Floating Life

Floating Life: Sunday Thoughts
Olivia of WangGuk

This week has been one of floating. I’m floating currently. I have goals and dreams, but I also don’t really care if none of them work out. Not in a depressing way haha— in a contented completely full kind of way. I would LOVE to see any number of the many dreams I have for my life come true. But I also welcome the idea that none of them may be for me— that my life may actually include a bunch of dreams I haven’t even dreamt yet. Floating, but not aimless.

Having a floating life feels rather free most of the time. But sometimes it can get heavy. It only gets heavy when I start to feel ill-contented. When I start to get anxious, like I need for something to happen. If I remain just simply grateful for whatever happens to be in front of me at the moment, I’m fine. More than fine: I’m not worried about anything in particular. And that’s a good feeling; a state of mind to be envied. Anxiety is a constant battle— a stifling kind of paralysis— one which, if you let it completely take you, is like putting a cup over a match and watching the flame die slowly.

The opposite of complete anxiety is complete Peace. The holy kind. The kind that sweeps like a salty breeze from the ocean through a dusty house. It is hard to let that holy breeze run through you completely and constantly. For most of us it is fleeting and we live simultaneously craving it, but not willing to totally let go of control in order to let it in again.

A floating life is a scary thought for a lot of us, especially those of us (like myself) who have a really difficult time not craving control. But floating is not actually scary. It is, yes, unpredictable, but in being unpredictable, it’s a completely open life. Ready for anything, and accepting of everything. Once a floating attitude is achieved, you’re never really scared or disappointed. You’re just you. Waiting for more of you to evolve and develop, whatever that includes. Floating, but not aimless. Waiting, but not anxious. Anticipatory, but not specifically expectant. Content, but ready for any challenge.

Appreciation: The Dying Art

Appreciation: The Dying Art
Free-Thoughts Thursdays
Olivia of KingdomClothing

This compilation of Thursday thoughts seems to be bursting out of me. We live in a world of both instant and constant gratification. We’re therefore a bit lacking in the appreciation department. It sucks. I see it at work, at school in my little kids, at home, in the attitudes of my friends, in relationships, in myself. We’ve become a thankless society. And you know why? Because we never have to live without. We’re never really without anything we need— or even anything we really want. It’s just there. No need to be thankful for something that’s always around, right? That’s the attitude. That saying, “You don’t know what you have until you’ve lost it” is remarkably true and so relevant today. We’re so lost. So wound up in ourselves. No one is thankful just for breath anymore. I’m guilty too; I’m not exempting myself. We’re lost. It’s that inward curvature of the heart. Sometimes I think everything that’s wrong with us can be rooted back to self-centeredness. Pride. Pride kills a lot of things.
Please remember also that this is too true where I live. You may live in a completely different corner of the earth where appreciation and thankfulness are woven into every moment, and that’s wonderful. But not here. Here, it is a dying art. And I miss it.

Sunday Vibes

Sunday Vibes
Kingdom Thoughts Sundays
Olivia of WangGuk

Some 80s music I don’t really like is playing. I’m slowly drinking an iced flat white. I’m checking my instagram on someone else’s wifi. I’m listening in to another GREAT DTLA coffee shop conversation. The bench is plushy and leather and now, since I bought something, I get to sit here however long I want. There’s a good book resting next to me that’s gonna get read real soon. I told my whole house I’d be gone for hours doing personal errands so no one’s going to call or text me wondering what I’m doing or where I am. In fact, I won’t have to talk to people for HOURS.
This is a day in my life. And honestly, this day’s looking pretty great. Some of my friends who took an office or corporate job straight out of school sometimes ask me if it’s hard having an irregular schedule/paycheck/no benefits/no predictability. And I always tell them the same thing: no, it’s not hard. Yes, it is inconvenient or somewhat stressful sometimes not knowing how much money I’m going to make in a month. And yes, sometimes I think about if something horrific happened to me and I couldn’t go to the hospital because I have no traditional benefits to cover it. Yes, some things about my kind of a life can be unsettling or stressful.
But here’s a few thoughts: I’m kind of the master of my own schedule. I don’t answer to anyone but God. I don’t have a boss— I am my boss. I don’t really worry about money or benefits because God is my money and His faithfulness and protection are my benefits (and truthfully, those are the only real ones that a human can actually have). Am I’m not trying to sound super Christianese or stupid or reckless— I’m being serious. No one truly has any security but His. And I really do think of my life that way. If God allows me to fall into some kind of awful accident and I have to be hospitalized, well then He obviously has some way of taking care of me in that. I don’t tend to think of things past that. I’m not scared.
Life can really be whatever you want it to be. I’m living proof. I work when I want to, as much as I want to (which is usually a lot because I actually love working), and every single one of my jobs is something I really enjoy doing. And I’m okay. No, of course not all of my days are spent like this one, blogging at a coffee shop and reading for hours. Most of my days are spent hunting for treasures for the shop, teaching, tutoring, and respite caring. But I get to choose when I do each of those many great activities.
Make choices that cause your life to be exactly what you need it to be. Make your days worth living. Just my two cents.

RAW FOODS UPDATE

RAW JOURNEY’S FUTURE
Raw Foods Mini Journal
Olivia of WangGuk

Okay so here’s what happened:
Last week was tough but really awesome. Originally, I wanted to go entirely raw for a whole month. But today, I was thinking about it and I actually have really loved eating raw this week and last and would like to incorporate in into my forever diet. No, I don’t want to eat raw foods every day of my life starting now and ending forever (I die a little just thinking about that). But what I wanted to gain from this was perspective, and I have. During my thinking today, as I sat at school, munching on carrots and cucumbers as I taught children with snacks I envied, I realized that this wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Yeah, it can get a little boring if you’re not creative with it and yes, on some days, I constantly felt like I was hungry. But for the most part, I was fine and I actually feel really good.

 

What I’m thinking of doing is eating raw four days a week and for three days a week either eating vegan, pescatarian or vegetarian (which is my staple diet anyway). I kind of like this 4/3 plan because I eat super clean and clear out my system weekly for four whole days and then I can kind of do whatever I want (within reason) on the weekend, or whenever I’ve chosen to have my weekend (sometimes I have a non-traditional weekend, like Sunday-Tuesday).

I also think I may not be raw for an entire month. And before any judgement happens (ha!), I will say I argued with myself a lot about this one. I have a lot of self-control naturally and I know I could do this for a month. So naturally, my mind wants to “win” and not “give up” early. But, I told myself, this whole thing’s point was to gain new perspective and decide on a diet that helps to truly serve my body well, unlike my current eating-like-a-twelve-year-old-boy diet. And I feel like I have already made that decision. I’m not giving up; I’m actually committing to more than I thought I would be in the long-run. This week, I have done my time: I put in the four days (it’s Thursday), and next week, starting Monday, I will be raw again until Friday. And the cycle will repeat itself.

I like it. I’m happy that I experimented with this. Even if I didn’t complete a month, I feel like what I gained is better. At the start of this week (certainly by the end of Monday, holy crap), I would have LAUGHED my head off at the thought of incorporating this type of eating into my forever life. On Monday night, I can vividly remember thinking to myself, “just 27 more days of this shit, Olivia…then you can have Taco Bell.” And now, after a week, I’m thinking to myself, “actually…I like this”— haha a WOLRD of difference in just four days. And that’s how I always am— at first it’s “HOLY COW I HATE THIS” and an hour later, after giving something a legitimate try it’s “alright…not completely horrific…I GUESS.” That’s just me.

So no, I most likely will not be doing an entirely raw month (my original original plan was to just do a week anyhow), but I think on Wednesdays, instead of my “What-I’m-Wearing” post, I’m going to do a “What-I’m-Eating” post, where I include pictures of a raw meal that I like to make and share what’s going on with it (ingredients and how to prepare it…not that there’s much prepping to raw meals…like, you can’t cook it soooo haha PERFECT for friends like me who SUCK at cooking anything!).

In a way, my food updates will continue, but weekly and only on Wednesdays 🙂
Thank you to all who showed me encouragement and interest. You are aamazing and I appreciate you. ❤
#RAWBODY #RAWSTATE

Raw Foods #RAWBODY #RAWSTATE Update: Week 1

RAW FOODS DAILY : Raw Foods Mini Journey
Olivia of WangGuk

Daily Blog Posts About Raw Fooding for a Month

Okay, so this is the second day, Tuesday. I have decided not to do blog posts every single day for this, but more like every other or every three days. I think it’ll be easier and also keep things more concise.
The first fully raw day was yesterday and I felt AWFUL. I knew this was going to happen. It’s typical for any body to feel sick, even if you’re eating super healthy foods, when it’s transitioning. And it’s not like I prepped for a whole week before transitioning to this type of eating, anyway, so I knew I was going to feel kind of bad. I took like, one day and then jumped right in on Monday; I didn’t prep much. And I was miserable all day. I had to work long hours on Monday, so I cut up veggies and fruits beforehand so I could just grab them and go in the morning. Monday was part cleanse, part fiber-heavy. So I ate a ton of fennel, carrots, charcoal, and some cucumber. When I got off work, I felt like I was DYING. It took all of my mental self control not to drive by my local burrito place and down two whole burritos.
I abstained, though, and once I got home, I made my own version of guac (avocados, lime, cilantro and pepper) and ate that with raw zucchini chips. It was really good and actually felt super satisfying considering how terrible my body felt the whole day. I had a banana and some almonds for an evening snack.

I’m really going to have to find creative ways to keep my calories up during work days so I don’t feel like falling over and dying the whole time I’m working, because I think that was part of the problem today.
In the evening, I felt better and tried to hydrate myself, but by the time I hit the pillow, I had a splitting headache, I was so irritable I couldn’t even talk to anyone anymore, and I still felt like I was starving. I was also bloated beyond belief the entire day and was farting up a STORM (that fiber doing its job). No poop. I am used to pooping like once or twice a day haha so not pooping was weird.

 

Today is Tuesday, my second day, and I woke up feeling surprisingly really good. I was kind of shocked. I didn’t sleep that well, but that’s normal for me.  But I didn’t have a headache anymore and I felt pretty decent. And my bloat was TOTALLY GONE.  Without even pooping!  Strange. Where did it go…?  haha Also!— my skin looked super bright, like a bit more glowy than normal. Imagination? Maybe.

For breakfast, I had cold-pressed kale-spinach-orange-fennel-pineapple juice and some chlorophyll water for hydration.
Snacks today were blueberries, raspberries, almonds, pecans, dates (nature’s CANDY), and fennel tea.
I am planning on working out tonight (I’m doing a separate blog post about how I’m trying to keep the same work out routine while raw fooding) so I am loading up on dates and nuts and tons of hydration. Update tomorrow or Thursday! ❤

#RAWBODY #RAWSTATE

#RAWBODY Journey

RAW FOODS DAILY : Raw Foods Mini Journey
Olivia of WangGuk

Daily Blog Posts About Raw Fooding for a Month

***HEALTH WARNING!*** This is a personal account of MY raw fooding, but it of course will not be an ideal plan for everyone. Also, I am an average citizen as far as dietetics goes— which means I am not a licensed dietician or certified nutritionist. I’m not even someone with a human nutrition, physiology, or kinesiology degree. I do have a biology degree and took a few nutrition classes because of it, so I know some things, but I’m not someone who knows it all, so if you are following this blog, please remember that I’m kind of just an average joe haha, NOT a professional. Just a disclaimer. Enjoy ❤
This is the day before the journey starts. Which, actually, is truly when a journey really starts. So here’s what I’m doing for a month and why.
I have been out of school for a little while now (you know, the land of super healthy, super regular eating…ha), and I’ve never really been on any kind of regular eating routine or habit. I’ve been a “vegetarian” since my junior year of high school. But the reason there are quotes around that term is because I haven’t been entirely consistent. I was a really strict one for about four years. Then in school, it was hit or miss. After I was out, I was with someone who had the worst eating habits known to man— which I was okay with, and I started eating meat again (along with a BUNCH of fast food and the like because that was what he was eating and it’s just kind of easier to eat whatever when you’re with someone who eats whatever). After I wasn’t with that person, I remained a pescatarian (which means fish is the only meat you eat), but not really super healthy still.
Recently, just in the last half a year or so, I’ve just become a whatever-eater again— an opportunistic eater, if you will. If it’s donut day at school and all the other teachers are eating mad donuts, I’m not going to sit there and NOT eat donuts. If one of the families I work for makes homemade chili and asks if I want some, I’m NOT going to say no to free food, even if there’s some stray meat in there. After a while, however, I started to not feel as great. Suddenly, I didn’t have washboard abs like I was always used to having. My digestive tract didn’t feel so hot. Suddenly, hot cheetos, kbbq, cheese fries, Taco Bell, and opportunistic donuts and chili wasn’t cutting it.
And you might be reading this thinking, “Well duh, Olivia, what— did you really think you could eat like a twelve-year-old boy forever?” And honestly… um, yeah, I was kind of under that impression, actually. I know that sounds kind of dumb, but I’ve been able to eat my weight in whichever food of my choosing for a long time now and was always used to not really seeing any negative results. My stomach always stayed flat, I always felt like a million bucks after 15 dollars worth of Taco Bell, and I never even knew what the “lava crap” my friends described after eating Boiling Crab was.  I had never experienced that.  And so I never really had reason to change my eating habits.
But once age 25 hit, my body was suddenly like, “Yes well, your time has come. Your luck has finally run out. Best wishes.” And I started gaining weight in places I didn’t even know my body had, my gut always felt unsettled, and honestly, even emotionally I started to feel not 100%.
So!— I decided to start a mini journey of sorts to perhaps clean myself out. I don’t know what the end results will entail, but I am starting a raw foods journey. For a month, I’m eating nothing but raw foods. It will be fairly strict, but I have parameters.
Each one of my days in a week is going to be themed:

Sundays: These will be Flush Days for me, to prepare myself for the upcoming week. Ideally these will be full-liquids days, like cleanse days. I’ll drink things that offer tons of hydration and things that also pull crap out of the system, like charcoal, herbal teas, and different kinds of waters.

Mondays: Fiber Day. I’m starting each week in this raw foods month with foods high in fiber. This won’t be too scary because, on Sundays, I’ll have completely hydrated myself and hopefully flushed out my system enough to prepare for fiber. The point of this day is to clean out the gut. Flushing out some impurities and yuckies with things like certain herbal teas, ginger, charcoal, and others is wonderful, but the gut still hangs on to a lot. So fiber is great because it pushes stuff through the system.

Tuesdays: Nutrient Density Day. This is the start of my nutrient-dense days. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday will be these kinds of days and will all be kind of similar, with slight differences for variety’s sake. I’ll be eating stuff high in antioxidants and vitamins on these days (think “super foods” like berries, kale, flax, etc.).

Wednesdays: Second Nutrient Density Day; similar to Tuesdays, with variations.

Thursdays: Third Nutrient Density Day, but this day will start to include more raw juices and not as much solid food.

Fridays: These days will be slightly higher in protein and fat to prepare for the weekend (because at the end of Saturday and into all of Sunday, I’ll be flushing). I’ll be eating raw nuts (and YES, I’ll be eating these throughout the week, but just in a higher ratio on Fridays), some raw seeds and grains, and still mostly vegetables with high nutrient densities.

Saturday: A Relax Day: This does not mean a “cheat day,” but it does mean a less structured day. Throughout the week, I will be eating raw things that are high in fats and protein; it’s not all typical fruits and veggies (like I’ll be eating coconut and avocados and homemade nut butters— minus any oil or emulsifiers). But on Saturdays, I’m kind of going to let myself eat whatever I want as long as it’s raw and not worry so much about my ratios. If I want to eat a bunch of avocado with lemon, fine. If I want to eat some nut “butter”, I’m going to go ahead. I can’t get too carried away and make it a suuuper heavy day, because the next day (Sunday) is going to be an all-liquids day and I want to transition appropriately from Saturday and not feel like I’m starving/dying on Sunday.

So, anyway, that’s a rough break-down. If you read through all of it, congrats haha you must be really interested in this journey, or highly curious, because that’s a lot of words!
If you’re following it, nice! If you’re trying to replicate, please do some of your own research first because like I state in my disclaimer, this won’t be right for every single body’s needs. Heck, it may not even work out entirely for my own body! I don’t know yet! I have planned out my days and weeks according to the knowledge and research I’ve done about my own body and appropriate nutrition for it, but hey, it may turn out that halfway through this, I have to make some changes because it’s not working out.
So!— Thank you if you’re interested (and thank you if you’re not), and here we go!

#RAWBODY #RAWSTATE

Back to Effortless Chic

Fashion Review Mondays: Chloe’s 2017/2018 Fall/Winter
Olivia of KingdomClothing

This week’s fashion review goes to Chloe. I have been a fan of the Chloe house’s easy, classic aesthetic for a long time. I can remember loving this house’s designs when I was in high school— maybe even middle school. There has always been an easiness and grace to their pieces. And this upcoming Fall and Winter collection is no exception.
Here, watch it before you read on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QZlyoDkRs4
I actually riffled through a lot of shows to review before I happened upon this one. I have not been particularly taken aback or impressed by very many designers in the past year, to be frank. As I was looking through, I saw a lot of looks that simply seemed hackneyed to me, or if not that, then too reminiscent to be called avant garde but too garish to be called wearable. On the contrary, however, Chloe’s Fall show didn’t have one look that I really didn’t care for. All of them were tastefully executed, well- styled, and wearable without being boring or already-done.
Let’s start with the basics of the show, the nuts and bolts: the setting, choice in music, and lighting were simple, chic, and fresh. I couldn’t tell if I was watching a Spring show or a Fall one…and I liked that. So many of the pieces in this show (and pretty much all of the ones I’ll mention) are transition pieces and can easily be worn in Spring, Summer, Fall, OR Winter, which is kind of…fantastic. To achieve this level of seasonal transcendence is impressive and not something I have seen in a while. It’s also difficult to do: designing and styling pieces that transition from season to season.
There were many basic traditional Fall-type pieces I appreciated seeing in the collection. This coat, the opening piece, for example:

chloe_fw17_look_01
(numero.com)

It’s that perfect Fall coat. But there is a freshness about it that takes some of the traditional Fall heaviness out of it: its slightly shorter length, its decidedly bright palette, its wide sleeves. There’s a funness about it that is like a wink or a giggle: small details that give way to an attitude.
Another beautiful piece is at 1:10 of the show (if you’re watching). I am in love with the easy movement of this simple androgynous look. One piece, gorgeous colors for Fall (but honestly classic enough to look chic in any season), and is a beautiful balance of what is traditionally “feminine” and what is traditionally called “masculine.”
chloe_fw17_look_05
(numero.com)

This show also included a lot of patterns and shapes of the 60s and 70s. It was like a neat blend of 60s/70s Paris and modern-day New York City. In some other reviews I’ve read of it, many friends seem to think this collection is safe and lack-luster, but I respectfully disagree. The clothes we wear are about expression, but we mustn’t sacrifice wearability for voice. Some designs have such loud voices in these days that wearability has lost its meaning. What I appreciated so much in this collection was the fact that simplicity and chicness held hands with subtle boundary-pushing and nods to the past. Yes, there was a lack of avant garde, no real “I’m making a huge statement; look at me!” type looks going on. But for me, this show commanded my attention in other ways.
Take this look, for example:

chloe_fw17_look_12
(numero.com)
Design-wise, anything ground-breaking? Not so much, but beautiful? Simple? Light? Fun? Still interesting? Classically chic and would still turn heads? Yes. And again, this is a perfect transitional piece. Could easily be styled for Spring or Fall. The dainty little cut-outs inter-mixed with the lace on the sleeves are so pretty.  And all of the simple, barely there, vintage-gracing shoes: gorgeous and wearable.

Don’t get me wrong, I am ALL FOR fashion making statement, speaking for us, pushing boundaries, stepping out of the comfort-zone. But classically chic beautiful shapes and colors never fail and sometimes, as this show reminded me, simplicity is better. Subtle statements can be important, too.
As Keller’s time leading the designs for this house comes to an end, I think her nod to the house’s roots and her light-hearted simplicity in this collection were a beautiful end to a chapter and a welcoming for freshness.