Champion Mindset, Champion Yourself

Champion Mindset, Champion Yourself

Mindset has not ever been a word to cross my lips, let alone a thought you cross my mind.

I have been on a life long journey of self betterment, but I only read about it. I love to read, 52 books a year minimum for many years now, and it’s always been easy to find a thought provoking book to read. But implementing the book’s ideas into my life… Hey, what’s that shiny object over there!?!? I’m Good Will Hunting’s Matt Damon. Sistine Chapel has a beautiful ceiling, but what does it smell like?

My mind is full of ideas, but my life certainly hasn’t been. That all changed for me post childbirth. My body was less reliable. My brain was foggy. Sleep was a very distant memory. I suddenly had performance issues. I couldn’t just power through. Working harder would no longer work. I needed to work smarter.

epic bike jumpWith that realization, I knew that mindset was a big problem for me, and I could see myself self sabotaging. Eating the wrong foods, not exercising, spending too much time absorbed in my phone instead of with my husband, family, and friends – It had to stop. I didn’t know what to do, but luckily, the answer came to me through a creation coach named Jennifer Scott. Jennifer helps women create what they want in their lives and business by focusing on mindset. Through her free Facebook group, I was able to ask for her recommendations for someone with zero mindset practice. She started out asking me what I wanted to create, and I suggested momentum. Seemed like a good place to start.

Here was Jennifer Scott’s recommendation:

“Your ‘mindset practice’ would be to spend sometime every day picturing what momentum would look like and most importantly FEEL like in your life. Now it doesn’t matter what ‘form” your practice takes – journaling, vision board, imagining – do whatever you like best but whatever you choose, use it to picture ‘momentum.'”

And so I began. Every morning, I started my mindset practice. I attacked the practice from two angles: 1) journal writing, and 2) visualization while listening to an inspiring song. I divided my day up into sections, and I brainstormed on how I thought momentum would feel for me. What I arrived at is, I am:

EXCITED to wake up in the morning.
STRONG when I work out.
POWERFUL when I do my morning visualization.
CREATIVE at work.
BELONGING with my family.
AT PEACE when I go to sleep at the end of the day.

woman and the sunsetWhat I found by day 3 of this practice is that I actually did feel strong when I worked out. Post pregnancy, I haven’t exactly had a love affair with my body, and since I was exclusively pumping, I didn’t get back into my daily workouts until after I stopped pumping. To feel proud and strong after only 3 days of a mindset practice was huge for me.

About a week in, I started to feel creative at work. I also feel like I belong with my family, and I am at peace when I go to sleep at the end of the day. Feeling powerful during visualization is something I am working on, but I haven’t quite gotten there yet. Lastly, I feel like being excited to wake up in the morning might be an impossibility. I am a night owl through and through. Every morning when my alarm goes off, my first thought is, “NOOOO, please, no, don’t make me.”

About a week in, I started to feel creative at work. I also feel like I belong with my family, and I am at peace when I go to sleep at the end of the day. Feeling powerful during visualization is something I am working on, but I haven’t quite gotten there yet. Lastly, I feel like being excited to wake up in the morning might be an impossibility. I am a night owl through and through. Every morning when my alarm goes off, my first thought is, “NOOOO, please, no, don’t make me.”

A few weeks after I started the practice, we had my son’s family birthday party, and I did not complete my daily practice for 3 days in a row. And by the end of that third day, I was plagued by horrible thoughts about my body, my exercise, and my health. The next day, I went back to my routine, even though I knew it was of course futile. By the time I was done, I felt great again. This moment showed me how well my new daily practice was working for me, and now, I understand how it’s not to be neglected.

If you have had similar problems, I recommend taking Jennifer’s advice and instituting a daily practice. Mine really works for me. Let me know what you try and how it works for you.

Mornings Made Miracle with Green Smoothies

Mornings Made Miracle with Green Smoothies

Rewind to July 2015.

I had given birth to my son a month earlier, and my type A personality knew we were going to breastfeed for a year. Even though all the lactation consultants I took classes with during pregnancy thought it would be difficult with me going back to work at 6 weeks, I knew that my child and I were somehow magical and special and would make it work.

My adorable newborn had other plans though and had trouble latching. The home visit lactation consultant thought with time, my son could get it together, but we didn’t have time. I was back to work in the blink of an eye! Instead, I decided to exclusively pump.

At the same time, I had it made it through my entire pregnancy as a vegetarian, but now that I was making milk for my mysteriously giant baby, I couldn’t get enough protein. Day in and day out, I was eating like Brad Pitt in Ocean’s Eleven, and it still wasn’t enough. I knew I needed a solution because zombie Cristin was not going to fly at work.

Then I remembered a podcast of Chris Ducker’s I had listened to with Jadah Sellner of simplegreensmoothies.com. I felt like a smoothie was something that I could handle making with the amount of brain power I had from lack of sleep combined with Zombie Pumper.

Simple Green Smoothies is super popular because of their excellent free challenges to add a green smoothie into your day, every day, for 30 days. I didn’t need the challenge though; I was already challenged. Their site is really excellently organized based on your smoothie needs, and I went with meal replacement. I knew I needed a good amount of calories after my morning pumping session so I could make it to work, and I needed something tasty to deliver the protein powder that was going to solve my energy issue.

This is recipe for the smoothie I went with, and I can’t even begin to describe how much it helped me. It’s easy to make, delivers a ton of nutrients, and keeps me full longer. I had a 16 ounce shake daily during my exclusive pumping extravaganza.

Ingredients:
1 cup kale
1 cup almond milk
1 scoop of your preferred protein powder
1 banana
1 tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil
½ cup of frozen blueberries

First, blend the kale and almond milk. This allows you to blend the kale thoroughly, which is a big deal for me. Add the protein powder, banana, and coconut oil and blend. The coconut oil will freeze oddly if you add the frozen blueberries at the same time so it’s best to wait. Then I add the blueberries, and enjoy!

SmoothieNow that I am no longer pumping, did I abandon my smoothie routine? No, not at all! I cut my portion down to 8 ounces instead, but I still make one for my husband and myself every morning. We both love this easy way to get kale into our daily diets, as well as protein through protein powder and brain power through superfood unrefined coconut oil. Read more about the super powers of coconut oil in this great post from Simple Green Smoothies.

A small note about protein powder – Don’t give up if you can’t find one you like! I have a number of friends who sell Shakeology, and I tried every flavor and hated every one. I also tried Muscle Milk and hated it. In both cases, I would rather eat chalk than have another one of those shakes. But I found my perfect fit through our local health store in Astoria, New York, which recommended Plant Fusion, a vegan, plant based protein powder. I get it in Vanilla Bean, and it’s my best friend.

After years of working in the theatre, mornings are almost my mortal enemy. And with a young son, mornings are his favorite time! By having a smoothie in the morning, I get to be a better version of my night owl self for him. The smoothie also helps give me the energy I need to take on the day. If you’re having a similar morning struggle, I highly recommend a green smoothie, and I think you’ll find something that works for you on simplegreensmoothies.com.

Good luck! Let me know if you try a smoothie and which one you try!

P.S. None of these are affiliate links or anything like that. I just like my smoothie in a slightly inappropriate way.

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