Review: Present over Perfect

I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t struggle with perfectionism and the need to please everyone around me, before myself. I’m constantly hard on myself which I feel leads to my anxiety, lack of focus, and ability to stop and just live in the moment whatever that may be. I had a boyfriend one time tell me I was “too predictable.” Wait thats not a good thing? I often say yes to everything and everyone and then found (still find) myself so overwhelmed, irritated, and resentful that everyone else got taken care of but my needs….hence the reason I’m on this Self Love Reset. I needed it.

I never really thought it was a huge problem until I stopped enjoying my children. With my depression rising and my anxiety at an all time high this book popped up in my amazon cart. I don’t remember the last time I read a book this fast. Pretty much anytime I had an opportunity to curl up in a cozy blanket and read, I did. I threw myself into every single page hoping this book could ‘fix’ me. Like any other personal development book, I knew I couldn’t be fixed if I didn’t do the work that went with it, but this was a great kick in the pants that I desperately needed and led me to this month of self discovery.

For as long as I could remember I had let the world tell me how to live. I pushed things away that I really wanted to pursue because of what other people would think, I didn’t have time, they were stupid ideas. I let others needs and opinions take up my space. I went to others for opinions, instead of sitting in silence and solitude through prayer and meditation. I let other people choose the season I was in, rather than create it myself.

No more. Shauna Niequist so eloquently writes this book to help you discover relationships that your missing out on (my kids), the stress your self imposing on your life (busy schedules, jobs that don’t purposely fulfill you), and the purpose that for some reason as women we constantly question who we are, our calling, find our voice, the “must by nice” syndrome we often feel looking at others. We are constantly twisting our selves in tight little knots wearing cute Lululemon yoga pants, desperately trying to find our place, and at the end of it all we are exhausted, resentful, and lacking real passion in our lives.

Shauna’s relationship with God through out the entire book was amazing to read. As someone who grew up in the church, its not often talked about that this relationship at times can be a rocky one. I’ve experienced it. I’ve felt ashamed for it. But she talks about that no matter what we do, how we pray, how little we feel our soul is worth (its not by the way!) -God still loves us. Mind-blowing right? To have that unconditional love! How lucky are we? That no matter what each soul is worthy of God’s unconditional love.

I read a lot of personal development books but THIS one made the biggest impact on me that a book has made in a while. I have canceled most after school activities for my kids (they would rather go for popsicles and play at the park), I’ve signed myself up for drop in yoga for the summer (because it makes me feel good), I’ve taken a little step back from my work (because family wise it wasn’t serving me in a positive way), I canceled most of our camps because they don’t like going and I just want to embrace every moment with these two amazing creatures this summer. I want it to be the summer they remember forever, not because we went on cool trips or to the beach but because we snuggled on the couch with no technology and watched a movie and ate super buttery popcorn.

This book made me stop and really think about what my passion in life is and how I can create it to not only serve me and my family in the best way possible but also others.

I want to be completely PRESENT in my life, enjoy it and quit focusing on being perfect so that everyone else is happy. I want to enjoy my kids and family when we are together and work on my business and building my purpose when we are not.

If you haven’t read this book and are struggling with the same things as me I highlrecommend ordering this book.

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For other books that I’m completely obsessed click HERE

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Weekend Recap

I’m a couple days late (LIFE) but I have to share a little weekend recap with you guys. This was the first weekend since September where we had no plans. No soccer games, birthday parties, dinners, nothing. It was glorious. The weather man called for showers all weekend but we got lucky and it was a gorgeous weekend filled with some sun and some clouds. IMG_6827

Saturday we went to the Dallas Farmers Market. I’m obsessed with farmers markets. I love all the colors and smells there. Everything seems brighter, more colorful, and tastier when its home grown. The outside pavilion is loaded with fresh produce and other local vendors from our area selling their goods. We had to stop and pet every single dog, lol so that made the experience take twice as long to go through. There is a second pavilion that’s kinda like a warehouse all enclosed. Inside were local restaurants and shops. The food all smelled amazing and the shops were so cute! We found the cutest onzie for our little plot twist as we like to call him. Can’t wait to go back here on a date night and try these delicious restaurants, with our focus on whole foods this week we decided to say no.

 

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Sunday was slow moving. I love going to church on Sunday mornings but Sophia woke up with a sore throat and so we decided to just stay home and take it easy. Thankfully she started feeling better and we met friends for a bike ride at the park and then popsicles after. Popsicles are my obsession lately and if you are in the Dallas area and haven’t yet tried Steel City Pops you MUST! They are organic and most of them are pretty low in calorie.

I ended the weekend with the most amazing, much needed, yoga session at my new favorite place We Yogis. One thing I’m really loving about this studio is the community that is there. This studio is not what I would recommend for beginners, but I kinda like that too. After yoga I met some mom friends for a glass of wine to chat about our upcoming mother-daughter camping trip in a couple weeks. After being on point with my food all week I indulged in cheese fries and I’m not even sad about it, they were so good.

I’m heading into week four of my Self Love Reset and after such a great weekend I wasn’t really sure what I was being called to work on this week. That didn’t last long though and realized quickly Monday morning (after more signs than I would like to admit!) I was being called to work even more on my patients. Patients with my kids, my husband, life in general. Lets just say there have been plenty of opportunities for me falter on this one this week.

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As always, thanks for reading my journey! Its not always exciting but I’m always eager to share in hopes that it can help just one person. Excited for the next couple weeks and sharing some amazing business ideas and workshops I have been working on with the world and making them available for you!

xoxo 

Rachael 

Recipe Time: Quinoa Salad

As I mentioned earlier this week my husband is doing the Ultimate Reset which is a 21 day detox to clear your body out of toxins. Thankfully this is not one of those detox’s where you eat nothing, you actually eat a LOT of food and it comes with daily supplements to rid the body of existing toxins. I’m not able to completely do the detox (since I’m 26 weeks pregnant) but I am able to indulge on all the yummy food that goes with it! Considering this week my focus is on nutrition in my Self Love Reset I’m really excited about loading up on some of my favorites he’s eating…including this amazing Quinoa Salad.

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This plate looks huge right? When I first did this cleanse back in October/November I was terrified by all the ‘carbs’ I was putting in my body. I trained myself for two years to limit my carbs or just not eat them at all not really getting the bigger picture that our body actually needs carbs to survive and flourish. Carbs actually provide energy to the body and help you maintain a healthy blood sugar as long as your adding in the RIGHT ones. They are a fuel source while your body is working out and your body actually needs 45-65% of their daily intake to be complex carbs (nutrient dense carbs). Obviously I’m not saying go load up on pancakes and waffles and wine – those aren’t the carbs I mean…I’m talking about complex carbs that add nutrients to our body. Needless to say through this cleanse and my current research studying for the NASM exam I make sure to put good/clean carbs into my body daily in order for it to maintain a healthy balance.

While the detox doesn’t call for animal protein after day two for dinner and day four for breakfast, I will be doing things a little bit differently this month and adding lean protein into my meals as my growing belly needs those extra calories and nutrients. This salad was so easy to make and even easier to make extra’s for us to both eat throughout the week. Enjoy!

Quinoa Salad Recipe (makes 1 serving):

1/2 cup of cooked quinoa

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Himalayan Salt (to taste; optional)

Bragg Liquid Aminos (to taste; optional – Totally recommend adding this in!)

1 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice

1/2 medium tomato

1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and diced

2 Tbsp. pitted, chopped kalamata olives

2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley

2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint leaves

Directions:

Combine quinoa, oil, salt (if desired), Braggs (if desired), and lemon juice in a medium bowl; mix well. Add tomato, cucumber, and olives; toss gently to blend. Gently fold in parsley and mint. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours before serving.

Enjoy!

xoxo

Rachael

Self Love Reset Week 3

This month is flying by! I can’t believe I’m already starting week three of my self love reset journey.

Recap of last week: We started focusing on independence in our house (mostly with the kids) and me letting go of some responsibility and teaching them simple things. Lets just say over all the week was an 8 out of 10, there were definitely some ups and downs. The ups: Kids are cleaning up after themselves, washed their own hair and even started doing dishes and asking if they can help. Downside: things take a little longer (mostly irritating to me) and by the end of the week/weekend exhaustion from the week sat in and it was harder to get them to stay engaged on what we were working on. Still lots to learn and work on but we as a family are focused on getting better and over all more calm.

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We had an amazing Mother’s Day yesterday. I got lots of homemade goodies which are my favorite and stuffed my face with chips and guacamole at my parents pool. This was the first pregnancy I’ve had where I felt comfortable enough to not only rock a bikini but basically be at the pool in general. Maybe the confidence has come with age or maybe the fact that I feel better due to a healthier lifestyle. Either way I never felt confident in my past pregnancies to do this and rocked it out yesterday. I was also lucky enough to get to sneak away for an hour of prenatal yoga (my first class at a studio EVER!) and absolutely fell in love. I found it perfect when the instructor said this was a time for us to ‘reset’…Ummm the perfect sign considering thats my word for the month. This will definitely be a weekly staple.

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Week 3 of my self love reset my focus is food and nutrition. If you followed me last fall you saw my husband and I do a 21 day detox. In total my husband lost 17lbs and I lost close to 13lbs. We both loved how we felt so I wasn’t shocked when he asked to do it again. Unfortunately, I’m pregnant and not able to do the entire program. I can’t take the supplements it comes with (due to the detox release week) and the calorie count is a little low for me so I’ll be adding in lean protein with a couple meals but completely eliminating artificial/processed foods and dairy. Food is the most under utilized medicine in today’s society, so why not reset my body while I’m reseting my mind. This will be a 21 day detox filled with lots of yummy, healthy foods (I’ll be sharing some of my favorite recipes throughout), lots of restorative yoga, and upping my meditation. I’m all about indulging in a little pregnancy cravings but not to the point where I’m ruining all the hard work I put in pre-pregnancy.

Mostly what I’ve learned the last two weeks is how amazing it feels to focus on making sure I’m okay so I can make sure my home life is ok. I’ve realized the waters will never just be calm every day but I have the ability to adjust my sails and my reaction (whether positive or negative) has a huge effect on my family.  I can not control everything in my life but I truly feel the last 15 days God has thrown some big signs at me to let me know I’m on the right path. This is not a path to be rushed, and I’m loving every single moment of leaning on my faith, finding grace, being more present, and finding inner peace.

Happy Monday <3 Hope you day was full of love and grace.

xoxo

Rachael