Archives for category: Detox

I have a big and not so pleasant anniversary quickly approaching. Monday, the 22nd, will mark the 1 year anniversary of my IBS diagnosis. It has kind of put me in a weird place this last week. You see, the doctor’s only prescribed treatment was to toss a small sheet of paper at me and say “This is a new diet that they are trying out to manage IBS you could try this. There is really little else that can be done” I took it to heart. I drastically altered my life and my diet. It is called “Low FODMAP” I stick to it religiously. I do not eat wheat, dairy, sugar, and an assortment of wonderful fruits and veggies it restricts. These include garlic, onions, nectarines, apples, and many more. The list is constantly changing. I have become exhausted with it. I still wasn’t feeling perfect. Do we ever?

I recently started turning to Eastern medicine for managing my chronic digestive illness. My Western doctor wasn’t overly helpful or caring. I was marked off a list because I tested negative for everything else, so it must be IBS, right? Here is this list they are working on in Australia and it could help. Sigh. I went to my 6th acupuncture appointment yesterday. I love my acupuncturist. She is phenomenal. At my 5th appointment we had a lengthy discussion about how at this one year mark maybe I need to take my digestion and health into my own hands. Since, I said that I still had a lot of digestive woes regardless of following this diet for a year! I thought about it and I decided she is right. I already started with essential oils and acupuncture.

Since starting acupuncture I have noticed a gradual improvement in my digestion. It wasn’t over night. It has however started to slowly improve. Without going into too much detail, I have had more better days than bad days. Especially in the past week. I see her once a week. I have started trying foods again, with caution. But I have allowed myself to cross that threshold. Something I would never do before. I have been researching the crap out of things. My BFF sent me some info about Aloe Vera for IBS. I looked into it, liked the findings, and I tried it. I have a fresh aloe plant that I cut and add the innards to my smoothies. I have noticed even more improvement! That was nowhere on any piece of info my Gastro gave me. When I explained this to my acupuncturist she was so happy that I have started to give myself to freedom to change or at least try.


Another big thing….running. I was a runner. A daily avid runner and racer. My last race was Mother’s Day 2012. I placed SIXTH in my age group! After this diet restriction I ended up giving it up. I turned strictly to Pilates. Running drained me. At first I had no idea how to fuel myself and maintain my running. I abruptly took all of my pasta and bread away. Yet I was still running 3-3.5 miles on an almost daily basis. After extreme exhaustion that happened after each run, I decided to quit. Last night, I went for a run. My studio has a running group that recently started. I showed up. I ran. I actually ran at the front of the group the whole time. Muscle memory. My master teacher also goes on the runs. She commented to me that I run beautifully. My torso is in a great position, my hips stay square, and my legs just kind of float underneath me. My coworker, who is running this program, is a very seasoned marathoner, a ton of them under her belt. She ran the Boston Marathon this year. It wasn’t her first time running that one. She commented after that I have a really great pace. She wanted me to come run with her again right then. It is a beginner program that the studio is offering. It is building up to a 5k we are sponsoring this fall. It will get harder each week. I was tempted to go. I could have easily ran more. I said no though because little man was sick and my husband had stayed home to take care of him while I worked, went my appointments, went to my running club, etc. Maybe next Wednesday though.

pink  Brooks are back in business

pink Brooks are back in business

I am a runner at heart. Pilates has strengthened my entire body to keep me in running shape without running. I have not felt this amazing in a while. I am getting anxiously happy just writing about last night. I have missed running. More than I even realized. I am not saying I am not a Pilates fanatic. That is still my world. But like my heart for my family, there is room enough for more than one major fitness love of my life.

It is very hard to lead such a restrictive lifestyle. Especially when it is not by choice. I am feeling really positive that I have begun to allow myself some freedoms to take my own health into my hands. I have lived in this terrified state regarding foods and food prep for a year. That is hard. It is hard on me and my family. I am not jumping right in gobbling up everything I see. No, I am taking baby steps. But like my acupuncturist said, the point is that I am trying.

I have begun to lose faith in the Low FODMAP concept. It hasn’t exactly served me very well over the past year. I do know there are foods on the list that bother me but there are many that don’t. They say you should only eat 1 cup of berries at a time. I can eat berries, especially blueberries until my heart is content. The list is always changing. They used to say Tahini was okay, and then suddenly halfway through my year of this, they took that back. Well I had been eating Tahini often, as an alternative for other dips etc. So I haven’t had a bite of it since then. Sweet potatoes were A-ok when I first got the list. Then they changed it to only a small amount at a time. I stopped eating them as frequently after I read that. One more restrictive thing. It gets in my head that it will harm me and then I freak out, afraid to try it. Or suddenly I feel a little off because I did try something on the said no list. Last night I made baked sweet potato fries with dinner. I gobbled them up. Not counting or measuring. I feel perfectly fine today. I felt perfectly fine after. In fact, I ate frozen grapes after. Without counting. They limit those to about 8 grapes at a time, or so I read at one time. So I think, from this point on, I am not going to be checking for updates. I am going to take my time trying foods here and there. I am going to continue to do my  research of alternative methods. I am going to continue to tailor my digestive needs specifically to me, and not to some list created by well meaning scientists in Australia. Healing is not a one size fits all program. That is why I am falling in love with Eastern methods. It centers around the person specifically. It has been making a positive change in my life. I am feeling happier than I have in a while. I am feeling in charge.

I have been itching to start a bit of a series on here. I want to share my favorite moves and pieces of equipment/accessories. I have been putting it off for various reasons. First it was that we were in the middle of a move. Then I was busy unpacking and starting my summer hours at the studio. NOW my husband has begun remodeling my Pilates room/in home studio. Despite the fact that my Pilates stuff is currently shoved into a small space in our guest bedroom that has a queen bed, rocking chair, a desk, a dip station, and a weight bench, I am going to give this a shot. I figured I could start with one that I photographed while living in our previous home. Sigh, it is not the gorgeous in home Pilates studio that is being created right now, but it will do. I am hoping that after my room is done these posts will get a little more photo heavy.

So that brings us to this first move I want to talk about. It is a favorite of mine. I do it on a daily basis. The High Bridge.


You can see how old this photo is by my charming decor in the background! Anyway, I love it. Why? It opens everything up. I initially started doing it for digestion. I was looking for moves that specifically help with digestion and this was one of them. I found that it took me time to be able to hold it higher and longer.

How do I get into a high bridge?

  1. I always warm up. I never start out trying to just go into this position. You can and likely will hurt your back. You also may not find the flexibility you are looking for. Roll downs, regular bridging, swan on the chair, jackknife, and  shoulder stand are just a few of the things I do to warm up. I usually wait until the end of my work out to go into this. So my entire body is nice and warm.
  2. I will always do a few Mat or Chair Bridges immediately before extending up.  If I am doing a Mat Bridge, I lay flat on my back. Feet in hook laying position (flat on the floor) Arms are long at my side. I inhale to prepare and on my exhale I curl my hipbones toward my belly button as I articulate up one vertebrae at a time, stopping at about my bra line-ish area. I will pull my belly deep towards my spine, inhale, exhale and articulate back down. I will do several of those. Sometimes I will do variations, pulses at the top, lower/lift one leg. The point being, my spine is being warmed up for the grand finale.
  3. When I am ready to open myself to this position I take a few deep breaths. Melting my shoulders away from my ears. Feet are still flat on the floor. Sometimes I will scooch them in closer to my butt. I inhale and exhale starting to curl up, I bend my arms and place my palms near the side of my head. I continue to curl up, striving to place even weight on my hands and feet. I take it slow. Seeing how my back is moving. On a great day I get nice and high. At this point in my practice, it is likely higher than this photo above.
  4. I am focusing on breathing, pulling my belly deep towards my spine, keeping my weight even between hands and feet, and letting my heart and front of my body really open and elongate in this position. I squeeze deep into my hamstrings and glutes. My arms are engaged while getting a stretch. I relax my head and neck, trying to avoid drawing tension into them.
  5. By now I have been able to add some variations. I can come into a high toe, so heels lifted. I can also extend one leg up at a time. That takes tremendous core strength and pelvic stability. It is something you have to build on as you master this position.
  6. To get out, I take in a deep breath and on my exhale I slowly start to articulate down, being mindful that the tension is not in my neck. Shoulders come down first, my arms slowly release their strength and as my spine articulates down I bring my arms back towards my sides. I melt into the mat. I will always cross my legs and hug them close to my chest. Letting my spine settle and taking a moment to enjoy the end of my favorite pose.

I love this position because it is a challenge. It takes practice and strength to do it. You have to be open in your mind and body in order to achieve the height and openness you are looking for. There are days where I barely get up at all. I can feel how tight my body, spine, and in many instances my mind, are that day at that moment. I have to clear my head, I have to allow myself to relax. When I am in the pose and I want to stay nice and lifted I have to surrender myself to the position. I have to think about my breath and where I am feeling the weight and stretch of my body. I cannot be thinking about anything else that is bothering me. If I do, I will not find the work I want to find in this position. Sometimes I count. I want to eventually be able to hold it for a minute. I can currently get to 30.  It feels amazing to melt back down into the mat. There is a sort of high that comes with this position. When I melt down and let my back settle, rocking side to side, knees close to my chest, I just get that moment of relaxation. I always turn to this position when my digestion is bothering me. That usually means I take 10-20 minutes to do a mini workout, even if I worked out earlier. Since I am so focused on warming up my spine for this challenging position.

I hope that if you are working on your high bridge that you find the joy in it that I do. If you haven’t tried this yet be open to the idea of it. Take your time. Warm up and build on this position one step at a time. Remember, if you are not a certified Pilates or fitness instructor it is a good idea to work with one before attempting advanced and challenging moves. We will help you better understand the movement and we will help to keep you safe.

I have decided to get a little more personal with this post. I want to talk about my experience with birth control pills. I feel I have to write about this because of the experience I went through on them. It has been nagging at me a little bit. I want to talk about it in order to let other people know that this does happen.

I have always been against using contraceptive pills. I have pretty much felt that way my entire life. The side effects really scared me! I have always struggled with irregular periods. I think it was part of the reason we had trouble conceiving. Once my period began again about 10 months after giving birth, suddenly I was like clockwork. For over a year! It was wonderful. This Dec/Jan/Feb it got funky again. I actually skipped all of January! I decided to seek the help of my OB, since I had gotten used to the new way. She had pushed birth control on me in the past. Any time I had an issue with anything, that was her one and only answer. Sigh. This time, at my witts end, I decided to give it a try. She swore there were no side effects and it was going to magically fix me. She was dead wrong.

I gave it a shot for 4 months. I wasted 4 months of my life. I feel like I literally lost 4 months of my life.

Here is a list of side effects I experienced:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Depression
  3. Moodiness
  4. Overly emotional
  5. My contacts were irritated constantly. I had to change 2 week contacts nearly daily
  6. Extremely BAD acne. The worst I have ever had in my entire life. I am not exagerating either. It was all over my face, in places I never had a pimple normally.
  7. Listlessness
  8. I was very withdrawn
  9. No sex drive
  10. IRREGULAR PERIODS! I would get my period on the white pills, when I was supposed to get them on the blue/green ones
  11. Bleeding for weeks at a time. It was normal for me to bleed on and off for the last two weeks of the pack.
  12. Loss of self confidence.
  13. Bloating/constipation. I have IBS. I  manage it through a very restricted diet that I never ever stray from. Regardless of this, my symptoms were often exacberated while on the pill.
  14. Zero patience

That list is long. It was awful. I was awful. I felt awful. My poor husband and son. I hate that I am going to write this next part, but it is the truth. I spent all of Mother’s Day crying and feeling sorry for myself. Why? I am not really sure. I wished my husband planned more for me. We didn’t do much. I just was miserable. In general my patience with my 2 year old did not exist. I was short tempered and cranky, every day practically.

I finally got sick of it. I couldn’t take it anymore. I called my Dr. to speak about it. I never got to talk to her. The nurse was the middlewoman. The dr’s only solution: switch me to a different pill. My husband and I researched that pill before I decided to go ahead with it. Some of the possible symptoms were even worse. A lot of people online complained about an even lower sex drive, which my husband was not thrilled with. Not to mention, potential thoughts of SUICIDE! I decided, ultimately, that I wasn’t going to take this anymore. Irregular periods or not. I didn’t want to waste my life being a miserable troll. That is what I certainly felt like while on these pills.

A couple days after I finished up that last pack, I felt like a  new woman. My face has really cleared up. I am still waiting for a couple scars to fade, but minimal new breakouts have occurred. I think today was the worst, and technically, my period is 3 days away from being here. If it is on time according to when it arrived last month. So, that isn’t bad.

I have decided I need a new OB. I also decided to try more Eastern methods of realigning my system. I attended a gong bath last week. I will be going to those once a month. I saw an acupuncturist for the first time yesterday. I will be seeing her weekly. She also started me on some Chinese herbs that support the female system. I use my essential oils as well.

I was never on birth control for the birth control part. It was strictly to regulate my cycle, which it also failed to do. It made early February through late May just awful. I mean, I was even listless while teaching. My master teacher had many talks with me about it. I needed to bring my confidence and personality. I hate writing this part too,  but a few clients said my classes were boring. They thought I knew my stuff, but I was a bore. There is that listlessness. This week, I have felt so much better. I have had SIX energetic classes! With 3 more to go. I feel like a new person, or well my old self. A couple clients who have been taught by me a few times even commented on how much more energy I brought compared to last week. I cannot even imagine what would have happened over time if I had decided to try the new pill. Eventually, I could have lost a teaching position over all of this. My moods were that out of my control.

Life at home is even great. I don’t feel miserable constantly. I love our life. I  have more patience with Jack. Which is needed with a 2 1/2 year old!  My husband and I are back in the swing of things. We will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary tomorrow. He is an understanding guy for having put up with me. I am very open and honest with him about my feelings, so he knows what I was going through was not in my control. I think we are all a little happier over the past 2 weeks and 1 day. I feel like the wife, mommy, teacher, daughter, and friend I know I am.

I  hate that the only answer was pills, pills, pills, and more pills. The side effects of them are so scary. I am partly mad at myself for giving in and trying this out. I should have stuck to my initial feelings and said thanks but no thanks. I should have researched alternative methods of realigning my system earlier. Maybe I would be 5 months in to acupuncture then. Coulda woulda shoulda. I know from now on I will stick to my gut feeling. I know everyone is different. I am sure some women respond perfectly to the birth control. More power to them. I am not one of those people. I pretty much ticked off every side effect except stroke or heart attack! That is very scary to me. I don’t smoke or live an unhealthy lifestyle and I am younger than 35. But who knows what the future would have held if had continued. I hope that my side effects would have stopped where they left off.

We are all different and we have to do what is best for our personal system. Western medicine can be a wonderful thing. I have had to have surgery before and I am thankful for the Western doctor who did that. Who saved my life. But when it comes to this medical concern, I have found this time around I need to look East and go from there.

Have you had a similar experience with hormonal contraceptives? Have you had a better experience? What did you do if you had a negative one like I had? 

Creating your own safe and non toxic products can be a lot of fun. It also can come with a lot of trial and error. Despite common belief, if it is on the internet, it isn’t always true! Ha! Meaning, just because someone has posted a cleaner recipe, doesn’t mean it is the best choice for you. I have been messing around trying to find products I like. I have had a couple flops the past two weeks. In  both beauty and household care. BUT I have found a few that I love. It just takes trial and error. Trying it out and seeing how it works for you.

I finally made a kitchen cleaner I am happy with. I had to adjust the recipe a little because I was missing two of the suggested essential oils. I replaced them with other oils I have seen in cleaning recipes. This smells so good. It has easily taken off the dirty stuff on my counters and stove. Now, I must mention, I clean a lot. So things are not really overly stuck on. I clean so much that when our living room floor was messy yesterday because I skipped the living room two days ago, Jack, my TWO year old, said “Mommy ground messy. Vacuum? Clean?” And we cleaned and vacuumed.

Here is the recipe I used:

8 drops Orange Essential oil

8 drops Lemon Essential oil

4 drops Grapefruit Essential oil

4 drops Clove essential oil

4 drops Rosemary Essential oil

4 drops Eucalyptus Essential oil

Pour 2 cups of water into a spray bottle, add the essential oils. Shake to mix. Shake before each use to blend the oils again, as they will settle. Spray on surfaces to disinfect and clean. I actually ended up doubling it after I saw how my spray bottle was only half filled. I figured I may as well fill the whole bottle so I don’t have to make another batch so quickly.  The listed recipe is not doubled, I doubled it from there.

I have an essential oils webinar to listen to. I am looking forward to that. I would be doing it as I write this but I am having technical difficulties with my laptop. I have to have my hubby look into it tonight. I also have a shipment from DoTerra coming. It is a blend for digestion. I have IBS and I looked into this product. I literally found 0 bad reviews of it. I tried several different search terms regarding it. I even looked past page 1 of Google results 😉 I figure it is worth a shot. I don’t write about my issues on here much, or at all really. But it is something I struggle with daily and anything is worth a shot. My dr basically told me she had no help for me. This was nearly a year ago. I will write about that product after I have been using it a while.

One more small update on my Essential Oil experience. Last night at 6pm Jack had his usual meltdown. We call 6pm the “witching hour” Nearly every day he gets cranky around then and just wants me to hold him. It is usually when I am in the middle of cooking dinner. It generally starts 5-10 minutes after my husband gets home. We are not sure why. He gets so upset he cannot even communicate what he actually wants from me, other than to be carried. He had poop and needed a change in the middle of this. I got him to lay down for that (small victory!) I decided to rub some of my headache relief on him to relax him. Almond oil and Lavender Essential oil! Within a minute, maybe 2 at most, he calmed down and was suddenly chipper. He let me finish preparing dinner. He was pretty happy for the rest of the evening. I have also used it on several of my headaches and it works! My husband calls it voodoo, but he can call it what he wants, it worked for Jack and me!

I followed this recipe:

1 oz.Sweet Almond Oil

12 Drops Lavender Essential Oil

1 amber bottle

Combine Almond Oil and Lavender Essential Oil. Roll between hands to mix. Apply to temples and back of neck for headache relief. For Jack I rubbed some on his belly/chest, back, and back of his neck.

Have you had any good experiences with Essential Oils in your life? Do you create your own products with them?

My tub is sparkling. Super shiny and smelling gorgeous. I made my own tub scrub with essential oils. I have never been so happy with how clean, fresh, and nice smelling my tub was after cleaning it.

I found this recipe on Aura Cacia again. They have wonderful resources and products. (I have no reason to say this except that I use these recipes and products and have fallen in love)


1 cup baking soda. I used Bob’s Red Mill.

24 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

24 drops Grapefruit essential Oil

Combine all and mix. Sprinkle over your tub and scrub. Rinse with water.

My little man needed a bath last night and when I brought him up to the bathroom I could smell the goodness from my bedroom. He has to use our master bath tub right now because that is the only tub the home we are renting. There are 2 more bathrooms, but the other full bath has just a shower. It looked so sparkly and clean. I almost didn’t want to put my dirty little boy in that tub. Ha. He was very dirty, as a 2 year old boy is great at getting super dirty super fast.

There are two more I plan to try. The toilet scrub and the floor and surface cleaner. I will post about them if I use them and like them! I also have a facial cream recipe I made yesterday that I will try to post today.

I am going to share another DIY essential oil recipe I have tried and loved. My supplies are ever growing so expect lots of these posts. I have a handful I could write about right now, but I will keep it one at a time.

I found the recipe for this mask on Mind Body Green. It utilizes Tea Tree Oil. I have been finding abundant resources that list Tea Tree Oil as fantastic for skin care. Particularly for breakouts. I have hormonal breakouts. I have seen improvement since using Tea Tree Oil daily in different forms. I have a face wash I made as well. The article states, “The minerals found in the clay powder are great for cleansing and detoxifying your skin, while the tea tree oil takes care of the acne.”

This mask was lovely. I plan to make another tonight. It actually was a little tingly. Pulling that garbage out of my pores.


2 Tablespoons Green Clay Powder

3-4 drops Tea Tree Oil

Enough water to make this combo a paste.

On a freshly cleansed face apply the paste to face. Avoiding mouth and eyes.

Leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Pat dry.

I estimated and poured the water in slowly while mixing it constantly. I didn’t want it to get too runny. I had a lot of the mask left over. I think next time I will apply it much thicker and try to use most of it. My husband was kind of rushing me. He wanted to sign mortgage docs and get them scanned in. He decided to do this at 11pm at night during the middle of my detox bath and then my mask time. I had been planning this little at home spa night all day! Anyway, I spent the 20 minutes signing those documents and then I did some reading.

I rinsed and followed up with my usual skin care products. My skin really did feel refreshed. It did draw some stuff out. I noticed that the next day. But that is good. Getting it out and moving on. Some spring cleaning of your face!


A lot has been going on in my little bubble of the world. I have been trying to manage it all. What do you do when you are stressed? Or have a lot on your plate? I tend to take the holistic route.

  1. Detox bath. I have written about that before. I have been taking them several times a week lately. I read during them. I have the newest Kindle. Sometimes I take care of things on my phone as well, shopping, or reading articles etc. I just take that time for whatever I want to do while taking a hot detox bath. I also tie in my next method as well. 
  2. Aromatherapy. I have really been getting into that slowly over time. It started a couple years ago when my husband bought me an oil warmer and essential oil set for a gift. As of late, I have been researching it on my own. I mix my own scents to fit my needs. I use those daily as well. They are so beneficial and I find they really work. Right now I have really been into this brand, Aura Cacia. They have a great selection and resources. Their recipe list is extensive!  I am currently using the Lavender Balancing Blend. Simply lovely. You can search through their site for your own needs. photo (2)
  3. Pilates, of course. That is a give in. I think it could almost go without being said. But I have to mention it. I also use aromatherapy during my mat work. Peppermint and Eucalyptus are a favorite mixture of mine. Peppermint can really perk things up. Sometimes I even feel the cool feeling despite sweating.
  4. Spa treatments. I am fortunate enough that I can go for spa treatments. I am also fortunate enough that my husband encourages me to do so.  I recently went for an Ayurvedic Massage. It was heavenly and exactly what I needed. I got a Garshan massage last Saturday. I think this weekend I am going to get a facial. I also get pedicures often. My husband will actually demand I go get some sort of spa treatment if I am particularly stressed. I cannot count how many times I have heard “go get a pedicure or something.” or “schedule a massage.”
  5. Cleaning and organizing. This is new for me. I have always been a tad unorganized. I am no Martha Stewart still, but I have found as I get older that having things in some sort of order helps me relax. Seeing toys scattered everywhere makes me even more anxious. A clear floor makes me breathe easier. So I have been taking out stress on my home. We filled up 6 GIANT garbage bags with clothing and items to donate. I purge, clean, and organize.

Those are the things I use to manage the craziness that has become our season. What do you do? How to you deal with stress? How do you unwind and relax? Have you tried any or some of these methods?

I’ve recently made a big lifestyle change! It went easier than I expected. I gave up my morning coffee. Now, I had been a morning coffee drinker for probably 7 years. I also have digestive issues. A diagnosis I received in July. I am intolerant of many foods. Coffee wasn’t on the list, but I slowly began to notice that it bothered me more and more. First, I switched from an extra bold roast to a mild roast. That seemed to be ok, for a while. Lately, regardless of the fact that I follow my diet to a T, I have been having digestive aggravation. I felt after a cup of coffee, that I was immediately irritated. I am also a green tea drinker. I didn’t give up caffeine cold turkey. That would be disastrous! For my whole family. I’ve been having one cup of Jade Cloud Green Tea every morning.

Here are my conclusions:

1. My stomach feels much better overall. It’s still kind of funky but I’m certain that it’s mostly hormonal. I noticed a difference the first morning. I haven’t been left with a heavy feeling, like I was with coffee. It has not been making the situation worse, which I will take!

2. I have not been crashing in the afternoon. With coffee I always had an afternoon crash. I was very fatigued. As long as I’ve been getting normal sleep, my fatigue has vanished. I say normal sleep because I had a toddler get his foot stuck in his crib at 4am last week. He refused to go back to sleep until nap time at noon! Even after I brought him in bed with us. THAT day I was fatigued. Ha! But in all honestly I have had more energy all day long. Sometimes I’ve had a second cup in the late afternoon but mostly because I enjoy the taste of a cup of green tea. It wasn’t because I was dead crashed on my feet.

3. My hydration has been much better! I had been going through a period of slight dehydration. It made me tight. I wasn’t as flexible as normal. My muscles were easily fatigued. I only drink water, besides tea or coffee at the time. But it was as if I couldn’t get enough. Or I just plain wasn’t, being a busy working/learning mom. I know caffeine is a diuretic. I am assuming the amount I was consuming was really making everything much worse. The moderate amount in my tea is much easier on my system.

4. My skin looks and feels healthier. I assume that this is from being more hydrated. I look less exhausted and drained. Hydration controls so much of your body! I am pretty critical of myself, so if I feel like my face is looking a bit better, it probably is!

I know this isn’t the longest list in the world, but even small changes matter. We are super busy with so many other events right now. I will take what I can get to make all of this easier. Jacky will be 2 on Monday. If you ask him how old he is he will hold up one finger on each hand and say “TWO!” His birthday party is the following Sunday. We are in the middle of serious home buying. I won’t count my chickens before they hatch, so no more on that until I have keys in my hand! I’m practically done with the classroom training part of my teacher training. About a week more of that, then I need to finish my hours, my test, and my project. My husband is also busy with work. He’s been looking for a new employee. He’s had a few interviews with no strong candidate. It’s chaos all over! Organized chaos, but we are busy. If 4 small things are going better and I feel better, it’s easier to conquer each of these.

Have you made and life changes lately? Big or small? What was the outcome for you?

Do you make sure to take rest days from your training? I am really awful at that. I just love Pilates so much that I prefer to do it every single day. I am not superwoman, so really, that is not possible. At least, after a week or two, it is physically impossible. My body screams for a break. A rest. A reprieve.

Today is one such day. My lower back is all jacked up. It has been creeping up on me for a couple days. I ignored it. Yesterday morning I should not have done the mat class I did. I was reviewing for my class that I will be teaching soon. I did mat work anyway. By the afternoon I knew I had made a mistake. I should have listened to my back earlier in the week. I can move, I can carry Jack, but the annoyance is there. A big red flashing light, screaming at me that if I don’t take it easy, I will be couch bound soon. Today I am taking a break. This is a huge deal for me. Yesterday I received my new mat AND a nice package of clothing from Lucy. Both came after I was done with my morning workout. Pilates problems, you know. 😉 I am itching to use them. I want to play with my new toys. I will wait until at least tomorrow though.

This is a little dramatic, in all reality this won't be my rest day. These couch moments are few and far between

This is a little dramatic, in all reality this won’t be my rest day. These couch moments are few and far between

I have been like this for a long time. Unable to take breaks. I just am so hooked. I actually lose track of time. I have to sit down and think hard about my last rest day. A month or two ago I took two days off in a row. I was beat. With all the training I had been doing I just needed more than one day. It was very rejuvenating for me. I felt amazing. I may be heading down that road this week. We will see how I feel tomorrow morning. I have been dealing with two sick men. Jack has a belly ailment and an awful diaper rash to boot. My husband has an ear infection. I am not sick. But I certainly cannot afford to throw my back out entirely when I have two sick babies that need me.

So, here is to rest. My Vata fitness personality has a hard time chilling out and resting. I have to though. My body is yelling at me. Monday brings us back to reality. All classes start again. Jack’s swim and gymnastics. I have a makeup class Tuesday night and Thursday start the regular training hours. I am also getting a mat class on the schedule soon. I have some private reformer hours coming as well. At this point, I have no choice but to let my injury heal for a day, maybe two. I am not a baby either. I am the type of person who would silently push through this, as I did most of the week. I just can’t afford to be totally out of commission.

Do you see me reasoning with myself here? I can’t stop that either. Ha! Off to “rest” I go. Which really means no mat work, but everything else stays the same. I am a mom, after all.

A you good at taking breaks? Do you lose track of time, like I do? How do you make sure you get rest/recovery days in? What does a rest day look like for you? 

Do you drink green tea? I do. I drink a lot of it. Every day I have, at minimum, one cup. Usually I have many more than that. I don’t add anything to my tea. I enjoy the flavor the green tea. I also drink one cup of black coffee in the morning. My taste buds work that way.

Yesterday I came across this image on Haley Hobson’s Facebook page. If you haven’t checked out her blog or her Facebook page, you really should! You’re missing out!!! I immediately shared the photo on my page. It always makes me happy to come across these kinds of images. It is no secret that I do not drink pop. My beverage vices are black coffee and green and herbal teas. My one cup of coffee first thing in the morning, water, and tea are the only beverages I ingest. 60937_317984781648837_1315825388_n

There are so many good reasons to drink green tea, so if you aren’t, you should be. On top of all of those wonderful points, the light amount of caffeine in it can give you the boost you need when you are feeling sluggish in the afternoon, or morning! It gives me my super powers. Especially after a long morning with a toddler. A cup of green tea can really make my day much better. I allow myself the moments to prepare it, no matter what craziness is going on. Jack even knows what tea is. When he sees me with my mug he will say “tea.” Momma needs her tea break sweetie. Trust me!

My favorite green tea is Jade Cloud Green Tea from Spice and Tea Exchange. I don’t really drink any other kind of green tea. I just really love it. Their product description calls it a “smooth & mellow cup.” I have to agree.

Jade Cloud Green Tea

My husband even got me a travel tea mug with an infuser for Christmas. It works really well. It has two different lids, one with the infuser and one without. The one with even has an additional screw on lid, so that when you are done, you can remove that entire piece and place it lid down, so excess tea water does not leak everywhere. The hole in the drinking lid is large enough for a straw. I drink my tea through a straw. Even my hot tea. I actually don’t really care for iced tea, to be honest. There is something so soothing about a nice hot cup of tea in your belly.

I am a green tea addict. I am a tea addict in general. I also have an obsession with Ginger Turmeric tea. MMMM MMM MMMMM! I share that tea with my little man, because it is caffeine free. He won’t eat most of the meals I make him, but he will sip Ginger Turmeric tea, so that makes sense!

Do you drink green tea? Black tea? Herbal teas? What is your favorite tea? Have you discovered the health benefits of drinking tea?