Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Change - an ode to self care

photo credit: S on flickr

Times are changing. The political climate has driven all of us to take a closer look at what is happening in the world around us. Regardless of where we stand,  one thing is clear - we are all being affected and taking action. However today I am not going to talk about politics, there is more than enough of that dialogue going on and I don’t want it to take over my life and bring me fatigue. Self-care is important to me and in recent months this has been my focus. This ties into the world around me because of change.

Change. For the first time I am not only acknowledging I have to meet my own needs, I am actually doing it. This has been beneficial. I have stepped outside of my comfort zone and been more open about my needs. I’ve shared my vulnerabilities. I’ve received support from unexpected places. None of this has been easy and I am still in the midst of very trying times. But the one thing I’ve learned is that I am not alone.

For most of my life I have isolated myself in times of trouble. Sometimes the isolation is physical but most times I withhold information from friends and loved ones because of pride. My fear of judgement and because as an only child I’ve always handled things on my own. I never realized how freeing it would be to share more of myself. It has fostered deeper relationships, greater self reflection and has resulted in a better me. This journey is far from over but I’m liking the results I see.

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but I know this isn’t true. By making small changes I am beginning to live a fulfilled, more well-rounded life and am comfortable in my own skin. I’m making choices the best for me and not resorting to old coping mechanisms that were not beneficial to me. This change isn’t easy but it is getting a little easier every day. Do you have a similar story?

I share because I want to remind you that although the world around us is seemingly spiraling out of control and you can’t breath, please don’t forget to put on your oxygen mask first. Ask for help when you need it. Take a timeout from social media. Turn off the news and listen to great music. Dance. Eat. Pray. Make love. Be happy! And if you aren’t happy manifest happiness until it becomes a reality. Self-care is the most important gift you can give yourself and the ones you love. Do it now, the life you save will be your own!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Healthy eating and fitness tips tonight! #sandersonfarms

Chicken and Quinoa Salad on Sanderson Farms website click  for recipe

Tonight is going to be a fun! I am all geared up to discuss food and fitness tips for a healthier New Year with the team from Sanderson Farms led by Joyce Cherrier @joycesherrier.
Joyce is a professional has been a professional windsurfer, owner of a health food store and a personal trainer! I know that she is going to have a wealth of information to share with all of you so I hope that you can join us this evening at 8pm EST on twitter! Be sure to RSVP here so that you can be entered to win one of two fitness bands! Following the twitter chat we will have a facebook live recap at 8:45pm and you can join that here!  

If you have been following my blog for awhile, I am sure that you know that I am all about health and fitness. As a matter of fact, seven years ago (I can’t believe it has been that long!) I chronicled my weight loss journey right here on this blog. I lost over 50 pounds and have kept it off (more or less) over this time! I am certainly looking forward to discussion food and fitness tips with Joyce and the rest of our team and guess what? I will be the featured guest for our facebook live recap!

I hope that you will be able to join in this evening, it is an hour of your time! Lend us your best health and fitness tips and listen in while I share mine! I know the New Year is a time for most people to evaluate their healthy living habits. If you have getting healthy as a resolution, have fallen off the wagon or simply want some great information, be sure to join me tonight, it is sure to be a ball!

This post is sponsored by Sanderson Farms. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New Year, New Attitude!

Happy New Year! And yes, I am well aware that we are now in the third week of January but it is still a new year and time to dust things off around here. 2016 was a doozy for me and the end of last year I really had to take time to do serious self-reflection. It was a time of change, endings and new beginnings. Quite frankly, I am still getting back on my feet and I am nowhere near where I want to be in both my personal and professional life. But I have adopted the “act as if” mentality.

I have to “act as if”

My personal life is amazing.
I am winning in all areas of life.
I am living my best year ever.

This is not an easy exercise but somehow God, the Universe, good karma - however you want to name it - has surrounded me with people who are living this way daily. I have become a true believer in the Laws of Attraction and as a Christian I’ve always known that by trusting God the desires of my heart will be met but I don’t think I’ve believed it. I understand now that each and every word I speak and every single thought I have about myself can and will come into fruition. This applies to both negative and positive things and so I’ve decided to remove myself from the muck and mire of negativity and work on uplifting myself.

On New Year’s Day I attended a party where we each created Vision Boards. I was very serious about mine and was very focused on my intentions as I chose the words and pictures that I envision for myself. I have also asked for help from my friends. If you know me, you know that certainly isn’t something I do often but I am stepping out of my comfort zone to have my needs met.

One of the most fulfilling things I did was play a game on facebook by asking my friends for one positive word that started with the first letter of their name. The response was awesome and I’d like to think that each word represents what the individual thinks and/or hopes for me. I created the wordle above so that I can always have a reminder when I need a swift kick in the butt!

A final thing that has helped me was being nominated for an award in health and wellness from ACHI, a women’s empowerment group here in Atlanta. One of the things I had to do was provide information about my background and accomplishments in the field. I compiled the information and I impressed myself!  For a year now I’ve been singing the blues and had truly forgotten about what a Badass I truly am! Well no more. I am focused on being positive, growth and rebirth. My name Renee actually means Rebirth and that is what is in store for me in 2017!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

3 tips for healthy living in 2017 #sandersonfarms ad

This post is sponsored by Sanderson Farms.

Unbelievably it is New Year’s Eve. This year has both moved swiftly but also at a snails pace for me as things not only in the world but personally have been very challenging. As the New Year approaches many of us make “resolutions” for the new year and I know that one of the most popular resolutions is to get healthy. Although I am personally not a fan of resolutions (because I think any day can be the start of a new attitude and outlook on life), I appreciate the idea of living healthy and want to share some tips with you that can help you have a lifetime of healthy living.

I’ll start with three small changes that should not be that difficult to implement but will reap big rewards.

  1. Drink water. I know not everyone is a fan of water but water is the key to life. Oftentimes when we believe we are hungry, it is our bodies telling us that we are thirsty. Drink water often, it will help to flush your system, keep down cravings and will also help lose any pesky water weight that is hanging on. Water is my go to drink, I rarely have juice or soda in my household.
  2. Add more vegetables to your diet. Find veggies that you like, I am personally partial to green leafy veggies but try to fill up half of your meal plate with vegetables of your choice. This small change can make a world of difference!
  3. Choose great protein. I am a big fan of fish and poultry (which I just added back to my diet 2 years ago after a two decade hiatus). I don’t eat red meat or pork and every meal I aim for a quarter of my plate to be protein.
Doing these three things will help you to curb your hunger, be healthier and you will be surprised but it will also help you to lose those extra pounds you might be carrying around. If you are looking for healthy chicken options, I highly recommend the Healthy and Light recipes on the Sanderson Farms website.

Making small changes in your diet can have a big impact on your overall health. I wish you a happy and healthy New Year and would love to hear from you if you decide to take one or all three of my suggestions!  

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

#GivingTuesday and #SandersonFarms #ad

Today is #GivingTuesday, a day for you to support causes that are near and dear to your heart. You might begin your holiday shopping and purchase items that provide donations to a great cause or you can give funds to your favorite non-profit or perhaps do a service project with your child. Whatever you do today, make sure it counts! One of the ways that I enjoy giving is supporting companies that assist others, philanthropy and service are important to me every day of the year and if I can make a difference by purchasing things that are necessities, I am all for it. I have been working with Sanderson Farms chicken for several months now and one of the things that I admire is their dedication to social good.

In fiscal year 2015, Sanderson Farms donated over $1.1 million to charitable organizations, including more than $370,000 through the United Way in the communities in which it operates.

“If you can imagine a company moving to a community and improving the quality of life for thousands of individuals and families, that’s what Sanderson Farms did for Lenoir County [North Carolina],” said June Cummings, Executive Director, Lenoir/Greene United Way. “Not only their corporate gift, but their employee gifts to United Way have made a tremendous difference.”

And since 2012, Sanderson Farms has donated nearly 1,000,000 pounds of poultry to charitable organizations. Additionally, the Sanderson Farms Championship, as part of the PGA TOUR, has generated over $2.7 million in donations to Friends of Children’s Hospital, a fundraising organization supporting Mississippi’s only children’s hospital.

Sanderson Farms is truly committed to making a difference in the communities where they have plants. An example is from Bill Ellis, Director of Parks & Recreation for Kinston, North Carolina. “Before they even opened their doors, they donated 40,000 cubic yards of dirt for a soccer complex. They come in and clean up along the riverbank. From the plant manager down to the line employee, they really want to make the community a better place.”

I am very happy to be working with Sanderson Farms and in addition to your donations and/or purchasing of products that have a support good causes, if you eat chicken, I encourage you to purchase Sanderson Farms chicken, not just on #givingTuesday but anytime you purchase chicken. Every purchase will help make a difference!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, all views are mine.

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