Monday Musings 4.16.18

I think we accidentally took our vacation to the rainforest instead of the usually sunny Pacific Northwest. Hopefully all the rain pays off for this summer because it is rally making climbing during our trip very difficult!

We have a lot of downtime. Almost too much downtime… we have found ourselves getting pretty antsy this week to just be outside and climb and enjoy nature like we has planned to. Which brings me to the first musing of the week!

1. Learning to Plan Less

I’m a planner to the core. I love having my days laid out before I start them and am rarely very spontaneous. I like the idea of “sticking with the plan” instead of “winging it.” The last few weeks have been (trying) teaching me to let go of my plans and let go of factors I cannot control.

Factors such as weather, car problems and other unknowns will always happen. I am not able to control when or how they happen but I am able to control my reaction to them and find other things to occupy my time.

Since the weather report hasn’t been exactly accurate we have been trying to be more opportunistic with our climbing sessions and try to find window of climbing time more “in the moment” instead of planning a day or days ahead.

Though my Type A personality doesn’t love this, it is a good lesson in “loosening” that I think my mind an body are appreciating. I get very attached to routines and schedules and they can start to feel restrictive if I don’t take a step back sometimes and reevaluate how and why I do things.

2. Dry Brushing

I’m pretty proud of myself for this one! I have been trying to get myself to dry brush for a few years now and have finally made the time to perform this self-care act!

Dry brushing benefits include removing dead skin, exfoliation, improved blood circulation, lymphatic drainage and can even help reduce cellulite.

I bought my brush at Target, so this is not a sponsored post, and have been incorporating just 5 minutes a day so far for the past week. I have noticed smoother skin already and an overall calm feeling after completing. I absolutely look forward to doing this daily and want to keep this habit up!

3. Magnesium Supplement

If you do not care to read about female menstrual cycle please feel free to skip ahead.

For a lot of women, menstrual symptoms can put lives on pause and require an enormous amount of effort just to “treat” the symptoms that come every month.

Cramps, bloating, mood swings, acne, excessive hunger, low energy and headaches are just some of the symptoms experienced monthly by many women. Largely known as PMS (pre-menstrual symptoms), I have been experimenting lately to reduce my symptoms each month to create a more pleasant and smooth transition into my menstrual cycle.

That being said, I am not of hormonal birth control and have not been for years. I have natural periods that are relatively predictable. While I am happy to have a period and know that my body is healthy enough to potentially support life, I don’t very much enjoy being in pain leading up to an during my period.

Enter: supplements. With a caveat – I eat an almost completely whole foods based diet, very low in refined sugar and free of refined wheat. I have largely identified foods that do not agree with my body and have a decent handle on sugar cravings, I believe that I support my body in being healthy and would suggest a diet change before turning to suppleness to help with PMS.

That being said, let’s talk about Magnesium! Largely touted as a calming and anti-anxiety suppleness, magnesium has been used for years to reduce cramping and promote a calm mind. Since I largely struggle with pretty debilitating cramping, I started doing some research. I found the Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden to be extremely helpful.

Dr. Briden suggests using magnesium prior to and during the menstrual cycle to reduce cramping by reducing the amount of prostaglandins that are released into the uterus. Prostaglandins help the uterus to contract but can cause inflammation and pain.

Ive been using Natural Vitality Natural Calm products for the past month, not daily but at least a few rimes a week and more so during my cycle to reduce my symptoms and am happy to report that I did find some relief! While not totally gone, my symptoms are generally less painful and I am able to function more normally than I have been in the past.

Of course there are many factors that determine the severity of PMS in women like stress, diet, activity level and more, I am pretty happy to have found something natural to help me feel better quicker. See next topic for the food I’ve been loving lately to add iron back into my diet during my time of the month.

4. Love Beets

Beets are high in iron. Ladies need iron during certain times of the month. Enough said on that for now 😉

Seriously loving the convenience of Love Beets packages of steamed beets. I have been eating them plain or tossed in a salad! The pre-cooked beets make #vanlife much easier.

Beets also are a great source of starchy carbohydrates that are low on the glycemic index. This means they are a great source of carbohydrates but won’t spike blood sugar like refined carbohydrates do.

Before we left for our road trip I made an amazing beet soup made with Love Beets and coconut cream. It was so simple and took only 5 minutes. Check out the recipe at the bottom of the post!

5. Vanilla Powder

Ground vanilla beans mean amazing vanilla flavor in everything! I have been using this in my coffee daily and have been adding it to just about everything I think could use a vanilla boost.

It’s amazing in baked goods, smoothies, coffee and on fruit. It’s a little spendy but a bottle seems to last forever! it’s been a great investment so far.

I bought this brand.

6. Watermelon Water

New to me, but oh so delicious! Watermelon water is packed full of potassium and is incredibly hydrating. Potassium is an electrolyte and can help prevent muscle fatigue. I have been loving the brand WTR MLN for my climbing sessions to stay hydrated and love that there is no added sugar!

Watermelon water is also high in lycopene, an amino acid and l-citruline that helps the cardiovascular system and retaining bone density.

7. #vanlife Meals

Here are some of my meals this week! We have been loving trying to get as many veggies in as possible!

Simple Beet Soup



2 packages Love Beets pre-cooked Beets

½ c. coconut milk, canned or from a carton

½ tsp. sea salt

Optional ingredients:

Cooked protein like chicken, shredded pork or ground beef


Pumpkin seeds

¼ c. collagen protein

Fresh Mint or Dill

Olive Oil


  1. Place packages of beets in blender and blend until completely smooth.
  2. Using a medium saucepan, heat over medium heat until warmed through.
  3. Add coconut milk to blender to emulsify if from a can (make sure you wash the blender out first!)
  4. Swirl coconut milk into soup and top with desired toppings! I love mine with shredded or cubed chicken, avocado and some olive oil.

1 Comment

  1. Wow, this is the most complete health and wellness blog I have read recently!
    Well done!
    I am a bit older than maybe the targeted reader, but I found a lot of useful info. I have gluten sensitivity so blogs like this that address food sensitivities is a blessing.
    Thank you for sharing life-enhancing info!


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