By far the absolute best part of summer is the warmer weather and sunshine! I take lots of walks (with some light jogging) whenever possible. Just something about listening to music while walking around and seeing baby bunnies, butterflies and a variety of flowers really recharges my battery. Plus as my best friend says – You need to get that vitamin D! It just makes you happy!
I have been loving my kickboxing classes. The best part is that they continue to add in new warm-up moves, punches and kicks. So each day there is literally a new class, it never repeats. So even though I am going to the same type of workout, I feel like I am getting a variety. I am also adding in yoga on my own at home along with some weights. This has been a nice range and working out well. Not everyday is easy. Sometimes I just get more sleep the night before and I am better equipped to handle the class. Other times, I am really struggling. Exercise to me is like the ocean, lots of up and down waves but the best part is that it does not stop. There is always another wave, it just keeps on continuing. So even if I have a rough workout, I do not worry about it. I will do better the next time. The most important part is that I do not stop.
I have been doing a ton of research on healthy eating as well. I think we eat pretty well but I am always looking to improve and make sure we get a wide variety of veggies and check ingredients for those sneaky additives to avoid. My favorite book is How Not to Die by Michael Greger, M.D. (https://nutritionfacts.org/book/). The title is funny since of course it is not a book about becoming a vampire or something! (just kidding around) I borrowed it from the library and ended up just purchasing a copy since it contained so much info that I would want to reference it often. Moral of the story is that a mainly plant-based diet is the way to go. I would say we are 90% plant-based but also 100% flexible and realistic. Sometimes you just want a deep dish pizza! I have been trying tons of new recipes and will be posting them on my site with my tweaks and edits. I did find that going cold-turkey vegan did not work for me. Many of the fake cheeses and meats just wreaked havoc my stomach. So now I am just limiting my dairy intake instead of cutting it out completely. Also so many new veggies are entering our dinners – sweet potato, spinach, mushrooms, etc.
Our wedding anniversary is coming up soon and I went to pick out a gift that I could ask my husband to get for me. I decided on sunglasses since I wear them daily and the last time I purchased a nice pair was 5 years ago (Maui Jim brand). I normally am a very decisive person. I can make a decision quickly and be very confident about it afterwards. However, I am going a little nutty this time. I think it is because this is the first non-essential item that is over $250 (for nice designer frames with good lense quality) that I am selecting since I have not been working and sticking to my budget. I have been through about 8 frames already trying to figure out one that not only looks nice but is practical for everyday usage. I know this is NOT a problem, this is not something to complain about. I am very blessed and lucky in life. It is just an observation that the way I purchase items really has changed dramatically since not working. I am much more responsible with money and really think hard about my purchases. Honestly, this is supposed to be a gift, a fun item. The amount of pressure I am putting on the selection process is absolutely crazy. I am surprised how much my life has changed in the last 8 months and how much my thought process has modified as well. I just wanted to share this as an interesting observation. I never would have been able to predict how much I would have changed going from a workaholic to a blogger/housewife/kickboxer.
I am going to be blunt, August is a rough month for me. It is a reminder that I no longer have my grandma who passed away 9 years ago. You are probably thinking, wow that is a long time, you should probably move on by now. My belief is that there are some losses that you never truly get over. Some people you have in your life just make such an impact that the hole is too wide after they leave this world. She died from colon cancer and I feel like she is the reason I am so hyper-focused on healthy eating and exercise. She would never wish that disease on me or anyone for that matter. So in making sure I am trying my best to remain as healthy as possible, I feel like it is a great way to honor her. She was the most loving and generous person I have ever met. I would like to think I take after her in many ways but still have room to improve to get to her level of kindness. I remember walking around her house and if you said you liked an item she would say = “You like it? Take it!” There was not a single material possession that was more important than your happiness. It was really an incredible life lesson that was done in the most simple way.
Ok, now I need to leave this blog post on a happier, more upbeat note! I hope my readers are enjoying their summer and getting lots of sunshine and fresh air. Don’t let summer pass you by, take a couple days off and go explore. Beaches, botanic gardens, parks and other local spots are great ways to relax without spending money on flights/hotels. I wish you the best in health and happiness, take care.