A Few of my Favorite Things!

Standard
YEP!

YEP!

In my last post, I mentioned that I’m not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions. So often, it seems a resolution is yet another thing on a much too long to do list, and when it is not followed through with, it leads to a sense of sadness and failure. Definitely not the way to go into a new year! Now that’s not to say that I don’t advocate eating healthily and exercising regularly, if you’ve read my past blog posts you know I am all about that. It’s just more about being good to myself, and setting aside regular time for ME! I’m definitely not very good at that. Are there any others out there who are the same? It seems I’m so good at being there for others, but not so good about that for myself. With that in mind I am trying to be better about doing things just for me, and I mentioned a few things on my list of things I love to do in my last post, “New Year’s resolution? Nah, just be good to you!”. Listening to music, reading my Kindle, and taking a luxurious bath were some of them, but there’s more, my friends, and I want to share some more with you now.

Ashes with my Jac!

Ashes with my Jac!

1. Spending spiritual time- In past posts, I have discussed my time spent each morning in meditation. I try to do that every morning without fail and most days I achieve that- at least 5-10 minutes worth. That’s only part of my spiritual time though. My favorite way to deepen my faith is by attending church services at my parish, Holy Spirit Geist (HSG).

Jac took this pic of our church and I think it's awesome!

Jac took this pic of our church and I think it’s awesome!

It is a young, vibrant parish and has rejuvenated my faith. I especially like to attend with my daughters, but that isn’t always possible these days since they’re attending church in their college town now. Still, they come back to go to church with me as often as they can, because they find the atmosphere at HSG as uplifting and inspiring as I do. I especially love the Sunday 5 pm mass, because they have a band and they play contemporary Christian music which I really like. My advice would be that no matter what beliefs you have, spend time with other people who believe similarly because it really helps me feel in communion with humanity and with a higher power too.

Ashes with Danz!

Ashes with Danz!

Another thing that uplifts me is to pray a daily rosary. For those of you who aren’t Catholic, the rosary is a series of prayers to Mary. We do not WORSHIP Mary, which is a popular misconception about Catholics, we only worship God but we do hold Mary in reverence as the mother of God. We pray the rosary for her to intercede for us to God on our behalf. I use a rosary made of Swarovski crystals that my Mama gave me, and it gives me such a loving feeling to use this gorgeous rosary given to me by MY beloved Mom to pray to Jesus’s beloved Mom!

That perfectly sums up my feelings about praying the rosary!

That perfectly sums up my feelings about praying the rosary!

Anyway, I began praying a daily rosary about 10 years ago and I prayed it with my daughters on the way to school. It’s a rhythmic series of prayers (1 Our Father and 10 Hail Mary’s followed by a Glory Be and a Fatima prayer- 5 times), and each day corresponds to a different set of mysteries about Jesus. I truly love to pray my rosary, and now I usually do it as I first awaken and am laying in bed trying to wake my brain up. Praying the rosary brings me so much comfort and peace. There have been MANY times in which I awaken in the middle of the night, and all my fears and concerns keep me from going back to sleep. I pray my rosary, and before I know it I’m calm and comforted back to sleep. I also say my prayers every day. I used to pray with my girls, and now I pray by myself in the morning after my daily rosary. I pray for just about everyone I can think of, all my family members, friends, and all of the sick and suffering I know about. It’s my way of helping those I love, and it makes me feel really good about myself.

Wine and a good meal!

Wine and a good meal!

2. A good meal and glass of wine- As you know if you’ve read my past posts, I LOVE a good meal accompanied by a nice glass of wine. I love to make the meals usually, however I’m a sucker for a delicious dinner that someone else has made. Since I cook so much, it is the ultimate luxury to have someone else cook for me, or to go out for a nice meal. Now, I said go out for a nice meal, not fast food which I in no way consider a nice meal. However, it doesn’t have to be FANCY to be a nice meal. I also love Chinese, Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, Sushi, etc, etc, etc which are more simple meals. The only requirement is that the food HAS to be delicious! One of my favorite meals in Indianapolis is at a Vietnamese restaurant called Sandra’s Rice and Noodles. My roommate from college, Terri, took me to this restaurant the first time, though now I’ve been there many times. Their Pho is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten, granted everything there is wonderful and I’ve never ordered anything I haven’t loved! It’s a very simple restaurant in which you can enjoy the most amazing meals! Eating is one of my greatest pleasures and even though I eat mostly healthy food I find that I savor and enjoy my food more now than I did when I ate less healthily. I go more for flavor and quality rather than quantity, which means that I eat less than I did and I enjoy it more. That’s a win-win!

Also, the wine doesn’t have to be expensive to be delicious, and I’ve had many great $10 bottles of wine that I’ve really savored. One of my favorite $10 bottles of wine is Kris Pinot Grigio and if you like Pinot Grigio I think you’ll enjoy this brand. Plus you can’t beat the price!

My favorite wine!

My favorite wine!

My favorite Pinot Grigio however is Santa Margherita which my stepmom introduced me to. It’s more like $22 for a bottle so I don’t drink it every day, but when I do I’m in heaven! It is truly a fine glass of wine. And remember, when you’re eating or drinking the really good stuff a little bit goes a long way, so a glass or two is all you need to satisfy.

So these are some of my favorite things- my church Holy Spirit Geist, my Swarovski crystal rosary beads given to me by my mom, praying my daily rosary, a delicious meal like I’ve had at Sandra’s Rice and Noodles, and a good glass of wine like Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio. These are things that give me comfort and help me be good to myself. I’ve got more for you so tune in for my next post to see what else I have. I hope you are good to yourself today. Doing so will help you live a life of vitality- with Valerie!

Start your day in a healthy way!

Standard

Hello wonderful readers!

Ok, now that the “getting to know you” part is done, I can get to the reason I began this blog, which is to share tips about living a life with vitality. I thought I’d start with first thing in the morning. I have to admit that I’m not a happy camper when I first awaken, and I don’t really speak until I’ve been awake for at least 30-45 minutes.  I get up, use the restroom, brush my teeth, take my thyroid supplement, and put on my workout clothes. I find that if I put on workout attire when I get out of bed, it motivates me to workout. If morning workouts aren’t your thing and you exercise after work, then put your workout wear on as soon as you get home to motive you to “just do it”. If I don’t workout, which is extremely rare for me, then I feel really guilty that I have workout clothes on and I didn’t exercise. It’s a small thing, but it works for me! Anyway, back to my morning routine, I then feed and take my dogs out, make my daughter’s lunch and get her out the door, and I make my coffee.

photo-2

First thing in the morning, no makeup, unedited, no filter, unbrushed hair selfie!

Now you may think, “Hmmmm, is coffee part of a healthy life?”, but coffee has many benefits to a life of vitality. Studies have shown that coffee is rich in antioxidants, and that the antioxidants are better absorbed by the human body from drinking coffee than by eating fruits and vegetables! That was a happy surprise for me when I began researching this topic. Another benefit to drinking coffee is that it is good for your liver, especially if excessive alcohol is consumed. Remember how in old tv shows and movies they’d always give a tipsy person coffee to drink? It turns out that was a good idea but maybe not in the way they thought it was. Also, coffee is linked to reducing depression, feeling happier and lower suicide rates. I know coffee always makes me happy but I didn’t know that was a proven fact, I thought it was just me.  It is known to increase athletic performance if consumed prior to a workout too. I usually will finish the cup of coffee I’ve been carrying around with me all morning before my workout and I have a better workout on the days I drink coffee beforehand, versus the days I’ve forgotten to do so. I usually wander around all morning, coffee cup in hand, sipping as I clean the kitchen, and have my quiet, meditation time. By the time I’ve finished with it, it is ice cold but I don’t mind it that way, though some of you might think that is gross and you’re welcome to warm it up if you want to.  Then I drink water the rest of the day.

I know there are benefits to drinking many cups of coffee each day, like four or more, but I just drink one. I drink espresso which has more caffeine in it than regular coffee, and I have a Nespresso espresso machine and an electric milk whipper that I use. I feel like a real barrista when I’m making my coffee! I use organic half and half and NO SUGAR in my coffee, I just add a little locally sourced honey for sweetness. I will expand on my thoughts about sugar in a later post but suffice to say that I believe, and scientific evidence abounds about this too, that sugar is not part of a healthy life! But I’ll blog more about that later.

Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 12.45.10 PM

I also make sure to spend a few moments of quiet, meditation time each morning. If it’s a really busy day it may be only 5 minutes but I still try to make time every day. Whatever your religion or lack thereof might be, it is great for the mind, body and soul to spend time trying to quiet the mind and get in touch with your higher power. I also pray at that time, but if that’s not your thing, then think good thoughts about those you love, and those who need it most. I have a sunroom and that is where I spend my quiet time, but just choose a place in your house where you’ll feel a sense of peace. I find that when I’m in my sunroom the kids are more hesitant to bother me, and when they do come in they seem to be more peaceful too!

So to summarize my healthy tips- 1. Get up and put your workout clothes on if you’re working out in the morning to provide additional incentive to get your work out in. 2. Coffee is a beverage that provides many health benefits (and it’s yummy too!). 3. Spend time in quiet reflection each day- you’ll feel more peaceful and calm, and everyone will benefit from it!

Once again, thank you for reading this post, I am honored you spent part of your day with me! Enjoy the long weekend and thank you to all men and women who serve in our armed forces. Your sacrifice is appreciated!

If you’d like more information on my lifestyle coaching services, please email me at valdecap@gmail.com. Also, feel free to leave any comments here!

Valerie

 

 

Welcome to Vitality with Valerie!

Standard

Hi! Welcome to my blog, Vitality with Valerie. My goal is to share all that I’ve learned about healthy eating and living with anyone who might be wondering exactly how to eat and live in a healthy, or vital way. I’ve come to learn all that I have about living with vitality the hard way and I want to share what I’ve learned with you, my readers, so that you can benefit from my experiences.

I have chronic fatigue syndrome, and I’ve suffered from it since 1996. However, all of my symptoms are under control and I feel energetic and marvelous these days. I contribute much of my current state of wellness to my healthy lifestyle and I truly believe that healthy living can help manage most illnesses. Even if you have no major illnesses, we all experience the effects of our stressful lives, and my strategies can help overcome some of those.

I earned my lifestyle coaching certification through the American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine in concert with the University of South Florida in 2013, which contributed to what I have learned and help me focus my experiences into the goal of helping people live more healthfully.

My girls, Jacqueline and Danielle

My girls, Jacqueline and Danielle

I should start by telling you a little about me, I am 48 years old, a mother of two daughters who are 18 and 20, I’m divorced, and I live in Fishers, Indiana, which is a small but bustling town northwest of Indianapolis. I have a B.A. in communications with a concentration in Public Relations and Journalism from Purdue University. I am in the process (almost done) of writing a book about my life’s experiences filled with healthy living tips and when it’s completed I’ll share how to get a copy if you’re interested in reading it.  I have two nutty dogs, Chewie and Delilah, (picture of dogs)and I’ve utilized my healthy living strategies on them as well as my children and they are the healthiest dogs around! I’ll share my healthy dogs and kids tips with you as well. I love to cook, write, read, grow my own vegetables and

My dogs, Chewie and Delilah

My dogs, Chewie and Delilah

herbs, listen to music of all kinds, and spend quiet time meditating and connecting to my spiritual nature.

For all those who took the time to read this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and hope in some, small way that it helped you. It is for you that I make this humble attempt. I’d love to hear from you about the blog, or anything else you’d like to share so please feel free to add your comments. If you’d like to contact me about my lifestyle coaching services, please email me anytime at valdecap@gmail.com for more information!

Peace and love to all!

Valerie