Whole 30 Day 3

Hello Health Heroes!

Whatever your style of that is, you are one. Even if you’ve shimmied on out to the sidelines, it’s never ever ever too late to dance your way onto the field again.

Anyway. This is a rushed post because I need to leave for work in about 5 minutes!

Whole 30 is going great, I think it’s mentally better this time around because I started this with a mindset of doing my best instead of going for perfection. I want to learn how to make these types of choices more sustainable, and with a vacation around the corner to visit friends and family I’ve never met, you can bet I will not be the person asking if there’s any sugar in the salt.

However – I’m doing it! Not perfectly, but I’m doing it! This morning’s breakfast was SO DELICIOUS – shredded potatoes with a turkey burger, guacamole, and homemade (mainly farmer’s market) salsa, with some scrumptious chipotle-pepper-salt (a-la-Saint Michael’s market again) to spice everything up.

Did I feel nauseous this morning after taking a vitamin on an empty stomach and curb that nausea with the most bland thing I could find (half a small bite of locally baked sourdough)? Yes. Will I beat myself up over it? NO! Will I be taking vitamins on an empty stomach again any time soon? Absolutely not!

Cheers to learning, health, and growth!

Love,

 

A Healthier 20-Something

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Whole 30 Day 1

Hello there!

Recently I wasn’t in the most positive head-space, even this morning I felt lethargic, very lame, pessimistic, and lazy. At the same time, I haven’t been intentionally doing anything positive for my health for about two weeks now.

Yesterday I stumbled across three different people, two of whom are friends (or at least acquaintances), who have been giving it their all for their health again. These are not “perfect” robot-people either – they admit when they have lazy days, glorious #treatyoself moments, all that. Yet they were doing something I haven’t been for two weeks – they don’t let these moments get them off track, they just keep blazing forward, past laziness, apathy, negativity – and it pays off in major ways, mentally, physically, and emotionally!

So here I am. On half-of-a-day one of a Whole 30 reset. I’ve done one of these before so at least know it’s very possible, and truly helpful for health-baseline-resetting purposes.  I’ve chugged more water than I have in awhile, am drinking some lovely black coffee, snacked on some beautiful cherry tomatoes, ate a simple lunch of bell peppers, salsa, and chicken – and honestly feel so much better already. (A local farmer’s market’s tomatoes and some free-range chicken are on the menu for tonight).

(Yes, my bad habits had even grown into not drinking enough water in a day – no wonder I was feeling so crabby!)

I have tended to get so melodramatic when I mess up, very the-end-is-near, I-suck, look-how-I-failed-again-oriented, and that negative talk only makes the INEVITABLE journey back onto a positive, growth-oriented track that much longer.

Speaking of getting on a positive track, I still need to pack for a mom-daughter trip to one of the “homelands,” where a beautiful train ride through a national park, family reunions, fr-amily, hiking, and a Gilmore Girl-esque town awaits.

Onward friends, onward I say!

 

Love,

 

A Far More Positive, Joyfully-Baby-Stepping 20-Something

 

Re-activation Thought Drops

Dear you,

Yesterday was a difficult day, but it led to some lovely things, as so many difficult days have the opportunity of doing.

At this moment I’m writing on WordPress, have paid a bill, made breakfast and coffee, showered, picked up a long-neglected corner of my room, and enjoyed a show with my mom. What I didn’t do was spend that time in the routine I had found myself stuck in for the past few months (year?): spending an hour scrolling mindlessly through “social” media.

The scrolling never really ended at that hour, either. It would creep up randomly any moment I was bored, felt awkward, sometimes neither. There were times were it was just  compulsory act, a twitch, to pick up my phone and start scrolling. This unhealthy habit had developed rapidly, far more rapidly than any of the healthy habits I’ve been trying to develop over the past months. The minutes spent there drained away the time I spent on things I actually enjoy, things I knew I wanted to do but never felt I had the energy or time for.

One of those things was writing, and within 24 hours of deactivating my Facebook page, logging out of my “main” Instagram account – I’ve written twice. Will anyone read this?

Doubtful. But that’s never really been the point of writing for me.

Does it fill my heart with some sense of accomplishment and joy to be typing out words, any words, onto a page?

Most assuredly it does.

We all know that empty, tired, sad feeling that can come after binge-scrolling, or after realizing you missed a part of a conversation because something shiny on the screen caught your eye for the hundredth time.

This won’t be the most eloquent post, because my thoughts are flying to and fro as they do in the morning with coffee, but my goodness, it feels so good to write!

This is something I’ve wanted to do more of for years. Not months. Years.

I’ve also had other simple pleasures, passions, projects, take the back burner. Coasting through, feeling unsatisfied, feeding an addiction that only sucks away time and joy as it simultaneously nourishes the ever-dreaded FOMO, Insecurity, and Comparison Monsters.

I’m back to thinking of other things that I enjoy and simply haven’t fully partaken in for awhile.

Cooking, reading, writing (songs, poetry, stories), fitness (yoga, martial arts, weight lifting), photography, learning more Spanish, dabbling in other languages for the pleasure of learning, exploring, making gifts for others, starting my own small business – these are not lofty goals, not out of reach hobbies, not anything that is beyond me to do.

It’s almost hard to believe how many of these things have been touched on only in the past few hours since letting social media go. I thought perhaps I was simply losing interest in the things I once enjoyed, and certainly phases have occurred where one interest is stronger than the others. But – no. I hadn’t lost completely interest.

I had lost hope, motivation, energy, because I was mindlessly wasting away my time on something that brought few positive things, and plenty of negative.

I actually feel some level of hope today. I’m stunned at the difference this change has made already, I hadn’t deactivated expecting or looking for these types of results, I deactivated simply because I was too tired to keep up with it all anymore.

Now I’m here – stumbling across and into unexpected beams of hope, happiness, excitement about the future – and I’m only starting the second cup of coffee.

I hope you can allow for this corny thought: in deactivating social media, I feel like I may have found a reactivating button for life.

 

Signing off with a bit more joy,

 

A Pleasantly Surprised 20-Something

Late Night Musings

Dear you,

Have you ever hit a point in your life when it seems like your heart aches at some point every day? When you don’t know where life is going, and you’re holding onto hope that it’s somewhere good, somewhere wonderful, but your grip feels weaker with every day?

It’s a difficult place to be.

It’s never as permanent as it seems.

Yet it nevertheless aches like it is.

This isn’t depression. It’s heartache. It’s the heartache from knowing who you are and not letting others in, it’s heartache from others assuming who you are even though you had let them in, it’s heartache from pretending, and it’s also heartache from not pretending anymore.

The one thing I’m re-learning in life is it never works to try to please people. The people that are pleased with me are those that I’m closest to, that I don’t pretend with, who are the ones who truly deserve to have pleasing attempted for them sometimes. They’re the people who know my heart, who actually get the day-to-day ins and outs, ups and downs – they’re the goodness that the rest of us can only aspire to be more like.

But we people-pleasers have to learn this lesson again and again, after we try to explain, change, morph our existence and life and decisions into a vortex of approval, only to lose ourselves, and the point, in the process.

This painful lesson of seeking approval where it won’t be found, of trying to fit into what you think others want, of being utterly misunderstood when you’re finally being yourself, of that process of losing and finding and losing yourself again – can breed bitterness – or it can breed compassion.

It can breed bitterness toward other people, ourselves, life – but “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm…” and that is critical to keep in mind.

It’s not other people that are truly the problem, it’s letting nasty opinions, thoughts, actions, feelings, etc implant themselves in you. How do you not let this happen? It’s not easy, and if I had it down I wouldn’t be learning these lessons all over again.

One of the key ways I’ve found to turn the hurt into something helpful is to let it grow compassion toward others in you. When you see someone being misunderstood, mistreated, misconstrued – whether you agree or disagree with them, you’ve been there. You know that pain – and you have the superpower capability of offering unique hope, perspective, and love to them right where they are, in the midst of it.

Let yourself be part of a chain reaction of compassion, empathy, love, and ultimately joy.

And forgive – others and yourself – always.

That is where peace begins to grow again, and from that springs hope, and from that the energy and strength to live honestly, fully, and out of an ever growing love for God, others, and yourself.

Let love grow.

 

Sincerely,

 

A Slow to Learn 20-Something

Vegan Finds in Tulsa Town

This past Saturday was one of the most idyllic days of the semester. It was a lesson in how weekends (or off-work days) are meant to be, a perfect pause filled with relaxed exploration and recuperation, a genuine break in the daily grind. 

Riding along in the passenger seat of a best friend’s car, fluffy “snow trees” in full bloom whirl past the windows, spring’s beautiful answer to a winter devoid of its miniature icy sculptures. As the downtown buildings come into view, thoughts return to our culinary mission: to admire and experience the chocolatier treasure trove said to be found at Glacier chocolates. 

A mutual friend and Glacier chocolate guardian has sent us on this hunt, one that, with the bumbling grace of college students, we have meant to go on for weeks. However, no other day could have compared with this day’s perfection, and we rest in the happy knowledge that some serious good has come from our accidental adventure-procrastination. 
Glacier is located in Tulsa’s quirky-cool zone, The Brady Arts District. The old brick buildings and stark blue sky contrast nicely with the just-modern-enough interiors of restaurants, bars, art galleries, coffee shops, and music venues. With a casually chic mix of professionalism, historic, artsy, and modern tones, it is a place where anyone can find their favorite niche, or even explore others, without too high a risk of being looked down on for your perceived “cool factor” in the process. 

Walking into Glacier you are almost instantly met with rows of artisanal delights that any chocolate lover could melt over, and thankfully our faithful friend is behind the counter to guide our overwhelmed and delighted souls through the grandeur before us. 

While we start to excitedly pour over the goods, I creep over to the vegan section Ty has revealed (THE VEGAN SECTION!) afraid to get too excited – but alas! Two varieties of chocolate turtles, and multi-flavored and hued gem-shaped chocolates wink gold, ruby, and sapphire off their polished surfaces. It is beauty, it is grace, it is Miss United States, and as I follow my friend to check out with 3 vegan dessert jewels (checking my collegiate bank balance in the process), the primary chocolate mission is complete.

 However there is more to experience and Ty, now dubbed the foodie guide, tells us to check out Antoinette Baking Co. and Chimera around the corner. 


While Glacier is a treasure hall of chocolate kings, Antoinette is the epitome of queenly indulgence. “Let Them Eat Cake!” reads a sign outside the front door (too soon?), and indeed there is cake and plenty more to be had, in voluminous, luscious quantities. However, it is a culinary adventure for another day, as this 20-something vegan and her fellow 20-something adventurer were getting too hungry to ingredient-check everything in the place.

We stepped out from Antoinette’s bright, indulgent atmosphere and strolled across the street to Ty’s other recommendation, Chimera. Passing by fashionably groomed bearded men and casually stylish women on their way out the door, we enter a very different zone. Art appears on every wall, and natural materials lend a warm woodsy tone that nicely softens the sleek urban vibe. Chimera seems to be a place that is at the top of its game in every culinary aspect – food, coffee, and drinks are expertly crafted behind the neat, somewhat vintage looking bar, drawing crowds of professionals, art lovers, and foodie freaks like myself. And lo and behold – EVERYTHING.

EVERYTHING

CAN BE MADE

VEGAN.

It has been months since I was last able to dive into a culinary world of this many scrumptious possibilities at the same time (Spiral Diner, looking at you, you beaut), and the excitement for this foodie is overwhelming. A plethora of breakfast tacos, a somewhat traditional childhood meal and delight (that was recently reunited again at Whole Foods), gleam on the first half of the page with quirky names to boot. Bowls of goodness on the next half, am I salivating? – and I know I must cease and choose or risk turning the friendly face across the counter into one of annoyance. Asking for help, for a foodie guide (where are you, Ty?!), for anything, the bowl is decided on, and (internally) I skip off on a cloud of glee to meet my friend at the table, where she awaits a beautiful donut and one of the epic breakfast tacos. 

Feeling decidedly uncool and loving every minute of it, the dishes arrive and – oh my. The bowl is stacked with leafy loveliness, perfectly done tofu eggs, fresh avocado, incredible potato wedges, deliciously smoked adzuki strips, black beans, and I chose the tomatillo salsa to top it off. (Looking back I’m realizing the chipotle sauce may not be vegan, a mistake made in hunger and excitement, but if it’s not it would be easily substituted out for anything else).

My friend’s delicious looking breakfast taco arrives as well, a small mountain of black beans, caramelized onions, Fauxrizo, arugula, avocado crema and cilantro. 


We are stuffed, we are delighted, we have not done any homework and now must drive out of the arts district to a favorite coffee shop better suited to studying – Fair Fellow. 

Fair Fellow has a bright, white, clean, simple interior, accented by tasteful pops of color, plants, art, and wood. Large windows aid in the airy, energized feel of the place. Their beans can be found in shops around the city, and for good reason. Though Fair Fellow has an amazing house made almond milk, I’ve been trying to cut back on the “hard caffeine drinks” and opt for their kombucha instead. It. Is. Amazing. Refreshing, sparkling, and bright, the flavors revive the senses and bring me back to a state of calm wakefulness. There, as the coffee hits and kombucha sparkles, the perfection of the day bubbles over, sending us into fits of laughter and off the wall hilarity as our computer screens remain utterly blank. 


I still can’t remember if any homework did get done that day, but the foodie finds and laughter releases were worth every penny and minute spent!

Signing off for now,

A Contented Treasure Hunting 20-Something