My Post-Election Plans for Self-Care and Unplugging: Added-Sugars Free, Physical Activity and Pepping Up the Blog

Self Care Meme Danielle LaPorte

Going Added-Sugar-Free for Two Weeks, Doing 30 Minutes of Exercise a Day, and To Keep Fixing Up This Blog - My Post-Election Plans for Self-Care and Unplugging

Beauty is not dictated by one singular person or another. No matter your size, your income, your taste preferences, you can style yourself to look fabulous. Even if some may criticize your shape, your lack of brand names, your penchant for modesty or immodesty, or any other mark of your appearance, if you like how you look, then you are beautiful. I want to reiterate that message because it needs to be said on a day like today, after the 2016 election has concluded. I appreciate your beauty, and so do many many others.

My Plans for Self-Care in the Coming Weeks

Earlier in the week I went food shopping and it took me twice as long as my usual trip. It also cost me about twice as much, but I had planned for that, financially speaking. That's because I am going add-sugars-free for the next two weeks.

It's been a difficult year for my digestive system, which has given me trouble for as long as I can remember. As I mentioned on here in the last weeks, I have worried about the Presidential election for a long time. I am a political junkie. It's my nature, as it's something I've followed since I was in grade school. So dorky! I know. But that's how I was born, you know? Politics, poetry, funky style, and standing up for the "little guy" so to speak. That's what I care about and all of my stress manifests itself in my digestive system.

For example, as I type this it is 11:40 PM and the race to razor thin but not looking good for Hillary Clinton. I am very ill. The entirety of my insides are on fire. I cannot fathom eating food. I have gone to the bathroom 4 times. None of it--brace yourself for TMI--was very pretty. I have a physical reaction to stress and today is no different.

So, what to do once the drum beat of electoral politics stops and the decisions of the voters have been made? Obviously, I had made the plan regardless of who won.

Going "Added-Sugars-Free" for Two Weeks

No added sugars of any kind in what I eat for the next two weeks. And guess what? There's hidden sugars in EVERYTHING. Cottage cheese. Sriracha sauce. Smoked salmon. And it's hidden in other names: malodextrin, stevia, honey, cane juice. We crave sweetness in our diets and we get it from so many different products.

What Foods Are Free of Added Sugar?

Well, obviously the whole foods: vegetables, as is. Fruit, as is. Eggs. Beans. Rice. Nuts. Seeds. What processed food are added-sugar-free? Well, that is a whole other problem! Here are some products I found that are free of any added sugars:

crofters organic blackberry fruit spread a sugar free spread

  • Crofters Just Fruit Spread
  • Nairns Oatcakes 
  • Triscuit Rye and Caraway Seed
  • Plain yogurt
  • Regular cheese
  • SOME dried fruits, but you always have to check the ingredients

What Are My Meal and Snack Plans for the Next Two Weeks?

I knew the only way I could pull this off was by meticulously planning my meals. So before I went shopping, I made a plan. Then I made a list off that plan. Though this is just a vague outline, I figured this was the smarting route to tackle this great fete against our American diet that's so permeated by sugar.

For instance, where it says, "salmon rice veg" I was planing to have smoked salmon, because I don't usually eat fish at home--just out to eat. And I don't know how to cook it as a results, though I'm sure it's easy enough to manage. So I decided to make an exception to my "completely vegetarian at home" rule but guess what? Smokes salmon has added sugar! Instead, I went with Tempeh. But even that was a challenge because only the plain kind was without any sugars, believe it our not. Any thing that had a flavoring to it had added sugars.

I left the weekends kind of open for experimentation. I bought a lot more fresh veggies this time around so I can build meals off that. And I bought a lot of fruit, so I can snack accordingly.

Activity for 30 Minutes a Day

Even though I have my alarm set for 2:20 each day to remind me to go take a walk around the building and get out of the office, I mostly ignore it. I have to stop doing that. Today is the day I stick to it!.

I'm also a PBS junkie--like, I watch all the programs during the weekends and evenings, as if I were a granny. Which is a good thing. Grannies are awesome. And this habit of watching PBS introduced me to Classical Stretch. This is often an exercise program that older people do, but people of all ages and types can benefit from it.

Here's the explanation, from the website:

Essentrics Workout:
  1. A dynamic workout based on the theories of Miranda Esmonde-White that simultaneously lengthens and strengthens every muscle in the body, resulting in greater joint mobility and lean, long muscles.
  2. A full-body technique that works through the muscle chains, liberating and empowering the muscles, relieving them from tension in the process.
  3. A completely original workout that draws on the flowing movements of tai chi which create health and balance, the strengthening theories behind ballet which create long, lean, flexible muscles and the healing principles of physiotherapy which create a pain free body.
There are three basic types of muscles contractions and Essentrics is loosely based on the concept of eccentric muscle contractions.
Medical Definition: Eccentric training is defined as active contraction of a muscle occurring simultaneously with lengthening of the muscle.
I purchased the subscription to the online streaming this weekend and plan to incorporate the workouts into my day.

Continue Fixing Up This Blog 

First, I accidentally wrote "blob" in that heading. Ha! So overtired from a restless night. Anyway,
as I mentioned in a post the other day, I love doing this blog. It makes me happy as a creative outlet. And I believe, now more than ever before, that it's important to assert that every person, of every age and shape and income and proclivity, can dress to dazzle, if they so choose, and look beautiful doing so.

Now a days, pin up represents an inclusivity and an empowerment of the feminine that was not the norm when it first became the style. And I really love that about it. I also love being a plus size blogger and asserting that you don't need to be a size 2 to look great in what you're wearing. And I love showing how low-to-middle income earners can still find clothes that are fabulous, so long as they know where to look and how to style it.

So for my own self care, because it makes me happy, I'm going to keep fixing up all the sparsely filled old posts and building the new posts filled with the positive creativity and messages that each one fills. We're going to need bright spots in the coming future. I want to help be one.