Mindful in May: Week Two Summary

Hello and happy Wednesday (evening)! We’re half way through May now and I hope you’ve felt some inspiration throughout the month or at least you’re getting more curious about your own mindfulness. This week I focused more on mindful eating techniques and ideas, but also the thoughts that go along with those.

Day eight – feeling in control verses in charge

This is a bit newer of a concept for many of us and I only just got inspired by the words “in charge” a few weeks ago. To me, it sounds so much more empowering than trying to be in control of your food choices. What’s the opposite of being “in” control? Most would say, being out of control and/or spinning out of control. That opposite is pretty extreme and the more we can work on things that help us stay away from two extremes…the better!

day nine – talk about them food groups

Fruits, veggies, grains, dairy, fat, and protein. What food groups do you want to get more mindful about? Some more? Some less? This is a great way to do a self-check up and assess how balanced you’re feeling. No judgement needed, but if you do a self-check and find that you’re only eating one vegetable per day it’s a cue to work on increasing those veggies.

day ten – the time it takes to eat

Have you ever felt like you scarf down your food and don’t even remember eating? Try timing yourself at one meal and see how long it takes you to eat. Four minutes? Ten minutes? One way to be more mindful is to increase the time it takes you to eat. This can help you enjoy your food more and make it an entire experience.

day eleven – pairing snacks

Two can be better than one! Sometimes one snack just doesn’t cut it, but that might be because it’s only one food group. Pair two food groups to increase the satisfaction factor! Try a protein and a grain or a fruit and a dairy.

Day twelve – Take a breath

We might be sick of this advice but guess what? It’s been around for so long because it works to calm down the brain, heart, and body! Before your next meal or snack, take a breath to help get yourself ready to eat and ready to enjoy the experience.

day thirteen – eat the rainbow

All of the different colors you can eat help to provide your body with different nutrients! A mindful check-in is to assess what colors you’re eating most often. Are you stuck on green? White? Try something totally different to add vibrance to your meals. We eat with our eyes first so make it colorful and enticing!

day fourteen – sparking joy

Has your food stopped giving you joy? Do you feel like everything is blah or you feel like the only way to get to your goals is to eat boring baby carrots? Guess what? It doesn’t have to be that way! While not every snack and meal has to be the most exciting thing you’ve ever eaten…why not try to have more of them spark a little joy in your life?

Did you write down these daily ideas? Do you need to go back through week one? Click here to do that! Take time to reflect on both weeks and see what stands out to you as one to two things you think are liveable and doable – right NOW. Then brainstorm ways you think it will work for you to incorporate them into your life.

Get ready, week three has already begun and truly…this is just the tip of the iceberg! 🙂

Vacation Recap: Belgium

Hi friends, happy Friday! Recapping this helps remind me of how lucky I am that we were able to go and how I’ll never forget the whole experience. Enjoy and I’m not going to apologize for how many waffle mentions and photos you’ll see! 😉 PS I couldn’t upload every single photo to truly capture everything but there are two story highlights on Instagram for more if you want to see them!

Day One

When we landed and got past customs and trains we felt discombobulated but quickly found our Air BnB which was absolutely perfect for what we wanted. We headed to lunch at Brew Dog which had some amazing beers and pretty good food. We got a lot of free food and alcohol (free!) on the plane so I’m not sure my stomach was quite ready to experience everything. Afterwards we enjoyed tooling around a nearby park and stayed awake as long as could until we crashed and slept till 7:00 AM the next day.

Day Two

I had espresso every day – seems to be the trend over there and I miss it! We walked to a local grocery market and probably annoyed locals while we read and slowly meandered through the aisles. Good thing I’m good at coming up with quick and easy meals! We were pretty hungry after that (don’t recommend going grocery shopping hungry!) and headed to Peck 47 where we had AH-MAZING breakfast food and drink. I mean, don’t those photos just make you drool? Afterwards we walked to Grand Place which is a magnificent as it sounds and found a pub for some beer and waffles. We visited Delirium Tap House for some tasters, got fries at Fritland (covered in truffle sauce ERMERGERD), saw the tiny Manneken Pis all the tourists sites say to go to and finished the day with donuts. We went back to CoCo Donuts more than once but my first one had speculoos which is common in Belgium, it’s like a crumbly shortbread biscuit <3 SO good.

Day Three

Steve found a couple of museums to go to so we coined this the museum and waffle day! We started at Moof Museum where we saw a lot of comic book history. We went to Maison Dandoy and had by far the BEST liege waffles there. Liege waffles are different than Belgium waffles, they’re made from a dough, they’re thicker, and have sugar pearls inside…yeah I already ordered the sugar pearls and I’ll be making some SOON! We walked to the Museum of Natural Sciences next and saw a nice dinosaur exhibit. It also was free since it was the first Wednesday of the month, yea savings! Afterwards we went to Park du Cinquantenaire which was beautiful. This was a particularly sunny day and after a LOT of steps we finished the night at Scott’s Bar for beer flights, pizza, and an avocado daiquiri. We might have had a couple extra beers and hit up a late night waffle place after 😉

Day Four

We headed to a new part of Brussels, saw some beautiful churches and buildings and had breakfast at Chicago Café. I promise it had Belgium food and it wasn’t American based off the name 😉 Since we were still a little hungry (and I learned that not all Matcha lattes are made the same) we went for coffee and croissants at a café called Charli. We found Zinneke Pis next, which is the dog version of Manneken Pis and waited for Brussels Beer Project to open. They had some more American styled beers (and Belgium ones too) and we enjoyed a few while watching the brewers work. We had charcuterie and…can you believe this…more beer at Moeder Lambic! This became a favorite location of ours. Amazing beers from all over Europe and great people too.

Day Five

We packed our day-bag and headed to the Antomium which is the giant metal ball/jack-like sculpture in the photos. You get to take elevators, stairs and escalators up into the various sections which was fun. All rides of course end in the gift shop where I’m a sucker for post cards to take home and frame later on 😊 We enjoyed our packed lunch and though I was tempted by a waffle food truck we passed and enjoyed a leisurely walk through a giant park. Afterwards, we went to the Brussels Design Museum and saw and read about the history of plastic. When we headed back we stumbled upon Ballekes, aka meatball Heaven which seriously was heaven. You picked your type of meat ball, sauce, and sauce for your fries. To.Die.For. If you’re ever in Brussels, just go there.

Oh and later I had more waffles 😊

Day Six

We traveled again only this time it was an hour and fifteen minute train ride to Brugge! This was the must-go-to town our friends told us to visit and we’re so glad we did. We started with breakfast at That’s Toast which was also drool worthy. I should note that at every restaurant we went to Steve and I seemed to have perfect timing. We never had to wait long for a table, we loved our service, and there was never a rush for anything (which is the general culture over there too). We walked around the Markt center and listened to the church bells chime. Later we got beer flights by a canal at Bourgogne des Flandres and walked toward the outskirts of town to see giant old windmills. We got…can you believe it…more waffles and more beer at Brouwerij de Halve Maan (Half Moon Brewery). This place was great and we sat in giant, plushy chairs and sipped some authentic Belgium beer. We capped the night after dinner with a cocktail at the Gin and Whisky Lounge. A quiet but amazing place for a well made drink!

Day Seven

I’m pretty sure we slept in this day because Brugge was fun but longer and fuller than our other days. We had a leisurely breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien, crowded but it was like eating in a beautiful green house. It’s a good thing neither of us choose not to eat bread because we got what felt like three loaves when we got there. We took the day to walk without purpose and just take in the culture. We did eat another donut from CoCo Donuts and had some sour beers at A La Mort Subite. Also, we called it an early night and relaxed at home cooking up dinner and enjoying time without social media.

Day Eight

We decided to get a smaller breakfast because this had been our main meal on most days and hit up Jat’ Cafe where we got some amazing bagels! Mine had almost too much brie on it (which is saying something if you know me) but I still really enjoyed it. We walked to Cantillon Brewery which if you don’t know…is amazing. Amazing sour beers, fun experience, sought after viciously in the US and we got to sit and drink there all day. We met some Americans from Georgia (hello, friends if you’re reading!) and it felt a bit more like our other experiences at breweries where we’ll just start chatting and enjoying new company. Jessi desperately wanted salad after this so we grabbed some on our walk back and washed it down with a waffle of course. Seriously. Waffles every day! This was our second to last day so we decided to go to Floris Bar for Absinthe. No, we did not hallucinate! The alley where this was located is in the same alley as Delirium (which has three or four different areas to drink) so it was a really fun way to cap our evening!

Grand Place
Park du Cinquantenaire

Day Nine aka Favorite Day

We deemed this day, favorite day! We went back to our favorite locations and took our time at each of them. In fact, this was the general theme of the trip. Slow…down. Take it in, don’t rush anything and enjoy every single moment. We did and I cannot wait to keep living my life in slow motion savoring every single day to its fullest.

Hope you enjoyed this recap! Questions? Comments? Concerned about my waffle intake? Don’t worry my withdrawals have stopped and I’m back to perfecting a liege waffle recipe for you all soon.

Mindful in May: Week One Summary

For those of you who have been following along, we are officially one week into Mindful in May! If you’re not sure what that is, click here! There’s still time to join in and learn something about your own mindfulness this month (and beyond!).

Week one focused on awareness. Without being aware of where you are starting with mindfulness…where would you go? How would you begin? That’s what week one has been all about. Let’s recap!

Day One: Write it Out

I find it is important that no matter the journey you are on, it can be wicked helpful to write it down and let your thoughts come to life on paper. Refer back to these intentions and thoughts every single day…even multiple times a day!

Day Two: Too much or Too little?

The ingredients in a recipe are what make it work well together. But! Too much of one ingredient can cause off flavors or an imbalanced finished product. Today was about bringing awareness to what you feel you are getting too much of and too little of.

day three: hunger curiosity

I like the idea of being curious about our hunger. To become mindful (or even intuitive) I think we have to start trying to listen to our hunger. Is it coming from the gut or is it coming from the heart? Do you get hunger cues or do you eat solely based on routine? There’s no right or wrong answer but increasing your awareness can help you get to the root of hunger struggles.

Day four: feeling fullness

In the same way that it’s important to start being more aware of hunger, it’s important to start recognizing fullness too. Many people find they eat past the point of being full because they aren’t aware of how it feels to be full without hitting the maximum stuffed level. The hunger scale (coming in week two!) is going to be a very helpful tool as we dive deeper into this month long event!

day five: struggle foods

Do you keep a food in your home or direct environment that you struggle with on a daily basis? Being more mindful of the food in your environment can help you identify a way to create space. Creating space means if you have a candy dish on your table but you’re finding it next to impossible to resist bingeing on it, try moving it. The problem is not having some candy, it’s feeling a loss of control or self-loathing that takes away the enjoyment of food and only feeds us guilt instead. Some people need to remove certain foods from their house for a while so we can create space to deal with the underlying issue. Other times it can be appropriate to keep the food, move it out of sight, and still find ways to increase a pause for yourself (like a few deep breaths and reviewing your intentions) before you indulge in an immediate impulse to soothe an urge to eat. Obviously I care about this one a lot since it got a whole paragraph. I am pretty sure I could write a book about it. More thoughts to come!

day six: staying hydrated

How mindful do you feel about your water intake? Do you understand why we need water or have you just been told to drink it just ’cause? It has many functions including lubricating joints, transporting nutrients and removing waste. The general recommendation is eight, 8oz glasses per day. Some people need more but in general that’s a good goal to start with. Set a reminder in your phone or start drinking one glass with each meal. It can be easier to attach a new habit to an already established one like meal time.

day seven: Small food, big impact

Little foods can make a BIG impact! Some people call things like this super foods but I prefer tiny awesome powerhouse foods that can kick some ass. Okay, that is probably a bit exaggerated! My example today was shelled hemp hearts from Manitoba Harvest (FYI I’m an Ambassador for this company but I’m not trying to sell you. I use them and reached out to join their program because it’s already a food I enjoy). These little guys pack a lot of protein and health fat in such a small serving. Before you pack your lunch or eat a snack, take a mindful moment and ask yourself, “is there anything else I could do to make this healthier just because?”

Week one summary DONE! That’s an awful lot of information to take in and guess what? These weeks are easy to repeat on your own beyond just the month of May! You won’t break habits with me, you won’t actually break habits in general. You can, however, form new habits and practice using them over and over until they become engrained like our old ones. Habits are in a part of our brain that does not fade, unlike our memories. It’s more impactful to form new habits and practice them than to try and “break” an old one.

I hope you enjoyed week one! I would love to hear any feedback or changes you experienced over the week on Instagram or here so don’t be afraid to tag me there or write in the comment section below.

Mindful in May 2019

Hello and happy Monday, friends! I’m so excited that May is almost here because it’s my birthday month AND I decided to focus solely on mindfulness throughout the month of May. You might be wondering why or what mindfulness means or why you should care about it?

When I was actively trying to lose weight, I learned techniques to become more aware of the food and drink I was consuming. I tried a lot of different things but one memory is stilly pretty clear, I was NOT mindful of my intake or my eating style. I would try to go all in on a plan and then a few days in go back to old habits. It’s a pattern many of us are familiar with and it’s not enjoyable at all.

Enter in mindful eating. Mindfulness is what helped me start to slow down and pay attention to my surroundings. I began to find myself eating less in front of the TV or if I did I at least took out my portion and didn’t eat straight from the bag/carton/box/container. I began to pay attention more to the portions I ate and I really focused on how supportive my environment was.

Enter in YOU! I practice mindfulness everyday and I want to pass on my knowledge and experiences to you. I’m not saying you should become mindful to lose weight, I’m saying it will help your eating experience feel better. Mindful approaches to our body, thoughts, food, drink, and more can help us become healthier as a whole. If your goal is to get more in touch, to become aware of habits that aren’t bad but maybe aren’t helpful, or if you do want to change your body…mindfulness is a GREAT place to start.

So. Where do we go from here? You join me through Mindful in May! Every post throughout the month will be focused on a way you can become more mindful. The weeks will focus on mindfulness about food, your environment, your mind, habits and more. Make sure you’re signed up for the mug club emails as you may get some extra special things throughout the month!

There will also be special reminders and ideas in my Instagram stories! That is where the crux of it will take place. I plan on having a daily mindful tip (they will all be saved in story highlight) and encourage you to share how it impacts you! I’ll also be doing a giveaway this month to those who participate. All in all, it’s going to be a great month and a chance for you to become more mindful. Recognize, however, that it’s just a month and while I don’t believe we can “break” habits, I do believe we can form new ones and practice (A LOT!) them until they become formed.

If you have questions, feel free to reach out anytime! You can reach me here in the comments, my email brewtition@gmail.com or through Instagram direct message. I cannot wait to take these mindfulness challenges with you every single day!

Five Reasons to add Flaxseed to your Eating Style

Hi, friends! I have missed you. Since we last chatted I got home from Belgium and finished the process of moving into our fist home. We still have more boxes packed than unpacked but slowly it’s becoming ours. Today, for my first post in what feels like forreeeevvveeerrrrr…I’m writing about something I’ve added to my eating style on an almost daily basis. Flaxseed!

Flaxseed IS something to add to your arsenal of food weapons. It’s not a magic pill, it doesn’t magically make changes in your body but it does provide an awful lot of good. I’ll start by trying to convince you to incorporate it into your meals or snacks and then how I like to use it as well. Also, I edited this just after posting so I could revise and help you understand the difference between flax meal and ground flaxseed, go to Manitoba Milling Company’s post here for the difference.

To start, you need to know that while things may have flaxseeds in them, our bodies do not break them down and therefore we won’t reap the same benefits from them. Cool, those tortilla chips have flaxseeds, they’re really good at getting stuck in your teeth like chia seeds but not for much more than that. I digress, here are my reasons to incorporate them into your eating style:

Reason Number One

They’re high in omega-3s that our body needs for various functions. Unless you’re someone who regularly eats avocados, walnuts, fish, and plant based oils…you may not be getting enough of these fats. Contrary to *back in the day* popular belief fat does not make you fat, read more about that here. The fat you get from flaxseed is anti-inflammatory and beneficial to your heart, eye, and brain health.

Reason Number Two

They will add more fiber to your diet which you probably know helps your poop stay in a group 😉 and also helps you feel full. It’s important to get fiber from a variety of sources and flaxseed can be a part of that. It is recommended that you gradually increase your fiber intake and check your water intake too. Otherwise, too fast of an increase might cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

Reason Number Three

It’s incredibly simple. I like simple nutrition and while flaxseed is trendy and some people aren’t into that…I am! Trendy can be fun and easy food to add to our eating style to better our health. Two scoops (tablespoons) and boom I know I’m getting and absorbing more nutrients.

Reason Number Four

It could help in the prevention of chronic disease or strokes. WOW that’s kind of a loaded statement. Again it’s not a magic pill and it’s not a substitute for your medications but it does have ALA Omega-3 which supports heart health and a healthy blood pressure.

Reason Number Five

It’s not expensive. Buying a full bag from Manitoba Milling Company costs $12.99 for a full pound which lasts you quite a while AND I’ve got a discount code for you at the bottom of this post.

BONUS reason!

It’s versatile! You can add to it so many things like in the list below. Manitoba Milling Company sells smooth whole-milled flaxseed, milk, and bran and pancake mix. I enjoyed the milk in a smoothie but later I tried it with just granola and couldn’t get past the thickness. If you like thicker/creamy nutty milk, you might like it! It also doesn’t provide the same amount of calcium or vitamin D I get from Almond, soy, or cow’s milk which is the general reason I use or drink milk. Still, it’s another option!

Now that you’re fully convinced it’s something to consider trying…Here are some ideas for how you can add flaxseed into your eating style!

  • Smoothies / Shakes
  • Oatmeal
  • Baked goods
  • As an egg substitute (ratio)
  • Parfaits
  • Meat loaf / Any ground meat – I’ve added it to burger patties
  • In a dip or hummus
  • I’ve even had a client tell me she put it in an old spice container and sprinkled it on most of her foods from pizza to spaghetti

Point made, it’s a healthy item and it’s worth adding it for the heart health benefits alone. Do you use flaxseed or flax milk? What do you add it to? Has it made any changes in your health or your meals?

As promised, here is the discount code! It is valid on Amazon and at Manitobaflax.com


*Disclaimer- I am a health and wellness ambassador for Manitoba Milling Company. They sent me these products for free. I do not receive any financial reimbursement for writing this blog or sharing the discount code with you. I was not paid to share my opinion, all opinions are my own.

Personal Update: 19 in 2019

Hi friends! What? You thought you wouldn’t hear from me while I was away adventuring in Belgium? Well, I wrote this ahead of time because we are near the end of the first quarter of 2019! I wrote the original post here, but I thought it would be fun to update you all on how things are going for me this year.

  1. Only post 3-4 times per month of quality content. I may post outside of that here and there but I plan on quality content which means less is more.
    • This is going well! Though I’m posting a bit more I’m in a much better rhythm and I’m working to always share quality content. I have drafts of posts I want to share, but they’re not quality yet.
  2. Continue using my helpful meditation tools like Headspace & Calm. Both help me reorient myself, breathe, and then help me manage stressful situations more easily.
    • This comes and goes but Headspace has definitely been helpful going to sleep. Moving into the next quarter of the year I’d like to use them outside of just my bed.
  3. Create my first e-book…okay this is a biggy! It’s not likely to be ready until after Summer but it is absolutely going to get worked on in 2019. If you’ve known me since my prior blogging days it was a goal back then too. 
    • Well I’m working on my first freebies so that has been fun! I’m proud of that work and I still want to write an e-book. Maybe in the next quarter that can get developed some more.
  4. Practice reducing negative self talk when my food photography looks like poo. I just tried to do some photos last night which was not smart (bad lighting, feeling rushed, etc) and they looked like poo which was actually kind of funny afterwards. Food photography/photography in general is a passion so with any art comes practice and I’d like to reduce the unhelpful stinkin’ thinkin’.
    • This is much better! One, I’m taking my time with food photography and only trying to do this on the weekends when I have time. Two, I’ve put less pressure on myself for a “perfect” Instagram.
  5. Run a 5k. I’ve ran two full marathons, multiple half marathons and other races so you might think…why “just” a 5k. For one, it’s never “just” anything and two, I had hip surgery in August and things are finally improving to where I’m feeling hopeful. I plan on finishing my walking program I’m on right now, add my new plyometric program and then start training for a 5k. 
    • Sadly…this is not going well. I’m experiencing pain still in my groin from the surgery and lately power walking hurts. I’m not sure if it’s too tight so I’m working with my PT but I’m open to suggestions. Read about the surgery here.
  6. Less is more. I love selling things on the Facebook Market place but my hope is to do a big garage sale this summer and really reduce the material things we have.
    • This is a win! I’ve made about $500.00 so far selling things online. It feels good to reduce the material items we have.
  7. Practice mindfulness! This is something I practice regularly but there are times where I’ve left a party, an outing, a friend/family’s house and I just didn’t feel I was present. Maybe there were other things on my mind or who knows what but it’s a work in progress.
    • I am working on this! I do feel like I’ve kept my phone away more which continues to help me be present.
  8. Train Sofie not to bite so much/hard. She gets sprayed by a water bottle when she bites and I’ve never had to do that with a cat. She is really awesome but biting me by going UNDERNEATH the covers and biting my stomach, leg, or foot has to stop.
    • Well, she is getting sprayed more when she’s naughty. She does not get to come in the bedroom at night because she might snuggle at first but will always bite me later on.
  9. Enrich my life more. Again this is something I do but would like to see myself do more of. There are things I really enjoy like taking a bath, reading a book (Harry Potter AGAIN right now), lighting candles, walking somewhere new, journaling, etc. I’d like to prioritize my months to include more things I enjoy.
    • I can always do this more but ever since I joined the Girls in Craft Beer Book Club (follow them on Instagram). This has helped me put reading as a priority and I’ve moved my journal out of hiding so I remember to write at night.
  10. Expand my network. I’d love to meet more bloggers, learn from them, and collaborate with them! If you’re a blogger and want to inquire about collaborating, let’s talk! You can email me at [Brewtition@gmail.com]. 
    • This is going well! I hosted an RD Snack Exchange (click that link to learn more) and feel I’m starting to network some more.
  11. Continue finding my voice here. I recently took a course about planning the first quarter of the year for your platform and I realized how seriously I want to take this new adventure.
    • I realized that I do not need to find my voice. Hah! I have a voice. I’m just using it more honestly now.
  12. Do some art. Whether it’s design, photography, painting, drawing, sculpting…my mother is an incredible artist and I get a lot of this talent from her. I love using my creative side so I’d like to create some art this coming year.
    • I’ve done food photography but I would certainly like to paint, draw, or sculpt soon. Time to head to my mom’s studio!
  13. Budget with Steve. For some reason we thought it’d be smart to start tracking our spending the month before we got married…yea you can laugh at how silly that was! In 2019 we plan on joining forces (my name’s officially Holden instead of Boehme now) and looking at finances/budgeting more together to reach our financial goals.
    • I seriously get a high from budgeting. Yeah, anyone else!? It makes me really excited to set a budget limit and feel motivated to stick to it. It’s changed my outlook on how may times we go out (even just for beer) and it has stopped me from my excessive random Target trips.
  14. Continue working on my own relationship with food. This is a big one too! I’ve changed so much over the last 8 years of my 20’s and the way I perceive food, educate about nutrition, and select what to eat has changed drastically. Everyone has a relationship with food and like a personal relationship the memories, the hard times, the negative thoughts can be hard to shake. We can work on creating space for this, together.
    • This continues to grow and I feel strongly that it’s going well. I still listen to my own language around food and others’ as well.
  15. I’d like to get published on an online platform or magazine. It doesn’t have to be a full article, even a blip would be awesome! I feel it’s a lofty goal but if anyone has advice here, I’m all ears.
    • Actually, I’ve contributed to a couple of articles but I’d like to see this go further.
  16. Connect with some brands I love. I think it’s fun to share with people the brand of cooking equipment I love, the foods I pick, and why these things make my healthy lifestyle easier to maintain. Hopefully I’ll be connecting with some brands and/or local businesses this year.
    • I’ve joined multiple RD Ambassador programs with brands I buy all the time like Siggi’s, Banza, Manitoba Harvest Hemp and KIND. I’ve applied to other brands as well so stay tuned. Anytime I join these programs, please know it is my honest opinion. I do not buy or eat food I do not actually like or think is helpful. I’ll always share with you when they’ve given me free items.
  17. Update my one year of marriage scrapbook. I haven’t scrapbooked in foreeeeever but my mom (on our honeymoon) sent Steve and I with a surprise bag full of amazing goodies that made our honeymoon that much more special. She included a leather book with blank pages, double sided tape, and markers so we could put memories in from our first year of being married. So far I’ve updated it every month, I’ll share some with you come August 11, 2019!
    • I am BEHIND but I’m determined after our trip to Belgium to spend some time doing this.
  18. Travel to Belgium. Steve and I keep discussing international travel and we’re at the point where we just want to book a trip and go for it. We’ve never traveled this far together and we’d like to go before we consider trying to start a family. 
    • We are in Belgium right now! Hehe. Follow along on Instagram to see what I’m up to and where we are adventuring.
  19. Enjoy all that’s to come in 2019 that is expected, planned, unexpected, a surprise, a challenge, and a triumph. 2018 had a LOT happen between my sister having our first nephew, my other sister getting married, my neighbor/little sister getting married, AND Steve and I getting married…plus a marathon, a final dance recital, two moves, hip surgery, a cruise, a honeymoon, the loss of pets, the gain of a pet…and so much more.  
    • I think I have enjoyed this first quarter. One of the craziest things to happen is that Steve and I BOUGHT A HOUSE. I KNOW! We were shopping casually and happened across an amazing home. We knew it couldn’t hurt to put an offer in and then we got it. It has been a scary but very exciting adventure so far. I will definitely share how we design this space to feel like home with you all.

That’s my update! I hope you are all having a great week. Now that you’re through with the first quarter of 2019, is it time to reexamine any goals? What do you want to accomplish over the next quarter? Tell me below!

What I’m Packing for Belgium

Okay, so we are officially eight days away from our trip. AH!! We are getting SO pumped. I thought it would be fun to show you all what I’m packing because it has been my mission to keep my packing as light as possible.

The reason I wanted to pack as light as possible is because I usually pack a TON of extra, well, everything. This lends me to feel overwhelmed by the amount of choices I have once I arrive, which is the last feeling you want on vacation. I made sure to pack clothes that I could wear twice and that I could layer together. Also, I don’t know if it’s just me or not but I really like buying new clothes/outfits before vacation. It’s silly right? You know you’re going on vacation and will be spending money but you want something new to wear when you’re there! Maybe it’s just me!? Please tell me it’s not just me.

I’m lucky though because my mom let me raid her closet and she has awesome taste. We pretty much wear the same sizes and since Steve and I are on a tight budget right now, I opted to steal borrow as much as I could from her. Thanks, momma!

Details for planning

  • Length of time – 10 days, one location as a home base
  • Average weather – 50-55 degrees
  • Bag limits / checking – we’ll be flying Delta so we can both have a carry on + personal bag and together we can have one free checked bag.
  • Activities while there – lots of walking, photography, and probably a LOT of tasting craft beer, waffles & chocolate. In fact if every day included all of that, I’d be fine.
    • We aren’t planning any hikes but will look for parks / trails upon arrival
    • We’ll tour some museums
  • We want to be comfortable on our feet all day and with a backpack on for day trips.
  • Is there a washer/dryer – yes, for some reason we are lucky but if there wasn’t I usually travel with a little detergent so we can wash a couple things in the sink (or get out stains as that is inevitable).

what I packed

  • One pair of jeans
  • One pair of solid leggings (I say solid because they’re sturdier than my at home, loungey leggings)
  • One pair of soft black travel pants
  • Three T’s/Tanks (total) – 1 gray long t-shirt (not pictured), 1 long black tank, 1 long white tank
  • One cardigan – I chose my charcoal Toad & Co cardigan that is so soft and layers over pretty much any color
  • Four light long sleeves – these could be layers or worn on their own
  • One tunic long sleeve – this is almost a dress but I wouldn’t wear it without leggings or jeans
  • One thicker sweater – (light brown in photos below)
  • One light gray basic dress – this can then have lots of changes either with jewelry or practically any long shirt I brought can go over it.
  • One scarf – This helps to change up a look, they pack nicely, and can be an easy addition if its cold out
  • One jacket – my mom let me borrow her nice wind and rain proof jacket that is perfect for the weather we should be having + it has a hood
  • One pair of tennis shoes – these I’ll wear on the plane
  • One pair of flats – cause fancy.
  • One pair of light gray boots – I’m still debating on bringing these or not.
  • Two regular bras / one sport bra
  • 4-5 pairs of undies (easy to wash/fast drying)
  • 4-5 pairs of socks – I wear a lot of SmartWool socks that you can wear multiple times and not have any smelly issues 😉


  • Phone / charger / outlet convert
  • Camera
  • Purse – again, borrowing from my mom. Super sturdy and big enough for me to put my camera inside of it
  • Couple of easy travel games
  • Steve’s small computer
  • Kindle
  • Toiletries
  • Glasses / Sun Glasses

There you have it! It’s a complete list of what I’m bringing. All of which fits just in my two carry-on’s! But we will still check one bag so that we can bring back goodies or put dirty clothes in there towards the end of the trip. I am honestly quite proud of myself because even while I worked on this post I thought, OH what about that shirt? And that one? And that dress? And those pants? and that skirt? No. No thank you, I will travel minimally for the first time and be proud of that.

Have you every tried to pack as little as possible? Does it work out? What helps you travel minimally? Also, we’ll be in Belgium (and some other parts of Europe) so if there’s something I missed, please share!

How to be Healthy while Traveling

Hi friends, it is the first official day of Spring! I can’t believe the first quarter of the year is coming to an end soon but I CAN believe that it’s almost time for Steve and I to go to Belgium!! We are so excited for this trip! We have never been abroad together and Steve has never been to Europe. Make sure you follow me on Instagram cause you can bet my stories will be flooded with photos from our adventure! Oh, and if you want to know what I’m packing then stay tuned! That post will be here in a few days 😉

In the spirit of traveling, I get asked a lot by my clients how to be make healthy choices on vacation. If you’re someone who is a “diet” this can present a challenge because to be “on” a diet means you can “fall off” a diet. My first suggestion is that you revisit your thoughts on the word diet, could you think of what you’re doing as a way of life? A healthy outlook? This way, when you’re going on your vacation you’ll be able to focus on the adventure and not the number of calories you’re eating.

BUT I totally understand the desire to want to make travel a bit healthier and I’m all for it! Here are some different ideas to make traveling work for your and your goals. For more ideas, try these roasted ranch chick peas, or any of these snacks that some RDs sent each other in a snack exchange.

Travel Day (planes, trains, Automobiles)

  • Bring snacks that will keep you full, satisfy you, and are easy to pack.
    • Fruits – grapes, apples, bananas [do not put in the bottom of your bag!], & clementines pack well.
    • Veggies – carrots, bell peppers sliced, sugar snap peas, sliced zucchini, celery, jicama, or cucumbers pack well.
    • Pre-packed nut butters like Justin’s brand or individual serving containers
    • Hummus – again you can get pre-packaged or fill your own little containers
    • Trail mix – it’s cheaper to buy a big bag and separate it into portions
    • Pretzels – again, cheaper to buy a big bag and separate it out
    • Granola bars
  • Emergen-C – yes, it’s an excess amount of vitamins and you’re not going to absorb everything but I won’t travel without them because airports, trains, and cars for that matter are full of germs.
  • If you’re driving/taking a road trip look into a tiny fridge or cooler that plugs into your call to keep some pre-packed sandwiches, yogurts, cheese, etc.
  • Packets of oatmeal – grab a hot cup of water from a coffee store (they might charge you for a tea, etc) and dump in your oatmeal instead of the tea especially if it’s a cinnamon tea!
  • Water bottle + any flavorings if you’re someone who will typically want something more fun than plain water on a trip
  • Hand sanitizer – again, germs.
  • Tea – I also travel with 1-3 of my favorite brand of tea called Throat Coat. I don’t want to plan on getting sick but if I get a sore throat then this tea is my go-to.

At your destination

  • Look for a nearby grocery store so you can purchase some basics or plan to cook a meal or two.
  • See if you can stay somewhere with a small kitchenette – Steve and I notoriously use Air BnB and make sure we have a little kitchen to prepare some meals.
  • Look for a local farmers market – when we went to Hawaii this was a fantastic way to try new local foods/produce
  • Check if your hotel/Air Bnb has a gym or a local walking path. If you’re going to a resort, there might even be free fitness classes
  • Take advantage of free breakfast! I love when hotel’s have continental breakfast offered. Take a look and find a filling, balanced breakfast. Most hotels will have oatmeal, milk, bananas, and sometimes small containers of peanut butter. It’s very possible I snag a couple of those little mini peanut butter containers when I travel… 😉
  • Continue your movement – it doesn’t mean you have to exercise but do consider at least adding some stretching to your day. After traveling or sleeping in a foreign bed, you might feel stiff and you do not want a sore body for all the adventuring you’re going to do.
  • Tune out from social media and allow yourself to unplug from reading any work emails too.

Eating out

  • Try looking at menus in a new way. Focus on what your body wants – does it sound good because we’re looking for the biggest bang for our buck? Or are we looking for what sounds great and makes us feel great too?
  • Don’t skip calories/meals. Instead of not eating all day, continue having mindful balanced meals. These will keep you fueled and keep your hunger balanced. This will also help prevent from bingeing later on.
  • Fiber, fiber, fiber – it is very common to get thrown off from your normal bathroom routine when traveling. Typically my first goal when I travel is to stay well hydrated with water and have fiber with each snack/meal.
  • Remember that if you choose to indulge then INDULGE and enjoy. There is nothing wrong with having an extra indulgence because you’re on vacation. Don’t bring shame on your vacation with you.
  • If you’re going to a buffet / conference with tons of food options, think about balancing your plate. Observe what all of the options are first, then think about filling it up with vegetables, fruits, a grain, lean protein and hey maybe some dairy too.
  • Research your restaurants! I know some clients who feel best when they look at the restaurants menu ahead of time so they don’t feel rushed into make a decision when they go out.

I hope that was helpful! When Steve and I travel, we often take road trips. We really enjoy this time in the car together and we’ll also bring things to keep it fun. We’ll make new CDs of music, bring mad libs games, and sometimes comedy audio books too.

What do you do when you’re traveling to stay healthy? Are you going anywhere this Spring Break or this Summer? Share below!