Exercising & Eats on Vacay

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Why do we do this to ourselves? We workout exhaustively and diet whole-heartedly in the days leading up to vacation, and then once we've jetted away or arrived at our location, it's all been so much that we break down and yell at ourselves for not 'behaving' a proper way. And as a result, we end up not enjoy vacation because of our destructive, limiting, and restrictive thoughts. We are no longer filled with the love, light, and excitement like we hoped for in our vacation planning. Gosh that stinks(!!!). So I repeat. Why do we do this to ourselves?

So I've (Emily, here) come up with a few ideas to help you figure out how to enjoy vacation: eating what your body needs, moving when you feel right, and finally ending the vicious train of thought that weaves it's way into your mind.

So how do we start? Here are three simple steps:

First, let yourself off the hook. Letting yourself truly enjoy vacation is a must and oh so important. How much time do you spend on vacation a year? Do you even regularly go on vacation? Let's say it's one week a year. That's 1/52 of your year. If you don't think you could bounce back in the other 51 weeks of the years, you have another thing coming. Relax and do things you don't do when you're at home on the grind. You have plenty of other days to do the exact same thing, so why not change it up for the week and enjoy?

Evaluate the food sitch for your duration. Where are ya? A hotel? A house? Someone's place? Are you only going out to eat, or can you get yummies to stock up your room, place, etc? The vacation I've escaped on luckily allows me to go out and grab groceries, so I can keep eating what I normally do (minus my green smoothie, darn it). If you're in a hotel, there's likely a mini fridge. My 'kitchen' at school consists of a microfridge, so yes, it's doable to stock it up with fresh goods and keep up with delicious eats. If there is absolutely no way to stock up anything, don't hesitate to invest in your meal plans. Find great restaurants, go out and snag fresh veggies and fruits for when you go out and explore, or run and grab your favorite meals from a local cafe when you can.

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You do not have to have a 'perfect diet or exercise routine'. Ever. But mainly on vacation. Okay. So there is no such thing as perfect. If anything, there is perfectly imperfect which is something that all of you are, but there is no such thing as straight up perfect. And there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all whether that's in pajamas, pants, exercise, or diet. Nope. I'm here to tell you that if someone lost 1000 pounds on this kind of diet, it doesn't mean you couldn't gain 50 on the same one. Everyone is different. So stop freaking out because you aren't obeying this perfect ideal. That being said, especially on vacation, stop and smell the roses. You aren't going to lose or gain ten pounds over the span of a week or two. I know that you're saying Gee, Em, if anyone can, I can. But you can't. I promise it's physically impossible (okay maybe there is one percent chance, but not all of you are in the one percent).

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In NYC, it's the first time I've ever had a nice, vegan meal in an upscale restaurant. So I let the stereotypical salad finally loose, and I found a great amazing meal. And I'm so glad I did, because those kinds of nights are few and far between. Same thing with working out. I brought my yoga mat and have online subscriptions to my two favorite workout places, but I haven't felt like getting up early and making myself super sweaty and sore. So instead, I pop out of bed, do a few stretches, maybe a couple sun salutations, hold a little plank, or do none of the above, and then go in search of my cup of joe. It's really no big deal, and the sooner one can internalize that notion that you can enjoy your life without making yourself miserable first, the happier and healthier one will be.

Finally, breathe. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and exhale through your mouth. Let yourself relax. Drop your shoulders away from your ears and honor yourself. Have you been pushing yourself too hard? Is your body begging for a slow down? Does it want that extra plate of spaghetti, because you're hungry, and it's amazing, and you feel like you haven't had carbs in an eternity (which is something we could talk about if you need support around a foodie lifestyle that works for you)? Listen to your answers. Listen to yourself. You know what you need, and given half a chance, the body can heal itself. Use this time away to recharge, get empowered, and return to your life invigorated and ready. Like I said above, you won't lose ten pounds or gain ten pounds on vacation, so stop picking on food and your body, telling yourself such things. Enjoy. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy, and breathe. It's only as complicated as you make it.

 So there you have it! Three simple (beyond simple, really) ways to keep perspective and enjoy your vacation, exercise and eats style.

1. Evaluate Your Food Sitch. 2. There is no such thing as the perfect diet or fitness plan. 3. Ya gotta breathe, babe.

Be sure to tune into my snapchat (@efriend216) or follow me on instagram or twitter (both @yourfriend_em) for my travel adventures and foodie finds! xx

How-To: Getting Back to Normal Life after a Holiday

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We've all been there. Countdown to the three day weekend starts four weeks out; work pick up, but there is the freedom of that extra day coming. And then before you know it, those days fly by, and you're back at work feeling like you'll never make it through the week. Maybe leading up to the holiday you were eating a certain way or exercising a certain way that made you feel really good, but now that there is no encouraging promise of adventure, that routine slips to a passing thought. All the things that gave you such a buzz are now mellowed out by the post-high of the holiday. It's the same across the board: vacations, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, the winter holidays, etc; we all get the happy glow of it's coming and the sadness of it's passing. So how can you keep that happy bubble fixed in place despite the lack of impending holiday? I've (Emily, here) got you covered with some tips & tricks.

1. Make Good Use of your Photos

We're all about those snapchats, and we live to document our lives with little shots and short video clips. Look at them again. It'll give you a fun thing to reminisce over and look forward to the next time when you can make s'mores, hang out with the people you really like, and partayyyy.

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2. Breathe and Allow Yourself Time to Adjust

A lot of the time, we've spent the entire weekend going going going. It's easy to let that bleed into the week where you're sleeping right up until you have to leave, rushing around, and finding yourself at work where you aren't even productive, because you didn't allow yourself a moment to reset. Take that time. Wake up a little earlier, sit down with your coffee (or green tea or lemon water), and breathe. Reflect on the awesomeness of your past weekend or week. What did you like about it? What would you like to do again? What would you have done differently? Then slowly switch to the coming week and what it is bringing. What do you have to accomplish? What scares you to tackle? What are you excited to work on? Prepare yourself, before you leave for work, about what's coming up for you in the next five or so days.

3. Make Time for 'Little Holidays'

Just like you schedule a meeting or an appointment, schedule time with or for yourself. Put in time for a yoga or boot-camp class you've been wanting to take, or carve out space in your day to make that meal you keep pinning in on Pinterest. Little 'holidays' are great ways to have that anticipating thrill and reward. Schedule a date night. Make yourself a priority. When you take care of yourself doing the things that excite you and make you whole, you work better and are a better person to your coworkers, peers, and partner. I just started dedicating Sundays to self-care. I coined them a surprising, "Self-Care Sundays". Original, I know. It's nice to have that day where I do an exfoliating scrub, touch up my eyebrows, make yummy food, paint my nails if necessary, and read an awesome book that makes me smile. The more I do this, the more I look forward to this new, little ritual. That keeps me excited and pumped throughout the week [for the most part ;) ].

4. R & R: long weekends = lot's of plans = little sleep

Most likely, you are absolutely exhausted after that long weekend. Between parties, preparation, going out, being around others, and so on and so forth, the sleepy levels increase. And if you are riding that high through Sunday night and falling asleep late only to be mad at the beeping of your alarm come Monday morning, you might want to schedule more rest. No, not more hours logged in front of Netflix, but head on the pillow, deep into REM, rest. Being refreshed for your next day and having the energy to tackle the post holiday work load will be worth that unwatched episode season of Orange is the New Black.

5. Start Small

Once you're in work, start in on those tasks that you know you can accomplish quickly. Get them crossed of your list, and notice how you can be productive and successful even with the small things. When you feel more energized to tackle the bigger projects, start moving towards those. While you're at it, break up those huge projects into easy to digest and accomplish little steps. Productivity sky rockets, expectations are actualized, and stress levels will drop. Side note: if you don't write your tasks down, start now. Having something to look at (or scroll through) with everything you need to accomplish will keep your mind from breaking down and will allow you to visually see how much you have gotten done and what is realistic for you during the day.

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6. Up & Out

Little breaks away will keep you refreshed. Trust me. The reason work gets stagnant is thanks to trying to constantly be 'on' in our office. Our ability to work energetically and productively dwindles the more time we go on over a project without a few breaths away. Those ten minute walks around the office (or outside if you can) or lunch away from your desk can allow your mind to recharge, your creativity to spark all over again, and keep your production levels in tip top shape. If you find yourself working 2-3 hours straight and don't ever come up for air, consider setting an alarm every 50 minutes and stretching or moving around for the last ten minutes of the hour. 

7. Accountability Partner's for the Win

Sometimes, free will and dedication alone just doesn't cut it. That's when I like to reach out to my accountability partner. I check in with her in the beginning of the day, letting her know what I need to accomplish throughout the day and what I hope to have finished the next time we check in. Knowing there is someone else who has a list of that day's goals (or that week's project) makes me work harder and not slack off. Find someone who doesn't push your buttons or make you irritated, but at the same time encourages you to accomplish everything you've set your sights on. I know that if I need a little cheering on and motivation, I can get it, but I also know that if I fall behind, she'll remind me to stay realistic in my daily abilities.

Getting back into the groove after an awesome weekend doesn't have to be hard. If you're having trouble, just come back to these tried and true tips & tricks. Try one, or try a couple at a time, and see what works.

1. Make Good Use of your Photos 2. Breathe and Allow Yourself Time to Adjust 3. Make Time for Little Holidays 6. R & R: long weekends = lot's of plans = little sleep 8. Start Small 5. Up & Out 9. Accountability Partner's for the Win

want more support around minimizing your stress or breaking up your projects into small goals to achieve everything you wish? Schedule a free consultation!

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Digital Detox || 6.1.15

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+ could you do a digital detox?

(tips and bennies at the bottom)

How many times have you truly been able to unplug and enjoy the everyday life without having the need to check your phone, refresh your facebook, or see how many likes your last picture had on instagram? It's a terrifying reality that we have all become so connected to our phones and computers; we meet possible dates, we coach clients, we watch tv, find work out videos, recipes, and so much more all from a screen maybe 13 inches wide with 78 keys to press and a trackpad to press our thumbs into or from a touchable surface that fits in the palm of our hand. Whattt?!! It's rantable (not a word but I'm making it one), really. How many times do we stress over how long it will take someone to respond with the time, date, and place when we could call them up on the phone and find out in seconds? And how many times have we sent that same message to someone living in the same space? It's okay. It's not our fault that life has become this way. BUT, it is our fault if we let it continue to dictate our lives.

Last week when my computer broke, I had to hand it over to those more qualified for a couple of days. To be honest, it was a relief. Finally, I had a reason why I couldn't complete more hours of study time or log on and market myself and my business. I didn't have the resource to edit photos, comment on blogs, or heaven forbid, online shop. I had my phone, but my fingers are long -- hellooooo hand cramping. No thank you. So instead, I hung out with my mom, had extra cups of coffee, read more books, did some yoga, took the dogs for a walk, made a yummy salad, finished a recipe, took photos when the sun was just right. It was a command from mercury (it was/is(?) still in retrograde, ya know), but man was it the best order I needed in my life. It was like letting go of a breath I hadn't been aware I was holding.

And then two days later, the internet went down and I couldn't do anything remotely online related for two and a half days. Not only did I do all of the above, but I actually sat around the table with some interesting people and talked about as much as we could think of over the course of five hours. Time that would have been spent watching Netflix, scrolling through pinterest, emailing and staring at a screen that's making us blind to the rest of the world. Boy, oh boy, was it something.

Now it's all back: my computer works, the internet is motoring along, and nothing is quite out of whack (knock on wood). What will I do with my weeks experience of unplanned stops to my everyday life? I'm truly going to embrace what I've learned and make a habit of this digital detox. Maybe once a week, maybe once every two weeks I plan to unplug. Really unplug. From the internet, from the digital world, from everything that makes me stare at a screen and not at the beautiful facets of life all around me. Maybe that means all I will do is take in the words on a page and hold a hot cup of coffee in my hands, but to me, that is enough. What's the worst thing that could happen?

5 Ways to Digitally Detox

1. Time On, Time Off Young Grasshopper

If you burn the midnight oil too long, eventually your light goes out. So if the idea of a shut-everything-off-don't-touch-it-forever kind of detox is intimidating, start small. Work 30-50 minutes and then take a 10-15 minute break that includes stretching, breathing, walking outside, or anything else that gets you away from the blue screen.

2. There's an App for That

Really. You can find an app that keeps certain other apps from working during specific times or blocks of the day. This is helpful if you need to do a social media cleanse rather than a total digital cleanse, but can still be great in the weaning off phase.

3. Thou Shall Not Have Temptation

If seeing a computer, tablet, or phone makes your nerves buzz and your mind say, 'baby, come here', hide it. No kidding, tuck those gadgets out of sight. Hide them away. Eventually, when you realize the amazingness that comes from being unplugged, you'll be able to leave them out and say, give me five more minutes with this book. What?! A book you say? Yes. Ink on pages never looked so sweet.

4. Tell the Rest of the World

Just like going on a diet, trying a new exercise program, or scoring the best tickets to an event, we share. We overshare. The best way to stay motivated is to know that others are informed. So tell the world! Let them know what you are doing. Encourage them to do the same. Being held accountable for not using your computer or tablet or phone does not make you weak in the eyes of the busy. It makes you enviable. Imagine all you can gain, and share that with the world.

5. That Being Said ... The Benefits

Okay, not a way to detox, but certainly one you've been waiting to read. Here's what you could gain when you unplug (some do not apply to all. that is okay. there is more than enough to go around).

  • falling back in love with your significant other // you start to talk to their face again instead of to a phone while you tell them about your day. queue the feels.
  • losing weight // being conscious about your intake of food and not on a screen sends the full signals to our brain at the appropriate rate (which is often a lot quicker than we think). Also, you might find you using your time to breathe or move around, both linked strongly to weight loss.
  • people want to be around you // showing others the respect of listening actively to how they are doing and feeling equals those same people wanting to come back for more
  • seeing the small things and taking pleasure in them // how many times on instagram or facebook are there pictures of a sunset you wish you had seen? Look outside! You have those! The things you have FOMO for are in your backyard or available to you if you stop staring down and start looking up
  • awareness of the world around you // read the newspaper instead of the online paper. Notice how lovely it is to feel the paper beneath your fingers and to really read instead of scanning the headlines. You'll have far more topics to choose from when talking with random people or your loved ones if you know what happened throughout the world.
  • acknowledgment // you know how it's so easy to take for granted all that is before us? After doing this detox, you realize the magnificence that is technology and how we need to use these tools for good and not just venting or ranting or having our say. Spread peace and acknowledge how amazing it is we have access to this greatness.
  • so many more // everyone does this differently, and thus, there are so many benefits specific to the individual. I could tell you more, but that would just be keeping you staring at this screen for more time than necessary.

Try it with me.

How will you unplug? What did you find about this detox that you liked? That you didn't like? Let me know below in the comments or on facebook!

If the idea of doing a digital detox alone is a little scary, let me help.

okay. really. close the computer, turn off the tablet or phone, and start living. there's a whole world out there. make mud houses, do some yoga, take a deep breath. it'll be worth it.