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Where is the sun? Also, gut health, questioning priorities and Zedd.

We are on day four of rain in Charlotte. I haven’t seen the sun in days and according to the forecast we have one more day of this.

Clearly, I am not alone. It seems many of you are experiencing similar conditions. I feel like I’ve been blogging about the weather a lot lately. I guess it just always amazes me how much it really does impact my mood. I am entertaining the idea a move to the Caribbean. I’m thinking U.S. Virgin Islands, a yoga studio and a simpler life. Sounds good, right?

I could REALLY use a little of this in my life right now. Lucky for me…it’s coming in February! :) :) :)

Since I am kind of lacking inspiration today so I am going to share a few things for you to read and listen to.

I know, I go from a picture of the Caribbean to a picture of chicken sausage with saurekraut but hear me out. When I was at the grocery on Saturday I had a weird craving for sauerkraut. I’ve always liked it but I can’t say that I usually crave it. I threw a can in my cart because fermented foods are really good for gut health.

I also picked up some sourdough bread. It’s a fermented food too. Fermented foods are things like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, tempeh, buttermilk, sauerkraut and so on. These foods are good for gut health because they are rich in probiotics. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that live in our intestines and help protect our intestines and digest food. Fermented foods and probiotics can help with regulating the digestive system. Check out this article on fermented foods from Shape and this article on probiotics from The Wall Street Journal.

Do you make an effort to include fermented/probiotic-rich foods in your diet? 

Heather from Heather Eats Almond Butter wrote a post in December that I can’t stop thinking about. Heather used to be a daily blogger and I have followed her through the birth of a daughter and a set of twins. It’s been fascinating to watch her adapt to motherhood and see how much she’s evolved and grown. She doesn’t update nearly as frequently now but I get excited each time I see a post from her in my reader. The post I mention above was about how her priorities and mindset have shifted in regards to food and exercise since becoming a mother to three children. I will let you read it for yourself but I can’t help but ask myself a million questions in regards to what is really important to me. Not ready to go more in depth on that quite yet…

I love this song. It’s been on all of my running and yoga playlists lately.

Hope your Wednesday is full of sunshine (literally or figuratively). I’m off to brave the treadmill. xo

{ 25 comments… add one }

  • 1
    Erin January 16, 2013, 1:02 pm

    Hi there! The hyperlink to Heather eats Almond Butter’s post is linked to the WSJ article. Just thought I’d let you know. :)

    • 2
      Jen January 16, 2013, 1:43 pm

      i fixed it! thanks!!!

  • 3
    Kerry @ Totes My Oats January 16, 2013, 1:28 pm

    I love fermented foods! I try to include them in my diet as much as possible. The weather seriously stinks. I need some sun!

  • 4
    Pamela January 16, 2013, 1:38 pm

    I am way healthier since I had kids. I eat better too and get up at 530 to practice yoga. I also walk at night. I am a stay at home mom with no child are but teach yoga 3 evenings a week. YOU get to create your life and make it look any way you want:) even with kids!!

    • 5
      Jen January 16, 2013, 6:10 pm

      love this pamela. thank you for sharing your experience and what your life looks like now. it’s so great that you feel healthy and balanced as a mom while still being able to follow your passion for yoga as well.

  • 6
    Linda January 16, 2013, 3:18 pm

    What I eat, health and fitness are clearly a big focus of my days. Sometimes to an extreme. My husband always tells me that I usually make the right decisions. I need to remind myself of that when I get caught up in it and look at the big picture. Thanks for the post!

    • 7
      Jen January 16, 2013, 6:11 pm

      i know, it’s easy to get so caught up in the little things that don’t matter in the big picture. easier said than done to have a holistic view but it’s a great mindset/goal to have.

  • 8
    She Rocks Fitness January 16, 2013, 3:27 pm

    Where are you going in February? I’ve been looking at solo trips to the Caribbean and even tropical yoga treats, because I think I deserve to spoil myself in 2013. No sun here since Thursday and yes this totally effects my mood and yes I braved the treadmill this afternoon as well. SMILE!

    • 9
      Jen January 16, 2013, 6:13 pm

      i’m going to the DR on a yoga retreat with my studio. i think you DEFINITELY deserve to spoil yourself. i almost backed out of this trip but i’m glad i didn’t. one month!

      i am smiling today! :)

  • 10
    Heather Eats Almond Butter January 16, 2013, 3:39 pm

    Hi Jen,
    Thanks for the mention, and I’m happy my post spoke to you. I just felt like babbling that day, and sometimes, it’s those posts that have the most impact.

    Oh gosh, and don’t even get me started on the weather. I am a girl who thrives on sunshine, and it’s been gloomy in Nashville too, but I hear this weekend is supposed to be SUNNY. So, the sunshine will be coming your way soon!

    And yes, I’m all for some fermented foods. Big fans of sauerkraut and sourdough bread over here! Hope you enjoy the rest of your week and the upcoming beautiful weekend. :)

    • 11
      Jen January 16, 2013, 6:14 pm

      heather – thank you for taking the time to comment. i really love your perspective/introspective posts and just the range of topics you blog about now in general. i really do feel like i get a snapshot of your life here and there and it’s really cool to see.

  • 12
    Amy @ Extracurricular Activities January 16, 2013, 4:44 pm

    I am obsessed with the Good Belly probiotic shot drinks. I have drank at least one a day since discovering them a month or so ago. I tend to get really bloated after eating pretty much anything except maybe almonds (so annoying), and I find these really help minimize or prevent that from happening. Highly recommend for any of your readers/friends that experience the same issue!

    • 13
      Jen January 16, 2013, 6:15 pm

      i have tried good belly before but never the shots. i’ll have to look out for that. thank you for the recommendation!

  • 14
    Paige @ The Balancing Act January 16, 2013, 8:51 pm

    Crazy how much we seem to be “on the same wavelength”! I’ve recently gone through a lot of re-prioritizing myself. The combination of being sick/injured, overworked, lonely, and just generally discontented last semester made me realize some major changes were in order. So instead of making the “typical” New Year’s resolutions to get healthier, be more organized, etc., I made a lot of “happiness” resolutions. My goals include reading more books (for fun–not textbooks!), spending more time with friends, and getting more sleep. I’m already noticing improvements in my mood and stress levels. I’ve also made a “jar of thanks,” and before bed, I drop in a little slip of paper listing one thing I was especially thankful for that day. I read the idea online and thought it sounded cheesy, but it really reminds me what’s important and what a rich life I lead, even on my worst days. Good luck with your “check-up” as well! :)

  • 15
    Elizabeth January 16, 2013, 9:36 pm

    HI Jen! I made my own sauerkraut a couple times last spring and it was really good! I’d never even tried it before b/c it never looked appealing to me until I learned about all the powers of the probiotics in it ;) Since then I made homemade kefir for a couple months, but in the beginning of this pregnancy it totally turned my stomach, and it was such a hassle being that it only ferments for 24 hours before you have to tend to it, so I just let the grains die… and now I’ve been making my own kombucha for a couple months. It’s been delicious! You should try it! I’m sure you could find someone nearby to give you a scoby :) It’s really easy and will save you tons of money since the store bought kind is so expensive. I like to flavor mine with tart cherry juice, which is also really healthy. So anyway, I’m definitely on the fermented foods bandwagon! All the store bought yogurt and kefir is so loaded with sugar and I’m sure not nearly as probiotic-rich as they suggest on the labels, so I’m excited to try all the homemade kinds. It’s fun!
    Happy New Year to you!
    Elizabeth
    p.s. our Asheville trip is this weekend and I can’t wait to try some of the restaurants you told me about :)

  • 16
    Katy January 16, 2013, 10:07 pm

    Heathers post was just what I needed today. I’ve been sick and not at the gym for 4 days straight. I’m already worrying about when I can get back. 4 days is nothing after readings heathers post. I need to relax and stop putting so much pressure on myself. Thank you!

  • 17
    Dory January 16, 2013, 11:43 pm

    Thanks for posting Jen! The “priorities” question hit me sooner than I think it has hit my friends. Around age 24 I started reallllly questioning my actions, how they represented my priorities and what I wanted out of life. I am still figuring it out, but Im happy to try to get myself on the right path now rather than realize in my 30’s that I was living the life that I thought I was supposed to instead of the life Im meant for. My husband and I have probably monthly conversations on where we’re going and how our actions align with our priorities- and if they need to be shifted. I hope you elaborate more on this, I think it is a really good topic for women in our age group :).

  • 18
    Lindsey January 17, 2013, 9:05 am

    I cannot wait until Spring!!! Although it’s chilly here in Michigan, I make it a point to bundle up and take a walk- very carefully, as to avoid ice patches! The frrsh air and sunlight instantly elevate my mood!!!

    I read Heathers blog too- love it!!! In fact, Heathers blog was the first I read on a regular basis, followed by yours!!! You remain my favorites!!!

    Can’t wait to hear about your trip!

  • 19
    Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin January 17, 2013, 11:41 am

    I take a probiotic capsule every morning and also eat a lot of gut healthy foods. I could totally use a tropical getaway vacay right about now as well!

  • 20
    kaila@ healthy helper blog! January 17, 2013, 1:12 pm

    I’ve actually never had sauerkraut! But I love cabbage and I am a fan of a lot of those other fermented foods so I am excited to try it someday!

  • 21
    Tiff January 17, 2013, 2:12 pm

    That trip will be here before you know it! And I’m always down with kraut, sausage, and potatoes. Such a comfort food!

  • 22
    Karey @ Nutty About Health January 17, 2013, 2:46 pm

    I think it’s funny that today you mentioned gut health & probiotics & I literally just got home with some probiotics I bought at work (I work in a nutrition store). I agree, gut health is so very important and affects so many things. Great post! :)

  • 23
    Liz N. January 17, 2013, 3:59 pm

    How do I include probiotics in my diet? I eat sauerkraut and kimchi! I don’t eat dairy (I follow a Paleo diet) so those are the main ways I include probiotics. I have also purchased powdered, dissolvable probiotics that I mix into water (flavorless). For my daughter, I give her Yakult Light. She calls it her “belly drink”. The Yakult Light has a lot less sugar added compared to other probiotic beverages. I’ve noticed she has a lot less gastrointestinal issues since I’ve been giving her probiotics for the last few months.

  • 24
    Johanna January 18, 2013, 1:36 pm

    Thanks for the music recommendation – I am listening to Zedd this morning because of you! Check out Ellie Goulding (she is actually featured in a song on the Zedd album), I am loving her lately too.

  • 25
    Tahina January 20, 2013, 3:41 am

    Just to make you jealous.. I live in Australia and we are in the middle of summer at the moment. I’ve been to the beach every day since before Christmas and it hasn’t been below 40c- I think that’s around 100 degrees for you guys! :)

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