Life is all about balance. We go to work, we play, we spend time with family, friends, we do things to keep us healthy like exercise, we try to find time for ourselves and to take care of others, and so much more. Wow, we sure do try to do a lot, right?! Well, eventually, if you are off balance long enough... you will go crazy. Okay, you might not literally go crazy, but it will catch up to you in some way... you might get sick, or depressed, or lose motivation to exercise or eat right and take care of yourself, and the list goes on...which is why it's so important that we have BALANCE in our lives!
I recently went through a little phase where I just felt off balance... it might be the very long work hours and that I don't have much time to spend with family and friends or exercise... but either way, this post is as much of a reminder for me as it is for those of you reading. So there is my little confession. Life isn't always perfect... we all have our ups and downs, so what do we do? We roll with it, and learn from it, and move on! That's the glory of life... it just keeps going... so you can get off balance and know that there is always time to find that balance once again. Whew!!
This is what being balanced looks like for me... at total peace.
This is what being balanced looks like for Sam and Major... hehe
It may not always be easy, but look at it as an opportunity. It's an opportunity to learn something new about yourself, and maybe you realize something you have been missing all along that will give you just what you need to center yourself again.
Balance is everywhere. In our minds, our meals, our workouts, relationships, etc. If you lift weights every single day without doing something else to balance your body, then it will catch up to you. If you eat cereal all the time (I love cereal, by the way), you probably won't be feeling too good after a while. If you don't take time to relax, then it will eventually start to have an impact. In other words, too much of one thing isn't necessarily good and may defeat the purpose of the other.
Now let's get down to the nitty gritty fun stuff... here is a list of some things that help keep me balanced.
If I haven't blogged in a while, then I know that I am starting to get too off balance and not making enough time for the things I enjoy.
Exercise helps with balance in all aspects of my life. It pushes me to my limits, energizes and calms me at the same time, and just makes me feel good all over. I bring balance to my workouts by not always doing the same thing. It's more fun that way! Although I do have favorites like yoga and CrossFit, I still really enjoy just going outside for a run, a pilates class, swimming, biking, and even rollerblading... yes I said it... rollerblading... nothing like having a little kid moment and throwing on those skates for some old school fun!
CrossFit Fun at Brandt Fitness & Self Defense
Yoga Fun at lululemon's Salutation Nation
My friend Steph & I...Sam is taking the pic
Ya... I took a picture while upside down in the pose...
looks kinda cool right?!
Swimming in the Pool Barn @ Lake Austin Spa & Resort
Variety is the spice of life!!
Exercise doesn't have to mean going to the gym and doing a cardio machine, then some weight lifting, then ab work... it can be so much more fun than that! To keep it simple, find a few things that you enjoy and just add them to your workout rotation. Change it up and have fun!
Oh my, I confess... I LOVE food! But what I really love... is making healthy food that tastes so good that you forget about all that greasy heavy food that you used to eat. Yes, I ate Big Macs, fast food, big country breakfasts, and fried foods all the time growing up... and loved it at the time. But now, I don't even crave those things anymore (okay, maybe some good ole biscuits and gravy every once in a while), but I find myself craving greens, fruit, smoothies, and almond butter! I never knew the possibilities that could be created in my very own kitchen!
Healthy food is energizing and it just helps your body function. I'm not saying don't indulge in dessert because you have to do that too in order to have balance of course!
Here is a TIP
If you are eating healthy for two meals a day, then it's pretty hard not to stay balanced. A good way to make sure you are doing that is to have a smoothie and a meal with lots of greens and veggies every day (salad or stir fry for example). I like to start my day with a smoothie as you all know, and then I make sure to get my greens during at least one other meal of the day.
Here are some of recipes I have enjoyed lately that will help you get your greens and veggies!
(from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs)
Oh my goodness, this recipe and the sauce will knock your socks off! We actually haven't made it raw like the recipe says, but I want to try it. We prepare all the veggies and the sauce and mix it together and then add a little cooked soba (buckwheat) noodles, and then heat all of that up together on a pan. If you want to add some tempeh, chicken, or shrimp that would work great too! Makes for great leftovers for lunch the next day!
(from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs)
Kale and I have become very good friends. It's so good for you and makes the best salad. The thing about kale is that it is a tough green. So to soften it up, rinse it, chop it up, put it in a bowl and drizzle a little olive oil, lemon juice, and a salt and massage it! Yes, I said massage the kale... just get your hands in there, rub it, and just go to town with that kale. It makes it much more tender and tasty! Add a little avocado to this salad, maybe some sautéed tempeh or whatever source of protein you enjoy, and there you have it... a perfect dinner or lunch!
I like to always keep massaged kale on hand along with a good dressing like this one in the recipe. Also, you can add a little cooked millet, quinoa, or brown rice to this salad too to give it a little more "umph."
Mediterranean Kale Salad
If you like tabouli, then you will love this! Cook 1 cup of quinoa as directed and toss with lemon, fresh mint, parsley, and garlic to taste. Add 4 cups of chopped and massaged kale to the quinoa mixture with additional lemon juice and 4 Tbs of olive oil. Toss until the leaves are coated. Add 1-2 cups chopped tomatoes, 1-2 cups chopped cucumber, and 10 - 20 kalamata olives. Enjoy!
I had this dish for leftovers and changed it up a little bit by throwing it in a pan with a little coconut oil and sunflower seeds so it was almost like a stir fry. Then added a little avocado. Delish!
My New Smoothie
As I mentioned, it's important to change things up every once in a while. Since I have a smoothie almost every day, I recently decided to change it up a little bit. Here is what I'm enjoying these days...
4 Whole Organic Frozen Strawberries
1/4-1/2 cup Organic Frozen Blueberries
1/2 scoop Amazing Grass Wheatgrass Powder
1/2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Unrefined Coconut Oil
1/2 Tablespoon Almond Butter
1/2 cup unsweetened regular or vanilla almond milk
Dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup water
*Every other day I will add 1 teaspoon of Maca Powder.
*Sometimes I will add a dash of carob powder.
Stretching & Meditation
After a workout or at night I like to take a good 10-20 minutes to just stretch. I will either do some light yoga with inversions (head stand or shoulder stand) or I will have a little date with my foam roller if I'm really sore. This is definitely my "me" time... I completely zone out and let me mind just "be."
I also just really enjoy relaxing after a long day, drinking some tea, and reading a book/magazine or catching up on some of my favorite blogs.
Family & Friends Time
Bachelorette Party Fun w/ the Girls
Nothing beats a girls night or spending time with your family or loved ones to bring you back to center. Lately, Sam and I have just enjoyed making a delicious dinner and catching up on our favorite shows together. (American Idol, Modern Family, Glee, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, anyone?!) I also love having family and friends over for dinner and introducing them to something new, healthy, and delicious! Or going to see a movie!
Mom & Dad
Oh Happy Day!
So there you have it. Here's to finding and keeping your balance!
With Love, Health, and Happiness,