Tag: healthy

Healthy Swellness: My Downsized Goals for 2021

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I reached only one of the goals I’d set for 2020. And I’m totally fine with that. It was a year when doing anything took what felt like 100 times more effort so I’m really proud of having read 18 books when I set out to read a dozen. For the first few months I was ahead of my goal, and then when lockdown became stricter and I found it hard to concentrate on anything, I fell behind. But eventually I worked on cracking open a book more often and it was such a joy to reignite my love of reading, a pastime I’ve been passionate about since I was a kid but fell out of the routine for almost a decade.

My other goals? Well, I barely got started. I had planned to incorporate more cross-training into my routine, and aimed to do one workout a week that was not running. Instead, other than a few workouts before the pandemic (and a few virtual dance classes during lockdown), I focused solely on running (but at least I ran more than ever, completing the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee, and then ran and walked back across Tennessee). Running is what I know, what I can incorporate into my life without a ton of thought, it’s really just easier for me to wrap my head around even though I know in reality I can easily roll out my yoga mat and find a workout online for a yoga session, for one.

And my other goals to eat more veggies and learn how to use my camera? Well, my diet was all over the place last year (I craved comfort foods and nostalgic eats big time, plus I had a hard time finding time to cook so that impacted how I ate as well), and I simply didn’t have the energy to pick up my camera and take an online course.

And while I don’t set travel goals per se (although I did wish last year to go to Thailand and that came true in December, I’m convinced I manifested it!), because of the pandemic, my travel was downsized significantly last year. I went on a total of six trips; four by flight (Vail, Gimli, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and a cruise out of Miami) and two local road trips (to Prince Edward County and a camping trip just north of Toronto at Oastler Lake).

Anyhow, for this year, I just read this New York Times article about making 2021 goals small and gentle. And that really resonated with me. We don’t need to feel bad about not accomplishing a ton right now, living through this crazy time we are all just trying to survive. And they’ll be focused on setting a routine. I already started with including a few things to improve my mornings, and those small things bring a sense of relief in this harsh reality we are living in. Yes, the simple but delicious foamy latte I drink in the morning brings me so much more than just a delicious cup of coffee; there’s a sense of feeling able to take a deep breath and relax even for just a few minutes that comes with this ritual. I think I maybe especially appreciate it since my life has for so many years entirely lacked routine, what with juggling freelance and travel.

So my goals for 2021 will be small:

I will read 15 books—and will do so by reading at least 10 pages a day. I’m building on the one goal I achieved! I tend to go days without reading and then read a ton. But this year I will work on reading just a little each day as part of my routine. I’m thinking at bedtime (although I tend to fall asleep pretty darn quickly once I hit the sack!). I know I read more than 15 books last year, but I think that was largely because I read about four of them while on a cruise for a week. Above are some of the books on my shelf to read this year, plus I’ve got several on hold at the library.

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I will make one meatless dish a week. I actually think I ate less veggies last year than ever. I tend to eat more of my veggies as part of my main, but there are loads of easy ways to enjoy vegetables as a side (sauteed green beans or roasted Brussels sprouts are so incredibly simple), so this will be something I can make a habit out of, and it’ll give me a push to look for delicious main dishes that make veggies and meat alternatives the star. Maybe I’ll finally try to make some dishes from this Ottolenghi cookbook; I’ve had it for years and yet have never cooked from it.

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I will develop a gratitude habit. I like this idea of building off of the good habits you established last year as mentioned in this New York Times article. It also outlines why reflecting on the past year might seem like a bad idea but that it’s good for you (which I learned when I looked back at 2020). And the first suggestion in the article is to develop a gratitude habit. I have the Five Minute Journal, and haven’t been successful in writing in it daily since I’m often in a rush to get out the door in the morning, so instead as I make and enjoy my morning coffee, I will think of one thing I am thankful for, and take it one step further when it makes sense (say if I’m grateful for the delicious meal I’m picking up that day, then I’ll tip more than usual, for example, or I’ll text that friend I’m grateful for having in my life, both are ideas from that NYT article). This is all something I definitely did more of in 2020, but it was not part of an established routine. The one way I do express gratitude daily already? I do hug Billie Jean and Mya all the time and tell them I love them; I am grateful for them every damn day for the joy they bring me.

Have you set any goals or intentions for the year?

2 Comments January 3, 2021

Healthy Swellness: Brita giveaway!

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Who’s with me in that you struggle to hydrate well each day? I’m actually no longer convinced you need eight glasses of water daily (and if you’re ready to debate that with me, may I direct to this this New York Times article “No, You Do Not Have to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day”  written by a researcher who points out that that number comes from a study that people/mediastarting touting as a source ages ago but everyone seems to have ignored a key point to the findings.

That said, I do think I could afford to hydrate more often with water and less often with other beverages (juice, cocktails, wine, coffee). And I, of course, think you need to hydrate adequately to keep your body functioning well.

One tool that helps me with drinking more water is my Brita. In the summer, a glass of cold, crisp water is such a relief on those humid, sticky days (especially when I get home from a run). And I appreciate that the Brita filters out impurities, which I think helps the water taste a bit purer and thus, makes me more likely to drink more of it.

Because I’m a Brita fan and because I’d like to help one of you hydrate better, and let’s all do our part in reducing the number of plastic water bottles ending up in landfills, I’ve got a fantastic Brita prize package to give away! The prize is valued at $100; here’s what it includes:

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Check out my Instagram post for this Brita giveaway and enter on Instagram (details are on the IG post).
  2. Get an additional entry by commenting on this blog post and sharing how you drink your Brita filtered water (Room temp? On ice? With a slice of lime? Cucumber?)

This giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. It is open to Canadian residents. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on my Instagram Stories.  The prize is awarded as is. I am operating this giveaway on my own and it is not associated with Instagram.

Here’s to happy hydrating!

20 Comments April 26, 2019

Fitness Swellness: It’s Bike Month in Toronto!

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I’m always for making your commute into a way to keep active whenever possible. So I was super into helping to launch Bike Month with Bike to Work Day last Monday in partnership with CLIF Bar.

Bike Month, if you’re not familiar with it, is an annual event to promote cycling in Toronto and Hamilton running from May 28th until June 30th. It’s the 29th anniversary of this event, which brings together cyclists at events, races, tours and more through the month of June. In fact, have you heard that every Wednesday during the month of June Bike Share in Toronto is free!

I rode Bike Share for the first time this Monday for the launch event during which we rode from Yonge and Charles down to City Hall with Mayor John Tory. The police shut down traffic so we could do the ride there and it was a fun leisurely ride that, hello, ended with a CLIF-powered pancake breakfast, some speakers and photo opps (check out the cute CLIF Bar bike below, couldn’t resist getting a fun shot with Hawley Dunbar of Sidewalk Hustle and Gracie Carroll of Edit Seven).

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I don’t ride my bike to commute that often but I’ve been slowly trying to do more. Last summer, I rode my bike to a few dance classes and to get to an event or two (and then got a flat but I just got my tired fixed so I’m back on the road!). I will admit that I am a little afraid of riding my bike on the busy city streets but with careful planning using the Toronto cycling map, I can usually find a route with a bike lane or a quieter street i can take where I can confidently ride to get where I need to.

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As for CLIF Bar, did you know the company was born on a bike? Founder Gary Erickson was exhausted and craving a good tasting and nutritious energy bar dying a 175-mile bike ride in 1990. Talk about the perfect match, Bike Month and CLIF Bar. Their bars are what I pack in my bag when going on a hike or for a bike ride (or eat before I head out for one) so I can be sure I’ve got the energy I need for my adventures of the day. And whether you bike as a means to commute to work or just a fun ride on the trails or in the Leslie Spit (where I’ve ridden to view some epic sunsets) there’s a CLIF Bar variety that’ll tempt your palate. And by the way, if you need something new to tempt your tastebuds, just launched in Canada are two new CLIF Nut-Butter Filled energy bar varieties: Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter and Caramel Chocolate Peanut Butter. My fave of the two is the sweet and savoury Caramel Chocolate Peanut Butter.

Plus, a little hat tip to Canada: those oats in the Nut-Butter Filled energy bars? None other than organic Canadian oats and the Nut-Butter Filled Bars are made in Canada!

With a both a Bike Share membership and my bike, and a new helmet, I’m excited to bike more often during Bike Month and beyond! I’d love to see where your bike takes you, be sure to share with the hashtag #feedyouradventure and #bikemonthTO!

If you’d like to learn about more Bike Month events, be sure to check out the site!

(sponsored)

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Leave a Comment June 4, 2018

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