afpa · Health and Wellness · Social Media

Follow Inspiration

One of the biggest steps on my Journey to Find Joy has been following inspiration! In other words, unfollow people that don’t bring you joy and inspiration plus listening to podcasts that provoke thought and help you grow. The gram (Instagram) is full of inspiration, if you know where to look for it. What inspires one person, might not inspire another person. For instance, I love fashion but it’s not something I care about deeply so you won’t find me following too many fashion bloggers. When I first started on the gram, I followed Boston Terrier owners and fitness accounts. I found so much inspiration in the fitness accounts and I even lost some weight. I started a foodie account and blog for awhile and I thought it would be a great idea since I love food, but I found that I was just trying to eat and make things that looked good but maybe weren’t as healthy. Through the years, I have come to discover what brings me joy is following real, authentic people/businesses that promote health and wellness. Here are my top 5 Instagram accounts to follow if you need health and wellness inspiration especially if you’re a mama:

  1. Angi Fletcher Greene @angigreene I’ve been following Angi for a few years and she is the most real, authentic person on the gram. She talks about her past struggles and shares how she copes with different seasons of life.
  2. Your Zen Mama @yourzenmama I started following these ladies when I first became pregnant and have found their advice very useful, especially in those early days of motherhood and parenting.
  3. Mind Body Green @mindbodygreen This account promotes self love and care like no other plus a load of health information.
  4. AFPA Fitness @afpa_fitness This is where I am attaining my certification in Holistic Nutrition from. Also, they share a wealth of health information as well as promote others who are certified through their programs, so a lot of like minded people to follow and learn from.
  5. Loni Jane @lonijane This lady is a wealth of knowledge. She’s an Australian mama who has her own e-books that she has done extensive research on health and wellness and continues to share with the world.

Podcast’s have been on the rise in recent years and I. AM. HERE. FOR. IT. The best part is you can listen to them while in the car, at work, or while you’re working out. I listen to podcasts for fun but most of them I listen to for inspiration or topics that can provoke growth in myself. Here are my top 5 podcasts to listen to:

  1. Find the Magic Podcast with @felicaallen and @taralyngriffin These two ladies share so much helpful information that they have learned from other books and podcasts. I find them talking to topics that I have myself been researching so it really helps me. They cover a lot of motherhood and marriage topics, which is the season I’m in so it’s very insightful
  2. Herself Podcast @herselfpodcast This is a brand new podcast and the two women cover topics such as marriage, motherhood, women’s health, and finances. It is definitely a must listen!
  3. Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard @armchairexpert This one is mostly just for fun but I have learned so much from this podcast, especially when Dax has on experts from all different fields.
  4. Unruffled with @janetlansbury By far my favorite parenting podcast. She talks about respectful parenting and her podcast and blog has helped me more with my parenting than any other resource.
  5. Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations @Oprah If you don’t know about Oprah and her SuperSoul Conversations, you are missing out! Celebrities, experts, spiritual leaders. She has them all.

I already want to add number six but it hasn’t launched yet. Brené Brown @brenebrown is starting a podcast called Unlocking Us and I have never looked forward to anything more!

I hope you find some inspiration in these accounts and podcasts. Or better yet, find your own inspiring accounts and podcasts and let me know when inspires you! We are all different, that’s what makes this world go round!

afpa · Health and Wellness

Cleaning Up My Act

As I’ve been studying to become a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, one thing I’m starting to learn is how much our environment affects not only our body but our mood. Depression and anxiety are on the rise in this country and our environment, the products we use, and the food we eat are all contributing to it. I have suffered from both depression and anxiety and I’m slowly learning how to cope.

I’ve already started to make changes and feel like things are improving in our household. I still have a lot of changes I want to make but doing them slowly, as I’ve learned, is the best way to make them last. The first thing I cleaned up was my diet. I’ve been focusing on more nourishing foods and drinking plenty of water. Of course, I’m not perfect and I do have the occasional cookie or fast food but I really try to plan ahead and eat as close to plant-based as possible. I’ve already noticed a huge difference, not only in the way I feel but my mood, energy and my skin. I’m going to continue to work on healing from the inside first. Nutrition is the number one area I want to continue to develop and grow.

My next goal is to start cleaning up my environment in my own household. This includes cleaning up my makeup, skin routine, bath regimen and our cleaning products. The first thing I started with is my skin routine. I’ve been using Primally Pure products for over 2 weeks and my skin has never felt or looked better. It makes my skin feel so clean and natural. I finally feel like my skin is starting to normalize, with less breakouts and more even skin tone. My next purchase is makeup, I’ve been researching on EWG (Environmental Working Group) which I highly suggest checking out if you haven’t been on their site. Such good information. I found a makeup brand that is verified by EWG called Mineral Fusion. I’ve also purchased Branch Basics cleaning products but I have not received them yet. After I receive the products and try them out I will report back. The next thing I’m going to focus on is finding a better shampoo/conditioner solution and better options for my kids and husband.

After that I’m going to tackle other items in my house such as filters, air purifiers, essential oils, kitchen products and more. This step in my Journey to Find Joy has been my favorite so far. Knowledge is power and I’m learning so my from AFPA books. My other great resource is finding people on Instagram that are on the same mission and path that I’m on. I’ll share some of my favorites in a future post.

Tell me how you are cleaning up your act. Any products you’ve found that you swear by or any that you avoid like the plague?

Health and Wellness

A New Chapter

I have for a long time been very interested in food and health. I began cooking on a regular basis for myself after my now husband and I moved in together 14 years ago. Since then, I’ve read and listened to blogs, books, articles and podcasts. I’ve thought about going to school to be a chef. I started a food blog for a short time. I’ve tried many different diets and methods to improve my health. In the past few months my family and I have started eating 80% plant-based. I’ve had more energy and have felt healthier than I ever have before. Because I want to help others feel well, I’ve finally made the decision to work towards my certification in holistic nutrition. I’m currently studying with AFPA to become a Certified Holistic Nutritionist. This new chapter excites me more than anything I’ve ever started or even thought about starting. I feel like I’ve finally found my calling. I’m excited to learn and read more everyday. I’m excited to improve my health and the health of my family. I’m excited to share my knowledge with others and help them be well. And I’m most excited to be finally doing something that makes me happy and sparks joy inside of me. This is all part of my Journey to Find Joy. I have become more aware of who I am since starting this blog. I have become more aware of myself, my body, my emotions, and most importantly my mind.

Change your thoughts and you change your world. – Norman Vincent Peale

Cheers to the next chapter!

Social Media

Listen to your soul, not your phone

I’ve been MIA from social media (basically Instagram) and this blog since before Thanksgiving. I’m not going to lie, I’ve logged on to Insta probably once or twice a day but only spend about 5 minutes on it. I deleted the app version so I use the online version which if you don’t know, is not as user friendly. What I have found is that I don’t miss it as much as I thought I would. It’s been a lot easier than I thought too. I’ve been realizing I’m more attentive as a parent and wife. I feel closer to my husband and my children and I think it directly is in relation to me spending less time on my phone in general. It was time to be honest with myself and realize I’m better off without it. I have so many other interests and goals and they do not include keeping up with “influencers” on Instagram.

I’ve also been listening to a lot of podcasts and TED talks about children and smartphones. It is alarming! The statistics do not lie. I don’t want to be a bad example for my kids. I want them to see an emotionally healthy mom who is not looking at her phone all the time. The amount of parents who give their young children phones is shocking. Especially without rules or guidelines. More kids see porn and graphic violence at a young age than ever before because they have access to the internet. Before they can even understand what they are looking at. As a mom, I do know how hard it is to say “no” to your children but if it is better for their health and wellness, we need to be the parent and not their friend.

This has been a big step on my journey to find joy. One that has been long overdue. There is no time like the present! Do you struggle with your own screen time? Try changing your screen habits and let me know how it goes!

Social Media

The Funny Thing Is

I have been thinking a lot lately about social media. I think everyone has. The overuse of it, the issues it creates, the amount of time it takes from our lives. I’m so ambivalent about it. I started using it when it first began. I literally waited for my college to be allowed to gain access to Facebook with my school email. At the beginning it was just a really great way to keep in touch with people. I think that is at it’s core what it was meant for. I was also an early adopter of Pinterest. I remember being on a waiting list to start using it. Again, at the beginning it was just a great place to gain inspiration. Shortly after I started using Instagram. At the beginning I used it to connect with fellow dog owners and post pictures of my dog and life. I started using it before my wedding in 2012. I used Twitter and Snapchat but not religiously, in fact I’m no longer on those. I also quit Facebook a few years ago and I have not regretted it in the slightest. Since social media’s inception and since I started using it, it has changed drastically, as you know. It used to be ways to keep in touch, gain inspiration, and post pictures. Now it as become a giant game of keeping up with the Joneses or Kardashians, if you are millennial. The funny thing is, I’m considered a millennial. Albeit, I’m on the older side of that title, I am one nonetheless.

The only apps I’m really still using are Instagram and Pinterest, and although I tell myself at least I’m not using Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, I still feel like I could cut some more out. I have started to unfollow many Instagram “influencers” as they are just constantly trying to sell you shit you don’t need. I’ve also been trying to follow more positive accounts and it’s the reason I started my Journey to Find Joy feed and blog. There needs to be more positivity out there and I’m willing to find it, create it and share it. Since I’ve had kids, it has really started to become apparent to me that if I am going to live with social media and my kids will use it one day, I want to make sure it’s a safe place. And I want to be sure I’m not overusing it and have a healthy relationship with it so that some day when my kids have it they don’t let it affect them in the way it is affecting many young children right now. I will hold out giving my kids smartphones as long as I possibly can. There really is no reason a child under the age of 13 needs a phone. I would almost argue not before 16 but I know that is unrealistic in today’s world, since many school programs and after school programs nearly require kids to have them. The parenting landscape is changing because of social media and they only way we are going to fight it is to resist the urge to introduce it too early. I’ve seen kids as young as 6 and 7 with their own cell phones and that shit just has to stop. There is absolutely no reason your kids need a cell phone. Literally NO REASON. And if you have a reason, my guess is it’s more than likely an excuse or it’s your reason, not theirs. Many people survived before cell phones, believe it or not. The funny thing is, I’d be happier without one.

Health and Wellness · Uncategorized

Daily Dose of…

I’ve shared fears and dreams so far but one thing I want to share is how I’m doing small things every day on my journey to find joy. I really do believe that one small step in the right direction makes all the difference. Improving small things each day adds up to big results. Take for example a weight loss journey. One of my favorite quotes that I like to live by is “One burger won’t make you fat, just like one salad won’t make you thin.” It is repetition and consistency that will provide results good or bad. And this goes for all aspects of your life. The habits and routine you establish make a huge difference in the every day. One meditation doesn’t make you spiritual, one glass of water doesn’t make you healthier, one dream doesn’t mean it will come true. You must do things every day to work towards the changes you want to see in your life. Here are a couple things I’ve been trying to incorporate into my daily routine, and so far it has been making a huge difference in my mood and my purpose. I need my daily dose of…

  1. Morning meditation. Most mornings are hectic trying to get the kiddos out the door, so when I get to work and park, I do {at least} a 5 minute meditation in my car. It literally takes 5 minutes but it has been greatly improving my mood in the morning. Going from the madness of getting 2 kids off to daycare and the madness of work, it provides just a small window of calm and helps me recenter myself and feel in control. I highly suggest doing this if you can spare 5 minutes.
  2. Workouts. Obviously a huge mood booster, working out in some capacity every day just makes the biggest difference, not only for your body but your mind! At this season of my life with 2 small kiddos, the best time I can find to do this is after they are both in bed around 7:30 but it really puts a nice little nightcap to my day. It lets me focus on myself and my body and it really makes me feel so good to get it in before I go to sleep.
  3. Daily walks in nature. Getting outside is so important for my mental health. This is a hard task when the weather isn’t nice but if I have to, I’ll walk inside on the treadmill at work. I usually do my daily walk at work on my lunch break and then eat lunch at my desk.
  4. Drink more water and tea. Honestly, this one is still a work in progress but I’m trying to drink more water and tea during the day. So good for your body.
  5. Planning. This is a hard one for most people, but I’m a planner by nature so this one comes fairly easy to me but I still have to work on it. I plan a lot of things at work and for my family but one thing I don’t do is plan for myself. I need to focus on planning what my future looks like. To accomplish my dreams, to eat healthy, to find time to meditate and workout. Writing things down is the easiest way to do this. I love to make lists and schedules. However it looks for you, I do suggest writing things down. For some reason it makes all the difference!

Everyone is different and maybe your list looks a little different, and that’s okay! What does your daily dose look like? Please share in the comments below! I’d love to know what works for you!

About Me

Fear of What

Part of me is afraid of the unknown. And the other part of me is so excited by it.

By nature, I have always been shy and introverted. I have really tried to avoid things. Failure, success, conflict, etc…But as I get older (I just celebrated my 36th birthday), I’m starting to ask myself why am I afraid? Fear of what and why? Who really cares what people think about anything I do or say or feel or act. I think that’s why they say with age comes wisdom. You realize your fears are only things you’ve created in your own head for no real reason.

Jim Carrey says it best “…Now, fear is going to be a player in your life but you get to decide how much. You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about the pathway to the future. All there will ever be is what’s happening here and the decisions we make in this moment which are based in either love or fear. So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect so we never dare to ask the universe for it. I’m saying I’m the proof that you can ask the universe for it. Please. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

I think I’ve let my fear be bigger than my love. I’ve settled for things, especially in my working life. There is no time like the present and the decisions I make today will lead to the future I desire and dream of. I’m learning to grow so that I can do what I love and follow my heart. I’m putting it out in the universe. My desire in my heart is to help people be well. It is a goal that I hope to one day bring to life. In the meantime, I’m going to continue to grow in my journey to find joy in the everyday.

About Me

Just Start

I was listening to a podcast. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It’s called the Rise Podcast by Rachel Hollis. She’s a top motivational speaker, New York Times bestseller, and has one of the top podcasts. One of the episodes really hit me hard. It was all about procrastinating and I am the queen of it. I realized that the reason I don’t try things is honestly, fear of failure. I make all the excuses in the book. I was trying to think of why I’m so afraid of failure. And to be honest I think it all started when I was young, when most issues and fears begin. I can’t pinpoint a specific incident, but more like a bunch of incidents that have snowballed into me not doing things because I’m scared. Scared of what other people think, due to the fact I was made fun of and bullied for things like my looks. Now that I have kids of my own, I don’t want them to grow up to be scared of failure and the best way to do that is for me to model it. After listening to my girl Rachel, I decided I’m not letting fear or anything else hold me back. My dream is not to work in a corporate job anymore. I’ve been doing it for too long and feel like it is draining my creativity and my happiness levels. I work in sales support and have done so for over 10 years. What I do like about it is helping people. I have a passion to help others but I want to start helping others find their joy, whether it’s through health, fitness, motherhood, meditation, humor, or inspiration. But first I have to work on finding mine. It is a journey. A journey to find joy. In all the things…everyday. If I learned one thing from Rachel Hollis, it is just to start. So here’s me starting something new without fear of failure, because I will not fear the unknown any longer. I don’t know where this journey to find joy will bring me but I know it will bring me to discovering new things, trying my hardest to live a joyful life, and hopefully meeting a lot of new people along the way!

Any one else starting a new journey?