LOVE, GRIEF AND PUPPY KISSES:

I'm finally able to write about the passing of our sweet 11 year old white Boxer Daisy.  I'll still cry all over the key board by the time I'm done, but I'm ready to share.  For those of you that follow me on Instagram and/or Face Book, you may have seen this collage I posted with this caption, which pretty much sums it up ~ The one bad thing about dogs is that they don't live as long as we do.  But I would not trade one second of the 11 years of unconditional love we had from this precious angel for my broken heart. R.I.P DAISY
It's only been a few weeks and I'm still prone to random outbursts of crying, usually in the morning when she's not there leaning against me on my yoga mat, at night before I go to sleep and she's not there beside the bed and at least once during the day completely at random and usually at a very inopportune moment.

I know people that have waited two years to get a new pet and I know people that waited two days. There is no right or wrong and there's no explanation for how we grieve. Grief is extraordinarily personal. I had guilt at the idea of getting a new dog, would it be a betrayal of my love for Daisy? Would her memory slowly die from my mind? Am I a horrible dog mom for even thinking about this so soon!?! Plus, I'm one of those people that would like to rescue every dog at the shelter so going to the shelter in the first place poses its own set of problems.

So I glanced, I browsed, OK I stalked the pictures of the dogs at the Boxer rescues and the Boxer mixes at the shelters. And then I saw one, her name was Alison, a year old Boxer/American Bull dog mix. Her face was two different colors and she was so cute. I had to meet her. I raced to the pound, hoping that she'd look at me with those big sad eyes that said Momma rescue me!  But she didn't, she was of course more interested in the smells of the park area in which we met. Taking this into consideration, I put a hold on her anyway so I could return with my family the next day and most importantly my grandogter Penelope who spends a lot of time on my couch and in my lap and was best buddies with Daisy. We laid the blankets in the car, brought a new toy, set up the bed at home and took Penelope to The Humane Society of Pasadena, which by the way is the Taj Mahal of Animal Shelters. They set us up with a behavioral specialist and a handler in a big grassy area for the dogs to meet.  They knew Alison liked big dogs but Penelope being a Maltese Terrier Mix is little. She's supposed to weigh only 12 lbs, but weighs 20 and is on a diet, I've been blamed, I'm a Jewish grandma to her, we feed! Anyway, the visit was a disaster, Penelope almost got eaten and I almost had a heart attack. I cried all the way home.

At home I put the bed away and I swore off getting another dog for a while, it wasn't meant to be, I would give into my grief and spoil Penelope. Not enough time had passed, what was I thinking!?! And then, me being me, by the next day I was stalking the Internet again. But this time we decided that to protect Penelope, we would have to get a puppy. Great, how in the world would I find a Boxer puppy to rescue, who would give up a puppy!

And then, just like that, a family that had a 13 week old Boxer was looking for a new home for her because their two year old son was to rough on her. We met him, he was. And I got the look I'd been hoping for. I was sitting on the floor when Stella (we changed her name) stopped in front of me and gave me those "please take me home" puppy eyes and so we did.

On Easter Sunday I went to Church with my husband. I'm Jewish and he's Lutheran and the truth is neither of us believes in organized religion, and he jokingly refers to himself as a the first Buddha Lutheran. But thirty plus years ago when he moved to CA from a small town in Minnesota he joined this church for community and in that tradition there are times when we go. I love it, I love the singing, the Easter balloon release and of course the chocolate fountain, (the real reason I go ;) and besides, every Church needs a token Jew.

At this point you're probably saying what the hell does this have to do with Love, Grief and Puppy Kisses, well, it just so happened that on this Easter Sunday the sermon was given by a very profound woman named Pastor Alexa. She started off talking about an accident she recently had in which she shattered her wrist. She was working very hard to regain her range of motion because she was told by the therapist's that there is only a small window and if you don't take care of it in time the scar tissue builds up and you can never have the same feelings again. And then she related that to grief. When you loose someone or something you love if you let the scar tissue build up then you will have scars around your heart. Wow, she was talking about me and Daisy! OK, so maybe she was talking about Jesus, I adapted.

Sometimes we can confuse grief with fear, and it's fear that prevents us from love and jumping in again and experiencing adventure and in the end life itself. What she said had a profound effect on me, AKA light bulb moment. I realized my jumping in gave me the capacity to love another dog, having nothing to do with the love for the one I lost who will always be in my heart.

So, the moral of the story is that love is stronger than grief. I jumped back in because I didn't want to wallow in my sadness and let the scar tissue build up around my heart. It doesn't mean I'm not still sad, it just means love is stronger than death and if you don't believe me, get yourself some puppy kisses.






MOTIVATION MONDAY: APRIL

Happy Motivation Monday and happy first Monday of April!  It's Spring! The flowers are a good reminder of resilience. No matter how cold the ground, or how harsh the circumstances, the flowers grow again. And so do we :)
Took these pictures on a recent visit to the California Poppy fields in Lake Elsinore. Mother Nature in all her glory.
Don't you just love how the one flower is trying to stand out among the rest. Don't be afraid to stand out in the crowd!
 



FAB FINDS FRIDAY: Victoria Beckham for Target

She's come along way since her days as Posh Spice and I have to say I love her style. So when I heard that Targets next big collaboration will launch April 9th as the Victoria Beckham For Target line my hart did flutter a bit.
The line has a ton of Mix & Match options. I'm drawn to the black & white, but there's also pops of color Mix & Matchables and a few 70's looking prints. All in all 200 items for women & kids with prices ranging from $6 - $70, with most pieces under $40. Women's sizes, including plus, XS - 3X and kids for girls, toddlers and baby. Available from April 9th - April 30th, or while it lasts!  As with all Target collabs I have to see it up close and personal to make a judgement, but I think this one is definitely worth a look! Here's a sneak peek





BE WELL WEDNESDAY: THE 80/20 RULE:

The 80/20 rule, eat less workout more, and what is this middle age thing they speak of !?!

I've come to the realization that no matter how many do overs I give myself, and I give myself a lot, I will never (as in EVER) be a perfectionist. I strive to do a certain amount of self care things in a day, no matter how busy I am.  The reality of that is that there are not enough hours in the day for all the things I want to do so something always falls off the list, hence the 80/20 rule. 80% is good, let yourself off the hook for the other 20. And then every once in a while the stars will align and we might just have that 100% day.

Eat less workout more is my husbands favorite expression. When I bitch about loosing weight he's a broken record, eat less workout more, eat less workout more, eat less workout more. ERRRR I just want to eat more!

And this middle age thing. I get it, we're in the middle, or are they referring to the middle you now have, that foreign thing, in the middle of your body commonly referred to as muffin top, fat roll, middle age spread? One of my friends said her Dr. actually told her there was nothing she could do about it, a man no doubt. Well I say HELL NO!

A few Saturdays back as I was gasping for air, climbing up a trail to the back of the Hollywood sign, trying and failing, to keep up with two 20 somethings and moving aside on a very narrow, very steep and very rocky path, as other 20 somethings passed me by, I had an epiphany.  Not an earth shaking spiritual one just an "oh shit I'm not going to make it up this f'n mountain" one.  We hike a lot, we live in the hills where technically walking the dogs is a hike, but this, I had not been challenged like this since I had a trainer post child birth. It was the only time in my life that I'd be on the verge of throwing up after a workout, until now. If you've ever watched The Biggest Looser you know what I mean, red face nauseous, the whole enchiladas. Oh yum now I want Mexican food...

OK, I had to stop twice because I really thought I would vomit, so I rested on a rock trying to figure out what happened to my lungs. The thing is I didn't want to quit, really! I just wanted to rest, and then I got my second wind and kept going. It made me realize how wimpy my workouts are. Turns out (don't tell him) but my husband is right, eat less, workout more, but more than that, work out harder! Ding, ding, ding. I realized the workouts of my 30's and 40's will not cut it in my 50's. I didn't feel old climbing that mountain I felt proud and I want to do it over and over until I don't have to stop or get nauseous. Well, maybe not that mountain. It was so steep we all fell on our butts going down. And by all I mean everyone, not just me, the 20 somethings too :)
Behind the Hollywood Sign
 
So back to the reason I do the 80/20, here it is ~ I cannot stay on a diet for more than a day, I eat really clean and healthy, there's not much to give up so I've taken a few tips from the experts. You may want to join me. First up is Jillian Micheal's 7 day fat flush drink, it's not a cleanse, you eat, but you drink 64 ounces of this a day for 7 days. So far I've only gotten up to day three and then I forget and then I start over. Starting over is good, always start over. (80/20!)
  • 64 ounces of water
  • I Dandelion Tea bag
  • 1 Tbs of lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs unsweetened cranberry concentrate
That's it! I make a big pitcher of it at night leave it in the fridge and in the morning I divide it into  two large mason jars. (Trying not to use plastic*)

This is my eating plan. I'm not a nutritionist or any kind of expert, I'm just sharing what I'm doing to get rid of an extra few pounds.

Here are my every day food musts, everything else is gravy. Haha, OK, NOT GRAVY, but healthy combinations incorporating these foods. Also cardio, weights and yoga.
  • Greens & veggies
  • Berries
  • Vitamins
  • Greek yogurt (no sugar added, check the label) 1 cup has 22 grams of protein
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Avocado
  • Apple Cider vinegar
  • Protein - chicken, fish or beans
  • 64 ounces of water (the above way, plain, lemon, cucumber, etc.) 
  • Yams
  • Quinoa or Quinoa pasta
  • Apples
  • Green Tea
  • Gluten free bagel or bread
  • Eggs
  • Almond Milk
  • Green Juice (kale, carrots, apple, cucumber, ginger and lemon)
  • Lemon
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
Here are a few of my easy combinations;
  • Hot water with lemon first thing in the morning. FYI - Christie Brinkley swears by this and have you seen her lately at 63!?!
  • Breakfast is an O'Doughs Gluten Free seeded Bagel (100 cal) toasted and topped with 1/2 an avocado and some pumpkin seeds, so good! Or eggs. Some weeks I make Gluten Free Flat bread recipe here.
  • Lunch is when I do salad usually with chicken, veggies, nuts and seeds.
  • For my mid afternoon slump it's 1 cup of Greek Yogurt with berries, nuts, half a chopped apple and I put a tiny bit of agave in for sweetness. Once you kick the real sugar habit, this becomes an amazing sweet treat.
  • Dinner incorporates more veggies and protein, sometimes Quinoa is the protein, no meat.
  • I either take the apple cider vinegar by itself, 2 Tbs, it's to harsh for some people but I like it, or I make what I call a mock tail, mixing it with water, lemon slices, 1/2 teas baking soda and a little Stevia.  See the wonders of Apple Cider Vinegar here.
  • Turmeric goes into green juice or sometimes a Golden Milk before bed.
Prep for green juice
Berries at the farmers market

Acia bowl

Cobb salad at Food Lab, West Hollywood
That's it, eat less, (eat healthy), workout more (and harder). I'll check back at -10lbs :) If you're going through this, I'd love to hear from you!

UPDATE:  Last weekend I took a Body Blast class with a girlfriend, I was so proud of us, we burned almost 300 calories, we kept up and we sweat! It definitely made me more conscious of every thing that went into my mouth the rest of the day and according to My Fitness Pal, if I had days like this for the next 5 weeks I would reach my goal!

BTW My Fitness Pal, is a great free App, it will calculate how many calories you should eat to reach your goal, has every food and restaurant imaginable and calculates your steps all day. So if you rather wear a bracelet than a fit bit give it a try. 10,000 steps is the goal!

*check out my families blog on why we're avoiding plastic and how we're attempting to live a greener life at OFF THE GRID IN THE CITY.

See you in sleeveless this summer with my tank top arms  :O