fitness and nutrition, giving

Poke Me Poke Forward

I’ve made it a point to try new things this year. New things include new foods. Today I experienced my first poke bowl.

I was a bit conservative with my choices but I enjoyed it and thought it was filling. I had double shrimp for my protein. They were small shrimp but they tasted good. I had some roughage in the bowl as well as crunchy onion bits, carrot strings and onion slices. I stayed away from the sauce and raw stuff.

I neglected to save a photo because I was too excited to give it a try. This meal was especially sweet because a loved one sent it to me via Uber eats. It came delivered nicely in a brown bag dropped on my porch. This was also my first time using Uber eats even though I didn’t actually place the order. 

What I learned in the process was how convenient Uber eats can be for somebody you care about that is a distance away. You can easily order online, follow the delivery status and communicate to the recipient for them to follow along as well. I even got a text showing it arrived. So convenient.

In my case this was sent from miles away in another state. I enjoyed the thought of a virtual meal with my buddy who was unable to be with me in person. Such a cool experience. I will be sure to pay this idea forward in the weeks ahead. 

My hope is that I send a meal forward and the recipient is as elated as me and pays it forward to another. Not to make Uber eats benefit but rather to share joy with others through a meal even if you can’t sit across from each other at a table.

Poke forward. That’s my motto for the weeks ahead. Maybe for a meal train for somebody in need. Maybe for an elderly person living alone. So many options.

author moments, health

The Massage. Some Womanly Advice. Don’t Miss This…

It’s been a long awaited time to visit my favorite massage therapist due primarily to Corona restrictions and a limited schedule offered when the spa actually re-opened.

Today was the day. It’s been almost two years since I was going to get a massage from my favorite masseuse. He is tall, strong and has that sexy European accent. That’s not what I get most excited about though. It’s the movement techniques he applies. It’s like a dance of sorts. As relaxing music plays in the background the pressure points in your body are hit. Gentle and harsh motions. Deep as well surface penetration is applied in a methodical way.

Back to the dance. He leads and my body reacts. It’s that simple. I need to release the tension of the world and allow my body to enter the relaxation state that many don’t experience. And then while in that moment, my body dances or receives the massage motions/movements. The tension goes away. The aches subside. Nothing else matters. No background noise is heard aside from the gentle sound of background music.

When the body moves well there is an occasional pop or natural release. From hot stones to warm towels to aroma therapy, the experience is like no other. Of course I have had other massages but this therapist is by far my favorite due to his techniques.

Face down is how it begins. The shoulders. The back. The arms. The hips. The thighs. The legs. Nothing is skipped. You feel the pressure and release in your quads. Your calves. Your IT bands. Even your fingers and toes.

Then there is a pause. The slight pause is time for the flip. Flat on your back the process starts again. More oil. More warm towels. More pampering from head to toe. The forearms. The chest muscles feel the finger rub to get the smaller area. The triceps and biceps get a little more pressure. The toes crack. The feet are flexed in new ways.

I won’t give you every last detail however I will say I am completely refreshed. My mind. My body. My soul. I am capping off my session with very berry smoothie. Pictured above is the cherry on top. The chilly, protein packed refreshment. Now I am off to enjoy the rest of my weekend.

Some may say this is me spoiling myself and unneeded.  I will respond with this is self care and you should try it! From me to you. Get the massage. Spoil yourself. You are worth it! For my male readers: spoil your partner. Let them know you are okay with them relaxing and unwinding. 

awareness

Action Words

Pooped
Tired
Exhausted 
Fatigued

The action words above describe me after today. After the crazy week. After all the emotional highs and lows I experienced. Too many highs and lows to note. More importantly, my week resembled a roller coaster of life. A real shit show.

Refreshed
Recharged
Rejuvenated 
Rested

The above action words describe me now after some time alone. After some time to gather my thoughts. After an unplanned trip to the coffee shop for a sweet treat. After a day outside In the fresh air. After a trip to chase the mountain air.

I had plenty of things on my to do list. I had a few events I could have gone to. I had some folks I could have visited with. There were many things I could have done but instead I chose me. Just me. Just time away from the noise. The chaos. The crazy. The stupid. All of it.

A plane ride to an island might have been a nice oasis but with the pandemic still lurking my options were a little closer to my normal than a vacation destination. The destination didn’t so much matter as much as the journey. The break in the cycle of chaos.

Many times I talk about a reset button. We all have them. We all need to use them at times. If you don’t reset the crack will deepen. The crack will then turn in sink holes that you can’t find your way out of. A trap of sorts.

Many may never see you need a reset but I’m sure you know. The question is can you just drop the to do it list and fix you? I do. I do it sometimes more than I want to or more than I want to admit. The point is I’m not afraid to say I need a mental health day. A day off the grid. A day doing the unexpected or unplanned. There is only one of me and in order to fire on all cylinders when it’s needed others around me need to know not to let the crack deepen. They need to see a stress fracture and say I can cover for you. Take a break.

How many just want somebody to notice they need a break? Many. Some people don’t ask if you are okay because they are scared of what you will say. Some won’t ask a hard question because of fear. I take the fear away from others. I say what I feel and do what I need to because nobody can fix me but me. 

This rant was about mental health A-Z. I may use myself as an example above but it’s relatable to many. Our teachers need a break from the chaos they see daily. The students need a break from what’s all been thrown their way, too. Let’s not forget about the parents that are juggling work, carpool changes due to Covid changes last minute, who has shots and who doesn’t, mask or no mask….they need a break. A break without punishment. A day off.

How many actually take a day off. How many people say no you can’t have that day off. Plenty! Plenty is one too many. My mom always said never judge a person until you walk a day in their shoes. Many have shoes I wouldn’t want to fill in this day and age and heck many wouldn’t want to be in my shoes most days. For whatever reason we need to have the ability to recharge. Reset. And just play hooky.

10 years ago I’d never tell my kid they could take a day off just because. However today I leave the possibility open. PTO of sorts. Physical time off. Time away. Taking care of self before others. Getting into nature. Moving the body. Stimulating what you want vs. what you have to. That homework can wait. In today’s world it’s okay.

When I revisit this post in a few years I may have a different mindset but today this is my journal post of sorts.

I will leave this post with words of discomfort. Words that require action in one way or another. What’s relevant today but most likely to be avoided.

Covid

Pandemic

Mask required

Vaccinated

Quarantine

Symptoms 

Restrictions 

Zoom

Digital day

Hoping 2022 has something spectacular lurking. 2021 is just as much of blur as 2020. 

Teddie Bear Adventures

Recovery Road

The road to recovery for my little puppy and me. You will have to refer to “that feeling” post to see where this journey began. My emotions were way out of whack watching this pup suffer then work to recover. The picture below is a tired pup who wished they could run but just lays still waiting for the medicine to kick in. I’ve always said a good stretch is part of recovery!

At the vet her left paw hung mid air. I felt horrible. She limps upon arrival home but takes tiny risks as she gets her water and food. Amidst the chaos much love was seen in my environment. Her sister Teddie was amazing. She was calm when she needed to be and sat by her side as she rested. She played soft vs fierce when the puppy’s movement was limited. She knew exactly when to hold the puppy’s paw so to speak. This might be the silver lining of this whole fiasco.

After the limping and moping around she opted for yard lounging and rolling to get some energy out. Within 24 hours she was showing signs or a miraculous recovery. Maybe the meds helped. Maybe the snuggles. Not sure but she did milk us for sure. Those big eyes got me.

As my heart had pain originally it quickly swelled knowing both girls would make a full recovery. Physically and emotionally while building their sibling bond. I sure did hit the lottery when Teddie entered my life and now more than ever I see that value of adding a sibling (Bear) so they can do life together and support each other and me of course.

Precious time. Valuable photos. The limp is fading. The courage is seen. Teddie is a golden doodle. Bear is a labradoodle. Similar breeds yet different. Teddie loves hard and is fiercely loyal. Bear is playful but also loving. Her full persona is still evolving but for now we know she has a great future and is one tough little girl.

Recovery is hard but a needed step in many stages of life. It was unfortunate we had to experience this at such a young age. I will forever remember the guilty feeling in my belly when the accident happened.

inspire

A Note Card

A card. A hand written note. A stamp. Its final destination: Cape May, NJ. On its way to meet a girl I met years ago. A special girl.

I met her in when she was in 8th grade. She was still blossoming but I saw her shine. She was timid in a way but her quiet swagger made her stand out from the rest. Quiet confidence. A bright, bright future was on the horizon for her. I could just tell she was going places.

Fast forward a few years. I watched her learn to drive. She didn’t need me to pick her up anymore for practice. She got a college scholarship to a prestigious school to play a sport college. She worked hard to grow to an elite level in her sport. Her future was bright.

We stayed in touch over the years. She was from a military family. She wanted to serve. She chose to serve others. She is now in her element. Training for her new role serving our country. She will do great things in her life.

For now I cheer for her from afar. My note card is part of the process. The hand written note to let her know she appreciated. She is thought of. She is missed. She can do anything she puts her mind to.

The note card is signed by a few people she inspired over the years. People she volunteered her time with. People who aspire to be like her in a way. Never underestimate your ability to impact others. 

Young. Old. Near. Far. One can make an impact. Maybe it’s volunteering. Maybe it’s spending time. Maybe it’s a listening ear. Maybe it’s a note card. Whatever it is. Do it! Make time. Be significant. Make a difference. Somebody is watching you and learning from you.

To my girl all grown up in Cape May, NJ, may all your dreams come true. May your road traveled be full of adventures. May you return home safe. May you be the best version of you!

Let’s hope the postal service gets my note card to my girl before she is ready to set sail to her next destination. Fingers crossed.