Sunday Theme: Quality Time, Reflection & Preparation

My Sunday Theme is quality time, reflection & preparation. This is when I spend time with family & friends, practice self-care, plan, and prepare for the week ahead.

Although I wouldn’t describe myself as organized or a natural planner, I believe that Daily Theming, giving each day of the week a special focus, has improved my mental, emotional and even physical health. I have tested this myself and find I am a lot more focused. I feel more at ease and peaceful. I am getting stuff done. And my days feel full and abundant. As such, I designed my 30 Day Healthy Living Program with these Daily Themes in mind.

Sunday Funday

Like arranged on a calendar, I mentally start the week with Sunday. It’s like a pre-weekday for me and a good day to connect with the people who are important to me.

I also try to set aside at least a half hour of quiet time to do a check-in with myself (usually in the afternoon during Koji’s nap or in the evening, after Koji has gone to bed). I review and reflect upon what’s happened over the weekend and over the last week by pondering questions like the ones below.

 

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Figuring out how to incorporate my family into my self-care practices and discovering new ways to spend quality time together is one of the aspects of my Sunday Theme I love the most.

Sunday Theme Questions:

  • Who is important to me and how can dedicate quality time to them today?
  • What can I do today to practice self-care?
  • What happened last week that was awesome?
  • What did I accomplish over the weekend and last week?
  • What’s happening right now that could be better?
  • What can I do now that will make the coming week/days easier or better?

I recently attended a conference with Arbonne, the line of botanical health and beauty products I represent. During one of the trainings, one of the trainers, Chantale Oliveira brought up a very interesting concept that I am now working into my evening routines and as part of actions associated with my Sunday Theme of review and prepare. This is the concept of writing not only a “To Do” list, but also an “I Did” or “I Accomplished” list.

What an awesome idea! I have been doing this all week and my daily satisfaction feelings have skyrocketed! While To Do lists are helpful for keeping track of things and fit in perfectly with our Sunday theme, I Did lists help us stay on track of our progress.

You may think checking off boxes on your To Do list might serve the same function, but not really. Try this and you’ll see what I mean.

Sunday Theme Actions:

  • Spend time with family & friends and remembering what’s important;
  • Reflect upon and write down your “I Did” list with the things you accomplished over the weekend and last week;
  • Make a personal, professional & family To Do lists for the week ahead;
  • Prioritize the tasks on your lists (See Productivity Mindset);
  • Delegate as many tasks as you can;
  • Add reminders & allotting time for your essential tasks on your calendar;
  • Schedule appointments for the week;
  • Do laundry (if needed);
  • Grocery shop (you can order groceries online) & meal prep for the week (See Simple Plant-Based Food Plan) ;
  • Prepare clothes, lunches and other stuff needed to make Monday morning as easy as possible;
  • Self-care: Rest, read, self-massage, meditate, journal, breathe, go outside and daydream on the  ‘big picture’ (See 20 Life Changing Questions);
  • Practice Letting go;
  • Take a relaxing bath,
  • Go to bed early.

Of course, another suggestion for a Sunday Theme is to REST completely – no errands or chores on Sunday. If your home tasks like laundry & groceries can get done on another day, it’s lovely to use Sunday to have quality time with family and/or friends time and time for personal development, reflection, gentle organization, and self-care.

Do you have any other suggestions for a Sunday Theme? If yes, please post your ideas below!

 

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30 Day Healthy Living Program

I have had the best time creating the content for the 30 Day Healthy Living Programs I led in October and January. It’s like the flood gates opened and I had the opportunity to blend all of my knowledge and passions into an incredible online program. It was not and is not intended to be a boot camp or weigh loss program. These 30 Day Healthy Living Programs are meant to be a gradual and sustainable integration into healthy habits to last a life time. And from the feedback (see some testimonials below), people got a lot of out it! I am so happy!

Ayurveda is the oldest medical system in the world. Participants received a personalized program, meal suggestions, tips for improving digestion & boosting immunity.

Ayurveda is the oldest medical system in the world. Participants received a personalized program, meal suggestions, tips for improving digestion & boosting immunity.

The program began with a private ayurvedic consultation with each participant. We discussed goals, challenges and ways to improve individual concerns such as digestive issues, poor sleep, low motivation, etc. I then created a customized nutrition and lifestyle program for each individual.

The bulk of the program consisted of daily lessons emailed to participants every morning at 6am.  These lessons covered a variety of topics: letting go, gratitude, why practice yoga, movement, tips for better digestion, smoothie recipes and how to benefit the most from the Arbonne nutrition products included in the Healthy Living program.

The weeks were structured in the following way with practices to complement each theme:

  • MONDAY – Mindset
  • TUESDAY – Lifestyle
  • WEDNESDAY – Heart & Soul

    Heart & Soul practices included Gratitude journal, Letting go exercises, meditation and ayurvedic self-massage. Guided instruction available as download.

    Heart & Soul practices included Gratitude journal, Letting go exercises, meditation and ayurvedic self-massage. Guided instruction available as download.

  • THURSDAY – Nourishment
  • FRIDAY – Movement
  • SATURDAY – Energy
  • SUNDAY – Review

In addition to the daily lessons, we had (have) a private Healthy Living Facebook Group where participants could share ideas, cheer each other on and I could post additional supporting materials. The Facebook group is still live and you are welcome to join this group for free!

We are starting the 30 Day Healthy Living Program again, but this time with a twist! The theme of the upcoming spring program is Lean, Fit & Strong: Body + Mind Sculpting.

Learn more

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The last week of the Healthy Living program, we went through the chakras. For the heart, participants were asked to “write themselves a love letter.”

 

Testimonials from past participants:

Thank you so very much for creating this wonderful Healthy Living program.  It is clear you put so much thought and care into it.  Hearing from you every morning, helped to keep me on track.  I wasn’t always perfect… but I persisted.  My energy levels have improved so much.  By day 15, I no longer woke up in a fog, for the first time in many years.  With renewed energy, I feel that I will be able to move forward towards some of my other goals- ie weight loss, career, etc.

 Jackie Miller

 

I am down 9 lbs. and feeling great! My stomach/digestive system are thanking me! I have been inspired to cook healthier recipes, read my spiritual books and do more yoga and meditation. A BIG thank you to Yasmin Fudakowska-Gow for all her kindness, wisdom, inspiration and knowledge that she has shared with us. It is a great program that covers the mind, body and soul…can’t ask for more than that. All we have learned can be carried forward in our journey to be healthier and happier! I still have lots to do but feeling so much better.

Patti Kowaleski Hall

 

The great thing about doing this 30 day healthy living program for myself is how comprehensive it has been. It is not just about diet, but also encompassed the physical, meditative, creative, and spiritual aspects of change. I have found it to be a truly holistic approach to change, and because of this I think much more likely to be successful at producing lasting personal transformation. We all want to change, to evolve into our true selves, and this personalized program provides a stable, holistic platform from which to do so. Thank you, Yasmin!  

Bruce Chase Dunn

 

 

Baby Alpaca in Bancroft, Ont

The Buddha says, “It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been away, only how soon you come back.”
So here I am. Back, after a few weeks of being conflicted over what to write about.
I’m in Bancroft, a small town smack in the middle of Ontario. It’s our annual Victoria Day (Memorial Day for you Americans) weekend visit to our friends Kat and Vito’s farm. Apart from the black flies, it’s heavenly to be in the country with such good friends: Jamie Lee (artist extraordinaire), Jamie’s friend Sara (a fire dancing poi spinner), Jeanine Caron (blogger of Wonderings and Wanderings), and Kevin Gauthier, a chocolatier, who just returned from a six month tour of South-East Asia. Unfortunately, Craig could not join us, because he is preparing for his photo exhibit, which opens Tuesday.
Last year, I was in the midst of my 108 day Sun Salutation project and Kat, Vi, and then two-year-old Gioia had just moved up here from the Toronto area. This year, their family has expanded and now features nine alpacas, a pony, two dogs, a cat, a rooster, a bunch of chickens, and ten-week-old baby Veda Flora.

After touring an Art Festival in downtown Bancroft, we went for nice long forest trek, accompanied by an unusual gang: Invincible the cat, dogs Misty and Xena, and Walnut, the six week old alpaca personally delivered by my most amazing friend Kat. Kat is truly an inspiration. Not only is she capable of reaching her entire arm inside a birthing alpaca with newborn Veda and toddler Gioia at her heels, she is also the best vegan chef I know. Click here for a link to one of Kat’s recipes from my last visit her. And below is Kat’s recipe for Lentil Walnut Burgers. (Walnut as in the nut, not the alpaca…)
I am very grateful to be away from the city for a few days. It’s nice to lounge and catch up with friends. Nature and fresh air is so soothing to us city-slickers.
I’m also super excited and grateful that I get to be in the country again next week for our Urban Goddess Retreat at Spa Eastman. (By the way, if you are interested in joining us, there are a few still available. For more info, email Jasmine: jgoyer@yasminyoga.com)
Meet Walnut, a six-week-old alpaca
Kat’s Lentil Walnut Burger
 
¾ cup dry red lentils
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
10 mushrooms
1 cup fine chopped onions
4-5 garlic cloves (minced)
½ ground walnuts
1 pound of minced spinach (optional)
1 tsp dry mustard
½ wheat germ or bread crumbs

Cook lentils: ratio of ¾ lentils to 1 ½ water. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer for 30 mins. Sauté onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Once lentils are cooked, mash them together with apple cider vinegar, ground walnuts, mustard, and bread crumbs. Then add in onions, garlic and mushrooms.  Let mixture cool for approximately 30 minutes, then form into patties. (Patties can be frozen on cookie sheet for later or cooked right away.) Broil 5-8 mins per side, then dress with sprouts, avocado, tomatoes or however you’d like. Yum Yum.

Brrrr it’s cold out there!

I’m back in Montreal. Quel différence en température! Quite the shock going from +30 to -30 degrees Celsius within 24 hours! We arrived on the coldest day of the year, which I believe was -42 with wind chill. It seemed like the minute we landed, my skin dried up, my lips became chapped, and everything started aching.

I know, boo hoo… I’m really grateful to have been able to spend two weeks in Caribbean. And it’s warmer now in Montreal. Negative ten never felt so hot!

As promised, here’s the recently launched video number two for January. It features suggestions on what kind of practice with help beat the winter frost and was filmed by Alex Zuno at my studio, Om West, during our holiday yoga practice and veggie potluck on Dec. 12.

Lastly, I need your help. Something very cool is about to happen, but before I can leak the news, we need 1008 Facebook fans to join my Yasmin Yoga page. Can you support? I promise, no bullshit. Here’s the link:

Day 91 – in the townships…

It’s about 12:30pm and I’m sitting on a floral quilt covered bed in a lovely B&B. There’s a wonderful summer breeze blowing through the window which over looks lots of colorful wild flower and greenery. For the first time in two weeks, I feel totally relaxed.

Craig and I are in Stanstead East, a gorgeous town about two hours South East of Montreal. We’re staying at the Riversmead B&B and this afternoon, we are attending our friends’ wedding, which will be a lot of fun. Craig is photographing the wedding and I going to be his “voice activated assistant. (I wish you could see this: Craig is trying to figure out how to tie his tie using a YouTube tutorial… hilarious.)

I had a beautiful outdoor practice this morning. It felt good to practice totally on my own for a change. Well I wasn’t completely alone, Toby, the resident golden retriever, sat beside my mat for almost my entire 108 sun salutations.

I made a video blog to describe what’s going on and how I’m feeling these days