I share small tips with big impact that can help you start living a healthier life today in this Q&A with Caitlin Pickett, who  really got me thinking back to my ‘why’ in this fun interview.

Check out her BLOG and read all about how and why I began my work as an Integrative Health & Yoga Fit Instructor.


To Your Health!
~V

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🌱💐 Hello Spring! A refreshing tea to welcome the Spring Equinox 💐🌱

The day of Spring Equinox is finally here!

Fitting that today, in the Midwest, it’s raining – we’re getting a cleanse…

The rain always makes me pause to reflect, slow down for a minute, and somehow tea always tastes better – like a special treat.

Being a tea addict, I have LOTS of various ‘flavors’ and I usually concoct my own combination blends.

Spring equinox, the rain..both were the inspiration for today’s settle in and sip some tea time.

I used 1 tea bag each of Yogi Tea’s ‘Soothing Rose Hibiscus’ and ‘Ginger’ brewed in 24oz of water.

All that I can end with is;

To Your Health!

~V

I Will Never Know The Answer “Why” And, That Is The Hardest Part…

One part of practicing yoga is beginning with an intention. This can be anything from a goal you have on the mat to a hope you have for the wide world.

Tonight, at yoga I was asked to set my intention before my practice – usually it’s for tight abs but, today is a notable day for me.
It’s the birthday of my friend John, who committed suicide 18 years ago. *That was really hard to choke out! That he committed suicide. I’ve spent years working on being able to say that, that is what happened. That is what he did. 

I thought about him all day today so when I was asked to set an intention, I’d thought about it.
My intention is that anxiety, depression, rock bottom isn’t so taboo of a subject that people feel weak, embarrassed, alone…and that they can’t say, “Hey, I’m having a really hard time right now.” 
That’s what I wish John had done.

 Understanding suicide, its prevention and preventative measures starts by talking honestly about it. 

I don’t know why my bestest friend took his own life – I had just talked to him and had tickets to visit him in the following weeks.
Suicide forces you to face being okay with not always having all of the answers. It teaches you in an “in your face” sort of way about shock and denial – how many times have I asked “Why?!?!” 

The answer is, I’ll never truly know why. 
I’m learning to be more at peace with that. But, for me it’s the hardest part.

 I’m able now to muse with my love, who knew him better than me and equally impacted, that in my next life I’m going to shake my finger in his face and ask..”What the hell, man?!?!”
Because the truth is, none of us should feel so lost that we can’t reach out when we experience feelings of hopelessness, confusion, or being unable to even think about the next day. 

Pleasure and pain are two aspects of life (e.g. “yin” and the “yang”) and they are inseparable. 
No, you aren’t alone. Yes, we all feel this way sometimes. No, you won’t always feel like this. Yes, the world is a better place with you in it.


To Your Health!
~V

Breakdown = Breakthrough 

“I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.”

– Virginia Woolf

Sitting on my porch, having a coffee and WOW! My Forsythia frozen and entrapped in ice got me thinking about breakthroughs…
You most likely can remember a moment when you had a breakdown in your life that lead to a breakthrough. Maybe it was a breakup. Or you were diagnosed with a disease. You may have been fired or quit your job.

Basically, you felt like rock bottom.    Stuck. Confused. Numb. 
No matter what you experienced… The pain is real, raw and rich for a breakthrough, that is for sure. You became more of the person you wanted to be. 

Thank yourself for doing the work.

Congratulations to you -you’re here another day.
To Your Health!

~V

Five Aspects Of Fitness To Avoid Plateaus & Boredom 

To avoid boredom and/or a fitness plateau it’s a good practice to vary your workout routine. I like to include all five elements of fitness;

*aerobic/cardio exercise like power walking or jogging 

*strength training like hand weights or resistance bands

*core exercises like Pilates 

*balance training, and stretching like yoga

so I was thrilled today to get a chance to take Community Yoga’s Pilates class.

My abs and core feel so strong and my spine feels lengthened and relaxed.
To Your Health!

~V

Spice brings new life to meals.

Experimenting with a variety of spices and vegetables can bring new (healthy) life to any meal.

I usually serve a chicken dish at least once a week – if not more. I’ve found using different seasoning, paired with the myriad rainbow of vegetables keeps dinners new and fresh. 

For example and currently roasting in my  oven; 

2 Chicken breasts seasoned (to taste) and seared in 

Salt & Pepper, 

Onion Powder, 

Paprika,

 and Cumin 

topped with sliced  

1 Onion, 

2-3 Garlic cloves

1 Tomato, 

and 1/2 a Poblano pepper.

Bake 350F for 30-45 minutes 

Serve with a big green salad.
To Your Health!

~V

Grow through what you go through.

When something (bad, unexpected, concerning etc) happens, you always have the choice to either let it define and/or destroy you or you can let it strengthen you.

Sometimes things out of our control that we can not change, end up changing us. 


To Your Health!

~V

victoriapardue.com

Mantras ARE Powerful 

We all have mantras, whether we know it or not. Words and phrases we always tell ourselves.
If we’re not mindful about them, they can quickly become negative. 
I can’t do that.
I’m too fat.
This always happens to me.
Nobody cares about me.
Mantras are powerful. AND you can change the negatives to positives by practicing gratitude every day. 
Gratitude isn’t something that just comes. It’s something you practice, like yoga. I’m still practicing, but it keeps getting easier.
I really like this Metta Mantra;

*May you be happy

*May you be healthy.

*May you be peaceful.

*May you live with ease. 

To Your Health!

~V

victoriapardue.com