Grati-Tuesday, February 28th

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Last Tuesday I was struggling a lot, so I had a hard time coming up with things I was grateful for.  That’s sad because even on my roughest days, I have so much to be thankful for.

I met with my counselor yesterday (details will be in another post), and one of the things that she said will help me produce more dopamine is to constantly think about what I’m grateful for.

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My amazing husband and amazing marriage.  I am beyond blessed to have him in my life.  He takes care of me, allows me what I need to take care of myself, supports me in anything that I need, loves the kids, is a spiritual leader.  I could go on and on.  He is everything I need in a husband.

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All three of my kids made the A/B honor roll, and they are all 2 grades above on their reading levels (1st grader-3rd grade level, 2nd grader-4th grade level… and he came in at first grade level! And 5th grader-7/8 grade level).

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I enjoyed a day with the kids this past Saturday.  Lunch with Granny at Chili’s, Lego Batman movie, and groceries (which was pretty stressful, but over all the day was great!).

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I’m excited about the summer activities that we will have.  Reading logs, Summer Bridge Activity books, and labs from our curriculum that we were doing (they are very excited about that).

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Karis and I are starting a study together, and the family started a devotional.  It’s going well so far!

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These are the books (plus Intuitive Eating that I already had) that I bought to read while working with the dietitian.  I’m excited about them.

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I love my time with my kids (most) every evening.

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Today I felt the desire and energy to plan my day again.  It’s been a while. I had such a bad week last week that it threw me for a loop.

I’m also grateful for:

  • My amazing counselor!  She has been a counselor for 30 years and definitely knows what she’s doing.  She is fantastic.
  • The little things in life… the birds singing, warm days, the sun rise over the hills
  • Working with an amazing dietitian.  I really think she’s going to help me change the way I look at food and my body!  This will revolutionize my life!
  • So much more!

What are you grateful for today?

No Spend Month: March

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I have successfully stocked up our pantry, refrigerators, freezers, personal care products, cleaners, paper products, and more.  I spent a lot of our income tax refund to do this.  Robert laughs at me and says we’re not getting another refrigerator/freezer so I have to use up what we have.  We also have no room left for pantry items and snacks.  I will have to buy some dairy and produce.  So it’s not 100% no spend.  But mostly.

We also don’t need any clothes.  Everyone has what they need for now.  Plenty of t-shirts, shorts, shoes, under clothes, etc.  We’re all set!

We plan on not eating out at all (if we have to, it’ll be okay… we’re just doing our best to eat at home/dining hall all meals!).

Gas will be our main expense because of driving to Kerrville (an hour and 15 minutes away) twice a week and Rocksprings (35 minutes away) 3 times a week!  I plan to drive our Xterra which uses a little less gas, but it’s still a lot to fill up every time we go to town!

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Pictured and shoved in the back:

  • Flour tortillas
  • Corn tortillas
  • Cut veggies
  • Almond milk
  • Chocolate chips (Lily’s and Tollhouse)
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Maple syrup
  • Mexican vanilla
  • Boiled eggs
  • Protein steel cut oats
  • Leftovers
  • Chobani yogurt (for kids)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Minced garlic
  • Cauli-bits
  • Laughing cow cheese
  • Chocolate candy
  • Coke Zero
  • HEB Sparkling water (with some added apple juice)
  • HEB Greek yogurt
  • La Croix
  • Pickles
  • Spring mix
  • 2 links of sausage
  • Apple sauce packs

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  • Shredded cheddar
  • Shredded mozzarella
  • String cheese
  • Pepperoni
  • Deli meat
  • Sliced provolone

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  • Grapes
  • Carrots
  • Coleslaw
  • Onion (half)
  • Bell peppers
  • Avocados

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  • Apples
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Bagged veggies
  • Hummus
  • Fruit cups

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  • Strawberry cream cheese
  • Plain cream cheese
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Egg whites
  • Half and half (not pictured because it’s on my counter)
  • Condiments

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  • Frozen leftover fried chicken
  • Frozen homemade chicken stock
  • Frozen veggies

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  • Frozen bananas
  • Frozen blueberries
  • Frozen mixed berries

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  • Whole wheat bread
  • Frozen veggies
  • Ice cream 🙂

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  • Bacon (2)
  • Ground Beef
  • Whole chicken
  • Cut veggies for the week
  • Street taco tortillas
  • Sprouted bread
  • Half and half
  • Milk
  • Sour cream
  • Deli meat (2)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Block cheese
  • HEB Greek yogurt

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  • Eggs (5 1/2 dozen)

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  • Deli meat
  • Shredded cheddar
  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Sliced provolone

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  • Jalapeños
  • Cabbage
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Avocados

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  • Cream cheese
  • Laughing cow cheese
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Breakfast sausage
  • Lily’s chocolate
  • Sour cream
  • Cottage cheese
  • Hot dogs
  • Hummus snack packs
  • Julio’s salsa

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  • Chicken nuggets (2 packages)
  • Chicken thighs (2 packages)
  • Pork chops (2 packages)
  • Carnitas (4 packages)

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  • Ground beef (7 pounds)
  • Chicken thighs (1 package)
  • Fish (1 package)
  • Frozen chicken breasts (1 bag)

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  • Assorted fruit

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Shown and shoved to the back:

  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Hard white wheat flour
  • Unbleached flour
  • Kodiak cakes mix
  • Zulka sugar
  • Rolled oats
  • Steel cut oats
  • Quick oats
  • Corn meal
  • Grits
  • Coconut milk
  • Coconut butter
  • Annie’s Mac N Cheese
  • Barilla pasta
  • Barilla pesto
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Cocoa powder
  • Brown sugar
  • Shredded coconut
  • Pecans
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Brown rice
  • Pinto beans
  • Syrup
  • Corn starch
  • Almond flour
  • Mayo
  • Oolong tea
  • Skippy natural peanut butter

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  • Canola oil
  • Coffee (decaf and hazelnut)
  • Vinegar
  • Taco seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • Chili powder
  • Sea salt
  • Cholula
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Molasses
  • Peanut butter and honey packets
  • Z-bars
  • Clif bars
  • Lots of Ramen (for backpacking)

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  • All of the herbs and spices one would need 🙂

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  • Salsa
  • Canned Corn
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Canned garbanzo beans
  • Canned pinto beans
  • Canned black beans
  • Salsa
  • Tomato paste
  • Tomato sauce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Rotel
  • Jif to go peanut butter
  • Black olives
  • Raw honey
  • Mustard
  • Coconut oil spray
  • Tuna
  • Assorted jellies
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Protein powder
  • Powdered peanut butter
  • Relish

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  • Lots of herbal teas
  • Water drinks (Tru Lime and HEB brand)
  • Coffee (regular and decaf)
  • Decaf tea

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  • Veggie straws
  • Pretzels
  • Tostitos
  • Assorted cereals
  • Pop tarts
  • Oatmeal
  • Jerky (for backpacking)
  • White cheddar Cheez-its
  • Foil
  • Freezer bags
  • Snack bags
  • Parchment
  • Vitamins and fish oil

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  • Chips

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  • LOTS of snacks

As you can see, we have a TON of food.  I know I need to organize it all… I’ll get there.

Some things that I know I will need in a few weeks:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Salad
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Bell peppers
  • Shredded mozzarella (possibly)
  • Shredded cheddar (possibly)
  • Food for HAF homes (dinner with our gap year students)
  • Milk
  • Half and half
  • La Croix (weaning off of Coke Zero)
  • Possibly a few other things… but groceries for the month of March will be about $100

Have you considered having a no spend month?  A few years ago I did the same thing.  I wasn’t completely successful, so I’m hoping this month will go better!  All I can do is try!

Happy Monday!

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I’m going to try really hard to make this a beautiful day!  Today is my town day which brings anxiety (I’m not a huge fan of doing a lot in one day).  I will be meeting with my sponsor (at IHOP), going to women’s AA, and going to counseling and doing EMDR.  I’m so nervous about EMDR after last week.  It affected me for days afterwards.

The plan today is to come home and go to sleep.  Robert is off so he will be picking up the kids.  He will also be making dinner.  Everything is prepped for him.  Tonight’s dinner is meat sauce, pasta, and steamed broccoli.  Easy peasy!

I hope that by resting tonight I will make the rest of the week great!

So I guess it’s a happy Monday because I can take good care of myself!

Tomorrow through Thursday will be busy!  Every one of those days I will be in Rocksprings for the afternoon/evening because of basketball and choir.  Tomorrow night we have a baby shower here at camp.  I need to get lots of rest today because of all of this!

I hope your Monday is happy and wonderful and beautiful!  What are your plans for today?  What will you do to take good care of yourself?

 

Weekend Prep AND Self-care Sunday

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  • Cut veggies for lunches and dinners (celery, broccoli, bell pepper, zucchini, squash, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, mushrooms… russet potatoes can’t be cut early)
  • Boiled eggs
  • Thawed meat
  • Pan-seared and sliced chicken breast for salads this week
  • Made high protein steel cut oats (Steel cut oats, water, raw sugar, and egg whites)
  • Prepped lunches (cottage cheese in containers, bagged up veggies, bagged up Triscuits, bagged up deli meat and cheese, bagged up chicken slices)
  • I will make homemade Greek yogurt tomorrow-Tuesday

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The kids cleaned up the living room, made their beds, cleaned up their rooms, cleaned the bathrooms, and cleaned the floors.  Ethan washed and dried laundry, and they each folded and put away their own.

Here is before:

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Here is after:

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This week I will spend some time organizing the pantry/fridges/freezers.  I have an abundance of food.  We won’t need to buy much for the next month or more!  Just dairy and produce!  No spend month post coming up!

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You wouldn’t think that prep and self care would go together, but I have found that self-care for me sometimes means a clean house and everything prepped for the week.  Also, lately I haven’t been eating much at all because I didn’t have food prepped.  So I will eat this week because I have it prepped.

These are ways I took care of myself:

  • Slept till I woke up naturally (still kind of early… 7:15)
  • Had coffee and just relaxed for a long time (didn’t start prepping and cleaning till near lunch time)
  • Lit candles to smell while I prepped 🙂
  • Listened to old music (some of it reminded me of Joey)

What are you doing to prep and/or take care of yourself today?

Grocery Geek Part 1

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It has been a long day.  It started out nice and peaceful, then the rest of the day happened.  Drove 1 1/2 hours to town, lunch with mom and kids (which was nice), Lego Batman movie, drove home, put away groceries.  All without Robert (because he is working this weekend).  I’m worn out!  Luckily I will be able to sleep in tomorrow, so I’m enjoying some peace and quiet right now before I go to bed.

On another note, I definitely spent way more than I usually do for groceries tonight!  I think it was because I had the kids with me.  I usually shop by myself so I’m not used to having to deal with them… fighting, messing around, being in people’s way, asking for everything, etc.  I felt anxious through the whole store.

I also spent some of our income tax refund on Walmart.com and Boxed.com stocking up again.

So between today’s shopping trip and my online grocery shopping I won’t have to buy much in the month of March.  Mostly produce and dairy products!

Here’s my haul from today:

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  • 3 dozen eggs
  • 3 pounds butter
  • Chobani yogurt tubes
  • Fage Greek yogurt (as a starter for homemade yogurt)
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • Mild white fish (can’t remember the kind)
  • Whole chicken
  • Beef chuck roast
  • Bag of frozen chicken breast
  • 2 packages carnitas
  • 12 oz bacon

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  • 2 gallons of milk (one for yogurt)
  • 2 packages dino nuggets
  • 3 packages deli meat
  • 1 package hot dogs

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  • Half and half
  • Egg whites
  • Sour cream
  • Cottage cheese
  • Provolone sliced cheese
  • Mild cheddar shredded cheese
  • Gouda block
  • Monterey jack block
  • Street taco tortillas
  • String cheese

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  • Coleslaw
  • Caulibits
  • Spring mix
  • Whole wheat hot dog buns
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Cucumbers
  • Bell peppers

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  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Lots of carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Jalapeños
  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini

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  • La Croix
  • HEB sparkling water
  • Coke Zero
  • Little Debbie spring snacks
  • Glade candles
  • Swiffer wet and dry
  • Swiffer wet pads

Tomorrow I will be doing a lot of prep for the week with what I bought today.

I plan to also write about doing a pantry month for the month of March as soon as I receive my Walmart.com and Boxed.com orders!

Goodnight!

Intuitive Eating, Body Positivity, Anxiety, and Sobriety

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I remember being 4 years old, a tiny thing, and thinking I needed to lose weight.  I remember lifting cans as “weights.”  Fast forward to junior high, and I remember my body going from tiny to “big” when I hit puberty (in a junior high girl’s mind).  I was bigger than a lot of girls around me.  Then in high school I was “overweight” and knew I was bigger than my friends.  I remember looking at magazines thinking I needed to look like them.  I remember feeling like I needed to go on a diet.

When I got to college, my high school sweetheart (and fiancé) broke up with me and I assumed it was because of the way I looked (among other things).  I decided at that time that I had enough so I was going to lose weight.

I went on a diet and lost 25 pounds very quickly.  I felt very proud of myself.

Fast-forward a few years and I met Robert.  We got married very quickly.  I put on a few pounds, but nothing extreme.  I ended up having 3 kids with-in 4 years (starting 2 years after we got married).  I didn’t put on a ton of weight with them (very little, actually).  After Levi was born, I gained weight because of postpartum depression.  But I easily lost the weight when I was working at a charter school because I went up and down lots of stairs multiple times a day.

I ended up fluctuating a lot between then and a few years ago (between dieting, stopping the diet, dieting, and stopping the diet).  I would also have moments in which I worked out a lot, then I would stop, etc.  I have been on an upward trend the past 3 years, starting with my first bipolar med.  It hasn’t stopped.

The last diet I tried was last summer.  I did THM (Trim Healthy Mama) for 3 months.  When it wasn’t working (and it was a LOT of work… I also had digestive issues because of the alternative sweeteners), I stopped.  I then gained back the few pounds I had lost plus a little more.  Then I went to rehab and gained 6-8 pounds in a month.

Since then, I have been trying so hard to eat intuitively (as best I can), have body positivity, and learn to love myself as is, but it has been an uphill battle.  Most days, most of the day, I’m thinking and obsessing about my weight and the fact that I’ve gained more weight.  I think about it every time I get dressed, when I’m sitting (because pants are tighter when sitting), when I eat (it affects my eating a lot… I often just don’t eat until I’m starving, then I eat anything and everything), when I see pictures of myself, when I look in the mirror or see my reflection on a window.  I don’t know how much I weigh because I threw out my scale, but I know I’ve gained weight based on how my clothes fit and it affects me all day, every day.

This causes me a lot of anxiety because I feel very out of control.  When I eat “healthy,” I feel as though there’s no reason because I won’t lose weight anyway.  When I eat “unhealthy,” I feel guilty.  I have a lot of shame around food and my body.

A few weeks ago, a stranger from a body positive group asked to be friends on Facebook (after she commented on one of my posts).  Usually I don’t accept strangers as friends, but she seemed to be safe.  I’ve been watching her on Facebook including posts, videos, and blogs that she has written.  She is a registered dietitian and she specializes in somatic nutrition and body image coaching.  I finally decided to message her and tell her how I’ve been feeling.  She messaged me a link to sign up for an appointment to have a phone call with her.  I scheduled an appointment for the next day.

That morning I thought that I couldn’t deal with one more thing right now so I canceled it.  She didn’t get the email (it was right before our appointment), so she called me.  We had an almost hour long conversation.  I knew that she would be able to help me, but I didn’t think I could afford it.  I decided that maybe we could use some of our income tax refund.  I didn’t think Robert would agree, and he was out of town, so I emailed him.  After explaining how I felt about everything, he agreed.  So, I ended up deciding to do the program.  I kind of went back and forth through the day yesterday because I felt guilty for using money for my health again.  Between counseling, doctor appointments, gas to and from town, and medication, a lot of Robert’s check goes towards my health (we get some reimbursed, but it comes out of our pockets initially).  I can’t work, so I can’t even contribute to this.

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From her website:

Today is the beginning of the end of your struggles with food and body image concerns.  Do You…

  • Think about food (how much, when, what) 24/7?
  • Feel you can’t stop eating?  
  • Struggle to manage your weight even though trying to?
  • Want to learn to eat from hunger and fullness?
  • Need help learning to like your body?
  • Want to discover your healthy weight?
  • Feel confused about how to eat well?
  • Sick of counting calories (fat/carbohydrates)?
  • Tired of exercise being a should and feeling guilty about how much/little you move?

All of these describe my struggles.

There will be 9 group meetings (3 per month for 3 months), 4 one-on-ones (one initial, then one per month), lots of online readings and videos, 4 books, worksheets and food logs (to learn my hunger ratings, emotions, etc); I will have access to her every day via email and phone if need be.  She will review my food logs as often as I need her to.  Part of her services also include meditation, personal growth, and help with anxiety.

These are the books that I will be reading:

Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works

When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies: Freeing Yourself From Food and Weight Obsession 

The One Thing Holding You Back: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection

Eating in the Light of the Moon: How Women Can Transform Their Relationship with Food through Myths, Metaphors, and Storytelling

So how does my sobriety fit into all of this?  Simply… I’m often so anxious about this that I am driven to want to drink.  Anything that causes me so much anxiety that I want to drink needs to be addressed.  I know it doesn’t seem big enough to make someone want to drink, but it is big to me.

I’m hoping that this is one step towards what I tell everyone all the time!

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My First EMDR Treatment

img_9020(This is the sunrise over the hills that I see every morning. Beautiful!)

This has been a really rough week.  I did EMDR on Monday and it has affected me since (I’m assuming that’s what it is based on what people have said about it).  This is going to be a very tough process.

Tuesday and Wednesday I felt terrible.  I felt a huge weight on me.  I was anxious and feeling depressed.  I couldn’t get enough sleep.  I slept several hours each morning (after I got the kids off to school) and just felt like I had been hit by a truck.

Finally Wednesday I texted my counselor.  Sure enough, she said that I must have triggered something when we did EMDR on Monday and we will need to tackle that next Monday.  Also, I found out that being exhausted is just part of the process (which I had been told, but I guess I didn’t believe it until I experienced it).  Also, my feelings will be raw afterwards because we’re digging deep and bringing that stuff out.  Eventually things won’t phase me over time.

So the first thing she did was get to know my history from the beginning.  We did that our first appointment.

Then, we spent some time just talking, for me to feel comfortable with her, and for her to see more into my heart and mind.  We did this for the second appointment.

Then, we worked on creating a “safe space” in my mind for me to go to when I’m anxious.  For me this is the mountains.  Also, I can hear the Serenity Spa music in the background in my mind for my safe space (I listened to this a lot when I got out of the hospital the first time).

Finally, we started the EMDR process.

She uses these vibrating hand held devices.  They take turns vibrating.  The point of this (from what I understand) is to activate both parts of the brain (the logical side and the emotional side).  It goes back and forth, back and forth.

She had me close my eyes and focus in on one specific incident.  For me, this was an event in which I was physically abused by classmates when I was little.

She would have me focus in on it, then we would take a break.  Focus in on it in a different way, then I would take a break.  I could hear the sounds of the events, feel how it felt physically, and with-in my body.  Eventually she led me to how it made me feel emotionally and how it affects me now.

According to EMDR.com, these involve the client identifying three things:
1.  The vivid visual image related to the memory
2.  A negative belief about self
3.  Related emotions and body sensations.

We only addressed one specific incident, and we have many more to address.  I have more situations in which I was physically abused by classmates, a few other things that I don’t feel like sharing, then we will eventually address my brother’s death (gruesome suicide that I feel out of touch with).

I’m also learning a lot about how feelings aren’t facts, they are fleeting, and to use my “safe space” in my mind when I’m struggling with anxiety.  This is what my counselor talked me through when I was struggling on Wednesday.

One other tidbit of information from my counselor is that she thinks I have been struggling with bipolar since I was little (and anxiety).  Some of my behaviors are indicative of bipolar in a child.  So I thought that was interesting.  With bipolar 2, it’s often difficult to tell if it’s an illness or just behavioral issues.

This process will take time, but I see it really benefitting me in the long run.  A lot of my anxiety and depression are there because of these events and how they made/make me feel.  A lot of things have been going on with me since I was little, and a lot was triggered after Joey died.  So I know it affects me.  I’ve been stuffing a lot for many years.

I’m so glad I’m not working or homeschooling right now.  I really do need this time to focus 100% on my healing and self care.

Weekly Meal Plan, Week of February 27-March 5

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Breakfasts

  • Oatmeal (just plain old Quaker) and Greek yogurt
  • Green protein smoothie
  • Eggs in corn tortillas with cheese and salsa
  • Sprouted English muffins (in the freezer) and eggs
  • Kodiak Power Cakes pancakes (in the freezer)
  • Omelets
  • Pop tarts 🙂
  • Cereal
  • NutriGrain bars

Lunches

  • Chicken salad, boiled egg, veggies and hummus, Triscuits
  • Cottage cheese (or lunch meat and cheese), boiled egg, veggies and hummus, Triscuits
  • Peanut butter and honey sandwich, veggies and hummus, Triscuits
  • Leftovers
  • Dining hall on Saturday

Snacks

  • Sandwich crackers
  • Sriracha cashews
  • Dry roasted almonds
  • Veggies (carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and cucumbers) with hummus or ranch
  • Fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, or a fruit cup)
  • White cheddar Cheez-its
  • Annie’s bunny snacks
  • HEB brand Greek yogurt
  • Granola bars (plain old Quaker)

Dinner

  • Monday- Baked chicken thighs, mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli
  • Tuesday- Southwestern soup (basically taco soup with black beans)
  • Wednesday- Potato ham cream cheese soup (recipe to come)
  • Thursday- Instant pot homemade hamburger helper (with cheddar and mozzarella), salad
  • Friday- Homemade pizza
  • Saturday- Burgers
  • Sunday- Instant Pot Chuck Roast and Veggies (mashed potatoes instead of potatoes with roast)

Prep

  • Thaw meat
  • Cut up veggies
  • Boil eggs
  • Grocery shop

Grati-Tuesday, February 21st

I woke up at 5:15 this morning feeling such peace.  This is a new thing (the past few months).  I love getting up early, making my bed, getting dressed, tidying the house, making coffee, lighting a candle, then waking the … Continue reading

Happy Monday!

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When I was working, I would dread Mondays.  Working brought me terrible panic attacks and anxiety.  I would feel anxiety every single day.  All day.  I felt like a terrible teacher because of it.

Now I feel excited about a new week.  Every day is peaceful.  I go to town once a week now (well two if you count church).

Mondays are the day that I go to town.  Today I will have coffee with my sponsor, go to women’s AA Big Book meeting, then do EMDR with my counselor.  I will be picking the kids up from my dad (they spent the weekend there).  Robert is out of town till Thursday so we will keep things simple.  Tonight we will have leftovers for dinner.

I will share how EMDR went tomorrow.

My self care is all of the above as well as taking my meds and supplements and eating all meals.

What are your plans for the day?  How will you take good care of yourself?