Mindfulness…a refresher

Hi Friends,

I’ve noticed lately how much life is passing me by while I’m not caring to notice. Week-in, week-end, month to month and season to season…time is flying. I, as so many of us are, am in a phase where I am focusing on the future…where I want to be and that I’m just not there yet. As I’ve discussed before, I struggle with anxiety, which, among many other things, tends to get us caught up in the what the future will bring and worries about things that are just plain TBD. I have also noticed that have a smartphone and being on a computer most of the day, I am allowed to disconnect from the present and fill my mind with distracting information (not the healthiest coping skill). Thankfully, I have cultivated my internet musings into a myriad of health, wellness, foodies, and fitness resources that can often serve to inspire and motivate (I like to believe I have a wonderfully curated and extensive Pinterest account). Thanks to the lovely people at Greatist, I was lead to this great go-to for the need for a how-to of a mindfulness practice. Since this blog is called Mindfully Emily and all, I thought some of you would enjoy this reminder:

How to Transform Negative Thoughts with Mindfulness Mediation by Courtney Gregory

I have also been cooking up a storm lately…hope to have some recipes and foodie stuff up soon!

xox

Em

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Goals and Big Dreams

Hi friends,

I’m back! I tired to wait for a little inspiration to hit rather than flooding this with ramblings or an incoherent mess of photos…I know photos are fun…here’s one for you!

ImageMy Mom has the best green thumb and eye ever…she made this arrangement for me when I asked for a few flowers to brighten my office :)

Sometimes we need a little inspiration, a change of pace, something new. For me, having a goal to work at has always been that…plus a little outdoor energy :) A few months ago, following some angst after the Boston Marathon  Bombing, I messaged a friend to see if she was interested in training for a half-marathon. I felt the need to prove to myself that I could do something bigger than I ever believed possible; it’s the biggest gift that running has kept on giving. My friend, a highly-motivated Weight Watcher’s success, was more than happy to join!

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Fast-forward several weeks of trainings and numerous short and long runs and I hit a bench-mark: 10 miles! I remember around New Years, unofficially saying I would love to be able to hit the 10 mile mark, and here I am! Sadly, I wasn’t as happy as I hoped I’d be. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not lost on me that I made it to a major milestone (hah) in my running career. It’s just that, it seems to lack a purpose. No person, charity or cause has benefited from it. I am not thinner, faster, or much stronger. I hate writing that because it sounds whiney and I know so many people cannot go running as I can (believe me, I use that as a mantra so often when I run). It’s more that no charity, cause or person benefited from this training…at least not yet. 

What’s the point of all of this rambling?? I’ve decided to pursue a bigger goal that has scared me for some time now: I want to get my NASM Personal Trainer Certification. I know this is somewhat commonplace in the world of health and fitness blogging but this is passion that has been years in the making for me to realize. I have already spent 3 years getting my master’s in counseling psychology but I have always known that is not the end of my educational road. 

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I have been giving myself creative license lately to dream big. Successful and, more importantly, happy people thrive off of this ability. I know what my big big dream is…I want to find a job that allows me to counsel people through fitness and nutrition as well as mindfulness and other techniques. I want to work in a capacity where I can go on a run with one client, have a talk therapy session with another, and have a hands-on cooking session with another and then enjoy the heatlhy and nourishing meal we made. 

It may seem out there and a little bit lofty but it’s my dream and I’m sticking to it. In the mean time, I am focusing on training. I am abou to begin the process of studying for my counseling licensure exam and I am also hoping to keep that studying train moving into the NASM prep. I am thinking they will carry me through fall and early winter. 


Who’s with me in dreaming big??? Please share some of your big goals and dreams…doesn’t matter how out-there they seem!

 

 

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I decided there was not appropriate title for this so here I go…

I have been really caught up in the monotony, beauty, and joy of life lately.

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I have been working my “big-girl” job a year and realizing that the real world isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I have this beautiful and vague yet richly detailed idea of what I see for my life. I am so very passionate about health, wellness, fitness, and living life to the fullest. Having a master’s in counseling psychology and living in the Boston-area, I hoped I would find the perfect job that mixes health and wellness, young adults and life-transitioner’s. I want to help people discover who they want to be and how to get there. In some ways I do this every day at my job but I often feel so restricted.

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I’ve also fallen in love in the past year and in a big way. I’ve found the guy I want to be with forever…something I never thought would happen. I don’t say this to gush, but to say that it’s teaching me a lot about where my values lie. I am with a guy who supports my dreams, big and small…he see’s my potential and can decipher how all my ramblings are somehow cohesive. We share similar values and goals, including having a home and a family some day.

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I am coming to see how much money dictates life and I hate it. I want to be happy and create but that comes with a cost. We want to move in and move forward but it all takes time. So what do I do with all that time?

I want to cultivate myself as a person more fully. I want to realize my career more vividly.  I want to use this blog as a tool to convey my health, wellness, and food passions alongside my journey to who I am becoming.

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<3 Em

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Blogging Group

Hi everyone!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all :) I know this day get’s mixed reviews, but for me it’s always a day filled with love from friends, families, and the past two years with the wonderful guy in my life. Tonight was a family night and I had a Valentine’s Day pasta dinner with my Mom and Aunt:

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It was nice spending the evening with the family that show me so much love and support on a daily basis. After we ate pasta and homemade gluten-free turkey meatballs, we went upstairs to my share some homemade dark and white chocolate covered strawberries with my grandparents. My grandparents are approaching their 65th wedding anniversary, they are the epitomy of true life-long love. 

Tomorrow I am lucky enough to have a date planned with my guy to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We will be eating great food, drinking yummy drinks, and enjoying a special night for just us. We are leaving to visit Austin, TX next Friday and I could not be more excited! 

Part of the reason I have so much excitement and joy in my life right now has been my participation in the ToneItUp! Love your Body challenge. I had been looking at the site and the plan for a while…this challenge came along at the perfect time when I had been indulging too much over the holiday and feeling like I needed to make some changes in my life. The challenged focused on increasing cardio by running/walking/riding 100 miles by Valentines Day and increasing lean muscle. The challenge also focused on self-care, which is a huge part of my personal and career focus. Another really helpful part of the ToneItUp program is the online community. Have community and accountability is invaluable in making a big life change. That being said, I’d like to discuss what I alluded to in the title…

A few day’s ago, Alyssa over at GlutenFreeMuse posted about starting a blogging group. The group would be to find community, accountability, and help increase blog-traffic by promoting and supporting one another. I am excited for this as I really want to get my blog back in action, but, like with my fitness challenge, need support to do so.  If this sounds interesting to you, please check out Alyssa’s post and contact her or myself mindfullyemily@gmail.com .

 

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone and show love to the people you care about today and every day!!

 

xoxo

Em

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Holiday Party Detox Salad

Good Evening Friends!

I first want to begin by mentioning the heaviness I feel in my heart in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting tragedy. As a mental health professional who works with children, this has hit extremely close to home. I would like to find a way to process this but I am truly and utterly at a loss. As I pray for the families and all those effected, I can only hope that this tragedy can be a call to arms to speak out about mental illness and remove it’s stigma in society. This is also a reminder not to take a single day or a single person in your life for granted. It can be so easy to be angry and hold grudges rather than being honest about how you feel. Speak up, work it out, hug and say “I love you.”

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Back at it

Hi friends!

I meant what I said about wanting to write more! I have been really introspective lately of my own process and what mindfulness and wellness really mean to me. I re-read many of my old posts and was inspired by the passion and growth I have experienced in the last year. It’s a difficult thing to commend ourselves and accept that we’ve grown an changed; mostly because we are with ourselves all the time :) Taking time and slowing down and writing, processing, reflecting, has allowed me this perspective.

So, I am back to taking care and paying more attention. As my life has change and my career has begun, those needs have changed a bit. My typical workday is 12-7 M-Th and 11-6 on Fridays. The great benefit of this is that I get to wake up and do my gym thing in the morning, stress free :) Lately I have been running again, in prep for my Wild-Turkey 5-miler; I’m enjoying being back on the road and getting some me-time. Recently, though, I have noticed that I need more sleep than I have ever needed before. It took me a while and some consultation, but I realized that it’s normal and okay; my work requires a lot of mental processing while my body is in it’s sleep cycle. That being said, I’ve tried to use the time change as a way to get up a bit earlier so my mornings aren’t so rushed. I like to have a little me-time after gym to enjoy breakfast’s like these 

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I recently purchased a new Ninja blender and am lovin’ smoothies in a bowl with a little raw oats :)

During my work day, I need to be able to recharge and keep moving. Most of my job involves being pretty sendentary. Luckily, my office is spread out a bit and there are many reasons to get up and walk around during the day. I am also on a large campus with a pond to walk around and a coffee shop a few buildings away. I try to make it a point to have a walk as part of my day. I also utilize my iPhone to listen to music and keep up with friends to get a break from the heaviness of my work. In terms of eating at work, this can be a problem as I have my own desk with a “snack drawer.” I’ve tried to pare down the drawer to essentials: almonds, applesauce, single-serve dark chocolate, tea, seltzer. My lunches and snacks are packed each night and I try to balance fruits, veggies, protein, and some healthy fats (cheese, avocado, homemade vinegarettes). Even on my most unprepared days, I try to throw a few staples together and supplement with health eats. Last week I was feeling a cold coming on so I packed some hummus, carrot sticks, and made some green tea with honey. On my way to work I purchased some veggie soup and Odwalla C-Boost Juice:

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Last week’s immunity lunch :)

At the end of the day, I definitely enjoy coming home to unwind. Though catching up with friends afterwork can be stress-relieving and wonderful, often times I am craving my comfy pants and a good home-cooked meal. I try to focus on coming home and taking the time to prepare something. I have never been one to microwave meals or go for takeout as a default. Tonight was an early night and I came home and made dinner for me and my mom

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Steamed kale with sauteed veggies, homemade sauce, and sweet Italian chicken sausage (plus some vino). 

I usually use post-dinner time to make lunch, unwind, and let go of work to have a good night’s sleep. On an ideal night this would be some internet time, reading, and a mug of sleepy-time tea. I have a few shows that I watch (Parenthood, Modern Family, The Voice) and sometimes there’s an evening treat of dark chocolate or frozen mangoes. 

So that’s where I am at. Working on taking my day one piece at a time. 

Tell me: What ways do you work on self-care throughout the day? How do you take more mindfulness into your food and wellness choices?

Have a great night!

xox

Em

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I want to write again

Hi Friends!

I have been thinking about coming back the blogging world for a while. I miss writing and having an outlet for all of these thoughts I have about health, fitness, wellness, and of course, mindfulness. In the past 4 months I have begun my first post-grad job as an outpatient therapist. This job has already taught me so much about myself and I feel that in the past sixth months, I have grown and changed immensely.

I finished up grad school in early May and saw a major decrease in my anxiety and stress levels (well, duh)! I finished up my internship by the end of May and had my post-grad job all lined up, hurray! This was a great deal of fun and excitement all bunched together in one.

The summer was a wonderful and crazy whirlwind of family, fun, and new experiences. I began my job one week after my internship ended and really hit the ground running. This summer has brought 3 weddings, several family parties, 3 grad parties, many cookouts, and one fabulous 25th birthday party.

Me and my cousin and mom, love them!

So where were we? Graduation, end of internship, new job, wild and crazy summer, lots of celebrating…most of those involving a new and wonderful guy in my life. So where has that all left me? A little out of check with my self and my body. Between the busy schedule and the stress of a new and challenging job, I find myself stress-eating and checking-out more than being mindful and true to myself. This is all a part of life’s process. The idea of balance is that there is that it always requires maintenance. While many parts of my life are up and in a good place, others are running on auto-pilot.

In my job, I work with many teens and young adults struggling to find a happy stride in their life. They are overwhelmed by life’s demands and feeling out of control or unsuccessful. I talk to them about balance, about wellness, about mindfulness. If you haven’t said it to this screen as you read this yet, it is the perfect place for “practice what you preach, girl.”

I am a natural born giver and I have been givin’ givin’ givin’ to many people lately and have left little for myself. I am a type-A (in recovery) gal who has no problem getting to the gym and eating healthy foods. The problem is this auto-pilot mode means that I assume it’s all going right without taking a minute to check-in with myself.

So here I am, not back where I started by any means, but back in a place of acknowledged maintenance. I need to become mindful again and more in-tune with myself and listen to my body. Last winter, I took a course in grad school that focused on healing stress and pain through mindfulness and natural medicine (from yoga to herbal remedies). During this class, we did a practice in mindful eating. We stopped before mealtime, checking in with our body on level of hunger (1-10), cravings, and types of food we were needing to eat. It was amazing to really stop and think “what does my body need” and to answer that call. We are much more fulfilled, in eating and in life, when we stop and listen to our bodies, our hearts, our guts.

So here I go, coming back to a fresh start of listening to myself and letting my own body and gut guide me to better health and wellness :)

 

 

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