March was an especially tough month for me, in both my personal and work life. I don't believe in using my blog as a journal, but I just thought it important to explain why my posts have been a little sporadic. That's also why today's recap of my March peaceful act was especially difficult for me to write. As you know from this earlier post, my birthday is on St. Patrick's Day (March 17) so I am now one year away from 30. A coworker told me about six months ago that 29 was the year she figured out what she was doing with her life and her career. And basically said that seems common at 29. Talk about pressure! So of course, weeks before my birthday I started worrying that I had nothing in my life planned out. And essentially drove myself crazy the month of March trying to figure out what I have to accomplish before I turn 30 in 12 months. Needless to say, I didn't feel much peace in March.
I didn't realize just how stressful my birthday month would be, so I probably didn't choose the best peaceful intention for the month. Keith will talk more about it in his section as guest blogger, but we decided at the end of February that we would both like to lose a little weight and start to feel overall healthier. On March 1, we both weighed ourselves and took body measurements. I'll just admit now that not a single number decreased for me after 31 days (at least none increased though). Here is what I did in the month of March toward trying to feel a little more at peace with my body and health:
1) Attempted a liver cleanse. Basically that means I started every morning with a glass of unsweetened cranberry-apple cider vinegar-lemon juice. The recipe is 4 oz (or 1/2 a cup) of unsweetened cranberry juice (not cocktail), 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and 1 squeeze of lemon. You drink it 1 full hour before eating and *don't drink* alcohol for 1 month. It is supposed to help cleanse your liver and keep you feeling fuller throughout the morning.
* I attempted to not drink for the month. I think I made it 2 weeks. It was my birthday though.
2) Took vitamins and supplements daily. I have never been very good about taking vitamins regularly but I'm trying to form a better habit. Every morning last month, I would insure both Keith and I took a multivitamin. Then, as part of My Fit Food's 21-Day Challenge that I had done previously, I took vitamin supplements during lunch every weekday (you're supposed to take them twice a day but I always forget at dinner). The pills I took were cinnamon (has antioxidants and supposed to help with cholesterol and blood sugar), milk thistle (anti-inflammatory and good for the liver), CLA (helps with weight loss), and fish oil (prevents strokes, lowers cholesterol, and bonus, good for the skin). I'm still keeping up with all the pills and am hoping this month to actually start taking those 4 supplements in the evening too.
3) Drank homemade apple-ginger-carrot juice 1 - 2 x's weekly. I've read lots of health benefits to consuming ginger and of course carrots over the years, so after also reading this article, Keith started making this delicious juice for us to drink a few mornings a week. The apple is just to sweeten it a little but over the month, he started adding more and more carrots and ginger so by the end, our juice was practically neon orange (and super spicy!). I'm pretty obsessed with it now so I'm hoping we keep this up regularly.
4) Prepared lots of super healthy meals. I love finding new recipes on Pinterest, especially really healthy stuff that is easy to make and we both love. I took pictures of some of my favorite meals throughout the month to share with you, along with a few recipes that I highly recommend you make yourself.
Keith and I both enjoy cooking, trying new recipes, and preparing healthy meals. Some of our favorite healthy recipes are chia pudding, sweet potato patties, quinoa and sweet potato chili, turkey sloppy joes, parmesan pesto tilapia, and pretty much anything with kale.
So all of these healthy tips probably sound great, right? But here's the truth and reason why my March intention didn't work out as well - I often treat myself when we go out and after a long run. I excuse myself indulging in fries or dessert from time to time because we work out regularly, much more than I did in my early twenties for sure. It was my birthday month, and I think I got about 4 different birthday cakes, which I promise I didn't eat entirely alone but they didn't exactly help. I don't feel more at peace with my health or physical appearance after one month of attempting to, but over the past few days I've been realizing I've been snacking a little less and feeling less hungry throughout the day. So I'm trying to convince myself that's progress and if I keep it up, I'm sure I can get a little closer to my health goals.
I also learned a valuable lesson during my March peaceful act. I need to be more focused on inner peace if I'm ever going to feel better about myself, my work, and my goals in life. I do not believe I'll have everything figured out before I turn 30, or ever for that matter, but as long as I keep working at making myself the best possible version I can be, then at least I'm making progress. And I'm hopeful my April acts will be a little more successful in these goals.
As Alanna mentioned above, my March accomplishment was intended to be a dramatic overall of my diet and workout habits with the hopes that a few pounds might be shed along the way. While I felt alright about some of our progress this month, I remain the same weight I was the month before, and thus am having difficulty counting this venture as an accomplishment. BUT, as it so happens, something else momentous occurred this month…our team finally wrapped post-production on the film we've been editing for the past year and a half. The film was shot in L.A. during the summer of 2012. For those who don't know, most films have an editing period between 4 and 6 months. A year and half is almost unheard of, but that's the nature of the types of films I work on. We are allowed significantly greater experimentation in the edit than most standard, Hollywood fare, but this comes at a cost, namely in the difficulty at which the final product arrives.
I won't go into the gruesome details, but after 14 hour days, 6 days a week, I'm proud of our accomplishment. The film is called Knight of Cups and stars Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, and Cate Blanchett. It should arrive in theaters sometime late this year or early next year. I'm taking the next week off to rest and mentally prepare myself for the next film, which will begin in full effect the Monday I return. It's hell sometimes, but it's the life I chose. Still, nothing feels better than locking up a film that's been so chaotic, so cumbersome, and so frustrating up until the final moments, when I'm able to take a step back and see that, wow, we really did it.