10 Wellness Tips from a Work in Progress

Hey all!

Whew, what a whirlwind the past few days have been!

Between trying to advance in my career, dealing with my living situation, and trying to fix my body, I’ve learned a great deal about my body and the simple things I can do to treat it right. I’d like to pass on some of the things I’ve learned, and hopefully some (or all!) can help you too!

  1. Be kind. If you’re trying to lose weight, remember that it does not happen overnight. This is a process, and if you stick with it, you will begin to see the results.
  2. Scales are neither your friend, nor your enemy. I see a lot of motivational quotes on Pinterest and Instagram about how the scale just shows a number and you should not measure your self worth by it. I agree with this, however, don’t forget that the scale can also help motivate you. If you see the number go down, the excitement, the happiness, knowing you’ve grown closer to your goal can keep you motivated to keep going, and not give up.
  3. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Do your friends want to meet up for dinner and a drink? Do you want to go? Go! Yes, there are empty calories in alcohol and probably more than you should eat at dinner, but as long as it’s not every night, don’t forget that you are a human being and you deserve nice things, good food, good drink and good company.
  4. Don’t forget about the free stuff. I may be a little spoiled with this. Here in Wilmington, we have the Cape Fear River Walk. It’s a long walk by the Cape Fear River. I did it yesterday and, even though I got caught in the rain, I walked over 10,000 steps (including my regular day to day activities). It’s free fitness. Check around your area to see if there are any local walkways or anything similar.
  5. Get rid of toxic people. They will bring you down and the stress will cause your body to go into turmoil.
  6. Laugh. Watch a funny movie. Tell jokes. Laughter has such a positive effect on your body, and it feels as good as a much needed cry.
  7. Cry. And don’t feel bad about it either. Is your heart broken? Does your job suck? Did you just have an all around bad day? Cry it out, man. It’s cathartic and it will help. Do not forget, you are human. 
  8. Find something beautiful to look at. I don’t mean “thinspiration” or any of that Pro-Anorexia nonsense. I mean something truly, naturally gorgeous. Like these I took yesterday of the Cape Fear River at sunset:IMG_0610IMG_0614IMG_0617
  9. Get angry. Feel the rage, the fire burning inside of you. Use it! If something is making you angry, screw all those people who tell you you’re being dramatic, overreacting, that you should “calm down”. F$%^ them! Take that anger and go for a run. Take it and rip up something, throw some punches at a punching bag. Break something you don’t need anymore (I threw a martini glass once when I was PISSED. It felt so good.) Get that anger out of you! (Don’t get violent. Keep it classy, people.)
  10. When all else fails, take a step back. Reevaluate what your goals are, and how you are going to get there. Start a journal, a blog, anything. But be patient, be kind, love yourself and stay positive. No matter how small the steps are, you will succeed if you do not give up.

I’m not a perfect person. I’m over emotional, a little weird, and overly romantic. I get hurt easily because my whole heart goes into everything I do. I am learning to be kind to myself, to accept myself the way I am. I’m a work in progress.

Stay updated, my friends. My new project is a book of poetry. I’m still working on my novel, but in the past few days a sudden obsession with documenting my feelings with poetry has taken over me. My goal is to write enough to self publish a book.

Above all else, be kind. Love you all!

-Stephanie

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And she’s back!

Hey everyone! Oh my gosh, I’ve missed blogging so much! And so much has happened…

Let me give y’all an update. This may be a long post, but it’s important to me. Let me get my Spotify going and I’ll jump in!

When I took my hiatus, there was a lot going on in my life. And a lot of it was, well, not good. I was spiraling back down a road I never wanted to revisit. I was feeling depressed, overwhelmed, worthless…and I don’t revel in feeling that way. I needed change.

Then my boyfriend and I broke up.

We had been dating just under four years. Lately things had just been kind of…I can’t think of a word for it. After we broke up, the negative feelings began disappearing. That sounds bad, because he is not a bad person at all. But I thought about it and I realized that I have not taken any time to focus on myself in four years. And I was beginning to lose who I am. I wasn’t loving myself, I was simply living in a body and going about the motions.

Last Thursday a friend of mine took me out in his boat to Masonboro Island. As I lay there in the sand, the sun warming me and the waves lulling me to sleep, I felt a sudden change in me. A want to be better, a need to improve myself. I want to love myself and be brave, be adventurous, be the best person I know I can be, and I want to share it with others.

I was going to wait to restart this blog until my now roommate moves out in late July, but I’m tired of waiting to change my life. I have a brand new set of goals. I shouldn’t have to wait to begin to achieve them.

So this blog will serve as my record for my weight loss, my healthy recipes, my (hopefully) DIY projects I want to do, my journey to overcome my anxieties and phobias, and my life as I continue this new chapter by the sea, by the sun, and by the light.

For now, the layout of the blog will stay the same. But soon I hope to revamp and buy an actual domain name, make this stuff legit! And soon I will also figure out a blogging schedule.

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Seriously…how can you not have life changing self realizations in a spot as beautiful as this?

So I’m glad to be back! I will update again soon, and once the dust settles, more often.

Keep the peace!

-Stephanie

Why Dandelions are Awesome

The first house I ever lived in was a fairly large, very old farmhouse on a large plot of land in a rural town in Connecticut. Our doctor lived just up the road and our neighbor old man Probst would visit from time to time. It was nice, quiet living for my family of five.

I have a very distinct memory of my dad bringing me outside with a bucket, and he told me to pick the dandelion leaves. I was confused at first but then he popped one in his mouth and ate it! I had no idea, but he’s my dad, so I followed suit. Maybe this is where I got my leafy greens addiction.

I hate when they are called weeds. Dandelions are not weeds. They are a healthy, harvestable edible plant that could save your life if you’re ever lost in the woods with no food! And they literally grow everywhere. Everywhere.

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Roots: You can use the roots to make tea. You just can cook them and eat them. You can also use them to make a tincture. The roots can help to detox the kidneys, alleviate skin problems, fight fever, aid in digestion, and a multitude of other issues.

Greens: SALAD! Of course. Put ’em on a pizza, put ’em on a sammich, you can do anything with these greens. They are slightly bitter but seriously delicious.

Flowers: Yes, you can eat these bright bursts of sunshine. You can use them to make wine. Dandelion wine. It sounds like something teeny little sparkly fairies would drink from a chalice made out of a buttercup. You can make syrup, jelly, or you can just fry them up!

Here is a link to a list of 40 things to do with dandelions:

http://wildcraftvita.blogspot.it/2013/01/things-to-do-with-dandelions.html

Always make sure you are using plants that have NOT been sprayed with chemicals or pesticide!

 

Blood Type

I’m almost 26 years old and just today found out my blood type.

It’s not for lack of trying. I asked my parents over and over again, to which they replied “we don’t have it written down”. I thought about going in to get it tested but didn’t know what it would cost or even where to go so I never acted on it.

My parents visited me this weekend and gifted me my baby book. You know what that is, right? A nice book where everything about your first year was recorded? I was flipping through, reading all the stories about my babyhood, and there it was. Blood type: o+.

Is it weird that I got excited over finding this out? Because I was really really excited.

So I started doing research on my type. I’ve heard of the blood type diet before and wanted to see what foods I should and shouldn’t eat. I was very interested to see that I should stay away from wheat. Remember when I tried the gluten free thing last winter? Apparently I was onto something, because while I am not allergic to it, wheat and I do not get along.

If you’re a type o+ like me, it’s your lucky day, because I’m going to list all the best foods for you! (Please see disclaimer at the bottom of this post)

Vegetables: Broccoli, Kale, Romaine Lettuce, Onions, Parsnips, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Spinach, and Swiss Chard. Stay away from: Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower.

Fruits: Bananas, Blueberries, Black Cherries, Figs, Guavas, Mangoes, Pineapple Juice, Plums, Prunes and Prune Juice. Stay away from: Apple Juice, Avocados, Blackberries, Cantaloupe, Coconut, Honeydew, Oranges and Orange Juice, Strawberries, and Tangerines.

Salt Water Fish and Kelp: Cod, Tuna, Salmon, Tilapia, Halibut and Red Snapper, and Kelp. Stay away from: Catfish, Octopus.

Lean Meats: Skinless Chicken Breasts and lean cuts of red meat such as Top Round, Top Sirloin or Flank Steak, Venison, Mutton, Lamb, Beef, Veal. Stay away from: Pork, Bacon, Goose.

Legumes: Azuki, Green Peas, Pea Pods, Red Soy, String and Snap. Stay away from: Green and Red Lentils, Tamarind, Kidney Beans and Copper Beans

Beverages: Wine, Green Tea, and Seltzer Water are all beneficial to type O+.

Other: Soymilk, Butter, Mozzarella, Farmer’ Cheese, Goat Cheese and Feta. Limit eggs and other dairy products. Peanut, Corn, Safflower and Cottonseed oil should be avoided. Wheat products are bad, but type O+ can have Barley, Amaranth, Kamut, Rice, Spelt and Millet. No Cashews, Peanuts, or Poppy Seeds but Pumpkin seeds and Walnuts are all good.

Now, I feel like it can vary from person to person. Always listen to your body. Avocados are something I’m not going to give up, okay? I love them too damn much. This is also not a “You can only eat these things!” kind of deal. It’s just a guideline for a richer, healthier diet based on the life that runs through your veins.

I’m excited to see how things change as I promote these foods. Incidentally most of them are personal favorites (goat cheese, salmon, kale, wine, venison, pumpkin, spinach…oh no, don’t twist my arm…) so I don’t see this being to difficult for me.

Anyway, just wanted to share. Have a great Sunday night!

 

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and none of this information should be used to treat any serious disease or illnesses. Always consult with your doctor before making any diet change, especially if you are on any type of medication or have a serious disease or illness.

Info found at:

http://woman.thenest.com/foods-blood-type-o-positive-6471.html

http://www.enkivillage.com/o-positive-blood-type-diet.html

Apartment Homesteading

Part of living more simply is self sufficiency – Growing and hunting your own food, composting, recycling, reusing, etc. When most people think of self sufficiency, glamorous images of farmhouses on acres and acres of land drift into their minds. The exact opposite of city living. But, most people don’t realize that there are steps one can take to start a more self sufficient lifestyle, even if they live somewhere as small as an apartment.

I have lived in Wilmington about a year now, and while it’s not my favorite place in the world, I have done more to increase my self sufficiency here than anywhere else I’ve lived. I live in a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment and have already started making the steps and learning skills I’m going to need when I finally do get my dream farmhouse on acres and acres of land!

So what can you do to start a more self sufficient lifestyle today? Here are six simple changes to make:

1. Porch or windowsill garden. I got lucky and my apartment came with a sizable porch. So I have cherokee purple tomatoes, cayenne peppers, strawberries, thyme, basil, rosemary, lavender, and dill growing a couple feet from my front door! Even if you don’t have a large porch, many plants can still grow wonderfully in pots. My neighbors are even garnering and small orange tree, right in a pot! If you only have a windowsill, herbs are so easy to grow, and will save you money. Fresh herbs from the grocery store can be very expensive! They’re almost $5 here at the local grocery store.

2. Composting. This one may be a bit tricky for an apartment, but it’s not impossible! In a well ventilated receptacle, begin composting eggshells, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, and fruit and veggie scraps. This will help your garden, too.

3. Rain bucket. Summers in Wilmington mean brutal storms, so I have a bucket set up on the edge of my porch to collect rainwater. I use it to water my plants!

4. Canning. This is a skill I have not learned yet, but canning in your apartment is totally doable! Research the best way for your living situation, and start preserving your porch harvests!

5. Utilizing local farms and farmer’s markets. Even in cities, sometimes farmland is just a drive away, and farms sometimes sell their goods right from their land! And if not, most cities have a farmers market where you can get fresh, organic produce, eggs, dairy honey, and meat, and you’ll also be supporting local farmers! It’s a win win!

6. Recycling. In my apartment, bottled water is a no-no. But on a recent trip to a farther away beach, I forgot my water bottle and was dying, so I had to buy some at the one gas station during the long drive. While I initially felt bad, I realized I could continue using the bottle afterward. I poked multiple holes in the lid and now I use it as a watering can! Reuse and recycle constantly. I have three bins for plastic, aluminum, and glass that I regularly take to the recycling center.

Here are some shots from my porch:

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Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme, and Spearmint

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Strawberries!

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Basil, Goji Berry, Dill and Peppers

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Closeup of my peppers

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Cherokee Purple Tomatoes

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Eggshells are really good for tomato plants!

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This is my recycling area. It’s a bit cluttered right now but we have aluminum, plastic and glass.

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And my rain collector. It’s empty now, we have a heatwave going on and I’m keeping my plants hydrated, but a storm is probably on it’s way! They usually are.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! If you’re in my neck of the woods, please stay hydrated and don’t stay out in the sun too long. Be safe!

 

Detox Water and My New Friend

Hey everyone!

I finally have a chance to post about something related to health and wellness. That’s half the reason why I haven’t posted lately – I’ve been lazy and not eating right and PMSy and emotional. Ladies, you know how it is.

But I today as I was groggy at the grocery store at 7:30 AM because I didn’t have any coffee, I decided to make something that I made a long time ago and A) loved and B) don’t know why I don’t make it all the time. I’m talking, of course, about detox water.

It’s super easy to make and has a ton of health benefits. All you need is lemon, cucumber, mint leaves, and water. What can detox water do for you? Here is a short list, taken from a more extensive list at Healthy Holistic Living:

1. Hydrating: Cucumbers are mostly water, so obviously pairing them WITH water is a huge plus for your body. Water helps nutrients go where they need to go, so staying hydrated is extremely important for optimal health.

2. Relieve puffiness: the anti-inflammatory properties in cucumbers can help with this.

3. Cancer fighting: According to Healthy Holistic Living, “cucumber are known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol. These three lignans have a strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer.”

4. Aids in weight loss and digestion: This water, with it’s high nutrient content and rehydrating ability, will help flush out toxins and excess water weight.

Here is the super easy instructions:

1. Slice cucumber and lemon thinly.

2. Place in pitcher with mint leaves.

3. Cover with water, chill for four hours or overnight.

And that’s it!

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Not only is it super healthy, but it looks gorgeous too.

My next project is going to be a coffee ground scrub, so look out for that post coming soon!

I also wanted to introduce my newest friend, Smokey Nemo. She’s a teeny little stray cat who followed me home from my neighbor’s apartment around the corner, and she has rarely left my porch since. So I am providing her with food, water, and a little bed while I search for someone who can take her in and get her all the care and shots and vaccinations she needs. She is sweet, loving, and fine with other animals (my dog and cat bolted onto the porch to meet her, she didn’t fight them or get scared at all!)

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If anyone in Wilmington, NC, or the surrounding areas would like to give her a home, please let me know by commenting or emailing me at beunless@gmail.com!

 

Also, I found this thing in the dumpster and had to take it home. I might be crazy, but I think it’s awesome..

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Right?!

Have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Whoops!

Ugh! I hate when I accidentally take a hiatus!

It’s not that I forgot about my blog or anything, I just randomly got like super, super busy. Work exploded, the apartment exploded, desperately trying to get organized, cross stitch commissions, binging on Z Nation and being a couch potato… you know how it goes.

Anyways, I’ve had some ideas bouncing around in my head. More ways to live simply and organically.

My whole life I’ve been drawn to plants and herbs. Growing up, I didn’t have very many friends so I usually found myself in the kitchen with my VERY Italian mom while she cooked. I learned a lot about homemade food preparation, safe handling methods, flavor profiles, etc. This came in handy once I was on my own (I’ll never forget the time my older sister called from college asking how to boil water…-sigh-) because I was able to make things last longer, which was awesome during the broke art school days.

Lately the interest has been sparked again. I really want to be able to use plants and herbs for more than just flavoring foods. I want to have the knowledge and know-how to use them medicinally. I’ve been on Pinterest almost all morning, reading about Herbology, and I cannot wait to start learning more!

So be prepared for more posts about herbs and their healing powers and properties. I’m really excited, I want to buy like every single book on the subject. I know I already have some books at my parents house, so I need to hold it together and not spend too much money until July when we make the six hour car ride down there, and I will happily rummage through boxes of my old stuff to find them.

Happy Sunday everyone!