life

A Costco bag of tortilla chips: My life in a nutshell…

The gigantic $3 bag of Costco tortilla chips has been sitting on the floor, in the corner of our kitchen for three weeks. If you have a Costco card, you know which bag I’m talking about. THREE WEEKS! Why you ask? Why, indeed? For starters, it doesn’t have a home and nobody is interested in eating them. In spite of my protests, my other half insisted the chips were a necessity during one of our weekend dates to Costco. That said, I have walked right past that damn $3 bag of chips, dozens of times, pretending not to notice it. Hmmmm…What chips?

tortillachips
Chips? What chips?

I adore my husband and I’m not kidding when I say this is exactly why he isn’t “allowed” (his rule) to have a cart, when headed out on a trip to Costco, alone! It had to be this way. We just don’t have the room for 48 different types of frozen snacks. The box of individual servings of hash browns that just (Ew!) need you to add water. The case of fizzy water he wants to try. A 12 pound package of hamburger. The vat of Que Bueno nacho cheese, and (unless you operate a snack bar) who needs a 26 pound bucket of red vines anyway!? I’m exaggerating of course, but not much.

I digress…

We all harbor something. When I was young, we lived in an older neighborhood of mostly turn of the century homes. Our house was always in process, construction cluttered, and unfinished – not unlike the famed Winchester Mystery House, only without the rogue spirits, hidden passage ways, and other oddities; and our car (a 1970 Pontiac Tempest) was always breaking down.

In this season, many parts of my life feel cluttered. Unfinished. Out of order. Under construction. Clutter gives me a certain level of anxiety. In fact, while we are on the subject, unfinished home renovations and unreliable cars are right up there too. Call them “leftovers” from my childhood.

I am a creative brain, so I can be a bit of a procrastinator by nature. It’s not always a trait that I appreciate, but it’s part of who I am. In spite of all the growth I have experienced in the past year, I have not stopped to do a full review of my “life list”. Maybe I didn’t want to until now. There it is, procrastination.

The truth is, the more you have to manage, the more clutter you end up having, and you can unwittingly carry it from place to place. I suppose you have to put it all somewhere, right?  So while I am very aware that the clutter makes me anxious, it’s all I can see! End of semester paper piles. Stacks of clothes that don’t fit in the dresser. Kid piles. Piles in the laundry room. Piles on the nightstand (mine and his). Bags of tortilla chips on the kitchen floor. There are four pairs of shoes scattered around the family room right now, and none of them belong to me! What is happening here?

All those physical piles eventually become mental weight. Do you ever feel like that? Weighed down by mental clutter? What do you do to start cleaning it up? Lately, I simply shuffle all the clutter from one task to another and one thought to another.

Procrastination is a fine line and I’m teetering on the edge! One more pile might push me over, and there I would be, lamely dangling by one foot, like a cartoon character in a booby trap, nose to nose with everything on my life list that I’m trying to ignore.

This is the culmination of too many half completed to-do lists. Lists that I just can’t seem to sweep into one tidy pile. Why is that? I know many people feel this way in different phases of their life. We started a home renovation, several years ago, that we can’t seem to finish. The garage needs to be cleaned out (heaven forbid we throw away that one sliver of sheetrock, or scrap of plywood we MIGHT need). I have cabinets and closets that need to be emptied, projects that need to be completed, and life decisions that need to be made. Our cars have finally aged to the point where it’s probably time to give them up, but I can’t seem to wrap my brain around the idea of car payments (and I’m pretty sure my other half doesn’t want to), so we keep dumping money into them. It’s all mental clutter.

Holding onto clutter is often a manifestation of other unfinished business. It’s never really about the piles, it’s about why all that “stuff” is there in the first place. So I will begin by asking; what is keeping me from doing or deciding? I need some answers people!

I am a glass half-full kind of girl, who has the procrastination gene, so I already know there’s really only one solution. DIVE IN! The first order of business? I’m going to throw away those damned chips! Then I’m headed into the garage to yell “PLOT TWIST” at the top of my lungs, sweep all those to-do lists into one giant (forget tidy!) pile, and wait for the dumpster to be dropped off, so I can move forward!

Do you have your own #lifelist that needs so be pared down too? Just do it! I’ll be here to cheer you on!

-Kim

 

life

Health: Vital Proteins Collagen

Happy Friday!

This past year has brought a lot of changes to my life. One of those changes was a choice to take better care of myself. Get more exercise. Drink more water. Consume a little less sugar (I don’t drink alcohol, and I haven’t had a soda in almost ten years, but I do love dessert!) I have done a good job maintaining those goals. Baby steps work best for me.

Today, I want to talk about collagen. I know. I never thought much about it either until I was talking to my friend Mary (who is a nutritionist) about hair and skin changes (years out in the sun), hormones, inflamation, and “crunchy” knees. My knees have some arthritic changes from years of riding horses.

Mary asked if had ever used collagen supplements? Protein, yes. Collagen? Nope.

“Collagen is the main structural protein in the extracellular space, in the various connective tissues in the body. As the main component of connective tissue, it is the most abundant protein in mammals, making up from 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content. Collagen, is mostly found in fibrous tissues – tendons, ligaments and skin. It is also abundant in corneas, cartilage, bones, blood vessels, the gut, intervertebral discs, and the dentin in teeth. It serves as a major component in muscle tissue. Collagen constitutes one to two percent of muscle tissue, and accounts for 6% of the weight of muscles.” – Medical News Today

Did you know your body only consistently produces collagen until you are 35-40? I didn’t. After that collagen production begins to decline, with a dramatic reduction in synthesis in women after 50.

Have you noticed skin changes? Are those fine lines beginning to creep up on you? What about joint aches and pains? Do you juice fruits and veggies, or make smoothies? Do you add protein to those (or anything else) for health and/or recovery benefits? I used to make smoothies, but if I added traditional protein supplements like whey, they would give me a wicked stomach-ache. Let’s be honest, beyond that I’m also a little bit of baby when forcing myself to choke it down with water or milk. Ew. Seriously, it shouldn’t be that much work. “It tastes like a milkshake”? To who? Yuck!

Mary suggested Vital Proteins. Have you heard of Vital Proteins yet? If you haven’t, you can read more about the company here. They have been around for a while now. I had read all about their products, but had not tried any of them, so I decided to give their Collagen Peptides a whirl. collagen-peptides-20oz

The first benefit I noticed was the digestive difference and absence of stomach issues when mixed with fruit and vegetables. No bloated feeling or stomach-ache! This alone is a huge selling point for me! The product is also completely soluble in liquids and is truly (nearly) tasteless which is also another big selling point. You can mix it into anything! I have mixed it into yogurt or oatmeal, and I put a single scoop in my tea daily and don’t even notice it! #winning

After using the collagen peptides for about two months, I realized my nails were stronger. After four months, I noticed changes to my skin and hair (more shine, less breakage). Nicole has been cutting and coloring my hair for 20+ years, was the first to mention it. The six month mark was the most significant to me. My knees were less achy when exercising. In fact, I think even my lower back has benefited a bit. Bonus: I’m a fan of fast Amazon shipping, so I love that you can order it from them, and it’s just a bit cheaper at Amazon. If you’re already sold, you can find an ordering link here.

Now, I’m not saying collagen peptides are a miracle elixir. This isn’t 1850, when the guy in the top hat toted his wares to every town, claiming there was a “miracle” in every bottle. Your results may not be the same as mine, or they might be even better. You and I both know there is no fountain of youth. Nothing will completely turn back the clock, but I am all about feeling like I have the ability to slow it down. Vital Proteins also has a new collagen product out that has a chicken bone broth base. I haven’t tried it yet, but plan to order. To learn more about the benefits of bone broth (there are MANY!) click here. Now, personally, I do think bone broth might actually be as close to a miracle elixir as you can get!

At the end of the day, what I appreciate most is that the VP products are naturally derived. No chemicals and lab created crap! If you can appreciate that too, take a few minutes to check out Vital Proteins. I think you’ll be happy you did.

Here’s to our health! Enjoy the weekend!

-Kim

PS – If you happen to be looking for somebody knowledgeable to work with regarding your health, Mary is your girl. She is truly a wealth of information! Her website is still under construction, but you can get in touch with her at www.maryshappell.com