Hella Healthy Habits

Since going from living on my own during the week and only being home with the hubby on weekends, I have had some struggles with my eating habits. When I was on my own, I was doing really well. Mostly because I only had enough food in the apartment to get me through the week. I didn’t keep much in the way of snacks around. I also was living on tea, with my utiliTEA right on my desk. It made making tea so much more convenient.

Moving back home changed things. There’s more food in the apartment because I’m not the only one buying food. I’m also making dinner for the two of us, not just me anymore. Which means I need to take his tastes into account. **I am not complaining at all. I love my hubby. It’s just going from living single to living together again.** There were plenty of times during the past school year when I would make chicken thighs for myself every night and not get tired of them. Not only does he prefer white meat, but he wants more variety in his main dishes, which is fine. I was also drinking less tea because it isn’t right in my face all the time anymore.

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Because my tea is all on it’s own table now! And as I type this I realize how much this has changed since I took the picture…

Basically, I had developed a set of habits while I was at school, but hadn’t brought them home with me. I was snacking out of boredom. I was drinking Pepsi (made with real sugar, delicious!) instead of tea or water. I was creating mounds of food on my plate for dinner and eating all of it, despite being full. I was eating a small meal when I got home from work so I wasn’t starving while waiting for hubby to get up for the day (he works third shift). I was eating candy and fast food at work.

But, over the semester I’ve noticed these problems and worked to change them. And I’m noticing the effects. I’ve been making a point of having at least one travel mug of tea for work each day. The caffeine wakes me up and helps me stay focused. Having something healthy to drink keeps me away from the pop in the break room. I’ve been working on snacking less at work. It’s better for my waistline and my wallet. I’ve also been making an effort to drink more tea at home as well. Both from my vast stores of tea and pre-made cold tea from the cooler at the grocery store. Yes, it’s not as healthy as drinking tea I’ve brewed, but it’s still better than drinking Pepsi.

I’ve also been changing up my eating habits. If I stop by a drive-thru for food, I am making healthier choices. I order only the amount of food I actually need – usually a sandwich and a drink, no fries – and it’s not a double cheeseburger with bacon every time. But, more importantly, I’ve been changing my eating habits at home. I’m keeping lots of healthy snack choices/meal components around to keep me from overdoing it. Like the bag of LÄRABAR Bites. That way when I want just a little chocolate – like last evening – I can have one or two, instead of going for the Snickers. I’ve got fruit cups and cheese crackers and cheese sticks. That way I can have one or two things to tide me over until dinner without being full once dinner’s ready.

I also noticed that I don’t necessarily need to go gluten free, but I need to be careful about how much bread I’m eating. I feel better overall when I’m not eating a ton of basic breads. Breads like pumpernickel and rye and sourdough are friendly breads. Multi-grain bread too. I’m also putting more thought into dinner. I’m trying to make things from scratch more often. I’m also allowing myself to be okay with leftovers. I put as much food as I want on my plate. I can always go back for a little more if I want, which is better than forcing myself to clean my plate.

Since being more mindful of what I am eating, how much I am eating, how I feel about what I am eating, I feel so much better! My clothing is fitting much better. My skin is clearer – both from acne and eczema. And, most importantly, I don’t feel like I’m starving myself or denying myself anything. I’m letting my body tell me what to eat and it is really appreciating it. Listen to your body. It knows what it needs. Eventually it’ll get through to your brain and you’ll feel so good!

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Panic and Stress

My life is a mess right now. Or at least that’s how it feels. I’ve got a job that really doesn’t pay the bills, but I’m somehow making a paycheck stretch. I still don’t know if I’m graduating in December with my master’s degree, which means I don’t know if I’m going to still be in the Ph.D. program in the spring.

I’ve been watching Better Things on Hulu. It’s a great show. I just watched episode 5 where the oldest daughter is worrying about her future at age 16. Sam points out to her that even if you just have a job and get by, you’ll be fine. You don’t have to actually have your shit together to look like you have your shit together.

I needed to hear that.

I needed to hear that just finding a job that doesn’t drain the energy out of me on every level isn’t a bad thing. I needed to hear that I can still do what I want with my life without the degree to “back it up”. I can be an independent scholar and work at Barnes and Noble. I can write about Doctor Who and Bitch Planet and Hamilton without Ph.D. after my name. As much as I do want to teach, I don’t have to teach.

I feel so much better. I have been stressed and in a fog lately. I had a great weekend at the Midwest Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (MPCA) Conference last weekend. But somehow, after getting back, this week has been a mess. But I feel so much better. Allowing myself to think that everything will be fine no matter what. I feel so much better.

Introvert in an Extroverted family

Yesterday I went to my cousin’s wedding. I had an absolute blast! There are a couple of reasons for it. But the main reason was a personal realization. My gut always says “It’s okay to sit or stand to the side and watch the fun!” My training always says “Why aren’t you out there with the rest of your family?!” I said that last night to my hubby early in the reception.

I am so glad I did. Saying it out loud helped me to realize that by observing, watching my family celebrating, I am participating in my own, comfortable way. It also helped that this was a much more informal reception where no tables were assigned and we never sat down. We found spaces that worked for us to stand and be out of the path of traffic, but still be a part of things. We sang along with the music. We even danced to a few songs.

It felt so good finally finding my place in a big party/celebration like that. It allowed me to be a part of things instead of trying to maintain my walls and worry about what people are saying because I’m not out there like everyone else. I came home just as, if not more, energized than when I arrived! No introvert hangover this morning!

This is really going to help me out at DragonCon this year. It’s another place where being an introvert can be draining. But if I just remember that I’m there for the same reason as everyone else – DragonCon – I’ll be just fine!

Boxing Bull$*!#

On Friday, I arrived home to find three packages waiting for me. One had The Hamilton Mixtape cassette, one had 3 bars of Native deodorant, one had a corset. I was pissed off. Let me show you why.

I am not exaggerating. The box on the left was used to ship a cassette tape. The box on the right:

Three full-sized bars of deodorant. They fit three bars of deodorant into that box while the other contained a bunch of air-filled packing materials and a cassette tape. When I ordered the tape, I figured it would arrive in something small that would fit inside the mailbox. I’m planning to e-mail them and point this out. There is no reason to use a box even a 1/4 that size to ship a cassette tape.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, but it’s the first time it’s been to such a drastic degree. I’m not going to stay quiet about it anymore. It’s a ridiculous waste of material and resources. I’m tired of it. I’m definitely not buying anything from Urban Outfitters until they change their shipping policies. I guess we’ll see if they listen to what I have to say. But Native is a company I will gladly keep supporting!

Going Native: Week 0

Now that I finally have my Native deodorant, I can start using it! The little card that came with the deodorant says to wear it daily and that it can take up to 14 days to get the “maximum effectiveness”. So I’m going to start checking in with the progress of this amazing new product!

Since it is a 3-pack, it gives me options. The lavender & rose and unscented are going to be going back to school with me. The coconut & vanilla is staying at home. I figure it’s one less thing to pack for my remaining trips back and forth. I like both of the scent combinations, but I like the lavender & rose a little bit more, and hubby likes the coconut & vanilla better. This way everyone’s happy! And they both smell amazing. The scents are balanced wonderfully and compliment each other. Hopefully I’ll be posting again next Saturday with glowing news. I’m really looking forward to using this product! I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to using a deodorant so much.

Again, I am not in any way associated with Native. I just really like their product and want to share it with all of you!

“Reset” button

I first bought Tea-Tox last year. I bought the entire Body and Soul set, but this is the one I use constantly. Well, I did until I started to get low and decided to wait until my refill came. The refill that came in the package I almost didn’t get.

On Thursday, I remembered that I had the refill for weeks now. I had no excuse to not make myself a cup again. I’m hooked yet again. It is a wonderful blend of “milk thistle, burdock, green rooibos tea, cinnamon bark, peppermint leaves, dandelion root & lemon balm”. This combination tastes delicious and really does leave me feeling better. I don’t care if it’s all in my head. I feel better for drinking it. Also, milk thistle has been a remedy for detoxifying the liver for a while now. Everything in there has benefits to the body.

It’s delicious and refreshing. It kind of puts a “reset” on my eating habits. Lately I’ve been stressed with a lot of things piling up. On Thursday, a lot of those stresses were gone, finally. I’ve been making sure to have a cup at least once a day. I am worried that it is possible to over-do it.

I’m writing this to share my experience as well as to remind all of us that we need to take care of ourselves. Never forget that. Take care of yourself, both bodily and mentally. Don’t let things overwhelm you. Take care of yourself!

Possibly the most interesting shipment notice ever!

This morning I got an e-mail letting me know that my order has been shipped. It’s the most amusing notice I’ve ever had!

Courtney,

Your bar of Native Deodorant was gently pulled by our team of experts and placed on a gold-trimmed pillow stuffed with the finest fibers known to man. Then, a team of six inspectors examined your deodorant under a magnifying glass, ensuring it was in perfect condition.

Once the inspection was complete, our veteran polisher (he was previously employed at the Tower of London, where he was responsible for polishing the Queen’s jewels) polished it as a quiet hush fell over the warehouse. “This package is getting shipped to Courtney,” he whispered. “Take good care of it.”

We hope you had a wonderful time shopping at Native. In celebration, we have placed your name on our wall under the title “World’s Best Customer” and assigned you a dedicated parking spot right upfront. We’ve also hired a pilot to skywrite “Courtney Rocks!” above the Golden Gate Bridge. Thank you for supporting Native!

I’ve been wanting to try out Native Deodorant for a while now, but I just haven’t been ready to commit…and I needed to be able to buy it. The other day I put in and order for their Women’s Sampler Pack:

3 sticks of their paraben free, aluminum free deodorant in different scents (including unscented) for $30. Basically it was buy 2 get one free! I haven’t used stick deodorant for a while now. I haven’t found something that my skin agrees with anymore. These have a great chance at becoming my regular deodorant. Especially having multiple scents to work with. Those will come in handy when costuming.

I am really looking forward to trying them out! And if you’re interested, use this link and I’ll get a free travel-sized stick if you order, and you get one too! I have no ties to Native. I just want to share this amazing product with all of you!

It’s tea time!!!

It’s here! My replacement shipment is here! Finally!

teasplurge

I am so freaking happy! I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when I was going through and opening each box. It was so much fun! I can’t wait to taste most of these. The Mary Morstan and TARDIS are teas I’ve had and love, hence the large tins. The Tea-Tox is also a refill. Literally, I have the tin and the only other option is this 16oz refill bag. But that just means I have 4 tins worth of refill, so I won’t have to order more any time soon. This is going to be so much fun!

I won’t be going on over each individual tea here. That would get overwhelming. If you want to know what I think about each individual tea, check out Tea Notes, my tea Tumblr. It’s about to get quite busy again. Yay!

De-cluttering

Lately my drive and focus have been lacking. It’s like I’ve had brain fog. This happens from time to time. It’s annoying, but being aware of it has its upside. It allows me to try different ways to get it to clear. But sometimes it clears on its own.

Like this morning. I was struggling to want to get up because I had nothing I needed to do until 1p. Then I remembered I have a bunch of dishes to do. So I got up, got a dent in the dishes, and got some tidying up done in the apartment. The tidying continued into the office.

There have been many different people saying that being organized in your life means you’re organized in your brain. It’s true for me. The more I clean up, the more clear my brain feels, the more focused I feel.

Here’s to de-cluttering! Both physically and mentally!

I hate being sick

When I went home this weekend, I went home to a sick hubby. He has a head cold. I’m glad I went home because I was there to go on a supply run and continually order him back to bed. Unfortunately, I caught it.

I hate being sick. I especially hate having a fever. I, as I suspect many of you, was raised to break the fever by sweating it out. I hate that. I hate being all hot and sticky and sweaty. I’ve been taking oregano oil, elderberry, and Tylenol Cold Max. Yes, while I prefer natural remedies, I will take medicine if the situation is appropriate for it. I still have a fever. It won’t go away.

I just did a search about breaking a fever. Multiple sites said that you don’t necessarily need to get under covers and sweat it out. Many said that if you’re not cold, you should reduce the amount of clothing you’re wearing. I’m not chilled at all. I’m going to try just being comfortable, staying hydrated and fed, minimizing contact with others, and hope it goes away sometime tonight. Tomorrow is just too important to be sick for. I just don’t want to be patient zero for Con Crud at BroadwayCon. Hopefully getting over this will prevent me from getting Con Crud!