health

Tune-In TUESDAY Tips // What your mind does isn't the point by Paluna Santamaria

Few weeks ago I decided to expand my meditation practice to help me get out of a procrastination rut so I started the  "7 days of focus" program using the mindfulness app "Calm"

I was pretty motivated to start so I decided to apply the principles suggested right away and blog to keep me accountable. You can read my previous posts below:  

Day 1  AWARENESS

Day 2  PRIORITIZATION

I did great for few days. I wrote things down and I got them done but then as it can happen when trying to build new habits. I skipped a day, then another and well here I am starting again. Honestly, the fact that I wrote about it is what forced me to get back on the horse and pick up where I left. Just to show you how powerful accountability is, so here we go! 

**Disclaimer: content from the app has been edited for the purposes of this blog**

DAY 3 "Seven days of focus"  DEEPENING CONCENTRATION

"What your mind does isn't the point, your awareness of what the mind does is the point" 

Practice began by defining the following concepts: 

FOCUS- the ability to narrow down our attention on something. 

CONCENTRATION- the ability to maintain focus.

MINDFULNESS- the ability to notice when we've been swept away and bring ourselves back. Awareness of what's happening from moment to moment. 

Takeaways from today's practice: 

  • The easiest most efficient way to deepen concentration is by being aware of the breath. The more we practice bringing attention to the breath the more we'll be able to apply this principle to our daily life. 
  • A wandering mind is expected. There is no need to judge or get upset when it happens. 

Solutions to prevent distractions:

  • Create a workspace clean and orderly: each morning when you wake up, declutter your space.
  • Wear headphones or earplugs. 
  • Close the door.
  • Cater to your physical needs, i.e. make sure you have a comfortable chair, water and a snack in case you get hungry, this way you'll avoid trips to the kitchen. 
  • Turn off notifications and set a timer to focus exclusively on your task. 

Even still distractions will happen, instead of getting upset when they happen, choose to get back to your task right away. Perhaps take 3-5 full breaths as a way to bring you back into the present moment. 

Come back next week for more tips or sign-up for my monthly newsletter at the top right corner of this page oh and don't forget to stay CALM :) 

TUNE-IN TUESDAY TIPS // NO AWARENESS=NO CHANGE by Paluna Santamaria

Last week I promised I'd let you in in my podcast obsession by sharing one of the many I listen in a week (or a day).  I will continue to do so but today I'm letting you in my meditation practice instead.

I've been practicing different types of meditation since I was six years old, with some on and off strikes through my teens because no teenager wants to listen to her dad telling her to meditate daily because it's good for her (yeah that was my dad). 

Last year, meditating became a little more challenging. Old anxiety issues I hadn't experienced in a few years came back. Luckily, I know meditating makes this issues manageable so in search of something to keep me accountable I did some research and discovered my favourite meditation app: "CALM" check "Mindfulness and Mindfulness Apps" for the full review

Lately I've been procrastinating more than I want to, so today I decided to replace my morning meditation with one of the many mindfulness programs offered by Calm called "7 days of focus"

Day 1 is dedicated to AWARENESS

  Here are some excerpts from today's practice: 

**Disclaimer: content from the app has been edited for the purposes of this blog**

1. Attention is a limited resource. Distractions are everywhere. 

2. Noticing when our attention has drifted away is the first step to bringing it back.

3. Don't worry when your mind wanders. This is what minds do. Just to notice when it does and use it as an opportunity to bring it back just as you do with your breath. 

4. The practice is about noticing our habits and patterns.

5. Keep returning to your breath over and over. There is no right or wrong, it's the practice what matters. 

6. The first step to CHANGE is to be AWARE. 

That is all friends. Check back next week and don't forget to stay CALM ;) 

Tune-In Tuesday Tips // things successful people do differently by Paluna Santamaria

Here's something about me: Ever since reading became difficult (long story) I listen to audiobooks and podcasts, obsessively. I get a lot of my information, inspiration, laughs and future plans from reflecting on what I listen to so I thought why not share this gems with you. 

From now on or until I get bored, I will choose a section/phrase from one of the podcasts I'm listening to and share it with you. Maybe that will inspire you to go listen to the whole thing yourself. 

**Disclaimer: content has been edited for the purposes of this blog**

PODCAST "Increase your Impact with Justin Su'a"   

Episode 193: 9 Things Successful People Do Differently   

Episode length: 6min 

1. GET SPECIFIC: when you have general goals you are a lot less likely to achieve them because they are not measurable so you want to get as specific as you can. 

2. SEIZE THE MOMENT: to act on your goals. People set goals but never take that opportunity or use excuses; "I didn't have time to workout", "I didn't have time to go to that meeting."  My question to you is: did you really not have time? Or did you just choose to not have that time? 

3. KNOW EXACTLY HOW FAR YOU HAVE LEFT TO GO: the things that you measure you will be able to achieve when you measure them better. Not only how much progress you are making but how much far do you have to go. 

4.  BE A REALISTIC OPTIMIST: look at the hard facts. Difficult is not bad. Difficult is not impossible. Difficult is just difficult and you CAN DO difficult things. 

5. FOCUS ON GETTING BETTER RATHER THAN BEING GOOD: don't be so arrogant that it clouds your desire to improve. We can all get better. 

6. HAVE GRIT: a willingness to commit to long term goals and to persist in the face of difficulty. 

7. BUILD YOUR WILLPOWER MUSCLE: identify things you know that will be beneficial for you and when you don't wanna do it, do it. 

8. DON'T TEMPT FATE: no matter how strong your willpower muscle comes it's important to always respect the fact that it is limited and if you overtax it you are going to temporarily run out of steam so don't try to take on two challenging tasks at once. 

9. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WILL DO, NOT WHAT YOU WON'T DO: plan how you are going to replace bad habits with good ones rather than focusing on only getting rid of the bad ones. Say to yourself: "Instead of doing this, Im doing this"

Say No To Chips: The Desire To Stress Eat. by Paluna Santamaria

Photo By Dahlia Katz of Patricia Allison in  IMissYou

Photo By Dahlia Katz of Patricia Allison in IMissYou

Me again. The girl who can’t get enough Tune-In.


I’m 2 days away from my show IMissYou opening in Toronto. It’s a piece that I’ve been working on for over a year now. To say I’m stressed out would be an under statement. You can read a full post about my show anxiety here.

For the sake of this being a Tune-In Blog, let's stick to the topic of eating- Every time an email comes in, my anxiety spikes. It’s not all bad news, but it could be. Producing and starring in my own show and creation is stressful. All I want to do is shove bags and bags of chips in my mouth. That would make it all better, right? Salty salty chips. Crunchy chiiiiiips. Mmmmmmmm….  BUT no.

In times like this, when I’ve put weeks and weeks of work into a single moment like going into a weightlifting competition or a show, I need my self confidence to be high. And by this, I don’t mean that I need to be skinny or lean. It’s more than that. I need to feel FULL OF ENERGY and know that as I stand there ready to go on that I made the healthy choice. That I stood up for my body and I fuelled it correctly. When I’m eating clean and my macros are well fitted to my lifestyle, I find that strawberries CAN be a rewarding snack and that I don’t need the chips. Strawberries leave me feeling happy and good while chips sabotage me not only on a physical level (leaving me feeling bloated and crappy) but also on a psychological level. On a self confidence level. I know that while there is a time and place for chips, standing up for myself and my over all health IS the most rewarding. 

Using Community for Success: A note from Tune-In Member Patricia Allison by Paluna Santamaria

Hi Tune-In Team! A little note about my experience on Tune-In and sharing a little love…

 

I’m currently on my second 12 week cycle of Tune-In. The last round I did was when I needed to cut weight for a weight class during my weight lifting competitions in the Fall and now this round one I’m maximizing my energy and efficiency as prep for the upcoming show I’m dancing in.

 

Oh boy, do I ever love these people and this community! While the journey hasn’t always been easy, it’s been worth it. I’ve seen some great success and felt amazing. But, I wouldn’t be able to do it without this kick ass community of support. Big thanks to the brilliant Paluna and LoveDeep who are informative and clear and always available to answer questions.  I went into this thinking that I knew everything I needed to about my body and eating, but have learnt so so much and I’m excited to learn more.

 

But you know what else makes Tune-In super great? Every single one of you! The Facebook and community support is amazing. It would be impossible without all of you. It helps that I work with and work out next to folks that are on a similar path to me. I always say “surround yourself with greatness and good things will happen” and I really do here! It makes the world of difference to me to be able to look over and ask advice or share my experience with a buddy who knows what I’m going through. In my darkest moments when I’m on a low-fat week or craving for some carbs, I love that I’m able to reach out and hear other personal stories and get first hand advice. I hope you all know that if you need recipe ideas or just an ear to listen- I’ll be there for you too.

 

Anyone that knows me, knows that I’m a community junkie- I believe it takes a whole village of support to make goals come true and that’s why I love Tune-In Nutrition. 

TUNE-IN NUTRITION // TUESDAY TIPS: WHEN STRESS PILES UP by Paluna Santamaria

It goes like this: life happens, stress appears. The more stressed we become the more we stop taking care of ourselves so we become more stressed. 

I have an idea. Let's not do that anymore.

Here are three simple things to do ideally everyday but specially when stress piles up:

 

1. Eat well: this is how we function and rebuild from our day. Prep your food in advance with things that satisfy you. You need balanced meals often and consistently to compete against the stress your body is experiencing from training, life or both. 

 

2. Find down time: relax, breathe, walk, meditate. Apps like Calm (my fave) or Headspace (very popular but I can't stand the guy's voice, sorry dude) are a great altrenative, you can choose anything from 2-30min meditations. Nothing super hippie (nothing wrong if you are into it)  simple mindfullness. ALWAYS make time for this, it will go a long way to support recovery and rebalance stress

 

3. Move: Try not to take up an all or nothing approach with training. Make it a goal to do something that makes you sweat and brings your heart rate up each day. Sometimes a brisk walk listening to your favourite music is all you need. 

 

Now let's be honest. You will forget this list exists because well, life happens and stress happens so how about you print it out or write this down somewhere visible, perhaps in the kitchen or by the bathroom mirror? Just an idea.

Have a chill Tuesday and check back next week :) 

 

TuneIn Nutrition // Tuesday Tip: Photos for Macros by Paluna Santamaria

IMG_0875.jpg

Eating out when you're trying to track your macros can be super stressful. One quick and easy tip to help keep you on track and get all those yummy macros logged is to take a photo of your plate before you eat it. This way, when you get home, you can reference the photo and guesstimate how much you consumed! We're trying to be super accurate with our logging, but we're also trying to live our lives to the fullest and in the moment. Do the best you can!

Choose simple items if you can and ask the cook a few questions, for example:

How many eggs do use for the omelette? Could you hold off the oil? 

Out and about and taking photos of your food? Let us see! Show us your food photos and your guesstimated macros. 

POWER AND GRACE: Misty Copeland by Paluna Santamaria

. ..AS AN ADULT, I WAS TOLD I DIDN'T HAVE THE RIGHT SKIN COLOUR, I WAS TOO MUSCULAR, I WAS TOO CURVY, MY BREASTS WERE TOO BIG, I WAS TOO SHORT...

...AS AN ADULT, I WAS TOLD I DIDN'T HAVE THE RIGHT SKIN COLOUR, I WAS TOO MUSCULAR, I WAS TOO CURVY, MY BREASTS WERE TOO BIG, I WAS TOO SHORT...

RELEVANT FACT ABOUT MISTY: 

Third african american female soloist and first in two decades, at the American Ballet Theatre.

WHY IS THIS AWESOME: 

Throughout its history, ballet has been known as an exclusive art form. High class predominantly white populations are accepted, and while other races are not openly rejected, they are also not encouraged to participate. 

The principal roles are offered to those who fit the standards established in the 15th century: white, small frame, long limbs, narrow hips, flat chests and head proportionate to the rest of the body (yes, this is a thing) amongst others. 

It is well known in the community that even though times have changed; there are some who believe black dancers are not suited for ballet simply because they don't have the "right body." 

Same goes for latin or asian descendant participants. 

Even though Misty didn't fit these physical requirements, her skills, talent and dedication ended up taking her where she is now today. 

This is the first post of the POWER AND GRACE series. A space where every week I will  honour my real life women superheroes. 

I strongly suggest you look them up. Watch Misty perform, listen to her interviews and read her books. I promise you will be forever inspired. 

 

I FOUND CONFIDENCE WHEN I ACCEPTED ME FOR ME...

I ACCEPTED I AM BEAUTIFUL...

IT'S IMPORTANT TO NOT LET OTHER PEOPLE'S WORDS DEFINE ME...

IT'S IMPORTANT TO NOT LET OTHER PEOPLE'S WORDS DEFINE ME...

MY FAVOURITE ARTISTS HAVE TAKEN WHAT THEY HAVE AND THEY'VE MADE IT INTO THIS INCREDIBLE THING. IT MAKES THEM A DANCER OVERALL AND IS NOT ABOUT THEIR BODY PARTS BECAUSE THAT'S SO EASY COME BY.     YOU CAN FIND A PRETTY BODY ANYWHERE AND PUT IT IN A POSITION...

MY FAVOURITE ARTISTS HAVE TAKEN WHAT THEY HAVE AND THEY'VE MADE IT INTO THIS INCREDIBLE THING. IT MAKES THEM A DANCER OVERALL AND IS NOT ABOUT THEIR BODY PARTS BECAUSE THAT'S SO EASY COME BY. YOU CAN FIND A PRETTY BODY ANYWHERE AND PUT IT IN A POSITION...

WHY I LOVE HER:

  • She represents achieving what it seems impossible. 

  • She represents living with a purpose.

  • She represents a step towards equality.

  • She represents opportunities based on ability, hard work and talent, rather than solely on looks or connections.

 

IT IS NOT ABOUT HOW PRETTY YOU ARE, HOW MUCH MONEY YOU HAVE OR WHO DO YOU KNOW. IT IS ABOUT PUTTING IN THE WORK AND SHUTTING THE WORLD'S MOUTH WITH POWER AND GRACE. 

Don't forget to come back next week to check on another badass athlete.