MAKE TIME TO UNPLUG

From someone who used to be allergic to the word “unplug” I somehow managed to (years later) learn how to do so. Not so much to do it but I learned why I NEEDED to do it! For my mind, body and soul…

It doesn’t matter what career you are in, if you work from home or take care of your family. All of these are job and you MUST take the time to unplug, relax and maybe even meditate. Be grateful for what you have. Take the time to write these things down in a journal. Create a zen for yourself. Create a happy place to escape to even if it just in your mind.

When you take the time to do this you will come back to wherever you needed to get to faster because you are feeling so refreshed.

When I gave myself this challenge of writing 30 blogs in 30 days for my How To Series I thought it was honestly going to be a piece of cake.

Ummm…

That was not the case. I had to create a posting schedule for 30 days and five weeks that would make sense and excite my readers. Manage the professionals posts that were sent to me as I had many guests help me create a few posts each week. Then I had to share my story as well as a few others every day. Almost every post was at a minimum of 1,000 words.

And I am so happy and thrilled to share with you that today is Blog #30. The end of my How To Series. I am not going to lie when I tell you how proud I am that I achieved this personal goal of mine. Again…

That being said I am going to take my own advice and unplug this weekend. I’m going to take deep breathes, write in my journal and just escape from my norm…

Aside from unplugging I will be working on The Happy Workaholic Podcast!

I wanted to leave a few of my favorite “unplugged” quotes. Please enjoy them below…

It was true pleasure writing this series every day and I truly appreciated all of the comments here as well as all over my social media channels.

I want to connect and/or stay connected with you! Let me know what is going on in your world…

Comment below and let’s chat.

Want to connect with me on my social pages? Just visit my home page to follow me.

Now it is time for me to officially unplug until Monday and I hope you do the same…

KAG

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FOOD IS YOUR FUEL

As someone who has always been up and down in weight it wasn’t until a few years ago that I began eating the right foods and just not the right portions. I finally realized that I needed to eat certain foods as they were actual fuel for my body. Giving me the nutrients and energy that I needed for the day. This is when I really started to listen to my body! My past story was always making sure to prep my meals and eat in portions but it was what I was putting in those meals that was all wrong. Too many bad carbs, sodium, gluten and sugar! These are definite no no’s in my book especially with having an autoimmune disease. There are certain things that just do not agree with me. Wheat and Soy are two of them. Now I know why I always looked swollen and bloated in pics. It wasn’t the alcohol it was the food! I’m not kidding…

I decided to go (almost) dairy free about four years ago. The reason behind this was I found out I could not have my iced coffee with milk in the hour after I took my thyroid medication in the am. So obviously, I had to find a resolution for that because I cannot go that long without my iced coffee in the morning. That is when I discovered my sugar-free vanilla almond milk. Which I still use every morning. Side Note: After a week my skin was clearer and all of my bloating went away. I was in shock when I realized it was dairy that was actually causing that.

I do cheat and have dairy every now and then. Sometimes (monthly) I am in need of a soft-serve cone and on Friday night I need pizza. I am still searching for a dairy free cheese without soy that I love. So if you have any names please send them my way. I grew up on pizza every Friday night. I have to have the mozzarella and that is that! I am such a high maintenance East Coaster. Pizza and Iced Coffee! Hello! I cannot live without them. Cannot!

Over the last few months I’ve been creating vegan and vegetarian meals! Lentil Vegan Falafel, Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes, Detox Soups, Vegan Ice Cream, Fresh Juices, Hummus and my favorite so far are to make homemade Veggie Burgers. I have about five different variations now. Cooking is also a huge stress reliever for me so spending hours in the kitchen just puts me at ease. Using random ingredients and leftovers in my meals is usually one of the ways I end up making the most unique but delicious meals.

Throughout the process of cooking my meals I usually post on my Instagram Stories. And then the final result is posted on my Pinterest. I honestly just love to share my recipes. And find new ones that I attempt to create as well! I definitely need to up my baking skills. I will not deny that but at least I am trying right? lol

If you have been reading my How To Series all month long you may have read a few times about a Facebook group I am a part of that has literally changed the way I think, speak and live. The best way to describe it is that I got an attitude makeover. It was created by Cara Alwill Leyba aka creator of the blog The Champagne Diet and the book Girl Code as well as many others. This group is filled with the most inspirational, motivational and empowered women from all around the world. Yes! That actually exists. If you would like to see what The Slay Baby Collective is all about just click here...

I hope that you enjoyed today’s post. If you would like to get caught up on the rest of the How To Series posts click here. I cannot believe tomorrow is the last day! 30 straight days of blogs. Wow! Almost there and then it’s CHALLENGE COMPLETE for me!!! I am so proud of myself and thankful for everyone who was a part of the How to Series. As I could not have made it as good as it is without you…

Please let me know what you thought about the post today. Leave a comment below. Please and Thank You.

Want to see what I’ve been up to? Find be below on my social media pages…

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Wishing you a wonderful week!

KAG

 

 

WHY I’M GETTING PERSONAL ON LINKEDIN!

Every now and then you will see a post on LinkedIn that you know belongs on Facebook’s feed. Am I right? And you have also seen those posts from LinkedIn members asking why selfies are here on a “business” platform. It just doesn’t make sense when you are networking. This I agree with…

However, I will admit I have my Instagram account connected to my Facebook Page which then posts to LinkedIn. Why do I do that you ask? Well I know it doesn’t make much sense for many brands but it does for mine. The reason for that is because I AM MY BRAND. I want my LinkedIn connections to know about and visit my Facebook and Instagram and see a more personal side of me. It also builds more of a trust with my audience especially when I am pitching or coaching and growing my clientele. It shows I am real and also love to cook! lol

Not everyone will agree with this technique but it is what works for ME! When I coach clients and help build their brand some of them ask me if they should do what I am doing. And to be honest, most of the time I say NO! The reason behind that is because it just doesn’t make sense for their brand. You have to do what makes the most sense when building your business and not follow a trend etc. Everyone is different and this is what I do when I work with clients. I create and customize a very specific outline for them to follow which in the end will bring them more sales. And that is what we all want right? If you want to learn more about my Business Coaching feel free to contact me here…

Now…The reason why I am getting REALLY PERSONAL on LinkedIn lately is because I have an extremely rare autoimmune disease called Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO). And long story short I started posting LIVE videos on Facebook to bring awareness to it as soon as I found out. After a few videos, thousands of views and hundreds of messages I realized that what I needed to do was bigger. I needed to create some sort of platform for others to share their voice to be heard too! Not just NMO patients but anyone going through any illness or heartache. I also needed this space to be available for friends and family members to visit when looking for information or answers for their loved ones.

That place I created is called the JUST FOR US COMMUNITY. You can learn everything about JFUC at www.justforuscommunity.org.

Why am I writing about this on LinkedIn? Because this is not just going to be a space on Facebook. This is going to be something bigger. And I need your help!

The JUST FOR US COMMUNITY is something that I know is needed because I have lived through some serious health issues over the last year and with my experience of going through these circumstances, staying strong and fighting I know I am able to help so many other people. Plus the feedback and messages I have already received from complete strangers around the world proves to me this is needed.

I am bringing awareness to this community for not only patients and families but doctors, hospitals, researchers, non-profits, press, foundations and many more outlets. I am putting this community together because it is something that has to be available and also because my gut is telling me I can’t stop here. It’s telling me more is needed. I always go with my gut and follow my heart so here we are today.

So this is why I am getting personal. I am telling you my story today but tomorrow it will belong to someone else. I am sharing the good, the bad and the unsettling sometimes but guess what? That is what is needed to bring awareness to some of these diseases your everyday person may be fighting whether they choose to share or not. It is the real deal!

So back to why I need your help! I would truly appreciate if you would share this post for me. I am looking for those doctors, researchers, labs, technicians, nurses and average Joe’s to help me share this community in order to help others who are in need of the JUST FOR US COMMUNITY. I want everyone out there going through something to know that there is a safe place available for them to share their feelings, tears and of course get a dose of a little laughter. As that is always the best medicine.

That’s it! All I am asking for is a simple LIKE and SHARE!

Again to learn more about the JUST FOR US COMMUNITY click here.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading and sharing and helping spread awareness of the JUST FOR US COMMUNITY.

KAG

Want to follow me on LinkedIn click right here…

STAYING HEALTHY WITH AN ILLNESS

The Universe works in such a crazy way sometimes. Ironically this blog post had already been scheduled as the How To Series Refresh post for the day. If you saw my Instagram post earlier today then you will understand how I am feeling right now and why I am talking about the Universe.

As you may or may not know I was originally diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in August and now know that I do not have MS. I actually have an extremely rare autoimmune disease called NMO aka Neuromyelitis Optica.

You can learn more about it here…

Since then my personal and professional life has had to completely change. One thing I refuse to change is my positive attitude. Yes, I have those days that I cry and I am curled up in a ball in bed. But you will never see me posting a negative comment about it on Facebook. I just don’t want to bring negative energy or comments into my life! Although today I am human and was definitely heading in that direction…

My advice to anyone with a medical condition is to surround yourself with the most positive group of people. That includes your Doctors! Seriously even them! You have to be strong for yourself in order to get better and stay healthy. My mantra which you’ve probably seen me post before is Positive, Productive, Happy and Healthy. And this is how I choose to live my life…

The first thing I did when I found out I was sick was search for other patients online. I needed more information. I needed to speak with others that knew exactly how I was feeling. I was just thrown into a world of unknown and needed to find answers and others going through the same experience. And that is what I continue to do every day. Now I use my voice to help spread awareness about all of my recent diagnosis in the JUST FOR US COMMUNITY.

There are so many people out there that think they are alone. But they are not! They just need to want to find others out there. They need to be extremely proactive and want to do it. That is a must! Trust me it’s a full time zero paying job being your own advocate. I know my voice matters and can help others if I use it. I realized this when I started posting videos about my chronic illnesses. I’ve received hundreds of messages and emails from others wanting more info as well as providing me with info that I am so grateful for and messages thanking me because I made the video in the first place. That part is and still is crazy because I was just doing it for me! I needed an outlet…

I remember the day I got diagnosed. I cried my eyes out. My friends hugged me and told me I was going to be OK! I called my family and then posted on Facebook for the world to know. There is no way I could hide this! I needed everyone to know so I could find others that were going through the same thing. I needed help and answers as this was the one thing I just could not fix or change. I was so frustrated but thank god for social media because that is where I found everything and everyone I needed to know! Part of me didn’t want to post because of clients finding out. But then I thought if they think I couldn’t handle their workload then they didn’t really know me. Everyone knows I am a Happy Workaholic and always have been. And they know my personality, which is I NEVER EVER give up!!!

After my post on Facebook I went to Instagram. I began to search every hashtag looking for friends, a community and more answers. That is how I found my friend Jennifer Finney. She caught my attention right away! She had a spunk and positive energy about her that I know I could relate to! There was no “Negative Nancy” vibes about her which I loved. Everything in her feed was positive so of course I introduced myself and followed her. I then decided we needed to be friends on Facebook! Thank god she accepted! lol

I mean if she were in Las Vegas I’m pretty sure we would be besties by now! Although I think we are online…

Right Jennifer? lol

We’ve messaged each other all positive notes and she always answers my questions. We both also love to cook delicious healthy meals. I mean obviously I was sold! lol.

Thanks Jennifer for always being there for me especially when I needed it the most!

I am so lucky to have found you.

FYI…If you are one of those people that cannot understand or comprehend how you build relationships with others online this right here is a prime example. Contact and engagement!

When I started putting together the ideas and concept of my How To Series I created lists of friends and clients who were amazing at their job, career, achievements and those who inspired me!  A list of friends that I wanted my readers to learn and know about! Jennifer was the first one I added on the Health and Wellness list.

I asked Jennifer to share her story as it is truly remarkable. I also asked her to share her tips on being healthy and fit while having Multiple Sclerosis.

These tips go for anyone going through a health situation so please know that it is not just for MS patients.

Also we are not doctors. We are just two women sharing our story and journey with you today.

Here is Jennifer Finney’s story…

I wasn’t always fit and healthy. In fact, most of my life, I was obese. Until a few years ago, exercise and eating a healthy diet were way down on my list of desires and priorities.

I often used MS as an excuse to NOT take a walk with girlfriends or learn to cook healthy meals.

But four years ago, that all changed when I decided to overcome my excuses and just see what would happen if I changed my diet and started exercising again, in spite of my MS.

After making regular exercise and eating a diet centered on whole, unprocessed foods a priority, I’m happy to report that I’ve lost weight, gained energy and stamina I didn’t even realize I could have, and gained more mental strength than I ever dreamed possible.

Of course, having MS definitely has its challenges when it comes to exercise. For myself, I typically have a numb right leg and foot, I struggle with stamina in heat, and my bladder has a mind of its own.

But, as the experts say, exercise is vital to our overall health and well-being, so I’ve figured out how to “do it anyway.”

Remember, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program. But most doctors will tell you that the benefits of physical activity far outweigh the risks of getting hurt. So if you’ve got the clear, and you’re ready to get started, here are a few tips for you that I’ve learned over the years and apply on the regular for myself and my clients.

Tip #1: Know your body and don’t be afraid of it.

It’s okay to push yourself beyond what you think you can actually do. I started exercising by walking on the treadmill, later moving on to the elliptical when I built up enough leg strength and cardio vascular stamina.

I did as much as I could in the gym until my bladder problems and wonky right leg started making it difficult. So I switched to the lap pool where I could pee with abandon and it didn’t matter if my leg was numb. When I injured my shoulder I had to find another way to work my body and my heart.

That’s when I found spinning. Tough as nails, spinning strengthened my legs and my cardio vascular endurance by leaps and bounds. Plus, I was able to lock my feet into place so again; wonky leg was not an issue. Yay!

I’ve since moved on to doing many different at-home workouts, being mindful of my body.

Working out at home is a great solution for me, because I can control the climate and my bathroom is seconds away. I also try to incorporate stretching and some sort of yoga practice, which has helped a ton with balance and flexibility.

Tip #2: Listen to your body.

It’s important to be mindful of what your body is telling you during and after, exercise.

If you’re in the middle of exercising and you feel pain or feel like you need a break, it’s totally okay to take one! Stop what you’re doing, wait 10 minutes to recover and then start up again if you can.

I try to be very aware of the signals my body is giving me all the time, not just during exercise.

If I have muscle soreness, I take an Epsom salt bath. If I am exhausted after several days in a row of strenuous exercise, I take a day off to rest. If I need a nap, you guessed it, I take one!

Tip #3: Have fun!

If exercise is something you dread, then you’re doing the wrong thing. Try different types of exercise until you find the one that really is your sweet spot.

For example, you may need to get off the treadmill and call your girlfriend to go for a walk in the neighborhood. Or try the elliptical machine or swim laps the pool.

Switching up your routine isn’t just good for your body, but your mind, as doing the same thing all the time gets boring and your body gets used to it.

Also, put together a playlist full of your fave pump-you-up tunes, or listen to a podcast while you workout.

I used to LOVE listening to a Comedy radio station in the gym and found myself LOL’ing and getting the “what are you laughing at” look by other gym goers more than once. haha! Which made everything even more hilarious!

The important thing is, do what you love! If you don’t love it or enjoy it, then it’s time to do something else.

In the end, the most important thing to remember, no matter what, is that you just can’t quit altogether. The way I see it, the day I quit taking care of my body, with how I exercise it and how I choose to nourish it, is the day I decide I’m not worth it.

It’s the day I decide to let MS win.  And I’m not about to let that happen as long as I can help it.

So to recap, know your body and don’t be afraid of it, it’s capable of a lot more than you think. Tune in to your body and do what it’s telling you. If you need a break, take a break! And finally, have fun! You’ll be much more apt to keep going if it’s something you enjoy, not something you dread.

And, of course, whatever you do, DON’T QUIT!

You CAN totally do it!!!

About Jennifer Finney…

Jennifer Finney has had MS for 12 years. After losing over 100 pounds by changing her diet and exercising, she now coaches women who desperately want to lose weight without dieting.  She gives them the tools they need to jump off the diet roller coaster once and for all and live a life they truly love.

When she’s not busy helping women transform their lives, you can find her indulging her inner rock star on a Sunday morning singing with the church band, enjoying a movie night with the fam or savoring a grande soy latte, no whip. And of course, chocolate will forever and always be her love language. ❤

Find Jennifer on her pages below and be sure to tell her I sent you…

Website

Facebook

Instagram

As always if you have a question or something inspirational to share please let us know in the comments below or on our social media pages.

Until tomorrow…

KAG

PS If you are someone who is looking for a few friends online I have started a community called JUST FOR US.

The JUST FOR US Community has been created for anyone going through a tough time. Health, heartache or just in need of some happiness. This is a safe place for you to share your feelings, find a few friends and most importantly know that you are not alone!

For more on my health journey visit my page here.