Setting Realistic Goals

Good morning hippies! I thought I would share this morning yoga video I did this morning. I follow this YouTube channel and I really enjoy watching her yoga videos because I feel like she explains things really well, especially for beginners. I’ve done this routine (within 5 minutes of waking up) a couple times now and I feel as though it has got me off on the right foot. Maybe it will do the same for you! There are many other videos on her channel for more experienced yogis as well.

As I was doing this routine I was thinking about all the things I was planning to do on my day off, what food to make, etc. Then I started thinking about what I have accomplished so far on my journey (it’s been 2 months since I’ve made any sort of lifestyle change). Along with that I started thinking about all the things I still wanted to do down the line. That got the wheels turning..I feel like all accomplishments should be celebrated, big or small, or else we are less inclined to move forward and keep on track.

I thought I would write out what I have accomplished in the 2 months so far (proving that it IS possible live naturally in this decade and society). Considering we are saving heavily for a wedding, we are on a crazy tight budget and we have STILL managed to make these changes.

What I HAVE done:

Detoxed/Uncluttered the House
This was step #1. I threw away ALL household cleaners and cosmetic products I didn’t absolutely need on a daily basis (until they could be replaced, like toothpaste, deodorant, etc.) When they are out of your house you have no way of using them, so don’t store them away somewhere for a rainy day. Also in the spirit of Spring, I completely “decluttered” the house, went through and cleaned out pantries, cupboards, closets, etc. of old food and items that were just sitting there. With every item I thought “Do I NEED this?” “Am I going to use this OFTEN?” If there answer was NO, it went in the trash. My house is so much cleaner and organized and setting myself up in an environment like that makes me stress-free!

Replaced ALL Household Cleaners
Pretty much the same day I went to the grocery store and bought vinegar and baking soda, both very cheap and both pretty much the two major items you will use when it comes to cleaning. I also bought a big bag of lemons and I had leftover oranges in the fridge to make a batch of all purpose cleaner (the citrus vinegar has to sit in a cool dark place for 2 weeks before use). Also Dawn dish soap is another item that will be used often. With the exception of essential oils, those are the main ingredients for cleaning supplies. Recipes and steps to make these cleaners are in my previous blog posts.

Slowly Switching to Organic Food
“Slowly” is the key word here, first we made the switch with vegetables by getting a bi-weekly subscription to Organics Live. If you don’t plan on doing this or its unavailable in your area, stick to AT LEAST buying food that’s on the “dirty dozen” list organically, as those contain the most pesticides. We have just recently switched over to organic eggs, butter, milk, sugar, etc. Switching to organic food will probably be the most costly thing out of this whole process but I not be afraid to say you will feel 1000% better. I personally notice a huge change in my body.

Switched to “Cruelty-Free” Makeup
Personally, I loved buying makeup and still do..I used to be that girl spending $200 at Sephora every month, but with the amount of saving we are doing I don’t have that added luxury. I thought if I am going to buy store-bought makeup I will at least make sure it doesn’t test on animals. Plus I have been trying to wear less makeup everyday anyways. After the wedding I will do some research on other vegan/cruelty-free makeup companies.

Disconnected from the World
What was once a $130/month phone plan is now $0! I completely cancelled my phone as I have WiFi at work and home. I found that I was constantly checking Facebook or had my phone in my hand, now I can put it down for hours and not think twice. It feels great to not feel so attached  to your device. Eventually after the wedding I will get a $30 talk plan so I can at least make calls when I need to but at this point its not necessary. I have also found that I have been reading A LOT more in my spare time.

Yoga, Yoga, and more Yoga
It speaks for itself. There are hundreds of free videos out there..headaches, fat burning, morning, meditation, etc. Even if you try to do 10-20 minutes a day. Most of the time 20 minutes flies by for me and it does wonders with toning and strengthening your muscles. Not to mention a natural stress reliever.

Making my own Cosmetics/Switching to Organic
Think of all the toxins that get absorbed through your teeth, arm pits, face, and skin alone. For the items I still have not yet to make (toothpaste & deodorant) I made the switch to organic. For items that I could change, I made myself. DIY face scrubs and cleaners are easy to make! I’m sure you have heard that coconut oil can be used for almost anything these days, well it’s true! I use it on my hair, on my legs when I’m shaving, face scrubs, etc. I’ve also been using witch hazel on my face as an astringent, eliminating my toners and makeup remover (not for the eyes I might add).

Food Prepping & Growing your own Herbs
I have been growing my own herbs for a couple months now and so far so good! Food prepping has been a new change for me. Its difficult with my 40 hour weeks but on my days off I usually spend them in the kitchen for a couple hours. Lately I have been pre-making my lunches and meals (which has definitely saved me money) and making ahead things like breakfast sandwiches for a “grab & go” meal.  The thing I LOVE about this is that every time I open the fridge there is something to eat and I’m not standing there contemplating on what to make or getting frustrated cause I don’t have the time to cook a huge meal. It also keeps me away from Tim Hortons or Macdonalds for a quick, cheap lunch at work.

Some TIPS that have helped me:
– Constantly think about restocking or creating a “stock”. If you are at the grocery store and you see a box of baking soda, grab it! its a $1.25 and you go through things like that quickly!
– Essential Oils will be your best friend, you can add them to almost any homemade recipe with cleaning or cosmetics. Just BE CAREFUL with the type you choose to use as some can be used internally and others are only for aromatherapy. Do your research and select a good grade, trust me it makes all the difference.
– Celebrate your accomplishments and set realistic goals. Not everything happens when you want it to, and a lifestyle change takes time, be patient!

So in the last two months I have made some major changes and still plan to make way more. All while on a very frugal budget, however in a way (other than organic food and essential oils) making the changes has SAVED me money in the long run. Its totally doable, for anyone.

Advertisements

Fitness Progress & New Buys

It feels great when you actually start to see small changes right? When your hard work actually pays off. In the winter I was way bloated, hippy, and I just felt frumpy over all. I feel like I’m starting to slowly get my body back! Of course, not without heartache. At first my sugar cravings were through the roof, now they have almost disappeared. I’ve been noticing I have been eating smaller portions, get full quicker, and if I eat something crappy I definitely pay for it later.

I have been drinking loads of lemon water, sometimes I’ll spice it up and mix in cucumber or blueberries. I will literally try to drink a jug a day. The lemon water has definitely helped with my bloating and stomach. I have also still been eating mostly organic food and the more I eat it the better I feel! And I’ll tell anyone who wants to hear it!

Considering Justin is currently at the other end of the country, I have been taking the time to eat things that he wouldn’t normally like. I’ve been more adventurous and eager with cooking dishes like tofu pad Thai, avocado cucumber salad with hemp hearts, and guacamole deviled eggs, etc. Working as much as I have been has kept me busy and distracted even though I’m missing my babe like crazy! But I have been trying to make the most of my alone time to keep up these positive changes.

Anyways, what’s been working for myself with my busy schedule, is to make small realistic goals. I know realistically I wont be able to work out or run everyday but I have been trying to at least do yoga as much as I can. I figure if it takes 20 minutes I can somehow fit it into my schedule. I’m learning everyday that what you put on or in your body makes all the difference. Also, celebrate the small accomplishments!

24

Some new and exciting things I have added to the kitchen! I figured I would try some organic milk. With a $2 bottle deposit it was around $5 for the liter, but now I can return the bottle and only pay around $3 from here on out. I kid you not, it’s like you can taste the grass in this milk! (I know that may not sound that appealing but trust me it was delicious and I felt a 1000% better about drinking it). Organic milk contains more Omega-3 and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), which increases the body’s metabolic rate, immunity to disease, and muscle growth. It also reduces abdominal fat, cholesterol, and allergic reactions. along with that organic milk has no chemical contamination and more antioxidants than conventional milk! If you want more info on the health benefits of organic milk click here. I also decided to swap out refined table salt for pink Himalayan salt. The salt is made naturally, is unprocessed and is said to be the purest form of sea salt. It’s loaded with 80+ minerals and vitamins and comes along with amazing health benefits! Here are just a few that I learned when doing some research on it:

  • Create an electrolyte balance
  • Increases hydration
  • Regulate water content both inside and outside of cells
  • Balance pH (alkaline/acidity) and help to reduce acid reflux
  • Prevent muscle cramping
  • Aid in proper metabolism functioning
  • Strengthen bones
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Help the intestines absorb nutrients
  • Improve circulation
  • Dissolve and eliminate sediment to remove toxins
  • Increase libido
  • Reduce the signs of aging
  • Detoxify the body from heavy metals

 

26

It’s all about the small changes! Since I still haven’t bought all the ingredients to make my own toothpaste and deodorant, a quick fix was to replace the ones I was using now with a more natural option from my local health food store. The deodorant was around $6 and the toothpaste was $5, but to be honest the price difference is not too much more from what I would have normally spent at the pharmacy. Toothpaste and deodorant are normally around $3-$5 each anyways! So I feel a lot better making the switch. I also got witch hazel, which I have mostly been using on my face. It makes me skin soooo smooth! Clears up blemishes and pimples and also removes my makeup. The good thing about witch hazel is that it can be used for so many other things! like bug spray, a toner, a natural spray on deodorant, etc. If you’d like to look into other uses for witch hazel, check out this article. I am really only missing a few things off my big list, which can be seen in my previous blog post Back to the Basics.

25

It’s been on-going but I’m loving the way I’ve been feeling and making changes has just been getting easier and easier for me. It’s honestly addicting, once you start you just want to keep going! And once you notice the positive impacts you just want to maintain it.

Lavender Orange Laundry Detergent

Today was my first day off in a while, so I walked down to my local health food store and bought washing soda. Since getting our washing machine fixed we had sooooo much laundry to do. I figured it was time to ditch the store bought stuff and make my own! I love this recipe because it makes a HUGE amount of powder detergent and all in all, each load is approximately 0.06/cents a load. and you get around 100 loads. You only need 2-3 tablespoons. Yes, you read that all correctly. Rather then the $6.00 for maybe what, like 40 loads? Amazing right?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax – $12
  • 1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Washing Soda – $9
  • 
1 (3 lb) Container of OxiClean – $7
  • 
2 Bars of Laundry Soap – $4
  • 1 Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda $2
  • 
10 drops Wild Orange Essential Oil from dōTERRA (preferably, I unfortunately had to quickly settle for my local health food store brand)
  • 
10 drops Lavender Essential Oil from dōTERRA (preferably)

You’ll also need:

  • 2 gallon bucket for mixing
  • a food processor or blender
  • a large mixing bowl
  • a whisk
  • a fine cheese grater
  • LARGE storage container (glass preferably)

20

Take the cheese grater and grate the laundry soaps bars (This is the most time consuming and annoying part of the process)

21

After its finely ground put it in a food processor or blender and blend into a powder.
Mix all the ingredients (except the essential oils) in the 2 gallon bucket.

22

To add the essential oils, take half of the powder mixture and put it in a mixing bowl, add the essential oils and fold them into the powder. The amount of oils you add determine how strong the smell and a little goes A LONG way so go slow.  Mix it all back together and pour it into a glass, air tight storage container. I am having some difficulty finding such a large glass container so I had to opt for a 2 gallon plastic container until I can find one.

TIP: Save the scoop you get in the OxiClean container and use that to measure your detergent. 2 tablespoons go to line A and 3 tablespoons go to line B. How convenient is that? If you look hard the powder with the oil mixture makes little orange swirls in the detergent.

23

If you want to make this even more natural, you can eliminate the borax, and strictly use baking soda, washing soda, and epsom salts. You can also opt to use fragrance free laundry soap bars AS WELL as opting to use OxiClean “Baby” or “Free” instead of the original.

When its time to use (for top load washers) allow it to fill part way then add the powder.
Use Cold Water

For front load washers, mix 2 tablespoons of the powder to two tablespoons of hot water, then add to the load.

So why did we use all those ingredients? I did a lot of research on different detergent recipes before actually making it. I’ll keep it short and simple. The Borax is a laundry booster and the washing soda acts as a solvent to remove stains, but doesn’t stain like bleach. Baking soda also removes stains, whitens, and removes odors from clothing. Baking soda also acts as a natural fabric softener. OxiClean and the laundry soap bars also act as a stain remove and detergent booster. Finally the essential oils, for a natural alternative to smelly perfumes and chemicals.

The entire thing was a process, but I really had a good sense of accomplishment along with finishing it. I also did my first “test batch” with a load of towels and they actually turned out great! The were for sure clean but didn’t have an over-powerful smell. The lavender-orange smell was definitely noticeable. This huge container is going to last me FOREVER and its a natural way to clean your clothes, that’s cheaper in the end too!