Last week I talked about how to stress less during the holidays. One of the go-to strategies I talked about on there was journaling. I’ve found gratitude journaling, in particular, to be incredibly helpful for improving my mindset and helping me move through the day more calmly. I love taking time every month to jot down some of the things I’m loving. Even on a challenging day, being in touch with something you’re grateful for—big or small—can go a long way in helping you have a better experience.

Here are some of my December favorites!

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Food and Drink

*Mushroom bacon has been my go-to garnish lately for veggie-and-egg bowls, omelets, and roasted vegetables. I’ve been making a few batches every week and can’t get enough. I included it in this recipe for Vegan Cheddar-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.

*Eggs with greens & potatoes has been one of my go-to breakfasts lately. I especially love using sautéed Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch as a base and pairing it with roasted Japanese sweet potatoes and any other leftover vegetables I might have handy.

*Tomato Pumpkin sauce with chicken & cauliflower rice. I haven’t posted a formal recipe yet but a staple for me the last month or so has been a pumpkin marinara sauce (essentially marinara with pumpkin pure folded in) tossed with cauliflower rice and chicken and maybe some other veggies. I’ve also tried it with spaghetti squash and it was delicious.

* Good Earth Sweet & Spicy Herbal & Black Teair?t=jcrd 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B000F70R9C - December 2018 Favorites has been a recent favorite. There is something so satisfying about the blend of cinnamon and sweet orange I just can’t get enough of. 

Books

* Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiographyir?t=jcrd 20&l=am2&o=1&a=1984822586 - December 2018 Favorites by Eric Idle. I can’t remember the last time a book made me laugh out loud. His was such a joy to read—a must if you’re a Monty Python fan or just need an escape this winter.

* What If This Were Enough?: Essaysir?t=jcrd 20&l=am2&o=1&a=0385542887 - December 2018 Favorites by Heather Havrilesky. This book was recommended to me by a friend, and it was exactly what I needed—essays that are at once smart, funny, but so full of emotion and honesty.  

* The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide to Ancient Self-Careir?t=jcrd 20&l=am2&o=1&a=0143132717 - December 2018 Favorites by Lindsay Kellner and Emma Lowe. These mindbodygreen editors teamed up to create this beauty of a self-help guide that encompasses a wide range of ancient practices to benefit your mind, body, and spirit. You need this in your life.

Podcasts

I was so  honored to be a guest again on the You’re Not Getting Any Younger podcast with Jen Glantz. You can listen to my episode (40) here and stick around to check out past episodes. 

Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend recently came out and it’s been so much fun to listen to this month when I’ve needed a break from work stuff. When I want to recharge my batteries I can’t really listen to health & wellness or business podcasts because they stimulate the “must get back to work” side of my brain, and this is a lot like watching his talk show only better because he’s able to go more in-depth with his guests.


The Tim Ferriss Show. I’m so late to the party on this, and here’s why: I so wanted to hate this because every guy I’ve dated, like, ever, has been obsessed with Tim Ferriss, and I just felt like it was giving in or something. Kind of like that time I tried celery juice and loved it. I have to admit, though, I almost can’t stop listening. Sure, I don’t agree with everything he or his guests say but I enjoy the conversations and how much they dig in to each topic.

The Mindbodygreen podcast is a favorite I’ve been revisiting lately. I love hearing the stories behind some of my favorite food and lifestyle  brands and I get so much from the conversations between mbg founder & CEO Jason Wachob and wellness experts as they explore trends and talk about their real life experiences.

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Fitness

* I’ve been containing to do Pilates a few times a week, which I love, and I’ve also been taking one or two barre classes a week—not cheap but honestly so worth it. It’s a fun change of pace and I feel like it’s helped me get stronger in my Pilates practice also.  This month has been an interesting learning experience for me, as my yoga studio, which was kind of like my second home, closed right after Thanksgiving. I signed up for an online membership so have been doing a yoga at home as a way to unwind. Rather than do a lot of vigorous flows sequences, I’ve been finding that the slower-paced, more meditative practices are the “work-in” I’ve been craving to counter all the chaos.  

Sleep Hacks

* Bearaby Wighted Bedding is one of the things I’m most excited about that came out this year, and I was so excited to interview the founder for this Forbes article. Their weighed blankets are designed to harness research findings that lying under something weighted promotes more restful, easeful sleep. I keep saying it’s like a Thundershirt for humans.

* Charlotte’s Web CBD Oil has been a game-changer for me. I haven’t shared much about it on social media, but since my dad got sick in June of 2017, I’ve gone through some intense periods of insomnia. I was relying on Benadryl when my usual stuff like aromatherapy, meditation, and giving myself time to wind down before bed didn’t work. What finally started helping was when I started using different CBD products. I started with gummies but didn’t love the idea of adding sugar and food dye to my day. Finding an oil that wasn’t mixed with coconut-derived mct oil proved oddly difficult (coconut oil makes my throat itchy), so I was overjoyed to learn about Charlotte’s Web, which is a combination of hemp oil and olive oil. When I’ve had trouble sleeping or winding down, a dropperful works like a charm.

 

 

What are you loving this month? 

 

 

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