Learning to Retox my life

September is yoga month! If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have become a total yoga junkie.  It’s gone beyond just a daily practice. It’s a way of life.  My yoga life as evolved from being able to land some really cool arm balance ( the reason I started ) to learning patience, self control, gratitude and charity. My confidence has soared. My self acceptance, including body image, has changed for the better as well. I could go on and on posting pictures from my journey so far and call it a day. I have shared that stuff in the past and I don’t want you to get bored one paragraph in.

What I do want to share with you is a book that recently picked up on a trip to Barnes & Noble. It is called Retox: Yoga * Food * Attitude – Healthy Solutions For Real Life by Lauren Imparato.  Lauren is the founder of I.Am.You studios in NYC.

(The following review is my own thoughts based on parts of the book. I was not contacted by anyone involved with Retox or I.Am.You. to write this nor am I being compensated in any way. I’m just a girl on this lifestyle journey sharing what I love.) 

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I was on the fence about buying this book at first.  I was worried that it would be another diet book. Or worse, it would be 362 pages of sales pitches as to why you need to buy some on line course or product to see results.  (Yes you can buy the videos for the yoga portion on line but it’s not necessary.)

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That shit really drives me crazy!  I know you feel me too.

After reading about Lauren’s switch from wall street trader to yogi with nutritional science training, I knew I had made the right decision. She really dived deep into training to understand the body. Smart chick.

This actually is NOT a diet book at all. Retox is the opposite of detox. There is no elimination of whole food groups or crazy workout schedules to follow. This book focuses on balance between yoga, food and mindset. This is a plan for general living and how to keep it together on very given day. Lauren calls it LSP, or Life Stability Plan.

As a yoga instructor, Lauren takes you through twenty-one daily life issues and breaks it down into the three LSP’s:

  • Yoga – flows and asanas geared specifically to heal your ailment
  • Nourishment – Think of this as the “eat this not that” section.
  • Mindset – explains the how and whys of what you are feeling and how to bring balance to that through meditation

There is something in here for everyone:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Bloating
  • Hangovers
  • Low energy
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Back pain

(Just to name a few)

You can run through the book section by section or skip around working on what your body needs most that day. For me, the first step was getting rid of the alien baby that is belly bloat.

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The yoga flow ( shown above ) is designed to focus on core movements and twists that activate your organs helping to release toxins. Each flow takes 20-30 minutes to complete.  There are also quick fixes and desk flows for when you are short on time. Perfect considering I always seem to be running late.

Nourishment tells me about foods that may be causing the bloating such as:

  • Soy (check!)
  • Eggplant / cucumber (check!)
  • Chia / nuts ((check!)(check!)
  • Raw foods  (mmmmm  some )
  • Spicy foods (check!)

You may have issues with all these foods or just a few.  If you notice certain things you eat are making you bloated, avoid them. If you can tolerate them in moderation, go for it. Just don’t over do it.

The retox instant debloaters include:

  • Warm water
  • Rice
  • Cooked foods
  • Some herbal teas like mint or chamomile

The reasons why each of these foods hurt or heal you is explained in the book as well.

Mindset: Your gut is sometimes referred to as your second brain. When faced with uncertainty, your guy can get all funky.  The stress can cause unbalance causing bloat. Sometimes you can’t just “let is go”.  you literally need to learn to trust your gut. The retox goal here is to train your mind to process the events and emotions around you. Write down what is stressing you. How does it make you feel? What are ways you can improve your situation? Then, sit tall, clear your mind and focus on your breath. Follow Lauren’s guided meditation then move on with your day.

After reading through each section in Retox, I had a few ah-ha moments.  Some things were obvious.  But Lauren brings science into her explanations so that it makes more sense. Don’t recoil by that statement.  She doesn’t get all nerdy on you. There is so much information packed into these pages that I find myself going back and reading sections again. I have learned so much about my diet alone that makes this book so worth the purchase. I catch myself asking, “Did I Retox today”?

If you are interested in Retox or I.Am.You studios, I interested links in the top of this post.

Have you read Reotx? If so, tell me your thoughts below. 

Do you have any of your own retox solutions that you incorporate into your day? 

 

 

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The Ultimate Coffee Date – March

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Happy first Saturday of March!! I am linking up with three fabulous women today: Lynda @ Fitness Mom wine Country , Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner and Coco @ Got2Run4Me. You are welcome to link up if you have a blog too.  Grab a seat plus your favorite hot beverage and have a chat with me!

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If we were having coffee… I would tell you I had a fun time in St. Louis this past weekend. I was there with my boss as exhibitors at the annual UniGroup Learning Conference.  It was great to see and meet friends from the moving industry that I have been talking to over the phone for many years. It’s been about five years since I attended last. The downtown must be on the verge, or in the beginning stages of,  a gentrification because it seems more “alive” since my last visit.  I felt like there are bars/restaurants and let’s not forget Ballpark Village!  Live music, great food, baseball ( if you are a fan anyway)… it is a great place to visit! At the end of our trip, we hosted an appreciation dinner for one of the United moving companies we have a close relationship with.  It was at the top of The Four Seasons. The hotel is beautiful! The food and service was incredible.  I recommend the filet.  Their sorbet is perfection too.  And take a look at this view!

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If we were having coffee… I would tell you I am so happy that it is March!  I know it’s not technically spring yet.  However, it is the start of my favorite season. Soon the crocus, tulips and other spring bulbs will pop up from their winter slumber.  The new grass will give the ground a fresh new look.  This makes my heart sing!

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If we were having coffee… I would tell you I am in a workout slump. My plan of keeping a schedule worked well for January.  However, with all the traveling I did the past few weeks, I got off track. This always happens with me.  The only thing that stayed consistent was my yoga practice.  Even that has been less then stellar though. My plan to start running again this month is out the window after injuring my knee again.  It’s better now. However, bad knees run in the family and this is becoming an issue.  I am worried that running will accelerate any long term issues.  That does make me a little sad. I need a new cardio~  fast walking maybe? Hiking more this year is on the top of the list for sure.  All I know is I am itching to be outside!

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If we were having coffee… I would discuss my frustration with social media creepers and spam that I get hit with more then I would like to deal with. It blows my mind that there are people who will strike up a conversation through your post or direct message, pretend they’re normal then BAM! They hit you with total perversion.  Now, I am not one that offends easy.  However, it takes up so much energy! People have way to much time on their hands.  Those people go straight to the “block party”.   Once there, they meet up with people who do not take no for an answer when trying to sell me their health and fitness services.  Respect goes both ways. Am I right?

If we were having coffee… I would tell you I am on the hunt for a cute kelly green shirt for St. Patrick’s Day.  So far, I have not found one that I like so maybe I will just get a scarf instead ;0)    I like this one.  I am sure Target will have one that would suit my fancy.

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So tell me… If we were having coffee right now, what would you want to tell me? 

 

 

 

 

Setting intentions for 2016

As I flowed through my yoga yesterday, I was thinking back on 2015 about how great this year was! I faced my fear of public speaking, stayed consistent with my yoga, became the head of our local Crop Hunger Walk chapter, got a promotion and started making my own bath and body products that I hope to turn into a business some day. All except the yoga, the rest was just in the past five months! I don’t think I have had that many breakthroughs in a long time.  At the end of my practice, I felt it was a good time to meditate and do some intention setting for 2016.

I shuffled my oracle cards thinking of the questions, ” What does 2016 have in store for me? What part of my life should I focus on?” Then I closed my eyes and picked my card.

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Completion is about ending. One should focus on ending current adventures in order to start new, grander ones. But it is also about being in the moment and working on a legacy to leave behind as well.

After thinking about this for a while, I feel it falls right into place with my intentions for the new year.  For the past four year or so, I have been setting yearly goals and giving my year a theme word to drive my intentions. This year, I decided to go with courage.

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Courage to: try new things, try new adventures, to step out beyond my comfort zone more.

Two things are occurring with me.  First is my minimalist approach to everything. No more impulse shopping and I have been decluttering my home for the past year. Also, I want to have stories to tell my grandchildren someday. I don’t want my legacy to be that I have a ton of crap to sort through that isn’t worth a dime and I liked to go to dinner- a lot.  Yes it’s true, Dan and I are never home and we do a lot of fun stuff.  But are the stories epic? Not exactly. So, it’s something to work on!

I am looking forward to what this year will bring. Will I need to go looking for these new adventures as the new courageous me? Or will they find me? Only time will tell.

Tell me: Do you have goals for 2016? Travel plans in the making? New races to try?

My Happiness Project- December

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First, let me start off by wishing each and every one of you a very happy new year!  Thank you for all the support you have shown me this past year.

December was a month of mindfulness for me.  I really tried to stay in the moment as much as possible. Between the shopping and holiday parties, I really enjoyed the Christmas season. I actually did not take a lot of pictures ( other then yoga of course ) because I was trying not be distracted by my phone.

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Dan and Al on X-Mas Eve

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I almost got both legs up in handstand without using the wall to catch them!

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My top nine IG photos of 2015 based on likes

Back in the beginning of the month, I set some goals to help me stay focused during the craziness the holidays can bring.  To recap:

Goal #1 – Meditate daily – Did I meditate daily? No.  But I did engage in this practice 3-4 times per week.  It is becoming more natural to me so I see myself getting to a daily practice in January.  I received A Course in Miracles for Christmas with has a daily reflection guide that has become part of my morning ritual as well.

Goal #2 – Move more  – Well… I made it half way through the month with an abs and squat challenge but I was not loving it. I am not bailing on this goal for January. No excuses… this needs to happen.

Goal 3 – Don’t overindulge  – This one, I feel, I did good on.  My closed still fit and I didn’t feel bloated and gross. Yay considering the outcome on goal #2!

Goal 4 – Blog more! This is my fourth post this month – Nailed it!  Haha

Goal 5 – Be present  – I feel that I nailed this one too as stated at the beginning of this post. I enjoyed every second of the holiday. The unseasonably warm temps did not effect my mood like it did for others.  I think it actually helped (despite ALL the rain!). Dan, Allyson and I did a lot of things together as a family.  I loved having Al home for the past six weeks and making memories with her.  She leaves for her Boston internship on Sunday! Time always flies when you are having fun!

To top off the month, I got a promotion at work!  Woo Hoo!  This of course was the icing on the cake for a perfect month!

I hope you all had a very happy holiday season and hope to connect with you more in 2016!  Stay tuned for upcoming posts on goal setting, my new word of the year and much more!

 

December goal setting

  
‘Tis the season! Time for shopping, parties, great food and other indulging. It’s only Dec. 2nd and I already feel overwhelmed when I look at my calendar. Every weekend is booked with parties. I am looking forward to the time spent with family and friends. What I am not looking forward to is the hustle and bustle that comes with it. I like to savor the moments of the holiday. I want to continue to live in the moment! So, I think I need to set some goals to help keep me on track. I haven’t made any public goals in a long time and I feel that putting it out there will help me stay sane this holiday season! 

Goal #1 – Meditate daily 

I already have a daily yoga routine. But when I meditate, it brings me to a whole new level of serenity. Taking a few minutes at the start of my day to set an intention and quiet the mind helps me to focus better. The act of meditating could be sitting on the floor taking meditative breaths and repeating a mantra, trail walking, journaling or even staring aimlessly out a window with your coffee watching the sunrise. Just be still, clear your mind and breathe. 

Goal #2 – Move more 

Since I have stopped running months ago, I have gained some weight back that I fought so hard to keep off. Dresses that I purchased last winter aren’t fitting me like they did. Now that it’s prime indulging season, I really need to get my butt moving in the morning. I have so many inspiring friends! I need to channel them at 5:00 am and get out of bed! 

Goal 3 – Don’t overindulge 

Along with the previous goal, I need to watch not just what I am eating but more in importantly how much! I believe in the 80/20 rule. I keep to this much of the time choosing my best options possible. Since I don’t eat a lot of desert, the 20 percent is mostly beer or french fries. I know this is my downfall and will be cutting back on these two things as well. If I can get through the season not gaining MORE weight, I will be a happy lady. I am not restricting myself because I want to have fun but it all comes down to portion control. 

Goal 4 – Blog more! 

I have so much in my head to get out! I don’t want this blog to fade and die. This is kind of like my journaling. 

Goal 5 – Be present 

This is the most important goal of all. I think to be fully present, the other goals need to fall into place. These goals are to help me stress less. They all exercise either my body or mind leading to a happy existence overall. 

My biggest gift I can give to my loved ones is to give them my time and attention. 

I hope you have a very special and magical holiday season. Play, sing and dance like no one is watching!

XOXO

~ Mary 

Fall = New goals

How has everyone been? I am doing great!  The weather is beautiful.  I am sort of sad that summer is over.  I really enjoyed it this year ( maybe because of lack of humidity!! ).  This past week was vacation for Dan and I. We spent the week camping in VT (and freezing my butt off) , hiking, taking Allyson back to Dartmouth for her sophomore year and then more camping and hiking in PA.  It was a very laid-back week.  There was a lot of down time which is just what we needed.  We agree that this was the best vacation we have had in a long while. No Stress. No worries.  No schedule.  Perfection!  BUT…. all good things must come to an end. It’s time to get back to work.  AND time to usher in my favorite season, FALL!

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The view from my porch at sunrise.

Dan and I will be busy this season with our community’s annual Crop Walk ( more on this in a future post ).

Garden clean up happens.  I have really neglected the weeds and there seems to be some invasive mulberry or something sprouting up all over.  I am not looking forward to all the pulling and digging.  We also need to find a home for a birdhouse I received as a birthday gift.

I also want to get rid of more stuff that we have laying about in boxes taking up valuable garage and closet space.

As for fitness goals, I want to: 

Keep up with running. I need to get a pair of knuckle lights ~ STAT! I want to get my 10K under 1:15.

Get back in to strength training (I have really gotten away from that).

Progress further in my yoga.

I am most looking forward to:

All things pumpkin and spice

Sweaters / boots

Changing leaves

and Crisp cool evenings

Do you have new goals for fall?  What is your favorite part of the season?