Things I love in 2013

February 4, 2013

I took a bit of a hiatus during the holidays that spilled into January.  I’m back to share some of my favorite things in 2013.

  • Spices – Go through your spice rack and make sure your herbs and spices are still in date.  If you’re not sure, just open the jar and smell it. Old, dried up herbs and spices lose their fragrance and won’t lend much to what you are cooking.  Most spices have an expiration date on them, but if not keep them for no longer than 1 year.  My favorite spices are smoked paprika and cumin.  I use the heck out of both of these.  Spices are so good for you and they make food so flavorful without adding fat or calories.  Try cooking with a new spice (or three) this year!
  • Vegan Bloggers – There are so many great bloggers out there.  One of my very favorites for vegan sweets to healthy Super Bowl eats is “Chocolate-Covered Katie”.  Check her out:
  • Diet Change-ups – I plan to mix it up quite a bit this year to continue to figure out what works for me and what doesn’t.  In fact, after a bit of an obsession with vegan junk food (think organic corn chips, potato chips, etc.) I am starting the Ultimate Reset again.  The Ultimate Reset is what got me on my path last year to healthy, clean eating.  I’m not ashamed to say that I got off track a bit and started eating things that were still gluten-free and vegan, just not clean or remotely healthy for me.  I’m also going to experiment with the amount of legumes and grains I eat.  I currently eat both, but know I’ve been over doing it with the grains.  I’m looking forward to making adjustments and seeing what works.  If you are interested in more information about Ultimate Reset, visit the following link:
  • Supplements – If you think your diet or your body needs a little extra something, try a dietary supplement.  If you are going to take supplements though, make sure they are worth your money and in line with your dietary goals (for example, vegan, gluten free, plant-based).  I prefer whole food based supplements because your body actually knows what to do with them because they are made from foods and can be digested.  I’m a big fan of Shakeology.  I drink the vegan shakes as a meal replacement for breakfast (and because it’s loaded with all sorts of wonderful things to supplement my diet).  Even with Shakeology, I noticed that I still felt that I needed that 3pm pick-me-up in the afternoon.  Last year I tried Xtra, by Univera, a plant based supplement,  and I absolutely love it.  I drink it twice a day and have seen some amazing results including more focus, more energy, less stress and less hunger.  I also find it allows me to recover much more quickly after a work out and I am not nearly as sore afterwards.  For me it was worth a try.  If you do experiment with supplements, try to get something that has a money back guarantee in case you don’t see results.
  • Mix Up Your Fitness – Try something different this year to add to your fitness routine.  I recently purchased Les Mils Combat and can’t wait to dig into that as something new.  I’m also doing more yoga than ever to compliment my Martial Arts practice.  The two together are a perfect fit.  I love yoga so much that I’ve decided to get my teacher certification.  The program I’m doing requires me to donate hours of yoga to those that have never experienced it before or maybe wouldn’t have the opportunity to.  I absolutely love this and can’t wait to donate my time.
  • Dedicated “Me” Time – I’ve started setting aside 30 minutes a day just for me.  I may use that to exercise, read, listen to music, meditate, get some fresh air, get a pedicure, whatever.  In that time I focus on being ‘present’ and not worrying about anything else.  It’s a great way to calm a multi-tasking mind, which we are all guilty of.  During the 30 minutes, the phone and all of my other devices get ignored.  Try it for yourself and see if it reduces your stress, calms your mind and allows you to focus.
  • In-Person Meetings – With the internet, social media and access to these outlets across multiple mobile devices, it’s very easy to carry on most conversations and social interactions via technology.  Last year I put forth an effort to make more in-person interactions and it was truly rewarding.  I am definitely continuing this trend in 2013.  It’s easy to slip away from the public eye and resort to technology-driven socializing, but I find it leaves me feeling very lonely.  There is nothing like the energy you feel by interacting with people, in person.  Technology can never truly replace human interaction.  So get out there and make coffee dates, lunch dates, gym dates and networking appointments.

What are your favorite things in 2013?

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I'm not a doctor. Be smart guys, if you are thinking about beginning your own health and fitness journey, please first consult with your physician.