Y'all - I'm thrilled to introduce you to a sweet, passionate and inspirational lady, Kimberly! Today she's sharing with us some fabulous tips for 2011.
Hey there! I'm Kimberly from over at http://amazonianginger.blogspot.com/, and I am totally delighted to be guest-blogging on The Frontier Kitchen! I've been following the blog for over a year now, and I love trying out all of the fabulous recipes! Just so you know a little bit about me, I am the Youth Program Director at a crisis pregnancy center, a freelance writer, artist, hip-hop dancer, wife to an incredible guy, and an avid outdoors-woman. I was born and raised in sunny southern Florida, and am a recent transplant to South Carolina. My degrees are in anthropology and english literature, but I would mostly just consider myself a student of life. Thanks so much for reading!
Those who know me well would probably describe me as a bit of a health-nut. But not in a crazy, cleanse-with-lemon-juice-and-cayenne-pepper sort of way, but more in a passionate-about-living-well sort of way. I once heard someone say that "today should be the happiest day of your life, and if it's not, you should be trying your best to make it that way."
I really like that.
This is going to sound crazy, but I can honestly say that each stage in my life has been even more joyful and fulfilling than the stage before. So basically, all circumstances aside, I am happier and more content right now than I ever have been, and I have pretty consistently felt that way my entire life.
So before you start asking "What is this chick smoking?” let me assure you that my life is just as real as anyone else's. I have a high-stress, full-time job, a marriage to nurture, a house to keep, a distinct lack of organizational skills, a black-belt in worrying, a sink full of dishes, and heaps of other delightful imperfections. However, regardless of circumstance, I believe in making each day count - in making it as vibrant, fulfilling, and joyful as possible. There's no magic formula, of course, but here are some really simple, do-able things that help me stay healthy, happy, and vibrant each day.
1. Drink tons of water. Alot of people live in a constant state of dehydration, and frankly, it just makes you feel yucky. Dehydration causes headaches, lack of energy, bad skin, and keeps your body from being able to clean out the impurities you've got floatin' around in there. I drink at least a gallon of water every day, (and that’s a conservative estimate), and it makes me feel amazing.
2. Exercise. And make it fun.
3. Eat plants. Want to feel great? Eat your vegetables! (and fruit too!) Try to eat more plants every day than you do other types of food. Bonus points? Eat food that is locally and organically grown. Your food will be fresher, tastier, and better for you. I stock up at our local farmer’s market weekly, and the prices are comparable or less than grocery store prices.
4. Don’t be afraid to get crazy in the kitchen. It’s super-easy to fall into a food rut if you’re not careful; we tend to find a fist-full of recipes that we (and our families) like, and then we sorta play them on a continuos loop. I was once told to try and grab a really unique piece of produce every time you grocery shop, and then work it into a meal that week. This is a fabulous way to break out of a meal rut. Trying new genres and international foods is always a great idea too; never tried Indian cuisine before? Why not whip some up this week and see if you dig it! Make cooking fun and interesting in your home!
5. Laugh. Every single day. And I don't just mean a polite chuckle. I mean real, belly-shakin', eye-scrunchin', doubled-over laughter. It's just so good for you! I am insanely blessed to have a husband who absolutely cracks me up - we have so much fun together every day, and I bet you have someone just like that in your life. So give them a call, set up a coffee date, and get to laughing!
6. Don't outlaw treats! Come January, it is extremely tempting to start a super-extreme diet. (Trust me, I understand. I think I managed to eat my weight in mom's homemade fudge over Christmas.) But in the long run, how healthy is that? Will you seriously be able to stick with a lettuce-only fast for the next six months? I think not. The key, as always, is balance. Eat a majority of fresh, plant-based, nutritionally rich foods, and when you do chose a treat, make sure it's a fabulous one. Savor every delicious bite, and leave the guilt behind. As long as your diet is a balanced one, don't sweat the occasional slice of cheesecake.
7. Be fearless.
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" -Mary Oliver. Is there something that you’ve always wanted to try (maybe even secretly), that you’ve just never quite mustered up the guts to actually do? Now is the time my friends. Today is the only day you’re guaranteed to get. Close your eyes and take that leap! Whether it’s as simple as trying that crazy new haircut you’ve had your eye on or wearing that sexy lingerie for your husband, or something as huge as going back to school, sky diving, moving to an unfamiliar place, or trying to have a baby for the first time, there is no time like the present. Go for it; you’ll feel amazing and empowered after you do. Recently, I had the opportunity to sing at a really popular local music venue. I love to sing, and have done so in church for as long as I can remember, but never somewhere like this! I've always wanted the chance to sing at such a cool place, but I was ridiculously nervous about it! In the days leading up to it, I was even coming up with excuse after excuse in my head just to get out of having to perform. Crazy huh? Well, finally, the big night came, and I managed to get up on that stage and go for it. And it ended up being an absolute blast; to think I almost chickened out! Be fearless. You won't regret it!