De-Cluttering My Life… One thing at a time.

I’m sure everybody feels like they have too much ish going on. With work, school, family, and social life, there’s SO much that has to be done, SO much that should probably be done better, and SO much constantly on our minds. This is the case with me too. Over the past year I’ve been trying to focus on small things will help me de-clutter, de-stress, and live a little lighter. Instead of thinking about what MORE I need to do, I’m trying to have to LESS to manage.  I’m not putting a time limit on these things (again trying to DE-stress, not add additional things to my ever-growing to-do list), just spending a half an hour every so often, getting rid of ish I don’t need. Here’s what I’ve done so far:



I’d give my left pinky finger if that were my closet, but it’s not. We ladies ALL have way too much in our drawers and closets. I know I do. When it got to the point that I could no longer find the pieces I needed and putting the laundry away into packed drawers was stressing me out, I knew I had to get rid of some things. I used the age-old method of decision making when it comes to clothes: if I hadn’t worn it in over a year, OUT it goes! It was wonderful. This took me about an hour, but I actually felt so liberated. I’m super nostalgic so getting rid of some things is usually harder because I always think back to the times when I wore something the most. But do I really need a tiny shirt I can no longer wear? Do I really need those ripped-all-to-hell jeans I wore all the way through college that I can’t believe haven’t fallen apart? No, I decided. So out they went. Six bags of clothes, shoes, old purses, belts I no longer wear, off to Goodwill! It felt so good, I actually did this 3 times last year. The other two times were smaller affairs and only included a bag or so of shirts and stuff, but it still felt nice. Now, if I’m going to buy something new, I try to get rid of a small bag of other stuff, just to keep myself balanced in the wardrobe department.


Charli! I love my car. It’s the first one I’ve ever gotten to choose and it’s perfect for my life. But I hate when I get in it and am immediately stressed out by the inside. I’ve gotten better over the years about getting rid of trash quickly. I no longer have to keep clothes, shoes, accessories, and fitness equipment in it like the college days of never knowing where I might end up and what I might need that weekend, but I still have stuff in there that doesn’t need to be there. I was looking for something I thought I’d lost  last week and checked my console and glove box. They were both FILLED with ish! So I took 15 minutes and took every single thing out of there. I found my heart rate monitor that I thought I’d lost (and now have to replace the battery because it’s completely dead). I had about 100 papers in my glove box that needed to be tossed or filed away: bank deposit slips, travel receipts, pay stubs, titles, a million insurance cards from years past, etc. And put back in only the necessities. I love it!

Tango’s white dog fur on my black interior is another story. I make it a point now to vacuum once a week. It’s almost impossible to keep the back seat constantly clean with all our trips to the park and Tang’s constant shedding, but with my new $40 pet hair mini-vac thing I bought from Target a few months ago, it’s way easier to stay on top of.

This actually is my desk. I don’t want to see all the stuff in it, so these cabinets and drawers are great. Not so much junk, but tons of papers in my files that were making it difficult to fit more documents in my filing cabinet each month. So I started small: taking out files that I don’t use regularly but can’t completely get rid of (past years’ taxes, insurance files, and the like), putting them in a smaller box in the attic, and throwing out ones I don’t need. Then I went through the files that were left to see if any old papers can be shredded… I don’t think I necessarily need car insurance papers on a car I no longer drive from 6 years ago. Anything I was unsure about got scanned and saved onto my computer. Shredding papers was surprisingly fun… There were 6 grocery bags full of shredded paper that I got to dispose of! This has made my life so much easier. I no longer dread filing things away because it’s faster and easier now that there’s room in there. The stacks and stacks of papers piling up on my table/desk are no more!

Still To-Do: 

* Storage Unit
This is next on the list… and kind of what I’m working on at the moment. I have a couch and chair, a dresser, and a couple boxes in a tiny storage unit I’ve had for the past two years since my divorce. It’s all been just sitting there. And I don’t need it. I put stuff in there until I moved, but when I moved in with Tamara, she already had a fully furnished house. There’s no reason for me to move, but no reason to keep paying for a monthly storage unit either. It’s only $50 per month, but multiply that times the two years I’ve been here and I could have bought an all new furniture set and not had to worry about it. So I’m slowly working on selling the furniture (putting that money in savings for new furniture down the road) and taking one more bill off my checklist.

This one I’ve been dreading for a while. It’s not a lot (we are two chicks in this house, it’s not like we have a bunch of tools and crap). I put a few boxes in there when I first moved it, just because I didn’t feel like going through them. I’m sure I don’t need anything in them, seeing as it’s been over two years and I haven’t needed a single thing from inside, but it’s just a hassle and I haven’t made the effort to go do it. It probably won’t take me but 30 minutes to do it. I’m gonna wait until it warms up a little more though… Cleaning out boxes in sub-freezing temperatures sounds even more shitty.

Now I’m not acting like an organization saint here. These 3 things were done several months apart, even though they could have been done in one afternoon. Whatev! As Rafiki would say, “It doesn’t matter! It’s in the past!” So I’m just gonna take a deep breath and tackle the storage unit this weekend. Anybody need some new furniture? : )

What have you (or what do you need) de-cluttered in your life? 
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Derby, A Mean Mug, and a cleanse…

This is an all-in-one-post kind of day… 
First: I had to go out of town on Derby, but here’s a photo from Oaks Day

As previously discussed, I took my Cool Purse (as we all did) and was able to get through security with 3 small bottles of airplane vodka. YES! VICTORY! Not that I was planning on drinking that much, but part of the fun of going to the infield is sneaking in your alcohol. We totally stuck it to the man! Ha!

and then…
“Excuse me, miss? You have to go through gate 13 if you’re going to bring a chair in.” 
Even though I was a 2 minute walk to the infield, the guy made me leave and walk all the way around the track to go into the entrance where everybody brings in their chairs, coolers, tents, etc. Whatever. 
But as I go through security, the guy starts feeling all over my bag and busts me. 
ALL 3 bottles, taken away. 
 So then I felt like this: 

But it ended up being a fun day anyway. I got to see a bunch of friends and enjoy Derby spirit at Churchill Downs. : ) 
And now… the cleanse part. 
Derby consists of a TWO WEEK celebration. Every night in the city there are different festivities all leading up to the big race day. The city comes alive, people are out, everybody’s in a great mood. This also calls for LOTS of socializing. Which usually includes drinking. 
Now let me clarify
Yes, I drink alcohol occasionally. No, I don’t get wasted. 
I’m talking probably 2 drinks, each night of the week last week. Two glasses of wine one night, 2 beers the next at the concert, 2 cocktails at Oaks, etc… After about 5 days in a row of this, I feel like ASS. It’s amazing how much something like that can take a toll on your body when you’re not used to it. I woke up Sunday feeling tired and run-down, with very little energy for working out or doing anything at all. 
So it’s cleanse time. 
No, I’m not going to starve myself and only drink lemon juice with cayenne pepper. Just no alcohol for a while, only water to drink, and fruits and veggies like whoa. Yup. 
My roomie just told me last week that we’re only going to be wearing small black shorts and sports bras for our modern dance piece that we’re performing on JUNE 9th. Sooooo… it’s time to pay attention to what’s going in my body anyway (more attention that usual). Nobody wants to see a dancer, in very little clothing, looking jiggly on stage. Those lights are unforgiving anyway. : ) 
So there’s my Derby recap and my plan for next few weeks… 
Anybody else working on something right now?

*Derby photos from my buddy, Amador! 
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Cleansing the RIGHT way

I wrote a bit about fad detoxes/cleanses a while back and wanted to give you some info on how to do a healthy cleanse. I asked my good friend and nutrition expert, Sara Grout to write an article on the right way to cleanse your body. Thanks, Sara! This is what she wrote:

The topic of detoxing is a hot one, there’s no debating this. But what is it about a detox that makes them so appealing? Is it because they work, or is it because they offer a ‘quick fix’? There’s no shocking surprise here when I tell you we’re a nation of ‘quick-fixers’ and one of the reasons we’re so drawn to the word ‘detox’ is that it appeals to that shameful side of us…..the side of us that wants to do something for 7 days (or possibly even 4 weeks, god-forbid) and magically have the body and life we’ve always dreamed of. So, this is where my role as a functional and holistic nutritionist is crucial; to EMPOWER YOU to take action over your own health via EDUCATION. What information out there is right for you? And how can you identify what’s a trend vs. what’s legit? So, is a Detox a ‘trend’ or is it ‘legit’? Let’s take a look.

First of all, it is important to understand what a detox is, who it’s appropriate for, and when you might want to use one. The body is a truly intricate and INDIVIDUALIZED piece of work. Just like one diet is not right for all people, one cleanse is not right for all people. But like all things, they have their TIME and their PLACE.
The first step: Get to know YOUR BODY. If you don’t know you, how your body functions and what your body needs, how will you know which (if any) detox is right for you? There are many ways to get in tune with your body and figure out what it needs, and this should always be the first step in any health plan. Detoxing should not involve liquid diets, restricted portions or fancy generalized supplements but rather, a lifestyle that is based around whole foods that are known to be beneficial for YOU and your specific metabolic type, constitution, environment and current situation. An individualized approach. This also includes the addition of fortifying foods and the removal of foods that may be causing a low-grade chronic inflammation in the body and/or in the gut. When the chronic stressors are removed and strengthening foods are added in, your body will naturally detoxify itself. And what’s even more exciting? Cravings will go away and counting calories will be a thing of the past. Giving your body the foods and nutrients it needs is the MOST powerful thing you can do for your health, life, and longevity.
The second step: Why do you want to do a cleanse? Are you looking for a ‘quick fix’ or are you looking for a true health transformation? If it’s the latter, you might want to consider hiring a nutritionist who looks at individuality and optimal functioning of the body. By examining these key factors, you can give the body what it needs and remove any hidden stressors. Once this is done, you will no longer need to search out those ‘quick fix’ deals. The body needs to be in a solid, strong and healthy condition before starting a strict cleanse so that the liver, kidneys, skin, and lungs (the main detoxifying organs) can function at their best.
The third step: Look at the claims. Is it realistic? Is it based around whole foods or liquid shakes, drinks and supplements? Remember, the quicker we take off weight, the more likely it is that it’s water-weight or muscle that we’re losing. When diets or detoxes deprive the body of the fuel it needs to survive, we move into starvation mode, utilizing our own muscle, altering thyroid function (the master metabolic hormone) and setting off a horrible cycle of weight loss and weight gain. Each time we place our body into starvation mode, our metabolism grows weaker and weaker and the yo-yo dieting actually creates an increase in weight and fat gain that continues to grow with each failed attempt. NOT our idea of optimal health and well-being!
In general, cleanses and detoxes can be ultra healing and leave you feeling better than ever before. However, if the cleanse is too strict or not appropriate for YOU, there may be a better way to spend your money. The most important thing to remember is: what does YOUR body need? There are detoxes out there that have a more healing and holistic approach, allowing the body to find its balance naturally. A detox that EVERYONE can benefit from should look something like the following:
-A full health assessment or questionnaire should be performed prior to the detox to make sure that your body is ready, and to determine what type of detox is best for you.
-Add in fortifying foods (especially if performing the cleanse in cooler months) like broths and stocks that also give the digestive system time to rest.
-Depending on when you perform a detox, the plan should be based around easily digestible, warming foods in the cooler months and light, raw and cooling foods in the warmer months.
-Removal of all potentially irritating, allergenic and inflammatory foods (sugars, glutenous grains, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, nightshades, additives and preservatives, etc) is essential.
-Work with a professional who can identify your Metabolic Type. This should be the first step in all detoxes. And for some, this may be the only “detox” you need.

The main thing to take away with you is: detoxes have their time and place and can be very healing. I personally love detoxes, if done appropriately and for the right reasons. My motto in life and health is, “take back your power”, learn how your body is currently operating and what it needs to function at its best. Eliminate all processed items and look to the earth for your foods. Eat what nature provides. Steer clear of food labels, boxes, cans, and bags and go straight to the colors in the fresh produce isles. Or even better, support a local farm share or visit a farmer’s market regularly. Re-learn what ‘real food’ tastes like and how good it feels to be truly nourished, not only for a few days, but for a lifetime.

If you’re unsure of what your body needs or how to get started on a plan that’s right for you, please feel free to send an email or

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Detox/Cleanses are not the ish.

Alot of things are the ish. My new boots and furniture, music that makes you dance, cures for diseases, etc. Some things are not the ish. Detoxes and Cleanses are not the ish.

So you’ve heard of those cleanses, right? “Don’t eat anything for a week, just drink lemon juice and pepper. It cleanses your liver. ”

Well I’ve always thought these were dumb and ridiculous and what’s even more dumb and ridiculous is that people actually do it. And then they come to the gym and work out to make it work faster. And what happens when you work out with no fuel in your body? You pass out. You fall off the back of the treadmill. You faint in my class. It’s actually happened a few times. It annoys me. Not because I have to deal with a person fainting in my class (that still sucks) but because people are so desperate to get the next quick fix for their bodies that they risk their health.
My friend and colleague, Jonathon Ross, is a TRX Master Trainer, and IDEA’s 2010 Personal Trainer of the year. He writes a blog for Discovery Health and he wrote this article a few months back on He hits the nail on the head! You must read. It’s not long. Go ahead, I’ll wait….
What did you think?
Main points:
  • Your liver does fine detoxing on its own.
  • Drinking massive amounts of liquid won’t help clear out water soluble toxins, because they’re not stored in a water, they’re mostly stored in fat.
  • Depriving your body is stupid.
  • Doing any kind of program that you can’t sustain forever is not smart because as soon as you stop it, you’ll be right back where you started.
So if you’re trying to cleanse your body of the bad stuff, STOP PUTTING BAD STUFF IN IT. Done. Case closed.
Exercise regularly (MOVE!) and eat meals with a variety of foods. REAL FOODS. The kind that go bad in a few days if you don’t eat it. If it lasts for a long time, don’t put it in your mouth if you’re trying to be healthier.
Sorry if that was a little harsh. These things are just horrible on your body and I’m tired of hearing people discussing/practicing them. Have a healthy and happy day!
And many thanks to the amazing and award-winning Jonathon Ross for supporting my views on this. Check out his website. Aion Fitness here. He’s the ish. ; )
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