Don’t let yourself Die Slowly…

photoWe all hit rock bottom sometimes, no matter how strong we are, be it or not a usual personality trait of ours, we may all at one point get very down. And then, we somehow instinctively wait for someone, something, somehow to reach a hand to us and grab us from the low.

I found the poem below and every time I read it, I realize there’s no point on wasting time in waiting to be rescued, but working your mind on getting back to the lively optimist mood that gets things done and brings about more beautiful things. No one can change the mood for your, and no one can change things in your life but you. So give this a read:

Die Slowly, Pablo Neruda

He who becomes the slave of habit,
who follows the same routes every day,
who never changes pace,
who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,
who does not speak and does not experience,
dies slowly.

He or she who shuns passion,
who prefers black on white,
dotting ones “it’s” rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer,
that turn a yawn into a smile,
that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings,
dies slowly.

He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,
who is unhappy at work,
who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,
to thus follow a dream,
those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives,
die slowly.

He who does not travel, who does not read,
who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself,
she who does not find grace in herself,
dies slowly.

He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem,
who does not allow himself to be helped,
who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops,
dies slowly.

He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know, he or she who don’t reply when they are asked something they do know,
die slowly.

Let’s try and avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.

Only a burning patience will lead
to the attainment of a splendid happiness.

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7 effective ways to combat boredom

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Those that know me understand exactly where this post comes from. Once I moved to Lausanne with a project for work, I have to admit I have been strongly challenged on dealing with boredom. So, then I thought why not get up, get out and explore? Life is too short to be bored.

So, here are 7 effective ways that I found to combat boredom:

1 – Discover your talents and gifts. Each and every one of us has talents and gifts that can be put to use for fun, productivity and success. Being productive is better than being busy. One should discover their potential in life. Whether you’re good at drawing, cooking, dancing, singing, writing, acting, taking pictures, driving, painting, playing an instrument, fixing things, building things, being innovative, etc. – the sky is the limit. When you do what you have talent and gifts in, your chances of being bored are almost nonexistent. Instead you gain creativity, ideas and purpose. Boredom is for the less creative. I have a few friends here that started photography. I personally started writing and wakeboarding more. Thus, something productive was born from having more time.

2 – Be irrational and noncomformist. One of the main reasons why boredom has become so pervasive in our culture is that people have become too “rational”. So much planning, thinking, contemplating, debating and overthinking, etc… becomes, well, boring. Make it a goal to act irrationally at least once a week. As long as you are not hurting others with your irrational actions, this exercise can transform your life by leaps and bounds. Remember, boredom is the black hole for excitement and takes away that feeling of “being alive”. Each moment realize that you have the ability to transform boredom into exhilaration. Acting irrationally is a wonderful step in the right direction. Just do, just go, just be, just live.

3 – Alternate your forms of entertainment. A lot of people sleep when they’re bored. Although this is certainly effective, it can also become a compulsive remedy from escaping the real world. Creating the habit of alternating between your forms of entertainment will keep you happy, awake and living. Whether it’s doing your favorite hobby you’re passionate about, or reading, writing, listening to music, watching movies, playing video games, computers and social networking, swimming, playing sports, eating, exercising, etc – whatever it is do what makes you entertained and happy, but alternate!

4 – Learn new things, discover new places, meet new people. Nothing is more exciting than getting out of your comfort zone. Learning something new (I started learning French and cooking for example), discovering a new place to experience (I made a rule to go every weekend somewhere different) and meeting a new person (I developed the capability of being the “Yes” person when something is organized) is so refreshing and considered cures for boredom. Life is full of opportunities and experiences so go out and explore yours. Our time is limited.

5 – Surround yourself with “Do-ers”. Boredom is addictive, and when we surround ourselves with people who are continuously stagnant (boring) we tend to get pulled in. Recognize who you hang out with, and who you are connecting with. Again, there are so many people out there doing fun, productive, meaningful, and beneficial work and things. Surrounding yourself with these doers can become just as addictive.

6 – Reconnect with a old friend or distant family member. There is nothing more inspiring then hearing news of an old friend or distant family member that you have not talked to in some time. The “catching up” conversation is usually lengthy, gets the mind working in a different manner, and rarely boring. This exercise also helps you remember that there exists a very sacred connection between all human beings. Something that is so easily forgotten in times of boredom. Also, you will almost surely get a few boosts of motivation during this conversation and connection and may find that simply being there with someone else can be a transcending experience.

7 – Get in touch with nature. I had to end with this one, as there is absolutely nothing boring about the every day occurrences that transpire in nature. Feeling bored? Go outside and observe a bird in a tree, or pick up a handful of grass and spend a few moments looking at the earth in your hands. I usually like to sit by the lake and look at it…it calms me down. Watch the sea waves roar (if you are near one) and enjoy the view. How can we possible be bored when there is so much natural beauty around us? We talk a lot about nature, and claim to have an understanding of it, but I think most of us still take it for granted. Nothing will ever replace the experience of the planet that exists all around us, all the time.

What women really want…but hardly say…an honest view!

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If you want to know how women really choose men, don’t bother actually asking a woman. She may confidently tell you how she makes the choice, what she apparently wants, but ultimately it is not the way she ends up with that someone.

When it comes to relationships, women are in charge of the selection process because they control access to sexuality — they let men “in” — so you would think we would know exactly why and how we choose our partners. But the problem is, we, women lie…and actually more often than not, we lie to ourselves.

If you ask any of us what we’re looking for in a man, we’ll come out with a long list of noble qualities: a sense of humor, a guy who’s nice to me and treats me well, respects me, has good values, he is educated, a strong moral character, reliable etc.

Uh huh. Right. And then we leave footprints all over Mr. Sense of Humor or Mr. Nice Guy as we rush to the bad boy often arrogant, career driven, ego-centered who might as well show up in his Porsche. Yup, this is true! And this comes from the least materialistic woman on this planet, which I consider myself to be!

Let’s be honest — if we would really chose men based on what we say we’re looking for, then every nice, average guy out there would be surrounded by girls trying to go out with him. But nice, average guys generally stay home on the weekends with an average date. We, women, are experts at self-deceit because if we would admit to ourselves what we really wanted from men, then we would be forced to acknowledge that we don’t really want a “nice” guy.

What most women want and it is hard to admit or at least articulate clearly are 3 types of security that the men must master: emotional, erotic/sexual and financial. The funny thing is unless these securities are satisfied AT ONCE/AT THE SAME TIME by a guy, we tend to start wondering, be frustrated, and even cheat, capable to run away with the guy that gives us the missing security (even though he might miss one that we already have found). It is a vicious circle for us women and that is why most of us end up at the age of 45+ frustrated to say the least.

The emotional security refers to the need to be loved, appreciated, respected. The man has to continuously make us feel beautiful and unique. Pretty hard job doing this on a daily basis. But most of us indirectly want this and if we do not receive it in terms of warmth, nice words, some compliments, a small kiss or a hug, we start looking somewhere else. And that is when we start chatting on fb or whatsapp with another guy, we flirt sometimes, because ultimately we need to feel admired and loved. Most of the tough women, don’t want to admit they look for a guy that would provide this security as we might think it affects our self-confidence. However, we do open up if the man knows how to melt our heart. So, we do want it. On top, this is where we keep on going about wanting a strong man, because somehow we want to be taken care of at an emotional level, we want to be understood, decoded…sometimes in the most ridiculous way (we know that) – but again this is not something that we admit to look for in a man (understanding us at PMS, or when we get, cause we all do at one point, hysterical). It just does not look good to admit, but whether we want it?…yes: we do want it, let’s be honest! Besides understanding, also serving our emotional security, must be a man that can lead us, guide us…and this why we pass by “nice guys” – as we lead them at “hello” already, we dominate them, we do whatever we want with them, and it becomes unattractive. Deep inside, we want to admire the strength of the man, and ultimately this is why we are attracted to bad boys. Their self-confidence, or nonconformism somehow make us believe that he is a stronger man than we are. How we think this goes with an understanding man too – do not ask! We do have unrealistic expectations! And we should admit this too!

The erotic/sexual security refers to the fact that we want to be satisfied in bed and we want to feel extremely wanted. Many women may say that sex is not important or that love is more important, but believe me, if the sex is bad or non existent, even the least sexual woman starts wondering and again looking for something else. We somehow need to be entertained. We want exciting things. We are impossible at this matter because that strong and busy man I just described above, might provide less of this excitement, however, we are hardly understanding on the long term. Let’s be honest – and we pose unhappy, frustrated and unattended. So, let’s admit it girls, we do want to feel always wanted, we want sex too and we hardly say we look for it! (or at least most women say so). It is not on the list necessarily of what I look for in a guy, but somehow it surfaces pretty early in the encounter.

The financial security is the tricky one. Most women do not admit they want a man that could also support them. They never state it. This is because most of us are not really materialistic, however, we are impressed by this quality in men. Because we were raised so, culturally. The man needs to be the provider. This is actually also how most man feel – that is why conflicts arise when the woman is more successful. We want a man with financial strength because it feeds to the security of “taking care of me”. With all honesty I am one of the women that never states she wants a successful or rich man by her side because I always wanted to be independent and not depend on a man, have my own career, be successful. I am getting there, so all fine. The funny thing is when we think further…in the future, we start wanting a security…of a financial kind because we want a house of our own, a family – and we are the ones having the kids (and this is from the least materialistic point of view), so even though we meet someone fulfilling the emotional and erotic securities, in time we develop the need for the financial security too, because we want a man who can be at least at our level financially or a man that could take care of us for example when we start making those kids. This is because, as women, we ultimately want a happy peaceful life and we reflect that desire in the dating choices.

We fail a lot at choosing the right people for us because we don’t truly and wholly admit what we really want. Then we also want things that do not go together. And than we try to cover it up and call it just for fun, exploring around, one night stands, we end up complaining about it to our best friends, but in the end, as women, we owe it to ourselves and to men for that matter to admit entirely who we want or what we want and be damn realistic and honest about it! We might just make better choices, and waste less time and emotions both for us and the men in question. 🙂

How to…? Handle & balance proteins

Between low-carb diet, vegan way of living, and every other popular diet and lifestyle trend that have arisen in the past years, I often find myself getting lost in a world of food facts. It seems that there are new ways of living to try on daily. And I have to be perfectly honest… it gets confusing! I’ve experimented with a few and the one thing I have learned is that you have to stick with what works for your body. 

Everyone’s bodies are different, so our diets should be different too. With this topic in mind, I recently chatted with a dietician who gave me a few tips about one extremely crucial factor that everyone’s diet should include. So whether you’re a devout meat lover or a strict vegan, here is the truth about protein… (especially being a woman!!!)
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1. How much is enough?

Apparently, the amount of protein each person needs in their daily diet depends specifically on their activity level, body type, and fitness goals. “An active woman may need anywhere from 50-60 grams per day, but you may need more or less depending on your routine.” To put that into perspective, one egg has about six grams of protein, a cup of Greek yogurt has 18 grams of protein, and chicken breast that’s about the size of your fist has 30 grams of protein. Furthermore, 10 to 35 percent of our daily calories consumed should come from protein. The more active you are, the closer your daily intake should be to 35 percent. And similarly, the less active you are, the closer your protein intake should be to 10 percent. Eating some source of protein at all of your meals and snacks each day will help you get the amount you need. And if you’re going to the gym and workout, make sure to increase your protein intake too! Plus, it will help shape and tone your muscles.

2. How can vegans and vegetarians eat enough protein throughout the day?

Vegans and vegetarians have a bit of a protein puzzle of their own because they exclude meat or animal products (or both!) from their diets. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, it’s important to know which foods will help you get enough protein throughout the day. I personally recommend trying quinoa and spirulina, which are some of the few complete sources of plant-based proteins. IF you eat fish, go for tuna. You can also combine certain foods, like legumes with grains or nuts, to create complete proteins. Below is a little list I found on the Vegetarian Resource Group of vegan and vegetarian foods and the grams of protein they have per cup. Keep this in mind the next time you want to make a protein meal:
●Lentils – 18 grams per 1 cup
●Chickpeas – 12 grams per 1 cup
●Tempeh – 41 grams per 1 cup
●Black beans – 15 grams per 1 cup
●Tofu – 11 per 4 ounces
●Quinoa – 9 grams per 1 cup

3. Are there wrong and right types of proteins?
Contrary to common belief, just because something is high in protein doesn’t mean it is good for you. There are wrong and right types of proteins, and you just have to keep an eye out for the healthy ones. For example, fatty meats like hamburgers, pepperoni, sausage or meatballs are not lean sources of protein. In fact, all of these meats are some of the highest sources of saturated fats. Steer clear of saturated fats and opt for lean protein sources like fish, chicken, or any of the vegetarian options listed above. And those protein bars you like to eat every morning? Most of them aren’t exactly great either. When you eat a protein bar or a protein shake, you may think you’re getting as much protein as eating a piece of chicken. But you are actually loading up your body with chemicals, hidden calories, extra carbs and lots of sugar. If you’re on the go and you need a quick protein fix, grab a bar or whip up a protein shake, but only once in a while. You are much better off getting the nutrients and vitamins from eating real foods like chicken or quinoa than going for the processed, powdery shake.

So don’t ever go to extreme regarding proteins – too much or not at all. A balance intake will keep you both healthy and energized. Calibrate the quantity according to your body and lifestyle!

Floral prints for summer getaways

Fashion’s ongoing love affair with floral prints continues for Summer 2014 with a myriad of designers offering up their take on the iconic pattern.

I love the femininity of floral prints, be it on dresses, smart suits, slinky gowns, and retro jumpsuits. Last year, it was all about delicate pastels. This time around, it is more vibrant blooms that make up the trend, or a mismatch of patterns like Stella McCartney’s mixed prints. The floral print can be a strong statement on its own, so it would be advisable to keep hairstyles simple and makeup almost non-existent; then just add a pair of sandals. If you’re not ready for the jungle yet, go in gently with floral shorts maybe or a skirt and temper it with a mono-color t-shirt or top. However, be bold! There’s nothing to lose and your outfit will bring a touch of happiness around!

Florals are all about having fun with fashion and embracing the joy and romance of the sun. Maybe this is why the floral trend keeps on being reinterpreted every summer and it just won’t go away.

Here’s three of my favorite floral dresses that I believe go perfectly with summer days and nights, and the romantic atmosphere of South of France.

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So why not embrace your inner lady with some floral prints? 🙂

Flat belly foods

IMG_3373During the summer period, all women want perfect toned abs or at least a flat belly to look their best at the beach. So, I investigated a few things we can eat in order to avoid bloating and have a flat sexy belly.

  1. Raspberries (as well as strawberries and blueberries) are packed with fiber, which keeps you feeling full longer (and–ahem–more regular). Plus they are packed with vitamin C, which is good for your immune system as well as your skin.
  2. Kale is a natural anti-inflammatory; it helps reduce bloat and it also revs up the metabolism because it is a flavonoid. Eat up!
  3. Oatmeal maintains blood sugar levels so you don’t crash and binge. Plus it’s full of fiber so it will keep you satiated.
  4. Low-fat yogurt not only has calcium, but it is also a probiotic that fights fat storage and prevents bloat.
  5. Almonds are packed with healthy fats that reduce food cravings while building muscle. Consider almonds the ultimate power snack.
  6. Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which help bump up your metabolism so your body burns fat faster and more efficiently.
  7. Watermelon is–just as you expected–full of water (about 92% to be exact). It actually helps flush extra water from your system, which in turn reduces puffiness.
  8. Garlic is a magical thing. It helps reduce fat in the liver, it detoxifies and it lessens bloating. To maximize its benefits, take a few fresh slivers of garlic and sandwich them between two thinly sliced apple wedges and smear them with a little honey. Eat this before bed to reap all the benefits.
  9. Avocado is loaded with lots of healthy fats that burn fat while providing your body with energy.
  10. Quinoa is a magical whole grain that is packed with protein (11 grams for just a half cup) and fiber so it keeps you feeling full longer.

I hope this helps you too as it helped me! xxx