Off the Mat is a series on YBC that shares bits and pieces about what goes on off the yoga mat, and in my everyday life.
Disclaimer: Off the Mat posts are not sponsored, but many of the products I mentioned were sent to me (#bloggingperks!). I've noted when that's been the case, and as always, I only recommend products I truly enjoy and would purchase for myself. This post contains affiliate links, which means YBC earns a small commission when you check them out.
Traveling and Eating Lately
My latest trip needs no introduction since I wrote about Parts 1 and 2 of my Italy vacation. A few people reached out and asked how I dealt with eating while in Italy, as they know I try to eat pretty clean, and I answered honestly - I ate everything! Gelatos, pasta, tiramisu - I really didn't hold back just because I feel like life is too short to not eat the food when you're in Italy, you know what I mean? I generally don't eat things like that in the US for one main reason - I feel absolutely awful when I do. Like, physically awful. However, I know that in Europe, the rules surrounding food production and processing are really strict, and perhaps that's the reasoning, but regardless, I always feel okay no matter what I eat in Europe. My stomach is rarely upset there, so I have no problem putting breads, cheeses, and other things on my plate. So my advice to anyone heading overseas and worried about what you'll eat - fear not! You'll probably feel just fine eating whatever is served. And don't forget - your mindset is a lot of it. If you're feeling stressed and guilty while eating those things, those thoughts impact your body more than you know. Shift your perspective, your mood and your mindset before taking your first bite and you may be surprised by how well you're able to digest.
Self Care Lately
Massage - I've been trying to make an effort to really take care of myself better these past few months. I was lucky enough to be treated to a massage while in Florence, and it was honestly one of the best massages of my life and made me try to figure out if I could budget one massage a month...or maybe one every six weeks. That's still TBD, but in the meantime, I'm just grateful for the one I got.
Journaling - I've also been making an effort to get back into journaling. I've found it's been really helpful as a way to work through difficult situations, and to help clear my mind when I'm feeling overwhelmed or scattered. I got this cork journal you see in the first picture a few weeks ago at Anthropologie and I've been loving that because it's small, lightweight, and the pages feel really nice.
Spring Trends - Once the warmer weather rolls around, I find myself wearing less make up and opting for a fresh, lighter look. Three things I'm loving lately from my make up bag include:
1. Skyn Iceland - Icelandic Relief Eye Cream. This stuff has been vital for looking awake after long haul flights. I love the gentle application and instant cooling relief.
2. Juicy Bamboo Cleansing Cloths - An effective, biodegradable, natural make-up removing wipe.
3. Anastasia liquid lipstick - This matte color, called Dolce, is so pretty for spring.
Weddings - If you follow along on insta stories, you know that I attended a wedding this past weekend in Rhode Island. It was beautiful and I had so much fun. I wore a red dress by Susana Monaco, after hearing such great things about her pieces, and honestly, I could not agree more. Her stuff has a reputation for fitting well, being super flattering, and holding up. I loved the design of this simple dress, which had rouching on the sides so your food baby would be well concealed post meal hahahaha. It had a built-in bra, and I just added light cups from my sports bra with some double sided tape for a little added coverage. For make up, I used my naked palette for the eyes and red lipstick. Here are some other pieces by her, as well as the dress I wore:
Crazy Dog Lady - To no one's surprise, I've been keeping myself pretty entertained with Buckles, my Siberian husky. He is seriously the sweetest. He's seven now, so he's no longer the high energy little beast he was as a pup. Gone are the days of two hour-long runs morning and nights to get rid of all that energy. Now it's mostly just one or two short walks each day, and lots of cuddles. He's got a partially torn ACL injury which is really frustrating for both of us. Me, because I can't afford the surgery (and also there is no guarantee that it would heal properly, and the vet said he'd need to be crated for at least a month with no physical exercise whatsoever (that wouldn't fly with him)). And it's frustrating for him because while he's calmer now, he does love to run every now and then, and every time he does, he has to hobble for a few days after to recover. When I got him back from my ex, he was also dealing with some inflammation of the joints. It'd take him 30 seconds to 1 minute to get up and it was painful to watch. I changed his diet, and put him on something similar to GAPS minute the sauerkraut and in just three weeks, he gets up immediately without any problems and seems in far better spirits. So I'm really grateful that is working. With tick season upon us here in Tick Central, Connecticut, I've been trying to figure out what to do to deal with them. We have used Frontline in the past but now I am wanting to go a more natural route. I've heard great things from YBCers about essential oil sprays, so I just mixed tea tree oil, lavender oil and eucalyptus oil in a carrier oil and tried that for the first time yesterday. I'll keep you guys posted!
Gym - I just started a new six week program put together by my friend James and myself. He did the workouts and I programmed the yoga. We're going to offer it up for sale in the next few weeks, so stay tuned. I am really excited about it because I know his programming works.
Yoga Workshops - I had so much fun at our yoga workshop in Avon, CT, and am so looking forward to the ones we have coming up in New Jersey, Chicago and London.
Books - While in Italy, I whipped through The Arrangement. It was ok - a good vacation read. Then, I started The Secret Wife, which is really good! I'm about three quarters of the way through it and really am enjoying it. It's now on sale for $1.99 on Kindle!
Listening to Lately
Podcasts - Ok you're all going to laugh at me but I FINALLY drank the Serial podcast Kool-ade. I'm not sure what took me so long but of course, I'm hooked. I listened to four episodes this weekend.
Another podcast I've been into lately is the Tim Ferriss Show. I am relatively new to podcasts. I always thought I didn't have the time for them. Since I work from home, there is no morning commute time to fill, you know? Anyway, I just realized I have between thirty minutes and an hour a day or so when I walk the dog, so I have started listening to podcasts and they just make me so happy. Especially the ones that teach me or inspire me in terms of business of self growth. This morning I started the Jamie Foxx episode from the Tim Ferriss Show and I swear I laughed and cried and people driving by surely thought I was nuts. I highly recommend it.
I'd love to hear what you've been up to lately in your life off the yoga mat! Let me know down in the comments below.