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mindful ways to boost your energy by michelle cordeiro, cnp

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I've been going through a slump of feeling quite lethargic lately. I always find that this kind of thing sneaks up on me gradually until I eventually realize that I've been purposely planning my day so I can sneak in an afternoon nap. DO YOU FEEL ME!?

And while I LOVE a good nap sesh, what I don't love is having to rely on it to get through my day without snapping like a sleepy child. But when this happens, it's often a good clue that I need to change things up and figure out how to boost my energy levels back up. And this often isn't hard, as just stepping back and looking into my lifestyle is enough to figure out why I've been so tired and what I can do differently.

Maybe you can relate? And if so, ask yourself these questions:

HOW DO I RECHARGE?

This is an important one, and something that took me way too long to realize about myself: I'm an introvert.

What I didn't realize (especially in my early 20's) is that being introverted doesn't mean that you don't like being around people, or that you're not a social human. The distinction comes from where you get your energy from:

Do you feel refreshed and energized from socializing or spending a day surrounded by people?

Or:

Does time spent by yourself leave you feeling renewed and back to normal.

For me, it's the latter.

Figure out where your energy comes from (I'm sure there's an online quiz for this if Buzzfeed’s your thing), and use that to your advantage. I no longer feel guilty about planning nights alone or  telling my friends that I need to recharge for the day. They get it, and yours will too. Because there's no point in further depleting your energy by showing up to something when you're only really half there and half wishing you were at home with your dog.

Own your introvert/extrovert label. Go out and eat up all the energy from those around you if that's what you need to do OR stay home and go for a solo run. Which brings me to the next question...

WHAT KIND OF MOVEMENT DO YOU CRAVE?

Sometimes I get copious amounts of energy from a nice long trail run, and other times it completely wipes me out. Finding what movement you gain energy from is a valuable tool to use towards boosting yourself up. And this movement will often change from day to day, even moment to moment, so exploring all the different ways to move and seeing where you end up is a great tool.

Sometimes a quick walk in the sunshine works wonders, sometimes you need to sweat everything out in a class, sometimes you want gooey yin yoga stretches to reset...explore, journal about it and be open to changing up your movement routine. Aside from keeping it fresh and interesting, this can also help you to gain insight into what really gets your energy levels up, or what absolutely drains you.

In Hamilton? My favourite energy boosting movements right now are:

  • Runs in the Bruce Trail: I recommend starting on the trail at Main and Wilson, running a good out and back using the trail markers and then finishing up at Fairweather Brewery, just East of the trail's start (trail runs and beer are a match made in heaven, I swear by it).

  • R&B Pilates at SousBas: I will never stop recommending this class, because it GIVES ME THE MOST ENERGY. EVER. Which is sometimes problematic when it ends at 9pm but I love it all the same.

  • Yoga in the Park: In Fine Feather Yoga Studio does a PWYC yoga class in Gage park on Sundays during the summer and it's the best community feels. 10am on a Sunday in the park is where to be!

Find what moves you (literally and figuratively) and go do it. Walk, run, jump, swim, bike, wiggle, whatever!

WHAT FOODS MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD?

Follow up question: what foods make you feel bleh? It's nice to think about the foods we eat not in terms of 'good' or 'bad' but rather little acts of self lovin'. Like: "I love myself so I'm going to make sure to find Muskoka Mocha ice cream at the Parry Sound grocery store this weekend", or "I love myself so I'm going to eat more than just Roma Pizza today". Ya know? Food choices that are based on how the food makes your body feel and your mind feel is a great way to gain energy.

And the goods news is that the foods your body needs are often the foods you crave. Thinking mindfully about your cravings rather than labelling them as a weakness or lack of self control can help to bring this into light. Maybe you finish a sweaty workout and are craving a big bag of chips? Your body is probably looking for electrolytes to replenish the salt that you've lost through your sweat, so go for something salty! Craving sugar after you run? You've probably burned through your glycogen stores and need sugars and carbs to replenish what you've lost in energy.

Properly fuelling your body with foods that give you what you need can be the difference between feeling wiped out or energized after meals.

P.S. If anyone knows where I can find Muskoka Mocha closer to Hamilton PLEASE advise.


Michelle is an RMMTT student and Holistic Nutritionist (CNP) with a focus on digestive health and learning to love the body you're in through intuitive eating and self love over dieting, always. 

Michelle currently sees clients at Inland Island Wellness Centre. Contact her for more info on her practice or to book an appointment.
// movewithguts@gmail.com
// @movewithguts

shifting body perspective: strong is not a look by michelle cordeiro, cnp

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I don't know how I could write about anything other than tidbits from the past weekend of Ritual Movement Method Teacher Training. So many lessons. So many feels. This is becoming a common theme with this training month to month I tell ya. 

Something that has stuck with me since, was Jo Gale's message of STRONG IS NOT A LOOK because well, you know, it's not. 

Last week I wrote a post about the damage that restricting certain foods in your diet can do, and I was so moved by the response. Many of you reached out and expressed your support of the message by sharing your own struggles with food. It was really heartwarming to hear how much that post resonated with you, because that means we're slowly starting to shift our minds on what it really means to feel and be well. Let's get rid of the before and after picture #fitspo stuff, and instead make room for more compassion to others AND to ourselves. 

Because we all have our issues with body image or food anxiety to some degree, don't we? So let's speak up about it! 

In my early 20's I started to have some pretty concerning digestive issues that lead me to cut out certain foods from my diet that were doing harm to my body. But even just cutting out those foods, I still felt awful, and would often skip meals in order to ensure that I could get through a shift at work, or a hangout with friends without having to deal with any stomach pain until I was home. 

And I'm the kind of person who gets real hangry when I'm hungry, so it sucked for both me and those around me... 

And as a result of this restriction and elimination I started to lose weight in a very unhealthy way. I felt awful in my body: crampy, bloated and had such little energy to do anything I wanted to. Yet, on the outside, I was told I looked great, fit and thin. Because for some misguided reason, weight loss is almost always seen as a good thing, to be celebrated, to praise someone for. 

And you know what that's saying to that person? That they look great NOW. That before, prior to this weight loss, they didn't look as great. It tells that person that whatever they're doing to lose weight, no matter if it's restricting their food intake, working out excessively or obsessing over their body, they should stick to it, because it's working. 

I had a coworker ask me what my secret was, and when I half-joked that I had cut out most foods from my diet, he told me to stick to it... WHAT!? 

STRONG IS NOT A LOOK. 

How your body looks does NOT define how you show up. It does not define how many elevator squats you can do at R&B pilates, or how long you can hold plank. It does not define how or when or where you choose to move (or not move) your body or how you TREAT other people, what you mean to other people or how important you are to this beauty planet we're all a part of. 

We are so much more than something as trivial as our looks, which is sometimes clouded by things like the world of social media. So this is a call to stand up and be okay with kindly asking others to shift their observations from the mere shape of your flesh to more important things. It is so inconsequential to who you ARE, so let's shift that focus to what really matters when talking about others and when talking about ourselves. 

I'm gonna end with this quote from Rupi Kaur, because she is SPOT ON with her words: 

“I want to apologize to all the women I have called beautiful
before I’ve called them intelligent or brave
I am sorry I made it sound as though
something as simple as what you’re born with
is all you have to be proud of
when you have broken mountains with your wit
from now on I will say things like
you are resilient, or you are extraordinary
not because I don’t think you’re beautiful
but because I need you to know
you are more than that” 

STRONG. IS. NOT. A. LOOK.


Michelle is an RMMTT student and Holistic Nutritionist (CNP) with a focus on digestive health and learning to love the body you're in through intuition and self love over dieting, always. 

Michelle currently sees clients at Inland Island Wellness Centre. Contact her for more info on her practice or to book an appointment.
// movewithguts@gmail.com
// @movewithguts
// www.movewithguts.com

surround yourself with great ones by michelle cordeiro, cnp

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I don't remember where I first read this, but I stumbled upon an article by someone I admire asking readers to think about the 5 people they spend the most time with on a day-to-day basis. The idea behind this has really stayed with me over the past few years and I urge you to think through this too. What I've found since taking this to heart has been kind of amazing . . .

The idea is that by looking at the 5 people you spend the most time with, you're better able to dive deeper into how they are benefiting or hindering your growth in many ways (and I think it's okay to be a little selfish here). 

Initially, I found this concept to be tricky to put into action. I felt as though I had to judge those around me, or categorize others onto some weird naughty or nice list, which is very much NOT me ... but of course it doesn't have to be like that. 

When I very honestly took a step back and thought about my top 5, it wasn't that I felt superior to anyone. Looking at my relationships with these people, it wasn't that I had outgrown anyone either - it was actually that we had just outgrown each other. 

Maybe we once held the same values and interests, but now we were moving in different directions, and this is okay! This happens! We go through so many changes in our lives - whether it's going to university, moving to a new city, having kids, going through a breakup - so it only makes sense that our inner circles shift too. This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to cut anyone out of your life. Maybe it means you take a step back, give yourself some space, and become more selective with how you spend your time, who you spend it with, and base this on what YOU need in the present moment. 

If you find yourself becoming someone you dislike when you're with a certain crowd or individual, it's okay to let those situations go, and it's okay to spend less time with them. Maybe every interaction with a certain person or group leaves you feeling exhausted as you try to work through another superficial problem they're dealing with. Maybe you find yourself refraining from sharing your ideas with them in fear of being laughed at, held back or ridiculed. Maybe you feel as though you give them your whole self and receive little credit or appreciation in return. Once you think about it, these patterns become easier to see. 

So what happened when I looked inward at where I wanted to grow? 

I started to feel less guilty about saying no to hangouts or saying no to doing things that I was no longer interested in. I started focusing more on aspects of my own life that I loved and doing more of those things. What I also found was that I was very organically drawn to certain people. I was more open to new friendships, new relationships and I became so. much. happier. It became increasingly important to me to carve out time to nurture the relationships that felt right, and through that I was able to find the support and love that I needed at that time to move forward. 

By being 'selfish' in this, I was also able to be more present and to bring more value into the relationships that deserved my attention. This was important. My life became more authentic, more purposeful, and it made me into a better version of myself. This was evident in both my own life and the lives of others. 

This shift took a long time to take effect. Looking back, I found it became easier as I cared less (and I'm trying to continue to care less and less still) about what others thought, released what didn't thrill me, and opened myself up to what did. This is where the growth happens! The magic! The change! The good stuff! 

Think about what motivates you, what excites you, what THRILLS you. Let yourself be open to making new connections and forming a community of support around yourself that is authentic to you, and is what you need right here, right now. Need inspiration? Find someone in your community that inspires you and reach out to them! Buy them a coffee, pick their brain and see what you can learn. This has become a really valuable tool for me. Don't be shy - if they say no to sharing their wisdom they're probably not the kind of person you want to learn from anyways. 

But if you find someone who challenges your opinions, makes you think more introspectively and pushes you while giving you the support you need in the process; grab hold of them so freaking tightly! And even more so; give it right back to them. Be that person of support for them. Love up on them so intensely that it helps them flourish in the same way you do when you're with them. 

We're all better humans when we're honest, and we all grow when we support each other. These are my Friday musings.