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March 2017 archive

Gabby’s February Challenge: EAT YO’ GREENS!

Around Christmas time, my office is a haven for sweet treats. Around every corner, there were boxes of chocolates, candied bark, cocoa-dusted truffles… You get the idea.

Fast forward to my hometown where I spent Christmas and you’re surrounded by Terry’s Chocolate Oranges, Ferrero Rochers, and Lindor everything.

It was overwhelming, but delicious. I had my fair share of sweets over the holidays. That’s why I really wanted to make an effort to consciously eat healthier in February. Not because I wanted to lose weight or anything, but because I could physically feel that all that sugar had taken a toll on my body. I was tired, sluggish, and had serious brain fog.

Most people dread making goals like this for themselves, but I was into it. Excited, even! I was totally ready to start treating my body like a temple.

For the first 15 days of February, I crushed it. I mean, all my meals were looking like this:

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https://www.pinterest.com/pin/574912708665558211/

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https://www.pinterest.com/pin/574912708665557930/

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http://www.thesilverpen.com/beating-cancer-with-nutrition/recipes/fridays-fixins-roasted-cauliflower-and-chickpeas-with-mustard-and-parsley/

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https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/kale,-white-bean-and-fennel-soup.aspx

These are some of my fav go-to meals right now! Click the links to get the recipes 🙂

But then… work got crazy. I mean, really crazy. For the rest of the month (and even bleeding a little into March), I was at the office until 12 a.m. or working from home until then. And you know what that means – I was eating out. A lot.

It was the last thing I wanted after I worked hard to treat my body right for the first half of the month. And I was feeling good! But where do you draw the line when work gets crazy? I had literally no time to get groceries, let alone cook stellar meals like the ones above, so I was subject to whatever was available and filling, which usually meant fast food.

I tried when I could to get healthier foods like salads or buddha bowls from places like Kupfert and Kim and Fresh, but at the end of the day, sometimes a girl just needs a warm meal. Especially when life was feeling kinda crappy.

So I gave my body what it wanted, which was usually deep fried and came with fries. Not my finest hour(s). Sometimes I would be working out of Starbucks and my dinner would be a grande americano with an oat bar. Times were tough, people.

I started slowly giving up on my goal of eating healthy. I thought, what’s the point? I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I wasn’t sleeping properly which made me crave more junk. And I stopped trying to resist the snacks at my work. I just gave in.

But now that February is over, I’ve been slowly starting to get back on track. Work is getting a little better, and I sit here writing this on one of my vacation days I took (because I hella deserve some time off).

I was going to take another crack at eating healthier again as my March Challenge, but I realized there was something I wanted to accomplish even more: going to the gym. Ever since I got a membership a couple months ago, I’ve really gotten into it. But, as you know, February was crazy and I didn’t get a chance to go once.

For March, my goal is to to the gym at least twice a week. That seems pretty doable! But as I’ve learned from my February challenge, it’s important to adjust your goals when life (or work) gets in the way. It doesn’t make sense to force yourself to go if you’re really busy and sleep would be a better option. So I’m excited to see what happens! Let’s do this.

-Gabby

Karyn’s February Challenge: Me Time

When we started Mo’ Money, Mo’ Progress, I initially thought that my only focus would be on finances. But as we progressed, my sisters and I began to really look at the mo’ progress side of things. While watching my sisters take on personal challenges that helped them to become more well-rounded people, well, I decided to join them.

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For the month of February my goal was to find more “Me” time. To some this may not seem that challenging. You probably have no problem finding ways to relax and take a moment to enjoy something you love. For me I have always had an issue with slowing down. If I wasn’t working I would feel like I’m failing. If I wasn’t going above and beyond what was expected of me, I felt like I was letting people down. So finding time to just do something that I found fun actually seemed kind of daunting.

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Luckily for me, the month of February had me make some major changes to my schedule. My amazing managers noticed that my stress levels were through the roof and decided to lend me a hand. They talked to me about having time off to relax and recuperate. We tweaked my schedule and I was able to create time where I could have the opportunity to actually plan some me time.

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Now that I had the ability to take a breather from work I had to start thinking about what I wanted to do. The first two things to pop into my head was of course Krav Maga and movies. Krav is literally all I do when I’m not working, so that was a no brainer. Movies on the other hand gave me pause.

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Movies cost money. Right now I’m trying to stick to my 12-month budget and so far it’s been challenging to say the least. Paying for movies isn’t cheap, even if I am using Scene points. Just thinking about the cost of all the films I wanted to watch started to get me stressed out. That was the OPPOSITE of what I wanted for my February challenge! So I decided to say SCREW IT to my entertainment budget and I just watched any movie and every movie that came my way.

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I’ve gotta say that it was awesome!

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I felt like I was in uni again, just going out with friends and catching a flick. It kind of felt freeing.

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Yes, yes, I know I’m just talking about going to see some random movies, and it shouldn’t seem this dramatic. For me, it was an opportunity to indulge and have fun. I really missed that because I was adulting so freakin’ hard.

I’m really glad I had the chance to take on this challenge. It forced me to take a good look at myself and see where I was going. I’m so lucky that I have my super sibs that inspired me to start making mo’ progress in my life and start enjoying it!

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-Karyn

Gwen’s February Challenge: Getting Prepared for Taxes…Take 2!

Happy March! I am so so so excited for spring. New beginnings, warmer weather and overall a feeling of relief that a new season is upon us. I’m officially ready to shake off the heaviness I’ve been feeling here and there and embrace the light, joyful energy of spring.

My February challenge was to get all of my documents in order, whip out the ol’ Google Spreadsheet and get my 2016 taxes ready to be filed at a meeting I scheduled with my financial planner. I made progress on this goal, but did not complete it this month.

Why? Well… I’m about to bring out the excuse parade, but I think it’s interesting to reflect on my reasoning, especially when in reality there was no reason other than feeling that fierce resistance to sitting down and number crunching. When I do the number crunching, the truth is in black and white. There’s no denying the wins and failures of the year before. And frankly, I’m a bit hard on myself and kinda always wish I did a bit better with organizing my expenses and earnings – so the whole process would be easier. I’m definitely working on self-compassion 😉

I will say, I made tremendous progress on organizing all of my receipts. They are now organized into one accordion folder (instead of two that also housed random things like post-it notes and some haphazard papers). My meeting with my financial planner got changed to mid-March about a week before the meeting, so I found that I also used that as an excuse in my mind to cut myself some slack and wait.

I will be meeting with her the second week of March, and know I will get it done (ideally having some fun along the way!) My plan is to book off a couple hours in the afternoon this week, grab an almond misto and take it slow – doing the number crunching for each month, possibly taking a dance break in between each month to celebrate!

For my March challenge, I’m going meatless! For the month of March, I’m taking meat out of my diet (including fish) and focusing on living off of a mostly vegan diet. Why? Well, it seems I’ve attracted a ton of vegans and vegetarians friends into my life lately, and when we talk about food, I always find myself agreeing with many of their reasons for not eating meat. I’m definitely always up for a food challenge (I’ve given up sugar, bread, and dairy in the past), and am interested to see how I feel whilst being off meat this month. A few years ago I did go vegetarian (as my landlord in Santa Monica, CA didn’t allow meat into his home), though at the time I wasn’t educated on what to eat. Instead of eating quinoa, lentils, tofu, nuts, and tempeh I lived off of bread and cheese (and all the donuts). So, I’m excited to take on this challenge to make progress in my health and perhaps save a few bucks by buying less meat at the grocery store!

<3 Gwen