09Jun/15
Stand-up Desk

Stand-Up Desk

Here is a short video showing our home office set-up. I have been standing up at my office desk for a few years now and have found it to be very beneficial for my back. Standing at our desk allows us to avoid sitting for a large portion of the day, which has been proven to be more helpful for leg and back health, as well as keeping your hips and leg joints from getting sore and tight.

Our desk is a re-purposed change table that my father made for us, with an adaptation from cheryl’s dad (we’re so appreciative to have fathers who are skilled craftsmen!). Standing also makes it easier to transition from computer work to other activities around the house, and keeps the kids from being tempted to play around on the computer/keyboard (a serious consideration with young children around).

For more information, take a look at our previous post on this subject.

24May/15
Healthy Grocery Haul

Healthy Grocery Haul

Eating healthy as a family doesn’t have to be complicated.

It begins with shopping places that have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Farmers markets, local grocery stores, and even community gardens are great sources. Loading up on greens will ensure that a majority of your diet is healthy and you will be more able to get all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy.

If you go to a grocery store regularly, try to shop the outer aisles (where the fresh stuff is) first. Avoid processed foods as much as is possible and buy things with the least amount of ingredients necessary.

We don’t meal plan often, but I do have a few simple, standard meals that I often prepare. We eat 95% of our meals at home, so we are better able to control the quality and type of ingredients that we are eating.

It isn’t about eating “perfectly”, but focusing on whole, natural foods.

Happy Eating!

12May/15
How to Lift Your Mood

How to Lift Your Mood

Have you ever been in a situation that dragged you down and left you feeling heavy? We’ve all had those and it’s usually difficult to shake off the bad feelings. In the following video, I describe a small strategy that will show you how to lift your mood.

I like to call this strategy the human helium balloon. We all know how light a helium balloon is and you’ll use this mental image to make yourself feel lighter. This strategy combines effective breathing and visualization and much more since it uses your other senses.

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05May/15
A Day of Mindful Eating

A Day of Mindful Eating

After filming my video on mindful eating, I wanted to take one day to film or photograph all of the food I ate in an effort to be more mindful. I also ate all of my meals and snacks sitting at our kitchen table, where we eat a majority of our meals.

As you can see, eating mindfully doesn’t mean eating in solitude. My family was around for most of the meals (and my son was there for the meals I didn’t post video of) and we enjoyed conversation and time connecting together. Eating with other people can definitely be a practice in mindfulness if conscious attention is being paid to your food and the sensations that are connected with it.

Do you practice any aspects of mindful eating? Share with me what you do, when you eat or things that you’d like to change to be more mindful. It is a process for me to be aware of the food I’m eating and to stay connected to the experience.

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20Apr/15
How to follow through on your commitments

How to follow through on your commitments

How to follow through on your commitments

Image courtesy of Toa55 / Freedigitalphotos.net

This past weekend I attended the 14th annual YMCA-YWCA Connexion Fitness Conference for fitness professionals. It was a full day of seminars, workshops and networking with personal trainers, volunteers and fitness industry leaders. The keynote address was delivered by professor of Sport Psychology and author Terry Orlick. Terry talked about the keys to excellence, and how there are seven factors to achieving excellence in life: Commitment, Belief, Full Focus, Positive Images, Mental Readiness, Distraction Control and Constructive Evaluation. He combines these together as a wheel, in which each one plays an important role and cannot bring success by itself, but must be working in harmony with each of the other factors.

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17Apr/15
Mindful Eating

Mindful Eating

We all need to be more mindful in our lives. Many of us eat our emotions, when we’re bored, or we are dis-engaged from our food. Eating mindfully is a way to connect more with the practice of eating, re-enforce a healthy relationship with food and it allows you to be fully present while eating. Here are five simple ways to eat more mindfully:

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23Mar/15
60 Seconds to Fitness

60 Seconds to fitness

“I don’t have the time” is an excuse we’ve all used for why we don’t exercise. It is true that it can be difficult to take the recommended 30-60 minutes each day to dedicate to exercise. Fortunately, studies* show that even 10 minutes of exercise a day is enough to reap the benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart attack, diabetes and lower stress levels. So try this quick tip to incorporate exercise seamlessly into your day: Write a variety of exercises on pieces of paper (some sample exercises will be at the end, but hundreds can be found by searching “bodyweight exercises”) and place them in a jar. At various times throughout the day, reach into the jar and pull out an exercise. Aim to perform each exercise for either a set number of repetitions (10-20) or for 60 seconds, time well spent improving your health. Make time to incorporate exercise into your daily life and not only will your body reap the benefits, the endorphins released during activity will improve your mood.

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09Jan/15
2015 Resolutions

2015 Resolutions

Did you make any resolution yet?

Watch this video to discover how I plan to push minimalism to the next level. I also discuss other personal and professional goals.

I hope that this video gives you ideas for your own resolutions and helps you find ways to accomplish your S.M.A.R.T. goals.

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31Dec/14
Most Popular Posts of 2014

Most Popular Posts of 2014

Most Popular Posts of 2014

Image courtesy of anekoho / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

To everything – turn, turn, turn. There is a season – turn, turn, turn. And a time to every purpose under heaven. Cheryl and I found a new purpose this year, sharing our life, our love for life and life lessons we stumble upon along the way.

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14Nov/14

Maintain Proper Form

Maintain Proper Form

photo credit Freelart / Freedigitalphotos.net

As someone who enjoys fitness and working out, few things make me cringe as much as someone doing an exercise with poor form. Whether it is a misaligned spine or crooked knees, my instinct is to want to correct them so that they will avoid injury and also find more success in their training.

All instructors understand the importance of teaching the proper way to do things, and the impact of correcting mistakes early on. As a mom I want to have the same approach when it comes to instructing and raising my children. If I want them to learn how respond to stress with patience and a calm reaction, how does flying off the handle contradict the message I’m hoping to teach?

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