It is truly a pleasure to have been asked by my life-long family friend, Mike Carozza, to walk in Suzanne’s nutritional footsteps and contribute to this blog posting. I say in her footsteps because she is turning over a new leaf and moving on to serve as the Director of Health and Fitness at the Darien YMCA. I actually went to high school with Suzanne! We even shared a passion for dance and now share a current zeal for fitness and nutrition. I’m well aware that she has left a tremendous impact on Carozza Fitness as well as with friends and clients – kudos to Suzanne! She is also a graduate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and I will soon be a graduate in the Fall. That being said, I am honored to be writing this blog post today and am so excited to share my health and nutrition advice, challenges, and experiences with you. I have a love for optimal health, happiness and food. I strive to inspire, educate and help others. I’m ready for this journey. And so it begins…
To turn over a new leaf, by definition, means to engage in self-improvement; to begin a good habit or shed a bad habit. As a recent newlywed (6 months and counting!) and homeowner, full-time corporate professional, and health/nutrition student, I have had some recent trouble balancing my time – OK really, my life! I decided 2 weeks ago to turn over the stressful let-me-get-as-much-as-I-possibly-can–get-done-in-one-day leaf and create more structural balance in my daily life. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, yes, but I actually enjoy and thrive on an active and busy lifestyle. However, contrary to the previous months, I was feeling differently, eating differenty, and thinking differently. I was more anxious and had less energy. I was cutting corners on my clean eating and my thinking felt foggy. Even my skin was not looking great. As a result, I knew change was essential and I needed to turn over a new leaf, pronto.
So what is my new leaf?
- Sunday funday: Each Sunday I plan my week ahead like I had been doing in the past. This is a must! I go food shopping and plan out my clean meals for the week. This can be somewhat difficult since weeks have recently been busy with work and other commitments, but this helps me feel grounded and on track!
- Study hours: I allocate a set # of hours each night for studying. I do what I can within that time frame, and call it a night. Staying up late means not getting enough ZZZs for a healthy, productive day ahead and risking a skipped workout in the morning.
- Workout warrior: I am back on track with my respective workout schedule (6 workouts a week). Exercise has never been a chore, but rather extremely empowering and fun for me. So when my exercising is off (and boy, was it off), so is my mood and my balance!
- Deep breaths: I breathe. Oh yes, taking deep breaths makes all the difference in the world. Even if it’s taking an extra 5 minutes in the shower to just literally breathe, this really helps with relaxing and clearing my mind (self improvement, check!). Try it for yourself, it will help.
- N-O spells NO: I say “no” now. I am known for never saying “no” to go to an event, do a favor, help someone out, etc. But I vowed to learn how to say “no” to certain things to simply relieve some stress on myself and allow for some self-care time. Even if it’s just finishing Fifty Shades of Grey or relaxing on the couch with the hubby. This “me” time is crucial.
- Support, support, support: I have full support from like-minded friends and family, which has helped me tremendously. Whether it’s a workout buddy wake-up text at 5am or hug from my sister reminding me she is here for me, my friends and family help keep me active and very loved. I value and appreciate this support more and more each day.
- Green juices!: Most recently, I started juicing! Green juices, to be exact. Chlorophyll, the phytonutrient that makes plants green, is HIGHLY beneficial. My skin is healthier, my energy is high, I feel awesome. I’m convinced that juicing is a key component to an energetic, radiant, and healthy life. I could go on and on about juicing, but I’ll save all the yummy, healthy details for my next post.
And with my new green leaf comes a smile. I encourage you to try to engage in some self-improvement or shed a bad habit as you see fit. You can trust me when I say it can do wonders to your body, mind and spirit!