Add Something

Add Something

Does anyone remember in July when I confidently announced that I had set a goal not to eat out for the entire month? No? Well, that makes sense because that goal was wildly unsuccessful and, naturally, I never spoke of it again. And why was it unsuccessful? Because let me tell you, y’all.. What I needed to do was add something.

What Do You Mean “Add Something”?

I know. It sounds simple but vague at the same time. Let me explain.

What you probably do remember is when I made my goal to walk for 30 minutes a day for 30 days straight. I wrote this post about it. It was so successful that I extended it to 100 days and, while I’m not posting about it, I am walking consistently for my mental and physical health.

So why couldn’t I abstain from eating out for a month for my physical and financial health?

It’s just that. “Abstain”. I was trying not to do something which is so much harder than trying to do something. And why is that?

Willpower!

Ugh, willpower. What an unpleasant, complicated concept. It makes me think of 90s diet culture and mean girls who will jump at any opportunity to tell you that they are better than you because they have willpower, they know how to deprive themselves. Come on. We all had that “friend” at some point in our lives…

On the flip side, willpower also makes me think about all those mid-200s think pieces about how willpower is a finite resource. How ego depletion is all too real and if we force ourselves to be “good” for too long, we’ll just snap and swing too far in the other direction, wildly indulging all our short-term impulses.

Recently, there has been some discussion debunking the ego depletion theory. This discussion suggests, instead, that we are exhausted by tasks that do not interest us and we should use our lack of willpower as a decision making-tool. 

Personally, I kind of feel like all of the discussion around willpower can be toxic, regardless of the approach you take. If you’re not careful, I mean. In July, every time I had to pick up a meal because I hadn’t thought I’d be out for dinner and didn’t think to bring food (or even simply chose to order food while out for drinks with friends), I beat myself up a bit. For not having any willpower, for not being able to stick to my goal. 

And That’s Where “Add Something” Comes In

So, we can’t rely on “willpower” to just not do something. It may or may not exist and, either way, every time you “give in”, you’re going to be hard on yourself. Because we are. Hard on ourselves, I mean, when we feel like we aren’t working towards our goals. After all, this goal is something we have identified as something we want. Something we feel like will be good for us.

Instead, give yourself something to do. Add something. Something you can strive towards and actually achieve. Like instead of saying “I will stop drinking pop”, saying “I will drink 3 litres of water a day”… how much room are you going to have for pop after drinking all that water?

Or another example – my “no eating out” goal. I might have been more successful if I had said “I want to try a new recipe every week this month” or “I want to hang out with my friends in parks instead of restaurants” or “I want to create a homemade version of (my favourite snack)” or “I want to create a really great stash of backup options in my office/car”. And so on – all I needed to do was determine why exactly I didn’t want to eat out, what exactly was getting in my way in July, and which exactly of these little additions was going to work for me.

In Summary

Even once I explain it, I think the idea of “Add Something” sounds very simple. But it works for me. I used to describe myself on dating profiles as “relentlessly positive” and… yeah. That’s what this is all about. I would much rather add something to my day and feel enriched than simply take something away and miss it.

So, along those lines… this November, I want to spend less money outside of my house. So instead of going to restaurants to write during NaNoWriMo, I want to try writing in one new coffee shop a week. That isn’t going to leave me a lot of time for restaurants… money saved!

What new thing do you want to add this month?

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The Best Mocktail for This Holiday Season

Don’t get me wrong, friends. I like a glass of wine just as much as the next totally independent and productive grown woman. (Side comment: I’m trying not to say “girl” as much these days. I’ve been trying for like a year though, so you can imagine how well it’s going.) I like to learn about wine. I like the ritual of selecting a bottle from my bar. I like having a special drink at the end of the day. But my pocketbook, internal organs and cognitive functions are not always there for a wine. And that is where this post comes in – the best mocktail for this holiday season!

And by “holiday season”, I mean “zooming with friends from our own homes while wearing fancy clothes”. Yet another reason to maybe not always reach for the wine.

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Elevate Barre Program

elevate barre program nutrition guide

Oof. Look at this girl go – restarting a blog and missing a week almost immediately. What can I say? I had a paper due last week. After doing a deep dive into reflexivity and the need for a community developed code of ethics for adult educators, my brain was toast. 3500 words is so many words. But anyway, I digress. I was gone, now I am back, and I want to talk about Elevate, a little program that I’ve been doing at my barre studio for the past month.

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Cherry Pit – One Day Juice Cleanse

Juice Cleanse

As those of you who follow me on social media have undoubtably already seen, on Monday I did a petite one day juice cleanse. With the Calgary Stampede looming on the horizon and a booze-soaked girls weekend in Kimberley behind me, it just seemed like a good choice to try to get my system a little bit back in line. (Why yes, we did purchase 11 bottles of wine for three girls. We didn’t drink all of them, though, I swear! Seriously. That sounds like a made up swear, but it’s true! Anyway… moving on…)

In the past, I’ve only done three day cleanses and the one day cleanse was a walk in the park, by comparison. I did take a late night “Barre, Core, Stretch” class at Barre Body Studio on Monday and, though I was a little bit hungry after Lindsay put us through an insane tricep/oblique series, it was so refreshing to know that I had a juice waiting for me at home and even if it didn’t completely quench my hunger it didn’t matter because I got to eat on Tuesday morning. I even did my meal prep for the week on Monday night and my food monster remained in check! So, without further ado – my petite review of my petite cleanse.

Where did my cleanse come from?
Great question! (That I asked myself… maybe I shouldn’t reveal the conceit. Anyway…) In the past, I’ve purchased three day cleanses from an old A Flimsy Plan favourite, Cru Juice, but this time I decided to go for something a little shorter and a little bit cheaper. The one day cleanse from Cherry Pit, located at The Calgary Farmers’ Market fit the bill – super easy to pick up since I was already there and only $40 for one day! Apparently you can also order cleanses ahead of time online by emailing in, but I am clearly far too impetuous for that.

8:00 am – “The Hulk”
Kale, Apple, Celery, Lemon, Ginger

Starting off my day with a glass of hot lemon water and a green juice felt oh-so-virtuous. I really think it set me up with a positive frame of mind for my day. This juice was sweeter than I expected (a nice surprise for a green juice!) and I could definitely sense the celery in the after-taste, though not at all in an unpleasant way.

10:00 am – “Tropical Paradise”
Green apple, Pineapple, Lemon, Mint

A variation of this juice seems to be a standby in most cleanses (Blueprint Cleanse calls it “PAM”, Cru offers the “Pumped Up Kicks” which is similar but includes aloe vera) and with good cause – it’s nice to have something a little bit sweet to help pump up your blood sugar when mid-morning hits and it suddenly becomes very real that you will not be eating today, my friend. My morning at work was quite busy and the juice was sweet enough that I was able to alternate this guy with sips of water and spread it out over about an hour and a half until it was almost time for the next juice!

12:00 pm – “Carrot”
Carrot, Orange, Apple

Again, in the fall, Cru Juice offers a similar carrot juice that I just do not love… their variation includes yam and a few spices that I can’t remember at the moment – so either I really like orange or I really don’t like the spice I can’t remember, because I loved this carrot juice! I also appreciate the vegetable based juices during a cleanse because they seem a little “thicker”, and therefore more filling, which this one definitely did. As a note, I was developing such a headache by this point.

1:30 pm

The headache was still there. Maybe it was a caffeine headache, as I had tried to be good and not have any coffee that morning? Maybe. I drank two cups of David’s Tea’s “Cream of Earl Grey” and it did help some. It was probably a caffeine headache.

3:30 pm – “Heart Beet”
Beet, Carrot, Apple, Ginger, Lemon

Can we talk about how cute the name of this juice is, even if it took me awhile to get it?
I am one of those weirdos who absolutely loves beets, but this was probably my least favourite juice of the cleanse. I know that beet juice is super good for you, but I just couldn’t get on board. Maybe my tastebuds were attuned to the sweet after my previous few juices? Maybe it was because I drank it during that dreaded late afternoon slump? I also drank it about an hour and a half later than the suggested time, so maybe that was a part of it? I’m not sure, but I just knew I couldn’t wait to be done with it.

5:30 pm – “The Popeye”
Spinach, Cucumber, Apple, Pear, Lemon

To be honest, I barely remember drinking this juice. I got home late from work because I had to run a few errands and I downed this guy while meal-prepping. I don’t remember anything distasteful about it and I do remember the cucumber taste being prominent. If you are looking for a standard juice to get a lot of nutrients in for very little work, I think this would do the trick.

9:00 pm – “Wonderwoman”
Watermelon, Pineapple, Coconut Water, Lime, Mint

Like the “Heart Beet”, I drank this juice waaaaay too late (the barre class! I have explained!) but unlike the “Heart Beet”, I loved it! It was like dessert! And it was brilliant, because the coconut water was the perfect thing to restore my water and electrolyte levels after the workout.

Final Thoughts?
I would absolutely do a one day cleanse again. I felt virtuous, I felt energetic, I was proud of myself. I also would probably have a cup of tea in the morning to stave off the headache.

The main difference I felt between the Cru Cleanse and this one, was the lack of a nut mylk included in the cleanse. I usually had the nut mylk after a workout to get some protein/sugar in as a recovery and I may have needed that if I did a more vigorous barre workout or continued the cleanse for longer. Cherry Pit juices are also more pure fruit/veg blends with less additional spices to add flavour.

I will note that I felt awful for much of Tuesday (the day after the cleanse). I went for a walk at lunch and almost passed out. This could have been a cleanse response, but it also could have been because I took an Advil that morning and I very rarely take any type of medication. I think I will have to do another one day cleanse, maybe after Stampede, and see how I feel the day after for comparison.

loved the price of the Cherry Pit cleanse, I loved that I could purchase a day of juice and still be within my grocery budget for the week with a little clever finagling.

(Note from 2020 Erin: Cru Juice was acquired by Jusu Bar. I haven’t yet tried their juice cleanses… maybe time for some new content?)

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