On letting go

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard” – Winnie the Pooh. 

I do love Winnie the Pooh. I just finished reading “The Tao of Pooh” – by Benjamin Hoff. Great book.

The last couple of months I just came to the conclusion that I do not want to have bad feelings or harbor any anger against anyone anymore. Why should I really? I am at a place where I understand how important it is to just let go. I am on the verge of leaving again. Leaving what had become so familiar to me, so precious, so great. I knew it cannot go on forever the way it has been but time just flies too fast. There is really no time for all this “BS”. Letting go has become easier and easier for me over the last couple of months. It took quite some practice however. I had to realize that I cannot change anyone’s behavior but my own – everyone lives their own life and reality.

Many times I thought why someone said or did something and I became angry and frustrated that this particular person reacted the way they did. However, I keep in mind that I cannot change someone else’s behavior and I should try not judge it – like “my way is the highway”. How can I judge other people who think they are doing the right thing? I should remember always that the world does not revolve around me and my way of doing things – each and everyone had their own life and reality they live in full with their own reasons and truths why they choose those actions. I believe that this is important in day-to-day encounters. With this kept in mind I am able to realize that I cannot change someone else and I do not have to.

I believe it is important to put my energy into the right place at all times. I have caught myself many times recently talking about the same things over and over, thinking about the same things over and over and discussing with friends – feeling like talking in circles about the same things. What a waste of energy because usually there is no outcome. I just try to remind myself that this is what it is. That I have done everything possible and that going over it without new information does not provide clarity. All I am creating is more negative energy. I am simply not allowing myself to devote more time to this and that chatter and move on and free my mind of it. Meditation has helped me a lot these days as well. Just sitting down quietly without interruption for 30-45 minutes and just closing my eyes and paying attention to my breathing has helped me a lot. Whatever tool works for you – use it!

One more thing I would like to add is forgiveness. This is usually easier said than done. I had this problem for a long time that even though I had an awesome day, I thought about something, or even saw a picture of someone or got reminded of a situation or person and I started getting headaches or felt angry/aggressive/annoyed. All this negative thinking was physically affecting me. Crazy! So I just decided that this is all not important. Who the hell cares!? Why would I even bother? This does not make me feel good and it keeps me down and wondering and worrying and thinking why this person looks like that/does this and that/posts this and that. This all just kept holding me back by keeping me in my past. By simply just not caring it usually brings me an immediate release. Who the hell cares how A, B, and C’s looks? I am able to be in the present  and move on.

I am learning every single day to be better at all this and life is a learning process right? I am an emotional person with quite some worrying and thinking too much about feelings, but usually I am very passionate about how I feel and everything else really and I believe many women can relate to this.

 

On slowing down

Talk is cheap and it is usually very easy to say that I am happy with where I am in life right now or even that I am 100% happy with myself. This is why I am working with and on myself to find this inner peace. Usually I see something else up ahead and I want to be there instantly by rushing there forgetting to breathe and slow down. Rushing usually gets me nowhere.

Since becoming a mother one of the things –  biggest things I am practicing is slowing down. Learning through and with my son is one of the biggest gifts in my life. In my previous stressful New York life – rushing from one appointment to the next but always rushing- I forgot to “stop and smell the roses”. It is  amazing that I am fortunate to see all these little changes my son goes through now. That I am HERE NOW with him to experience all this. I think it is really hard for me to see time slipping by every day with all these changes he goes through – it is just all so fast. Time means nothing. Like the time I am here in Germany now- meeting all my good friends again, especially spending so much time with Susi, Alex, Jonas and Julius (Jesus) is just so precious. And how quickly will this time be over and things will change. I just have the feeling that I need to have this very clear view and a strong pull to stay in the now, and just be in the present. To simply enjoy every moment!

However, at the same time it is so very hard to do exactly that. So with some help I am doing and practicing exactly just that – practicing just being here. Just simply “be” sounds so easy but it is not – it is hard to just be because it needs a lot of focus. Focus is important. When I play with my son I play with my son. No phone, no distractions please. What I really try is to clear my head and play, just stop thinking what I have to do later or what I just read or need to do later on. It is so important for myself and also for my son. He knows and feels when I am not 100% with him. He knows when something is on my mind that bothers me. And when I am not content he is not content. Simple as that.

My son loves tractors these days. With a passion. All I see is tractors all day long in form of books, toys etc. but I do play with him and listen to him when he tries to tell me something with his little voice without me being somewhere else.

I believe my son deserves presence. This is a gift I want to give him and I try to be mindful of this at all times. Who knows how much longer I am able to be there for him this way. I even try to do the same when I am writing. My son is asleep a long time ago but I am still closing the door quietly to not wake him up and  I keep the lights low and just focus on just the words in am typing here and now in this white box on this blog.

I try to get something out of every experience I have. When I am cooking for example I really want to cook 100%. I want to smell the garlic and onion simmering on the stove and I want to taste the lemon and all the fresh herbs I squeeze over the dish.

I had been reminded (through my Reiki master) of a great lesson today. None of us know how much time we have left and what is next. All I can think about is how short this life is. I mean the average human lives around 28,500 days, or about seventy-eight years (“The Big Five for Live” by John Strelecky). Well, hopefully it is more, but statistically speaking it is about just that. And I also realize there are no guarantees it might be even shorter. There is this weird spectrum how I call it. The happy lucky side (you can do it all – so do it all because you only live once) and at the same time a very sad side (you only live one – you just cannot do it all).

Right now I am just in this middle thing and paddling around trying to figure out what I can do, what I am capable of, how much I can achieve – with this knowledge in the back of my mind that I do not even know how much time I have left in my hourglass which is constantly emptying.

So, I just want to be here. Here. Now. In this moment. And enjoy everything around me. We do not know when it is all over. Maybe there is a Safari next? 😀

On friendship

“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever” – Winnie the Pooh

I was wondering the other day how to navigate friendships as people grow and move forward and lives change while we are getting older and grow mentally and spiritually. I have been thinking about friendships a lot recently. Especially because I am figuring out myself more these days and this is fascinating.

I was always surrounded by a lot of people when I grew up. I had a lot of “friends” (let’s put this in quotes just because). My friends were the ones I gossiped with, vented to, hung out with and cried with. This was one part. However, what I also did was please everybody. Make everybody happy – listen to everybody’s problems and try to find solutions. As I have gotten older I have distinguished between certain kinds of friends and friendships I have formed. I learned that I have to be careful who I talk to and about what; and who my real friends are.

I also figured out over the years that no relationship will ever fit into a box. Sometimes I had these ideas on how something should be or on how someone should think – it does not mean that it will be this way or it should be that way. My friendships changed since I moved to the U.S.  and even more since I had my son. Some friends left me, some stayed, and new ones joined me on my journey.

Friendships change and this is normal, however, this was hard for me to understand at first. Sometimes I felt sad when I disconnected from certain people and sometimes I even felt guilty to not be their friend and not be in their lives anymore . Interests change, people change and sometimes it is just important for my own sanity to move on. It is important to understand and accept that things are not always the same – most importantly when I change. What I observed is the more I change and the more I learn about myself the more my environment changes. The more friends I thought I had turn away from me which is okay too. I love to see this change within me. This is just a beautiful playground we have been given I think.

I just looked at my calendar and realized that I will turn 34 soon. Wow. And at almost 34 I must say I have a very small handful of people who I consider close friends. But this is totally fine. Quality over quantity! 😀 With these close friends there is never weirdness, everything is clear, we are there for each other no matter what. I realize and accept that we are all busy at points so there is no resentment or guilt and I am happy to spend time together whenever we can and there is always love when we connect. I believe that this is the secret to friendships for me. Another perfect example is my friendship with my husband. We do not see each other daily (for now) BUT when we do get to spend time together then this time is wonderful and precious and very full of US. Less time but the best time ever. Because of this I think I can deal okay with being apart from him for so long.

I make sure that whenever I am with my friends I am 100% there (not on the phone) and making sure that time is of best quality whenever we do connect.

So many questions. Can’t wait to read about your experience.

On father and son

“Don’t marry a man unless you would be proud to have a son exactly like him”. 

Who said that? No clue. Just read it once and remembered it and thought it would be a great start to this post because it is true.

My husband left today. Back to Mali. This week had gone by so fast. The picture was taken just a couple of minutes before his departure and we were all sad. As usual! It is never easy to let my husband go – especially  knowing where he is going.

My husband was here now for a bit over one week and I see Jean and Joel together, laughter and smiles, this joy and love they bring to each others’ lives and it just stops me dead in my tracks at points. Jean is a great man and husband. I have written more on him than anything else on this blog. I myself learn from him every day. He is compassionate, loving, kind and truly sees the joy in every little thing which I do not because I am not paying as much attention as he does. And I think because of all that and more he is a great father.

I was always afraid of becoming a mother. From never wanting to have kids to meeting my husband and thinking for the first time that the whole “kid-thing” could work for me to finally being pregnant was crazy by itself. Then, seeing the man I love as a parent has been one of the most beautiful things about becoming a mother and I just live for all these little moments I can spend with both of them when we are finally all together.

When I was growing up I dated a lot – all sorts of guys. I do not want to get into to much detail here but I can say that there were nice guys, fun guys, weird guys, strange guys and many jerks as well. Just with the result that I had sworn off serious relationships. There was always something that bothered me so much, relationships with no foundation. Then I met my husband through weird circumstances (almost impossible) and I could almost immediately see him in my future – and this seemed scary at the moment. This feeling you have deep inside that tells you: “This is the right thing!”

Times goes by so quickly – I always try to remember this. We fell in love, moved in together, got engaged, got married – everything seems so long ago already. Then we got pregnant. I think back to this day often when I came home and told my husband the pregnancy test is positive.

Now my son is 1 1/2 years old and every time I see Jean and Joel playing and spending time together I am reminded how awesome this all is. I see my little guy trying to emulating my husband – when he tries on his shoes and walks around, the “papa”, “daddy” (bilingual kid yeah and he talks so much and clear these days); the way he lights up every time when Jean got him ready in the morning, or played with him. And sometimes I even see this little tear in Jean’s eye when Joel does something really sweet to impress him.

Joel is so young still but I can already see how warm, kind and affectionate his heart is, and how funny and silly he can be at the same time. What a great spirit. They are both amazing – and more so when they are together. I am raising my son who is going to be like the man I married and love and I could not be any happier.

Be safe in Mali my love. Je t’aime toujours.

On what matters to me

I had to move on from some people that did not add love, light or value to my life. This is a hard statement to start a blog with but it is true. It is all part of the process. I wish these people well and move on. I want people in my life that are there for me when I do not succeed but also people who cheer loudly when I do. People who really mean it. These people should be way beyond the Instagram and Facebook “friends”. These should be friends who know the dark deep depths of me, the ones who I do not have to second guess myself around, these people who know all the shitty parts of myself and do not judge me, think I am weird and love me all the same. And people who do not take their phones out and start typing along with others. I mean, seriously? (I am not saying that quickly writing “what is up” is forbidden….even though WHO cares once you are WITH your friend at a bar, right?)

It is difficult to find those people or that one person but if you find them keep them close and cultivate those relationships. Of course one can have all the other friends as well – party friends, work-friends, weekend-friends whatever. I have just learned throughout my years on this planet that not everyone will be on your team. 🙂 And it just does not work to fit every single person in my life into my scared, special place. It is important to save your energy to the people closest to me.

What matters to me is that I wake up in the morning and I have the feeling that I am doing a good job at just being a good human being – good mother, whatever you want to name it. Just to be the best sister or friend but whatever I am doing I want to do it with love and kindness. What someone thinks about you, random stuff that I worry about and that does not go away does not really matter. If you want love – BE love!

And it is of course okay to change. I developed a passion on being outdoors, writing, nature, healthy eating more throughout the last year. My interests shifted and this is ok. I learned so many things about myself and I think – besides raising my son in this environment – this was my favorite part of the entire past years. The adventures I went on with my husband and son, discovering new places, traveling and experiencing new things – it is just scare and awesome at point and reminds us that we are alive and that there is a possibility of so much more. So many places to discover, to much more to see, taste, experience.

I gained a much deeper self-acceptance and self-love throughout this past year. I love to be myself – it is okay to be me, sometimes silly, happy, sad, emotional, adventurous. And just to be okay about others being THEM. Who cares what everyone else is doing. They live their own life. I started to focus on my life and not putting to much focus on others. It just feels so good to go through life like this. WHO the hell cares what A, B, C is doing. Just FOCUS on YOUR OWN SHIT. 😀

I.AM. ENOUGH! Jean, Joel, they are what also matters, and I am forever grateful that they are mine. The possibilities of the future are endless and I am looking forward to it.

On happiness and loving yourself

My husband is back. Back from Mali and I am happy. The end. 🙂 No, kidding.

When I was younger I had an idea of what my marriage was supposed to look like. I had this idea forming for a while, then went back with the idea that marriage is not for me at all. Never will be – and all I want in life is career, school, education, diplomas and traveling the world. People tell you how a relationship is supposed to look. How it would and should go from other people’s relationships and this I must say influenced me in a way as well.

Life goes by so quickly. There is no time to waste really. I am almost married for three years now.  Insane how fast this time went by. I must say that marriage is nothing like I pictured way back when. With my husband I have to say that my marriage is my safe place in a world that is constantly spinning and spinning. To be with my husband feels like a deep breath that grounds me and makes me feel happy – also a little calm in the width of everything.

For me it took a while to lean into this relationship – to just give everything of myself. Some problems I had to sort and work out, deal with and finally accept. Some things that took hold in the back corners of my heart that my husband probably did not even notice but I knew where there. What it really comes down to is that you love yourself first 100% and that it takes bravery to allow yourself to be loved. It takes a long time to show your partner every single layer, even those  deep deep down that you do not want to show anyone but eventually will reveal  – just to allow someone to peer and see what is there. It seems still crazy to me that two people (separate, different people) chose to spend a lifetime together who know each other somewhat (at what point do you really know the other person?) To just think that we live our lives, we exit in our own beautiful own little orbit then we meet someone to try to create our own little universe right there. Right now while I am typing this my husband and I sit outside in the backyard, fireplace going, listening to music and I felt like writing. We still do what we want to do and we are still who we are – I do not need him to feel whole or to exist. We choose to be together and we create this life together just because we want to. And we keep choosing this every single day.

Je t’aime mon amour. <3

About the passion of writing (when you have a baby)

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I love writing. English is not my first language but I try to practise and improve on a daily basis. I have been at home for 1 1/2 years now with my son and for a few months now I have the feeling that I need to return to an office. The idea to get dressed in the morning, working a 9 to 5 surrounded by adults who do not just say banana, apple, toys and park all day long, and then come home to focus on my son and husband and spending the entire weekend together is just awesome.

Writing is my passion. I always had a diary of some sort or journal to write ideas down. As it is now, I usually write during nap times (between 2-3pm), whenever my mom or dad take my son to entertain him for awhile and I can sit quietly to write and squeeze in some time or of course when he is in bed after dinner. This is when my “me-time” starts. And I have to admit, I do count the hours  sometimes to when he is finally in bed at night. Especially on days when he is just …. wow…. annoying! We all have days when we do feel bad or we get up in the morning with this bad attitude that drags though the entire day. I understand it very well. But again, any mother can relate.

There are good days and bad days with my son.  Sometimes, all I really want was more time away from my kid. Seriously! I know it may sound horrible but it is the truth.  There is only so much I can give in a day. Sometimes my hormones go crazy and I am feeling suffocated by motherhood. When finally I am able to do things at night and he is in bed and he screams and screams for this and that and whatever reason it is driving me insane. When he was still two to three months old is was really really difficult. He had terrible colics and the honeymoon period of newbornness was definitely over. He did not sleep through the night until he was about nine months old. And then still – I stay up at night to do some writing and research and he wakes up and screams his little head off. At some points throughout this time I was honestly second guessing my decision I had a child. I even said it out loud to people – it was just the truth.

Now it is all good. There are still many tough days, and nights and I felt like I got nothing done;  but that is ok. I am glad my son is in my life. I love him. To get anything – and of course my beloved writing done was a huge learning process. I started going to bed earlier to wake up early and in the mornings to sit in my pajamas, holding on to my cup of tea, baby still sleeping and just write and read away. I am very thankful for this time in the morning and it has taught me a lot about motherhood and life and myself.

This is how I get personal stuff done: 

I hate multitasking. I have to fully concentrate on something and get it done. So some mornings, even though I want to research several things I would like to write about I have to focus on one thing only. The same goes with reading. I cannot have the computer on and read a book next to it. If I really really need to write something I put on Maisy Mouse for my son. I admit it. He is 1 1/2 years old but he loves these little five minute clips. He is not watching this show for a long time – just until I get the main idea I had down.

I always have a little notebook with me for some ideas that come up –  a true writer at heart.

I discovered this really awesome kids-friendly coffee shop where you can actually almost write/read/work and the kids play at the same time WHILE you enjoy your cup of coffee. Awesomeness!

I am very glad that my mom and dad are here to help. As I mentioned before, she/he just takes over sometimes and my son is happy to have Oma/Opa to play with for some time.

Sometimes it is important to be honest. Sometimes I do struggle with being resentful of my husband because he is doing his job in Mali, and I am “stuck with the baby”. That is ridiculous of course, because his work is not easy, he is away from us for weeks, it is dangerous  and he does not get the kisses and love I get throughout the day from my son. I do not want to trade places with him for anything. Still, sometimes I cannot deny that I feel this way, a kind of jealousy that he is seeing all these things and doing all these things but then I am grateful that because of this job we have security, health insurance and are able to stay here in Germany and I can raise our son.

It took me some time and some mornings/nights to finalize this post but it is important to me to give this some time. Some things are not easy to admit.

Love.

On Matcha Tea

For a week now I have been drinking and testing Matcha tea.  Matcha is traditionally Japanese and a powdered green tea. The leaves are grown in the shade (shaded growth produces more chlorophyll and theanine) and covered for three weeks before harvest. Then the veins and stems are removed and air dried and finally ground on a stone grinder into a fine powder. Matcha is a antioxidant powerhouse, a natural weights aid, a great way to detox and a mood -enhancer. I drink a cup in the morning with my breakfast sometimes.

This is what you need to make your tea the traditional way: 

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(A drinking bowl, the Matcha tea obviously, a bamboo whisk and a bamboo scoop)

The Japanese have some great traditions I believe. One is their tea ceremony in tea preparation, the tea drinking and serving. The Matcha powered I purchased is an organic brand called “Garucha” Matcha. Upon opening the little container (a little pricey: Euro 16 but you only need 2g for one cup), the green power is described as bright green with  a sweet grassy smell. There should be no clumps! [Thomas].  Traditionally, a bamboo scoop is used; called a chashaku, however I just used a regular spoon. Measure 2g of Matcha powder into a tea bowl and then add a bit of cold water and mix with a bamboo whisk (known as chasen). Whisk until you get a creamy consistency. In the meantime, boil some water, then let it cool off to approximately 70-85 degrees Celsius or 158-185 Fahrenheit. Again, this is the traditional way to prepare this tea. 🙂 Add the water. Now whisk this mixture really fast for about 1 minute.  There should be a little green foam on top of your tea.

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Now drink your cup. Matcha can be bitter – like wheatgrass in a way. You can add some almond milk (check out my recipe to see how you can easily make your own).

Matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid known to relax the mind. This works kind of like a mood-enhancer. Some drink Matcha to assist meditation, because of the amino acids in the tea that may create a calming alertness over time. These amino acids are also the reason why the tea is so bitter. Matcha is rich in fiber and nutrients. It also provides vitamin C, zinc and magnesium. If you drink it regularly it can lowers cholesterol and blood sugar. Do you like to drink green tea? Drinking one cup of matcha is similar to drinking 10 glasses of green tea in the aspect of antioxidant content and nutritional value. Awesome no?

Enjoy.

On Linseed oil

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I have heard of and seen Linseed oil before but never used it. Until a couple of weeks ago when I attended a very informative lecture by Anna Burkon (Facebook: Ganzheitliche Ernaehrungsberatung Anna Burkon) on the “bad stuff” in Junk/Fast Food as well as many tips on how to eat and stay healthy. Anna also mentioned Linseed oil and how good it is so I did some serious reading on it. I am using the Linseed oil she recommended (shown in the picture above). I found this book which gives you a good overall few on the oil: “Leinoel macht gluecklich” by Hans-Ulrich Grimm. (there are some great links on youtube  so check him out).

Linseed oil is also known as flaxseed oil and is made from the dried, ripened seeds of the flax plant. It is yellowish in color.  There are substances in this oil that promote good health because of the richness of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an essential fatty acid that seems to be beneficial for heart disease. ALA belongs to substances called omega-3 fatty acids. The oil is also found to have considerable amounts of vitamin E which is good for the immune system.

For good health a right ratio of Omega 3 fatty acids to Omega 6 fatty acids in the diet are required. In an article on linseed oil I read that “the ideal ratio is around 1:2. The average diet is more around 1:20 to 1:50, with way too much Omega 6 and not enough Omega 3. The ratio present in linseed oil is about 4:1. So linseed oil is a good source of Omega 3”. The key is to consume a small portion of linseed oil every day because of all the great benefits it has.

More specifically, this is what this “gold” does: 

First, it is good for the heart and it may help to protect against certain cancers; however, not everyone agrees to this issue. It can control high blood pressure by inhibiting inflammatory reactions that cause poor circulation or artery-harding and lower cholesterol therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. It may also reduce inflammation in the joints, kidneys and skin and may lessen the severe joint swelling from gout. Linseed oil can also control gallstones, hemorrhoids and constipation because the oil is very high in dietary fiber. I have used it when I had an upset stomach and I felt better. (Just one tablespoon is enough and I drank a cup of water after).

Linseed oil is also great for sunburn, acne or eczema. I was on vacation recently in Barcelona and guess what? Sunburn! I took some Linseed oil and put it on the sunburned skin. My skin healed faster. The oil has just overall skin-soothing properties. Which leads me to the next great thing about the oil. It promotes healthy nails and hair (hello women!!). If you have read the post on my hair routine you know that I wash my hair with water only. This oil made my hair shine even more and contributes to hair growth. Low level of omega 3 fatty acids cause the hair to dry out! My hair is literally growing like weed. It is also good for the nails to stop them from splitting or cracking.

Linseed oil might minimize nerve damage that causes tingling or numbness. It may treat menstrual cramps, female infertility or even menopausal symptoms. It might fight male infertility and impotence and prostate problems.

How to use Linseed oil: 

Linseed oil should never be heated (heat destroys the ALA so put the oil on your meal after you cooked it. It should be kept in the refrigerator (cold and dark place and in an upright position – even leave it in the carton) after you opened it. Light is the biggest enemy of the oil because it would start a very fast reaction between the ALA and oxygen.  You should use it within a couple of weeks after opening. Should it develop a weird odor (anything but nutty) throw it away. I bought a small bottle first. Glass bottle, no plastic! Just to see how I like it and to try it out.

Use it for example: In stores it is available in liquid form but I have also seen capsules. I know the liquid form and will write about this one only.  Use it plain. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of it to a glass of water and mix with a spoon. The nutty flavor is great. You can also use it as mentioned on any cooked dish.  Sprinkle on salads, pasta or dips; cereals or yoghurt. For the best absorption take the linseed oil with food or water. You can also mix it in smoothies and other drinks.

I have some Canadian followers so this a brand I found.

canada flax

Body Image.

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“Treat your body like an instrument—not an ornament.” —Gary Thomas

I came back from my meditation/yoga class tonight and have been thinking about healthy body image. How can we find a healthy body image on a daily basis? Many obsess over it, complain about their physical appearance and spend money on diets – new diets that come and go. Some even consider plastic surgery. What do you see when you look at the cover of a “beauty” magazine? Women with perfect hair and skin and how to get the same results in no time. Men who promise a 6-pack in 2 weeks and to loose 30kg in 4 weeks.

How can we care for our body without being obsessive? Everybody is unique; obviously, and we only have this one body. This alone should let us make more healthy choices.  We need our body to accomplish things in life – daily essential things.

This is what I do – just some tips.

The key  for me is to hydrate. The body needs water to function. I feel it almost instantly if I have not had enough water (at least 3 liters a day/ 8 glasses a day). I will get a headache quickly. As mentioned in previous posts, any type of soda that is loaded with sugar is not sufficiently hydrating the body. 🙂 I am usually not eating meat except my mother’s chicken soup. (to die for!). But if you do like to eat meat try to make it the side dish and add more veggies to your plate. Of course plenty of fruits as well. Leave out sweets, artificial sugar etc. Whole wheat instead of white bread. Sleep is also important. I am a night owl or better, I am using the free time when my son is in bed to get things done. However, rest is best. I try to get 8 hours of sleep to function properly throughout the day. I do love to drink red wine. (hello? Married to a Frenchi!) I believe, drinking a glass here and there is ok but I try to limit it. Nobody is perfect.  Also no smoking. I used to smoke a pack a day and I quit cold turkey four years ago and feel so much better after. No junk-food or microwave food. Read the labels. Take the time and cook something. Isn’t an apple “fast food”? 🙂 Exercise. You do not need to run a marathon. Start with walking at a faster pace for 30 minutes every other day. Yoga, Pilates…. the options are endless. Do not compare yourself  to others. You are you!