The Importance of Down Time

by Hillary on July 31, 2014


Earlier in the week – during an acupuncture appointment – my provider asked a question that made me ponder:

“So, what does your down time look like these days?”

“Down time? What exactly do you mean?,” asking for clarification, half-jokingly.

His valid inquiry sent me into deep thought… My first vision was of last Saturday, kayaking with P at Pinecrest. It sure was relaxing in the beautiful environment; I wasn’t “connected” to the media world, but my body was active nonetheless.

I mentioned that occasionally I’ll soak up a few rays at the pool… while listening to IIN lectures. He implied that did not count, as he shook his head no.

I thought about watching three (eek!) hours of The Bachelorette finale with my roommate Monday night… but my computer was in my lap the entire time, switching between blog and IIN work…tweeting this, pinning that. Heck, I even took mini stretching and plank breaks. Three hours of sitting isn’t “allowed” in my book.

“Does talking on the phone to my boyfriend count?,” I asked. P and I chat on the phone most nights… though I can’t deny that I am often multitasking when catching up on each other’s day. Tuesday night, my phone smooshed between my ear and my right shoulder, I hustled around the kitchen at 9:00pm whipping up a double batch of almond meal zucchini muffins; the tea pot on high to prep my morning iced coffee, a load of laundry in the washing machine.

The acupuncture’s simple question made me realize that there are rarely any still, quiet moments in my everyday life. As a Type A, ambitious young woman with an endless list of things I want to accomplish, my brain never shuts off. I’m swimming through the pool of my goals and aspirations with purpose that I rarely come up for a breath of air. While exercise may be “me time” and a “stress reliever”, I am more or less in “flight or fight mode” using my sympathetic nervous system as I am swinging my kettlebell and slamming sandbags.

I got a quick lesson during my acu appointment: If your sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous systems are not in balance, then you will encounter disharmony in you body. My sympathetic nervous system is on overdrive most hours of the day, minimizing the ability of my parasympathetic system to do its thing… hence, the current digestive distress I’m experiencing.

To me, it is always about productivity — when it’s not my corporate wellness to-do list, then it’s my blogging editorial calendar; it’s my non-stop IIN curriculum; it’s my exercise regimen and training; it’s maintaining a distance relationship; it’s ordering new contact lenses; it’s setting up a brokerage account; it’s calling the Comcast guy; it’s Instagramming my run, it’s on-going e-mail exchanges…

Our bodies can not sustain the busy-bee syndrome. Unfortunately, it is ingrained in the American culture so much so that we fail to recognize its effects on our internal system. I am not quite sure how I will schedule (pun intended) “down time” into my life, but I know it involves less multiasking, more mat time, less screen time, more zzz’s, less thinking, and more nature…


What does “down time” look like to you?

Do you mediate? Read? Hit the mat?

How often do you have “down time”?


Shortly after writing this, I randomly stumbled upon another blogger’s version of what I just wrote – written oh so gracefully. Our message could not be more synchronized.


12 Fruity Summer Desserts

by Hillary on July 30, 2014

One of my favorite things about summer is shopping at the outdoor farmer’s markets that overfloweth with local fruit, of every color of the rainbow. The majority of the fruit I place into my resuable Chico bag finds its way to my to my mouth the minute it has ripened.

This summer, juicy ruby red strawberries have adorned numerous nighttime bowls of cereal; apricots and peaches are sliced, stuck in a Tupperware, and enjoyed with creamy almond butter and hemp seeds at my desk for mid-morning snacks; and freshly-picked blueberries from Dad find their way into salads and weekend breakfasts.

While mother nature’s summer bounty is sweet enough to enjoy as is, there are many seasonal occasions that deserve dessert. And, by occasion, I simply mean something as casual as a mother-daughter weekend when mom’s bringing over the ice cream maker (yippie!).

I used to collect a dozen fruit-filled recipes that highlight summer’s gems, including healthier Gluten-Free Cherry Blondies and buttered-up Gingered Peach & blackberry cobbler, there is something for everyone and every occasion — from birthday parties to potlucks, outdoor BBQs, showers, family get-togethers, and the like.

Check out 12 Fruity Summer Desserts

by Hillary at





What’s your favorite summer dessert?

I love my mama’s Chocolate Strawberry Scone Cake with fresh whipped cream!

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by As always, opinions are my own.


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Last Saturday, P and I spent a relaxing day at Pinecrest. An active rest day of sorts — kayaking around the lake for a couple of hours, swimming, and picnicking on the beach. Active dates are the best dates… and let’s be real, 90% of our dates are so. Summer, you’re the best. Up next: […]

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About that game plan… I completed zero runs last week, not including the short segments I did in two of my workouts — go me. I don’t have a 10K race run next Sunday or anything. Oops. Nonetheless, I worked out 5 days with one active-ish rest day kayaking (photos to come). I also ate a ginormous […]

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<< Today is the last day to enter the Swanson Health Products $45 Giveaway. >> * * * Cuh-POW! This product is just as exciting as its catchy name. If you love mason jars as much as I do (I inherited this trait from my mama… and maybe somewhat from the current Etsy/Pinterest craze), you’ll […]

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<< Don’t miss the Swanson Health Products $45 Giveaway! >> * * * Earlier this summer, I shared my biggest accomplishment for the month of May: ditching the scale! Since May 1st (actually a few days prior), I have only stepped on the scale two times: once at a doctor’s appointment and once at home. If […]

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Swanson Health Products $45 GIVEAWAY


Mornin’ & happy Monday to ya! How about another giveaway to start off this week with a healthy bang? Swanson Health Products recently contacted me to let me know that the family-owned company is celebrating their 45th anniversary this summer. That’s a lot of years selling vitamins, supplements, healthy foods, and natural beauty products! To […]

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10K Training & Weekly Workouts


<< Pssst. The winner of the LGF Power O’s giveaway has been announced here. >> * * * Well, hello there. Yes, I have two posts for y’all on this blustery Sunday. Did you catch this mornings Check-IIN all about cravings? So, I am running a 10K race run 3 weeks from today! The race […]

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IIN Check-In 5 | 8 Causes of Cravings


Good morning! How’s the weekend been treating you? I think I’ll head outside for Sunday Runday after I get a chunk of work done, including wrapping up my notes from this week’s IIN material. Last week, we covered cravings – amongst compulsive eating, caffeine, and adrenal fatigue – and I wanted to chat about this […]

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