Day 4: why shakes?

Day 4

most excellent question.  before i started drinking my shakes (not just any old shake will do, mind you), i was obsessed with eating healthy, but it wore me freaking out trying to make sure we were getting everything we needed to get in a day.  i was always meal planning, shopping, chopping, prepping, soaking, blending, cooking…..and cleaning up.

my shakes (again, not just any old shake) took that burden right off my shoulders.  my shakes (they can be your shakes too. btw) have absolutely everything we need and nothing we don’t.  they are perfectly balanced and chock full of nutrients that i could never get,  even with all the work and research i was putting in to having a nutrient dense diet. whether it’s our traditional whey or our plant based shakes,  the protein is superior, sourced from the cream of the crop (obviously not the good ole u.s. of a.) and processed in a way that retains most all of the vital nutrients….undenatured.  my shakes (you’re beginning to see that we have a pretty tight thing going on, aren’t you) cost less than i would spend on a traditional breakfast or lunch and they leave me full and energized….and i never have a post meal crash after my shakes. bonus:  they’re delivered to my door, prep is about 60 seconds and clean up is about the same. score! i’ve enjoyed one or 2 of these a day for the past 3 years and i no longer stress about the rest of my meals.  i just choose healthy and i know that my shakes are filling in the gap where my other food may be lacking. how do i know this?  because i feel it in every cell of my body.  if you want numbers on anything, i can get you numbers. but remember? i’m not a numbers girl.   for me it’s all about how i feel….and i feel amazing when i drink my shakes.  so there you have it…that’s why.

breakfast:  Vanilla IsaLean Shake with fresh berries and Isagenix Greens blended with ice and water

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mid morning snack:  kombucha, 1/2 cup cottage cheese with fresh berries

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lunch:  Dairy Free Vanilla Chai IsaLean Shake blended with 1/2 banana, ice and water

afternoon snack:  small stuffed portabella mushroom

dinner:  vegetarian african stew with whole grain pilaf.

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stay tuned later this week as i do my first set of deep cleanse days.

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Day 3: don’t panic

day 3

aaaack! what do you do when you get invited to dinner while on a 30 day cleanse?  easy!  you say, “absolutely”, you set up the time and place and you go and enjoy.  it’s no big deal.  just a few tips:

1. stay on track throughout the day, remembering to drink all of your water.

2. time your afternoon snack a little later so you don’t go to dinner famished.

3. check out the menu before you go (preferably at a time when you’re not hungry) and decide ahead of time what you will order.

4. stick to your plan and don’t let yourself get sidetracked, especially by appetizers, desserts and drinks.

5.  if you’re a wino like me, ask them to bring your water (or sparkling water) in a wine glass.

there may be times when you will choose to have that small piece of dessert or that 1 glass of wine, because afterall, this is a lifestyle, but be discerning about the placement and frequency of those during the 30 days.  after the 30 days you can be more flexible, but remember, this is a time to reset so stick as close to plan as possible while showing yourself some grace where needed.  and smile….don’t forget to smile.

day 3 in the rear view.

breakfast:  2 scoops of Vanilla IsaLean shake mix, 1 scoop of IsaFruits blended with ice and water.

mid morning snack: lots of fresh veggies, a little bit of hummus and a little bit of cheese.

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lunch:  Dairy Free Vanilla Chai shake blended with 1/2 a banana, ice and water.

afternoon snack:  vanilla greek yogurt with pepita, hemp and chia seeds

dinner:  mahi mahi with risotto and carrot puree with jalepenos.  i easily avoided the wine and dessert, but confess that i nibbled on the table appetizers.  i couldn’t resist a few fried pickle chips.

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and…as usual, lots and lots of water.  see ya tomorrow.

Day 2: not a numbers girl

Day 2

sooooo. there’s a little something you need to know about me.  i’m not much of a numbers girl. i don’t count calories or macros or use my fitness pal, so if you look at my snacks and think…”ooh, there’s a lot of fat there, or what about those carbs at dinner”, just know that’s not my thing.  i shoot for healthy, as close to whole as possible and balanced.  over the years i’ve really gotten in tune with my body and i know what my cravings mean and i go with them.  i know when i need an egg or a scoop of peanut butter and i know when i need to juice some greens or add a tsp of coconut oil to my shake.  some days it may look a little heavy in one area and light in another, but overall it all balances out for me.  so, hopefully, if you are into the numbers, i won’t drive you too crazy.

and while we’re speaking of numbers, there are a few  others that i want to challenge you to change your perspective on….the number on the scale, that pesky tag in your jeans and the number of candles on your birthday cake.  all of these numbers can be used in a positive way to keep you on track or keep you motivated, but more often than not i see them being hyper focused on in a way that leads to defeat, discouragement and excuses.  just become intentional and diligent about making your health a priority and the rest will fall into place.

as we go along, you’ll see me use some of our various products and you won’t have a clue what i’m talking about.  i’ll slowly start highlighting some of them for you, but always feel free to just ask.

now for day 2 recap.

breakfast:  my famous green creamcicle shake…2 scoops of IsaLean Vanilla, 1 scoop of Isagenix  Greens and 1 scoop of Orange Amped Hydrate blended with water and ice.

morning snack:  1/2 cup lemon greek yogurt with hemp, pepita and chia seeds.

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lunch:  dairy free chunky monkey shake…1 packet Dairy Free Chocolate IsaLean shake, 1/2 ripe banana, 1 tablespoon powder peanut butter (read ingredients and find a brand that is just peanuts) blended with water and ice.

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afternoon snack:  boiled egg and leftover sauteed spinach

dinner: Thug Kitchen white bean and red lentil burger with all the fixins (and yes….even a bun) and baked sweet potato fries.

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alrighty friends, that’s a wrap for day 2.  see you tomorrow.

Day 1: there will never be a perfect time

day 1

day 1 is in the books and i’m already feeling more like myself.  before i share what my day looked like, i want to address one of the biggest concerns i hear.  people will often be completely sold on the idea and need for a 30 day cleanse, but they will delay because they have an event, a party, a wedding, a holiday, a this or that….let me tell you, you will never have a solid 30 days where you won’t have an event, function or celebration.  don’t sweat it.  during this 30 days, i will have my son’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, a holiday, and who knows what else will pop up.  so we will work around those things and make informed choices, knowing that this is so much more than a 30 day diet (go ahead and remove that word from your vocabulary in that context).  we are setting ourselves up for a lifetime of our best health, and hopefully your lifetime will include lots of opportunities to celebrate.

so….onto my day 1:

breakfast:  Dairy Free Vanilla Chai IsaLean Shake blended with 8 oz of low acid coffee, ice, a tsp of coconut oil and a dash or 2 of cinnamon.

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mid morning snack:  small organic apple and tbsp of all natural peanut butter

lunch:  just a simple, no frills vanilla shake.  2 scoops of IsaLean Vanilla, ice and water in a shaker cup.

afternoon snack:  Dr. Kracker crispbread, fresh tomato slices, a few black olives and a few cheese squares.

dinner:  stuffed portabella mushroom (breadcrumbs, herbs and cheese), sauteed spinach, roasted brussel sprouts and grain/lentil pilaf.

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as always….had my morning low acid coffee and about 100 0z. of water throughout the day.  i shoot for a gallon a day, fell a little short, but still got plenty in.

that’s about it guys…easy and satisfying. see you tomorrow for day 2 recap.

#LIVEuntilyoudie

i was privileged to be a part of a webinar a few months ago with a brilliant man (hardly an adequate description), Dr. Marco Ruggiero.  he mentioned that statistics are showing that people today are living longer.  he immediately challenged those statistics with his belief that people are actually “dying” longer.   it didn’t take more than a split second for me to completely get what he meant and it was profound….a great big “aha” moment. i think my jaw literally dropped.  all you have to do is look around and see that he’s right.  people may exist in their bodies on this earth longer today than in the recent past, but few are truly living.  he was looking at this from a strictly health standpoint….bodies wracked by disease, obesity and pain, and i couldn’t agree more…but there’s more.

 within days i began to see a much bigger picture and started to identify so many ways that i wasn’t truly living. it made me sad, it gave me a brief panic attack, but then it inspired me to change.

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that one statement has changed the course of my life and my purpose. i don’t know when it came to me, but i started using the phrase and hashtag #LIVEuntilyoudie. whenever i worry about things i can’t control or doubt myself or get scared to try something new or want to withhold forgiveness or want to settle into some bad habits, i focus on this statement and decide if my actions and attitudes are a reflection of it. if not…i choose differently.

like the great doctor, i believe with my whole heart that taking ownership of our health is a huge piece of the puzzle to fully living.  i adopted a lifestyle of nutritional cleansing nearly 3 years ago.  while it is super flexible and part of my daily life, occasionally, i need to go back to home base.  i can pretty much count on the need for a good reset right after vacation or holidays.  i just got back from an 11 day road trip and my body is craving good nutrition and dragging a little from the toxic burden i put on it. i’ll be doing an Isagenix 30 day nutritional cleanse and just for kicks and grins, i’ll be documenting it here.

why would i do this?   because if you’re anything like i was, you’re probably put off or freaked  out about the idea. because i want to make the unknown…known. i want you to be informed. i want you to see if it’s right for you…you owe it to yourself.  i want you to see how easy it is, how flexible it is and how good it is. i want you to have your own “aha” moment and decide to take ownership of your health. i want you, to the best of your ability, to LIVE until you die.

divine stumbling

ok…i know. i skipped right over part 3 of the “it’s really ok….”series. i’ll get back to it eventually, but this post isn’t completely unrelated, so stick with me.

today, i’m overwhelmed with gratitude.

i didn’t really know what my days and life would look like once i no longer identified as the stay at home, homeschooling mom i had been for 2 decades and i was feeling all discombobulated.

i don’t have a college education.

the skills i had acquired as a hair stylist were ridiculously out of touch (unless you wanted a perm, a roller set or a mullet)…plus, i had let my license lapse years ago.

there was nothing in the last 20 years that i could put on a resume that would make someone exclaim, “i must hire this inexperienced, uneducated, middle aged woman.” now, hear me out. i’m not demeaning myself, my value or that season of life, but practically speaking, there was nothing resume worthy.

i fell into something a few years ago.  i actually like to call it a divine stumbling.  you can actually read about it in the 2 previous posts.  i’d link to them, but i’m a lazy blogger and i know  you guys are smart and you can find them with a couple of clicks if you’re interested.

i didn’t see it for what it was at first.

i dabbled.

then i dabbled a little more.

then it became sort of a part time thing.

now it’s evolving into a full time thing.

but here’s what’s beautiful about this…..

none of the things i mentioned above (my inexperience, age, lack of education) mattered…not one little bit.

and here’s why i’m overwhelmed with gratitude today.  because of this divine stumbling:

i get to work from home..in my workout clothes (sometimes i even workout in them), with no makeup and a messy bun (not the cute kind, even).

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i get to do something i’m insanely and ridiculously passionate about and help other people in the process.

i get to contribute to my family in a new way.

the future, in regards to financial security and time freedom, is beginning to look vastly different.

i get to be the one to send my boys off to school and oversee homework.

i get to volunteer at school.

i get to plan and cook meals and pack lunches and do laundry and walk the dogs.

i’ve had time to pursue another interest that i’m passionate about.

i’m grateful.  i’m excited. i’m blessed.

i share this only to incite hope in the possibilities.  one of my team leaders often says that network marketing is the great equalizer.  it doesn’t discriminate.  it’s open to all regardless of age, experience, education, gender, location, and anyone can be successful.  you just need to find the right company, with the right business model, with a service or product you are passionate about.

this whole thing really gets my heart racing, so if you’d love to stumble upon something new and exciting and unexpected and full of possibilities, say the word.

it’s really ok…(part 2)

…to change your mind.

it took me TWO YEARS….2 years to unapologetically admit the i am a network marketing professional.

i had always steered clear of anything to do with network marketing and i’d venture to guess that many of you can relate.

however, as i look back and ponder why i had such strong feelings against this industry, the truth is, “I HAVE NO FREAKING CLUE!”

ok fine…maybe i do, but it’s a little embarrassing to admit. i certainly never got scammed myself. i didn’t even have any actual second hand stories that had jaded my opinion.  but, i grew up hearing the adults in my life speak in hushed tones referencing those people….those people involved in that thing. “WHAT PEOPLE? WHAT THING?”, i wondered.  even though i never found out exactly why there was this us/them mentality, i did figure out who they were talking about and what they were referring to and it seemed like they must be some sort of dangerous cult and i should probably avoid them so i wouldn’t get brainwashed and sucked in. that mentality took root in me.  it was fostered even further as i grew up and heard a general consensus that absolutely anything to do with network marketing was greasy and underhanded and to be avoided…..a scam, a pyramid scheme, a ponzi scheme….but still, i never got any solid evidence as to why.  but hey….since everyone (except for those people) believed this, it must be true, so i just went with it. the sad truth is that, in my attempt to avoid the dreaded brainwashing, i had in fact become brainwashed.

and then…(PART 1) happened.

i had resigned to the fact that i did indeed love this product line i was getting through network marketing. so much so in fact, that i would have purchased it out of the back  of a van in a seedy neighborhood if that’s what it took.

but I WAS NOT GOING TO PROMOTE IT or SIGN PEOPLE UP or SELL IT.

opportunity

i refused to become one of those people.  but i really was so impressed (ok…obsessed) with the products and what they had done for me that i did tell people about them, much in the same way that i would tell people to try a restaurant or a new local boutique that i loved or go see  an incredible new movie. (turns out, i’ve been networking my whole life…just not getting paid for it).   suddenly i had friends and family who wanted in.  ok fine…so i guess on some level i was promoting it and yes, i did in fact sign people up….but i couldn’t help myself.  it felt unethical to keep something this good to myself, but i still was NOT going to sell anything.   and to this day that remains true.  i share with conviction with no attachment to whether you buy or not.  i do however, get paid every week, and when that first started happening, i figured i’d better look into how it all worked.  i was a little stunned at how simple it was, how generous it was and by the fact that anyone, absolutely ANYONE, regardless of experience, education or any other qualifier could be successful and earn money through this. for the first time, i couldn’t fathom why network marketing had such a bad reputation.

i am privileged to be with a company who trains us so well in every aspect of the product line and the business. i quickly learned that not all network marketing companies are created equally though.  some have actually earned their bad rep.

not many of them are simple, generous and fair.

few are set up for the masses to succeed…just a few key people with the people on top always earning the most.

most have levels and generations and percentages and quotas.

many have sub par products or no products all

i was beginning to see why perhaps the industry got a bad rap.  but seriously people, why do we do this?  why do we lump things into broad categories and call them all good or all bad? we don’t stop eating at restaurants and label them all disgusting because of a few bad experiences.  we don’t swear off all movies because we saw a couple of box office flops.  i know there are greasy companies out there, making false grandiose claims….so don’t buy their products. don’t align yourself with them.  but please, don’t bash them all.  network marketing is a legitimate, thriving industry  that is changing lives on many levels and there are a lot of great companies out there with great products and fair compensation plans who practice business with integrity.

i have so much more i want to address but this is already longer than i would like so part 3 will come your way sooner than part 2 did.  i’m going to wrap up real quick here with a few quotes from some folks you may recognize.

“network marketing is the big wave of the future. it’s taking the place of franchising which now requires too much capital for the average person.” ~ jim rohn

“the worst thing you can do in this economy is get a second job.  the best thing you can do is begin a home based business.” ~dave ramsey

“if i would be given a chance to start all over again, i would choose network marketing.”     ~ bill gates

“network marketing has come of age. it’s undeniable that it has become a way to entrepreneurship and independence for millions of people.” ~stephen covey

regardless what you think of donald trump, there’s no denying his business sense.  this is what he had to say when asked by david letterman what he would do if he lost everything:  “i would find a good network marketing company and get to work.”

it’s really ok … (part 1)

…to change your mind.

have you ever held tightly, your figurative knuckles white, to a long held belief, idea or opinion?

i sure have…many times.  often to my own detriment.

it’s scary to change your mind.  there’s comfort in our beliefs.  no matter how big or small, change always brings a level of unease.  and let’s face it, we just don’t like to be uncomfortable.

change your mind

i used to be very prideful in my beliefs about nutrition and health, and i guess to some extent i still am, but there was one area i was completely closed off to…the notion that i somehow needed to supplement my already very healthy, balanced, whole food, mostly plant based diet.

 you see, i had been on a journey for about 14 years.  a journey to take ownership of my health and my family’s (at least to the extent that i had control).  i have no formal education in the area, but i’m a learner. i love scientific evidence and clinical studies. i research, i read, i listen to the experts, i weigh it all, i implement what makes sense to me and then i draw my conclusions based on what i experience.  for the most part i remained open to new information and new research, except in that one area.  i was convinced beyond a doubt that i could get all the nutrition my body needed from the grocery store, my pitful little garden or the farmer’s market

the problem was, even though i felt better with each little tweak i made to my diet, i still didn’t feel great.  my energy was low, my mood was erratic, my emotions unstable, my sleep was poor, i suffered from chronic headaches and although not overweight, i had what felt like a layer of goo that was weighing me down and keeping me just shy of my happy place. i honestly thought this was the best it was going to get and it was all just a result of being in my mid forties.

through the years, i had seen it all…protein shakes, juices, one hit wonder pills and i would scoff in arrogance.  a group of friends, who i greatly respected and admired began touting the amazing benefits of yet another product line that was changing their lives.  i loved these people, so i kept my scoffing to a minimum, but there was plenty of eye rolling going on and i wanted to tell them to save their money and just go drink a green smoothie.  so i watched, waiting for the hype to die down and for them to come to their senses.  problem was, it didn’t die down and they were experiencing major breakthroughs in the areas i was struggling most.

i was stubborn…boy was i stubborn.  i didn’t think anything that came in a canister or bottle could be anything more than glorified junk, and i wasn’t about to even give it a second of my time,  so i let them revel in all of their new found energy and baggy jeans, while i kept drinking my smoothies and eating my beans, popping ibuprofen for my headaches, waking in the wee hours of the morning and barely surviving through the afternoon on copious amounts of coffee.

i stumbled across some information that appealed to my science geek alter ego regarding excessive toxicity. as it turns out, even though our bodies were created to process a certain amount of toxins through our liver, kidneys, lungs and skin, they were not designed to deal with the level of toxicity we are faced with in the modern world, so plan b came into play….trap those nasty suckers in fat cells and hold on for dear life.

then i discovered that even though my organic spinach (among other things) was free of herbicides and pesticides, it offered me no more nourishment than the much cheaper conventionally grown spinach. it, like most other produce, was lacking in the nutrients that spinach once contained in its glory days, as a result of mineral depletion in our soil from all the horrible farming practices in recent decades.  i don’t know about you, but i just can’t eat the amount of spinach required to get the nutrition my body needs.

so…toxicity and mineral depletion in our food were sabotaging my attempts to be my healthiest self and all the hemp and kale in the world wasn’t going to change it.  but according to my friends, what they had found was the missing link.  i decided i owed it to myself to take an objective peek.

i was pleasantly surprised by what i saw.  the products were sound and nutritionally balanced and dense. they were backed by years of scientific research by the world’s greatest. there was no junk.  the ingredients were obtained from the purest sources from all over the globe where they hadn’t been corrupted. they were minimally and properly processed to retain the highest nutritional content possible.

there was a 2 part process- first, give my body a break for a couple of days through intermittent fasting, while providing it with the proper nourishment and minerals it needed to safely break down toxins so they could be flushed out. second, flood my body with complete, balanced nutrition containing so many of the minerals that my body was so desperately lacking.  the only thing that was left to do was try…and to be honest, i was only halfway hopeful and the other half of me was thinking i’d debunk all the hype.

4 days of incorporating this dense nutrition into my regular diet and i was changed.  i was sleeping ALL NIGHT LONG.  do you know what a gift that is?  i wasn’t crashing every afternoon and i wasn’t surviving on coffee.  my mood was light, my brain was less foggy and i actually began to enjoy my workouts instead of dreading them because i had so much energy.  i soon realized i wasn’t reaching for the ibuprofen every morning and afternoon. after 4 weeks, i had shed that layer of goo that refused to budge.  27 inches from head to toe were gone.  i now understand that those were fat cells filled with toxins. they had been weighing me down physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. i’m so grateful to know that i can keep them from ever taking up residence in my body for an extended period of time again.

2 1/2 years later, and i’m glad i gave myself the freedom to change my mind because i feel  younger and better than i did 10 years ago… and i’m quite ok with that.

surrender

so, like many people, i chose a word at the beginning of 2016 to focus on for the year.  i tried on a few for size and they were nice words and all, but they weren’t right. they weren’t mine. one that kept showing up a lot during the transition between the years, was “surrender”.  i don’t know exactly when i knew it was my word, but somehow it is…and it’s right. it’s mine.

white flag

i’m not talking about this type of surrender…the defeated cries of uncle or mercy…the giving in, the giving up, or worse, giving up hope type of surrender. that would make for a depressing post.

i’m talking about a “letting go” type of surrender.

letting go of my expectations of others.

letting go of grudges.

letting go of judgement.

letting go of hurt.

letting go of the responsibility to fix things that aren’t mine to fix.

letting go of limiting self talk and criticism.

letting go of allowing other’s thoughts or words to have power over me.

letting go of doubt.

letting go of worry.

letting go of fear.

letting go

i’m also talking about a “leaning in” type of surrender with less pushing back.

surrendering to the processes of life.

surrendering to limitations.

surrendering to emotions.

surrendering to fatigue.

surrendering to god.

this is the perfect word for me this year as i focus on my yoga practice and go through teacher training.  not a day goes by without me getting a solid elbow to the ribs telling me to surrender…to let go…the lean in. there’s no risk of me forgetting my word this year.

and surrender?  it’s not a once and done sort of thing. so i’m sure i’ll try to take things back and carry things i’m not meant to.  i’m sure i’ll push back, because that’s what i naturally do.  but for today, i surrender.  tomorrow, i’ll do it all over again.

are you “all in” or “all or nothing”?

for those of you who don’t know, i have the privilege of being a nutritional cleanse coach to an amazing group of people who have had some life changing breakthroughs and made some incredible strides towards long term health. i love it when a new person joins us, embraces the process whole heartedly, commits 100%, flawlessly executes the system and achieves all of their goals in a short period of time.  gotcha! who am i kidding?  that’s not how it works…ever. what i have noticed though, are a couple of trends.  i shared them with my team and i’ve decide to share them with a wider audience  because they can apply to nearly every area of life…academic pursuits, business building, diet and lifestyle changes, creating or breaking habits…..heck, even making thanksgiving dinner…you’ll see what i mean.

there seem to be 2 kinds of people: those who go “all in” and those who have an “all or nothing” mindset.

all in

to me, this is what it means to be “all in”:

1. you have a strong belief in what you’re about to do.

2. you understand the process, accept that it might be challenging, require major change and take some time, but you are willing to lean into it and keep moving forward no matter what because you believe it will be worth it for you and/or others.

3. you have patience and can embrace the journey, no matter how long it takes, while still keeping your sites on the goal. you understand that even though you may not be ready to or able to commit to the fast track plan, this doesn’t make you any less “all in”. you know you can still make consistent forward movement toward the goal.  it may start out as a shuffle, but it will evolve to baby steps, then walking, which will suddenly become jogging and ultimately you’ll be at a full sprint toward your goals.

4. you have grace with yourself and others on the journey with you, and acknowledge that there is room for failure and learning from those failures.  you accept that changing things up a bit may be necessary…for a day, for a season or perhaps, permanently, but you know quitting is not an option. EVER!

all nothing

and this is what an “all or nothing” mentality looks like:

  1. often, you don’t even take that first step because you can’t do 100% right off the bat.  you aren’t content starting off with baby steps in the right direction. you hope the time will come when you can take off at a full sprint, but it usually never does.

2. you see the potential and like what will come at the end of the journey. you don’t trust the process though. you question and dread it …especially the parts that take you out of your comfort zone. you fear it won’t go as planned.  you focus on this and it dooms you before you even begin. when things begin to challenge you, you decide that you were wrong to even try and that it isn’t for you after all so you quit.

3. you commit to doing things 100%….the fast track is the only option you are open to. you want results asap and will invest all your time, energy, resources into making it so. you jump in with both feet and grand goals. when life happens (as it tends to do) and things have to slow down or even stop momentarily, you see this as a failure, and quit.

4. you’re not open to plan b. if plan a isn’t working as expected, you’d rather admit defeat than tweak it a bit.

5.  you do not extend grace to yourself or accept balance.  you expect perfect execution and will throw in the towel if you fall short.

where in your life are you imposing an “all or nothing” mentality on yourself or someone else?  just kick it to the curb. whatever it is that you’ve been hemming and hawing about doing, DO IT!  whatever regrets you’re carrying about something you gave up on, TRY AGAIN! go “all in” with diligence, focus, determination, consistency and a crap ton of grace.