Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sometimes we Just lose Ourselves


     This morning I stood up on a scale, and the bathroom scale spitted up a very ugly number. Naturally, I am not pleased but it made think deep and hard. Mostly, because it is still January and many people are going down with their weight. But also, because I am a nutritionist for God's sake. I spent four years at college studying these things. I know food and food chemistry like my own pockets. I know nutrition very well! The why on earth am I going up in my numbers?

Losing weight is hard

     It is, regardless of how much you know about the subject. I think it's even harder for women. We have our days, we are emotional, not to mention that very often we stress too much. What happens when we hit the emotional stage? Fridge and I are the best friends. And here is a thing: I know I should not! I really do, but I want to. My want to indulge the chocolate is much stronger then my tiny voice in my head saying " you know you shouldn't be touching this." It makes me feel better when I have my chocolate, what can I say?

     It is winter, it is cold and unpleasant out there. We tend to stay inside and snack on comfort food. Unfortunately, comfort food is the heavy, rich, calorie leaded food. Not many people find comfort chewing on carrots, let be frank here. 

Dealing with it

     It is what it is! Beating myself up, will not make the pounds go down. Nor will it make me feel better about myself. If anything I will feel worst which will tighten my relationship with my fridge. I put on weight 22 pounds, it may seem a lot but in my case it's not that bad - I am quite tall. Nevertheless, I am not happy with the way my body is. Luckily, it is winter so I can maneuver the clothes into looking slimmer. Time to take action is now, however for the action to stick I am going to start small. With one thing at a time. First, try to implement a lower calorie, healthy breakfast. That is all for now.

6 Steps for Permanent Changes in your Eating Patterns  

     Starting small is the key. As I already said, I will start with better breakfast. About 250 -300 kcal. The reason why I am starting with breakfast is because in the morning we are more likely to do better things then latter as the day progresses. 

1.) I will add more fruits to my diet - especially breakfast. I think a smoothie is the way to go.

2.) I have to start again, weighing myself every morning. Disclaimer: this trick will work more for mature adults. If you are teenager most likely the number on a scale is attached to self-esteem. I don't think in such cases, you should jump on a scale every morning - once a week is more than sufficient. However, if you get your self worth from your job, friends and family than this is the way to go. It is much easier to catch 5 lbs and react then to catch 50 and try to fight it.

3.) Goes with number 2; have your feel good number to be a range. The range ideally should spread 5 pounds if you are  on a shorter side and 10 if you are taller. Meaning, my feel good weight is 115 - 125 ponds. Thus, ANY number in that scale in my range is fantastic! 124 feels as sexy as 116 pounds! Bodies accumulate water sometimes, or lose it. Being attached to one number is like wanting to marry George Clooney - not going to happen!!!

4.) Get busy! Start a new project or finish the other ones that are forgotten. Getting busy is a fantastic way to simply forget about food. 

5.) When in front of Tv, either do your manicure (it is difficult to be eating with wet nail polish) or do some kind of movement aka exercise. Even if it means lifting a bottle with water. 

6.) Look for another little thing that you will change in your eating pattern; e.g. having three or four cups of coffee and cut just one. Until this will feel natural, as if there could be never other way. Or, having half of the amount of chocolate that you usually eat. 

Beautiful, Healthy Body is a Journey not a Destination      

     That is right, it is a long journey. As we go through the life, our bodies change, our needs change. What was working in your teens will no longer work as well in your 40's. Everyone is unique, and so our diets will be unique. There is no one universal way that works for everyone. If you truly cannot imagine your life without a chocolate, than instead of fighting it - embrace it! Make accommodations in your diet in such way to fit 200 kcal. for chocolate or ice cream.  Why not? Balance is the key...

Please comment below what little changes if any will you make. I truly would love to hear from you.

Monday, January 26, 2015

How Habits Control Our Live

     I wrote may times about the habits and their power over us. I discovered that habits could be harassed to our advantage in my 30's. Once I understood that I wanted to have a conscious decision on which habits I want around which I do not. After some research, I found out that to build a habit it takes 21 times of repetition of habit of our choice.

     There are many habits that I want to build, but I decided to start with a morning routine one. I wrote on a list how I ideally want my morning routine to be. Then, for a month (30 times) I would make sure I am following it. And viola! Habit was formed. Indeed, I was doing things exactly how I wanted  the things to be done.

     Christmas time came around which in my world means travelling. I went to couple of little countries in Europe. Before I knew it I was back in the bad habits' paws. How on Earth did that happened? I thought I had the new improved ways of doing things down to the letter. Huge surprise! I must admit even bigger disappointment. So, what happened?

     Firstly, the jet lag did not help. Secondly, my previous routines were truly hardwired. Thirdly, I probably failed at consciously choosing to follow the new routine. The results are devastating, my skin is back in a horrible shape. I am heartbroken to be honest, but not to the point of giving up. Nevertheless, I know I screwed up, I just don't understand how.

     I went to library to browse a little and this is what I came across:

     And I am very very pleased. Now I will be studying these pesky habits and the mechanisms of their creations. I want to have things under control, especially my skin. I am reading this fantastic book now and I will give you all the steps on how to, once I am done.

Perhaps you have a way to deal with habit creation? If you do, please let me know in the coments below.

Please don't be a stranger, say hello on Facebook!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Lessons from My Freezer...


     New Year = new beginning, right? Well, I read somewhere about de-cluttering your space. This article included ways to free the precious real estate on your pantry shelves, fridge and freezer. I store a lot in my freezer as you never know when the girlfriends will show up with a bottle of wine. A snack is in order. I also keep there breakfasts for my daughter and  random stuff. This is how it suppose to work.

  1) Start eating all the supplies you have (not at once) without buying new         supply unless absolutely necessary.

  2) Once the fridge and freezers are empty, a good clean is a must!

  3) Plan meals and start purchasing foods that you really eat and need. This will   decrease spoilage, which in turn will decrease money spent.

     So I started with my freezer. I pick one thing after another to free some space. I made rice with green peas with just soy sauce and it was very good actually. Here is what I discover:

a.) Freezing bread is a fabulous idea - just make sure that it is sliced before you place it in the freezer. Perhaps it's obvious, but not obvious for this blonde. I put couple of full loafs. Trying to cut it is a major challenge. Lesson learned! 

b.) Freezing sticks of butter is also a good tip - however, keep in mind that butter absorbs smells. My freezer had some meat products and somehow the smells traveled off to wrapped butter sticks. I baked a tart with a strange taste. Just imagine - yuck!

c.) When freezing soups make sure they are placed correctly to prevent the from falling out - I had my portioned soups on the doors and when they fell out, a package got broken. Result? Not only the soup got contaminated with bacteria, but also my plastic container got broken.

d.) The last discovery, I do have my favourite party food. I tend to buy the same product over and over again. Knowing that I'll wait for a sale and buy at least ten vegetable gyoza to fill up the space that I am clearing - ha ha ha! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Building a Future

     Have you ever wok so much that you come home exhausted to pass out on a bed, just to repeat the same the very next day? I am sure you have, we all did. In this economy, people work hard. It is not uncommon to have a working week of 50 or 60 hours. We get paid for it, don't we? Yet many of us are not happy, I know I was not happy. I know I shall be happy, since anyone who has a job should be glad. Jobs are hard to come by these days. Am I unappreciative?

     I thought about this long and hard. I am not happy because I felt like being on one of these wheels that we put in hamsters' cages. Running around without results showing for it. I found antidote for the pain. I decided to open my own business. I ask my very dear girlfriend to partner with me. I believe in girls friendship a lot - read here thoughts on girlfriends.  She agreed! Therefore on January 14, 2015 a business was born to two blondes.

     I must admit, we were proud - very proud when the "enter" was hit and the business became official. I must also admit, it is very scary too. Million what if's filled my head. What if we won't make money? What if we won't have customers? What if something goes wrong? Can we do it? and so on...

     Then I had a thought, we will work on it give it our all. At least we are building something. Building something tangible, creating something that with time can grow. Creating something that we can say, we are proud of it. Just like a baby. When one has a baby there are better days and there are worst days, but every mother struggle forward. Every day, and then this moment comes when our babies grow to this magnificent humans that we are so proud of. That is exactly what my friend and I hope for. For now, we have head full of dreams...

Wish us luck please.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How Do We Invest Our Time?


Time is ticking away whether we want it or not. It wasn't until this morning when I caught up one of my time thieves. The time thieves are very sneaky thus not as visible. It wouldn't be such a big deal if not the fact that these stolen times could add up to something great.

     We all have dreams to do something great, to build something, to leave some legacy behind. How does one do that? Basically by putting the effort into the free time pockets with a hope that over time this will accumulate to something larger. That how is most of bigger project structured. Take a college for example; couple of credit hours here, others there and over time these credits accumulate to a bachelor degree. The same is true for anything. Building a relationship with your hubby or your kids, building a business or painting that oil painting that is living in your head.

     I woke up at 5:15 AM today, I grabbed my phone as anyone living in 2015 would. No news, no interesting updates. Finally, I get up - it is 6;10 AM. I lost one hour, the golden hour to be exact - you can read about it here. Where did it go? Well, ashamed I must say it went into jewels game, the mine edition one. I thought I will just relax for couple of minutes. Little did I know that couple minutes in the time thief's hands equal to 60.

     This is not to say one shall not play games or mindlessly watch tv. Life is not all about work, however it is smarter to play these games at times when you need to unwind. Wasting the most productive time may not be the smartest idea. Unless, the dream that you have isn't truly the dream that you want for yourself. Then these games and other distractions are the procrastinators. Quite frankly if that is the case, perhaps it is the time to think what it is that you really want and go for it? We are not getting any younger, and every day that passed by is lost. The time is very precious resource. You cannot buy more, you cannot borrow more - you've got what you've got! Use it wisely.

     One thing that you can do is identify your most productive time of a day. This is your golden time and regardless how much it hurts - no telephone, no tv nor other distractions during that time. This may be the time when your brain will come up with idea worth million. Hey, you never know!!!

What are your time thieves? Let me know in the comments below. How do you deal with them?

Friday, January 9, 2015

How to Increase your Efficiency

     Since we are still in a New Year's state of mind, many of us start to work with calendars pretty close. I am no different. However I discovered that having an large one month as one is no longer enough. It got me thinking how the world has changed. Looking at the calendar, it is exactly the same as it was 300 years ago. A month has about 30 days, there are 7 days in a week and each of these days has 24 hours. What changed is the amount of stuff that we need to fit into these same 24 hours. If we are lucky to have a job, the job is no longer the proverbial 9:00AM to 5:00PM. Now giving up to 60 hours per week is not that unusual. that means about 12 hours a day. Now, the houses we live in are in need of maintenance, which requires time, one needs to be networking, one needs to be social, one has to be a good friend, one has to be there couple times a month for the parents. If one is a parent too, that gives a new dimension to squeezing the minutes. Calendars are the same, days are the same time wise but what we have to fit in these 24 hours has changed dramatically. 

     Create a routine
     There are couple of the daily items that we could make it "automatic." When a task is performed in such manner the efficiency increases. There is a reason why factories have lines and "simple task" performed by one individual. This system allows for increased output. The same is true of McDonald, there is a system in place on how to exactly make the hamburger. This system allows for fast serving of food. These are big companies that invested lots of money to have psychologists Frank and Lillian Gilbreth research how to increase productivity. They found out systems are the answer. System in a private life is routine. I wrote here about how creating a routine can help. Routines are your friend. Even if they if they sound boring they really help save precious minutes to do something else. I have a morning routine done in such a way, that as my daughter wakes up (major struggle) at 7:00 AM, she will have a breakfast, dress, wash, pack the backpack and by 7:58AM we are out the door for the bus. She is not even 6 years old yet, and it wasn't easy but a routine has been established and now mornings are stress free. The additional benefit is, that she knows the routine very well too, so she in in her little way set too. Also, since we have it perfected the morning dance, I can truly think of other things since I am on autopilot anyway.

     There are things in our life that are over-complicated hence they require time. If we manage to simplify them time will be saved. The biggest example I found to be in my kitchen. I had tons of cooking gadgets cluttering my space, making it harder to find things I needed, or requiring so much more time to clean it. After purging all the unnecessary stuff my cooking and cleaning requires less time. The key here is to be very true to the answer: do I REALLY use this? After answering to this truthfully I ended up with 3 pots ( 1 large, 1 medium and 1 small) and 2 frying pans and this is it. I did the same for my pantry. Same could be done with closets, toys, books and cosmetics. I must admit I am working on the books now. However, my cosmetics will stay as they are - first of all, I love using them, secondly I am Avon lady so I need to test some of their product to be able to recommend or not the products. Therefore, my bathroom will stay with beauty excess - hey, no one is perfect :)

     Create a list
     This is my absolute favourite To Do List - you can read about the magic of To Do list here. I do not go anywhere without my list. I have couple of lists in fact. I love them. There are many advantages of making such list. Firstly, once you put everything on paper you will not forget. You can add random stuff that you remembered all of a sudden in the middle of something. Once, all the things in one place, you can group them to gain efficiency. This is mostly visible running errands. Additionally, I cannot stress how crossing the item as done will make you feel. Very often we are running around without visible results. This little piece of paper (yes, I am using the old fashion paper and pen) has crossed lines all over it - you'll feel the accomplishment. Recently, I read something of Brian Tracy where he said that one should have one master to do list, one monthly to do list, one weekly and daily. I already had the master to do list, and daily to do. Now I will try the other two and I will let you know how does it go...

So, here are my little tricks to increase efficiency. They are small tricks but they do reap big results. Try it and please let me know how did it go. Perhaps you have your own tricks that could help me? 
I would love to hear from you in the comments below. 


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Dreaming of Travels? 5 Things You Need to Start

     When I was teenager, which was twenty years ago (yes, that is right) I always knew that the world is big and beautiful and I wanted to see it all. In fact, I never had dreams of big mansion, nor about Ferrari, my dreams were always around travelling. However, when you are a teenager, in a country that just got its freedom, with passport that has no value, or no money in the pocket following such dream is not easy. Nevertheless, I did it. As they say where there is a will there is a way!!! This is what I wanted to write about today.

     Today, many years latter I have been to Austria, Norway, Czech, Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia, Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Spain, Tunisia, England, Malta and many more. When I tell my stories, many people tell me that they wish to travel too. I noticed, that most of my friends dream to travel but somehow at dreams it ends. I would like to tell you that it doesn't have to be this way. If you have dreams of seeing the word, start planning because the world is waiting...

     5 Things You Need to Do to Start Travelling

1.)  First and foremost, do you have a passport? Life brings opportunities but to utilize them a passport is necessary. It takes 60 days in the USA to make a passport, and it is valid for 10 years. Perhaps, it is a time to make one. 

2.) What is your dream place to go? Start with one. How far is it? What language do they speak? What currency do they use? The research of the place is necessary, since it is not pretty finding yourself abroad and dealing with unpleasant surprises. Also, research will help you establish how much money you will absolutely need to be able to fulfill the dream. 

3.) Talk to your friends and family about your dream, you may find that one or couple of your friends would consider to join you. It will be more fun to go with friends anyway. But I must say I did travel alone plenty of times. If your friends support you they will be additional set of eyes and ears for you. They may come across opportunities that may be good for you, and they will pass them on to you. Hey, you never know. They may search for a English teacher in Vietnam, who knows :) 

4.) Unless, you can go there by car, you will need to research the airfare. This is the largest chunk of the budget. Unlike hotels that come in all price ranges, you have very little of room for negotiating the price of your flight. If you start research when the flights to your dream place are the cheapest, you may find out that the price difference can be couple of thousand dollars. I know that when I fly to Europe in April, the ticket is around $750 - $850, whereas when I went to Poland for Christmas it was $2780. Knowing the cheapest airfare periods will also help you to plan the vacation time. You know that around e.g. November you want your vacation from work since a flights to dreamland is the cheapest.   

5.) Start saving! You can put 5% of your gross salary away to a dream account. This is what I did. Also I told everyone that for my birthday and Christmas all I want is cash. Since they already know that I want to travel, no one had the slightest issue with my demand. In fact people like giving gifts that will make you happy. 

     There are ways to travel inexpensively - which I will be covering in other posts - but a girl always needs to have stashed cash!!! 

     It is a new year that brings the promise of new possibilities. If not now, then when I ask? 

I am in a process of planning to go in 2015 to my dream destination. My dream is China or Morocco for now. My budget, well is not existent yet since being single mother is demanding on your dollars. I may grab a side job for this one. I know it will be all worth it...
I would love to hear from you, where would you like to go? What is the absolute number one country that you really want to see?


Monday, January 5, 2015

Welcome in 2015 - a Year Under the Sign of Organization.

     Major holidays and everyone wishes everyone all the best. I did not do that, not that I don't care I do, but I decided to utilize the time free from school and other obligations to do something for me. My daughter was gone and so I went travelling. I will be telling you all about this soon. I travel a lot, therefore I have many stories to tell. Especially, that my financial resources aren't endless. I traveled on pennies, I traveled on tons of cash. Collecting along memories, and ways how to do things the more efficient way...

     It is 2015, Happy New Year everyone!!! New year means a new opportunity to make things better. For me if things get better than they were last year that is a progress to be proud of. This year is to get organized. I feel like setting the stage for more fun with people who are close to us. When a girl is organized, less time is spent searching for things, cleaning, shopping. Less time spent on trivial things = more time for the important things. That is where is fun and happiness hides.
     Another thing is to get minimalistic - a little! I don't want to live with two pairs of shoes and one handbag, I love fashion and love my dresses (all 240 of them) dearly. I like make up and my hair products, I like shoes and handbags. I throw parties and I like decorations - this will stay! There are things in my life that I find I have too much of, and emptying it and creating free space is a goal for this year. There two major goal - I will keep updating how does it go...

     Also, no new year resolution can be word DIET free, right? Therefore, since I am nutritionist I eat pretty well, but my efforts are jeopardized by SWEETS. Too much of sweets, hence one impossible resolution is to not eat sweets in 2015. Definition of sweets: is everything but baked goods without frosting. My daughter and I bake a lot - I cannot not try our treats, can I?  

There it is. New Year = new beginning...
What are yours goals? Do you have any?