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The Green Glow: Day 4 – Very Berry

Oh my goodness! What a gorgeous day to be outside in Austin and we did just that. On my way out to begin my errands, I had the LUSCIOUS Day 4 green smoothie in hand – VERY BERRY. Mixed berries, an orange, banana, and spinach made this a REFRESHING smoothie!!! I replaced plain water with coconut water and added ground flax seeds and ginger. I finished drinking the smoothie in a matter of minutes. That smoothie was VERY, BERRY GOOD!

It occurred to me that consistency is another key ingredient in maintaining healthy habits. I’ve been drinking green smoothies for years and it’s been the last few Januarys that I’ve participated in green smoothie challenges. You don’t have to be perfect in following your plan, but consistency will help you reach your goals.

Even if you slack off a bit, get back at it. Never give up. One healthy habit executed consistently will inspire another healthy habit and so on. Just don’t give up!

The beautiful weather inspired me to get out and attend a health expo at Huston Tillotson University. I’m glad I did because I ran into the dancer who used to teach my daughter ballet when she was little. After that, my husband and I enjoyed a long walk in the woods.

Bryan and I on a trail 1-4-2020 LPC

What was the weather like in your neck of the woods? I hope you get some SUNSHINE when it comes around.

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The Green Glow: Day 3 Pineapple Dreamcake

Happy Friday everyone! I’m energetic on the third day of 2020 and my third day on this 10-day green smoothie challenge. Have I told you how much I LOVE tropical fruits like pineapples??? Today’s smoothie features pineapples beautifully with cherries, a banana, almond milk, and spinach. I added ground flax seeds and a small knob of fresh ginger, which took it over the TOP! Scrumptious!

In order to maintain any healthy habit, it’s key to set yourself up for success. For example, with this challenge, I did some things ahead of the challenge to ensure I wouldn’t have any excuses not to reach my goal of completing the 10-day green smoothie challenge.

Although the instruction manual divides the shopping into two grocery trips (likely to be spaced out by a week), I completed all of my shopping for the challenge in one weekend.

Most of my fruits are frozen, so I don’t have to worry about them spoiling. One tip I did to ensure my fresh spinach doesn’t spoil is I immediately froze some of the fresh spinach. Trust me, I’ve been doing this for a while, so frozen, fresh spinach works great in smoothies. When I’m ready to blend, I just let my frozen fruit thaw a bit in a measuring cup on the counter.

It’s essential to set yourself up for success in maintaining any healthy habit, or any goal, for that matter. Preparation and planning will help get you there.

What are some of your health goals for 2020? How will you set yourself up for success?

Smoothie prep LPC
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The Green Glow: Day 2 – Pink Flamingo

Pink Flamingo Smoothie is a Winner! LPC

Happy Thursday! Today is my first day back to work in 2020 and I’m feeling FABULOUS! I prepped today’s smoothie recipe last night and it was more “pink” last night than this morning. It was more of a greenish brown by the time I drank it, but still DELICIOUS!

Pink Flamingo LPC

I suppose the strawberries, combined with the mango, spinach and almond milk would make a “pink” hue; however, I substituted strawberries for mixed berries. The hue came out to a shade of pink, which may not be very reflective in the picture. To this smoothie, I added ground flax seeds. I forgot to add the knob of fresh ginger, but it was still YUMMY. Each recipe serves one, but I always end up with a little extra. The jar to the right is about a half a cup. I’ll drink that up as a snack before dinner.

I want to share a tip on acquiring a collection of mason jars. It’s really simple. Don’t ever throw away used jars such as spaghetti jars, jam jars, coconut oil jars, pickled pepper jars, salsa jars, spice jars, etc. I remove the labels by soaking in hot water and then BOOM, I have a new jar in a different size. I have a cabinet full of purchased and re-purposed mason jars I use for my smoothies.

If you’re interested in adding this one healthy habit of drinking a green smoothie to your day, check out the website at https://simplegreensmoothies.com/ for more information.

Cheers to our health!

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The Green Glow: Day 1- Beginner's Luck

Hi friends from across the globe!!! Happy 2020! Today marks the first day of my participation in a green smoothie CHALLENGE. As promised, I will post my daily progress for 10 days. The challenge itself should be a piece of cake. After all, I’ve participated for the last 3 or 4 years. Listen, I don’t need a challenge to make me drink a green smoothie because it’s an everyday healthy habit I’ve done for a few years now, but who doesn’t love a challenge??? It helps remind me of my health goals. I want to encourage you to add at least one healthy habit a day.

I’ve been enjoying green smoothies, cleanses, and vegan recipes from https://simplegreensmoothies.com/ for years now. Almost more than drinking the green smoothies themselves on this 10-day challenge, I love the names of the smoothies. Today’s smoothie is called Beginner’s Luck. I’m not a beginner and I don’t believe in luck, but this smoothie is like a tropical themed party in my mouth. It features some of my favorite fruits – mangoes, pineapples, and a banana. Once the spinach is added, the result is a scrumptious, creamy, beautifully green smoothie. I think anyone new to drinking green smoothies will be hooked after trying this one.

These smoothies are nutritious as is; however, I add extra boosters to amp up the nutrition factor. For Beginner’s Luck, my liquid was brewed organic green tea that I chilled instead of plain water as the recipe indicated. I also add flax, chia, or hemp seeds to all of my smoothies. And for good measure, I add a small knob of fresh ginger.

If you’re interested in this challenge, check out the web page https://simplegreensmoothies.com/ to find out more information. It’s free join…you just need to purchase the ingredients.

Here’s to health, happiness, adventure, joy, success, and love in 2020. May the light lessons you face along the way help you reach your goals. Cheers!

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The Green Glow: Coming in 2020

Green smoothie challenge January 2019

Hi WP friends from across the globe. For the past 3 or 4 years (I’m too lazy to confirm) on January 1, I’ve participated in a green smoothie challenge, which I LOVE. I drink green smoothies every day, but this is a treat because I will be doing a LIVE cleanse with people from all over the world. If you follow my blog, you know I’ve written about my green smoothies many times. If you’re curious, you can read a few posts here: https://enlightenedsocialworker.blog/2019/09/28/sometimes-a-vegan/ https://enlightenedsocialworker.blog/2017/04/15/glowed-up/ https://enlightenedsocialworker.blog/2016/11/08/i-love-green-smoothies/

Normally, I post to my facebook page daily when I’m on the challenge (hence, the pictures from January 2019); however, I’m thinking about doing a quick post to my blog site daily. The difficulty with doing a daily blog post is my work schedule, but if I can post to facebook, I can upload a blog post to wordpress.

What I LOVE about doing the LIVE challenge is I get to connect with people from around the world who also want to make better healthier choices for themselves. It just motivates me even further!

Tall, Green and Lean

I am SO looking forward to better health in 2020! How about you? Do you want to join me?

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Forever shopping in my closet

I’ve finally done what I committed to do back in July 2016.  If it weren’t for me rereading my blog post on Closet Shopping, which you can read here, I probably would’ve thought I just recently came up with the idea to take pictures of outfits I assemble with my existing wardrobe. Genius! Yesterday, I spent most of Saturday (7 to 8 hours) getting reacquainted with the clothes in my closet. As I prepare for 2020, I want to let go of feeling like I don’t have enough.  I have plenty!

For clarification purposes, on this recent endeavor, I was focused on my winter wardrobe, which mostly occupies the closet space in my bedroom. My summer clothes reside in my daughter’s closet. With changing seasons, I switch out the clothes.  I grew up in the midwest (Chicago, IL) so changing clothes with the seasons is a habit. 

I didn’t think it would take me 7-8 hours, but time flies when you’re having fun. I had my music playing in the background as I diligently went through my clothes, focusing on the pieces where I tend to have more difficulty assembling outfits.  As the QUEEN of “separates”, I sometimes forget which pieces work well together.  This exercise will help me remember. 

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I enjoyed this outfit at the office earlier in December. I felt extra chic with my black tights and black suede boots. LPC

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At home after church 12-29-19 LPC

Clearly, I’m not a photographer.  After I tried on combinations I liked, I just layed out the pieces on my bed and took pictures with my phone camera.  The lighting in my bedroom is HORRIBLE.  You can see it didn’t capture the vibrant hue of this sparkly blue top. The impetus for assembling my outfits is that I had an epiphany recently.  I spend very little time getting myself dressed because I’m often multitasking, trying to get things done that I think are more important.   

This became apparent to me when I ended up not liking the outfit I put together for Christmas Eve service at church.  My husband and I took a picture together at a display at the church sanctuary, and let’s just say, I didn’t post the picture to my social media.  A complete ensemble consists of not just the clothes, but jewelry, shoes, and a hairstyle.  I have a bad habit of neglecting to spend time on the whole ensemble.  This will change. 

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Golden. LPC

Another epiphany I had is that when I was in my shopping frenzy heyday, I didn’t have a systematic way to shopping.  Unless, there was a special occasion, which was rare, I shopped sales.  This could be another reason why it feels like I don’t have complete outfits, but just a bunch of pieces.  My mom would ask me why I had so many tops, which is still true to this day. I think it’s easier to pick up another pretty shirt.  I didn’t have to put much thought in it.  Over the years, I’ve gotten more strategic about pieces I need (i.e., black dress pants, white shirt, etc.) 

The good thing is as long as my clothes are good quality, I hold onto them for years.  I still  wear some clothes as old as my daughter (she’s 14).  The brown skirt pictured above with the gold shirt is about 13 or 14 years old. I bought the gold shirt and necklace (separate purchases and stores) about 2 years ago.  

My weight has fluctuated over the years, but I’ve lost roughly 25 pounds two years post having my daughter.  I’ve already given away clothes that were too big (except for a few favorite pieces), which is why I probably don’t have any clothes from the time I had my son.  I was heavier then.  Three years ago, I lost more weight and have been maintaining all except 5 pounds. 

In 2020, my goal is to lose 20 pounds.  Although I’m putting shopping on pause now, I will likely need to shop in the future to accommodate my smaller frame.  I need to find a talented tailor for a few pieces I have now and in the future. 

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Pop of color LPC

 

There was a time I had very little black pieces in my wardrobe. I loved bright colors and I still do to this day. Then about 15 years ago, I had a manager who mostly wore black. She used to live in New York City for a period and I noticed she wore black often. She said everyone wears black in New York because it’s chic.  She had me thinking about black, so I added a few black pieces to my wardrobe.

I hope this post encourages someone to stop the madness of constantly buying clothes only to constantly feel like you have nothing to wear.  Why buy things if you don’t take the time to enjoy them.  Spending a whole day in my closet, assembling outfits is a rare treat, but it gave me an appreciation for what I have.  

And what I do have is a whole lot of dresses, especially summer dresses.  I didn’t bother taking pictures of them all.  That will be a future post in the spring.  I’ll have fun pairing them with blazers and dress sandals.  What I’ve learned since living in Texas for 22 years is that you can turn a summer dress into a winter ensemble by simply adding a sweater and some boots. Just like that, I’m able to extend the life of my dresses. 

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Dress is best.  LPC

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Muted hues LPC

I have a small closet filled with clothes and I haven’t even touched the surface.  In my earlier post on Closet Shopping, which you can read here I give insight into how growing up poor contributed to my obsession with clothes. 

Although assembling outfits from my existing wardrobe was a useful and fun experience for me, I want to acknowledge I also felt overwhelmed.  I only touched about 40-50% of the clothes in my closet.  I assembled approximately 25 outfits (not all pictured). 

Earlier in the year, I purged a decent amount of clothes after I watched Marie Kondo on Netflix.  I did the exercise of purging the clothes that no longer served me and I kept the ones which brought me joy.  I think purging should be reevaluated periodically.  It’s not a “one and done” activity.  What brought me joy 9 months ago, may not be bringing me any joy today.  You can apply this to other aspects of your life. 

One light lesson as we close 2019 is I need to purge some “things” from my closet. 

Namely, I want to let go of these false truths:

  1. I don’t have enough
  2. I have to be constantly acquiring stuff to satisfy me
  3. External things define me

The truths I plan to embody are:

  1. I am enough
  2. I have enough
  3. External and materials things don’t define me

How much time do you spend coordinating your outfits? What’s in your closet that you might need to purge? What are you looking forward to in 2020? 

 

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to my WP friends from all over the world! I was up super early after a night of repeatedly getting up to use the restroom. Serves me right for drinking a glass of water close to bed time. You’d think it was a gallon.

Of course, my cats heard my movements, so I could hear the purring from out in the hallway. My husband, Bryan, and I were on our cell phones. Then, my son, Caleb, walked into our room. Soon after, I heard my daughter, Elise, come out of her room. They were ready to open gifts. I’m tickled that my kids still feel the excitement even though they’re getting older.

Beignet and Cannoli Carr with their gifts – LPC

Everyone was back in bed by 8:00 a.m. I’d been exchanging texts with family and friends most of the morning. I spoke to a dear friend for a while. I exercised on my step board my husband got me. I was so excited I had saved one of my old step aerobics DVDs.

I burned some serious calories on Christmas Day! LPC

I plan to have a quiet day at home. My real purpose in this post is to send a special message to those of you who may be struggling this time of year. Whether the struggle is financial, grieving a lost loved one, loneliness, isolation, weariness, homelessness, illness, etc., the reason for this season is to celebrate Jesus’s birth. It’s not about the consumerism and materialiam that we’re bombarded with daily.

There’s peace, joy, generosity, good will, gratitude, and love in the air that I hope permeates your soul today and every day.

Merry Christmas!