Determination And Wellness

Posted on March 26, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Giveaway | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I apologize for the absurd length of this post. If it’s any consolation, I’m the one who actually had to write it 😉 And there’s a giveaway at the end, so hold tight.

Sunridge Organic Jolly Beans

Sunridge Organic Jolly Beans

I was eager to get a run in before lunch today, though apparently running didn’t feel the same way about me 😦 I pushed through 3.33 miles at the gym before just wanting to give up; I felt like I was running on empty. That was one option. The other was to get some quick carbs in me, finish the 10 miles I had planned, and worry about refueling afterwards. I’m stubborn and determined if nothing else. I ran back to my dorm, grabbed a handful of organic jolly beans, and got back on that horse treadmill.

10 Miles In 1:29:04

10 Miles In 1:29:04

I managed to finish the 10 miles in 1:29:04. It was a pretty difficult run as they come in all respects, but I’m just glad I pushed through. I’m trying to adjust to running at different times like mid-morning for my half but clearly my body would prefer I get up and going at 7. If nothing else, I got to see this segment of the Today Show which pretty much sums me up and how I grocery shop. 100% natural on products means nothing, but unless you’re determined to pay for the organic seal then you have to read the ingredients. And organic chicken legs?! What was up with those? After a quick 5-minute shower, I was ready for a lunch meeting.

Chilled Salmon Salad With Citrus Fruit And Vinagrette

Chilled Salmon Salad With Citrus Fruit And Vinagrette

My gym friend, the res life dean, invited me to lunch to get to know each other off the treadmill. I was excited to see the ins and outs of the faculty club, which had an amazing selection including a chicken, maple, and walnut salad that had my mouth drooling. But since it is a Friday in Lent I kept it kosher(so to speak) and went with the chilled citrus salmon salad, which had grapefruit, mandarin orange slices, and a citrus vinagrette. I loved the mandarin orange here; it was so nice and flavorful! It made things seem like Spring, even though it was snowing this morning.

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

Vivani 72% Dark Chocolate

Vivani 72% Dark Chocolate

When I got back to my room, I made a quick dessert of an apple and some Vivani 72% dark chocolate. With just 3 ingredients, this chocolate is a dream and perfectly sweet. It’s even better ingredient-wise than my favorite dark chocolate(Sorry, Endangered Species, but clearly you don’t need soy lecithin to make something solid).

Chickpea And Raw Cheese Salad Over Dressed Spinach

Chickpea And Raw Cheese Salad Over Dressed Spinach

An hour later, I was pretty famished. It wasn’t even snackish-hunger, but I was ready for a meal. Since I was going to have chickpeas for dinner, why not 2 and 1/2 hours early? I made a salad of chickpeas with Next Generation Dairy Organic Garlic Parsley Cheddar Raw & Probiotic Cheese. The spinach I dressed with some Foods Alive Hemp Oil Sweet & Sassy Dressing, all of which was deliciously sweet. I could definitely be happy eating chickpeas every day if I kept that many cans in stock.



In the afternoon, I braved the cold temperatures(seriously, New England, don’t you know it’s almost April?) to get some food from the dining hall and Tedeschi. While I was out, I snacked on an apple, and then forgot to take back more for my dorm. Drats! Good thing I’ll be going home tomorrow.

Tuna Salad With Chili Lime Cashews, Broccoli With Honey And Sunflower Seeds

Tuna Salad With Chili Lime Cashews, Broccoli With Honey And Sunflower Seeds

2 apples, a crap load of greens, and 3 meals later, I just might be full. I think this day easily makes up for those when all I’ve eaten has been chocolate. I mixed a can of tuna with the remainder of some Voskos plain-non fat yogurt and topped it with chili lime Yumnuts; I think I’ve become officially obsessed with that combination since I ate it last Friday on a picnic with a friend. On some steamed broccoli I added sunflower seeds and a drizzle of honey–love that crunch!

Instead of bore you with more food-food and not desserts, I’ll launch my Wellness Giveaway. First, here’s a recap of all the mental health tips from the week.


Everyday, especially those at rough or difficult times, make sure you have an activity 20-60 minutes to spend on you. Treat yourself or just enjoy alone time. In the end, you’ll be grateful for those moments and you’ll realize that that’s not thatmuch “time lost” in the grand scheme of things; in fact, it’s time gained.

Stress Sleep

First up, I’m not saying sleep like you’re stressed. I’m telling you to put stress on sleep. That’s the best thing you can do for your mental health at a time when you might otherwise be distracted. We’ve all been there: Too much to do and the first thing you’re willing to sacrifice is sleep. But that’s not the answer. In fact, in times when we just need clarity, sleep can be the most beneficial thing for us and boost brain power and concentration in our waking hours. It also helps to “normalize” hunger cues. Despite a 6:15 wake-up call, I prioritized and managed 7 and 1/2 hours of sleep last night to be a sharp thinker for my tests. Between 7 and 8 hours is the recommended amount, but this varies slightly between person to person.


I could not imagine leaving my room with an unmade bed. Hell, I couldn’t imagine being around with an unmade bed, dirty dishes, unorganized pile of papers–you name it. My point is not to make your bed, however; I don’t even do this at home when I spend almost no time in my room. My point is to declutter the area you spend the most time focusing. It’s a fact that if you only look at mess, you’ll only feel like a mess and stress out. Keeping a work area neat and tidy is the most important thing not just for organization but also mental health.

To-Do Lists

I want to talk about how to work! While we could try to juggle everything in our mind, why? All that remembering and forgetting easily adds stress. The first step is to put it down in writing. I use Google Tasks because it goes wherever I go, and I can have different lists for everything from blog stuff, to television shows I need to watch online, to my grocery list, etc. And my favorite mental booster is to cross off–not erase–tasks gone by; seeing things with a strike through them will remind you of what you’ve done and make you feel more accomplished.

Meal Planning

This is the happy union of being a foodie and doing things for your mental health: meal planning. I know it’s something a lot of other bloggers are passionate about. The 1 week we did it for my family back in January, I remember meals being the last thing on my mind all week, which was such a comfort. Now that I have such a small refrigerator to work with and so less options, I don’t keep up the practice. But I do keep meals in mind, and usually am able to plan at the very least 3-4 hours ahead.

Don’t Sweat It

Sweat during your workout? Definitely. But one of the best things you can do for mental health is not stress what you do not control. Some people find this through acceptance; some people find it through a higher power. Whichever way is right for you, it’s important to recognize there are some things in life we don’t choose but we can prepare for.

Keep Your Eye On The Reward

Sometimes, when you’re leading a tough time, it’s best to keep your head up and eyes focused on what’s at the end of the tunnel rather than your present situation. It may sound like it was on a whim, but really I had that trip to Juniper planned all week long. At the very least, it gave me something fun and different to look forward to as a “reward” for a potentially stressful week. It doesn’t have to be food. It doesn’t even have to cost money. But doing something for yourself special or out of the ordinary is a great way to keep your mind in a healthy place.

Now for the giveaway. One lucky winner will receive the Celestial Seasonings Natural Wellness Kit. I got 6 teas to keep me healthy and sane this week, all of which will be given review pages in due time. My favorite so far is actually the honey vanilla, which I wasn’t sent but found in the store and bought myself. I like how most of their teas are caffeine free, because herbal wellness doesn’t have to come with a big dose of caffeine and a crash later on.  The kit itself includes:

  • Four wellness teas to ease  symptoms associated with the cold and flu including Sleepytime Extra, Echinacea Complete Care and Tummy Mint
  • Two green teas to support a healthy immune system year round – Authentic Green Tea and Honey Lemon Ginseng Green Tea
  • Mug, soothing lip balm, honey sticks and Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Bear and the book “Herbs for Health and Happiness” by Celestial Seasonings founder Mo Siegel and Nancy Burke

Do you need some wellness in your life? There are plenty of ways to enter, just be sure to leave a separate comment for each one to make sure it counts. Answer/do any of the following:

  • Which of these tips did you find most helpful? How did you incorporate it into your life this week?
  • Which flavor from the wellness kit or Celestial Seasonings website most appeals to you?
  • Tweet this contest, saying “FoodMakesFunFuel is having a Celestial Tea giveaway @EvanFMFF” and leave your Twitter name.
  • Blog about this contest and leave a link to the post.

That’s 4 possible entries to rack up. The contest will run through the end of March and I’ll announce the winner April 1st. Good luck!

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60 Responses to “Determination And Wellness”

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Hey Evan!

I loved all your tips, but “stress sleep” “de-clutter” and “me-time” are my favorite wellness ideas that I use 🙂

(I love that your jelly beans are called jolly beans. I may need to start calling all jelly beans that since that is just so awesome!)

As someone who struggles with mental health, I actually already use most of these tips. I’ve been finding the sleep one more and more important lately. It really is something I need to prioritize.

honey lemon ginseng sounds great to me.

I liked “Don’t sweat it” because I do stress out a lot 🙂

Honey Lemon Ginseng Green Tea sounds like a nice combination!

I think the “me time” tip helps me the most!

Your tips that were most helpful was the me time and don’t sweat it

Oo I need some tea wellness!! I can easily go through 4 or 5 cups in one sitting (and follow it up with the same or more in bathroom trips haha)
I’d love to try that honey vanilla actually! I brought back this honey tea from Argentina that I have to stock up on every time I go there. I think they have it in some tiny store outside the city here but it’s imported and expensive, but oh so good!! It tastes exactly like melting several spoons of honey into your drink. I hope the Celestial seasonings one is just as good!

I loved all your mental health tips and while the two I need to work on most are not sweating the small stuff and definitely getting more sleep(insomnia is a result of the first issue), I’m actually really good/ obsessive about making lists. I HAVE to write everything down and keep a detailed planner or else I have no idea what to do with myself. I like to keep a daily to-do list that I”ll make the night before if things pop into my head or first thing in the morning so I can structure my day, even if it’s only around mundane things like vacuum, grocery shop, read, etc.

Definitely sleep is the most important! I am lacking it big time and need to get back on track. I am my sharpest when I sleep

Honey lemon seems like the perfect tea! I had the sleepytime tea before

Hi Evan! If you think this was a long post, you should write mine 🙂 WAr and peace has got nothing on my prose LOL

This:Sorry, Endangered Species, but clearly you don’t need soy lecithin to make something solid).

The tips youve been posting all week, totally loved all this. I love tips, but i also love your dry humor. God, classic. Anyway sorry it’s taken me all damn day to get here. Life has been in the way of commenting.

Linking back, yeah. I dont know why ppl dont do it. It seems so simple, glad to know you feel the same.

Id say decluter, i am naturally this way and cannot function any other way.

the chapstick actually appeals to me, that stuff smells sooo good mmmmmm!!!!

tweet tweet baby

I tweeted! My twitter name is lauren980

Also, I really like all your tips…but the one that I really implemented this week was “declutter”. I’m usually such a perfectionist and I keep things clean but my mind has been so cluttered lately that my apartment has been cluttered as well. Clearing the clutter=a clearer mind.

I totally agree about the “100% natural.”…they could put dirt in their products and call it “natural.” I’m an ingredient checker! The more organic ingredients the better.
Anyways, I really need to try that Foods Alive dressing as much as you rave about it! (And of course the Justin’s Chocolate nut butters! The milk powder in the Maranatha isn’t my favorite, but it was all they had at the store.)

As for the most helpful tips: don’t sweat it, and most importantly “me time.” Anytime I don’t get my “me time” I get cranky and that’s just no fun for anyone!

Madagascar Vanilla Red Tea please! Or I could use some restocking of the Candy Cane Lane or Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride…Christmas teas are the best. Only 9 more months until they come out again…

decluttering is so important for me or else i feel like i’ll go crazy!!!

the minty tea sounds great!

tweeted! @carrothead

HEy Evan great giveaway! Definitely the ‘do not stress about what you do not control”! IT reminds me of my all-time favorite ‘self help’ type book by Stephen Covey -Seven Habits of highly effective people! I lose site of this all too often!

I would like to try the tummy tea or sleepytime!


i would love to try Blueberry Breeze Green Tea 🙂

I love all the tips! I especially like the “don’t sweat it” one. I am a frequent worrier about things I can’t control! For example, I just spilled my tea everywhere, and did I let it stress me out? … OK, maybe just a little 🙂

The Wild Berry Zinger sounds good – I love fruity teas.

Sleepytime Extra or Tummy Mint… Sleepytime is a childhood fave and Tummy Mint just sounds soothing!

I found the tip about meal planning helpful. I always remember to plan my meals when I am too hungry already. I try and plan my meals the day before but fight laziness sometimes!

I just added a link on my blog about this giveaway!

I have developed a love of green tea and always love to try new brands. I will always love Sleepy Time tea 🙂

I just tweeted this giveaway! Its a great giveaway too btw 🙂

I tweeted about this! @missraw

I’d love to try the Honey Lemon. It sounds sooo good…but I’m down for ANYTHING that will help me sleep better, too! I get really sleepless on nights before my long training runs, so maybe a little something like tea could help 🙂

I love the tip about to-do lists. I kind of already TRY to do this, but seeing a list of reasons why cements my decision to practice using them more.
For school, for workouts, for errands…it helps clear my mind, and I do FAR better at the task at hand, because I’m not focused on the background noise in my head about all the other tasks I need to remember – I don’t need to remember them, they’re written down!

Great giveaway! I attempted to incorporate a lot of your suggestions. The ones I most enjoyed were creating me time (mostly at the gym and some reading) and finding a reward (a big shopping trip to Target). 🙂

All super tips, but I think that stressing sleep is sooooo important and resonated with me. I think sleep is one of the main components in building a healthy foundations. Get them zzzz’s!!

I actually believe to-do lists are extremely helpful. they help me organize my life and when I get home, I always write down all the things i have to do before the next day and most of the time the list gets accomplished!

The decaf mandarin orange green tea sounds amazing 🙂

I think the to-do list is super helpful for me. It destresses me just to have everything written down!

Great run too!

I love sleepytime tea. I’m a grandma 🙂

I use a lot of your tips, but this week I especially needed to “de-clutter.” Research papers means there are library books everywhere!

The tummy mint sounds good.

I’m a sleepy time tea girl. ha – or maybe an old lady! I love it, none the less.

i think the best tip is keeping your eyes on the prize (or reward). it’s so helpful to have a purpose with what you do

[…] check out this giveaway from Evan Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Weekly Recap: October 26 – November 1 2009Week = […]

minty tea all the way!

My fave from the website: Echinachea complete care!

My fave tip: keeping your eye on the prize!

[…] in blogland: Artisana Coconut Butter, Celestial Seasonings Wellness Kit (here and here), iHerb shopping spree, JKgourmet GF cereal, a refrigerator makeover, and a french press and Tazo […]

i decluttered my room
and tried to keep a to do list.. so far so good!

sleepytime extra and honey vanilla sound delicious!

I think Decluttering is the best tip here, and I definitely am going to make an effort to do that!

I LOVE Celestial Seasonings, their Blueberry Breeze Green Tea sounds fantastic!

I like the ‘Keep your eye on the REward’. I just finished a huge finance test and as many times as I didn’t want to study every day the past week, knowing that I would ROCK the test if I did helped a bunch!!

I’m sure the Wellness Teas will help me! The cute little girl I babysit for is always sick!

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