Are you stuck in a rut? There are so many different proverbial ruts you can get stuck in — style rut, eating unhealthy rut, not exercising consistently rut, not putting yourself first rut. The list is long.
You may know you’re in a rut, but you don’t know how to get out of it or you’re so weary you don’t have the energy to get out of it. If you’re not sure, I invite you to take a moment to think deeply about how you feel, and discover whether or not you feel stuck somewhere in your life.
I’ve got a theory about getting out of a rut. It just takes a small, very simple reboot action to get going. The decision to try something different without holding on tightly to the outcome.
Many of my clients admit to being in a style rut — it’s usually why they call me. They keep wearing the same dreary clothes even though they would rather be dressing differently. They just need a kickstart from me to get out of a style rut, imagine new possibilities, and begin their transformation.
My recommendation for getting out of any rut is what I call the FEEL GOOD REBOOT PLAN. Read on…
Do you feel like you’re a victim of your body and all the changes you’ve endured after turning fifty? Maybe you’ve let yourself go — just a little — and you don’t exercise as much as you used to. Or, you snack more often because you’re not working full time anymore. Perhaps you feel like you’re entitled to gain a few pounds, go to the gym less often, enjoy another piece of cake — hey, you’ve earned it. Your kids are off on their own, you are retired or looking forward to retirement in a few years. It’s time to relax and let go…
Well, not so fast….
This letting yourself go thing isn’t turning out like you planned. You can’t wear your favorite clothes anymore. Nothing you try on seems to look good. You’re pretty sure you’re in a style rut because you’ve been wearing loose-fitting tops and pants for a while now. You’ve turned into a frump-a-dump.
You can turn this around! It’s not too late to take care of yourself, to strengthen your resilience and your body, to lose a few pounds and get back into those beloved clothes, or reinvent your style! The result is that you FEEL GOOD. It feels good to make the effort to take care of yourself. All you have to do is pick your small, simple reboot step and get going.
Here’s five tips to put into action your Feel Good Reboot Plan:
Take care of yourself FIRST so you can take care of others. Put yourself at the top of the list in terms of exercise, diet, and enjoyable activities. If I asked you to list the people and things/causes/activities you put before yourself, honestly how long is that list? Too long. Think about putting yourself at the TOP of the list. It’s not selfish. As a matter of fact, you’d be a role model for women and children everywhere.
Eat healthy. Remember, this is just a reboot, so you won’t miss out on fried chicken and mashed potatoes forever. For now, cut out the bread products, cake, cookies, fried foods, and things that come already cooked or packaged. Concentrate on filling your shopping cart with fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats and fish. Add some healthy grains like brown rice, legumes, and beans. Make a big batch of fresh broth soup with lots of vegetables and ground turkey or chicken at the beginning of the week. (I’m including my 3 favorite healthy and delicious recipes that I make over and over at the bottom of this article).
It’s an adventure to change your diet — you get to try out new things. I discovered how mind-blowingly delicious roasted parsnip chips are. You just peel parsnips, slice the rounds really thin, mix with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast at 425 for 15-20 minutes. They taste like the best potato chips in the world, and they’re so healthy. I also discovered that I really love red beets — in salads, alongside a meat or chicken dish, or freshly juiced. To roast beets, you just cut off the two ends, slice into quarters, sprinkle a little olive oil, salt and pepper, wrap in aluminum foil packages, and roast in the oven at 400 for about 45-60 minutes. When they’re cool, you can remove the skins and refrigerate for several days. What do you love to eat that’s delicious and also healthy and friendly to your waistline?
Get outside and walk, run, bike ride, or if it’s freezing cold, join the closest gym or YMCA. Pick a class you’ve never taken before, like Zumba, and just do it! Move your body daily. Every single day do something for 20-30 minutes that raises your heart rate and breaks a sweat. You are going to feel and look amazing in a week!
Clean out your closet. I know I sound like a broken record, but this really works. You know you’re holding on to clothes that don’t work for you anymore. You may be in a style rut (or another type of rut) because you haven’t let go of the past — how you used to dress, how you used to be, your previous life. The simple act of letting go and making room for new, more exciting fashion opportunities will open doors. I promise.
Unplug. Put on your daily calendar when you will separate yourself from your devices, the news (ugh — never good!), from social media. Read a great book, write in your journal, or just take a nap. So restorative.
Be grateful for everything you have, everything your body does for you, your family, friends, work, play, creative endeavors, and the joy of living. You know you have much to be grateful for, and taking the time to feel your gratitude is a healthy way to live.
My Favorite Healthy Recipes:
2 cups canned organic garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 tsp cumin
1/4 cup tahini (sesame butter)
1/3 cup lemon juice (fresh)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Paprika, sea salt, and fresh parsley to taste
Drain beans and reserve liquid. Blend beans with remaining ingredients (I use my Cuisinart, but a blender will work). If mixture seems dry, add some of the reserved liquid. Garnish with parsley and sprinkle of paprika. Serve with carrots, celery, snap peas, or other fresh vegetables, pita bread or crackers.
Turkey, Kale and Brown Rice Soup
2 Tbl olive oil
5 to 6 large shallots or 1 small onion, chopped
3-5 medium carrots, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
Package of ground white turkey meat
1 Tbl herbes de Provence (or a combination of Italian herbs)
8 cups chicken broth
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup cooked brown rice (I use TJs frozen brown rice)
A small bunch of kale
1 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp pepper
1 avocado, chunks
1/4 cup fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Basically, saute the shallots or onions, carrots, and red pepper until softened. Add the turkey and break it up into small bites. Let it cook through. Add the heroes de Provence for a minute. Then add the tomatoes, chicken broth, and cooked rice. Let it come to a boil, then turn down and simmer. Add the kale. It’s ready to eat, but it gets better the longer it sits. To serve, fill the bowl with soup, top with chopped avocado, parsley, and parmesan. Serve with warmed corn tortillas or toast. Yummmm… Note: you can make this spicy by adding hot peppers or other spices; my husband tops the soup with sriracha because I can’t eat spicy anymore.
Variations: Add chopped ginger to the sauteed veggies. Add cilantro instead of parsley.
Kale Salad (My friend, Susan Wood’s recipe)
1 bunch of kale
1/2 red onion (sweet), sliced very thin
1/4-1/3 cup sesame seeds (raw is best)
1/4-1/3 cup sunflower seeds (raw is best)
1/4-1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (raw is best)
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos (or Tamari sauce)
1/3 cup olive oil (or none, as you like)
Mix the dressing. Add red onion. Let rest.
De-stem kale and wash, then chiffonade and place in big bowl.
Toast the seeds or leave them raw.
Toss everything together. It keeps well.
Add 1/2 cup sunflower sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, 1 diced avocado
Remember, you are beautiful and perfect just the way you are. Enjoy your rut if it pleases you, but when you’re ready to climb out of a rut, do it with gusto!
Thank you Jude! Helen and I are like sisters from another mother…she is my fabulous jewelry designer that I recommend to all my local clients. We both wear the same colors, except Helen wears black and I stay away from it. But, honestly, we could swap closets and be happy as ever!
Love this positive well written article. You and Helen look adorable!
What lovely reminders, Linda! I look forward to trying your yummy recipes (and I sure know how good Susan’s salad is)! 🙂