In the month of January, a lot of people start the Daniel Fast on their own, or with their church. I’ve done it many times now, so I want to share some tips that have been very helpful for me. Whether your’re doing the full 21 days, or you chosen set of days, it’s all about planning and preparation.
- Read The Chosen Fast by Arthur Wallis. This book is extremely helpful and it happens to be a quick read.It breaks down the difference between fasting and abstinence and gives biblical reference for the reasons for doing it. When you truly understand the purpose of your actions, they are easier to commit to.
- Meal prep. Since you’re eating in a way you are not as accustomed to, it is best to prepare meals ahead of time. You don’t want to wait till you’re super hungry and then have to scavenge for an appropriate meal for yourself. What will likely happen is you will find yourself breaking the rules and guidelines you set.
- Do your research. What types of meals do you want to eat each week? Look for recipes and get an understanding of what plant-based substitutes will work best for you.
- Try to minimize your refined sugar and salt intake. This is up to you, but I use this time as an opportunity to cleanse. Removing meat isn’t the main point– the point is to remove rich foods from the diet. I commit to drinking more water, getting more sleep, and eating no refined sugar. There are lots of other options, but generally I use bananas and dates to sweeten just about anything,
- Remember that it’s not about food. Some days might be harder than others. Whenever I fast, I get people offering to buy me lunch, or bringing me treats. It can be hard to turn down. I have to remember the focus is supposed to be taken off of food. It gives me an opportunity to see food simply as sustenance and to focus on my relationship with God. Some days, I kept it really simple– for breakfast, hot cereal sweetened with berries and dates, lunch a kale salad with nuts and homemade dressing, and for dinner a nourishing bowl of brown rice, black beans, salsa, and avocado.
Here are a few recipes you may enjoy!
Healthy Snack Recipes
What I Eat in a Day
In this video I share my top 3 tips to help you stay on track with achieving your 2017 goals.
There’s really no convenient time to get sick, but I really hate getting sick in the Winter because it’s cold, gets dark faster, and there are many damp rainy days. There are some things you can do to prevent getting a cold in the first place, and things you can do if you’re currently sick. I’m sharing my top 7 tips for fighting the cold and flu. If you’re not much into reading blog posts, I recommend you skip to the video and get my easy and quick tips that way!
- Stay hydrated. Staying hydrated has so many benefits, especially when you are feeling sick.If you are properly hydrated this will help you decongest, and it will also help rid your body of toxins. If you have a sore throat, opt for room temperature or warm water. You can add 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and a little honey to make the drink even more soothing for your throat.
- Get lots of rest. Some of us are not so great with sitting still because we feel idle and non-productive. Resting and letting your body heal is very productive! If you took the day off of work, maybe try not still working from home, but instead set up a comfortable place to rest and make sure you’re warm, getting enough fresh air, and have everything you will need within reach. I tend to camp out in my bed rather than the couch, because my bed is easier to disinfect than my couch. I bring in a tray with tea, cough drops, water, a good book, my laptop for movies, warm socks, and an aromatic candle. Make yourself comfortable and force yourself to rest.
- Blend dark leafy greens into your smoothies. Consuming dark leafy greens will give you a huge boost in vitamin C. If you’re sick you may not have much of an appetite or have trouble swallowing due to swollen tonsils or a sore throat. A smoothie is a way to get a meal that is rich in nutrients, but not a hassle to eat. You can also add other supplements to the drink. I love adding baby spinach to smoothies since it blends easily and you can add about 3 cups without noticing the flavor.
- Drink fruit and herb infused water. I love infusing water with citrus and herbs which not only tastes good, but has many health benefits. I feel like it freshens and perks me up as well since sometimes sickness can give me this slow, sluggish, toxic feeling. I made a video of my favorite ways to infuse water, so you can check that out as well.
- Don’t overdo it. Some people like to just ignore the cold and go about their day hoping it’ll just get better without effort. This rarely works. What is likely to happen is you go to work and spread germs, overexert yourself and end up feeling worse, and now instead of needing 1 day of rest, you need more. We all have to get rid of the guilt from taking a day off, and just do it. When you need time to get well, take it! You can skip a gym day and you can also skip work.
- Steam vapors. I like to take a hot shower and let the steam open up my lungs when I have an upper respiratory infection. I usually will do this twice a day to improve breathing and this helps me not cough as much. When I get out of the shower, I rub a small amount of essential oil on my chest.
- Know when it’s time to visit the doctor. One time I had a horrible cold with a cough that just would not quit! It persisted for more than five days and I felt awful, so I finally went to urgent care. It turns out I had whooping cough and needed anti-biotics. I had been coughing for days at that point, and had actually cracked a rib. It was so painful. If your sickness feels more severe than usual or continues to persist, call or visit your doctor.
Here’s a video I made that you can share with others and help people get well and stay well!
Over the years I’ve taken a few solo trips (even one international) and I’ve been asked several times to share tips and benefits of traveling alone. I’m still learning, but I’ll share what I’ve learned and experienced so far!
- Give a friend or family member your travel itinerary and where you will be staying. Not only does this give extra assurance that someone knows your whereabouts, but it helps if you have trouble with your arrangements. You can call them to help you out.
- Pack a small first aid kit and a few emergency meds. I usually need a few things without fail when I travel: sunscreen, bandaids, bug repellent, cortisone cream, Advil or some other NSAIDs, charcoal tablets and melatonin. You know yourself and what little physical annoyances come up for you– pack smart so you don’t end up having to take a cab to a local pharmacy at midnight or paying the hotel $10 for two migraine pills! I made a video of my travel essentials that you might find helpful.
- Have food at your hotel/temporary residence. Not only did I go to a market and buy snacks, I chose a hotel that offered a refrigerator and microwave. As a single woman traveling alone, I wanted to be sure I would have little reason to be leaving the room very late at night. I have a fast metabolism and was making the trip quite an active one. I bought fruit, water, yogurt, cereal, crackers and ordered an extra entree at the restaurant I went to for lunch. You just never know when you’ll be hungry and many hotels do not have 24-hour room service. The many snacks I had also came in handy for my hikes. I stocked my backpack with bananas and a water bottle before heading out to the adventure.
Rainbow salad from the Loving Hut
- Save money by checking out Yelp and other online deals. In Waikiki I signed up for a surfing lesson since I’m still a novice and didn’t feel good about going out alone. When I called the surf center I asked if there were any deals and there were! I ended up taking Uber (for free rides use Uber code: fifib105ue) to the location, but there were some schools that even had a free shuttle. Since you cannot share a group rate with friends when you travel alone, there’s no harm in asking the company about special rates. Surfing was great and I met some new people!
- Do group tours. This is a safe and affordable way to make your way around a new city without the fuss. Guided tours may allow you to see sights you may not know of and also connect with other travelers.
- Download WhatsApp. This app allows you to text and call via wifi which is a plus. When I went to London, I changed my plan over to an international plan, but my phone didn’t really work. Whatsapp saved the day! I was able to use wifi at the airport and local coffee shops to stay in touch with friends and family at home in the States as well as catch up with friends in London. International data plans can be extremely expensive, so this saves a great deal. Sending voice notes is a plus if you want to exchange messages with someone on a different time zone.
- Place your valuables and important personal identification in a security safe, or a safe place. I’ve traveled with friends before and someone lost their license. While it was a hassle getting on an airplane, this happened before 9/11 so I cannot imagine how it would be now. Some people like to place secured copies of their identification somewhere in an online account for extra security. Either way, just make sure you’re not carrying important things for an active day trip where things can get lost.
- Grab some maps. Hiking is one of my favorite things to do and I love going off the beaten path, but I also don’t want to be lost for hours. There’s typically a designated person at hotels who can provide info on the best hikes for the weather conditions and will give you free maps. I use the maps and the compass on my cell phone to make sure I can make t back with plenty of time before sundown. It’s a preference of mine that I’m not hiking or walking the street too late at night.
Diamond Head, Oahu
- Be sensible. Most people are just making conversation to be nice, but I’m careful about how I answer strangers when they make small talk. “How long are you here?” and, “are you traveling alone?” Can be harmless questions, but I’m careful. I won’t tell you how to handle each situation, but use your best judgment.
- Don’t be scared! Traveling alone can be so much fun and you discover so much about yourself when it’s all up to you. You don’t have to vote on what to do next, because you’re in charge. You don’t have to delay booking a ticket to your next destination because you aren’t waiting on friends. You get to explore any restaurant that you want and wake up when you please! Solo travel will make you even more independent and also more street wise.
***Bonus tips: (1)try to fit everything into a carry-on and if you can’t– put at least one entire outfit and your personal items in a carry-on. Luggage gets lost from time to time and it’s awful when you’re traveling alone. (2) notify your credit card company that you’ll be traveling– if you don’t, you risk your card being flagged for fraud.
That’s it for now! What are your solo travel tips? Do you plan to travel alone anytime soon? Share with me!
I recently posted a new video sharing all of my favorites for the month of December for hair, health, books, and more.
Once you check out the video, comment and let me know what your favorite products were this month!
Disappointment is a normal part of the human experience, but how we handle disappointment dictates our experience. How do we manage and make the most of any situation when nearly every situation turns out differently than we had hoped? Hope defies sensibility and requires one not to see, but to envision. This episode explores the patience and resolve required to overcome disappointment.
Hope must be spoken to, watered, given sunlight, pruned, gazed upon and kept alive at all cost.
Have you ever been guilty of comparing your journey to that of someone else? It’s easy to do and we do it rather unconsciously. Letting go of comparison opens us up for success and growing into the best possible version of ourselves. Through story I illustrate the dangerous limitations that comparison can place on our lives.