all I want to do is veg and then go to sleep!” Alternate Vantage Point:  “Wow, I am so lucky to have a flexible job that allows my kids to participate in sports they love.  And I can accomplish a lot of work, exercise or just relax with a book while they are doing their thing!” See that twist?  Same situation – different vantage point.  I know which one I want to see.  By coming at the situation from the second viewpoint, you’ll create a positive vibe and a...

Get Outside and Play

I’m so happy that Spring is here and the weather has warmed up.  There is nothing lovelier than enjoying that first cup of coffee on the screened in porch before I jump into my day.  In addition to starting my day with fresh air, I really like to get outdoors and play!  Being active and exercising is so much easier when it’s fun – when it feels like playing. As kids, we naturally spent free time playing outdoors when the weather was nice.  These days, few things warm my heart more than seeing my kids outside after school playing kickball or wiffle ball, wading in a creek or riding their bikes – hair streaming behind them. When did WE stop playing? Why? What’s stopping us from starting to play again? Maybe for you it’s been so many years that you don’t even know where to start.  Maybe you feel like you don’t have time.  Maybe you just feel too “grown-up” to spend free time playing.  Regardless of your why, I want you to GET. OVER. IT. Think back to when you were a kid – what did you love to do?  What was your favorite kind of play?  Guess what?  I bet you can still do it – still incorporate it into your life and enjoy the benefits of fun, exercise and letting loose with play. When I asked myself these 3 questions, I realized that as a kid, I was always riding my bike, hiking in a nearby park or roller skating.  All three of these are GREAT forms of exercise and totally doable. Last week I dusted off...

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