The Nike Slogan, or “Just Do It”

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When it comes to exercise, we all have excuses. I don’t know how, what will I do, what if I get hurt, I don’t have time…I’ve heard them all and honestly it perplexed me for years. Exercise is like brushing my teeth. I feel so much better and it is just one of the most pleasant parts of my day that I couldn’t relate to these thoughts.

Now mind you, I never SAID that to anyone. I just smiled, listened, and nodded sympathetically. Following my husband in his pastoral ministry for 22 years means that I’ve learned the sympathetic ear, nod, and diplomacy pretty well. 😉 Okay, those are actually pretty much parts of my personality too. 😀

Then things changed for me. My husband transitioned out of full-time ministry MUCH earlier than we expected. And not as we had hoped. It was one of those “thank you for your service here are your options” type of situations. I have a daughter going into her sophomore year of college, a son who is pretty much independent from us (but who we help with things occasionally), and another son who is 17 and has two years of high school left. HOMESCHOOL, people.Which means a mom at home, right?

My husband and I made the decision for me to seek part-time employment to supplement things while he decides what he will do next. So now I’ve been looking for jobs with a 23 year gap in my employment history on my resume.

So what does all this have to do with exercise? Fear. What if I can’t find work, how do I start, where do I look, what if I get rejected, fail, etc? Suddenly, I get the fear of exercise! All the things I feel about job hunting are what you may feel about moving your body.

So what have I done? The Nike slogan has been mine lately: Just Do It. I have had rejections, yes. Some leads, yes. Some opportunities, yes. Some I don’t like, others I do. But nothing would have happened if I hadn’t first reached out to people, told them my situation, asked for advice and then done something.

So today, do something to change things. Lace up your shoes and take a walk for 10 minutes. Research a type of exercise you’ve always wanted to try. Ask a friend to go to a class with you. Admit the fear, and feel it.

Then be brave and do it anyway.

 

Moving On Part 2: Recharging Your Batteries

I love the word rejuvenation. It’s a fancy way of saying, “make sure you refresh and recharge yourself.” I think of this like a rechargeable battery. When the batteries get low in something, especially if that something is a TV remote, crankiness ensues. 😉 So you take the batteries out, place them in the charger, and let them get fill back up to optimum level.  The same is true for people, especially when the stress of life and moving is added in.
I discussed rest first because it is the foundation for recharging in many ways. That’s because keeping up your energy for moving tasks means you must care for your body mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.

I want to highlight two parts of recharging yourself physically: Food and Fitness.

Hear me out. Being super busy often means putting your personal care in last place. We often end up running out for fast food, grabbing snacks from vending machines, going out for goodbye meals or parties, and drinking lots of sugary drinks for energy and caffeine. But doing that leads to big crashes.  Then you end up being someone who is more of a HARM than a HELP to your family and friends who are trying to help. Trust me on this one.

Which do you want to be: HARM-ful (Hungry, Angry, Resentful, Melancholy) or HELPful(Hopeful, Energetic, Long-lasting, Prepared)? Yeah, me too!

So here are a few quick tips regarding food and fitness I’ve learned the hard way that are now non-negotiable during a move. I hope they help you in dealing with stress, moves, or just living a busy life.

FOOD

  1. Water  Go ahead and get a bottle out and make sure you are drinking regularly. During the day prior to the move and the few days after, I splurge on store-bought water bottles so there are no excuses and no one gets dehydrated and cranky.
  2. Snacks  Make sure you have plenty of healthy things to grab on hand. Moving can cause you to put off eating and then get ravenous. Fruit, nuts, nut butters, veggies, and yogurt are easy to pack and save you from grabbing a candy bar or wasting time running out to the Golden Arches.  On moving day have a cooler of food handy at all times.
  3. Rule of Three  I make sure every meal or snack I put in my mouth contains a mix of carbohydrates, healthy fat, and protein. An apple with almond butter will sustain you far longer than an apple alone.  It’s a good rule to practice in daily life and makes food and food preparation simple and tasty.
  4. Limit Caffeine  This is a toughie but in the long run, one coffee per day is far better than sucking down tons of soda and coffee. Plus, the extra sugar will make you feel really tired. I have been there and done that.

 

FITNESS

Here is my 10-10-10 exercise plan that is non-negotiable for stressful, busy times. I promise you that if you expend some energy exercising, you will actually gain more energy.  It doesn’t make sense but just try it and see.

  1. Ten Minute Walk   Get out of the house! Go outside and walk. Vent, cry, express gratitude, or just be silent. This change of pace, scenery, and energy will make you feel so much better and your focus to tasks at hand will be sharper.
  2. Ten Minutes of Pilates  There is a reason I practice Pilates: it moves the body as it’s supposed to move and keeps me from excessive injury and strain. If it’s not your thing fine…but commit to ten minutes of your favorite movement.
  3. Ten Minutes of Stretching  While unwinding before bed, in front of the TV, or some other time, stretch your muscles. They will feel better and the stretching will bring you energy as you take the time to focus and breathe.
  4. Bonus: Ten Minute Break  Every hour, refocus for ten minutes or so. Stretch, walk, read, chat, etc. You need to change what you’re doing so you can come back to if feeling re-energized.

 

What are your tips and tricks to deal with a move, busyness, and stress? Let me know as I’d love to learn from you. If you try any of my tips be sure to tell me how they work for you.

 

 

Moving Mindfully

We all know it. Exercise matters. But how many of us actually have a consistent fitness routine? 

I began exercising in my late 20s to get off unwanted pounds. Somewhere along the way all the Jane Fonda Abs and Step Reebok videos changed my why.  I continued the routine because of how I felt. Alive. Having fun. Less stressed. Happier.

But none of that happened off the bat. Honestly, none of it happened until I found Step workouts-they were just fun to me. It felt like a reward, like play, to pull the step out and pop that tape in.

In the 25 years since, the how and what of movement have changed. My body has aged. I have had three children. My needs and my definition of fun are poles apart from that 27 year old me jumping on an aerobic step. But my why is the same. Because I feel better. Am happier. And I still like to play.

So find exercise that brings you joy. Stick with it. And reward yourself for the baby steps you take. 
PS My things these days are dog walks and Pilates. My at-home streaming instructor is Lisa Pentony of Pilates by Lisa. She has a fun, month-long challenge starting Monday, if you want to try it out. The code MEMBER will give you 10% off your first month. Lots of prizes, articles, E-book, live chats, etc. So much fun! Let me know if you try it out. Your first 10 days is free! 

Smoothie Bowls!

I admitted my Almond Butter and dark chocolate obsession. I am also addicted to smoothie bowls. My go-to breakfast for sure. Quick, easy, and healthy-while satisfying my sweet tooth. 

Must bowls have lots of sugar via fruit. I love those but wanted something filling yet low in sugar. But still creamy and indulgent.

Enter frozen cauliflower. I have been experimenting with replacing frozen bananas with cauliflower and it’s great. Still creamy but with less sugar and a nutritional boost of a  cruciferous vegetable. Win-Win.

Here is a recipe I found via Simply Quinoa and tweaked to my liking. Check out Alyssa’s site for great recipes. 

Dark Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate coconut milk
  • 1 cup spinach or kale
  • 2 Tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 scoop Designer Whey Chocolate Protein Powder (works fine without this)
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower 
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries (cherries , strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or a combo)

Place in the order listed and blend until the consistency you like. If you don’t have a Blendtech(I have a refurbished one I love), Vitamix, or high powered blender, mix the liquid and greens together first and then add the other ingredients. I do this most of the time out of habit from owning a Magic Bullet and then Ninja and like how it eliminates any small particles of greens. 

Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite fruit, chia seeds granola, etc. My bowl had gluten-free granola with cacao nibs, peanut butter, and frozen blueberries. Yummy!

Why Almond Butter Babe?

After 25 years of exercising, making strides then having setbacks, and trying everything out there,  I realized how little I knew my body because of how much I listened to the “experts”. I heard other women talk about how they wanted to be healthy…but had no idea how or what that meant. And, quite frankly, having graduated two children from homeschool and having one who will be a junior next fall, I finally had time to blog. Thus Almond Butter Babe was born.

I love to exercise. After lots of trial and error, causing many injuries, weight gain, and frustration along the way, I am learning to listen to my body.  Nourish myself.  Live life and enjoy indulging. But it’s been a long journey.

I now know that it’s okay to love iced coffee and dark chocolate. To be obsessed with almond butter. That the best thing you can wear is your smile. I’ve discovered Self-confidence is what makes a woman shine, and that real food can taste fabulous.  And life is about far more than having that elusive six-pack.

So come back often. Share your thoughts. And let’s learn from one another.

Now excuse me while I get some iced coffee…and a bit of almond butter.