wellness wednesday

Fallin’ into Health and Fitness

While the first day of fall was last month, fall is finally beginning to creep into Atlanta. I do, however, mean creep. The mornings are cool, but by lunchtime it’s back 80°. Leaves are starting to change and fall. Pumpkins are popping up everywhere and football rules the weekends.

The shorter days and longer nights are on the way. Typically fall is the time of year I exercise less. I tend to hibernate all fall and winter, perfectly comfortable spending my time on the couch. Whether watching football or TGIT. However, when I think about it fall is really the perfect excuse to slow down and take extra time to really look after yourself. Below are four tips to fit in health and fitness this fall. 

Fallin’ into Health and Fitness - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Fallin’ into Health and Fitness

Savor seasonal produce.  

Nourish your body this season with seasonal foods. Shopping for seasonal produce will also save you some precious coins. Apples, cabbage, cranberries,  eggplant, kale, pears, persimmons (hey, Charleston folks), pomegranates, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squash. Basically think fall colors when you’re cruising by the produce: deep greens, dark yellow and oranges.  Fall is the perfect time to crank out some hearty and healthy soups and stews. Remember the crock-pot is your friend.

Work out at home.

I get it the days feel shorter and maybe fitting a workout into your routine feels a little harder. I try to tell myself that even 15 or 20 minutes is enough time to get in a quick workout. I use walking my dog around my complex as my warm up and am not above a living room workout. I bought a set of resistance bands I could set up on my door for full body workouts turning my living room into my own personal home gym. However, figure out what works best for you:  fitness DVDs, Youtube videos, Nike Training Club, or the Tone It Up program.

Protect ya neck!

Well literally, but also just layer up. I started sniffling last night and realized I probably should have thrown on another layer to walk my pup. The change in season brings about a change in climate. I know some people are already feeling the change in weather and in some places it’s basically 90° everyday. No matter where you live, be prepared when the temperatures do start to dip and keep this in mind as you plan outdoor activities.

Indulge

As much as I support eating healthy and finding times to fit in fitness. I think you should also make time for yourself and indulge. Whatever that looks like to you. Spend time relaxing at home, wrap up in your favorite blanket, wear your favorite hoodie and enjoy some early nights in. Binge watch Stranger Things and drink a spiked cider. Go and get the PSL with the whole milk and extra syrup. Now I’m not saying drink three a day, but bat an eye at the mention of calories and savor that latte.  

Do you plan on fitting in more health and fitness into your fall? Leave a comment below and tell me how. 

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay: A Pep-Talk

I used to tell myself that I shouldn’t cry because there were people going through so much more than I was. I thought crying (outside of the sappy-movie-watching type of cry) meant I was mentally weak.

All of this is false.

I’m not a person that battles with anxiety or depression, but sometimes I just bad have a bad day or bad days. Plural. Life is hard. Adulting is hard.  One of the things I dislike the most is when people try to tell me how I should be feeling. What problems could you really have? Suck it up. It can’t really be that bad.

It's Okay Not To Be Okay: A Pep-Talk - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Well you know what? Sometimes it can be that bad. Stress and sadness can affect anyone.  So here’s a pep-talk for anyone else struggling with anything.

It’s Okay Not to Be Okay: A Pep-Talk

You’re allowed to have bad days.

There will be days when you just feel stuck. 

Sometimes you need to have a good cry.

Break all the way down if you have to. Because life can get really hard. Don’t let anyone tell you what you’re feeling doesn’t matter or that you shouldn’t be feeling it. It’s okay not to be okay. It’s probably worse to pretend that everything is okay.

Call a friend. Turn your phone on silent. Watch a ton of Netflix movies and continue to tell it you’re still watching. Order that pizza with double the meats and get the bread sticks too. Talk to your dog. Crawl under the covers and wallow for a bit. Drink some tequila and dance it out like Meredith Grey.

You’re human and it’s okay not to be okay. Here’s the thing: have your bad day (or two) but don’t dwell in it.  Start putting yourself together. Figure out the root of the problem. Make a plan. Talk to someone. Refocus. This is not the end and you are still here. Heal.

Bonus: Let Kid President give you some words of encouragement.

How do you deal with your bad days? Leave a comment below. 

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

It’s the Pits: Natural Deodorant Review

It's the Pits: Natural Deodorant Review - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.comMost antiperspirants or deodorants contain the chemical compound aluminium. This chemical is known to clog your sweat ducts. It has also been speculated that aluminum can imitate estrogen, as well as contribute to the increase of cancer cells. However, to be clear:

 “Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a part of the National Institutes of Health, are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates food, cosmetics, medicines, and medical devices, also does not have any evidence or research data that ingredients in underarm antiperspirants or deodorants cause cancer.”

Why we made the switch

Ace: This isn’t my first time taking the natural deodorant route. In 2011, I started using natural remedies to help with sweating, but it didn’t last long. (Summers in the south get very, very hot.) The reason I’m making the switch the second time around is because of the aluminum hype. My mother died of cancer, so I’m trying to cut out anything that could contribute to me getting the disease. My body developed quicker than most people I know, so I’ve been wearing deodorant for as long as I can remember. It was time to let it go…again.

Donni: I mentioned in my winter natural beauty remedies that I’ve been turning to natural alternatives instead of commercial products that are filled with unnecessary ingredients. Slowly, but surely I’ve been taking inventory of the products I purchase and looking for a healthier or more natural alternative. Deodorant was next on my list. And although, there aren’t any definitive studies linking aluminium to breast cancer, I’d prefer just opting out of using it all together. There are so many natural alternatives like tea tree oil that help kill the bacteria which cause that sweaty odor, rather than trying to stop the sweating altogether like aluminum does.

Natural Deodorant Review

Brands We Tried

It's the Pits: Natural Deodorant Review - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Ace: My natural deodorant came from Mrs. K’s Skincare. I went with Mrs. K because I recently ordered her activated charcoal toothpaste.

It was still “cold” out when I started using it, just to prepare my armpits for the summer weather. Everything started out great, with the exception of being nervous that I stunk. One day my pits started to feel raw. Then I noticed they were SUPER dark. Being the genius I am, I thought it was just my pits detoxing. Didn’t even think about it being an allergic reaction until Donni told me the same thing happened to her. I contacted Mrs. K and she said it could be the baking soda. (One without baking soda should arrive any day now.) The “natural remedy” I tried six years ago was baking soda. My armpits burned then, but I thought it was my razor or shaving cream.

Donni:  I researched a lot of different brands and eventually went with Schmidt’s in Ylang-Ylang and Calendula.

I “detoxed” my pits for about a week and a half – only using apple cider vinegar twice a day and following up with coconut oil. The first week of using the deodorant, I still used the apple cider vinegar and all was well. I was super worried about being the stinky girl at work, but the Schmidt’s was awesome.  I didn’t have any issues with odor and it honestly felt like I was wearing my normal Secret. Then I stopped using the apple cider vinegar and I had an allergic reaction to the baking soda in the Schmidt’s. I mean it was an awful rash. My armpits were on fire and they turned black. I was slathering aloe on them every few hours for relief. Cue me writing a very angry letter to Schmidt’s about how their product caused me to have firepits instead of armpits. They are currently sending me a replacement product without baking soda. However, I’m moving on to another brand: Primal Pit Paste.

We’ll be back with some thoughts once we’ve tried products without baking soda.

Have you ever had a bad reaction to a natural product? Leave your story below!

Ace Siggy--The Palmetto PeachesandDonni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Let the Bubbles Melt Your Troubles: Hot Tubs and Hot Water Therapy

There are few things in life as luxurious as dipping your toes in clear hot water, allowing bubbles to lap over your legs and completely relax your muscles all while taking a deep breath in and then slowly releasing it.The stress of the day just melts away to nothing. It is the stuff that dreams are made of, but you can enjoy this type of deep relaxation and lavishness every day if you own a hot tub. We’re all about self-care and love offering new self-care ideas to our readers. Hot tubs have distinct relaxation benefits, but you might be surprised to learn about some of the other advantages of hot water therapy.Let the Bubbles Melt Your Troubles: Hot Tubs and Hot Water Therapy - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Here are nine benefits to soaking in a hot tub:

Hot Tubs and Hot Water Therapy

Let the Bubbles Melt Your Troubles: Hot Tubs and Hot Water Therapy - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Source: recwarehouse.com

1)Stress Relief

Sitting still and allowing the jets and water to massage your body gently will help reduces stress and anxiety. The heat paired with the pulsating water positively affect the body and cause a release of endorphins. Endorphins are the hormones which cause a positive reaction in the body – they are known for creating a feeling of euphoria. The endorphins and the added relaxation coupled together are an ideal form of stress relief.

2) Improved Movement

For those who struggle with arthritis and chronic pain, a hot tub is a relaxing way to start feeling relief. Hot water therapy coupled with cool water therapy is proven to help reduce arthritis and chronic pain and improve joint flexibility. According to WebMD, “heat dilates the blood vessels, stimulates blood circulation, and reduces muscle spasms. In addition, heat alters the sensation of pain.”

3) Catch those Zzzzs

When your mind is racing, and your muscles are sore, it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep. A hot tub is a great option because soaking in a hot tub is proven to relax the body and the heat from a hot tub can induce sleepiness. When you end your day with a dip in a hot tub, you are likely to improve your quality of sleep, which makes for better nights and then even better mornings. Just be sure you do not catch any shut eye while you are still soaking in the hot tub.

Let the Bubbles Melt Your Troubles: Hot Tubs and Hot Water Therapy - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

4) Lower Blood Sugar

The hot water from a hot tub can help lower blood sugar, which can be particularly useful for those battling diabetes. The water causes blood vessels to dilate, and it increases blood flow and helps with circulation. While there are many proven benefits to hot water therapy for those with high blood sugar, but be sure to consult with your doctor before using a hot tub in your diabetes management.

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Detox January

I read somewhere (probably Cosmo) that January is the month of the detox. So let’s get to detoxing, people. Now I’m not talking about one of those juice only cleanses or alcohol-free months. Scandal is back later this month and I need my wine. I’m thinking more of a detox of unhealthy habits.Detox January - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

detox

noun, often attributive ; de·tox \ˈdē-ˌtäks, di-ˈtäks\
1. a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances; detoxification.
Although, my title says Detox January, I’m actually proposing a yearlong detox from the following things:

self-doubt

Unfortunately, I find that I easily get distracted by the things that go wrong and it feeds into my self-doubt. So I’m countering that by writing daily affirmations in my journal. Positive affirmations help us believe in our potential and strengthen our minds.  Buh-bye, self-doubt!!

Detox January - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

excuses and fear

“Perfection isn’t real, but progress is.”  I sometimes make excuses because I’m afraid. A lot of that comes from fear of failing. However, that fear has probably kept me from some really great experiences. I had the opportunity to graduate early and go intern in New Zealand my senior year in college. My excuse for saying no was that I was going to miss out on my full college experience. In reality, I was just afraid to go to a new country on my own and I one hundred percent regret not going. I find myself erring on the side of caution still when presented with crazy, cool opportunities because what if I suck/fail/, but I never want to miss out on a potentially life-changing experience because of fear. So fear and excuses, you’ve got to go.

Comparing my life on social media

I think we’ve all used social media to judge how our life is going by comparing it to other people’s social media feeds. Why doesn’t my hair grow as fast as hers? What is she using for her twist outs? Oh, my-lanta, her planner decor is on another level! Did she just get another promotion? She’s got a boo? She got a ring? All I have is my puppy and pizza.  I’m not going to stop scrolling because that’s an impossible goal, but I can definitely stop comparing my life to what’s being presented on social media. I have to remember that a lot of what I see has been carefully curated to present a certain image or to promote their brand. I think that’s why I’ve started to gravitate to bloggers who keep it real, show their messy kitchens and hair, and makeup free faces once in awhile. Sayonara, comparisons. 

Detox January - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

What do you need to abstain from in your life? Leave a comment with your detox plans.

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

7 Ways to Recharge Your Creativity

7 Ways to Recharge Your Creativity - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.comTruth: Sometimes Ace and I will text each other something on the lines of:

Can I post tomorrow? I’m just not feeling it.

Creativity isn’t reserved for artists. Creative thinking skills and coming up with original ideas are useful in a wide variety of fields. So we’ve all had those moments when we’re just uninspired and unable to create or produce anything.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, the just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while” – Steve Jobs

 

A constant push for creativity can leave you burnt out and unhappy. For me, this blog is my creative outlet. I don’t really have that many opportunities to showcase my creativity at my 9 to 5. However, sometimes the blog can feel more like work than my actual job when I’m experiencing a creative block or I feel like I’m forcing myself to be creative. So today I’m sharing seven ways to recharge your creativity.

7 Ways to Recharge Your Creativity

      1. Move your body!

        For most creative pursuits,with the exception of performing arts, you pretty much have to  remain stationary as you work on your project and many jobs require that sit at your desk all day. Give yourself a reason to stretch out your muscles and move. Expending energy can jump start your body and brain. 

      2. Try a new creative outlet or hobby. 

        If you’re a writer – you cannot write all the time. Hello, burnout. Find something else you love to do and you’ll end up valuing the time you spend on your art even more. Check out Ace’s post on hobbies.  Look into taking a class to further your skills or to learn something new entirely – this could be your new source of inspiration.

      3. Break your routine. 

        Do some of your work outdoors on a coffee shop patio, or take your laptop to a new part of the office. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery to give yourself the opportunity to refocus or to be inspired again.

      4. Don’t let a deadline limit your creativity.

        Trust me. I understand deadlines. My job consists of nothing but timelines and immovable deadlines. However, sometimes we can let our time limit pressure us into just creating a product without allocating time for thinking and brainstorming. Quick results may impress, but I’d bet innovation would be considered even more impressive.

        “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try” – Dr. Seuss

      5. Find a buddy.

        Another great way to recharge your creativity is get a new perspective. Seek out a coworker or friend to run your idea by. However, don’t limit the people you speak with to only those who are artistic or creative by nature. Sometimes it’s the people who think the most unlike you, that will spark your creativity.

      6. Revisit past ideas.

        Circle back on things you’ve created in the past to help spark new ideas.Y’all should know by now that I’m a list girl and I keep a notebook and pen with me at all times. For example, when I’m looking for inspiration for new blog posts, I flip through my notebook for ideas. If you’re not a notebook and pen kind of person – start a running list on your phone and jot down your observations.

      7. Get some zzzzs. 

        Sleep. Well that sounds reasonable right? Check out the research. A 2009 study from the University of California – San Diego found that participants who spent more time in REM sleep performed better on tests that demanded creative problem-solving. A 2012 study from Georgetown University, suggests that taking a power nap can boost your creativity. In my research, I also found a number of articles that outlined how dreaming and daydreaming enhances creativity.

So peeps, I hope these tips are helpful and I’ll leave you with a quote:

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on” – Albert Einstein

How do you recharge your creativity? Leave your tips and tricks in the comments below!

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches