Five tips and tricks!

To help keep healthy living resolutions

Lots of us chose to re-evaluate our health routine at the beginning of a New Year. It’s always a great idea to shake things up with our habits and menu! I have been doing my best to cut out unhealthy eating habits and substituting them with better nutritional alternatives. I figured I’d share some of the tips I have been using, as a reminder, that it doesn’t take a whole lot of work to trade this for that!

Meatless Monday – There are great ways to get protein in your diet without meat. Some examples I love are beans, peas, eggs, and cottage cheese. Try making vegetarian fried rice or eggs for dinner. It’s an opportunity to get creative. I chose to make several meals a week meatless; it’s as easy as peanut butter and jelly. (Another tip: I make peanut butter mixed with maple syrup as substitute for jam/jelly with it’s refined sugar.)

Five servings of veggies and fruit per day –  Adding color to meals with fruit and veggies helps us get the nutrients our bodies need, so our cravings for junk food are less intense. Nutritionist say to stay away from starchy potatoes and pick vegetables with lots of colors. I love to make baked beets, carrots, and sweet potato mixture as a tasty colorful vitamin packed side dish.

Cook at home – It’s easier to make healthy meals when you are in your own kitchen. Plus, it gives us a chance to get better nutrition into our menu. I like to make soup and add lots of veggies, herbs and sometimes I use beans instead of meat. There are lots of ‘Hot Dishes’ and stir fry recipes that are quick, easy and a healthy way to get your veggies in.

Swap Snacks – Skip the Chips and grab a bag of trail mix. I’ve been cutting way back on processed sugar. So instead of a chocolate bar, I have been snacking on dates! They are delightfully sweet! You can also eat more apples! They have a satisfyingly sweet crunch to help with cravings and are full of fiber that keeps us feeling full!

Add exercise – I’ve got a Fit Bit and have been doing my best to get my steps in. When I have a hard time doing it, I just run up and down the steps a few times a day or make another lap or two around the grocery store. Did you know doing jumping jacks count too? You don’t need a fit bit of course, but even deciding to take the stairs more often and park farther away when you go out, is a good step towards progress.

One more easy (but important) to remember tip is to keep yourself accountable before you put food in your mouth. Ask yourself “Is this good for my body?” It sounds simple enough, but I found that when I ask myself this, I usually make the healthier decision!

I’ve been doing other things to up my diet game. I have quit drinking soda, coffee creamer and alcohol, they are full of empty calories, chemicals and have no real nutritional value. I have also been making sure that I drink more water every day. Substituting tea and natural juices also seem to work to curb any cravings that may strike.

Although I may have my moments of weakness and chocolate may be one of them…. I know that it is okay. I just keep getting back on the horse. I am doing my best to make better choices for my health and every little step forward counts!

I hope those of you who made New Year healthy living resolutions are doing well with them too! You can do this! I believe in you!

I’d love to hear what tips and tricks work for you! Please feel free to share!

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

Will you hold my hand?

Earlier this week, I had a minor surgery to remove a cyst in my neck. The procedure was performed in an operating room. As they wheeled me in, I saw a room full of stainless-steel equipment and nurses bundled up in their surgical garb and masks and remembered I was going to be fully awake for this procedure. The area numbed with Novocain before the doctor was to remove the growth with a scalpel.

Being awake, I made small talk with the nurses, who were very kind and chatted with me too. There was one nurse whose job it was to sit and keep me company, while monitoring my vital signs. I did not think I was nervous since I knew what was going to happen and how it was going to happen. Yet the moment they helped me on to the operating table I seem to have gotten cold feet. I wanted to run away!

When she strapped on the blood pressure cuff, my cover of small talk and cracking jokes was blown! My heartrate and blood pressure were through the roof! Even though I tried to play it cool, statistics showed my body was clearly in fight or flight mode. The nurse, in charge of my vitals, was a welcome distraction from the reality of a large incision being made to my body while awake.

When the doctor walked in, I chatted with her too. She’s become my favorite doctor and I feel very comfortable with her. In my head, I was trying to calm myself, by inducing my own meditative state of breathing deep and such. No luck, my body knew what was going to happen and even though my mind was very logical and factual, my blood pressure was not coming down.

It’s like my body knew trauma was coming and it was very scared. At that moment I knew I needed comfort. I looked at the nurse, who was right next to me the whole time, and asked her. “Will you please hold my hand?”

She obliged kindly and continued to hold my hand for the whole procedure. Doing her best to ask me questions and give me distractions from the doctor and scalpel working diligently behind me. Nurse W told me she was a seasoned nurse, working part-time until retirement. I could tell. She had calmness and caring demeanor only years of practice can produce. It made me feel like I could ask her to help me in the only way she could, by holding my hand.

Isn’t it funny how you can find comfort in a perfect stranger’s hand in a time of trauma, anxiety or extreme stress? Okay, maybe funny isn’t the word. It is quite a miracle and blessing that humans can form a connection so quickly in times of need. What is even more beautiful is the nurse who chose to make this her life path; to help strangers with kindness and compassion in very stressful moments.

Nurses, Doctors, Firemen, Police Officers, Caregivers, are often there for strangers on our most horrible or trying days. The men and women who stand with folks in their community to help them through it all, are very much a blessing to humanity. Not everyone is wired to be able to have a heart, so giving and open, to hold a stranger’s hand even on a regular day with no stress.

Do some people hold more compassion inside then others? I think so. But what I find is that even those of us who aren’t comfortable with unfamiliar people will still offer comfort in times of duress, even if they too are stressed. Is this a characteristic built into our DNA, to care for others when it is most needed? Is it an innate knowing that we are all connected by the spark of God, that brings us all to life? I do not know. But I’d like to think so.

What I do know is that I am very thankful for the nurse who held my hand that day. She kindly offered me comfort and did her best to divert my attention from the surgery happening while we talked. I cannot help but use this scenario as an analogy of life.

It is on our hardest, most challenging days, that we need others help us get through.

Unfortunately, these days aren’t always as obvious as being strapped to an operating table. Sometimes there are strangers walking past us in the grocery store or working in the cubicle right next to you; that are having one of the worst days of their lives. Inner trauma is just as painful as physical trauma, just in a different way.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all live heart-centered lives so that others would feel safe in asking; “Will you please hold my hand?” when they need it most?

Even if it is just for a short time, your compassion does make a difference. Kindness is a characteristic that we must practice to be good at. Seeing folks in our community as extended family, instead of strangers, is where we can start. Do unto others and such. Remember, even a kind stranger serving as a short distraction from pain (in any form) can make a huge difference in the world.

Thank you for reading my blog today.

May you find comfort and love all around you. May you have the chance to act as comfort and love to another.

Wishing you an abundance of blessings,

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

What do they think of me???

Do you ever find yourself concerned about what others think of you? I think it is human nature to do so. Like First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt said, “What others think of me, is none of my business.” I guarantee Mrs. Roosevelt had undergone just a little ridicule and speculation while serving the longest First Lady residency of the White House to date for twelve years.

Eleanor shook up the norm of the First Lady role, writing her own newspaper column, and played a role in fighting poverty and racial discrimination in the World War II era. I can only imagine how a bold opinionated woman was received in a Congress mostly full of men. This makes me realize how thankful I am for the strong women who fought the status quo in our history to help women get the freedoms we have today.

When I find myself questioning my words, actions or ideas because I am concerned what others think of me it brings anxiety. If you are anything like me; I will run through conversations in my head, wondering what I could have or should have done better.

Here are a few questions I ask myself that help me put my mind at ease with my deeds, and conversations.

  • Did I speak my truth?
  • Was I kind?
  • Was I able to keep calm and collected?
  • Did I give the other party an opportunity to speak their truth?
  • If there is no compromise of opinion, did we respectfully to agree to disagree?
  • Did I hold on to my personal values? And did I allow the other party to do the same?

If I accomplished all these things, I feel okay with my interactions. You and I both know that there are times we don’t get along with everyone. So, when the other party may not like the outcome of our conversation or there is conflict, I start to think, “I wonder what they think of me?”

Truthfully even though I am fully aware ‘what they think of me is none of my business.’ I still do care! I care because I want others to see that I live and act in harmony with my beliefs. I believe in being kind and compassionate to every living being I come across in life, and although I know this is my intention, I want this to come across to those I interact with.

Yet I have learned I must be strong and stand firmly in my truth. I will not be happy if I allow myself to be steamrolled or bullied into silence. Standing up for yourself can be uncomfortable, especially if you encounter someone who does not show you respect to be authentically you.

I’ve met some people who seemed like unkind, selfish, mean, bullies in my day. Yet as I grow older, I see beyond their actions and see the pain underneath that makes them act out in this way. Maybe that person has not been shown compassion or kindness themselves? Maybe they were raised in a very totalitarian home with no empathy and not allowed to show emotion?

Clearly a person whom cannot practice compassion has not been shown it. These are the people who seem to have the loudest opinions and greater tendency to have behaviors such as: punish harshly, belittle, or bully others. When I have an interaction with folks like this it stays with me for days because it feels so icky.

Then I ask myself, “What did I do to bring this situation to myself? Was I part in escalating this uncomfortable situation or an innocent bystander of emotional violence?” I know that I am opinionated myself and am hardly ever completely innocent when it comes to debating with those with differing opinions. Yet how I interact with the world around me is very important to me.

I try very hard to be the best me I can be. I try to raise vibes, not lower them.

So, while it is true that “What others think of me is none of my business.” I still go back to those questions (see list above) and hold myself up to the personal standards I have set. I feel like when I answer those questions, I know if I can rest easy with my actions or if I have some room for improvement.

It is important to stand firmly in my truth, and to be okay when others do not like or agree with me. Because what I think of myself is more important than what others think of me. I know who I am inside and if I am upholding my personal values while feeling a little uncomfortable, I must be okay with that.

While we may always wonder what others think, it’s more important to ask yourself. “What do you, think of you?!” There is always room to grow, there are ways to improve being true to you too!

I imagine this may be what Eleanor Roosevelt was expressing with her quote. “What others think of me is none of my business.”

I hope this blog helped you in some way. I’d love to hear what you think!

Wishing you an abundance of blessings!

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

 

 

My husband ~ My ordinary everyday hero

Is there divine intervention that happens, to put the people you need in your path, at the time you need them? Is it fate or divine order? I think there has got to be a little of both. I feel like my husband and I were put together at the right time, in the right place and for the right reasons.

Jason and I met at work, I was 28 and he was just turning 30. We dated four years before we got engaged. We were both doing our best to take it slow to make sure we were both happy in this relationship. My daughter was 11 and a huge factor in our relationship, it was imperative and non-negotiable that they got along.

Thankfully, Jason has a great sense of humor and handled it with laughter when Danica tried to frost his bald head with a spatula full of chocolate frosting. One of the first times they had met! They have been jokesters with each other ever since. He was very inclusive of her and their relationship has blossomed. At the age of 16, my daughter asked to change her last name to Jason’s last name, because he was more of a father to her than her own.

My husband had to go through many tests before I knew he was ‘the one’. I was not exactly an easy girlfriend, I was highly independent and had all that I needed; a car, a job, a house and a wonderful little girl. He was going to have to bring something to the table that I did not already have. What I needed was a best friend and companion to be my partner through life. I needed someone who made me laugh and help me do the things I could not. Someone who would stay by my side through the good times and bad.

Previous relationships I had experienced, were not horrible, for the most part. They were just not enough. When Jason and I met we said; “It took me so long to find you, I am not letting you go now.” We both felt that the life we lived before, was not nearly as good as when we finally found each other. So, I want to tell you what he does that makes me feel lucky to have an ordinary everyday hero like my husband.

My husband is always there for me and our daughter, Danica. He checks in morning, noon and night; just to keep in touch. His work has us away from each other quite often. We always let one another know when we get to where we are going. So, the other won’t worry. He also is always ‘there’ for his family and mine. Even if he doesn’t want to, he shows up, because he knows it matters and he loves me. Jason is the kind of husband who grumbles about going to some events but doesn’t let me down.

The first time I thought of him as an everyday hero, was the morning he acted as the best husband in the world. He woke up extra early to drive me to the airport. That morning I wanted to fill up the bird feeder before we left, while still dark. When I did, I stepped in dog poop! Yet, I did not notice until five minutes after we had left and were well on our way!

I was about to lose my cool and have a meltdown. I was horrified at the possibility of being the person on the plane that smells like dog poop! My husband just kept his calm used the random tools he had in his truck and a bottled water; to help clean it off and take care of me in a parking lot at 4:30 am. So, I didn’t have to fret. I’m telling you, at this moment, his help was like an angel sent from heaven just for me.

He takes care of me in other little ways almost every day. This morning he made my coffee. Yesterday he made me an oak bookshelf and one for my mom too.  The day before that, he held me and made me laugh about the week we had endured together; while both inflicted with the stomach flu. Day in and day out my husband is steady and here for me. He works, he comes home, he loves me and our daughter and will do all he can to give us the best life possible.

When I look at my handsome husband’s regular looking life, I see what it looks like to be an ordinary everyday hero.

It’s the men that show up to support you, who keep their word, who don’t leave when times are tough, money is low or tragedy hits that are the real heroes. He is still here, holding me, loving me and taking my crap through it all. My husband is not perfect, and I don’t want him to be. I just need him here with me. Being himself; the loyal, hardworking, handyman that makes my heart pitter patter is all that matters.

Some hero’s rescue you from a burning building. My husband saves me from day’s that feel like this, even if I’m the one who started the fire. (or stepped into some poo!) He is very much my best friend, my confidant, and my hero. I have known him for going on fifteen years, and watching him live with integrity, has earned my devotion and respect. When it comes to what matters, his consistent actions have made me quite certain, I picked the right one.

Thank you, Universe/God for the divine intervention of putting us on the same path. We have been taking turns rescuing each other ever since. I know I am incredibly blessed to have someone who loves me and helps me grow. I am beyond grateful for my husband. My ordinary everyday hero.

I’d love to hear what makes your husband or partner, your hero!

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Review!

What are you proud of and what could you do better?

If I were to make an adult report card about life, I feel like there are major courses we all have in common. Each of these life courses may demand more time than others at times, so they cannot always be as equal as we would like them to be. Balance is good thing, but when life hands us assignments, it’s not always in manageable bite size pieces.

This year I wanted to grade myself on my personal performance in 2018. Then use it as a guide going into 2019 so that I know where I need to focus my attention. Here are the courses of life in which I am going to grade myself and do my best to be realistic yet kind; so that I don’t romanticize areas in which I can improve.

2018 Report Card

Family Relationships = B

Marriage/Love = C+

Career & Money = C-

Health & PE = F

Passions & Hobbies = B

Family 2018 – I believe that relationships with my closest family members have improved this year. We all have grown on personal levels and learned to accept and respect each other for who we are. Yet there is always room for improvement. We could be closer, and I would like to work more towards that going forward.

Family 2019 Goals – Spend more time with my mom, daughter and extended family. This summer has been crazy busy, and I did not get to spend as much time as I would have liked to with my favorites. To rectify this, I’d like to plan some girl dates and outings that support team work and relationship building.

Marriage/Love 2018 – I put marriage in its own category because I believe it is a separate relationship that takes much more tending to. 2018 has been a major year of transformation and growth for my marriage. I admit that not all of it was as perfect as the pictures I post on Facebook. To be honest, we had a very trying year. Yet by the end of 2018 we are better than we had been all year. We made it through the growing pains, we got stronger and our marriage muscles improved from this struggle. We both have sincerely thanked each other for the life lessons we seem to have given during the past year.

Marriage 2019 Goals – We hope to use those lessons as stepping stones. I am thankful for our love and communication skills that helped us through really trying months. I will not take my husband’s love, support and loyalty for granted. I realize that there are ways I can improve my part of the relationship. Like not blaming him for things we both have a part in creating. Again, I must work on myself by managing my time, emotions and expectations to better benefit our relationship.

Career & Money 2018 – Like the teacher who is hard on you because they know you can do better, I’m going to be very tough on myself in this area because I feel like I need to be. Although I have worked harder this past year than I ever have in my life! My bank account does not reflect a smidgen of the effort I extended, and this is not okay with me. In a world that sees success as dollar signs; I know that I need money to accomplish the things I want to. I’ve got Adventures to go on gosh darn it!

I am doing my best and working hard to make a career by following my heart and passions. While reality is that my real-life needs are not being met by doing so. This current situation frustrates me beyond words because I love being a Massage Therapist. I love helping others feel better in their own skin.

Owning your own business is not easy. It’s taken me eight years to build my practice and gain clients to be financially successful… and only one summer to feel like I hit a massive recession. Currently my career is not supporting the lifestyle I wish to live. Now and it’s up to me to decide what I am going to do about it besides complain. I’ve got to get back to good in this course!

Career & Money 2019 Goals – I just don’t know how to justify doing what feels good and following my heart; when it does not support my other human needs and wants. I am hoping the Universe/God sends me some signs of relief soon. That being said; I am very proud of myself for overcoming my fears and taking the chances I did.

I used every single ounce of courage I had to run for State Representative so that I could affect the change I wished to see in my government and community. I lost the election, but I learned a great deal and had a magnificent life experience. I am proud of myself for that. Yet, doing so had a negative effect on my income and career that I did not anticipate.

If I choose to run again, I will now have the experience and knowledge of what to expect, which should help me prepare.

Health & PE 2018 – Although I lost weight in 2018, I know I failed health class. I will not candy coat it in anyway because I would be lying. I had an adventurous and fun yet, very stressful year, that had me reaching out for the comfort of all my bad habits I had thought I was over. I started smoking again, I was not eating nutritious foods and basically lived off wine and pizza. I was not exercising except when I was out door knocking or in a parade.

It was the stress and anxiety that helped me lose the weight. Yet during the short time between the election in November and ringing in the New Year, I have put every single pound back on. I was seeking consolation through food and eating my feelings. Not healthy and I know it. Time to regroup and recoup.

Last, but not least. I learned that I have a strong tendency to fall back into old habits.

Health & PE Goals 2019 – This year I will focus on losing the weight in a healthy way. Giving my body what it needs to be its best. Utilizing nutrition and exercise will be my number one goal for healthy living. I will give my body the proper nutrition it needs with whole foods and stop feeding it sugar and pizza!

I need to love myself enough to say no to things that insult my body, mind and spirit. I must love myself enough to make decision and choices that heal, not harm my body. I know better, I must do better.I have resolved to manage my stress with exercise instead of the brain changing chemicals of smoking. (So far, so good!)

From what I remember, I used to like to exercise! Dance parties in the kitchen are back into my routine and squats while I fold laundry are now on the schedule most every day. I have a goal to start running again too! I am ready for this change.

Passions & Hobbies 2018 – Although this year was plum full of goal setting, and dream chasing I feel like I had a really hard time with balancing it all into life. I gave myself a B, because I had a very adventurous year doing things, I never dreamed I would do.

Yet, I still did not do much of the things that bring me to balance. Like camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area or kayaking and spending time on the water. I justified this by saying if I didn’t run for office, I may not have the BWCA to escape to in the future. When I should have made time to go because that is where I feel my connection to spirit the most. After all, it was my passion for the environment that led me to running for office.

In 2018 Stacy and I submitted our book proposals three different times and where unsuccessful. I will not let this dishearten my resolve but will work harder to get better so that we will succeed.

Passion & Hobbies 2019 Goals –

I allowed the demands of my time to pull me from my spiritual path at times. I now see I need those time outs to center my soul and listen to my inner guidance. Being realistic with the timeline of achievements will benefit my state of mind too.

Adventure Sister Stacy and I know that 2019 will lead to another book to add to our Trilogy and are excited to get to work on it!

I’d like to work on my public speaking ability in 2019 also. It is an area in which I would like to improve for the sake of my own personal growth. In 2018 I learned that facing my fears is difficult, but the reward is worth it.

I am extremely proud of my courage, tenacity, persistence and dedication I showed I am capable of in 2018. There are many areas in which I see I can improve, like working on my closest relationships that took the back burner as I chased my dreams. I have learned the value my time and the importance of balancing it.

Comments:

Look at that! I have not only grown older but maybe even a little wiser! 2018 has been full of lessons and growth that have led to setting more goals. Self-improvement is something I work on every day. Working on ourselves is important so that we don’t blame others for situations in our lives. It helps us take responsibility for where we are, where we are going, how we are going to get there and who we are while we are there.

You cannot change others, you can only change yourself!

I tend to look on the bright side of things, so I had to be tough on myself in this report card. As you can see 2018 GPA has some room for improvement! My hopes are that these grades will serve as a tool to continue my own personal growth. I can’t wait to see this report card come up in my timeline over the next years to compare!

When we put our pro’s and con’s down on paper its easier to see how far we’ve come in one year and how far we have yet to go!

What lessons have you learned during 2018?! I’d love to hear how you’ve grown!

May your 2019 be full of blessings and Lessons through Joy!

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

Kind of a dick…

I’m not sure why but this is one of my favorite early blogs. Maybe it’s the title?! 😜 What makes you get all riled up and passionate?
#Passionmakesithappen
#ProtectWhatYouLove
#Loveoverfear

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

It’s recently occurred to me that I am kind of a dick. I don’t mean to be, I very much try to be a nice person to everyone I encounter, even unkind folks. That’s who my best self likes to be, open minded and compassionate. Lately I have had low tolerance for people who aren’t accepting of others, or my opinion of the environment, how hypocritical is that? I am a dick to the dicks I come across and I realize that it is my ego saying “No not like that. Do it my way.”

I have been writing about environmental awareness this week, it is one of my passions. I feel that it is part of my life’s purpose to speak up about the injustices happening to Mother Earth. Especially when it come to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota because it means so much to me. When my Adventure…

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Save the Boundary Waters Canoe Area!

I wrote this one year ago. The permits for this project have been granted. The only thing that is holding up the process is a lawsuit. Please donate or do what you can to share our plight! Save the Boundary Waters!

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

The environment is very important to me, it is my passion. We take so much from her, doing something anything to give back and help her out she would appreciate, so will our children and grandchildren. My intention, is to spread awareness of our effects on the planet, whether they are intentional or not we CAN and must, change our direction of unsustainable consumption of its resources.

There is currently controversy surrounding the area called the Iron Range, of Minnesota it is a taconite mining community. Minnesota State officials are currently under pressure to grant a mining permit to Twin Metals Minnesota Mining to mine sulfite-ore copper at The Boundary Waters Canoe Area headwaters and pressure keeps building.

The Taconite/Iron Ore mines employ a great number of families in the area. I grew up on the Iron Range, it’s made up of good hearted regular families like yours. What I…

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