Self-Care and Kindness

by Ashley on November 6, 2014

self care

They say wisdom comes with age and the older I get the more I believe this true. While I still have a long way to go, with each passing birthday, understanding the ins and outs of life (well, some of them) seem to come a little bit easier. My mom and I still always laugh about my teenage response to her when she told me I needed to get some rest, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead, mom…” which clearly was a statement just further proving my youth.

A common topic discussed amongst my friends these days is one that I want to share discuss with you today … and that’s on the idea of being kind to ourselves.

For the past 10-12 years, it’s easy for me to say that I have burned the candle from both ends. Starting the day I gained the freedom to legally drive a car, until recently, self-care, especially sleep, has been an afterthought.

It all started in high school as tried to balance a social life, participate in after-school activities like dance, cheer and softball (there’s a story behind that one), build my resume to be attractive for different colleges through club involvement and leadership, volunteer efforts and working 2-3 jobs for a little bit of spending money (it took a lot of gasoline to keep the roads as hot as I did!). Returning home at 11pm was pretty normal on most school nights, only to start my homework at that point (I promise my parents weren’t slave drivers, this was all self-induced. Remember how I’ve told you about how Dustin stays on me about always filling my cup up too much? Clearly it started at an early age.)

From 18-21, my college years, I did much of the same thing with a little more time committed to school and social engagements and less time working outside jobs.

Married life has continued this way with its ebbs and flows between personal kindness and stretching myself extremely thin, such as during the time that I went back to school and also during my time at the Mayo Clinic in order to complete my dietetic internship.

In the workforce for the past year, my overworking, non-stop mentality has continued as I constantly try to cram a week’s worth of tasks in one afternoon. But all of a sudden, truly out of nowhere (possibly related to my maternal clock kicking in?), my body, mind and soul started craving kindness.

What do I mean by that?

I feel myself yearning for peace, tranquility and gentleness when it comes to my body more than ever before — to the point of hardly recognizing myself, but I couldn’t be happier that I have finally reached this point.

  • Surviving on 4-5 hours of sleep per night? No thanks. (Definitely still working on this one.)
  • Sprints on the treadmill at 5:45am? I’ll pass. Evening workouts have become more and more attractive.
  • Pushing my body in the gym when I’m not feeling it? Let’s go for a walk instead.
  • Enjoying my fair share of processed junk on the weekends only to leave me feeling pretty terrible on Monday morning? Pass the veggies instead!
  • Spending all day inside? I NEED nature!

Now, I’m not saying that I do/don’t do all of these things on a regular basis, but I’m finally slowing down and actually listening to my body. And it feels good.

Here are a few other “self-care” things that I am working on as well:

  • Expanding and deepening my relationships with those who matter most to me
  • Expanding my meditation practice
  • Daily scripture reading
  • Laughing more
  • Taking the appropriate supplements
  • Balancing my hormones
  • Having an attitude of gratitude

As I approach my late twenties, optimal health, fertility and simply enjoying life are topics that seem to frequent my thoughts. I am clearly moving into a season of my life where being happy finally trumps how many check marks I have on my to-do list.

What about you? What phase or season of life are you in? Are you focusing on self-care/kindness or do you relate more to my “work-horse” type self?

Have a lovely Thursday!

Good health!

Name

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A Nice Little Break

by Ashley on October 26, 2014

all great ach quote

Why hello my dear friends.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been hesitant to come back to this place. A place that I know all too well, but a place that I have had to push to the side for the past few months for my own sanity and well-being. Many of you have been with me since day one, nearly 5 years ago, and have experienced the changes and ups and downs of life right along with me. If so then you likely know better than me that when change comes, like it did nearly a year ago when I started working full time, I always try to hold on and resume life as normal, but slowly, I have to readjust and refocus, which is exactly what I have been doing for the past six months.

imperfect

Throughout this time away, I’ve been itching to write but the commitment to the time that I know it takes to run a thriving blog that is actually worth both yours and my time has been holding back. I’ve been afraid to comeback out of fear that I couldn’t commit to the writing schedule that I was on when I left, posting 5-7 days out of the week. But then I remembered… the thing I love so much about this place is that it is always here for me to comeback to, however much I want, whenever I want. While I certainly am not going to commit to any large writing schedule, I’m going to try to slowly get back to writing and sharing my passion with you all, after all, that is what it’s all about. Quite frankly, I missed you. I missed your encouragement, your support and the relationships that I was/and did build through this blog that started nearly five years ago only as a space for me to document my journey as a new wife with only a small interest in nutrition… oh my journey has been documented alright and if you are new to this site, tonight, let me catch you up in hopes that we can continue through this crazy journey called life together…

Life

My very first post

The end of baseball (as we knew it at that time)

My path to nutrition

My first day at the Mayo Clinic – well, really this was my first day 

Answering the question, what’s next, Ashley?

What an extraordinary person do?

Yummy Recipes 

Black Bean Burgers that actually hold their form

Peach Crumble

Mini Peanut Butter Pies

5 Color Sweet Potato Veggie Soup

Banana Splits

Yogurt Parfait the healthy way

Crockpot Lasagna 

A beginners guide to green smoothies

Just in time for Halloween – Jack O’ Peppers recipe

Healthier Pumpkin Pie

3 of my favorite healthy snack recipes

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars

Check It Out

Five Day Real Food Detox

$5 Weekly Meal Plans

10 tips on successfully landing a dietetic internship

That should cover just about everything from A-Z.

As I sat struggling whether or not to come back to the place that I have devoted and spent so many hours creating, it was these quotes that motivated me to start typing, word by word…

writing quote

never allow quote

Over the next few weeks I hope to catch you up on what’s been going on in my life and then dive back into practical nutrition tips, daily musings and recipes that will feed your body and soul alike!

Have a wonderful Monday!

Good health!

Name

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Atlanta Food and Wine Festival

June 1, 2014
atlanta food and wine festival

Hi friends! Long time no chat! I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Thanks to the amazing folks at Savannah Magazine, my sister and I spent Saturday at the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival and it was AWESOME! I am already looking forward to attending again next year…it was that good! (Unfortunately, I walked right […]

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Happy Mother’s Day + Black Bean Hummus Recipe with Brenton Gluten Free Crackers {Review }

May 11, 2014
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Hi friends! Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there, especially mine! This picture always makes me smile! To the woman who taught me that love is verb; that memories are more important than materials; that happiness is a choice; that Jesus is the answer ; and that in the end, everything is […]

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On being an optimist. Is the glass half empty? Or half full?

May 8, 2014
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Hi friends! Happy Thursday! Thank you all so much for all of the birthday wishes over on IG and FB – I am beyond blessed! I spent the majority of the day at work but was able to slide out a little bit early and spent the rest of the afternoon with the hub and […]

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Matcha Vegetable Curry {Review and Giveaway}

May 6, 2014
matcha vegetable curry

Hi friends! Happy Tuesday! The hub and I celebrated Cinco de Mayo in true form with Speedy Gonzalez margaritas (recipe adapted from the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs – one that I will definitely be sharing with you all!) and Fiesta Bowls! I love a holiday that calls for margaritas and mexican food! I’ve got lots […]

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Recent Happenings + Nutrition and Fertility

April 26, 2014
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Good morning friends! Happy Saturday! I hope your week went well! I had a slightly unusual week… one that kept me in the bed for nearly 34 hours straight rather than at work. I left work on Tuesday afternoon with a few errands to run. As I was walking up and down the isles of […]

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Savory Breakfast Bowls {The Recipe Redux}

April 20, 2014
savory breakfast bowls

Hi friends! I hope you all had a lovely Monday and a lovely Easter weekend as well! We certainly did! I am beyond grateful for the sacrifice that Jesus made for me yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is so, so good. I was more than excited to share the Easter with friends and family. We […]

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Slow Metabolism? Maybe Not.

April 17, 2014
metabolism

Hi friends! We made it to Friday! Hip, hip, hooray! It seems as though I haven’t been discussing very much research based nutrition info over here lately and rather sharing a little more into my life, so today we’re going to mix things up a little bit and get back to the meat and potatoes […]

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Mental Spring Break in Palm Springs

April 14, 2014
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Hi friends! Happy Monday! I hope you all had a lovely weekend! As I mentioned last week, I took a mental spring break of my own and enjoyed some time with my girls out in Palm Springs, California. Tonight’s post is simply a recap of some of my favorite moments and is extremely photo heavy […]

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Time to Relax

April 9, 2014
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Hi friends! I hope you all are having a lovely week! It’s been a busy one over here! Between work, working out, prepping meals, taking care of the pups, taxes, keeping up with home stuff, etc., I have completely failed on my goal to increase my sleep but I have plans to get back to […]

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My Favorite Foodie Things: April

April 1, 2014
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Hi friends! Happy April! Can you believe month four is already here?! Per usual, this year is really flying by. Today I want to share with you a few of my favorite foodie things that I am really loving right now… TJ’s Coffee a’ Cocoa It is seriously delicious! I do wish it was organic […]

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My Week In Workouts + Tabata Cardio Workout

March 30, 2014
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Hi friends! I hope you all are having a lovely weekend! Today I just wanted to check in and share my week in workouts, as well as an awesome tabata cardio workout that I did on Thursday (both quick and effective – the best of both worlds!) that I think many of you will enjoy […]

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Happy Friday + Fruity and Seedy Overnight Oats

March 28, 2014
overnight oats

Hi friends! Happy happy Friday! Working a desk job has made me even more appreciative of the weekend! I have a pretty low key weekend planned … I woke up a little bit earlier to squeeze in a cardio/interval workout this morning so that after work I relax w family/friends instead of spending the evening […]

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Weekend + Lots of Foodie Things

March 24, 2014
meal prep

HI friends! Happy, happy Monday! And what a Monday it has been – with as positive of a tone as I can have, I am happy to see this Monday come to an end. I recently learned that the morning really sets the tone for your entire day, and I certainly saw that to be […]

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Grit Patties {Recipe Redux}

March 21, 2014
grit patties

Hi friends! Happy Friday and happy spring! I am beyond thrilled spring is here! I’m ready for warmer weather, lighter foods, sandals and shorts! What about you?! I’ll take a lunchtime picnic next to this rather than the snow any day… Anyway, being the 21st, you know what time it is… time for another Recipe […]

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Weekend Recap + One Thing I’m Not Getting Enough Of

March 16, 2014
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Hi there! Happy St. Patties Day! I hope you all are wearing your green! Although we didn’t do too much St. Patties Day celebrating this weekend, it was still quite a lovely weekend! Friday night I had a little get together at our new place with friends… My mom came over on Thursday and made […]

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Eating and Your Schedule

March 12, 2014
rd day

Hi friends! I hope your week is going well! Happy National Registered Dietitian (RD)/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Day to my fellow dietitians!  In honor of this national holiday ;-), we’re talking nutrition today… specifically nutrient timing. Working as a nutrition consultant, I talk to real people with real problems in real life every day. They […]

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Weekend Recap + Chunky Monkey Banana Soft Serve

March 10, 2014
dairy free soft serve

Hi friends!! Happy, happy Monday! First off, if you are in GA, holy moly at this weather! Why can’t it say like this all the time?! I asked my mom where the weather stays like this all the time and she said San Diego and Bermuda so if you hear me start talking about another […]

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Happy National Pancake Day!

March 4, 2014
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Hi hi hi! Happy Tuesday! I hope your week is moving right along! In case you didn’t know, today is National Pancake Day, as declared by IHOP! Today from 7am-10pm 1,5000+ IHOP restaurants will provide a free stack of pancakes for each guest, while encouraging them to make a voluntary contribution to their local Children’s Miracle […]

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Weekend Randoms

March 2, 2014
homemade trail mix

Hi friends! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend! I just wanted to check in and say hello and share a few weekend updates! First off, congratulations to Jill and Raquel! I used random.org and you two are the lucky winners of the Nasoya tofu giveaway from last week! If you will please send […]

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March Goals – Are You a Goal Oriented Person Too?

March 2, 2014
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Hi friends! Happy Thursday! And also, happy first week of March! I am excited about March being here for several reasons, one being that spring is right around the corner which means that we get to “spring forward” and move our clocks ahead this coming weekend! I cannot stand it getting dark so early out, […]

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This Weeks Eats + Finding Meaning in Everything

February 26, 2014
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Hi friends! Happy hump day! I hope you all had a lovely Wednesday! This week has gone a little bit slow over here… busy but slightly slow! Workouts have been hard and food has been tasty, per usual! Monday night was Pan-Fried Tofu (if you haven’t entered my tofu giveaway from Monday be sure to […]

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Weekend Recap + Spicy Lemon Tofu + Giveaway

February 24, 2014
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Hi friends! Happy, happy Monday! I hope you all had a lovely weekend! I had a pretty productive weekend to say the least. I ran a few errands Friday evening and then later that night my sister joined Dustin and I for dinner here. Saturday was a super busy day that included my jazz shoes, false […]

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Fit Friday: This Weeks Workouts + Daily Activity

February 20, 2014
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Hi friends! Happy, happy Friday! What a busy week it has been! I’m feeling lots of good energy and really running with it this week! The husband has been in town for most of the week, so we have been able to pick back up on our morning gym dates which has been really nice. Our […]

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Weekend: Alvin Ailey + Yummy Eats + Cardio/Arm Workout

February 16, 2014
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Good morning! Happy, happy Monday! I’m hoping for a productive and healthy week after veering slightly off of my usual routine last week (I’m blaming it on the snow) and this weekend (still blaming it on the snow). Although the only thing constant in my life is change, I still struggle when my routine changes […]

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Happy Valentines Day! Valentine Snowballs

February 14, 2014
snowballs

Hi there friends! Happy Friday and happy Valentine’s Day! The snow has moved on out of here so I am headed into work today, but I certainly enjoyed the past few days with my hub and pups! As I mentioned on Wednesday, we did a lot of cooking, relaxing, organizing and even squeezed in an […]

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Snow Day Fun: Long Walks, Yummy Wine, Cookies and More!

February 12, 2014
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Hi there! What a week it has been in Atlanta! We are snowed in to the max! Around 1:30pm yesterday my manager came around our office and told everyone to leave and then our office was closed again today. We’re still waiting on word for tomorrow but it’s not looking good! It seems as though […]

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Don’t Let the Small Things Get in the Way of the Big Things

February 10, 2014
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Hi friends! Happy, happy Monday.  I certainly had a case of the Monday blues this morning because of a not so productive Sunday… well at least when it comes to prepping for the week. I stayed up way too late on Saturday night (but well worth it!) chatting with my brother and mom, which lead […]

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A Healthier Happy Hour: Pistachios + Coconut Dark Chocolate Dipped Pears + Pinot Noir = Mmmmmm!

February 9, 2014
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Hi friends! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Pretty busy over here. I know you’re tired of hearing about the move, but if it isn’t obvious, it’s currently consuming my life! Hopefully, things will slow down and return to normal soon! This move has seemed harder than the rest and I think it […]

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