How to Make Your Self Care Routine Greener

make-your-self-care-routine-greener

My minimalism efforts are expanding. What started with clothes and toy clutter in my home, has traveled to my day-to-day self care. I’m paring down the products I use and making my self care routine greener and healthier. Here are a few tips on how you can do the same:

Simplify your Self Care Routine

An easy way to “green your routine” is by simplifying it. This means paring down the steps you take, to have a simpler routine. This automatically makes your self care routine greener by requiring less products. The less you use, the less you waste. Your impact goes from your bathroom counter all the way to the transportation, farms and factories. Simplifying your routine makes a big difference.

Switch one product at a time

If you’re switching items in your routine from harsher chemicals to cleaner, greener products, I suggest you try swapping out one product at a time. This gives you the ability to notice any changes that occur and immediately know the source of the change. If you get a reaction to something, and you’ve changed your lotion, soaps, detergent, cleaning products, makeup and deodorant all at once, it’ll be a lot harder to pinpoint the source of the reaction. So take it one product at a time.

Give your body time to adjust

Along with changing only one product at a time, comes in a very key piece in greening your routine….patience. You have to be patient and give your body time to adjust to the new product. My body chemistry changed after getting pregnant. Products that worked before simply stopped working.  Antiperspirants and lotions that were my faves were rendered useless. I had to try a few before finding a new one that worked well, and when I did, I had to give them each a couple of weeks to see how my body adjusted to them.

Read ingredients thoroughly

You can go green in your routine in an easy, stress free way. You don’t have to get fanatical about ingredients, but you do have to be aware of what you’re putting into and onto your body. Know the few key ingredients to be aware of in each type of product you’re shopping for. Last year I switched to Tom’s of Maine deodorant and was sure to look for the following on the label:

  • No Aluminum
  • No Animal Testing
  • No Artificial Colors or flavors
  • No Artificial Fragrances
  • No Preservatives

You can go to www.tomsofmaine.com where they list every ingredient and it’s purpose as well as it’s source!

Twitter: @TomsofMaine
Facebook: /TomsofMaine
Instagram: @Toms_of_Maine
YouTube: OfficialTomsofMaine

I’m really happy about my recent switch to Tom’s of Maine deodorant. It’s an easy switch that feels good. It’s a reminder that greening my self care routine, and the care I give my family can be easy and stress free.

Have you greened your routine lately?

This post was created in partnership with Toms of Maine

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!!

Leave a comment below to win a selection of Deodorants from Toms of Maine!!! Winner will be chosen December 4th via random.org.

How to Become a Fitness Minimalist to Reach Your Weight Loss Goals

how-to-become-a-fitness-minimalist

This minimalism lifestyle has really struck a cord with me. The other day, Kaya and I dropped off 5 garbage bags full of clothes, shoes, bags and toys/baby gear for charity. I came home and immediately noticed more things that just had to go. In addition to clearing the clutter in my home, and digital life, I’m becoming a minimalist in other areas. My hair routine has been pared down even further and skin care routine is using products with as few ingredients as possible. Minimalism is sneaking its way into my fitness as well.

It’s just making my life easier to be a Fitness Minimalist.

Here are a few ideas on how to start Fitness Minimalism in your daily life to reach your health and wellness goals:

Minimize your Meals

I don’t mean eating less, or even eating more simply prepared foods (both of which would be clutch for your weight loss/fitness goals) I just mean minimize your choices in meals. The goal with cozy minimalism is to simplify and feel good about it. So don’t pare down to just beans and water or anything crazy restrictive. Just choose your favorite healthy meals you enjoy preparing and repeat them frequently. This eases the hassle of meal planning, meal prep, and grocery shopping. You’ll be able to eat healthier more often and with less issues that lead to fast food or other unhealthy choices.

This is really changing my life. I’ve been eating the same few meals over and over and over. (OK Full disclosure this goes out the window the full week before aunt Flo, #ijs) There are a few staples we count on as a family and it’s just so easy to do and makes a big difference in stress level.


Make Workout Clothes a No-brainer

Well, most of my clothing is workout gear…I tend to wear them to work out and end up wearing them all day until I get a shower at naptime or at night. (Don’t be like me.) Have a few quality pieces that fit well and make you feel secure and comfortable on hand. Keep them in the same drawer or area of your closet. Have them all work well together so you can easily grab and go for your workouts without having to dig through for matching items.

Remember, simplifying is the goal. If you feel good in what you’re wearing to exercise and don’t have to work hard to get there, you’ll work out more often. #noexcuses

Reassess Your Workouts

Take a look at your workout routine. Are you going to the gym and dreading it each morning? Maybe switch to at-home workouts that can save you time (and gas money). Are you doing lots of cardio but no weights? Figure a way to add it in. A solid routine should allow for cardio, strength and flexibility. Perhaps it’s time to sell, donate or give away your workout gear that’s cluttering your home an do workouts that use body weight and require no equipment.

The key is: Make sure your workouts fit your schedule, your personality, and your current lifestyle. Doing a workout you dread, or one that was convenient when you were at your old job….that’s not fitness minimalism. Pare down the drama, pare down the stress and you’ll notice your excuses for not working out will be pared down as well.

I’ve been going for efficiency in my workouts lately. I don’t have too much time to work out and I don’t want to wake up any earlier than I already do. Orangetheory Fitness classes have been a lifesaver. They’re super efficient. Just one hour 3 days a week and I get my cardio and weights in.


Don’t Chase The Fads

Pick your workout routine, schedule, style, type… and stick with it. Find your exercise soulmate! New workouts are popping up all over. Resist the urge to buy the latest equipment you see advertised, or try the new local class. Know what works for you and stick with that for simplicity’s sake.

While I’m currently doing a “trendy” boutique workout, I also still have my gym membership and use it for my tried and true workouts. I’ve been receiving (and happily ignoring) ads in the mail and online for barre classes, crossfit, and boot camps. I may try them in the future, but for now I’m keeping it simple with what I know is working well for me and my schedule.

Easy Logging

Logging workouts is crucial for motivation as well as seeing your ongoing progress with your fitness and wellness goals. Make it easy to stick to, and fit into your life. If you’re a digital person you can log your meals/workouts online or on many apps on your phone. If you’re a paper and pen person just pop the notes into your daily planner or even on your wall calendar. The simpler the better.

This is something I’ve done forever. I have to keep my records of workouts, but I know if I create an elaborate system I’ll get overwhelmed or get unhealthily obsessive. For me, an easy system of simply checking off the day on the calendar, or quickly jotting down miles or what workout I completed is best. This way I don’t need a separate planner (but if you want one, check out the ones below) and I dont have to…think. LOL #minimalistthinking


Those are just a few of the ways you can become a fitness minimalist. It just makes life easier, lowers your stress, and removes your roadblocks to working out or eating well. Best of luck on your journey!!

Read about Cozy Minimalism Here

Other Minimalism Posts:

Minimalist with Children

I Threw Away My Kids’ Toys

Do you think you’ll become a Fitness Minimalist?

Monthly Goal Setting Tips

monthly goal setting tips okdani blog

You already know I’m a personal development junkie so I thought I would share my monthly goal setting tips and techniques for this fresh month. I’ll be honest, I usually complete my monthly goal setting a day or two before each new month so I’m ready to start the month off with a bang.

Monthly Goal Setting Tips

Look back to look ahead

Take a look at your major goals you’ve set for the year (or quarter) and see where things stand. Don’t judge yourself if you haven’t completed them, just look and be aware of where you are.

Purge

Do a Brain Purge of everything bogging up your mind. Old to dos, projects, errands, appointments, ideas, future events, everything. Get it all down in one long list. Order doesn’t matter, neatness and spelling doesn’t count, just get it all out so you can move forward with a clear head.

Sort & Filter

Sort your list. You may be able to just delete some items, move some to later down the line, give some to other people to handle for you. Then filter your list by area of life.

Decide on your month’s focus/plan

What areas of life are you going to be focusing on? What makes the most sense in your life right now? What would be the best focus for what your larger/longer term goals are? Decide on what area you’ll focus on so you don’t dilute your efforts and “waste” time on less important tasks.

setting goals okdani blog

Set Goals for just the month

Use your bigger goals to determine what you will tackle this month. We can consider your monthly goals mini or midsize goals. Get them down on paper. For the love of god do not try to wing it.

Make your goals SMART

I know we’ve covered this before but SMART is an acronym meaning Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. So make sure your goal isn’t vague and fits the SMART criteria.

Create Actions and Prioritize

This is where folks fall off. And it makes all the difference in the world. We cant just write the goal and walk away. We have to break it down into what needs to be done to actually attain it. Then we decide what needs to be done now vs later.

Calendar it ASAP

Whip out your planner or your google calendar….whatever you use…and pencil in the action steps for the next month. I don’t suggest you log action steps further than that because things may need to be tweaked.

Plan your party

Decide what you’re going to do to celebrate your wins. You’re all organized now with your goals broken down into actionable steps so you’re definitely going to get ’em done.

Take action NOW

Do one tiny thing…anything! Making even the tiniest action step forward does a lot for your motivation/drive and esteem. Get to work!!

Now you can just do the bite sized actions each day to reach whatever your goals are. For some folks (including me, sometimes) looking at a list of big lofty amazing goals feels good…and can feels daunting/overwhelming at the same time. That’s why it’s extra important to break it down each month. Things feel better when they’re doable. Good luck!

What are your top goals for the month?

Umm… Let’s Talk About It #MEinEndo

meinendo blogher booth

I told you about my Blogher16 experience (here) but I had to do a separate post to share about a few of the sponsors that resonated strongly with me. I told you about Go RVing, some of the food brand booths, and also  how the migraine event impacted me.

Real talk ladies. How often have you talked to your girls complaining about your period? I know my friends and I whine about cramps, bloating and crappy timing of aunt flo’s visits. We talk about it openly, we talk about our sex lives openly….breastfeeding openly…

We need to start talking about endometriosis the same way.

Endometriosis is a disease that “occurs when tissue that is normally found in the uterus (endometrium) grows outside the uterus; these misplaced growths are called lesions.This misplaced tissue can grow on the ovaries, fallopian tubes and other areas around the pelvis; or rarely, tissue may spread beyond the pelvic region. Estrogen fuels the growth of lesions, which then bleed and break down, causing painful symptoms.” (meinendo.com)

I had the most painful, debilitating cramps with my period every month. I would miss a day of school every month, same at work as I got older. I thought it was just my lot in life. A friend of mine at an old job had endometriosis and said my periods sounded like hers used to. I made a doc appointment and the doc said my symptoms sounded like it could be. I was given an ultrasound and found a few issues, but I didn’t have endometriosis, thankfully. But, this was the first I’d heard of the disease….and I was in my 20s. That’s not ok.

At BlogHer I visited the #MEinEndo booth and spoke with a doctor that treats endometriosis as well as a patient, Karen, who suffered from it. Well…her story is actually pretty interesting because she didn’t “suffer” from it exactly. She didn’t even know she had it until a doctor randomly decided to test her for it. When they found it, her case was so severe and advanced….yet she still had no pain. It was in her for years, impacting various body systems but totally asymptomatic and undiagnosed.

Her story is exactly why we need to start having real convos about endo. It is different for everyone. You can be in crazy pain like my ex-coworker, or none at all, like Karen. It’s crucial to learn all about it and MEinEndo can help.

MEinEndo.com is where you can go to learn about the symptoms and signs of endometriosis. The site has loads of information on the disease and the impact it can have on your body.  There are also tools to help you recognize and track the symptoms you may have. Little things that you may not think twice about…like peeing often… can be a sign. Now, if you’re like me, and think you have every single disease you ever hear about… the symptom tracker can be your best friend. You can really track if you actually pee often, or just think you do because you’re a pseudo-hypochondriac like me.

The #MEinEndo campaign is empowering women to learn about this disease, and take control by speaking to their doctor if there are concerns.

Check out the website and stay healthy, ladies!

5 Quick Ways to Find Your Zen on Busy Days

Quick and Easy Ways to get centered and Find Your Zen on hectic busy days

Life is more hectic than ever. We are pulled in so many directions at once and we need to be able to find our zen and get re-centered quickly. It would be nice to be able to do a full meditation or yoga class whenever things get crazy stressful but that’s just not always practical. Here are 5 quick ways to find your zen on busy days.

Use Music

Put on a song that you love. This doesn’t have to be some zen instrumental or ocean sounds (unless that’s what you absolutely love.) Use whatever song you’re feeling at the moment and lose yourself in it for those few minutes. If I’m stressed out I will take a quick break, pop my earphones in, close my eyes and listen to Pac lose his mind on Hit Em Up before returning to care for the kids. When the song is over, try to stay in the mood it took you to, whether hyped up and ready for anything (as with the song mentioned above) or chilled out and peaceful.

Create a Focal Point

When things are crazy at work do you notice your eyes drifting to the picture of your family on your desk? This is one way to find your zen. It’s calming to have a focal point photo or image on your phone or computer, even a photo in your wallet to turn to when things get hectic. This helps you shift your mode from cray to zen. Another focal point to use is a mantra. This is just a brief word saying that you can repeat to yourself when you’re ready to go postal. A few mantras to consider are:

  • This too shall pass
  • I am strong and capable
  • Good things are coming my way
  • I am peace, I am love
  • Blessings are all around me
  • I can handle this

Deep Breathing Exercise

OK Stop. Relax your shoulders. Take a deep breath in for four counts. Hold it for four counts. Release it for four counts. How do you feel? Good, now do it 2 more times.

It takes under a minute, and it can relax you and get your head back in the game. You can easily find your zen once you’ve given your brain a minute to pause, enjoy the extra oxygen, and prepare to move forward.

This is just one of many breathing exercises that can help you get your mind right in the middle of a busy day. The benefit of this find-your-zen tactic is that nobody else has to know what you’re doing. You can do this practice while your boss (or your evil toddler) is screaming at you. They’ll be none the wiser and you’ll be better able to respond with love.

Moving Meditation

Don’t let the word meditation scare you. A moving meditation can be anything from a morning run or yoga session to washing the dishes or wiping a counter. I like doing a full body stretch when I need to get centered. I literally just stand and touch my toes, remembering to breathe, and turning my focus onto the good stretchy feelings in my back and legs. If you’re at your desk you can just reach both hands in the air and take a few breaths before releasing them.

If a quick stretch is not an option you can flex and release your muscles from your feet all the way up to your shoulders. The point is to take a second to move your body in the way that feels best for you at the moment to find your zen.

Close your eyes

I left the quickest get-zen-quick tip for last. So easy we even guide our toddlers to do it. Just close. your. eyes. (I mean…..unless you’re driving…then maybe do a different tip.) Take a minute and close your eyes. That’s it. You don’t have to do anything else, but you can couple this with a deep breathing technique or repeating a silent mantra….or both.

Closing your eyes physically shuts the stressor out of sight and subconsciously shuts them out of mind. With your eyes closed you can either just enjoy the “blank” space, or visualize your happy place. When super stressed I like to close my eyes and visualize my next step. Then I can just open my eyes and calmly get it done.

It’s your choice!

These are just a few of the many ways you can find your zen during busy days. It takes just a few second to get yourself back on track when things are hectic. Which tactic will you try first?

How do you find your zen?