I have been so busy lately. And busy is good. Don’t get me wrong. Busy is really good. The problem is that I’ve been busy with freelance work that has nothing to do with the direction I want to move in. I’m totally fine with putting my nose to the ground and doing dirty work (or just, you know, thankless work). Momma’s gotta make some money. But when that work becomes my excuse for not getting to where I want to be, I need to reassess.
You know how I said September always feel like January to me? Well it’s not just clean notebooks and cute office supplies that I’m looking for. I’m also looking to break any bad habits we’ve slipped into over the course of the summer—like over indulging in deliciousness.
At the start of the summer I was all gung ho about getting into a healthy eating routine for both myself and the girls. Well, a few too many lunches out and froyo treats side railed that just a teeeeeny bit (and by teeny bit I mean a lot).
I really want to flush the processed foods out of our lives. At least mostly. Mac and cheese is probably here to stay, no matter how hard I try. But if I can start by offering them after school snacks that are clean and healthy, I’m hoping it will slowly bleed into other mealtimes.
Here are twenty clean eating after school snacks that are totally doable with a little bit of preparation.
Guys, I’m in one of those stress cycles again. I know you know what I mean. The kind of thing where if you clear one stressful thing off your plate, you immediately find something else that’s just as stressy (yeah, that’s a word now) to obsess over. The kind of thing where you can’t force your brain to be quiet for long enough to take a deep breath and relax.
Well, I’m tired of it now.
I recently got a new freelance client who has been keeping me nice and busy. This is awesome. Only it comes with a little bit of stress as I try to juggle tasks and schedules around to accommodate deadlines and rush projects. Instead of being elated that I have more clients and I’m busier (which was one of my main goals for this year), I’m just running around in circles in a big ol’ stress bubble.
What I need is a change in perspective. Instead of working my butt off to get through a project and to some imaginary stress-free place at the end of the tunnel, I need to see this as my new normal. I’m busier now and I have to adjust both my schedule and my way of thinking to work with it and find some sort of happy place.
If you’ve been a reader for a while, you know what I do when I get to this place. Yeah, that’s right. I head to the old Pinterest inspiration board and try to soak up some zen…
I’ve mentioned once or twice or maybe a million times that I have a sugar problem. And it’s not a little problem. I’m not saying it to be cute or attempting to be relatable in a You Did Not Eat That-worthy way. I mean it in a closet binging, shoving handfuls of chocolate chips in my face when no one is looking sort of way. It’s a problem.
If you follow along on Facebook, you know that I took a little break a couple of weeks ago because I was swamped in freelance work. Majorly stressed that I wouldn’t meet my deadlines, I turned to my BFF: sugar. Only it’s not really my BFF. It more like my frenemy (is anyone else’s kid in love with that terrible movie?). It makes me feel all wonderful and then, when I’m not looking, it tears me down while simultaneously making me need more of the same punishment.
After a particularly ugly binging incident, I decided that enough is enough. I absolutely, one hundred percent have an addiction to sugar and it needs to be broken. So I decided to do a month-long sugar cleanse to try and break my ugly habit.
Now, I’m not doing anything particularly official. I just have decided that I’m avoiding processed sugars and I’m not allowing myself honey in my tea (because I know that I will go overboard). What does this mean? Well, no coffee because I can’t drink it black. No dark chocolate squares at night. No finishing off the remainder of the girls’ ice pops before tossing them into the garbage. And no out-of-control binges.
I’m not planning to stay off of sugar forever. I’m just hoping to break bad habits and get out of the gross cycle I’ve found myself in. When the month is over, I fully intend to go back to my nightly squares of dark chocolate and to allow myself a treat day once a week. But first I need to get to the point where self control is even possible.
One of the things that has been helpful to me is my infused water. I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I got a water infuser pitcher for Mother’s Day. Well, I’m full-on obsessed with it. Not only has it led to me drinking more every day (which I was never very good at), but the fruit helps to take the edge off my sugar cravings.
I don’t know about you, but it’s very rare that I look out for ol’ number one (that would be me). I run around like a lunatic trying to make sure everyone else is happy, but I totally fail at taking a second to take care of myself.
I decided this should probably change. When I’m all stressed and neurotic, I’m not my best self. I’m a yelling, short-tempered mess. But if I take just a few minutes every now and then to treat myself, it’s like a breath of fresh air.
So, inspired both by my stress and Parks and Rec, I give unto thee a brand spanking new series: Treat Yo Self. Only, unlike the TV characters, my treats are going to be inexpensive indulgences that don’t give me hives about my bank account.
For this first post, I turned to the biggest divas and treaters of themselves I know: my daughters. My ladies live and breathe by treat yo self rules. They now believe that all baths should include epsom salt, coconut oil, and peppermint essential oil—at the very least. When they’re feeling extra extravagant there are scrubs, masks and colored water (Ellie is not a fan of bubbles in the tub so they generally skip those).
One night I was sitting by the tub, watching them soak up all that luxury when I had a thought: why don’t I do that? We’ve been making our own scrubs and masks for a while now (a great kit to get girls started is the SmartLabs All Natural Spa Lab. My sister got it for Sam for her birthday one year and we’ve used it over and over and over again) and I know that it’s simple and cheap. Plus, it doesn’t take long to slather a scrub on as a little pick me up.
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