Self-Care Sunday: Coming back from traveling

As amazing as getting away may be, I always come back a little tense and ready to feel like myself again. My skin is usually super dehydrated, my body is in desperate need of some TLC, and I just feel scatterbrained. Traveling puts your body and skin through a lot. On this self-care Sunday, I am going to walk through what I like to do whenever I get back from traveling.

Depending on when I get back from traveling, I go through these motions but recently I was driving so much in a four day time period and when I got back I was exhausted. The day I got back from my trip, I didn’t do much except for showering and resting.

Give your body time to rest. Being around tons of people can be exhausting even for us extroverts out there 🙋🏽‍♀️.

This self care Sunday is going to highlight some “surface level” self- care. Which means it’s the stuff we do physically or on the surface to take care of ourselves.

Self care has been something I’ve started to take really seriously because I was in a place where I wasn’t taking care of myself and the effects of it took a serious toll on my mental, physical, and emotional health.

Before I travel: I hate coming back to a messy room. Before I travel, I take out all of my trash, do laundry, clean my room, and go through my mail (and my inbox). That way when I come back I don’t need to do any chores and everything is clean. Depending on how long I am gone for, I buy my basic groceries so I can come back to a fully stocked, healthy-ish fridge. I also make sure that the energy in my room is clear. Sometimes I sage my room before I go to make sure any energy that comes into my space when I’m gone isn’t going to cause me any stress or anxiety.

A clear and clean space gives your brain extra reassurance because you know when you get back you don’t need to do the basic chores. Remove unnecessary clutter and put away that pile of laundry you’ve been dreading putting away.

Sleep: I value sleep so much. I’m one of those people who needs to get my 7-9 hours of sleep every night to feel like a functional adult. I don’t sleep that well when I’m on vacation or traveling between people’s places cause I want to maximize on all the fun or things happening around me. The lack of sleep drains my body so much and I feel so sluggish. Also, my skin hates me afterward. I make sure to take a long nap or sleep at least 8 hours the day before so I come back reenergized. I once took a nap for 6 hours and woke up at 10:30 pm without knowing where I was. Yeah, I was THAT tired.

We dismiss sleep the older we get but sleep is key for optimal brain function. Our brain uses most of the calories we consume so make sure you SLEEEEEEP.

Skincare: If you know me or have been following me, you know that I am a skincare JUNKIE. Any face mask, scrub, cleanser, moisturizer, or serum I am literally so obsessed with. I have an ipsy subscription that makes my addiction to skincare that much worse. I try to pack “lightly” when it comes to my skincare. I go for my basics: moisturizer, makeup remover, face wash, facial mist, night cream, and serums. This is basic for me if you know how extensive my skincare regime actually is. When I get back, I wipe all of my makeup off even if I don’t have any on.

I cleanse my face with a chemical exfoliant or a sugar scrub. I then do a face mask (sheet masks are preferred), moisturize, serum, and go about the rest of my skincare. This is my favorite part about getting back because I can lay out all of my products and I love when my skin feels healthy and glowy. It forces me to take the extra 30 minutes – an hour when I get back to focus on my skin. I do this before I go to bed so the serums can really penetrate underneath my skin. I wake up feeling restored, refreshed and reenergized.

Also does anyone else mask on planes? 🙋🏽‍♀️ I look insane but planes dry out my skin so much. So if you ever see a crazy mask wearing lady. It’s probably me. Hiiiiii 👋🏽

Wellness: I consider wellness to be mind and body. If I can get a workout in the day after I travel, I’m happy. I recently got back into fitness now that I am fueling my body more with nutrients. So recently, after a few days away I did a nice workout to feel like me again. Working out has always been the one hour just for me. I silence my phone and just focus on my actions. It’s helped me deal with a lot of tension or anxiety. Working out for an hour or 30 minutes forces you to be with yourself. You put your mind into your workout and play some music to fully disconnect. I even put my phone on do not disturb so I don’t get any notifications during my workout.

Another thing I do is I try to drink something to reset my gut. I love kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented probiotic drink that is amazing for your gut. When you’re traveling you may not be eating the best and your immune system can take a hit, especially if you’re staying up late and not drinking enough water. I buy 2 kombuchas and try to finish one of them by the end of the day. The taste can be awful sometimes so I go for the Synergy Organic Kombucha in Mystic Mango. THIS IS MY FAVORITE DRINK EVER. Synergy, sponsor me. PLEASE. It’s goodness in a bottle and tastes super yummy. The acidic kombucha taste isn’t as strong. I even had my mans try it and he liked it so take his word for it, But seriously, I love this stuff whenever I get back from traveling or I’m about to get sick. Something about healthy probiotics in my gut makes me reassured. I also try to make a cucumber + lemon water. I have a basil plant so sometimes I throw a couple of leaves in there to add a little more flavor. The cucumber and lemon act are super hydrating for you. Again, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

The last thing I do is spend some quality time with myself. Whether that’s working on some projects, reading, watching Youtube, or just being alone. I take the time to just be myself for a little. I’ll meditate with some candles or my crystals and think about the trip.

Doing these things is what I like to call “surface level self-care” where you take care of yourself on the surface. So your skin, your space, your body, etc. Self-care is a lot deeper than this. This is what I like to do whenever I get back from traveling because it resets my body and my mood. Obviously, there are other ways you can go about doing this.

Let me know what you guys love doing when you get back from traveling.

My complicated relationship with fitness

I would call my relationship with fitness as complicated but holding strong. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with fitness my whole life. I would much rather sit on my couch, watch bad reality TV, and eat copious amounts of mac n cheese. But I’ve learned that in order to feel better about myself mentally I need to have a release. Working out shifted from being a thing I dread to a place where I can exert all of my stress, anxiety, and thoughts. It’s “me” time but there are some days where I hate it.

I am no expert. I am not physical trainer, I am not a fitness model, or anything like that. My major in college is Information Systems. I like tech stuff BUT fitness is a really big part of my life. I have tried a lot of different workouts, styles, training mindsets, all of that. It has taken me about 2 years to get to the place I am in right now. My relationship with working out and being healthy wasn’t always peachy.

Paving your own path
Your fitness journey should be about you and what works for you. If you go into it with the wrong mindset, you will not be able to stay consistent with it. The “revenge body” is a great way to stay motivated but not to base your whole fitness journey on. It should be for you. As cliche as it sounds say “I want to do this for myself, my mental and physical strength”. It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing.

I hate running. Some of my friends LOVE it, I don’t get it. It’s not me. So in order to do my cardio, I find something that I like. It takes a lot of trial and error to figure that out. You need to get out of your comfort zone to really decide if you like something or not. Maybe if I ran more, I’d like it but I get the same type of workout by doing something that I can actually enjoy.

I keep telling myself this mantra “Good for them, not for me”. I forgot where I heard this so please if you know who said it, comment below so I can give the proper credits. But anyways, this helps me not compare myself to someone else.

Everyone is so different and what I’ve realized recently that there are a lot of factors that go into someones overall appearance. You never know what someone is doing behind closed doors and also, social media presents a very scripted or false sense of what is really happening.

Finding your boundaries
I’ve learned to be patient with myself and be okay with the days where I am not the most active or productive. I used to get so down on myself because I expected my body to perform at a certain level. You sometimes need to take a step back and realize that your fitness journey is an actual process so it takes time. You also need to give your body time to recover and heal. Going to the gym 7 days a week will over work your muscles and you won’t see the progress you are expecting.

Like I said, there is a lot that goes into it. Your diet plays a huge role. It’s that 80/20 rule: 80% diet, 20% workouts. On the days where I indulge and eat more, I can feel myself heavier during my workouts and I am more lethargic. I feel that as much as it’s important to stay on track, being okay with the minor setbacks is also a big thing that I never considered to be important but now it is.

Your mental health throughout this whole journey is so important. Both men and women feel a lot of pressure or insecurities because of what is deemed as “fit” or “beautiful”. Knowing yourself and trusting your own journey is a big deal because it is so easy to get sucked in to what everyone else is doing. It’s hard not to but actively trying to shift your “self talk” will help a lot in the process.

What has helped me stay consistent is having a goal for myself. Every time I work out I do 20-30 minutes of cardio no matter what. 20 minutes go by now on and I am sweating but I feel my body craving to do more. I don’t overkill it but as long as I get 20 in, I’m happy. Also I workout 5-6 days a week. It’s more so 5 because my body and my mind need those two days to recover.

HIIT vs Strength/Power Lifiting
I used to go a lot of heavy lifting, strength training. I didn’t mind that I looked a bit muscular but I appeared to look a lot bigger than I actually was. Lately, I’ve shifted to a high intensity interval training styled workout. Which includes high reps/low weights. I always tried to stay away from that because I wanted to gain muscle faster. But HIIT training, in my opinion is a lot more sustainable and you can stay consistent with it because you can change up your workouts in a lot of different ways.

I personally like the way that my body is adapting to this change, I can feel myself less bored and more consistent. I can switch up my workouts or do a class or something that will keep me engaged while getting a good workout in.

I train strength every other day with HIIT in between. My HIIT workouts are shorter but I am doing more where my strength workouts are longer but I am working on engaging bigger muscle groups in concentrated amount of time. I like to  add that variety because I get bored so fast with working out. I’ve learned that if I get bored with something really quickly then I am going to get tired of it and not want to do it anymore.

Social Medias Role
Social media can be an toxic place sometimes. We are in an era where Facetune, Fit Teas, and blurring filters exist. Social media offers a perspective. People choose what they want you to see. Celebrities and fitness models have teams or a people who spend the time to edit every picture, put the perfect caption, and tell a story in a light that is manipulated in some ways.

For me, social media was a toxic place in awhile. I unfollowed a lot of people who were not making me feel confident or secure in myself. I kept thinking that I had to be a certain way or look like those models. One of my cousins told me one day “it’s their job to look that way” and that snapped me back to reality. Whenever I catch myself falling into a trap of comparing myself to other instagram models I ask myself why I follow them in the first place. Am I following for motivation? Advice? Workout ideas? If I’m not following them for those reasons then I have no reason to have that content exposed to me. It’s my choice.

I also caught myself following people who weren’t relatable. I followed people who had different body types as I do. Once I started being aware of my social media habits and who I was following, I began to see how much negativity I was exposing myself too.

 

My fitness journey may look different, if you have made it this far. THANK YOU. Comment below as to what your fitness journey looks like or was.

Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Zoodle Recipe

This is the first time I ever made Sweet Potato Zoodles. I was super intimidated by any veggie noodle and didn’t think that it would fill me up but shockingly enough what I made was tasty, filling, and healthy. This recipe is gluten free and if you are vegetarian you do not need to add the ground turkey. This makes about 4-5 servings. You can add any other veggies you may have, if you like chicken or another protein add it in, BE CREATIVE. You can use as much or as little as you need. I do not measure how much veggies or protein I put in. It just depends.

Zoodles are a great way to get your pasta craving satisfied. Of course it is not the same thing but this is a great alternative if you are gluten free or are trying to eat cleaner.

I hope you enjoy!IMG-6051

What you need

  • Ground turkey (extra lean). Freeze half for another day
  • 1 yellow bell pepper.
  • garlic
  • sweet potato zoodles (store bought or hand cranked)
  • mushrooms
  • (optional) tomato sauce or any other sauce
  • kale (1 handful or two depending on what you like)

What you’ll do

  • Wash and cut your veggies.
  • Heat up a really large pan with olive oil, once the oil is warm start browning your ground turkey. Mince garlic and stir into the browning turkey
  • Add your seasonings: garlic powder, salt/pepper, red chili flakes, basil. Since the turkey is really lean you may want to add a bit more olive oil because the other veggies will absorb it too.
  • Once your turkey is browned and cooked through add in the kale, mushrooms, and bell peppers. Give the pan a good toss using tongs or a wooden spoon. Make sure all of the veggies are covered with seasonings. To avoid burning, add oil so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan  Mushrooms and kale have a lot of water so they will cook down. Adjust your seasonings and oil as needed
  • Once your kale and mushrooms are cooked down, add in the sweet potato zoodles. Give all your veggies a really good toss and adjust your seasonings. The zoodles will have a little bite to them when they cook down because sweet potatoes are hardy. They do offer a really nice sweetness.
  • Cook zoodles until they are soft. Add in as much sauce to coat all the veggies and enjoy 🙂