DIY Antibacterial Yoga Mat Cleaner

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Hey everybody! Welcome back to my blog! In this post, I will be sharing with you a recipe and how-to guide for an all natural, DIY yoga mat cleaner. This cleaner has minimal ingredients, is gentle and best of all, NON TOXIC. Let’s get started!

About 3 Christmases ago, I was gifted two beautiful, good quality yoga mats that I have used regularly over the years. However, when it comes to cleaning my mats…that’s not so regular (don’t judge). Yoga mats and workout mats can be some of the worst culprits in terms of harboring bacteria and other icky things, especially those in public spaces that are open to communal use. Lucky for me, I rarely ever use my yoga mats outside of my home, however, I definitely haven’t been the sole user and even still, my own sweat and bacteria buildup is problematic. Needless to say, it’s time for a change. This spray smells fresh, is inexpensive, effective and is yet another way to make the products in your home eco-friendly & GREEN. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • witch hazel
  • distilled water
  • 20-30 drops of essential oils
  • spray bottle (glass preferred; but plastic is all I had on hand at the time)

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Here’s how to make it:

  • Combine 1 part witch hazel with 3 parts distilled water into your spray bottle
  • Add essential oils of choice. I recommend using peppermint, lavender & tea tree essential oils because not only do they smell great, but they also have natural antimicrobial properties. Otherwise, use whatever suits your best!
  • Cap bottle and gently shake to combine

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Here’s how to use it:

  1. Shake bottle before each use
  2. Spray generously on yoga mat and wipe with a clean cloth
  3. Let the mat dry completely
  4. Flip the mat over to the other side and repeat 🙂
  5. Store in a cool, dark place between uses

It is ideal to clean your mat after each use, especially if it is traveling with you to public places. I also recommend making your spray in a small travel size bottle, that way you can use it at home and also easily throw it in your gym bag to use on communal mats you may come in contact with as well. It’s that simple! 🙂 Now you can continue on your fitness journey with a germ-free, fresh smelling yoga mat!

Be sure to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss out on future posts, follow me on IG (@leangreenandeverythinginbtwn), Pinterest (@jsto1217) and share this post to all social media platforms.

Namaste,

xoJ

 

 

 

New Year, Intentional Me — 2019 Goals

HAPPY NEW YEAR to my Lean, Green Gang and welcome back to my blog! We’re eleven days into 2019 already .. that’s crazy! I hope you all have found some type of rest, relaxation and return to routine after enjoying the holidays. Now, it’s back to the grind…

Growing up, New Year’s has always been a time of reflection and celebration for my family. We attended what we call “Watch Night Service” at church every NYE, brought in the New Year together at our long-time family friend’s party (the turn up was real even as a kid at their parties lol) and then we’d go to my grandma’s on New Years Day to celebrate my mom’s birthday – yup, she’s a New Year’s baby! That was basically our ritual every year. Of course, as I got older, got friends and had driving privileges, my plans tended to deviate more, but regardless of whether I went out and partied with friends or went out of town, my NYE/day always included some component of family and to this day, it still does. One thing we were never really big on, though, were New Year’s resolutions. We were more so reflective and after looking back on the current year, we were taught to be thankful to God for showing us favor, bringing us through this year and allowing us to see another – all of which I show gratitude for daily. I don’t really remember my parents being big on resolutions, even the cliche ones like weight loss and other major lifestyle changes. It just seemed like post-celebration, the new year was just another day with not many intended or noticeable changes. Now, of course, I was younger and it’s very much possible that my parents had their own personal goals or resolutions that they didn’t share with us as kids, which makes sense because 1 – we’re kids 2 – it’s none of our business and 3 – it wouldn’t mean much to us anyway. My point is that New Year’s resolutions, vision boards, etc. were just not a thing we did as a family.

It wasn’t until my college/adult years that I discovered – and loved – the idea of vision boards and new year’s resolutions. I have always been a goal-setter, sometimes to a fault, but it’s just who I am. I am also always looking for ways to be better and do better so the whole concept of a new year, new start, clean slate, etc. just spoke to me. So, like everyone else, I would always make a list of resolutions, be really serious about them and then by about March I’d either have failed miserably or just have totally forgotten about them. Consistency has always been and still is my biggest obstacle when it comes to making a lifestyle change. I’m learning to continue to be conscious of this but also not to beat myself up about it because, after all, we’re all a work in progress.

For 2019, my new year’s resolution plan was pretty much the same as always UNTIL I ran across this post on my Instagram explore page. It really resonated with me as these are all areas of my life that I am constantly working on improving & also want to focus more and spend more time on rebuilding in 2019. Seeing these words altogether in a list form like this inspired me to use this list as categories & write my 2019 goals under each of the eight categories with the ultimate mission to be improving my overall quality of life & relationships.

The post stated, “The QUALITY of your life is directly related to the quality of your”:

  1. Thoughts
  2. Words
  3. Food
  4. Sleep
  5. Fitness
  6. Purpose
  7. Environment
  8. Relationships

For me, having specific, realistic goals pertaining to an area of improvement & being able to see the connection on a piece of paper with my own eyes makes me feel 1 – like I am manifesting change & 2 – that I am being more intentional with my goal-setting, and thus am more likely to accomplish them & sustain this mindset throughout this year and those to come. It provides me with a more organized framework from a holistic point of view going into the new year to make sure that I am actually working towards improving each category as a opposed to a giant list of goals with no sense of direction, which often makes me feel overwhelmed. In other words, it’s makes my goals feel more approachable & less daunting. That’s just how my brain works.

I want to be intentional with these goals and just more intentional with my time in general, because 1 – that is the only way to truly manifest and sustain change and 2 – I’ve seen in my own life and in others’ time and time again what happens when time is frivolously wasted and then you’re looking back wondering how/why it seems that everybody else except you got ahead. No longer will that be me. Faith without work is dead. If I want God to do his part, I must also do mine. I prayed for clarity & guidance as began to write my goals on paper & claimed them already done. As I wrote, I went through each category & asked myself “How can i improve my thoughts in 2019? my words? my food?” – so on & so forth – and then wrote my goals for each category based on my answers. My word for 2019 is INTENTION.

So without further ado, here are my goals for 2019:

THOUGHTS

  • Engage in more positive self-talk
    • Find healthier ways to communicate with myself and quiet the negative self-talk in times of self-doubt, disappointment, and uncertainty
  • Start meeting with a therapist
  • Remove all sources of negativity that encourages comparison and negative self-talk
    • Distance myself from those ‘friendships’ whose foundation is built upon gossip
    • Unfollow any IG account that I suck my teeth at (some of the best advice I have ever received – – sounds crazy, but it seriously works!)
    • Curate my IG feed to a be a source of positivity and a mentally healthy place to be
  • Find healthy ways to combat overthinking
  • Educate myself more about anxiety, the different types as it relates to me, and ways to control it

WORDS

  • Take time to think before I speak (it’s okay to pause)
  • Less screen time, more read time – stimulate my mind and strengthen my vocabulary
    • Read TWO scientific articles per week
    • Read ONE book for pleasure per month
      • Make a reading list (already done for Jan-April)
      • Read 1 hour before bed on weeknights (wind down/no screen time)
  • Start journaling (again)
    • Start small by writing down 3 things I’m grateful for everyday
    • If I feel inclined to write more, just let it flow
  • SPEAK THINGS INTO EXISTENCE! Life and death are in the power of the tongue.
    • Establish and recite morning and night affirmations daily

FOOD

  • Take better control of my cravings –> SUGAR (practice self-control, not deprivation)
  • Adopt an intermittent fasting lifestyle
    • GOAL: eating window 10AM-6PM
  • Take steps toward transitioning to a more holistic/plant-based routine
    • Phase out processed foods, meat and dairy (with time, consume sparingly)
    • Detox every 3 months
    • GOAL: 80% vegetarian
    • Be more consistent with my 80/20 rule –> Eat clean M-F, then treat (NOT binge) on the weekends
    • Experiment more with healthy/plant-based alternatives (I’ve found that most are surprisingly good)
      • Ex: nice cream, bio coffee, etc.
  • Be more consistent with taking my supplements

SLEEP

  • Go to bed early, wake up early (I am a night owl by nature, but it’s just not conducive to the normal work world and as a result my mood, health and overall well-being tends to suffer long-term. So until I can find a balance, I must face the facts and try to conform to a ‘normal’ sleep schedule…ugh)
    • GOAL: bedtime = 11PM, wakeup = 7AM (9AM on weekends)
  • Utilize downtime and app limits on my phone
  • Establish an intentional AM and PM routine that makes me excited to get up & get going
  • Diffuse sleep inducing essential oils blends
  • Start using my alarm clock so that I can turn off my phone at night so as to not be tempted
  • Set the sleep timer on my TV

FITNESS

  • Stop starting over. For every ‘before’ photo, I have like no ‘afters’. Honestly, my before photos are becoming a sequence of before and afters to show negative progress to the point where my very first ‘before’ is lowkey now my goal lol #WhatIsLife
  • GOAL: workout 6 days/week (I’ve done it before, for like 3 months straight, so I know I can do it again)
    • M/W/F – lift
    • T/R – active rest
    • SAT – yoga
    • SUN – rest
  • Incorporate more outdoor workouts. I do live in TX after all.
  • Enroll in a membership at yoga studio

PURPOSE

  • Pray more specific prayers for discernment and direction as it relates to my purpose and mission
  • Pour into my blog
    • Pre-plan content to improve consistency
    • Claim and start utilizing my Facebook page
    • Trademark my name and logo
    • Reach 5,000 followers on IG
    • Obtain 2 paid sponsorships with brands that I actually believe in
    • Buy a personalized domain name
  • Consume knowledge and make my PhD a priority, but DONT let it consume me
    • Network/be more social (get outside of my comfort zone)
      • Attend and least two grad student social events per semester
    • Set boundaries in the interest of my personal well-being (i.e. scheduling ‘nothing’ time, taking care of self, etc.)
    • Prioritize myself (THINK before saying yes)
    • Ask more questions
    • Make weekly goals based on a 5-year plan
      • Set realistic expectations
  • Soft launch my business (again)
    • Create and trademark a logo
    • Choose 2-3 products from my list to focus in on improving/finalizing formulas
    • Send product testers to friends/family
    • Make and sell a set number of products once a month

ENVIRONMENT

  • Incorporate more healing herbs and essential oils into my daily routine
    • Diffuse EO’s during my morning meditation
    • Educate myself more on properties of herbs, crystals, and EO’s (add relevant books to my reading list) and share knowledge with family, friends, and followers
  • Start an herb garden
  • Get more plants, especially those with healing properties, for my apartment
  • Put some time and energy into decorating/furnishing my apartment and making it feel like home
  • Make strides to going back to attaining a chemical free home
    • Clean up my beauty/skin care routine in terms of chemicals
      • GOAL: natural, organic, plant-based products
      • **Bonus: black owned, woman owned, &/or waste free
    • Get back to making my own natural, non-toxic household cleaners

RELATIONSHIPS

  • with GOD
    • Find a church home
    • Reconnect with my bible
      • Find a guided bible study online to follow weekly
    • Go to church twice a month
    • Seek God first in everything I do. Ask him to remove what/who is not for me
  • with FAMILY + FRIENDS
    • Make time to call and check on a loved one twice a month
    • Reach out to one person locally to hang with once a month
    • Host an event at my apartment this semester (i.e. craft/DIY night, girls night, etc.)
  • with SELF
    • Do better with my daily appearance. When you look better, you feel better
    • Don’t wait for a ‘special event’ to get dressed. With that mindset, most, if not all, of my cute clothes would never get worn.
    • Do something for myself to keep myself up FOR MYSELF. Ex. do my nails, buy a new lip gloss, etc.)
      • GOAL: Rebuild my self-esteem
    • Embrace (& document) every stage of my loc journey
    • PRIORITIZE MYSELF and MY ENERGY
      • Banish the idea of ‘busy’
      • Get comfortable with flexing my NO muscle (I used to be so good at it. Not sure what happened.)
    • Words to live by: If it costs my peace, it’s too expensive.
    • Take myself on a date once a month or every other month. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Heck, it doesn’t even have to involve me leaving my house.
    • Stay consistent with my self-care routine

FINANCES

  • Establish, and stick, to a budget
  • Become more conscious about WHERE my money is going and WHO it is supporting
  • Rebuild my savings
  • Find a charity that resonates with me and my passions and donate every month, or whenever I am able
  • Start my #DebtFreeJourney

If you actually took the time to read through all of this, THANK YOU. Even if you skimmed or skipped around to the categories that were of particular interest to you, I still thank you. I know this list of goals seems like a lot, but they are more so long term goals with no definitive ‘due dates’ because they are lifestyle changes that I want to work toward making and sustaining in 2019 and beyond. Just because I set out to work on it this year doesn’t necessarily mean that I expect to finish all of it this year, or even next year. I am essentially using this blog post as a way to put it all in one place, and also to serve as a reminder to myself. To some this list may seem a bit a over zealous, but to me, if your goals don’t scare you, then they’re not big enough.

It is true that you don’t need a new year for a fresh start. It is also true that if you mess up, you don’t have to wait all the way until the next year or even the next Monday to start over. Sometimes it is just nice to have that clean slate, literally and figuratively. I will move forward with these things in mind as I BOSS UP, PRIORITIZE MYSELF, INVEST IN MYSELF, REALIGN MY FOCUS and walk differently/more intentionally in 2019. I hope you enjoyed reading this and I hope that you leave this blog post feeling inspired or motivated in some way. If can be of any assistance with your journey, please feel free to reach out. We’re all in this together.

Be sure to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss out on future posts, follow me on IG (@leangreenandeverything), Pinterest (@jsto1217) and share this post to all social media outlets.

Cheers,

xoJ