Hooked on a new tea

So, as you all know, I love my Adagio teas. But, while I was in NYC, I was introduced to Celestial Seasonings’ Red Zinger tea. I was hooked at the first cup. There was something about the combination of ingredients in this herbal tea that created such an intriguing taste. It’s bold, deep, rich, and I can’t get enough!

When I got back home, I started checking the shelves for it so I could make it at home. Despite being a signature tea of the brand, no one around me carried it. I was so frustrated. So when I was in Columbus on Friday, I decided to search on their site to see where it was sold there. Thankfully Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, and Raisin Rack all carry it. After I was done with my grocery shopping, I made a beeline for the nearest Whole Foods and got two boxes – it was on sale – allowing me to keep one box at home and take one to work.

Best decision ever! I haven’t wanted to have any of the raspberry tea I had been habitually drinking before the trip. It’s getting me to drink more fluids that have no sugar in them. And I’m pretty sure the ingredients are agreeing with my body because I’m feeling so good! I’m on my second cup at work today. It’s so easy to make and drink. I think I found another habit I can keep going and not give up on!

Stepping back

For whatever reason, I was in a funk recently. During that funk, I was eating horribly. I was eating too much candy and fast food and not enough actual food. Thankfully I realized I was in a funk and decided to start making some changes.

First step, reducing my sugar intake. Right now, that means cutting out pop/soda, candy, and other mostly processed sugar items. I’m still allowing myself things like green tea from Wendy’s, my bottled raspberry tea, sugar crystals in my tea at home – which I’m trying to get back into the habit of drinking instead of the raspberry – and foods with naturally occurring sugars, like fruit. I don’t want to cut out all sugar, but I figure consuming stuff that is basically just sugar isn’t the greatest idea on many levels. I’ve been mostly successful, with only one intentional indulgence because I couldn’t get the thing off my mind.

The next step is going to be a reduction in fried foods. I’ve actually been kind of working on it, but it’s been more out of a desire to spend less money than intentionally not eating them. It also helps that Wendy’s grilled chicken has improved, or I’ve gotten used to it. Either way, I’m back to preferring that when I stop by. I had really developed a taste for Homestyle, which is not the best thing in the world to be eating more than once a week. I’m hoping that by easing myself into this, I’ll be able to build some lasting habits that will help me fight the funk.

Getting things taken care of around here will help too. But I have to remember to stay focused so I can get my school work and unpacking done. Hopefully eating better will help with that. It sure can’t hurt.

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.

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!

“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!


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!

That’s just, like, your opinion, man.

One way I’ve been taking care of myself lately is to get more into Dudeism. I reread The Dude and the Zen Master. The first time I read it, I did so on my Kindle. I loved it so much that I knew I needed the physical book. That’s what I read this time. Sometimes you just need the book in your hands and get away from the many glowing screens in life.

Lost my train of thought there…

Anyway. It’s an amazing book. I got so much out of it. I wrote down many, many quotes, and made many, many notes. I will post them soon.

I finished it and found myself wanting to read The Dude De Ching. But I knew it was at home, since my hubby’s the one who turned me on to Dudeism, and I didn’t know it was available for free for Kindle and Epub since a new, annotated version is out. So, I started reading The Abide Guide for the I-don’t-know-what-number time. It’s always good to refresh the basics every once in a while.

But, I’m setting it aside briefly because I’m soaking in the wisdom of The Dude De Ching. I’m thinking it’s going to be another book that I’m going to get my own copy of so I can have it on hand wherever. I’m only about half of the way through, but it’s got some sage advice put “in the parlance of our times”.

What can I say? Dudeism and The Big Lebowski are providing me with advice, wisdom, and guidance that are going to help me weather the political storm that is coming, unless something drastically changes. I even decided to become a Dudeist …I still haven’t decided which word I want to use to refer to myself. Being Catholic, “priest” just doesn’t quite work. I may just go with being an ordained Dudeist and be done with it. For me it’s more of a philosophy to live by than a religion…


Lately my eating habits have not been the greatest. I have been trying to make changes, but nothing is sticking. Then I had a thought. Whenever I’d eat something, like Twinkies, that’s not the greatest for me, I thought about how I wouldn’t want to post it in a What I Ate Wednesday. So I’m going to start posting, either here or on Instagram, with what I’m making for meals. Knowing that it’s out there for people to see might get me to stay on track.

We’re going grocery shopping tonight, which will kick things off. I know my hubby isn’t going to be too happy with the long list I’ve created. But some of that is going to make large batches of things that will last well past one meal. I think I’m on the right track to getting my diet on a healthier path. Hopefully I can come up with something that I can stick with.

In case you haven’t noticed, this isn’t even close to the first time that I’ve done this. I just keep sliding back into old habits. But I guess the most important thing is that I keep trying to change the unhealthy ones for healthy ones. One of these days it’s going to stick and I’m going to feel so much better!


I feel so much better already. I do think part of it was getting down on ‘paper’ and getting it out there. So often my best processing is done externally. That’s part of why I talk to myself, in ASL and English (which depends on my mood).

Anyway. I’ve been slowly trying to get things turned around again. I think I made a lot of progress today. First, I had some breakfast. I’ve been getting up, getting dressed, and going to class. Sometime after class is when I finally eat. I’m starting to think that’s part of why my eating has been messed up. Today I had some Greek yogurt before going to class and it really helped! On my way home from class I decided that I really wanted a salad for lunch, so I swung by Wendy’s. Another great decision! It was the start of a pattern.

I took my usual bottle of water with me to work, but I took a pouch of applesauce with veggies to as a snack. I picked up a pack of applesauce pouches and a pack of applesauce with veggie pouches when we went grocery shopping. It has proved to be a great little snack. I think it’s going to be added to my DragonCon food list. But that snack kept me from wanting to get any candy after work.

But I did stop by Whole Foods. I needed non-chlorinated bleach and picked up some veggies and other items to help me stay on track this week. I also snagged a spinach and feta croissant. A-maz-ing! Between that and the cherry chia kombucha when I got home, I was good until dinner. And for dinner I decided to dial back the portions a little bit and it was nice to simply be full again.

I think today has helped me to remember what it feels like to eat in a healthy manner for me again. It’s just what I needed. Now I just have to keep it going. That’s the hard part.

Lost and Found

I have been lost on so many levels this year. But I think I have found my way again.

For a while I would go to work, go to class, and that’s it. When I was home, I would do nothing else. My eating habits got sloppy, relying a lot on fast food. I didn’t go to church. I didn’t do much. I sat on the couch and watched TV.

I don’t know why. I wish I knew why. I can only theorize that a mild depression is what was going on. I wasn’t working much and my bills were starting to take their toll.

But recently things have been improving. I’ve been getting more hours at work. I went to church last week. We got the taxes done.

Then, yesterday, I got home from work, grabbed the one piece of mail and went inside. The whole way inside I was convincing myself it was not what I thought it was, because I didn’t want to get my hopes up. After leaving my old job, I received information saying that I had some money in the 401K that I could either roll over into a new one or have them send me a check. Since I was working for Lyft at the time, I went for the check option. That was in October. I had given up on getting the check. Which is why opening the envelope to find the check was so exciting. I left to go deposit it before remembering I needed to sign it!

That check has lifted a huge weight from my shoulders. I don’t have to worry about the bills as much, which means the stress is slowly going away. Just writing this post is helping, too.

Today I realized that I need to overhaul my eating habits to get back on track. I’ve been mindlessly eating. Something strikes my fancy, so I go grab it and munch away. The biggest hurdle to that is work. Sometimes I have to go directly from class to work, which means I need to eat on the way. I am having a hard time finding something that I can easily eat that is also a healthy choice. That’s where the fast food has mostly been coming in. I guess I’ll just have to do some experimenting. Hopefully at least some of those experiments will be posted here.

Little herbal helpers

I’ve been meaning to write about this, but I keep forgetting to.

For over a month now, these little friends have been helping me out in so many ways.

Soon after I started working at Jo-Ann’s, I felt like I was coming down with something. I knew that Oregano Oil was a great way to boost the immune system and helps to kick the butt of nasty things. I also knew that Elderberry was another boost to the immune system. I figured between the two, something would do some good. It did.

After I started feeling better, I kept taking them, but just the ‘maintaining’ dose rather than the ‘acute symptoms’ dose. I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep my immune system up. Eventually I noticed that on days I forgot to take my Claritin, I wasn’t having any allergy problems. I thought maybe it was because enough was still in my system to work, but I wanted to see. I stopped taking Claritin. I haven’t needed it since. I was taking the Claritin to keep my eczema at bay. The Elderberry and Oregano appear to be keeping it at bay quite well on their own.

A little later I bought the St. John’s Wort. I knew that it was good for anxiety and stress, of which I had plenty. I had also thought I might have test anxiety and thought it wouldn’t hurt to try. It worked quite well! I don’t take it daily, like I do the other two. I only take it when I need it: before tests, work, or any event I start to feel that anxiety starting to rise.

I do want to say this: while these herbs are helping me, that doesn’t mean they work for everyone. They are medication, which means you need to be careful when you’re first trying it out. I’ve taken all three in the past and know that they had no adverse effects. Yet, I still keep an eye on myself to make sure nothing’s going wrong. Always err on the side of caution.