Tag Archives: prioritize

Eating Organic: Why, Which Foods & Money Saving Tips

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

There’s no doubt that ‘organic’ is a buzz word for 2013, and in a perfect world everyone would love to afford an organic-only diet. However, with the cost of food on the rise and the reality that a large majority of the population is on a budget, eating entirely organic is virtually impossible! Let’s face it, a recent college graduate or mother shopping for a family of four is most likely to purchase four non-organic apples for $1, rather than four organic apples for $4.00. With that said, there are particular foods that are very important to eat organic, and rather than give up on eating organic all together, we thought it would be helpful to provide you with why it is important to eat organic, what produce is important to eat organic and a few cost saving tips too.

When produce shopping, a good rule of ‘organic thumb’ is: if the fruit or veggie has an edible skin, buy organic. The reason is that organic farming excludes and strictly limits the use of manufactured (synthetic) fertilizers, pesticides (which include herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides), plant growth regulators (such as hormones), livestock antibiotics, food additives, genetically modified organisms, human sewage and nano-materials. Therefore, if your produce has a thick and non-edible skin, your fruit or veggie is more protected from the potentially harmful chemicals — unlike the produce with edible skin that has no protection. And, because we are what we eat, when eating non-organic produce we must assume that our body is also ingesting those same synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, etc.

Try to Buy These Organic: 

  • Apples, Grapes, Strawberries, Berries, Peaches, Apricots, Pears, Cherries, Carrots, Celery, Broccoli, Lettuce, Spinach, Kale, Greens, Peppers, Tomatoes, Cauliflower, Cabbage Squash, Green Beans, Cucumber, Potatoes

Not as Important to Buy Organic: 

  • Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Mango, Oranges, Bananas, Kiwi, Honeydew, Acorn & Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Avocado, Onion, Corn, Peas

Save some $$!

Finally, there’s nothing worse than spending money on organic produce, to then find it molded and have gone bad in the refrigerator only a few days after purchasing it! On one hand, this is a good sign, as the natural aging process (without chemicals, etc.) is in play. But dang! That’s money down the drain! Therefore, when applicable buy your organic produce frozen (especially if you make smoothies, which is a great way to cool off in the summer and get your fruit and veggie servings for the day) or freeze it upon purchase. This does not diminish the vitamin or mineral content of the fruit or veggie and will save big money!

Furthermore, Costco Wholesale also has incredible deals on frozen organic blueberries and other seasonal produce. Also, subscribe to the Whole Foods mailing list. Very often they have cost-saving sales, like a pint of organic blueberries for $1.99! Finally, if you live in Texas, HEB has an excellent and affordable organic section.

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Conquer May Mayhem!

Celebrating an awesome workout at Pease Park after Molly's 6PM Cross Training class

Celebrating an awesome workout at Pease Park after Molly’s 6PM Cross Training class

You won’t change until changing becomes one of your priorities instead of one of your options.
-Sonya Parker

by Catherine Hearn

by Catherine Hearn

For so many of us, May seems to have become ‘the December of spring:’ a month of hectic schedules replete with weddings, graduations, end-of-year performances, and on and on. Here, iGnite’s founder Neissa Springmann shares the three steps that have helped her stay sane in May.

Step 1: Create Realistic Expectations

It is important to get in the right mindset — to have the right expectations before the mayhem of May begins. When we acknowledge that it is what it is – a hectic and busy month – instead of fighting against it, then things often run much more smoothly for us. Tell yourself, “ok, this month is going to be very busy, a little stressful and hectic– but that’s just May!” Instead of being frustrated when things get overwhelming, you will have anticipated and accepted it. It is much easier to see a light at the end of the tunnel when you have already prepared yourself. After all, summer vacation is right around the corner!

Step 2: Get Organized
May Mayhem!
At the beginning of the month, get out your calendar and take a look at the month as a whole. Getting a complete, visual picture of the month’s obligations takes away the feeling of ‘the unknown’ that often adds to stress.

Step 3: Prioritize

What are your top priorities for the month? Sit down and identify them. Then, make decisions on what is a “must-attend” event and what is an “okay to pass up” event based on those priorities. Often we get in “say yes to everything” -mode instead of taking a step back and realizing that it’s ok to say no. Stay true to yourself and your priorities with your time, especially during hectic months like May.

One final tip: try your hardest to fit in some “me” time! While scheduling your kids’ camps, activities, performances, etcetera, be sure to schedule something for yourself that provides you with a mental escape. Plug in a yoga class, coffee with a close friend or a manicure during one of your “slower” weeks and stick to it. Your mind will thank you!

Other resources we think you will like:

Oct. 2013 Austin Fit Magazine featuring Neissa's Making 'Me' Time For Exercise

Oct. 2013 Austin Fit Magazine featuring Neissa’s Making ‘Me’ Time For Exercise


Related iGnited Posts:

Guilt or Grace?

Girlfriend fun at the Journey XIX Christmas Party and at Rollingwood Park. Thank goodness for the gifts of girlfriends and grace, as they are the magical and necessary combination which allows us to live an enthusiastic and forgiving life.

Grace means more than gifts. In grace something is transcended, once and for all overcome. Grace happens in spite of something; it happens in spite of separateness and alienation. Grace means that life is once again united with life, self is reconciled with self. Grace means accepting the abandoned one. Grace transforms fate into a meaningful vocation. It transforms guilt to trust and courage. The word grace has something triumphant in it.
— Yrjo Kallinen

Action Item:
Release the burden of guilt and give yourself and others the gift of grace.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

As I wrote in last week’s Journal, on Saturday I celebrated my brother-in-law’s super fun 40th birthday. Read about that awesome experience and what I learned in the post, Increased Vitality. During the course of the evening I had many great conversations, however the most memorable was with my cousin’s wife, as I learned that she paints her own toe-nails (OMG!!) because she feels too guilty to get a pedicure. I am sure my facial expression said plenty, however also chimed in with a “WHAT! Are you kidding me? You’re a wife, mom AND business owner and you should NOT feel guilty about getting a pedicure!” I basically told her that she was crazy to think that way and she needed to treat herself to regular pedi’s and mani’s. Furthermore, I encouraged her to ditch the guilt complex because she was doing her very best, and guilt would only take away from her important roles as wife, mom and professional.

Now… let’s fast-forward to the middle of last week, as I was doing my usual iGnite, mom, and wife “thing” but felt oddly off. I was very busy with my weekly to-do’s, which I am always eager to tend to, but all I wanted was for the weekend to arrive so I could press the restart button and try again. I was completely unable to get in my groove and felt bogged down, scattered and unmotivated, which was really bothering me. Why in the world would I be feeling this way? I have everything to be happy and excited about and I am perfectly healthy, so why can’t I get moving and start accomplishing things?

"...praise the Good Lord for girlfriends and the restart/grace button, for had it not been from the inspiring words of my girlfriend, my spirit would still be in the garbage can and I would not have smacked the grace button on Thursday night." -Neissa

“…praise the Good Lord for girlfriends and the restart/grace button, for had it not been from the inspiring words of my girlfriend, my spirit would still be in the garbage can and I would not have smacked the grace button on Thursday night.” -Neissa

Thankfully, Thursday rolled around and I had the fortunate opportunity to have lunch with a friend who ironically was experiencing some of my same emotions. She too is in the wellness profession and claimed to feel like a fraud because she had not been “walking her talk,” which was exactly how I was feeling! I expressed to her that the only way she was a fraud was if she wasn’t real with her clients and pretended to always “have it together,” or never claimed to have a bad day/week. It was also during our conversation that she said she was going to give herself grace. It was then that it all began to make sense to me. The reason why I was feeling blue was because of guilt. Here I was just five days prior chastising my cousin over her guilt when I was doing the exact same thing!

UGH! What a fraud I AM! Where was that optimistic, joyful and can-do spirit that I persistently preach about having? I can accurately say that last week my head was rolling down the street, I was chasing my tail and my spirit was down in the dumps! I was like a ticking time bomb, caught up in the self-induced perfection pressure cooker and rather than take a deep breath and allow myself grace, I felt like a failure. My heart was weighing heavy with personal and professional guilt. I was feeling like an inadequate mom, wife, friend, business owner, manager, and leader. On a personal note, I was receiving Christmas cards from friends who had the most beautiful family photos taken on the beach, snowy mountain tops, etc, while I hadn’t taken my son Durant to get any professional photos! Additionally, I didn’t have any Christmas decorations hung and I hadn’t even written ‘Thank You’ notes for my baby shower gifts from LAST YEAR, much less have Christmas cards ready to send. Meanwhile, one of my best friends, whose twin girls turn one year old in March, was already planning their gymnastics birthday party! As for my husband Russell and I, we were two ships passing in the night. Professionally, I hadn’t given myself the gift of exercise in several weeks and there are so many things I am excited to do with and for iGnite, but I can’t seem to get ahead of my ongoing pile of to-do’s.

So, that was my week, and praise the Good Lord for girlfriends and the restart/grace button, for had it not been from the inspiring words of my girlfriend, my spirit would still be in the garbage can and I would not have smacked on the grace button on Thursday night. Once I gave myself the gift of grace, I was able to breath again and put things in perspective. I also had a dinner that I was supposed to attend and actually called one hour before to let them know I couldn’t come. I wasn’t proud of canceling at the last minute, but I just couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to get dressed up and literally wear a fraudulent happy face. I was true to myself and needed to stay home to refill my empty tank, and without guilt I put on my pj’s and spent the evening with my family.

I don’t know if you suffer from seasonal or regular guilt, but if you do, I encourage you to pick the gift of grace rather the burden of guilt, as well as give others the gift of grace too. We ARE super women, but everyone needs a break. We also can’t live up to pressure of perfection and be everything to everyone, all of the time. This is unrealistic and the reality is that no one expects us to live this way. When we set ourselves up to wear ongoing and multiple hats, guilt and failure are bound to follow. Furthermore, rather than feel the need to “keep up with the Joneses,” like I was trying to do, do what’s best for you and your family, because everyone’s situation is always unique. And, with Christmas fifteen days away, I hope you’ll join me and give yourself the gift of grace. I also hope you’ll add grace to your New Years goals and enjoy an enthusiastic and guilt-free 2012.

Finally, last night following the Heisman Show on ESPN, I watched the wonderfully inspirational life story about a former college and professional quarterback named Todd Marinovich, whose father literally bred him to be a quarterback. As an effort to escape the tremendous pressures of success, he slowly became addicted to drugs. What started with marijuana and alcohol in high school, later grew to crack, heroine, and LSD. Needless to say, his college and professional careers were ruined, and after a long road to recovery, he is sharing his story, which is a beautiful story of grace. This clip is from Dr. Drew is ten minutes long, however it is great insight into a picture of grace. (To skip a commercial, fast forward to 40 seconds)

JOIN THE DISCUSSION- Are You Aware of What Guilt You Are Holding Onto? 

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Shifting Priorities


“I learned that we can do anything, but we can’t do everything… at least not at the same time.” — Dan Millman

Action Item:
Choose the most important things to you this week and give your full self to those things. Loosen your expectations to “do it all” and do less with more heart.

By April Black

By April Black

I am a go big or go home kind of girl. I don’t like to take on a project or do something if I can’t give it 100% and perform to my full potential. From being a “straight ‘A” student growing up, top of my dance class, and Panhellenic President in college, I certainly enjoy working hard and the feelings of success associated with these accomplishments. But there’s a big danger to be aware of in wanting and expecting to be the best at everything, all of the time – I’m constantly falling short.

Lately, I feel like I have been spread a bit thin and not able to give my 100% to any of my endeavors, which is never a good feeling. However, this was a great opportunity for me to rethink my priorities and adjust my schedule accordingly. These feelings were an indication that something had to shift, so that I could be fully present and committed to the items on my plate, instead of doing all of them half-heartedly. In thinking about living my legacy, I would much rather fill my life with fewer, more important things and really shine at those (and enjoy them!), than try to take on everything at once and constantly feel like I am doing a mediocre job or just skimming by.

Neissa and I had a great conversation the other day about this, and her analogy really stuck with me. Think about it like this: we all have multiple buckets to fill and give to – different jobs, special people and aspects of our lives. My personal buckets include daughter, sister, friend, iGnite leader, lululemon educator, and pure barre instructor. In addition to those are other things like working out, socializing, and “me” time. Every day is a constant balance of these buckets… some days, one bucket may need more water and therefore, another bucket gets a little less. Maybe a friend or child is in need, and so you miss a class you had planned on attending. Maybe you got a huge assignment at work, and so you skip happy hour. Or maybe, you just need some time to do nothing and take care of you – don’t forget to fill your own bucket!

Moms and kiddos get together for iGnite class in Pease Park for filling the 'Me' bucket- family time, fresh-air time, and exercise time.

Moms and kiddos get together for iGnite class in Pease Park for filling the ‘Me’ bucket- family time, fresh-air time, and exercise time.

Like water, your priorities need to be fluid and shift at different points in your life. For example, Neissa just added the “Mother” bucket to her list, and her baby Durant is requiring a lot of her attention. In order for her to fill that bucket, the water levels shift – she is teaching less than she used to, her sleep bucket is feeling parched, and her husband Russell now happily shares the “man of the house” title. In time, things will certainly shift again, and again, and again. Every day is a different balance! The Weekly Intention Guide will help you create a plan for this constant balancing act.

The challenge is to remember that everyone has a different set of buckets, and to not compare where you are at this moment to anyone else. Only you know what works for you. Instead of filling certain buckets because you feel like they “should” be at a particular level or you need to “keep up” with Joneses, focus on filling the buckets that are most important to you right now, and that make you feel whole. Then, the more you give to the things that truly matter, and the more your own bucket will overflow and you will suddenly have even more to give!

It takes perfect water levels (and lots of practice!) to make this happen:

JOIN THE DISCUSSION- What different buckets do you fill? 

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