Daily Mindfulness for a Healthier You

by Yolanda of Inspire and Wander

Lucille Ball once stated, “Love yourself first and everything else falls into place.

She was talking about self-care and taking care of YOU.  

Love Yourself First

Our daily lives are becoming busier and the need for self-care has never been more important. Advertisements for self-care are everywhere, especially social media.

Got my nails done…self-care. √

Created a healthy meal…self-care.  √

Dominated hot yoga class…self-care.  √

Yes, those are all fine and dandy, but they are all temporary band-aids.  Don’t get me wrong, I love all these things too and they are great ways to feel good. But mindfulness is a daily, personal, soulful kind of self-care.

Mindfulness is defined as moment to moment, non-judgmental awareness.  In other words, you are fully aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions.  Mindfulness is a practice that has been around for thousands of years.  It is commonly associated with Buddhism, but anyone can practice it.  It is very simple to do and has amazing benefits.

Mindfulness can:

  • decrease stress
  • increase empathy and understanding
  • create a more positive outlook
  • increase attention
  • create better focus and memory
  • improved immune system and overall health
  • improve creativity

One would think that with this list of benefits, everyone would be practicing mindfulness every day. However, we let our schedules overwhelm and drain us. Fortunately, you are reading this blog post and one step closer to a healthier you.  With my tips, you can help yourself in 10 minutes a day.  

So what is this crazy thing I want you to do every day?  

Listen to yourself.  That’s it.  When was the last time you listened to yourself?  

Mindfulness is being present in the now.  What are you thinking about now?  Hopefully, just reading this post.  Not what you are going to make for dinner, not taking out the dog, and certainly not what else is going on around you.  Mindfulness is focusing, being in the now.  Do yourself a favor and reteach yourself to focus and introduce yourself to being completely aware of what is going on around you. Don’t judge it, don’t overthink it, just acknowledge it, move on…and focus on that one thing, the present.

I teach this process through a technique called Mindful Art Journaling.  You definitely do not need to be an artist do this, in fact, the less you know, the better.  I invite you to play like a child and listen to your intuition.  It is always fun and always beneficial. Promise.  I teach mindfulness through this journaling technique because quite frankly, we as humans think too much.  This creative art process allows us to step outside the “thinking” and learn the mindfulness technique much faster.  Plus, it is so much fun!  

If you would like a creative guide on how you can bring the benefits of mindfulness into your life, sign up below! 

Dailymindfulness

Meet Yolanda of Inspire and Wander

A special thank you to Yolanda of Inspire and Wander for guest posting on Realm of Vibes. If you would like to contribute, please e-mail realmofvibesdg@gmail.com or fill out the form on the Contact page.

Namaste.

 

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Hello Fresh Food Subscription Review

I am a woman who is easily tempted by a coupon code. I am also that woman who orders her groceries online because setting foot in a supermarket, although a necessary evil, is not my cup of tea. Most of the time, I don’t feel like being creative with dinner, so after I was able to secure a coupon code for Hello Fresh, three dinners for two people came to $40. What a steal!

Food subscriptions are a new rage. Hello Fresh is a food delivery service that ships dinners right to your door. You can choose from the Classic (meat and fish), Vegetarian, or Family plan for either 2 or 4 persons.

Our Classic Carnivore menu consisted of:

  • Juicy Lucy Burgers
    • 840 calories
    • 10-minute prep
    • 40-minute total time
  • Zesty Crusted Catfish
    • 650 calories
    • 5-minute prep
    • 30-minute total time
  • Gremolata Strip Steak
    • 880 calories
    • 10-minute prep
    • 40-minute total time

These are the 3 meals we chose out of 8 offered options.

Hello Fresh is packaged in a cooler box, so I didn’t have to worry about rushing home from work to find spoiled food. Everything is neatly packaged in recyclable cardboard. I like how Hello Fresh keeps all of the different meals organized.

The first meal I made was the Jucy Lucy Burgers. I was happy I had the additional ingredients on hand (olive oil and sugar). The burger was cooked perfectly and Jason kept raving about the dressing on the arugula salad. However, I did have quite a few pots, pans, and bowls to clean up, which makes for a fun after dinner chore.

The second night we had the Zesty Crusted Catfish, which was deceivingly filling. I love roasted broccoli and jasmine rice (staples in my home). I rarely have catfish which was a nice treat. The panko breading was crunchy and flavorful with the included fish seasoning.

The third meal was the Gremolata Strip Steak. I love strip steak! Cauliflower mashed potatoes is also a great way to include vegetables into my diet. The pesto on top of the steak really added flavor. I would absolutely make this again!

 

The Good:

  • I didn’t have to think about dinner. It was nice to grab a box and get to work.
  • Each dinner was tasty and flavorful. Jason and I really enjoyed the variety.
  • The variety offered is plentiful. I love adding different meals to my nightly menu.
  • You won’t spend more than 40-minutes preparing a meal.
  • Good portions.
  • Easy to follow, step by step directions with pictures.
  • Cost effective with a coupon.

The Bad:

  • I used more pots, pans, bowls, and utensils than usual.
  • The calories are a little high. (I try to stick around 500 for dinner).
  • No leftovers. (I usually have leftovers for lunch the next day).
    • I could order the 4 person option to solve this problem.
  • Expensive without a coupon code

Verdict

I would absolutely use Hello Fresh again, especially on crazy busy weeks where I don’t have enough time to order groceries online or get to a supermarket. I would also use them if I am in a “dinner rut” and want some new ideas.

Hello Fresh, you certainly made dinner much easier!

Sign up HERE to get $40 off your first box!

Namaste.

PS. This is not a sponsored post. I wanted to share my experience with Hello Fresh with you. All opinions within all of my posts (whether sponsored or not) are my own. If you would like to have your product/brand/service on Realm of Vibes, please visit the Contact page or e-mail realmofvibesdg@gmail.com. Realm of Vibes is also looking for guest bloggers in the lifestyle niche. 

 

for busy people who love to eat

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Practicing Mindfulness: Take the Challenge

Mindfulness. What does being mindful mean to you? To me, it means focusing on one thing at a time. I used to call myself a “Master Multi-tasker.” Over the years, I have shed that title, and have learned to immerse myself into one task at a time. I have less stress and truly enjoy experiencing all of the different sensations and aspects of my task at hand.

Riley from the Spirit and Soul Blog, and I have collaborated on blog posts and a 5-Day Mindfulness Challenge! First, read my five tips for becoming more mindful, then head over to Riley’s post. Sign up here with your e-mail address to take our 5-Day Mindfulness Challenge where we will instruct you on integrating tips and tricks for becoming more mindful in your everyday life.  

So, we begin…

Mindful Eating

Clear your table. Turn off the TV and phone. Prepare your food on your plate. Sit down comfortably. How does it feel to sit? Take ONE bite. How does your food taste? Is it hot or cold? What’s the texture like? Chew slowly and thoroughly. Swallow. Put your fork down. Take a deep breath. Savor your food.

My husband and I used to read bills, text whoever was pinging us, and watch the news. Now, we have a no distraction zone at our dining room table. We sit together, without external resources and devices, enjoy each other’s company, and taste our food.

Mindful Eating

Mindful Exercise

Have you ever gone to a yoga class and the person next to you is on their cell phone? Whenever I enter the gym, I find it comical to see a bunch of zombies walking around with headphones blasting and mobile devices in each hand.

I used to be both of those people. Now, I leave my cell phone in my car during my yoga class. At the gym, I go without my headphones and cell phone. It is so easy to zone out on an elliptical; I want to be present in my workout. I want to feel my body’s movements and be more aware of what’s around me. I learned that I like the gym’s music, too!

Mindful Exercise

Mindful Mornings

My alarm would sound and I would fly out of bed like a bat out of hell. I would begin checking my e-mails, text messages, and calendar. Now, after I turn off my alarm, I sit at the edge of my bed, and take a few moments to acknowledge, and give gratitude for, receiving another beautiful day.

This allows me to be present in the moment.

As I sit on the edge of my bed, I do a full body scan. How do my neck and back feel today? Do I feel well rested, or am I still tired? I take deep, cleansing breaths. I meditate. Now, I am ready to begin my day.

Mindful Grooming

I don’t have an intense grooming routine. I brush my teeth with doTERRA’s On Guard Whitening Toothpaste, floss, and use mouthwash. I run a brush through my hair and affix a messy bun. Simple, right? Try using your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth and hair. What happened? How did you do?

Slow down your grooming routine. Taste the toothpaste and mouthwash. Feel the sensation of the bristles on your teeth and scalp. Look at yourself in the mirror. Take time for you.

I love my showers. Showers can become a sensory experience, inducing feelings of peace and happiness. As you enter, feel the warm water rush over your body. Take a moment to enjoy the scent of your shampoo and body scrub. I love feeling the texture of the body scrub and smelling the aroma of the essential oils. My skin feels so soft and lovely afterward. I love seeing the dirt from the day wash away. I meditate in the shower and take the time to focus on myself, completely surrendering to moments of self-love.

Mindful Driving

During yoga class, an instructor asked, “For those of your who drove, what was your experience like getting here?” Answers ranged from, “Same as always.” “Listened to the radio.” “Rushed.” “Got stuck in traffic.” She proceeded to ask us how we sat in our seat (were we in good anatomical alignment?), whether we had both hands on the wheel (with arms engaged?), and if we practiced Uddiyana Bandha (abdominal lock and breathing technique). We proceeded to review how to integrate mindfulness into driving. These techniques I still use today.

I learned to sit with good alignment, practice breathing, and abdominal holds, have both hands on the wheel, arms engaged, and to turn off the radio. Turn off Bluetooth. Let your call go to voicemail. Pay attention to the road. Let thoughts enter and exit. If the weather is acceptable, roll down your windows. Open your sunroof. Feel the breeze. Do you notice a difference from your normal routine?

Driving Mindfully

Final Thoughts

How are you more mindful? In what ways do you integrate mindfulness into your daily routine?

Don’t forget to sign up for our 5-Day Mindfulness Challenge! It will start July 3!

Namaste.

5 Ways to be Mindful

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Flavored Kale Chips

I love kale. I always purchase kale for my salads and smoothies, so I decided it would be more cost effective to grow kale in my garden this year. I also found that it was very difficult to find a bag of kale chips without artificial flavors and preservatives. Kale chips could also be quite expensive, so I started making flavored kale chips at home. It took a few some experimenting to come up with the perfect recipe.

Shopping List

  • Fresh kale, cleaned and cut into bite-size pieces.
  • Flavored olive oil (I used cilantro & roasted garlic.)
  • Flavored salt (I used garlic.)
  • Side note: Get creative. Add crushed red pepper, minced ginger, black salt, etc.

Olive Oil and Garlic Salt

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Spread one layer of kale onto a baking sheet.
  • Drizzle olive oil over kale. Make sure each leaf has olive oil on it.
  • Sprinkle with salt.
  • Cook in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Watch kale closely. If you overcook, it will taste bitter and burnt. If you don’t cook it long enough, it will not be crunchy and will be slick with olive oil.

Kale on Baking Sheet

The final result…

Kale Chips

Crunchy, yummy, healthy kale chips with a nice flavor of cilantro, onion, and garlic.

Do you like kale? Have you ever made kale chips? 

Share your kale recipe in the comments!

Flavored Kale Chips

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Part 2: Lake Placid, NY – Things to Do

If you haven’t already, take a look at Part 1: Lake Placid, NY – Where to Stay & Eat.

This blog post features some of our adventures during our 4 night, 5 days stay in Lake Placid, NY.

Adirondack Wildlife Refuge

We love animals, so being able to see wolves, foxes, bald eagles, owls, and coyotes up close was really cool. We snapped a lot of pictures! The Adirondack Wildlife Refuge operates on donations, so make sure you leave a few dollars to keep this non-profit organization running smoothly.

Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex

I always watch the Olympics. We got at the complex at the perfect time; the Olympians were practicing ski jumping into the pool. We watched them in awe. Then we took an elevator ride to the top of the ski jump. It gave us great views of the complex and high peaks.

Olympic Platform

Olympic Platform in the Ski Jump Complex

Ski Jump, Lake Placid NY

Ski Jump Complex, Lake Placid, NY

Hiking Cascade and Porter Mountain

If you are not in decent physical shape and don’t have the appropriate gear, please don’t attempt the high peaks! This was grueling. It took us six hours to do both Cascade and Porter mountains. The conditions were terrible; muddy and high water everywhere. Jason and I are in decent physical shape and we struggled! If you can do it, I would recommend it. The summits are beautiful and we enjoyed a breathtaking view. There are plenty of easier, shorter hikes if this is too challenging. I would recommend getting outside and on a trail!

Cascade Mountain

Cascade Mountain

Fly Fishing

Jason visited the local fly shop, The Hungry Trout, and had the best day in his fishing career. He fly fished the Ausable River and caught (and released) over 20 brown trout. This is a fisherman’s dream!

Balanced Bodywork and Massage

I treated myself to a 90-minute massage and cupping treatment with Tim. It was one of the best massages I have ever received. I made sure to bring my AromaTouch essential oil, which made me feel super relaxed and calm. When I go back to Lake Placid, I will be getting another treatment at Balanced Bodywork and Massage.

Balanced Bodywork

Inside Balanced Bodywork and Massage

Shopping in Lake Placid

After my massage, I spent the rest of the day shopping in downtown Lake Placid. I purchased local olive oils, salts, dish towels, local brews, and other novelties. Each shop is unique!

Final Thoughts

This is a great trip for families, couples, and singles. There is truly something for everyone in any season. If you like the great outdoors, relaxing, adventure, and enjoy the Olympics, you would really enjoy visiting Lake Placid, NY. We will be re-visiting Lake Placid in the near future.

Have you been to the Adirondack region? What was your favorite thing to do?

Namaste.

Lake Placid, NY - What to Do

 

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