Hi friends! I hope you’re all having a relaxing and productive weekend.
Mine is pretty low-key, for once. It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve had a weekend where I am not running around from one place to another – the Gluten Free and Allergen Free Expo last weekend, flying out to CA the weekend prior, and various workout events before that. I’m not complaining! I love being a busy bee, but sometimes, it’s nice to spend your weekend doing absolutely nothing, you know?
I don’t know about you but I am so ready for Thanksgiving! It’s one of my favorite times of the year, which is ironic since it’s only been a part of my life for the last 4-5 years (since I moved to the States). But it truly is a foodie holiday, especially for someone who adores cooking and eating. There’s something so cheerful, warm, and cozy about that time of the year that inevitably puts me in a better mood.
So I wanted to take some time to share with you a few things that I am really into these days. Things that have crept into my life over the past few weeks and months and have slowly but surely become integrated into my lifestyle.
Meal prepping. Meal planning has been my friend and lifesaver for the longest time – pretty much since I started college – but I’ve been depending on it more so than ever before, especially being a full-time graduate student. Taking just a couple of hours out of my weekend to prepare the bulk of my food for the weeks makes everything much less stressful, especially on days when I come home late from work or the gym and just want to turn my mind to cruise control for the rest of the night. Plus, it gives me extra time during the evenings that I can then put to good use! (i.e. Netflix and social media)
Headstands. I’m more of a cardio girl. I love the endorphins I get after a workout session where I am left drenched in sweat. Disgusting? Possibly. But to me, it’s a therapy and stress relief like no other. However, as of late, I have been trying to become more in tune with my flexibility and inversions are one of my favorite things to work on. It’s amazing (and inspiring!) how much one can improve just by showing some dedication – even just a few minutes – on a regular basis. And so for someone who loves her high intensity stuff, I have to say.. inversions are probably here to stay.
Supporting brands I sincerely care about and believe in. This is something I have always been passionate about but it’s played out in my life with more fervor recently, especially with the birth of this blog. There are so very many products out there to choose from when in the kitchen and I think it is so important to nourish your body with foods that are wholesome, foods that make you feel good, and foods that keep you in the game for the long run. And this means being picky about the brands with which you choose to stock your kitchen cabinets, pantries and fridges. Minimally processed, simple ingredients – that’s all it takes. It really does not have to eat up your paycheck. But you know what is just as – if not more – important about making the right choices? Being vocal. Why hoard it to yourself when you can help others change their lifestyle by sharing your insight and passion?
Going to local workout events. This somewhat piggybacks on the previous point. It’s important to support those you believe in, especially if they are local businesses. Don’t get me wrong, I love my 24 Hour Fitness and Equinox, but the delightfully unique studios or workout communities that are frequently found in one’s backyard make for a refreshing change of pace. Social media really has done wonders in terms of raising awareness and helping improve publicity about such events. Over just the past few weeks, I have been fortunate to attend a myriad of local workout events (for FREE!) such as yoga sculpt, Crossfit, Grit Fitness HIIT, hot yoga, barre and even workouts sponsored by athletic wear stores such as Lululemon and Athleta. It is such a great way to find out about the gems of studios in your city and learn more about what they have to offer. I cannot not recommend this enough!
Podcasts on Google Play. Music makes for great background noise but sometimes you just want something different, you know? Something educational and interesting. Or just plain funny and riveting. I love the variety of free podcasts that are available on Google Play; depending on my mood, I cycle from non-fiction (Strangers, Planet Money, How to Rent a Car – all SO good!) to cooking (Nutrition Diva) to science (How Your World Works) .. and everything in between. Definitely go check them our if you are late to the podcast train like myself over here!
Hiking. The literary gods were right when they said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Having lived in California the last handful of years, the ease that was associated with being able to up and leave for a good hike was absolutely wonderful and it is definitely something I took for granted and sorely miss now that I reside in Texas. In a way, it makes my visits back to CA all the more memorable and special when I am finally able to spend some quality time with Mother Nature yet again, so there is a silver lining, I suppose. But on that note – Dallasites, if you do know of any good day hikes that are relatively nearby, let me know in the comments below!
Balance. I will be the first to admit that this is still such a work in progress – but there is no shame in that. In fact, recognizing the need for balance is such an important aspect in life. What do I mean by this? Mostly that as a perfectionist, I have slowly come to realize that everything really need not be “perfect” every second of the day. In fact, perfection can take on a whole new meaning. It is perfectly acceptable to eat nutrient-rich food most of the time but enjoy that double chocolate cookie without any guilt. It is perfectly acceptable to strive to beat your personal bests when you workout but also take an unscheduled day off if you just don’t feel like working out. It is perfectly acceptable to push yourself to be 110% productive at work as well as to just “get by” on other days. Balance is perfect, as are imperfections. And realizing, accepting, and embracing that one cannot be firing on all cylinders every second of the day is perfect.
And to be honest, it has taken me long time to realize and come to terms with it (stereotypical Asian mentality to blame, ha – what can I say) but at least better late then never. There’s no time like the present? Sore today, strong tomorr– oh wait, wrong quote.
And there you have it. Some (mindless) musings for your Sunday afternoon.
Happy weekend! Let’s finish this day out strong so we’re our very best selves for a new week ahead.
How do you bring balance in to your life? Let me know below!