Prioritizing Health and Wellness

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to health and wellness things usually turn out the best for me when I focus on it as an afterthought in life.  

I know what you might be thinking, because hello Sonya, isn’t health and wellness what you are all about? And to answer the question, Yes it is what my main focus is here and I believe it is my calling from God. The thing is, I believe that when our lives are focused on the right things in the right order, everything begins to fall into place.

Think of your time like a budget, where people often assume the thing they put the most time into will be successful; therefore bringing with it true happiness. There, of course, are several different types of investments, but the one thing that people (Myself included) need to realize is the only way to gain true balance and success is to first invest in your relationship with Christ!

In John 3:30 the bible says “He must increase, and I must decrease.” This doesn’t mean you as a person have to give up on everything brings you joy or makes you feel good. What it does mean is that what you invest in first and foremost in life is God.

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My life did not reflect John 3:30 at the beginning of college when all I truly cared about was getting healthy and fit. It sounds innocent enough, but because I was putting myself as my main investment I began to act as though I was the only thing that could provide happiness in my life. I became so obsessed with obtaining happiness that I became a slave to myself. I stopped eating, was over-exercising, and lived for the high of loose fitting pants.

If you read Proverbs 27:19, it says “So as water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” My life reflected a selfish and broken system, a life dependent on self. I believed that in turning to myself and leaving God at the bottom of the list I could make everything right when in reality, my life was a disaster.

In Proverbs 21:2 it says, “A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart.”  

My ways were not right, and even today I don’t always invest my time properly, but my end goal is to first and foremost focus on the LORD. I know that when my heart is not invested in him, my relationships, work life, and health suffer. 

So the next time you dive into a self-help book, blog, Instagram page, make sure that before working with these tools find out what's going on in your heart.

Thank you for stopping by, If you have any questions please let me know in the comments below or dm on my Instagram handle at @sonyasopencupboard. I would love to talk to you more about the freedom and LOVE which comes from God!

Love always,

Sonya

Hot to Form Healthy Habits

I don’t know about you but when it comes to keeping habits, I am usually a little all over the place when it comes down to it. Of course, the intentions are always good, but sometimes I lose focus, lose interest and my big plans usually fall flat.

After many attempts at fighting the desire to form a habit and then rebelling against what’s expected I have figured out some secret weapons informing and keeping habits.

· Tip #1: Learn how YOU operate.

One of my favorite things I did last year was take the Myers Briggs personality test and learn more about me as a person. When you learn more about how you operate it can make all the difference in how you begin to approach things like forming habits.

For Example as an ENFJ, I know that I can be a bit, well VERY idealistic. In order to combat this, I need to reel myself in a bit and start small with forming habits but keep my big ideas at the forefront to keep me motivated!

You can find the test HERE https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test and use your results and the next three tips to start to build the healthy habits that you want!

· Tip a#2: Give yourself a time slot.

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Sometimes if I know there’s no definite ending point I won’t even begin trying, even if it’s something I actually want to do. So instead start with a week-long commitment and when the week is over, start your week goal over again.

This way if you have a hard time committing to something long term by keeping things simple you’re more likely to continue with it, especially if you realize you actually enjoy doing it.

· Tip #3: Show yourself some Grace

Okay so one thing I find about forming habits, after a few weeks (or days) of staying on track something might get in the way and you have the time, forgot, or maybe just chose to not do it. In these situations, I usually get discouraged and quit since my plans for perfection have been derailed. This is where the grace part comes in.

It’s good to remember that nobody is perfect no matter what their Instagram feed looks like or how they come off. Everyone gets derailed, and it’s OK the only thing you have to worry about is to keep moving forward.

· Tip #4: Remind yourself WHY you started

When you first decide what habits you want to form write down a list of WHY you want to make the habit. If you want to go to bed early because you don’t want to be grumpy with your family in the morning then write it down. This way if you start to move away from your new habits you can take a look at the list and use it as motivation to stay on track!

Hopefully, with these tips help you feel motivated to form and keep those healthy habits!

Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out this post!

As always, lots of love and have a wonderful day!

-Sonya

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Howto Overcome Daily Obstacles

I don’t know about you guys, but when it comes to food the daily struggle is real. I stopped eating for about 8 months at the beginning of college and ended up lighter than I had been in middle school. I was extremely underweight and unhealthy. Thankfully I discovered food again and with some trial and error, I am now a pretty healthy person.

What people don’t see is the struggle that goes on in my mind and in my heart every day. I don’t walk past a mirror without checking to see if I “look skinny” and I don’t drink chocolate milk without thinking to myself I just messed up big time (Yes I’m drinking chocolate milk right now). This might not seem so bad, but these types of thoughts and habits are consistent and can leave me feeling like I am little to no value in this world. It sounds dramatic, but whatever your struggle may be, it is easy to get to a place like this.

For quite a long time I tried to work through this problem on my own which sparked my interest in health and wellness. I focused on changing my mindset, my diet, my sleep pattern and I relied on Instagram as a focal point to remind me what I wanted from this life with God as an afterthought.

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Even as I began to progress and make positive changes I suffered in my attempt to become my own source of stability. Even with loves ones supporting me I realized you can’t stabilize your life all by yourself. This is not to say that people can’t heal and begin to do better with the help of other and a positive mindset. What I am saying is the only way to truly overcome these obstacles in life is to lean on the Lord Jesus Christ. Proverbs 3:5 says we should “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” and in 1 Peter 5:7 it says “Casting all anxieties on him, because he cares for you”…Did you see that last part there? He actually CARES for you.

We all face a daily struggle, and no matter how different they are each is extremely real and extremely difficult to overcome. I do not want to learn to live with mine, but I want to fight and change the way I think and feel every day so that I can focus on what is truly important. The only way I have experienced true relief from my burdens is when I am focused on God. He is the one who has brought me to a place where I can love myself, where I can take the voices of failure and replace them with rejoicing in the life he has blessed me with.

The next time you feel yourself in a situation where your daily struggle seems to become a heavier burden every day take a look into why you are feeling that way. Take a look at what you have been spending the most time on and what you have been prioritizing.

I know that for me it’s when life gets busy and there’s not enough time in the day for God. When I don’t read my bible when I don’t spend time in prayer or keep the burdens on my heart to myself. I struggle when I choose my own strength instead of looking to God for his help.

Thank you so much for stopping in and I can’t wait to talk to you guys again!

Thanks again!

-Sonya Peacocke

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Healthy Tips for Monday Motivation

I don’t know about you guys but I have my fair share of struggles when it comes to eating in a way that helps my body thrive. Thankfully I have some wins in there as well and since this is a page where you guys can come to find encouragement and helpful tips I figured why not dive into some of the ways I am working to better myself and work through my struggles.

SO here we go, a little look into the day to day life of someone looking to improve and facing the #strugglebus just like you!

First of all let’s check out a positive change

·         Sipping vs. Gulping

Recently I have become aware of the fact that even though I drink enough water its usually because I guzzle down half or even all of my 32oz tumbler of water after not touching it for hours. This makes me feel bloated and sick to my stomach like I just ate a whole thanksgiving spread. It’s one of those aha moments where you think that even though you’re getting a bad result from a habit, you’re still technically doing what you’re supposed to do. In this situation it’s getting enough water, but in reality flooding your system isn’t much better than getting less than what you’re supposed to.

In order to stop the bad habit I am working on consuming as much water as needed, but through sipping my water throughout the entirety of the day. This helps your body absorb what it needs without the constant urge to pee everything out…   

For me I haven’t done anything too fancy to change the habit except for make myself accountable by telling you guys about it here. Since accountability is how I work this for me is perfect, but if you’re looking for something more tangible think about getting a water bottle with ounce markers to tell you how much you have been drinking. Soma fancy ones have time slots as well to help you along your way!

Here’s a negative shift

·         Sugar vs too much Sugar

Okay, so my body is extremely sensitive to things like sugar, caffeine, medicine, smells, etc. My mom was an angel as the smell of bug spray made me burst into tears, sugar made me a crazed hyper thing and medicine usually made me feel like crap.

It only makes sense that in my older age of 23 that nothing has changed except for the fact that I can control myself a little better. That being said I have recently lost the will to keep my sugar & caffeine addiction at bay, especially late at night. 

One of my problems is that I have filled the house with more sugary treats than low sugar treats. For example I have had a healthy supply vegan chocolate, fudgsicle, ice cream and cake…yeah not a good environment for the one who does not have much will power. SO this week I am making sure to have on have treats on hand that are filled with nutrients, low in sugar, and still super tasty!  

 

Here’s a sneaky recipe for one of my favorite treats that fit the criteria!

 

Sugar free Vegan Chocolate Parfait 

Ingredients

·         1 serving coconut or almond milk yogurt. 

·         1Tbsp. cocoa powder

·         ½ tsp. unrefined stevia powder 

·         ¼ cup frozen raspberries

·         1tbsp. chia seeds 

·         Pinch of salt

·         Gluten free granola (find the recipe here! https://www.sonyasopencupboard.com/recipes-1/3/4/2018/5-ingredient-gluten-free-granola)

Mix everything together in a mason jar for that authentic hipster look and top it off with my 5 ingredient gluten free granola if you really want to get fancy.  

So without further adu here’s to a week of sipping water and keeping the sugar at bay!  

Thanks for reading!

-Sonya Peacocke

Stop Feeling Overwhelmed

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I don’t know about you guys, but lately I have been feeling a little bit overwhelmed. Maybe it’s the summer coming to a somber end where events wrap up and we look forward to bringing routines back into play. To me this is almost like a January 2.0 where you’re trying to wrap up from the holidays and realize you have a million and one things to accomplish. Silly things and big things that have somehow been neglected, but now stare you down as they wait to be accomplished. For me this includes paperwork, folding laundry (instead of leaving it in a big pile on the floor…), planning out meals, blog posts, etc.  

Thankfully we go through this seasons like this fairly often so we have to learn more each time, right? This season I have learned a few important things that I felt I should share even though you guys are probably way ahead of me on the productivity train…Even so here are my tips and tricks for working through times in life where things are crazy and all you want to do is get things back on track!  

1)      Set Obtainable Goals

To start out, an important part of getting back on track with life is to set yourself up for success. This means set goals, but don’t set them so high that they are impossible to accomplish, leading to a disheartening feeling that it can’t be done.   

For example I tell myself the whole house needs a deep clean on a Sunday, while also wanting to workout, finish a blog post and spend time with my family. This is OBVIOUSLY too much work, but honestly I have attempted this goal before, and yes I have failed…SO don’t set yourself up for failure, but set yourself up for success!

This leads to my next few tips.

2)      Start Small

So when I decided that I needed to set more obtainable goals I still felt overwhelmed by everything that needed to be accomplished. Instead of freaking out (which I started to do), I took a step back and just focused on the little things. I cleaned my hairbrush, which is no big deal, but seeing that clean and neat helped me to feel accomplish and get a little taste of satisfaction that comes along with order and cleanliness. 

After this small thing I moved on to cleaning the dishes, making the bed, etc. and before I knew it the house was clean enough that I didn’t feel overwhelmed and I could move on to my next task with ease.

3)      Show Yourself Some Grace  

I have a really hard time with this one, as I never take the time to appreciate the work I have accomplished and move on to the overwhelming feeling that I need to do more. If I find myself in this situation I again take a step back and take a good look at what I have done.

If you have a hard time doing this I suggest taking a break in between tasks to do something calming such as going for a walk, listening to happy music, having a conversation with a loved one. This helps to put your day into perspective as well as break your tasks up so that you actually can see the progress you have made! 

4)      Be Patient

Your life will not be organized overnight and that you’re going to have to be patient. What helped me is knowing how many weeks left of school I had. Because I knew when my time would free up more after school I allowed myself to do what I could within the minimal amount of time I had without giving up my sanity. This helped me to minimize stress help me stayed focused on the task at hand. 

Overall these tips and tricks have helped me to manage stress and be encouraged seeing that I can accomplish more than I thought I could with more grace than ever thought possible!

I hope that you guys enjoy this post, and that is will help you enjoy whatever season in life you are in, no matter how busy!   

Until next time!

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-Sonya

How To Eat Healthy During the Holidays // 4th of July

Staying on track during a Holiday// 4th Of July

I don’t know about you but holidays are my absolute favorite, not only because of the party but because it’s a time to fill your life with people and food you love! The sad part about it is that for several years I found myself miserable when it came to big events because the food would cause so much stress. I have always ether gone to the extreme of avoiding everything except the veggie platter or to the opposite end of the spectrum where I eat everything including the food I don’t want. Seems crazy, I know, but this was the reality.

As you guys might now I started the Candida cleanse again about three weeks ago in June, fully aware that 4th of July was right around the corner. 4th of July is bigger than Christmas here in Florida, so there’s a lot of opportunity to fall into my old habits, but I wanted this 4th of July to be different. I didn’t want to feel regret or like I missed out on anything while also being content.

I decided for the sake of breaking the cycle I would approach things differently. I would chose my absolute favorite healthy foods and treat myself to them in moderation, I would try to stay hydrated and allow myself a little wiggle room to enjoy some things that were not allowed on the candida cleanse, but wouldn’t cause any turmoil. Instead of choosing healthy options that stuck strictly to the diet I would eat things than bent the rules. The catch was that in bending the rules I would be content to stop there. I wouldn’t feel the urge to go overboard or be too controlling and overall I think I achieved just that.

Here is a little recap to show you what I decided to eat and avoid, but more importantly the MINDSET that I kept through the whole day.  

·         Coffee was a go for the morning and I paired it with Gluten Free toast. One slice with egg, bacon smashed avocado and the other with homemade sunflower butter and cacao nibs.

·         Lunch was a frozen banana smoothie bowl

-          Banana

-          Sunflower Butter

-          Chocolate Protein

-          Ice

-          Almond Milk

·         Snacks consisted of several cucumbers and carrot sticks as well as fruit such as watermelon and blueberries. I also had a few things like Gluten Free pretzels and homemade cookie dough bites that were not candida approved, but helped me to avoid eating chips and other foods that would have bothered my stomach.

·         While everyone sipped on beer and mixed drinks I stuck to fancy water, aka a splash of Pomegranate Bai with water and cucumbers. I also enjoyed a Hard Kombucha and La Croix sparkling water.

·         Dinner was nether here, nor there I had a few different small meals after lunch but they were mainly salads and then pulled chicken as well.

 

Overall the say was a success both with food and with family and I look forward to taking what I have learned and applying it to every future gathering!

 

Happy 4th of July! I hope you guys had a great one!

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Keep Calm and Drink Tea.

Keep Calm and Drink Tea.

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I don’t know about you, but growing up I loathed tea despite how awesome it was. Thankfully I have a mother who would always encourage me to try new things as well as my South African family who helped me to understand the sheer importance of tea.

First of all, drinking tea is something commonly acquainted with relaxation. Tea time is a part of your day where you take a step back to breath, enjoy good conversation or even quiet time by yourself. There is something special about putting life on hold for those few moments.

Now if you would have told me that 2 years ago I would have seen it as a waste of time because obviously taking 15 minutes to drink tea is not productive. My mindset was if you have 15 minutes to do something, then do something productive. This “productive” time would consist of cleaning, jumping jacks, trying to read all 45 pages of assigned reading, etc.

Obviously I was good at taking every opportunity to stress myself out…

Thankfully I can now see the productivity in drinking tea. Not only is it relaxing and offers some family time, you also have a chance to mentally unwind. I have found that taking 15 minutes helps me to be more productive, I am calm and not rash in my decisions and I am generally happier.

Oh yeah, and did I mention all the health benefits of tea? You might be surprised but tea can be used to sooth a sore throat, aid in digestion, provide antioxidants to keep you healthy and caffeinated teas are a great swap for coffee! Tea is also low in calories and can help you when it comes to managing cravings and mindless snacking.

So this week take the time to stop for a minute, make a cup of tea with a special treat whether it be good conversation, a slice of cake, or both!

P.S. If tea doesn’t sound too thrilling here is a list of my personal favorites!

·         Rooibos tea with a dash of Almond milk and Honey

·         Matcha Latte with Cinnamon

·         Herbal blended tea: Plain or with a dash of Almond Milk

Smoothie Bowl Love

Need to get out of the boring breakfast rut?

Here is a simple, and delicious recipe that will make you step back, look in the mirror, and realize that your the coolest for creating an awesome breakfast. 

Ingredients 

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  • 2 frozen cubes pumpkin
  • ¼ cup frozen steamed cauliflower
  • ¾ th Frozen Banana
  • 1Tbs Nut Butter
  • Plant based Milk ½ cup or as needed  
  • 3-4 drops stevia (Optional)
  • 2Tbs Flax Meal

Helps you to digest smoothies and avoid that sickly feeling some people get after eating smoothies

  • Dash of cinnamon

This is a warming spice and will aid in digestion of your smoothie as well as keep your blood sugar from spiking.

  • 1tsp Maca (Optional) 

This is to help balance hormones  

Blend and top with your favorites, from nut butter and coconut to chia seeds and fruit!