Simple Living: Taking Better Care of Me… Inside and Out

Best bar shampoo
Sudsy, Super-Awesome, Solid Shampoo
March 12, 2014
A tiny, fluffy puppy for my simple lifestyle
Simple, Fluffy Joy
April 14, 2014
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Simple Living: Taking Better Care of Me… Inside and Out

A typical, simple meal of real food

A typical, simple meal of real food

A long journey back to health - How I'm taking care of myself on the trip.

The journey back to healthy is a S-L-O-W one. Taking the time and the effort to take care of me — inside and out — as I travel this road, is essential.

Food

I’m finally settling into my eating routine and seldom get the urge to eat bad stuff. At a recent family birthday celebration, while everyone else was having cake and ice cream, I was completely happy with fresh, home-made guacamole on GMO-free, organic corn chips. I was better than happy. When I am craving sweet, I forego processed and grab a piece of fruit. I’m eating a LOT of fruit these days.

Eliminating wheat/gluten wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. I found a few GREAT versions of gluten-free crackers that all but eliminated the urge for bread and such, while giving me the crunch I need on occasion and a place to rest my cheese, when I just GOTTA have a bit of cheese. (I have several favorites, but Blue Diamond Pecan Nut-Thins are most readily available locally — others have healthier ingredients, but these aren’t too bad).

Mostly, I just don’t eat much of this type of food anymore.

Breakfast has become a staple and I can fix it in about 10 minutes — including cooking the steel-cut oats, poaching a couple eggs, cutting up some fresh fruit and sauteing a veggie or two as a side. It holds me until lunchtime without issue.

I’ve not had any sugary foods or drinks, opting for iced black coffee, water, herbal tea, and occasionally LaCroix Sparkling Water in Cran-Raspberry or Peach-Pear flavors. (They are much cheaper at the local Kroger than they are online.) Paying $5 for a 12 pack of lightly flavored water isn’t easy — but it’s helped me avoid the “I gotta have a soda” urge on a few occasions. I’ve also had a little of the alcoholic variety of bubbly. (I love Moscato and Asti, on special occasions.)

ClothingAsymetrical layering top

My “simple wardrobe” is starting to get a little too loose and the few pieces I have that fit are getting a little boring.  It’s was time to look into a few pieces that will span the shrinking process more gracefully. I’m thinking asymmetrical, easily layered pieces along with a few basics should fit the bill.

I want to feel better about the way I look as I work on feeling and looking better. So, I’ve just ordered a few items online (a few from a designer on Etsy –see photo– because I just LOVE the look of this stuff and a couple items from the GAP — quit wincing, I saw that!) I’ll let you know how that works out once they arrive and I live with them for a few weeks.

If they are as wonderful as I expect them to be, I’ll give you the full scoop with links and prices and how I made it work for me… but only after I’ve tested 🙂

Products

As I said earlier, my wonderful solid shampoo, is the bomb. Even the Honey Badger told me to go and “stock up” on those bars — we both use it every morning. He didn’t even blink when I told him they were $11 a bar. His response? “They are good, you like them and they last forever.” He’s not had any issues with dry scalp since starting with my fancy “bar” shampoo, either. I hope to try additional varieties in the near future, even though I’m completely happy with the shiny-hair version we have now.

There are three things that my mother has always preached at me: moisturize your face, floss your teeth and get proper sleep. My mother would be happy to know that although I’ve flossed for years, I’m finally starting to moisturize. We won’t talk about the sleep right now… that still needs a lot of work.

The moisturizer has never been a huge deal for me. I’m in my late 40s now, and I’ve always had really oily skin, so the LAST thing I wanted to do was add more oil! But, lately, I’ve been worried about sun damage and when I was placing an order from The Body Shop for my daughter’s Christmas, I picked up a couple things for myself, including a “Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30.” I figured I’d hate it, but have resolved (once again) to start trying to protect my face.

I have always LOVED the Body Shop’s Satsuma essential oil. I wore it for YEARS and YEARS. Adore that stuff — so, of course, they discontinued it. Dang it. They DO still have Satsuma-scented products, so I picked up a “body spray” and some of their Satsuma Body Butter at the same time. I got the body butter, not because I use a body moisturizer — I actually make my own — but because I wanted the scent and I knew I’d take the time to put the body butter on my winter-dry legs.

My Favorite SPF MoisturizerWhen the stuff arrived, I tried the body spray and found it horribly lacking. It’s much more chemical smelling, whereas the Satsuma essential oil had a soft, natural scent. The body butter was good — If I can just remember to put it on. But the shocker was their “daily moisturizer” — and I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t greasy.

Yeah, I know everyone says that about their product of choice and most people lie in my experience (which is why I have tried to moisturize in the past to no avail). But this stuff is really great. It only takes a teeny-tiny bit (which is good since a 50 ml bottle retails for $20-plus shipping if you don’t catch a sale like I did) and it spreads beautifully and absorbs in seconds. I got it for the SPF protection, I think I’m going to keep it (until they discontinue this too) for the way it makes my skin feel. (My mother will be so proud!) The citrusy scent is also very nice.

I’m still looking for a great lip product — something that’s got a hint of color and lots of moisture, but isn’t *sticky* or goopy. I have long hair which flies around a lot and tends to get stuck in such lip products — which totally grosses me out. I love Bonne Bell’s Dr Pepper lip balm — but I’d like to find a more natural solution. Eventually I will.

Weight and General Health

I’m still losing weight, but it’s slowing down now. If I continue to lose a pound or two a week, I’ll be happy. I have a long way to go to get back to where I was when the Badger and I started dating… but I felt much better about myself then, and I’m tired of feeling like a slug.

The health-related aspects of my simple eating plan are still shiny and awesome — no joint pain, no muscle cramps and weirdness, it’s not uncomfortable to be active. I still sit in my chair at work too many hours a day, but I’ll be working on that as well. (I’ve tried to rig a standing desk — to no avail — but will work on this again when we move our offices in May.)

The area of my general health where I’m really falling down is sleep. We have been so busy at the shop that we work ungodly hours and usually are doing so 6 or 7 days a week. I’m not able to shut off my “monkey mind” and sleep — even when we do manage to leave the office and get home. My sleep patterns still need a LOT of work. Yeah, I know, Mom… I know…

That’s the update for now. I hope you are following your own simple, living small dreams and that it’s working out beautifully for you! (Please share your own stories — I know we would all LOVE to hear them!)

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