CARE For The Caregiver

Caring for a loved one is stressful, tiring, frustrating and also a very important and much needed role. It is job that you learn on the go. There is no ‘right’ way and it is a responsibility that requires constant adjustments. Most caregivers will also tell you, it is a role that comes with a lot of judgment.

 

As a caregiver, I admit to putting myself on the back burner many times. The more I did it, the more everyone suffered. I would feel extreme guilt for wanting to see my friends, go to a movie, or just have some me time. Outsiders always seemed to think I wasn’t doing enough, had their opinions on what I should be doing instead, however those that spoke out were never willing to show up and help.

 

What I have learned in my years of caregiving is that you cannot be an advocate for your loved one if you are not taking time for yourself. You are important. Your health is important. As the saying goes, you have to put on your oxygen mask first before you can assist someone else with his or hers.

 

 

The National Alliance for Caregiving has stated that more than half of all caregivers say they do not have time to take care of themselves, and just under half said they if they do, they are too tired to do so. 

 

It is important for family caregivers to find a personal routine that will elicit balance and recovery for one’s self. This will vary from individual to individual, and there is no right or wrong way. You have every right to focus on yourself at times while being the ringleader in this circus called caregiving.

 

Below are some ideas to help ease the pressures caregivers are under:

 

  1. Write: It is important to have an outlet for the stress and heartache that is endured each day while also remembering the positives that occur. Try writing down 1-3 things that you are grateful for at the start of each day. In the evening, reflect on the day. This is your chance to let it all out. And if possible, write something happy or funny that occurred during the day that will lighten the mood.
  2. Nutrition: Those we care for tend to be picky eaters if they still have the ability to consume food. Try quick, simple healthy meals that are easy to put together. I recommend Clean Eating for Kids. The recipes are easy to make and reminds our loved tend to revert back to wanting foods that remind them of their youth. Also, drink lots of water. It is easy to get caught up in caffeinated and sugary drinks, but water is so important to our organs, energy levels and overall health. Try adding some flavor to your water, this will also help your loved one stay hydrated.
  3. Set Boundaries: No your limits and don’t sway from them! If there is a family member that is on your case, limit their visits. (Hard to do but a must). This also means know when to ask for help. If something is out of your scope, or too much, ask someone who is capable and has the time. It is a difficult to ask for help but people are not mind readers, and the ones who dive in to assist you may surprise you.
  4. Movement: Many people neglect exercise because it can seem time consuming, or require too much energy. If you can get 20 minutes of activity in 3 times a week while your loved one is sleeping, watching TV etc. you will feel so much better. Overtime your energy will increase. You can even break those 20 minutes up into 5-10 minute increments throughout the day.
  5. Sleep: One of the most challenging aspects of caregiving. You hardly get any but if you can have a few thing you can do at night that help calm your body and mind the sleep you get will be so much more refreshing. Things to try; baths or aromatherapy, candles and 5 minutes of reading or soft music, meditation, and/or a cup of tea.

 

The goal of these self-care tips is to allow you to be more patient, less frustrated, and less resentful. Without these small recharging moments, the caregiving role can have the capacity to burn you out and leave you sick, depleted and unable to care for the one you love.

 

It is important to remember that caregiving does have its upsides too. There is an intimacy and deep bond that occurs with family caregivers that is not present in any facility. You know your loved one better than anyone else. You also can exchange untold stories, learn lessons about life, and feel a deeper love when that loved ones recognizes that you are there for them and only them.

 

There will be hard times but appreciate the loving experiences along your journey.

Fab 5 Friday: My Top 5 Breakfast Meals

I know. I know. I know.

 

I am super late with this post. The thing is, my life has been going through some exciting changes and the thought of sitting still in front of my computer and hashing out this article was inconceivable.

 

With that being said, I love cooking breakfast! I usually have a quick snack or shake as I head out the door to my early morning clients. When those sessions are completed I get to head back home to a quiet house and go to work in the kitchen! This routine allows me to unwind, regroup and refuel!

 

Here are my TOP 5 (currently) BREAKFAST RECIPES:

 

Sweet Potato & Scrambled Egg Sliders

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 pieces of Sweet Potato Sliced into approx. 1-inch rounds
  • 1 -2Tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • A splash of non-dairy milk
  • Your choice of veggies and meat to add to your scramble.

 

Directions

 

  • Preheat oven to 400*
  • Coat slices of sweet potato with coconut oil
  • Sprinkle slices with cinnamon and sea salt
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then turn over for another 15 minutes (I usually cook the sweet potatoes ahead of time and heat them in the skillet for a minute on each side after I cook my scrambled.)
  • Create your own egg scramble and place between two slices of sweet potatoes.

 

Sweet Potato Toast

Ingredients:

1-2 slices of sweet potatoes cut thinly lengthwise

Your choice: avocado, tuna, egg scramble, lunch meat, hummus etc.

 

Directions:

  • Toast slices of sweet potatoes in the toaster on medium (varies per toaster). When it pops, let cool for 2 minutes and toast again.
  • Add topping of your choice

 

Yogurt Bowl

Ingredients:

  • Greek or Siggi’s yogurt (both are nutrient dense and lactose-free)
  • Your choice of toppings. I recommend: Purely Elizabeth granola, coconut chips, Manitoba’s Harvest Hemp Hearts, berries, bananas, raw honey, walnuts, etc

Directions:

  • Mix and enjoy!

 

Egg & Bean Breakfast Burrito

(Not my picture)

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 fajita sized whole wheat tortilla
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons salsa

Directions

  • Crack 4 eggs into a glass bowl and whisk until well yolk and white are well combined.
  • Scramble eggs to your liking.
  • Rinse black beans to get rid of excess sodium, and set aside.
  • Pour eggs, beans, and salsa onto the tortilla. Roll into a burrito, and slice in half.

 

Mini Frittatas (enough for future breakfasts)

 

(obviously not my picture either)

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 (2-ounce) links all-natural Italian chicken sausage, cooked and thinly sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 small yellow potatoes, peeled and diced

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. Mist a 12-count muffin tin with cooking spray.
  • In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add potatoes, onion, and salt and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.
  • Add sausage, garlic, and tomatoes, and sauté for 2 minutes more.
  • Divide mixture among muffin tins and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and yogurt. Stir in cheese, basil, and pepper. Divide evenly among muffin cups.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until puffed and set.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for about 20 minutes. Slide a knife around each frittata and gently remove, placing on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  • Freeze until firm, about 2 hours, then transfer to a large zip-top freezer bag. Return to freezer until ready to serve, up to 1 month.
  • To serve, reheat in the oven or microwave can be used if desired.

Just Be You!

Just a little #wellnesswednesday thought for you…

We are all unique.

We all have a chance to create IMPACT in this world.

We all have our own special talents and gifts.

We all have our own lessons to learn and will learn them at different times.

Our individual journey is meant to be.

Let’s all have more fun, celebrate each other and stop the comparison.

Can you imagine what we would each accomplish?

Own your individuality and celebrate the authenticity of others.

Happy Hump Day!

DARK CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES

This recipe is from my colleague, Laura Marquis, and can be found in her book SWEETS IN THE RAW. Please check out her website Naturally Healthy Desserts.

DARK CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 ½ cup deglet noor dates
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons cocao powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

 

Directions:

 

Process all ingredients in food processor until ground and well combined. It will look crumbly in consistency, but should hold together when you pinch the mixture together in your hands. Line a 4×4 inch pan with parchment paper, then press the mixture firmly into the pan or roll into small one inch balls. Serve and enjoy.

 

Uneaten dessert can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

 

Fab Friday: Empowered and Ready! Bring on 2017.

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WOW! 2016 completely shook up my world.

 

On a personal level, it was one of the worst times on my life. On a professional level, I learned a lot.

 

There were many positive things that I was able to experience, yet there are many things that occurred and I am still trying to understand and find the lessoned learned.

 

It has been rough.

 

The stress I endured affected my health and my business.

 

I set a lot of goals for myself this year and 90% of them had to be put on hold. I set out to EVOLVE this year. That was my theme. And I EVOLVED, but the journey was not what I envisioned.

 

As this year comes to a close I do believe I am in the perfect position to take on the next year, next chapter, and continue to move on and grow.

 

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I am stronger rooted in who I AM and will not allow other people to define or project their thoughts and insecurities on me.

 

Instead of dwelling on 2016, I am looking forward and committing to a STRONG, POSITIVE and EMPOWERED 2017.

 

Some of the many things I am excited to experience in the coming year:

  • Paid partnerships with 2 Health/Fitness companies. (look forward to discounts, giveaways and more)
  • Working with my team to grow my brand and update my site
  • Spring Training and running the Giants Race
  • Working with my Sweat Pink Sisters on the #IAMEMPOWERED campaign
  • Growing with the POPSUGAR Influencer team
  • Launching my e-book and online program
  • Finishing my book
  • Attending Blogfest and Fitbloggin
  • Going on a real vacation
  • Buying a paddle board
  • Working towards a pain free body
  • Setting healthy boundaries
  • Continuing my yoga practice
  • Guiding and inspiring my clients to live healthy and fit
  • Spending time with my tribe 🙂

 

What are you looking forward to most in 2017?

 

Share with me in the comments below.

 

 

Fab Friday: Fitness Gifts, Gadgets & Gear!

FAB FRIDAY

Fitness Gear & Gadgets

(These are a few of my favorite things!)

Are you still looking for a gift for the fitness enthusiast in your life? Or, maybe you are looking for some fresh new gear and tolls to kick 2017 of right! I have complied a list of some of my favorite gadgets and gear including somethings that are on my personal wish list.

Check ’em out and click on the links below the picture to shop!

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Right to Left

Top to Bottom

1. Tigger Point STK  2. Trigger Point Grid Mini 3. Happy Hour Sweatshirt 4. Slay T-Shirt

5. Ninja Yoga Capri’s 6. Flight Fitness Kit 7. Nike Medium Resistance Band 8. Nike Gym Bag

9. Yoga Mat 10. Yoga Strap 12. Glass Water Bottle

14. Fitbit Alta ($30!!!)  16. Yes to Cucumber Face Wipes 17. Jump Rope

18. Happy Bud Headphones

Trigger Point STK & Grid Mini: Perfect tools to help relieve and restore those tight, tired and achy muscles. What I love most about these two is that they are small and compact so they can fit perfectly in a gym bag or suitcase.

Graphic Sweatshirt & T-Shirt: Who doesn’t LOVE to rock a fun saying on their shirt. I always find that when I have an outfit that makes me feel good and a little bad-@$$y my workouts are so much better. There are plenty of fun sayings out there, which one speaks to you?

Ninja Yoga Capri’s: These are super cute, high quality and are at the top of my wishlist.

On the Go Essentials: Do you travel a lot? Well now there is no excuse not to miss a workout. These resistance bands are a easy to tote with you in the Nike gym bag or any bag of your choice. I happen to like the look and style of this Nike bag.

Yoga Mat, Strap and Cleaning Wipes: Yoga mats are always good have on hand. I have one for my own outdoor workouts, in house workouts and nicer one for yoga classes. The yoga strap is a great tool to increase flexibility and work on mobility. I also had the opportunity to test out the Seven Yoga Mat Wipes and was pleased with product and they smell great!

Glass Water Bottle: Even knowing the health benefits of using a glass water bottle over plastic I was apprehensive to transition for a long time. I am clumsy and though for sure it would break. I have now switched over and refuse to go back. It also allows me to use my essential oils to add a pick me up to my workouts.

Fitbit Charge 2 & Alta: I happen to find Fitbit and their products perfect for my needs. They are easy to use, sink with your smart phone and the Alta is on sale for $30. You can’t beat that!

Post Workout Needs: Dry shampoo and good cleansing wipes are a must! These are perfect additions to your gym bag for easy use and a quick pick me up so you can run errands after your workout sesh!.

Speed Rope & Earbuds: Two things that can increase the intensity of a workout. A jump rope allows for hard hitting cardio and is perfect for when you are short on time. These earbuds are super cute and music can make or break a workout. Select your butt kicking play list and get moving.

So there you have it.

I am curious to hear from you, What are some of your favorite things?

Leave them in the comments below!

Fab 5 Friday: Things I Am Grateful For

After a few chaotic weeks I am back again with another Fab 5 Friday.

 

Todays post does not have a specific theme, rather it is just a collection of some of the things that I appreciate, value during and tend to neglect during busy times. I am definitely looking forward to getting settled and getting focused!

 

 

The WOW Book: 52 Ways to Motivate Your Mind, Inspire Your Soul and Create WOW in Your Life!

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Todd Durkin has been my friend and mentor for the past 6 years and I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peak of his book before it was released. Todd has helped me grow my business beyond what I could have ever imagined and even though I have been working with him for 6 years, I feel as though I have just begun to scratch the surface.

If you need a little inspiration, if you are looking to improve certain areas of your life or to build stronger relationships, I highly recommend this book. I love this passage from his book, which sheds light on what it takes to create a life that you love.

 

“As we continue to work hard for own BREAKTHROUGHS and breakouts, know that it is the cumulative effect of our daily actions and discipline that sets you up for excellence. Dreams, passion, surrounding yourself with people that elevate your mindset, hard work, and the ability to focus on “winning” each and every day. That’s what builds greatness. That’s what builds champions.”

 

Friends that are Family

 

As I have mentioned before, these past few weeks have been filled with uncertainty. There were mornings when I did not know where I would be sleeping. I had packed up my room, broken down my bed thinking that I was going to be moving into a home only to have it fall through. I couldn’t even sleep on the couch at the townhouse I had given notice to because my roommate had allowed another person to stay in the living room. Again, there was no longer space for my belongings in the bathroom so I had to rely on friends. I can’t express enough gratitude for the people who allowed me to sleep on their couch, fed me dinner and allowed me to use their shower and internet. It is so nice to know that I have friends that treat me like family.

 

Furry Friends!

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It is impossible to be in a bad mood when there is a four-legged friend around that just wants to lick you and cuddle with you. Dogs are amazing creatures and I love that people trust me to care for their animals while they are away. This past week I have had some fun and entertaining times with Buster and I have many more dog sitting gigs booked through the end of the year. Dogs make me laugh and feel loved.

 

Healthy Food

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I will never take a refrigerator and freezer for granted again!

This is the first week in months that I was able to use a full kitchen, prep food and make my morning shake. In my last place, I had no room in the freezer for an ice cube tray. The refrigerator was packed with no room to spare and I settled for eating out which eventually led to poor food choices.

 

I took 3 days this week to complete the 3-Day Refresh program to help get my digestive system back on track. I feel good and being able to have my Shakeology daily has vastly improved my energy level.

 

My new roommate is also very health conscious and I am hopeful that we can prep some meals together.

 

Podcasts

 

You need to strengthen your mind just like you need to strengthen your muscles. I do my best to get in 30 minutes of personal development a day. When I do, I am much more prepared for what ever lies ahead. I am focused and clear about my goals and my purpose.

I have subscribed to many podcasts and have a lot of catching up to do. Recently on my commute I have been listening to my friend and colleague Trish Blackwell’s Confidence On The Go podcast. I have admired Trish for many years and was finally able to meet her in person last year after many e-mails and messages exchanged the years prior. Her authenticity and passion for helping people feel and achieve their best selves is admirable. Her tone and approach to her craft leaves you feeling invigorated and empowered.

The episode that really spoke to me recently was Overcoming Compassion Fatigue. I think any business owner or person who works in an industry that relies heavily on YOU serving and leading people on a daily basis should tune into this episode. I highly recommend you check out her podcast that she updates every Tuesday. You will not be disappointed.

See you next week!

Wishing you a Healthier Ever After

 

 

Need A Little Motivation???

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At 6am this morning I crawled out of bed to a freezing cold house and clouds covering the sky. I live in th San Francisco Bay Area and this is supposed ot be the start of our Indian Summer but that has not happened yet.

Today, was one of the rare mornings where I didn’t have early clients. I popped open my laptop with coffee in hand and a blanket across my lap trying to keep warm.

I answered some e-mails, connected with my virtual training clients and watched a little GMA.

Although my morning was open, my afternoon was packed with meetings, conference calls and ends with catching up with a good friend I have not been able to connect with in a few weeks.

As I am cuddled up under my warm blanket I am contemplating working out.

If I wanted to get it in, it had to happen right then and there. If not, something else was going to get knocked off the to-do list as they day went on. I am still on a mission to make this year my healthiest year yet and I didn’t want pure laziness to get in my way.

I needed some extra motivation.

I grabbed my jumprope, bands and ab wheel. I put on a cute workout outfit but even that didn’t seem to help. So I grabbed my essential oils.

I have become fascinated with oils the past 2 months. Originally I started using them to help with my sleep disorder and then saw the benefit the offered when used for anxiousness and stressed. Now, I am trying them with just about everything.

In a world that is moving so fast we forget to stop and smell the roses, I find oils a great way to get the aromatherapy our senses need and also to help regulate our energy forces.

Today I used Peppermint and Motivate to give me a little extra push and it worked! Peppermint helps to promote clear breathing and is a great pick-me-up oil. Motivate, the Encouraging Blend, promotes confidence and courage. It also has a chocolate smell for all the chocolate lovers out there! Together they can give you the boost you may need on tough days.

Workout is done and I can now go about my day with no regrets!

Have you worked out yet today? Here is a cardio blast workout that can be done anywhere!

Have fun!

~ TIffany G.

Cardio Blast Tabata Style

Motivation, Mantras and More…Oh My!

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Motivational posts flood the morning newsfeed everyday on Facebook. Especially Mondays!

 

Meme’s about positivity, or poking light at something bombard Instagram on a daily basis.

 

And of course, there are the rants, the arguing between personal comments and the statuses that give away too much information. However, it is the positive posts that have the greatest impact in a not-so positive way.

 

In this day and age, it is hard to not get sucked in other people’s status updates,  difficult to not compare ourselves to the people who seem to never experience a bad day, and it takes every once of power and might to not punch the outspoken person whose views completely differ from yours.

 

But guess what?

 

Social Media Isn’t Real!

 

Not always anyway.

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As Fitness Professional, I am told to always post positively.

 

As a writer, I am told to be raw and authentic.

 

As a social medial influencer, I am told to be relatable, engaging and honest.

 

It gets confusing. There are days I spend so much time trolling the Internet seeing what other people like me are doing and posting. Analyzing the number of likes they get and the amount of followers they have. Next thing I know, hours have passed and I have not accomplished a single thing. Then I have to come back to reality. MY REALITY.

 

When I post a positive post, sometimes I totally feel it. Other times, I NEED TO HEAR THAT POST. That quote may be the affirmation I need for that day, and I share it because I believe someone else out there may need to hear it too.

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I try to be honest with my feelings and my struggles. I am by no means perfect and I feel that allowing people in allows me to be more approachable, therefore, I have the opportunity to help and coach more people.

 

Some people don’t like my honesty. That’s fine. Keep scrolling or unfollow me. It has been done before and it doesn’t faze my mission or me. (Okay, it fazed me a little bit but I survived.)

 

When you find yourself comparing yourself to these seemingly ‘perfect’ lives on social media, ask yourself if it feels authentic or fake. I encourage you to pay attention to those that share their stories, ups and downs. Try engaging with those who provide valuable information and make social media work for you!

 

Social Media can be a great way to connect with others when used correctly and mindfully.

 

So don’t get caught up in the carefully crafted flashy photo that took many hours and apps to create.

 

Focus on YOU!

 

Be YOU!

Fridays FAB 5: Finds!!!

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This week I have been focused on settling back in after a conference and vacation. It was time to iron out my schedule for the fall and get back to cooking and meal prepping.

 

While I love being able to take time off and get a way for a while, I definitely crave routine and having control over my schedule. This week I was able to try out a few new things and revisit some old.

 

Here are my Friday FAB 5 Finds:

 

iBand Sling

 

I received this in my BlogFest swag bag and at first I didn’t know what to make of it. I have plenty of small backpacks and a fanny pack (which I totally rock!) that I can take with me on hikes or to festivals. However, I do love compartments and this sling has a ton of them. So I decided to try it out on my hike this past Sunday.

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I loved it! It was comfortable, light and extremely functional. The only problem I had was remembering which compartment I put my belongings in. Not a big problem, just something this user needs to remember and get used to.

 

Valley View Trail


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Lately I have been hiking along the beach or somewhere inland along the peninsula but I decided to switch it up this week. I decided to venture to San Pedro Valley Park and check out the trails I used to hike on as a kid while growing up in Pacifica. I forgot how green and beautiful that park is and seeing a family of deer crossing your path early in the morning is a great way to start off your morning. This loop is very family friendly and has enough of an incline to get your heart rate up. It is also great for a quick run if you are into trail running.

 

Momentum Jewelry

 

I have been eyeing this company for quite some time but being the indecisive person that I am I had a hard time deciding on which wrap to purchase. I came across their booth at the expo hall while at IDEA World and the first one that popped out at me was this one….

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If you have been in my classes or trained with me you have heard me say “Dig Deep” many times. I believe in this phrase. We always have more in us than we initially believe. We can always push a little more, try a bit harder and go a little further. But you have to dig deep to find it and when you do you break down barriers. Now I just have to decide which one to get next!

 

miFitness Hub

This app was created by one of my clients husband and her brother. It is basically Instagram for fitness but more motivation and workouts opposed to selfies and butt shots. You earn points for posting pictures, videos and engaging with other members of the community and once you earn enough points you can redeem them for an Amazon gift card. They are still in the early stages and are in talks with getting more sponsorships but it is still a fun way to connect, learn new things and stay accountable to your workouts.

 

Encouraging Blend – Essential Oil

 

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I am becoming obsessed with essential oils. I now make my own cleaning products which are much cheaper and healthier. Use them on achy muscles, to help calm my anxiety and for a little pick me up!Waking up at 3:45 everyday isn’t always easy but I love this Encouraging Blend called Motivate which is a blend of mint and citrus oils. You can use topically when you have a stressful day or combine and inhale with some peppermint to give you an extra ‘kick’ when you need it!

 

Happy Friday! Feel free to comment below with your favorite finds of the week.

 

XO ~ Tiffany G.