Friday, December 31, 2010

Year End Thoughts on Getting Fit, Healthy and Organized

Well, it's been a heck of a year, hasn't it? I don't tend to make New Year's resolutions because I don't want to set myself up for failure. When I started this blog, my goal was pretty simple: Get Fit, Get Organized and Get Healthy. I've had some successes, some failures...lots of failures. I've learned a lot about myself too.

Queen Anne's Lace

This year, I made the choice to live healthier by going vegan. It was a lot easier than I expected. I thought I would crave all the foods that I "can't" eat. It's been more of a choice. I choose not to eat food made from animal products. The only thing that has really tripped me up has been chocolate. I'm going to have to make it a point to find some vegan chocolate in the near future, even if I have to buy it online and get it shipped to me.

So, I finally feel like I'm on the road to better health. Three months vegan and feeling pretty good about my choice. It's helped me to lose a little weight and get a little more comfortable in my skin too--or at least my jeans. Though my jeans have been falling down a bit lately and that is a nice feeling. So going vegan has helped me to get a bit fitter too. I know I need to add exercise too to get fitter.

Now for getting organized? Well, I've made some progress, but not as much as I would like. I'm going to keep getting rid of the clutter. I need to shed some of the stuff that has collected up around us. We have more stuff than we know what to do with, and yet there are so many people in the world who don't have the basics. It blows my mind somedays. I'm looking forward to getting the clutter out and letting it bless someone else.

What can I say? I am definitely a work in progress, but the process has been fun. I am learning so much about so many different things. Thank you for following me and hanging around to read the crazy stuff I write. I wish you all a happy new year full of health, love and happiness.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

3 Easy Ways to Change the World.

Sometimes when you look at the world and all that seems to be wrong with it, it can be overwhelming. There is so much to be done, that it seems impossible, so rather than do anything at all, we do nothing.

The truth is that small actions can have huge impact. You don't have to do a lot and you don't have to solve every problem to make a difference. Here are three easy ways to make a big impact.

Loyalty Points

Did you know you could use points that you earn for doing everyday things to make a donation to a charitable cause? For example, Air Miles has five causes you can support with a donation of 170-175 miles. Aeroplan also lets you donate miles to more than ten causes in a lump sum or by donating 2% of your earnings. Another easy way to donate your points? Redeem for certificates that can be used by charities--a grocery store certificate for a food bank, a clothing store certificate for a teen during a Christmas gift drive--the options are truly endless.

Reuse, Freecycle

An easy way to reduce the amount of items going to the landfill is to donate them for reuse. Many charities like the Salvation Army, Good Will and the Canadian Diabetes Association are happy to have your cast-offs so they can resell them to fund their activities.

Another way to deal with unwanted or unneeded items is to Freecycle them. This is a great grassroots idea. You post your unwanted item online to your local Freecycle group. Someone who would like the item will e-mail you. You choose who to give it to and arrange a mutually convenient pick up time. Alternatively, if you need an item, you can post and see if anyone has one to offer. The main rule is that the item has to be free. It's a great way to reduce your clutter and have a positive social impact. Not only are you giving new life to old items, but you can also help someone out who really needs what you have but may not have the resources to purchase the item new.

Care 2

Care 2's tagline is "Care 2 Make a Difference". This Web site is great because it houses so many different things that you can do to make a difference. There are petitions you can sign, stories you can read so that you stay informed about causes that matter to you, lots of articles and information, and some really cool features. You can earn "butterfly" credits for doing different actions on the Web site. You get 20 credits for taking a daily action--this usually amounts to less than 5 minutes to read an article or sign a petition. Your butterfly credits add up and you can redeem them for different things like carbon offset, school supplies, whatever matters to you. Another neat feature is click to donate. It is so easy. You click on a cause, and the advertisers donate to it. There is a tally so that you can see your positive impact over time. It's so easy to do and takes very little time.

These are just three little ways that you can take small, easy actions that have big impacts. Small actions, taken by many people, add up. You can be a part of positive change in the world around you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Music, Videos and oh yeah, JC Chasez, *NSYNC and even a little NKOTB too.

This is something that a lot of people don't know about me in real life. I love Christmas music! Now I must admit that I hated hated hated it when I worked in retail and I had to listen to 3 hours of Christmas music on a continuous loop (do you know how many versions of Jingle Bell Rock there are??).

Consider this my off-topic post for the month as well as a gratuitous JC Chasez post. I find it very odd that most searches that come to this blog are looking for info about Mr. Chasez. For those of you who want to know if he's married. I don't think so, but if he is, good for him. All I can say is that there had better be a new season of America's Best Dance Crew in the New Year! And I would love it if his movies actually got released. I'm still waiting to see 21 and a wake up!

Sorry, back on topic. There are lots of reasons I love Christmas music, but probably at the heart of it is that they are usually about love. They kind of boost your spirits, no?

I love this video, but what were they thinking with those goggles? And all that orange?

And just for fun, here's an oldie from New Kids. I remember staying up to watch this and I taped it! Is it bad that I know exactly when Jordan takes his jacket off still?

OK, I could probably tell you most of Arsenio's monologue too. I watched it quite a few times.

One more video. I love this song for a couple of reasons:

First reason: It's acapella! And they do it so well.
Second reason: It's a hymn. What a great song. I was at church this weekend to see my kids in a play (they were fabulous) and it was such a treat to sing real Christmas songs. Not songs about Santa or Rudolph, but songs that really celebrate what Christmas is supposed to be. It's amazing to hear Christmas carols as worship.

I love the old standard Christmas carols for another reason too. They remind me of my grandmother. She loved the songs and she roped me into singing with her in a choir for Christmas Eve service once (at a church that neither of us went to!). My grandmother had Alzheimer's, but right up until near the end, if she heard the piano play one of her favourite songs, she would try to sing along. That's how much she loved to sing. I always miss her more at this time of year.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Getting Healthy...Check! Getting Fit....Working On It!

If you've been following me for any length of time, you know that I have struggled to get myself fit, organized and healthy and I have varying amounts of success with each one, but not at the same time. Well, now I'm trying it a different way.

Going vegan has helped me to get healthier. I've been making better food choices and I'm not ravenously hungry at any point of the day (unless supper is late, but I'm working on that!). I don't have the wicked chocolate or Coke (as in Coca Cola!) cravings that I once had. I suspect that this means that my depression is in better control as well because craving chocolate was a sure fire sign that my depression was not in check.

Now on to the next phase. It's time to work on getting fit now. The weight has been coming off slowly, since I started following a vegan diet. This makes me happy because I don't want to lose weight too fast and have it all bounce back. Now it's time to get serious about losing the weight. I fired up the Wii Fit again finally.

Wii Fit
It was over 200 days since I last used it. OK, so that's not good. Then the machine weighed me and bloop, bloop, bloop, my Mii gets all fat and obese again. The cool thing is that the weight was down :) And I got 15 minutes of workout time done. So, now I have to keep it up...again. But hey, what have I got to lose, right?