How To Enjoy Our Beaches Properly

*Note: For the sake of this article, “beach camp site” refers to a person’s or group’s spot on the beach. This might be towels and a beach bag, or it may be a 10×10 canopy, wet bar, lounge chairs, DJ, and separate play area for the kiddies.

Part of my brand is all about enjoying our gorgeous North Carolina beaches, and they are here for all people to enjoy, both tourists and locals.  As the girls and I were spending a day at the beach today, I thought of how our beaches’ visitors, both local and touring, could make beach-going better for everyone.

A 30- second beach break

(1) Do not play music loudly on the beach.  The beach has the best sounds:  Crashing waves, cawing seagulls, and happily squealing children.  Many of us go to the beach specifically to enjoy these sounds.  Your loud music drowns those sounds out.  You don’t actually have the right to play your music loudly enough to be disruptive to others.  Sure, listen to your music; that’s what earbuds are for.  Otherwise, if you wish to look at water while you blast music and get drunk, please do us a favor and do this in your bathtub or backyard pool.  There was a group with a serious “let’s party” speaker on the beach today.  I ended up moving our beach camp far down the beach until I couldn’t hear their music anymore.  Never have I wanted to scatter bread crumbs around someone as much as I wanted to today.  This brings me to my next point.

(2) Do not feed the seagulls (aka, beach rats).  You may be thinking, Awww, how cute to see little Billy offering his fries to the seagulls!  It’s so cool watching them flying around!  It may be like you’re in a fun summer movie, but it’s not so fun for those of us around you.  Do you know that stuff goes into seagulls, and stuff also comes out of them?  Those in the 20-foot radius around you really don’t wish to get pooped on while you’re feeding the birds.

(3) Only smoke in designated smoking areas.  Have you smelled the beach lately?  It smells of wet salty air, ozone, and a glorious blend that can only be half a dozen different sunscreens.  You may enjoy the pungent aroma of your nasty smelling imported cigarettes or cigars, but the rest of us?  Not so much.  And while we’re at it, please keep your butts off our beaches – your cigarette butts, that is.

(4) Do not litter.  Do you love ocean life?  Maybe you are big on ocean life because you’re a die-hard conservationist.  That’s great!  My younger daughter is, too.  Maybe, you want to protect ocean life because – let’s face it – shrimp and fish make for good eatin’.  Litter on the beaches eventually makes its way to the ocean where it harms and kills ocean life.  No butts, no bottles, no cans, no plastic bags.  Every beach access has trash cans available, and some also have recycling cans, too.

This simply comes down to, love our beaches and be considerate of others at the same time.  There are a lot of little beach etiquette rules; I grew up with them, and they’re pretty common-sense things.  Things like, don’t shake your towel out where the sand will blow on other people.  Don’t run by people, kicking sand up on them.  Watch out when you’re boogie boarding so as not to run into people in the shallows (sometimes unavoidable).

We want everyone to enjoy our fabulous beaches.  It would really suck if someone came to one of our beaches, had a horrible time because of inconsiderate beach-goers, and forever after vacationed in Virginia, South Carolina, or Florida.  It’s real, folks.  People judge beaches by the type of people that plant themselves on them.  My parents will never again vacation at this one particular beach because of people that were there one time.  I myself avoid a certain beach for a similar reason (that, and the beach is narrow and crowded).

What makes or breaks a beach experience for you?  Drop your comments below.

Setting Intentions

If you’ve been following me on social media and through my blog and newsletter, you know I’ve recently started doing yoga.  I go to a class once a week and do some exercises on my own throughout the week.  At the beginning of each class, Beth, our instructor, tells us to “set your intention for this time.”  My intention is rarely the same week to week.  This week, I may want to stretch out.  The next week I might be focusing on building strength.  Two weeks ago, mindfulness may have been my goal.  Those are really three very different foci, and it’s pretty impossible to set an intention for more than one at a time.  Sure, I can do the flow with mindfulness as my goal and still build strength and stretch out, but I can only concentrate on one intention at a time.

Yoga poses
Doing yoga has helped me learn how to set intentions for each day.

The same happens in business.  My intention for my business is to serve my customers the best I can.  Another day, my intention might be more growth-oriented.  These don’t happen in isolation from each other or any other focus I might have for my business on any given day.

I am using the lesson from yoga to impact my business.  Each day, I’m going to start out by stating an intention for that business day.  Today’s intention was transitional.  Transitional days see me moving from the last major task to the next one.  I finished clearing out the remnants of the lip balm order I sent last week and prepared to restock some soap.  This transitional day was also a day of preparation:  When my new printer crosses the threshold tomorrow, I will be ready with stacks of labels to print off.

By stating an intention for my days, I am doing more than setting a goal.  I am declaring what I will achieve that day.  Doing this today has energized my day.  I have felt super-charged to make things happen, but only if they work towards my intention.  Wrapping soaps that need to be wrapped is not part of today’s intention, so they will only get done after everything else is complete.  They are, however, a huge part of tomorrow’s intention.

Do you set intentions or goals for each day?  I encourage you to set an intention for each day, and let me know how that changes how you’re able to do life or work in the comments below.

Strong is the New Skinny

I shot this quick video last night when I got home from Dance2Fit. This is real, y’all – sweaty, no makeup, hair pushed back in one of my daughter’s soccer headwraps to keep the sweat from dripping into my face.

I’d gotten home after a 75-minute workout, during which time I’d downed about 20 ounces of water.  I wasn’t perfect; I missed steps and kicked right when everyone else was kicking left.  Two things happened last night, though, that really fired off some pride and humility in me.  First, the instructor praised how low my squat was – right after praising this other lady who was also killing the held squat.  The cool part is, I admire and respect that other lady’s fitness level and how she does the class.  She’s been doing Dance2Fit for years and really has the routines down.  The humbling part came after a grueling 3-4 minute arm workout.  I was walking around my spot and stretching out my arms when I happened to notice a new lady to the class was copying my stretches.  Just like I watch the lady I admire, this lady was watching me.  You can bet I was a lot more attentive to how I moved after that!

Genetics and a life of not making the best choices both ensure that I’ll never be skinny – not without some really dangerous behaviors or extensive and expensive surgery.  And that’s OK.  I’m getting stronger with every workout, be it high-impact aerobics, weight-lifting, cardio, or yoga.

For ages, society has equated skinny with healthy, and in some cases, that is certainly true.  However, skinny isn’t the only shape healthy takes.  While far from skinny, I’m in the best health of my life, not just judging by strength, but also by the numbers – blood pressure, cholesterol, resting heart rate, and glucose.  I celebrate my healthiness and my strength, even while I continue to slim down my silhouette.

How are you building strength, whatever stage in life you’re finding yourself?  Drop your response in the comments below so we can celebrate and encourage you.

How Die-ts Spell Death for the Healthy Coastal Lifestyle

Dieting is anathema to healthy living. I’ve seen it too many times to count. Back in the 80s when NutriSystem was new and hot, someone I know jumped on it; she was a “chunky” size 10. (Funny what was “chunky” by today’s standards.) She followed the diet faithfully, lost a bunch of weight, and looked GOOD. As soon as she met her goal, she got off the diet and started eating as she wanted (a large bag of Doritos in a day, for example), and all those pounds came back and brought friends. They settled in and never left, and now this person has a number of weight-related health problems. Both our dads have done low-carb – Atkins and South Beach – and we’ve watched the pounds drop while they followed the diets and the pounds come back as they started eating carbs again. Even I’ve done that in my life – reduced calories to lose weight, only to gain them back and more once I met my goal. That life isn’t for me.

This yo-yo dieting isn’t healthy at all. It puts tremendous strain on every part of the body. It slows down the body’s metabolism, actually making it harder to lose weight, especially around the gut and internal organs. Yo-yo dieting also leads to increased cortisol levels, which makes us gain weight. It can further lead to Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol, both of which can lead to life-threatening cardiovascular events. In short, yo-yo dieting can kill you.

I don’t diet. I hate diets. I think they’re intrinsically flawed and doomed to failure for reasons we’ve all experienced. You deprive yourself of something (in behavioral psych terms, that’s called punishment), and when the “punishment” is over (e.g., you’ve met the weight loss goal), we enjoy the forbidden foods again and all those pounds come back with reinforcements. I saw similar behavior with my younger daughter last week.  She abused the boundaries we’d placed on her tablet use during the school year – a day after getting it back from a previous punishment. She’d lost her Fire through the end of the school year, and we gave it back to her when she returned from a mission retreat. For two straight days last week, all I saw was the top of her head while she played games or watched videos on it. Her punishment was over, and she glutted on the thing we’d taken away. As a result, I began placing limits on her use, turning it into a reward.

I like food. I like the tastes, the textures, and the experience of food. When I want the food, I eat the food. It doesn’t matter what it is. I am tending to skew to a higher protein percentage for muscle repair from working out. However, I’ll eat a cookie or a serving of ice cream or a serving of popcorn. I try to reduce my carb intake throughout the day, giving my body more time to burn them, but I don’t beat myself up if that doesn’t happen. For me, it’s about moderation and grace. Could I eat a quart of ice cream? Sure. Do I? Not in a sitting. I eat that ice cream a 1/2 cup at a time over weeks, if not months. (That’s moderation.) Some days, I eat more calories than I burn. I don’t give up; I just get back on track the next day, and maybe exercise a bit more throughout the week to keep myself on track overall. (That’s grace.) I’m not a failure because last Tuesday I blew my calorie count out of the water at our anniversary dinner.

My breakfasts tend to be carb-heavy, my lunches more protein- and fruit/vegetable-heavy, and our dinners feature lean protein, vegetables, and, when possible, carbs from veggies (jicama, carrots, peas, etc.) more than from grains, rice, etc. However, when someone else in the house plans and cooks dinner, I gratefully go with what they fix and don’t demand a special meal (there are quite a few social reasons behind that that I won’t get into here). To their credit, they run their menus by me ahead of time so I can eat accordingly throughout the day. I only snack on days when I’ll be eating a late dinner because of workouts and/or soccer practice, and it’s something high-protein, like cheese, a glass of milk, peanuts, a protein bar, or a snack serving of Kind Dark Chocolate granola clusters (low glycemic index, good protein – and that stuff is AWESOME!!! in vanilla Greek yogurt).

I drink a LOT of water. Lately I’ve been averaging 9 cups a day. I have 2-3 alcoholic drinks a year, no more than 2 sodas a year, and maybe 5 glasses of sweet tea a year. Juice is rare, milk is less a drink and more a calcium and protein source, and my one mug of coffee a day is the source of my personality.  I can’t stand artificial sweeteners and avoid them at all costs. It’s pure cane sugar or I go without, and since I don’t want to take in tons of sugar, I’ll opt for “without.” Besides, water is cheap; I got into that when I was in Div school and broke but we still wanted to go out occasionally without spending $2 on a glass of tea that costs the restaurant about $.08. (Plus, water keeps our urinary tracts functioning at their best, doesn’t destroy tooth enamel, and keeps the rest of our organs functioning at their peaks.)

The result of all this? Mentally, I know I’m not depriving myself, so I don’t feel like I’m being punished for being overweight, which is basically what weight-loss diets do; they’re punishment. Eating is necessary, but how and what I eat becomes a choice with consequences. If I eat too many carbs in a day, I really don’t feel good in my body. If I want a little sweet bite after dinner and eat 3 Kisses, then I have the pleasure of the chocolate and the “yay, me!” of knowing I’ve exercised will-power. I’ve lost about half the weight I want by combining eating well with a variety of exercises. It hasn’t been fast, but it’s been steady, and I’d rather be healthy for life than just lighter for a few months.

And even better?  I’ve met my final health goal.  Last week, I was able to wear my favorite black velvet choker to our anniversary dinner.  Check it out!

Picture of Peter and me
My honey and me

And I’m still so excited about those shoulders! Woot!

Have you started living the healthy coastal lifestyle, yet? You don’t have to live at the beach to make the magic happen. And remember, the slow walker is doing far better than the couch potato. What steps have you taken to improve your health? Tell us in the comments below. 

 

Mindfulness Flow

In this video, I share with you tips for living life more mindfully to reduce stress, lose weight, and increase creativity.  Whether you think of mindfulness as a habit or a discipline, practice truly does make perfect.  You’re not going to get it completely right the first time, and that’s OK.  Give yourself the grace to mess up and to embrace the fresh opportunity to start over with the next day.  Start with one minute and go from there.  Remember, we’re flowing like water.

If you have questions about the effects of our emotions on our bodies’ chemicals and what that has to do with health, feel free to ask them in the comments.

Did you try it?  How was it?  I still have to work to bring my mind back to the now or to keep it from straying to the then.  How do you feel after practicing this mindfulness exercise for a few minutes?  Please let me know in the comments below.

Springtime Salad

Spring means fresh fruits and the beginning whispers of fresh vegetables (asparagus, anyone?).  As the temperatures warm up, we’re outside more which means different dinner menus.  Our fare has gone from hearty and filling to lighter and filling.

Last weekend, our family went to a dinner party at a friend’s house.  Our contribution was a large, fabulous salad that was a huge hit.  It was fancy by our standards, and I guess it was a fantasy salad by everyone else’s standards, too.  Maybe they also grab a bag of greens and toss salad dressing on them?

This salad was so refreshing and delicious that I just knew I had to share it with you.  Best yet, it is super-easy to make.

Spring Salad from Sara Nesbitt on Vimeo.

So, getting to the skinny on how to make this…

5 ounces of spring mix greens (or any green of your choosing)

1/2 cup of cheese (bleu cheese crumbles or shredded cheese)

1/3 cup candied pecans*

1/2 – 3/4 cup sliced strawberries

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

Salad dressing to taste (I used 2 ounces of Balsamic with Honey Dressing)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

*To make the candied pecans… Melt a tablespoon of butter in a small pan.  Add a tablespoon of light brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.  Mix together.  Toss in 1/3 cup chopped pecans and stir to coat.  Let cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from pan and set on wax paper until cool.

We served this salad as a side, but it is also wonderful with chicken for a main course.

Throw this together for a mid-week dinner and let me know in the comments what you think.

Just Eat the Damn Dessert Already!

It’s been one of those days.  Shoot, it’s been one of those WEEKS!  My daughters are taking turns being the conductor and the engineer of the crazy train, I’m working, school is taking forever to complete because of their misbehavior, and some crazy evil spirit has possessed my usually angelic younger child, a spirit that can’t be exercised exorcised because her soccer practices have been cancelled all week due to rain.

After a particularly trying day today, I was ready for a 2″ tall chocolate cupcake “lightly” frosted with 4″ of buttercream icing.  Upon hearing that, my teen – God bless her! – started tossing dark chocolate Doves at me.  That got us through inverse logarithms.  But dang, I still was having lustful urges towards cupcakes or these new espresso brownies our local coffee shop posted to their Instagram feed yesterday.  You know, when things are going to crap, you just want some comfort food, and my comfort comes in the form of chocolate.

Español: chocolate en piezas
Español: chocolate en piezas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yet, comfort food isn’t exactly good for the waist, nor is it good when one is trying to live the healthy coastal lifestyle.  So what’s a person to do?  Easy!  Just eat the damn dessert already!  When the spirit is drained, the head is pounding, and you just want to crawl up and have a good cry, just eat the blasted sweets!  Take comfort where you can.  Tomorrow you can get back to pounding the pavement.

And total psychological recovery requires both.  Don’t deprive yourself of the treat, but also don’t beat yourself up for indulging in it.  When you go to bed, the day is over, and when you awaken the next morning, it’s the perfect opportunity to start all over fresh.  It’s also the perfect time to lace up the sneakers and get outside.  Take a walk or a jog.  The important part here is to get fresh air, clear your mind, and get some exercise.  Follow that with some mindful stretching, yoga, perhaps.  Fuel up for the day, and swing right back into the healthy coastal lifestyle.

How do you recover after a particularly stressful day?  Comment below.

The Healthy Coastal Lifestyle Continues

A couple of weeks ago, I shared how my journey toward the healthy coastal lifestyle began with exercise.  As I began this journey, I determined to keep a food journal in my phone.  This helped me see what I was eating, how much I was eating, and how healthily I was eating.  After sweating through my first months of exercise, I decided to start getting serious about eating healthily.  If I was doing all this work, I definitely wanted to make sure I wasn’t sabotaging my efforts.

Now, for my caveat…  I don’t have any dietary restrictions or health conditions that prevent me from eating whatever I want.  I do have a genetic predisposition towards high cholesterol, which often sucks, given how much I like eggs, shrimp, and liver pudding, so I do limit myself on these foods.  If you have questions or concerns about how to adjust your diet, talk to your doctor first.  These tricks are what have worked for me.

Things to be aware of…  Sugar is the basic source of energy for us people.  Our bodies burn off simple sugars first – sucrose, fructose, glucose.  Then they go to carbohydrates, converting carbs into sugars.  Once our bodies don’t have any carbohydrates to consume as energy, they start attacking fat, converting fat into sugars for its use.  Keep that in mind, as it is very important for how you eat.

The food journal/diary is very important.  It’s an old trick, it’s fairly simple with today’s technology, but it’s still important.  You can go old school and write down what you eat with pen and paper.  There are computer programs and device apps that keep track of your meals, your calorie and nutrient intake, and whatever else you could want.  Mine also keeps up with my nutrient score and rewards me with a badge when I hit 80 or above (the closer to 100, the better).

Focus on carbs earlier in the day.  This gives your body time to burn it off throughout the day.  Shoot for absolutely no carbs after 5 p.m. (way easier said than done!).  Each gram of carbs is worth 4 calories, so remember that when you’re ready to dive into that Cinnabon.  I hit another plateau in my weight loss, so I started cutting back on carbohydrates, forcing my body into fat-burning mode with the twice-weekly aerobics classes and thrice-weekly walk/jogs.

Working, exercising, straining muscles need protein.  Proteins help repair muscles after workouts, though a protein hit an hour before your workout will boost you gloriously through it.  I grab milk, peanuts, a protein bar, or a cheese stick.  Proteins will also help you feel fuller for longer, so you won’t be as tempted to snack.

We can’t forget the fats, though.  It’s gratifying seeing that I truly am cutting carbs, but it’s also disheartening to see the fat grams stacking up.  Our bodies need fat, though.  It’s essential to the metabolism of vitamins A, D, E, and K.  Keep it lean as much as humanly possible, though, avoiding saturated fats and embracing unsaturated.

I honestly deny myself nothing.  If I want dessert, I eat dessert – but only if I’ve kept the eating limited throughout the day.  When I know I’m going to be eating heavily, such as at special dinners, I just go with some lean protein for lunch.  I learned several years ago that when I crave something, I should enjoy it in moderation and get rid of the craving.  Otherwise, that craving becomes an obsession.  At the same time, I listen to my body’s cravings, because usually it craves foods with nutrients it needs.

Working out paired with dietary changes has made a huge difference in how I’ve felt and in my healthy lifestyle journey.  I had to make a wardrobe transition, donating too-big clothes and buying new clothes that are already feeling loose.  But it’s all good, because I see the changes in my body, both in the mirror and when I feel the new muscle tone in my back, arms, abs, and thighs.  And just Sunday, a friend/aerobics instructor said she could see in my face that I’ve lost weight.  When I washed my face last night, I could see my cheekbones have reemerged – those lovely cheekbones that bely my Cherokee heritage.  It’s so good seeing them again!

What steps will you make towards embracing the healthy coastal lifestyle?  Here we are, early in the year with New Year’s resolutions and Super Bowl junk foodin’ behind us.  It’s a great time to get serious!  We’ve got this!

 

The Healthy Coastal Lifestyle Begins With Exercise

For me, it began with exercise.

This week has included celebration as a bunch of a friend’s friends and I celebrated her 10-pound weight loss in the last month.  That’s tremendous, because she owns the fact that all she’s done is hit the treadmill.  Yet, she’s not seeing results as she’s expecting.

Thinking about Kim’s success made me think back over my health journey and what I would tell someone who’s just starting out – what’s worked, what hasn’t, what my obstacles and frustrations have been.  For me, it started with a decision.

There’s what I stated publicly – very specific, measurable goals.

Screen shot of Facebook post
My publicly stated goals

But then I also had some powerful internal motivations, as well.  My husband has a seizure disorder, and nothing makes me feel more powerless than seeing him on the floor and not having the upper body strength to even come close to helping him up.  I’m an only child of parents that are getting older.  When they get older and not able to take care of themselves, I’ll need to take care of them.  I also have an aunt who doesn’t have children and therefore, no one but me to take care of her when she reaches her advanced years.  I’ll own that I haven’t always been in good physical shape, so I want to make sure that I’m healthy enough to ease the burden on my own family should I need them to care for me at some point.  Basically, a large part of my motivation is to be in shape to care for others.

Caveat:  What I’m describing is what has worked for me.  Every single body is different with different needs for different daily activities.  I’ll cover my dietary restrictions – or lack thereof – in a future post.

On 1 October 2016, after months of high-level stressors including the loss of a once-cherished friend, I frankly got tired of being fat and feeling unhealthy.  I was tired of not looking good in my clothes, despite the slight strengthening I’d felt in my legs from months of rehab and in my arms from some light weightlifting.  So, I girled up and stepped on the scales.  After all, I had to learn where I was before I could determine where I needed to go.

It had begun with rehab the January before.  Doing one set each of exercises in the beginning was all well and good, but as the number of sets increased, I had to have something to do in those rest periods besides twiddle my thumbs and peruse Facebook.  So, I grabbed a pair of 2-pound weights and started doing arm exercises.  It was good, but not enough.

One of the key factors I had to take into consideration was the strength and durability of my knees, my recovering right one, especially.  I began to walk.  And walk.  And walk.  I found I really loved walking outside and would do so every chance I had.  We live in a safe neighborhood, and our town boasts a lovely, well-maintained pedestrian/bike trail that circles the historic downtown area.  I’d walk throughout the neighborhood 2-3 days a week – it’s 2.6 miles twice around – then I’d walk around downtown while my teen was in her weekly dance class.

And on the other days, I did strength training – squats, lunges, bridge lifts, crunches (soooo many crunches!), bicep curls, lateral lifts, and tricep curls.  I also began to keep a food journal in my phone; the Samsung Health app includes all this.  I was feeling great!  I was disciplined, and nothing was going to keep me from achieving my goals.

I was three months in.  My clothes were getting loose, and unseasonably warm temps meant I was outside a LOT.  Time to step on the scales for the first time after the holidays.  I’d lost… 3 pounds.  THREE.  Not 13.  Not 30.  3.  At that point, I decided to start looking at measurements instead of weight.  That was much more delightful to track, because while I was burning fat, I was also building muscle.  Often, my losses and my gains canceled each other out.  But imagine a pound of feathers.  Pretty bulky and voluptuous, right?  Now imagine a pound of brick.  It still weighs the same as the feathers, but it’s compact.  That’s what was going on in my body.  The fat has more volume than the muscle, so it takes up more space.

I kept at it, adding biking when the weather warmed up and swimming when things got really hot.  I walked still and ran up and down the field with my soccer teams.  The pounds and inches kept disappearing, the clothes got baggier and baggier.  Last fall, I got tired of the plateau I’d hit and kicked things up with low-impact aerobics.  That lasted just a few weeks before winter break, so I found a Dance2Fit class offered for free just a couple of miles from home.  That’s seriously high intensity that leaves me pouring sweat by the time I’m done.  It’s great!

Throughout all these exercises, some things changed on my inside.  First, if I exercise in the second half of the day, I sleep much better at night.  Exercising that strenuously has also been a good way to increase my water intake.  As I resumed walking last month, yet another change became apparent.  The dancing and aerobics have strengthened my heart muscle (yes, the heart is technically a muscle), and what used to feel “strenuous” is now easy to me.  My rate of speed has increased by a half mile per hour in the last year and I’ve even been able to jog some.  Yet, my heartrate stays comfortably on target or even a little below.  It looks like my challenge will be to kick things up a little bit more.

That’s the cardio side of things, but what about the strength training?  I’ve gotten heavier weights that I’ve been using, and the results are becoming more and more apparent.  For the first time since I was six, I’m able to wear an off-the-shoulder blouse, because I have the sexy shoulders to pull it off.

Woohoo! Sexy shoulders!

The gain has been worth the pain, that’s for sure!  My core is stronger, giving me a stronger back and better posture.  My arms and legs have new contours and sleeker appearances, and both are stronger, able to do more, lift more, live more.

When it comes to living the healthy coastal lifestyle, exercise will come easier to some people, while eating right will be easier for others.  I liked starting with exercise, because I was adding something positive to my life.  When that friendship I mentioned above blew up, suddenly I had lots more time in my days to devote to taking care of myself.  Eating the right way inevitably means taking out something we like.  Maybe it’s that bit of sweet after dinner or the cold PopTarts breakfast as we run out the door.  Working out and beginning to feel those results – while also keeping a food journal – served as great motivation to change my eating habits, which I’ll discuss in the next post.

We’re one month into the New Year.  How are those resolutions coming?  Is your gym membership card or that new piece of exercise equipment starting to collect dust?  Time to dust it off.  Don’t let a week or two of slackness derail your goals.  You’ve got this!

The Morning Routine

My days are seeing something new and wonderful – warmer temperatures, longer days, and free time to get outside.  With these delightful improvements over snow, ice, and below-freezing wind chills, I’m taking every advantage of them that I can.  I’ve gotten outside and walked.  Then, the other day, something new and cool happened.

I was walking and feeling a little winded.  That didn’t make sense, since I’d already done cardio two other times earlier in the week.  When my fitness app gave me my 1-mile progress report, I discovered why I’d felt winded – I was averaging 3.8 miles per hour!  Talk about some hustle, and that’s a pretty significant improvement over last year at this time!  Then something totally new happened.  I was into my second lap, and my stride shortened and my steps quickened, and next thing I know, I’m jogging and loving it!  Except for up and down the football pitch with kids, I haven’t jogged since high school.

With all this time outside and the dry winter air, my skin needs a little extra TLC.  After I exercise, I shower with a luscious beer- or milk-based soap.  Currently, I’m

Outer Banks Soap
Outer Banks Beer Soap. Ideal for men, but perfect for both men and women.

using a bar of a vintage beer soap from my old brand, but if I were to use any soap I have on hand, this time of year just screams for Lavender & Goat Milk.

Goat's Milk and Lavender soap
Goat’s Milk & Lavender Lotion – all natural with oodles of skin lovin’ stuff!

Goat’s milk has awesome skin-loving vitamins with antioxidant properties, and the lavender simply soothes the soul.  This soap leaves my skin soft, supple, and moisturized – perfect for everyday skin comfort.

Truth:  Right now, I’m wearing pants all day every day, which means I really don’t care how my legs look.  When I do care, like when someone may actually see them, I follow my shower with a light application of Orange Blossom & Amber Body Creme.  Not only does it smell heavenly, but the blend of coconut cream and avocado oil slays the alligators my legs can become on the driest of days.

body creme picture
Orange Blossom & Amber Coconut & Avocado Body Creme

Body Creme or not, I finish my body care routine with a light application of Tahiti Kiss Face Creme.  This is my most popular product ever, and for good reason.  This whisper-light face creme soaks into skin, bathing it instantly in rich

Tahiti Kiss face creme
Tahiti Kiss, a luxuriously extraordinary face crème, will treat your skin to a taste of the South Pacific

moisture that doesn’t leave skin greasy.  Plus, its light floral scent lingers gently all day without clashing with your favorite body scents.  One customer said that it makes her skin look bronze (there’s no coloring added).  Another commented about how it makes her skin glow.  This creme is fabulous for either day or night!

Once I’ve exercised, washed, and moisturized, I’m ready to tackle anything the day can throw at me!  Taking just that little bit of time to pamper my skin feels luxurious and indulgent, which is a great way to kick off the day!

I hope you’ll join us tomorrow, Tuesday, 23 January, as I go live talking about these awesome products and sharing some new discoveries I’ve made in pursuing the healthy coastal lifestyle.  You can join us at noon eastern in the Coastal Carolina Soap Co. Facebook group.