The Best Productivity Hack for Working from Home during the Coronavirus

With the Coronavirus pandemic and shelter in place in full swing, working from home can be a tough one- especially when it comes to productivity.

With the fridge, your bed, and the t.v. all within reach- not to mention your loved ones and/or roommates around, PLUS no authoritative figure and coworkers in sight- it’s too easy to be distracted.

This is why I wanna introduce my FAVORITE and MOST effective productivity hack I’ve ever used (I even wrote about it in a blog post months ago).

Ladies and gents I give to you:

The Pomodoro Method

This is a complete game changer sis.

This method is used world-wide, and I honestly wish I would have ran into it sooner because I cannot stress this enough- it really works.

What is it?

“The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that encourages people to work with the time they have—rather than against it. Using this method, you break your workday into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks. These intervals are referred to as pomodoros.” 

Steps to Use the Pomodoro Method:

1- Write down your most important tasks and make them specific (for example: instead of writing “research hotels for vacation”, write down “Find 10 hotels and list prices”).

2- For each task on your list, dedicate 25 minutes to it.

3- Set a timer on your phone for 25 minutes.

4- During this 25 minute “productivity block”, silence your phone (DO NOT CHECK IT!), and cover the clock on your computer, and the clocks around your workspace.

This step is important, because it puts you into tunnel-vision for the task at hand, and you’re not distracted by constantly checking the time.

I put a post-it note over the clock on my computer like this:

5- During the 25 minutes, try as hard as you can to finish the task at hand within the time block, and if you finish it- feel free to move onto the next task.

6- Once your timer is done, take a 5 minute break. (i.e. walk outside, go to the bathroom, physically remove yourself from the area you’re working in— This step is important because you’ll be ready to take on the next 25-minute block with a fresh mind).

Now the Pomorodo Method says to do 4 blocks of these, and then at the end of the 4 blocks, take a 20 minutes break (again, away from the work area).

That’s it! That’s the method. If you follow the steps all the way through, I promise that after the first block, you’ll feel motivated and ready to take on any task thrown your way.

You guys, I swear by this method. Try it out and see how productive you are!

If you wanna learn more about it, watch this video [HERE].

If you loved this post, you’d love my [10 Ways to Protect Your Energy During the Coronavirus Pandemic] post!

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10 Ways to Protect Your Energy During the Coronavirus Pandemic

With the Coronavirus pandemic, have you felt something “off” in terms of your energy or vibe?

Are you not as stressed or panicked as everyone else, but you can literally feel the frantic energy in the air?

Have you been pretty optimistic, but still feel “heavy” amid the outbreak and don’t understand why?

There’s a reason for this.

  1. Energy is 100% contagious- we can literally absorb the fear in others. “Emotions can be contagious, so you can potentially ‘catch’ fear, anger or joy from people without realizing it.” [Judith Orloff MD]
  2. Constant consumption of bad news does indeed affect our mental health. “Bingeing on the news cycle can be bad for mental health. … “Our brain is predisposed to go negative, and the news we consume reflects this.” [Time Magazine]

In addition to these things, you may be an empath like me.

Empaths are “highly sensitive individuals, who have a keen ability to sense what people around them are thinking and feeling.”

I get more in detail about what an empath is in this blog post: [Are you an empath?]— you can save this read for later as this is a more generalized post about empaths!

With that being said, it’s so important to protect your energy (especially if you have or work with kids), so that we can go about this pandemic in a less worrisome manner.

Because during these trying times, we need to keep our lights shining- that’s what will get us through this.

Also with quarantine in full affect, taking care of our mental health should absolutely be a priority

I literally felt a shift in my energy last week and knew I had to do something about it before the weight of the world around me got heavier and heavier.

Here are some of the things I did that completely shifted (& continue to protect) my energy:

Limit my consumption of bad news

I unfollowed media outlets via email & social media.

By doing this, I controlled how much news I was consuming- I was checking the updates on my own terms instead of having it fed to me.

Take social media breaks

Okay I know during this time it’s hard to stay off social media, and I have never taken social media breaks before until this pandemic, but trust me- it works.

These breaks are obviously not a one-size-fit-all deal, so choose the length you feel is best.

Last weekend, I deleted all my social media apps & turned my phone notifications off for half a day (of course, I told those closest to me I was taking this break so they wouldn’t freak out).

I took a break for around 8 hours to recharge, but even just going for a few hours at a time will get you at a better head space!

Also, as of last week I have turned my notifications for my social media off completely- just like what I previously mentioned about controlling my consumption.

I’m normally the type that checks every notification as it pops up (I’m trying to be better at this), but for this season we’re in, I felt it was necessary because what word do you see immediately after opening up an app? “Coronavirus.”

Again, the recurring theme is “choice”- we not only have to choose what we take in, but when we do too.

Create boundaries with friends, family, coworkers about discussing the virus


“I actually don’t want to talk about the coronavirus right now”

“I appreciate how informed you are, but I don’t want to receive links to articles and media coverage at this time.”

Or simply mute group chats if the virus is the topic of discussion.

Personal example:

My family’s group chat is currently on mute because my mom freaks me out with how overly-cautious she is.

She sends me multiple updates a day and voices her concerns in a stressful manner, so I had to mute the chat for my sanity (if you’re reading this mom, sorry! Gotta protect my energy lol)

Meditate or practice mindfulness for at least 5 minutes PER day

Stretch, breathe (5 seconds in, 5 seconds out), read, color, paint- even going outside and naming the things you can hear, smell, see is a form of mindfulness.

I’ve been using the [HeadSpace app] for short meditations. This app can be used by absolute beginners by the way! It guides you every step of the way.

Don’t consume other people’s projections or fears and make them my own

I ask myself: “Does this emotion belong to me?”

Then, I say this out loud: “This negative energy is not mine. I am releasing it.”

There’s power behind your words yall.

Speak kindly to myself and to other people

I’ve been leading my actions and thoughts with compassion, and have been trying to use more positive words.

Some examples of positive words:

  • awesome
  • amazing
  • beautiful
  • exciting
  • giving
  • generous
  • glowing
  • flourishing
  • healing
  • great
  • graceful
  • growing
  • fun
  • impressive
  • lucky

Spend some time in sunlight


  1. The sun gives you positive mood swings– The sun helps release certain hormones that up your mood
  2. The sun provides some of the same effects of a workout– sun exposure increases the oxygen content in our blood
  3. The sun gives your immune system a boost– Skin reacts to the sun’s ultraviolet-B radiation by creating vitamin D

Stay away from people who drain my energy

Pay attention to your energy and how your body feels when you’re around a person/talking to a person.

If you feel “drained”, limit your time and contact with them.

You don’t have to tell them you’re distancing yourself, but just fall back a bit until you’re mentally ready to engage with them.

Also, stay away from complainers during this time. These are what I call “energy leeches”- they will literally suck the energy outta you.

If someone came to mind while you read those statements, chances are- they are an energy leech!


“A handy form of protection many people use, including health care practitioners with trying patients, involves visualizing an envelope of white light around your entire body. Think of it as a shield that blocks out negativity or physical discomfort but allows what’s positive to filter in.” [source]

This practice may seem silly, but visualization is a cognitive tool that can actually combat negative thoughts.

I use this tool for different aspects of my life and it really makes a difference.

For further reading, read here [GoodTherapy].

Indulge in uplifting content

My favorites:

  • Watching YouTube videos of Ellen’s inspiring videos (she literally has a playlist called “Inspiring Videos” on her channel!)
  • Watching funny movies
  • Watching “Soldiers coming home” videos (if you wanna cry! lol)
  • Family Feud

Just to throw a few out there 🙂

Those are the most effective tools I used this past week. I felt a literal weight lift from my shoulders and my mood is back to where it used to be before the pandemic.

One of my favorite quotes is “Ships don’t sink because of the water around them. Ships sink because of the water that gets in them.”

Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down.

Protect that beautiful energy of yours sis! We need that the most right now!

If you loved this post, you’d love my[Self-Care: Setting Boundaries] post!

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Why Don’t Women Ask for Help? How to Fill Your Cup and Practice Self-Care

Even though I’ve probably heard the quote “You can’t pour from an empty cup” a thousand times, I find it more and more applicable to my life as I get older.

I can admit: over-extending myself was my toxic trait.

And the more women I talked to, the more I realized I wasn’t alone- despite being at different stages of their lives (married, unmarried, kids, no kids, younger, older)- we all had that in common.

It left me wondering: why are we so quick to run to a charger when our phones are at 2%, but when we need to recharge, we don’t act with the same urgency?

That’s where self-care comes in.

And no, I’m not talking about the bath bombs, manicures, and retail therapy- we’re going deeper.

The self-care practice no one talks about?

Asking for help. (including taking help when it’s offered)

I did a ton of self-reflection in the last year and took notice of how often I actually turned down help.

Then, following that awareness, I realized this habit was a form of self-betrayal– not the fact that I wasn’t creating boundaries with other people, but I wasn’t creating and respecting boundaries for myself.

When you create boundaries for yourself, you’re listening to your needs and then honoring them. That’s what true self-care is.

When I wasn’t asking for help, I was inadvertently ignoring my needs.

Here’s a list of personal examples, see if you can identify with any of them: 

  • When you’re setting up for a dinner or a party and someone offers to help- do you find yourself saying “Oh no don’t worry about it! I got it!”?
  • When you look at your to-do list and notice something on there that someone else (spouse, coworker, friend, child) can help you with, but you refuse to mention it to them because you don’t want to inconvenience/burden them?
  • Do you sometimes tell yourself that if another person does a task (or helps you with it) they won’t do it right so you might as well do it yourself? (Dismissing the fact that there is probably one small thing they can do to make your task less stressful?)
  • Do you sometimes decline help when someone asks, but then later do the task with resentment (maybe even glaring at the back of your partner’s head while doing it as if you have laser shooter eyes?)
  • Or how about at work- do you often tell yourself you rather do it on your own than put your pride aside and ask someone for a hand?
  • Have you chosen to blindly navigate through something you don’t understand instead of asking, at the risk of looking stupid?
  • Have you enthusiastically said “Yes!” to too many things, reached your limit, and then needed assistance with the workload but guilted yourself into doing it all by yourself because you said yes initially?

If you said yes to any of these, you’re probably thinking to yourself:

Why are we like this??

In short, most of us were raised to be the:

“Independent woman”- we’re taught to:

  • Be strong
  • Take care of ourselves
  • Depend on no one

We were also raised to be an “ambitious woman”:

  • Want more. Do more. Be more.
  • Keep pushing. Take on more roles, titles, responsibilities- you can do it!

& then the “nurturing woman””

  • Care for and help others
  • Be selfless
  • Give. And ask for nothing in return!
  • Be a mother, daughter, sister, wife, boss, friend- be everything to everyone
  • Carry our own baggage and help others with theirs

Because we were raised to be these things, it programmed us to feel weak and uncomfortable when we ask for help.

But what happens when we get past that uneasy feeling of asking for help?

These are the things that changed for me when I started asking:

  • I became more in touch with my own intuition, inner voice, and moral compass
  • I became a better decision-maker (questioned my decisions less)
  • I gained more self-respect and self-confidence
  • I acquired more time for myself and other things *I* wanted to do
  • I felt more deserving of things
  • I became less resentful
  • I felt less stressed/overwhelmed
  • Asking for help allowed other people to give me the gift of giving (something I so freely do for others)
  • I made deeper friendships/relationships (because I realized that people really do wanna help!)

Ways to Ask for Help

  • Can you give me a hand with this?
  • Could you help me for a second?
  • Can I ask a favor?
  • I can’t manage. Can you help?
  • Actually yes, I would love your help.
  • Give me a hand with this, will you?
  • Could you spare a moment?
  • I need some help, please.
  • Do you have any free time on __/at ___ (day, date, time)?
  • Do you know anything about ___?
  • I am having a problem with ___. Do you think you can help me?
  • If you don’t mind, I could really use your assistance with ____.
  • Is there any chance you have time to ____.
  • Could you please explain to me ____?
  • Can you show me how to ____.
  • If you don’t mind, I really need your help with ____.
  • I know you’re good at/with ____, and I could really use some help.

What NOT to do when asking for help:

  • Continuously apologize (“I’m so sorry to ask you for this, but…” “It’s terrible that I have to ask.” “I really should be able to do it myself, and I know you are so busy.” “I just really hate myself for asking.”)
  • Use disclaimers (“I’m not normally the type that asks for help…” “I wouldn’t ask you if I had a choice…” “I hate having to ask you for this…”)
  • Emphasize how much the other person will love helping you (“You’re gonna love it! It’s gonna be so much fun!”)
  • Try to make the favor seem insignificant (“Could you drop these contracts off at Suzy’s? It’s practically on your way home.” Or “Would you add these updates to the folders? It probably won’t take you more than five minutes.”)
  • Remind people that they owe you (“Remember that time I helped you move?”)


  • Express gratitude!


Studies have shown that “individuals underestimate the likelihood that someone will help them by as much as 50%, meaning that people are far more willing to help than we may assume.”– Do NOT be afraid to ask!

Asking for help is like a muscle-the more you use it, the stronger it gets.

Remember ladies, we were programmed to feel uncomfortable when asking. But the reality is- asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s actually a sign of strength, because it means you’re self-assured enough to know when you need to call for reinforcements.

It’s strength because you know what you need, and you’re allowing others to give it to you.

It’s strength because you’re making yourself a priority.

I challenge you to ask for help this week in any way, shape, or form- and then pay attention to how you feel afterwards.

Remember that self-care is not an expense- it’s an investment.

And when you invest in yourself, you overflow your cup– allowing your cup to be full while filling other cups, simultaneously.

It all starts with you.

If you loved this post, you’d love my [Period Productivity: How to Use Your Menstrual Cycle as a Productivity Tool] post!

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How Meditation Significantly Reduced My Stress

#DidYouKnow- Stress can literally kill your brain cells and even reduce the size of your brain? [Harvard Med School]

Stress continues to be a major health issue in America, with reports of one-third of adults having increased stress over the past year- and levels steadily rising.

I used to be a part of that one-third.

Between living in the Bay Area, having not one- but 3 side hustles, being an online entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and still making time to volunteer (and have a life sometimes)- stress was my middle name.

Stress was that annoying fly that’s stuck in your car after swinging your arms like Rocky Balboa for 15 minutes, looking like a madman until you finally give in and let it play tag with your forehead for the rest of your drive home. 

It was around so much, it eventually became a part of my daily routine.

It was until a friend asked me one simple question.

That question, single-handedly had stress penning a letter, packing its bags, and bidding its farewell before hitting the high road– only popping up from time to time, checking in to see if I’m really happy without them, like an annoying ex-boyfriend.

My friend asked:

“Have you tried meditating?”

The zen equivalent to– do you even lift bro?

In this post I’ll go over:

  • What meditation is
  • What it has done for me
  • The health benefits

What is meditation?

In simple terms, meditation is a mental exercise that involves relaxation, focus, and awareness.

How long do you meditate for?

Usually 5 to 10 minutes. On the app I use [Headspace], you can choose how long you wanna go for.

What if I don’t know how to meditate?

Honestly, I had NO idea how to meditate when I first started (which was a few months ago).

The app is perfect for absolute beginners- it guides you through the entire process!

What if I don’t have a place to meditate?

You can practically meditate anywhere!

Sitting in the driver’s seat of your car, in your room on your bed, your living room.

Before trying out HeadSpace, I thought I needed to be criss-cross apple-sauced on a yoga mat in a dim room with candles, but I was definitely wrong.

All you need is a quiet space!

Has it really helped with stress management?


When I’m feeling anxious, tense, worried (or all of the above), meditating restores my calm and grants me inner peace.

When my mind is racing with a hundred thoughts, it helps bring me back to center- and not just for the moment either. It helps me maintain my balance and manage my stress for the rest of the day.

“Meditation affects the body in exactly the opposite ways that stress does—by triggering the body’s relaxation response. It restores the body to a calm state, helping the body repair itself and preventing new damage from the physical effects of stress.” [Mayo Clinic]

It not only helps with stress in the moment and throughout the day, but practicing it regularly has significantly lowered the frequency of my feelings of stress.

And in the event that I do feel overwhelmed, the intensity is NOT nearly as close as how it used to be.

Other Benefits of Meditation include:

  • Improved immune function
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced physical pain
  • Anti-aging
  • Increased optimism
  • Anti-depression
  • Improved sleep
  • Emotional stability
  • Increased “happy” hormones
  • Increased brain matter
  • Improved focus
  • Improved memory


So for those of you reading this and have never tried meditating- what do you say? What do you have to lose by giving it a try?

Inner peace is the new success yall.

Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak!

If you enjoyed this post, you’d love my [8 Daily Habits that Unknowingly Increase Your Anxiety & Stress] post!

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4 Ways My Body Changed After Cutting Out Dairy for a Month

I cut dairy out of my diet these past 4 weeks and, to my surprise, my body started to change.

Spoiler alert: it changed for the better.

These are the 4 changes I noticed:

#1 – My Skin Has Gotten Clearer

“Most evidence-based studies agree that acne can be irritated by dairy. Eliminating dairy from your diet can improve skin texture and tone and improve skin conditions like acne and rosacea.” [Insider]

Acne is an inflammatory condition. And because dairy is a major cause of oils in the body, it can help inflammation grow.

Now I’m aware that there are other causes for acne, but for me, I noticed a change once I dropped dairy.

Peep the skin! (No makeup except for filling in my brows, no filter or editing on the pic either)

#2- My Digestion Improved

My digestion became more consistent and my bloating went down dramatically.

“Dairy is very high in fat, contains hormones, and directly feeds pathogens in the body which creates neurotoxins that can cause inflammation and other chronic health issues like bloating.” [LiveWellWithArielle]

Me after ditching dairy for 4 weeks!

#3 – Less Sinus Congestion

Before getting rid of dairy, my sinuses were always congested.

During the 4 weeks without it, I noticed that I wasn’t congested at all.

“Casein, the naturally occurring protein in dairy products promote the formation of mucus, and thicken existing mucus, causing congestion.” [TheActiveTimes]

#4- I Have More Energy

I thought I was tired all the time due to aging. But after going on this no-dairy challenge, doing more research, and paying closer attention to how my body feels- I can confidently say that age is not to blame.

“Dairy products such as milk and cheese have been shown to contribute to chronic fatigue in individuals. By going dairy-free, the body doesn’t have to work so hard to break down the dairy products.” [HuffPost]

Those are the four biggest changes I saw in my body!

If you’re interested in saying goodbye to dairy as well, here are some non-dairy substitutes:


  • Soy milk: Contains 109 calories, 5 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein and 8 grams of carbs (14).
  • Rice milk: Contains 120 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein and 23 grams of carbs (15).
  • Oat milk: Contains 130 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein and 24 grams of carbs (16).
  • Almond milk: Contains 60 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein and 8 grams of carbs (171819).
  • Coconut milk: Contains 80 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0 grams of protein and 7 grams of carbs (2021).
  • Cashew milk: Contains 60 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein and 9 grams of carbs (22).
  • Flaxseed milk: Contains 50 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of protein and 7 grams of carbs (23).
  • Hemp milk: Contains 100–140 calories, 5–7 grams of fat, 2–5 grams of protein and 8–20 grams of carbs (2425).


  • Coconut milk yogurt: 180 calories, 14 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein and 12 grams of carbs (29).
  • Almond milk yogurt: 128 calories, 7 grams of fat, 3 grams of protein, 14 grams of carbs and less than 1 gram of fiber (30).
  • Soy milk yogurt: 80 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein and 6 grams of carbs (31).
  • Hemp yogurt: 147 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 11 grams of protein, 16 grams of carbs and 3.4 grams of fiber (32).


  • Vegetable oil blends: 50–100 calories, 6–11 grams of fat, 0 grams of protein and 0 grams of carbs (353637).
  • Coconut butter: 105–130 calories, 10–14 grams of fat, 0–2 grams of protein and 0–8 grams of carbs (383940).
  • Cultured vegan butter, made from coconut and cashews: 90 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 grams of protein and 0 grams of carbs (41).
  • Nut butters: 93–101 calories, 8–9 grams of fat, 2–3 grams of protein and 3–4 grams of carbs (424344).

If you enjoyed this post, you’d love my [A Meat Lover’s 21-Day Plant-Based (Vegan) Challenge Results] post!

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Tips on How I Completed a 21-Day Plant-Based Challenge as a Vegan Newbie

Just this past weekend, I successfully completed a 21-Day Plant-Based Challenge and I could not be more proud of myself!

Just a little background about myself: I love love love meat. I ate somewhat healthy here and there, as in: I ate salads, tried to opt for whole-grain as much as I can, didn’t really eat sweets.

But meat? I LOVED it.

I would often treat myself to all-you-can-eat buffets at Korean BBQ and go to TOWN- no sides, just straight meat.

As a matter of fact, I used to roll my eyes when anyone said they were a vegan (I’m so sorry but this is the truth!).

I mention all of this because if I- the carnivorous, slather cheese, butter, and anything that clogs my arteries- could complete the 21-day Plant-Based Challenge then you can too!

Here are the best tips I can give someone wanting to take on the challenge too!

Tips for Staying the Course

#1- Have a Plan

Plan your meals out ahead of time. I found that when my meals were already prepped, it reduced my desire to eat other things that weren’t plant-based.

Have a full list planned out before going to the grocery store, don’t shop aimlessly!

#2- Have an Accountability Partner(s)

Tell your close friends and/or partner about your goal, and ask them to hold you accountable.

I had a group chat with 3 other friends who were doing the plant-based challenge with me.

In this chat we held each other accountable, sent photos of our meals, encouraged each other, and even sent each other motivating quotes!

You don’t necessarily need to have someone join you, but it does help a TON when you have someone there to slap some sense into you when you reach for a slice of (non-vegan) pizza!

#3 – Get Clear on Your “Why”

Really dig deep to find the real reason you wanna do the challenge.

Try to avoid surface-level why’s like “I wanna lose weight”– but why exactly do you wanna lose weight?

Wanting to lose weight can have deeper, stronger desires such as:

  • I wanna be healthier so I can watch my kids grow old
  • I wanna have more energy at work/at home
  • Maybe a family member passed away from an unhealthy lifestyle and you wanna change the course of your life and make healthier decisions about food

(These are all my why’s by the way^)

Your “why” will be your north star throughout the challenge and will give you the most motivation to stay the course and hit your goal.

The more specific your “why”, the better.

And when you’re tempted or wanna give up, always go back to your “why”.

#4- Rid Your Home of the Foods That’ll Tempt You

Out of sight, out of mind. If they’re not within reach, you won’t be as tempted to break your commitment!

If I physically have to get up and get in my car, go to the store and buy chips, it would be easier for me to just say no and opt for a healthy snack that’s already in the kitchen.

#5- Set Up A Reward System

For example, at the end of the day if you ate everything plant-based, reward yourself with an episode on Netflix, or set a big prize at the end of the 21 Day Challenge- like a weekend getaway, a shopping trip, new shoes, anything!

#6- Surround Yourself with People That Have the Same Goal

Talk to your vegan friends or coworkers more during the challenge, ask other friends if they wanna do the challenge with you, follow not only Vegan Instagrammers, but vegan recipe pages as well- they even have vegan meme pages!

“One of the most effective things you can do to build better habits is to join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior.”

Those are my best tips for those who wanna take on the 21-Day Plant-Based Challenge. I’ve had nothing but positive results at the end of mine, and I really hope to inspire others to take on the challenge themselves.

You can do it!

To read about my results of the challenge, click [HERE].

& if you enjoyed this post, you’d love my [8 Low-Maintenance Indoor Plants That are Hard to Kill] post!

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A Meat Lover’s 21-Day Plant-Based (Vegan) Challenge

I did it!!!

I officially completed the 21-day plant-based challenge on Sunday. I knew I’d have a ton of questions, so I decided to write a blog post about it.

In this post, I’ll cover these points:

  • Why I did it
  • What does plant-based even mean? Rules of the challenge (what you can & can’t eat)
  • My results (outside transformation and more importantly, what changed INSIDE me)
  • My takeaways from this challenge

I’ll also add more resources at the bottom if you’re really serious about doing the challenge!

Just a little background about myself: I love love love meat.

I ate somewhat healthy here and there, as in: I ate salads, tried to opt for whole-grain as much as I can, didn’t really eat sweets.

But meat? I LOVED it.

I would often treat myself to all-you-can-eat buffets at Korean BBQ and go to TOWN- no sides, just straight meat.

As a matter of fact, I used to roll my eyes when anyone said they were a vegan!

I mention all of this because if I- the carnivorous, slather cheese, butter, and anything that clogs my arteries- could complete the 21-day Plant-Based Challenge then you can too!

I did the challenge because a group of my friends from church were doing a fast- you choose something to give up (i.e. soda, social media, caffeine, etc)- and we collectively decided to give up meat products & go completely plant-based.

I’ve also been wanting to take my health more seriously, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to start.

A plant-based diet consists of foods derived from plants, including vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits. No animal products- this means NO dairy.

I made these graphics for you to keep! 😉

Of course there are a ton of other plant-based meal options, but these were the ones I loved the most. I found all of these recipes on Pinterest, just type in the name of the dish and a ton of recipes should pop up!

Note: You’ll be hungry more often during the challenge, so pack a LOT of snacks and prepare to eat every 2 hours or so!

(And I swear I’m not pushing out on the left either, that’s really how my stomach was- bloated ALL the time)

Going plant-based for 21 days has:

  • Given me more energy: I didn’t feel sluggish and had more energy throughout the day
  • Improved my immunity: I have not gotten sick ONE time throughout this challenge. Before this, I was sick A LOT and I thought it was because I worked with kids (& when a kid got sick, I would get sick), but after the challenge I realized it was because of my poor diet
  • Saved me money: I did the math on the receipts I collected during the challenge, and I saved an average of $50 every time I went shopping. (If we’re gonna do the math, based on those numbers I would be saving $2,600 per year switching to plant-based)
  • Saves the environment: Giving up meat & dairy saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 20 feet of forested land, 20 pounds of CO2 equivalent, and 1 animal’s life- all of this- PER DAY yall.

& lastly, this is the most important of them all. Going plant-based for 3 weeks has dramatically changed:

Yes, you read that correctly.

At first, I didn’t think anything of it. I simply thought I was just dancing around and smiling more often these days.

But then I thought about it more, and I was like- wait… this period of my life is NOT what I (or any other human being at that) would call a jolly time.

Background info: I have Depression and General Anxiety disorder. Additionally, I am currently going through a breakup of someone I thought I was going to marry (4 years!) & whom I lived with for 2.

The challenge started 3 days before I moved into a new place and was sleeping on an air mattress & had no furniture (I decided to leave all my furniture at my old place, and my mattress got lost in the mail somehow so I was fully sleeping on an air mattress for a solid week and a half until it came in).

Anyways, back to my mood- you would think that my current situation would have me down in the dumps for a good chunk of my time, but my diet actually HELPED with my mood.

I did some research and found that:

  • eating more carbohydrates provides a boost of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that elevates mood and alleviates depression)
  • Whole grains (good source of B vitamins) helps the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, among others, all of which help to regulate mood
  • Eating breakfast regularly is associated with fewer depressive symptoms (during this challenge, I had to eat breakfast consistently instead of skipping it, because I was hungry more often eating clean)

After reading up on it, it made total sense to me. Because I literally felt happier.

& the most shocking thing about it is that all these results happened in a matter of 21 days. That’s only 63 meals (& snacks in between)!

  • I saved money
  • I lost some inches in my waist- sis is lookin snatched these days!
  • I improved my mood
  • I am not NEARLY as bloated as I used to be
  • I’m saving the environment sweetie
  • I am actively and consistently reading labels & more conscious/picky about what goes in my body

I really really encourage everyone to at least try the challenge out. I swear- it is LIFE CHANGING. As a matter of fact, the challenge ended on Sunday and I am STILL plant-based. That should say a lot about how I feel about this lifestyle change!!!

I honestly wish I would’ve taken my diet more seriously before, but it’s never too late to start!

Health is wealth you guys. Take care of your body- it’s the only place you have to live!

If you’re serious about it, I wrote an additional blog post [Tips When Going Vegan/Plant-Based: How to Stay the Course as a Newbie].

Thank you guys so much for reading!

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8 Low-Maintenance Indoor Plants That are Hard to Kill

Growing up, I honestly thought indoor plants were just for aesthetic purposes. I had no idea of the amazing benefits they have for your physical AND mental health.

Various studies have proven that indoor plants do the following PLUS more:

  • Humidify the air and decrease dust to help fight viruses that cause colds and coughs
  • Filter indoor air pollutants 
  • Boost mood, productivity, and concentration (by up to 15%!)
  • Helps lower heart rate and blood pressure
  • Reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue
  • Improves sleep


We spend about 90 percent of our time indoors, according to the Environmental Protection Agency- and that time spent inside exposes us to indoor air pollution.

That’s why it’s so important to purify the inside of our homes.

In fact, a NASA study suggests one plant every 100 sq feet of your home for optimum health benefits!

We all know developing a green thumb takes a lot of knowledge and experience, but since I don’t want you to miss out on all the plant benefits – I created a list of the best, low-maintenance indoor plants that are hard to kill.

Spider Plant

Water: Moderately or once per week during 1st year, after that you can water sporadically 

Sunlight needed: Prefers a bright location but not in direct sunlight

Humidity: Maintain average room temperature and humidity (55 and 80°F (13–27°C)), which makes them a great indoor houseplant

Fertilizer: Every 2 weeks during growing season (spring and summer)

Cleans air from: Formaldehyde, xylene, toluene

[Buy a Set of 3 Here]

Devil’s Ivy

Water: highly drought-tolerant (so it’ll be fine if you forget to water it for weeks!), water approximately once per week 

Sunlight needed: Prefers a bright location but not in direct sunlight

Humidity: Prefers normal household humidity during the summer months. Should be given additional misting every other day during the winter if your home air humidity is exceptionally dry.

Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks with houseplant fertilizer, once a month in winter

Cleans air from: Benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, toluene

[Buy a Set of 3 Here]

Dracaena marginata

Water: Every 5- 7 days is largely sufficient

Sunlight needed: bright, filtered light (example: sheer curtains)

Humidity: Basic household humidity is fine

Fertilizer: Feed once a month in the spring and summer

Cleans air from: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene

[Buy One Here]

Chinese evergreen

Water: Water every 7-9 days in the warmer months & every 2-3 weeks when winter comes around

Sunlight needed: medium to low light conditions or indirect sunlight (even office fluorescent lighting is fine!)

Humidity: Prefer regular household humidity or higher if possible

Fertilizer: Do not need much fertilizer. Feed every other month with a basic houseplant food diluted to 1/4 the recommended strength when the plant is actively growing.

Cleans air from: benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene

[Buy One Here]

Barrel Cactus

Water: Every 2-3 months throughout the year

Sunlight needed: bright room and/or direct sunlight

Humidity: Fine in a regular household environment.

Fertilizer: Once a year in spring when it leaves dormancy and begins growing again.

Cleans air from: Bacteria and even reduces radiation

[Buy A Set Here]

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Water: Once a week!

Sunlight needed: grow best with consistent, bright, filtered light

Humidity: Between 30 and 65 percent. If you live in a very dry climate, you may need to supplement your plant with extra humidity by misting it or providing a humidifier

Fertilizer: Best to fertilize during growth season. Then once a month (or every 4 weeks) take it outside to fertilize as you water it

Cleans air from: allergens and provides high levels of oxygen

[Buy One Here]

Dracaena “Janet Craig” (Dracaena Deremensis)

Water: Once a week! In the winter, light misting 2-3 times per week

Sunlight needed: No direct sunlight, just indirect

Humidity: Set the pot in a location that is 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and about 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night

Fertilizer: Needs very little plant food. Feed once or twice a year in the spring and summer with a basic houseplant food at half the recommended strength

Toxins removed: xylene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde

[Buy one Here]

Peace Lily 

Water needed: In general, water at least once a week and keep the soil moist, more often in the summer

Sunlight needed: Bright, indirect light from a nearby window

Humidity: Misting their leaves or placing their pot atop a moistened tray of gravel can help to increase humidity

Fertilizer: Not heavy feeders, so fertilize only occasionally. To encourage spring and summer growth, fertilize every 6 weeks or so with a balanced houseplant fertilizer starting in late winter

Cleans air from: Benzene, Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene, and Ammonia

[Buy One Here]

That wraps up my list of low-maintenance indoor plants- now we can all be plant mamas!

If you enjoyed this post, you’d probably love my [10 Easy Ways to Do Your Part to Save the Planet] post!

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The Difference Between a Soulmate and a Life Partner

I just finished the book “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert, and whew. This book is easily one of my favorite memoirs to date (and I read a LOT of books, so this is saying a lot).

Just a quick summary, Elizabeth is a modern-American woman, who hit all of the milestones in her 20’s- got married, had a successful career, & had a beautiful home in the country.

After a nasty split with her husband, she decided to ditch her life in America and embark on a self-discovery journey (alone) for a whole year.

She documents her experiences and lessons in 3 different countries– one country for pleasure of the senses (Italy), another for spiritual enlightenment (India), and the third to restore balance in her life (Bali).

PHEWWWW, this book yall.

If you’re reading this and you just recently became single, or have been single for a while, or even if you’re looking for meaning in life- this is the book for you.

So many gems in one book.

The one gem that stuck out to me, I felt the need to share, because it made so much sense to me.

This is an excerpt from the book (the author, Elizabeth, is at an ashram in India where she’s learning to meditate for a few months). She’s having a conversation with someone she met there, Richard. His nickname for her is “Groceries,” just for reference.

“What’s got you all wadded up?” he drawls, toothpick in mouth, as usual.

“Don’t ask” I say, but then I start talking and tell him every bit of it, concluding with, “And worst of all, I can’t stop obsessing over David. I thought I was over him, but it’s all coming up again.”

He says, “Give it another six months, you’ll feel better.”

“I’ve already given it twelve months, Richard.”

“Then give it six more. Just keep throwin’ six months at it till it goes away. Stuff like this takes time.”

I exhale hotly though my nose, bull-like.

“Groceries,” Richard says, “listen to me. Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing and you were in the best possible place in the world for it – in a beautiful place of worship, surrounded by grace. Take this time, every minute of it. Let things work themselves out here in India.”

“But I really loved him.”

“Big deal. So you fell in love with someone. Don’t you see what happened? This guy touched a place in your heart deeper than you thought you were capable of reaching. I mean you got zapped, kiddo. But that love you felt, that’s just the beginning. You just got a taste of love. That’s just limited little rinky-dink mortal love. Wait till you see how much more deeply you can love than that. Heck, Groceries – you have the capacity to someday love the whole world. It’s your destiny. Don’t laugh.”

“I’m not laughing.” I was actually crying. “And please don’t laugh at me now, but I think the reason it’s so hard for me to get over this guy is because I seriously believed David was my soul mate.”

“He probably was. Your problem is you don’t understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. Your problem is, you just can’t let this one go. It’s over, Groceries. David’s purpose was to shake you up, drive you out of your marriage that you needed to leave, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light could get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you had to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master and beat it.

That was his job, and he did great, but now it’s over. Problem is, you can’t accept that his relationship had a real short shelf life. You’re like a dog at the dump, baby – you’re just lickin’ at the empty tin can, trying to get more nutrition out of it. And if you’re not careful, that can’s gonna get stuck on your snout forever and make your life miserable. So drop it.”

“But I love him.”

“So love him.”

“But I miss him.”

“So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it. You’re just afraid to let go of the last bits of David because then you’ll be really alone, and Liz Gilbert is scared to death of what will happen if she’s really alone.

But here’s what you gotta understand, Groceries. If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with the doorway? It will rush in – God will rush in – and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using David to block that door. Let it go.”

Wow… right?

This excerpt reminded me of the saying, “We Only Fall in Love with 3 Different People in Our Lifetime“– I heard this a long time ago (like, years ago), but it didn’t really resonate with me until now.

If you’re not familiar with this saying, I’ve copied & pasted the exact words of it:

(We’ll skip the “first time you fall in love”, because it’s not relevant to soulmate vs life partner)

Falling In Love the 2nd Time: The Hard Love

“The second is supposed to be our hard love—the one that teaches us lessons about who we are and how we often want or need to be loved. This is the kind of love that hurts, whether through lies, pain or manipulation.

We think we are making different choices than our first, but in reality we are still making choices out of the need to learn lessons—but we hang on.

Our second love can become a cycle, often times one we keep repeating because we think that somehow the ending will be different than before. Yet, each time we try, it somehow ends worse than before.

Sometimes it’s unhealthy, unbalanced or narcissistic even. There may be emotional, mental or even physical abuse or manipulation—most likely there will be high levels of drama.

This is exactly what keeps us addicted to this storyline, because it’s the emotional roller coaster of extreme highs and lows and like a junkie trying to get a fix, we stick through the lows with the expectation of the high.

With this kind of love, trying to make it work becomes more important than whether it actually should.

It’s the love that we wished was right.”

Falling In Love the 3rd Time: The Love that Lasts

“And the third is the love we never see coming. The one that usually looks all wrong for us and that destroys any lingering ideals we clung to about what love is supposed to be. This is the love that comes so easy it doesn’t seem possible. It’s the kind where the connection can’t be explained and knocks us off our feet because we never planned for it.

This is the love where we come together with someone and it just fits—there aren’t any ideal expectations about how each person should be acting, nor is there pressure to become someone other than we are.

We are just simply accepted for who we are already—and it shakes to our core.

It isn’t what we envisioned our love would look like, nor does it abide by the rules that we had hoped to play it safe by. But still it shatters our preconceived notions and shows us that love doesn’t have to be how we thought in order to be true.

This is the love that keeps knocking on our door regardless of how long it takes us to answer.”

So when I read that excerpt from Eat Pray Love, it automatically reminded me of this description of your “2nd love”.

And then the “3rd love” is supposed to be your life partner.

It’s crazy because I wrote the caption to my breakup post (you can read it [HERE]), before even reading the book or remembering that famous quote.

After re-reading my caption, it fit Richard’s description of “soulmate” to a T.

But after the 2nd & 3rd love descriptions, I found myself scratching my head because some of the 3rd love’s description seemed to have fit the 2nd love as well… my last relationship was a mixture of both.

I then realized I cannot waste my time sitting in the confusion and trying to piece things together so that it made sense to me.

I stopped focusing on the past, and started living more in the present.

I started focusing more on being brave and digging deeper, in order to find more parts of myself I don’t like- acknowledge them, and then send them on their way. Because I read an important quote the other day, that said “In all things, there is a law of cycle. Until you heal and change your thinking patterns, you will always recycle your relationships.”

What’s for me is already making it’s way to me, I just have to keep up the work.

I have gained inner peace in firmly believing everything will make sense one day.

After all, some of my darkest moments in the past didn’t make sense at the time, but have played out to be bigger and better than anything I’d ever imagined.

And when what’s for me finally arrives? I’ll smile & know that the Universe believed I was ready to receive it.

To purchase the book, which I highly, highly recommend (I finished it in a week!)- you can buy it [HERE].

If you loved this post, you’d love my [How Knowing the Love Languages Changed My Relationship] post!

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2 Things That Got Rid of My Lower Back Pain

Yo… why didn’t anyone warn us that lower back pain wasn’t just for the elderly?

These days, I laugh at the fact that I thought turning 25 was prehistoric (at the time), but what’s NOT funny is the back pain that came after it.

Two things that cured my lower back pain:

#1- Stretching.

“A regular stretching routine can also help prevent future back pain by strengthening your back muscles and reducing your risk for muscle strain” [Healthline]

Watch this [VIDEO] and do these exact stretches every. single. day.

You can do it once a day, but I stretch twice a day- one in the morning and before I go to bed.

#2 – Stop Slouching

“One solution to prevent back pain is to improve posture.”
[Harvard Health Publishing]

At your desk:

Tip: Make sure your back is lined up with/rested against the back of the chair.

While on your phone:

#DidYouKnow- There’s a medical term called “Text Neck Syndrome”?

The more slouched you are, the heavier your head becomes for your neck.

Correct your posture ASAP!

& if you need more assistance correcting it, here are 2 tools that can help you:

If you enjoyed this post, you’d love my [Are Your BathBombs Safe?] post!

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