Friday FIVE for December 10th

You might think that my Friday FIVE for today should be geared toward gift giving or holiday prep. And while I too miss my annual 12 Days of Christmas gift ideas, that cannot be my focus this year. What I am trying to do is maintain (through December) the health I’ve recently reclaimed. With that in mind, my FIVE items today are things that are helping me do this.


Read these paragraphs from my book at least once a week:

“We in our modern life are exposed to unrelenting stress over a long span of years. We’re constantly overworked, overwired, overmedicated, and undernourished, and exposed to an allergic and chemical cocktail of environmental toxins. We live in a technology- and media-saturated age that keeps up perpetually stimulated. All of this along with our personal emotional challenges, creates a huge demand on the adrenal glands …

Regardless of what our go-go culture tells you, it is not natural or healthy to be on the run all the time. Look around you at the natural world–all living things need to rest and activity in equal measure to thrive.”

Each time I read this I find I do a better job at remembering my need to cultivate balance. Specifically, I find that laying down (on my bed) for 15 minutes sometime between 3:00pm and 5:00pm does wonders for helping me sustain energy and a positive outlook through the early-evening madness.


Eat LOTS of brown rice.

I don’t care who you are or what your health concerns are. Brown rice ROCKS. It helps lower blood sugar and it is completely satisfying. About once a week or so, I make a big batch in my rice cooker and then store it in small containers in my outside fridge. Either for breakfast or lunch, I dump out a container, add a teaspoon of good Omega-3 oil (like Flaxseed) and heat it up in my microwave. I then toss in some sunflower seeds and chopped avocado, tomato, cucumber or a soft-boiled egg.

I cannot even say how good this makes my body feel. I have always strived to eat a healthy breakfast. For years, I’ve been a granola-and-banana-for-breakfast girl, but I’ve found that I am much more satisfied with brown rice!


Drink Silk Milk.

You should have seen me the day I figured out that Silk was “S” for Soy + “ilk” for Milk. I know I’m silly, but I was dancing around my kitchen singing a made up “S+ilk = silk, smooth and yummy for me” song. This is because I have ALWAYS loved MILK (as in drink it three times a day and miss it when I travel) but I discovered this past year that my body is happier when I don’t drink it every day. My solution is Silk and I LOVE it.

The chocolate Silk goes a long way towards satisfying a craving  for sweet after dinner too!


Let Go Of What You Think You Know.

This is a biggie.
I have to practice it every single day.
It obviously means different things for different people.

For me it means that the routines that worked for me five years ago (or even two years ago) don’t have to work for me today. It means it’s OK to remain un-showered until noon–or later. It means it’s good to exercise in the afternoons or evenings sometimes. It means you shouldn’t always make a list. It means that some days you should pray to know how best to use the limited time you have and then just do what you do, trusting you will do what really needs to get done!

btw, you can purchase this poster HERE.


Clean something.

I’m serious. And yes, I know you already do this everyday.
But … I’m talking about something little, something that you’ve walked by a hundred times and thought, “I should clean that.”
I’m talking about the window panes in your French doors, or the glove compartment, or the bathroom cupboard, or the sink in the laundry room. I’m talking about the shelf at the top of your linen closet or the baseboards in the toy room.

Don’t get carried away and do a bunch of cleaning, just clean one little thing every day. It will take less than 10 minutes most days and it will give you a small, but keen sense of accomplishment–it will remind you that you do have time to do the little things (every day!)

And there you have it, FIVE of the things I’m doing in my life to stay well.
and No, my house is not fully decorated for Christmas.
I’m getting there and I’m being a happy mommy while I do it.

Thank you again for all your comments and emails.
Have a great weekend!


  1. Stacy, this is so tremendously comforting to read through. I love the first one…that is a tidbit I, also, am trying to focus on…the hub-bub of life is not what our lives were made for…we need the calm/quiet moments SO much. I’m so glad to hear you are finding a sense of calm.

  2. I heart you so, Stacy Julian!

    I am so glad I found Google Reader because it gives me SOO much more time to read your lovely blog. Yay. :-)

    You are doing such an amazing job taking care of yourself and your family! I know I don’t, technically, know you personally, but I’m so proud of you. You’re just cooler than cool.

    Such an awesome list today. And yeah, I should get up and clean something. My morning sickness is actually on the down-low today. I guess I should take advantage of *that* while I can! LOL. :-p

    Merry Christmas, Lovely!

  3. Clean something, eh? Hubby says “Just one hour a day… is that too much to ask? Afterall, you DO stay home all day long while I am stuck at work.” Ten minutes… I like the way you roll. :) Unfortunately, now that the baby is napping, my CLEAN SOMETHING will be the front sidewalk, which is covered in light snow; hubby pretended not to notice it and left for work already.

  4. Wow! I really needed to hear this! Thank you!!!

  5. Super advice! Just added brown rice and Silk to my grocery list! Now…..just gotta make time to slow down :)

  6. Love and Hugs, Stacy! :-) You rock at any speed…

  7. These are wonderful! Thank you!

  8. I wish there was a LIKE button for blogs like there was for Facebook. Love your Friday 5 – and you may have just convinced me to try silk.

  9. All good points. I especially liked the fact that you lay down for 15 minutes each afternoon. I always do that. Sometimes I doze- sometimes I don’t. But it sure refreshes me.

  10. carol in seattle :) says:

    I’m so glad you posted this Friday Five! I’ve been working this last year (since being diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis and fibromyalgia) on doing little things to help my health and sanity. I’ve learned to lay down for a bit everyday. That one’s so hard for me still – in my head I hear my dad telling me what a lazy slob I am almost every time still. I’m still learning….Anyway, I’m glad you’re starting to see improvements! I’m so happy for you!

  11. Rebecca Foxworth says:

    I’m an 8th Continent soymilk girl, myself.

  12. Stacy, I drink soy milk every day and had never made the connection about the name Silk. That is great!

  13. Stacy,

    I have been a faithful follower since your first book, and I read your posts as if you were a friend. You are such a strong, devoted mother, wife, and woman. Posts like this always seem to come at a time when I need them. Thank you for this.

    Beth in Dayton, OH

  14. Thanks Stacy, you always come to my rescue on days when I really need it. I’m going to wash my family room windows right now. I also printed out some of your quotes for my fridge. Here’s to good mental health!

  15. I appreciate how you remind me of important things to do in my life, while doing them in yours. You have a calming, peaceful, faithful way about you that I truly appreciate as well. :)

  16. Love this post and all the comments!!!

  17. Great Friday Five! My favorite is the clean something every day one. I tend to get overwhelmed thinking I need to do it all at once and this is a great idea. I may just make a list of little jobs and do one each day. Thanks for that idea!
    Stay healthy!

  18. Love the list Stacy! Will have to try the Silk soy milk. My lactose intolerant daughter uses it – I’ve just never been game enough to give it a try!

  19. Love these! I also am a HUGE fan of brown rice!

  20. Enjoy the process…Enjoy the process…Enjoy the process…! I have to keep saying this to myself. I’ve broken down crying already TWICE this season…and it’s only the 10th. The stress, the mess, the self-imposed expectations. WHY? WHY? WHY? Why do we go through this every holiday season. Why do I expect so much out of myself, no one else does. Why am I so upset when there’s still 15 days left to ENJOY THE PROCESS!

    Put on the holiday movies/music. Make a cup of cocoa with those fluffy pepperminty marshmellows. Sing and dance around the tree while hanging those ornaments. Shop online and choose the WRAP IT option for an extra $5. Smile. Wish the neighbor “Merry Christmas” as you walk past him. Buy the store bought cookies. IT’S OK! Let go of what you know. It’s suppose to be MERRY…STOP AND SMELL THE PINE NEEDLES for the love of all that’s HOLY, this season and ENJOY THE PROCESS!

    This is my daily pep-talk to myself. Enjoy the process!

  21. Thanks for sharing Stacy. enjoyed reading it

  22. lots of awesomeness here Stacy, thanks so much for sharing your struggle, off to cook some brown rice.

  23. Hi Stacy,

    Your post really, really struck a chord with me. You should now that I am a SHOPPER, and I look forward to your Friday lists and any other time you talk about cool potential purchases. I can’t begin to list all of the purchases that I have made after becoming aware of a new product because of your blog. But today, well, somehow your list made me feel almost weepy – in a good way. It’s not about buying our way into a happy distraction, but about thinking clearly about what we REALLY need in our crazy, busy lives. Rest. Nourishment. A chance to think and reflect. A comfortable environment. As 2010 fades and I wrestle with my new status as a 50 year old with a busy career (getting busier), a son away from home for the first time for his first year of university, a daughter in high school who keeps piling new activities on her plate (and mine) and a loving but workaholic husband, I feel my life spinning out of control on many days. But guess what?! I don’t seem to want to or be able to or be ready to change anything! I am one of those people who seems destined to always be running behind schedule, staying up WAY too late, taking on far too many projects and always feeling slightly guilty that my family/work/friends/pets/scrapbooking and whatever else are not getting enough of my attention. Sigh…

    Rest. Nourishment. Reflection. Environment.

    Thank you for your post.

  24. Thanks for sharing Stacy!! Isn’t it funny how hard it can be to slow down and enjoy things along the way. Just reading your post made me calm and relaxed. Merry Christmas!

  25. Stacy, thank you so much for sharing your life,journey,discoveries with us out here! I went through something similar when I hit menopause. I thought I was going crazy. And, since I am a nurse, I knew what was going on and understood it, but that still didn’t help. I was not fun to live with. Now, here I am 5 yrs later. I am feeling great mentally, except work exhaustion! I did have to rely on hormones and an antidepressant, but that’s ok with me for the time being, I won’t need them forever. Now am dealing with aging and I really don’t like it! I had double knee replacements last year at age 54, and I am doing quite well, but it has slowed me down some. I applaud you on your accomplishments in seeking health and well being in this fast paced and turbulent world of ours. Keep up the good work and the hints!!

  26. i absolutely love this list, i can’t even tell you.
    i tend to simplify stuff, so here’s my new mantra: breathe, believe, release, receive.

  27. Christine H says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey. I have been traveling way more than usual for work this year and am having to learn to let go as well. I was amazed at the negative feelings I carried around for days after making the decision to buy my Christmas cards at church this year instead of making them. REALLY? This is worth all that energy? To be honest, they haven’t been sent yet (and might just become next year’s cards), the tree is up but no ornaments yet, and the laundry is a mile high. It’s all good.

  28. Gonna have to try brown rice for breakfast or lunch. The added oil, avacado, tomato and egg sounds very interesting! My youngest loves loves loves chocolate silk. So much that I have to limit how often I buy it because she slurps it down fast, like a carton in a day. I’m a skim milk girl. AND Naps are a GOOD thing!

  29. Rice (even brown) isn’t allowed on my low gluten diet..but I try to include oatmeal. I’ve heard good things about walnuts…I need to start including those. And I do live a very unstructured life…my neighbor, though, has to have a spotless house. I gave that up a long time ago. I’ve noticed no one cares. My mother was obsessed..maybe that’s why I don’t. And my Dad would have preferred more family time rather than clean time. So glad you are doing better!

  30. Peggy Leland says:

    So I have to ask do you make the rice with water or chicken stock? I usually cook my rice with stock. Usually fat free wondering if that would still be okay on a road to healthier eating. Can’t say I’d stick avocado’s in mine but the tomatoes, cucumbers and egg sound good. Another question. The oil – is that found in the aisle with the other oils?

  31. Kelly Driver says:

    Thank you for this and your other post about what has been going on with you lately. So many of the things you talked about sound so familiar with my current state of health. I can’t count how many times I would just write it off to being a mommy and to just deal with it. Thank you for your insight and your inspiration! I’m so glad to hear you are on the mend. Happy Holidays!

  32. Katie scott says:

    We’ve been drinking Silk for years & recently I tried coconut milk – it’s amazing! & Im with you on the cleaning thing. Have a happy Christmas season:)

  33. Oh my gosh, Stacy, you listed two of my regular diet items; soy milk and brown rice. Just had brown rice tonight, in fact, in lima bean soup with onion, garlic, celery, tomatoes, veggie broth, and Morning Star “sausage.” I’m vegetarian due to a completely non-functional gall bladder and I now eat better than I have in my entire life (mainly whole foods vegetarian and vegan when possible, with a very rare serving of fish.) I feel sooo much better since I’ve said goodbye to soda (which I was addicted to), processed and boxed foods, etc. It took some getting used to at first (especially for my family who has been gracious to adjust their eating as well). But once our pallates were well cleansed, we all came to enjoy the color, textures and flavors of whole foods. Flax seed rocks, btw. Greek yogurt is good too, as are sweet potatoes with just a bit of agave drizzled over them. YUM! Keep on the good path, Stacy, and be WELL!

  34. What I am really happy for (you) is, that you are trying to slow down…when you started this new blog, I was like: wow she must be thinking she is super hero woman to be able to maintain “my blog”, sprinkles, “I love color” and all your other tabs on here and have new content ready for them on an almost daily basis.
    Just to comfort you, this is alse overwhelming to me as a reader. I’d rather see a regular post on your main blog than click around in order not to miss anything. Maybe you can downscale a bit on blog as well.

    As for your health situation, I have to admit, I had hoped is that you share a bit earlier what’s been going on with you. I have felt a bit odd with the hints and inundations here and there. In the end, I believe what you are going thru is probably what others all over the world are experiencing as well in one form or another. We are all getting older, have health issues, things like that popping up in our lives. And then we have to adjust what used to work for us back then to what works for us now.

    Since you are slowing down, why not try to warm your brown rice on the stove to give it some time as well (it might stay healthier that way, too)

    Good luck

  35. Great 5 today. I’m actually glad it’s not about gift giving, but focusing on ourselves for a moment. Thanks Stacy!

  36. Kim DuPree says:

    Stacy, I loved your 5. I will try to do more of them more often. Thank you.

  37. Oh that was great! Good on you! There’s something in that post for everyone. I appreciate your honesty.

  38. Looking forward to trying your brown rice tricks…I am lost for breakfast ideas and this will be a nice change.

  39. MichelleGB says:

    Great post. Made me think a lot and is inspiring me to make some positive changes. Thank you for sharing.

  40. this is a great five list

    i eat bronw rice too—but never for breakfast

  41. jersey girl anne says:

    My favorite tip of yours is laying down everyday for 15 min. My kids are all grown now but that is something I did every single day while they were growing up. It refreshed me and I was a much better mom for them to come home to after school. I also feel it is good for children who have out grown naps. It is down time where were able to read or just lay there and rest their bodies…no TV allowed. I am so glad you are feeling better! I need to try brown rice again. the last time I did i didn’t care for the taste

  42. I worry about your new volunteer “job.”
    It seems like you need more Stacy time to stay this centered and not add another thing to your plate…. :(

  43. Stacy – Reading your posts lately brings home to me how much we all try to do and demand of ourselves. I think your example of looking at what our bodies, minds and souls need is very important. The years starting with the mid forties are tough. I went through a period where I was so anxious all the time – felt pressure in my chest, and couldn’t catch my breath – while objectively, there was not much to be anxious about. I went to a cardiologist, convinced I had a major heart problem, even though I realized that my “stats” made that extremely unlikely. Nothing wrong. (thankfully). So I quit caffeine, which made a huge difference (even though I was only drinking one cup of coffee a day and no other caffeine). Also worked on (and am still working on) paring down and choosing to do the important things, not the things I think I “should” do. I am feeling better, although it’s difficult for me to not only not DO everything To make things perfect (in my mind) but also not to dwell on the “fact” that things are not “perfect”.

    So I want to say “THANK YOU” for sharing your journey because you are helping me, and I am sure many other people. Please continue to take care of yourself.

    (I think this post might repeat some of it below this because I am typing this on an iPad and can’t (or can’t figure out how to) go down and delete it – I’m trying to be OK with that!)
    I guess what I’m saying is “THANK YOU” for sharing your journey with us.

  44. So excited. I ordered ‘the book’ and it arrived Friday. I am anxious to delve into it. Thanks Stacy!

  45. I cannot think of a better time of year for this post. I have been thinking a lot about how to keep the true meaning of Christmas in my thoughts and heart and how to pass it on to my family as well. Thanks for this, Stacy. BTW, my house is also not fully decorated, I am not finished with my shopping or wrapping and I haven’t even bought Christmas cards. And honestly, none of those things are what is truly important. i am reminded of Luke 10:41-42 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” I am striving to choose what is better and will not be taken away from me.

  46. Nice reminders, all. I am finding my balance as a newly stay-at-home Mom (not a new Mom, just new at being at home and unpaid), and it’s hard to keep a balance between too busy and not busy enough. I really think this will help. Thanks! And best wishes to you in your own journey down this road. =]

  47. I just cleaned/organized my recipe book shelves that have needed cleaning for months, possibly years. It made me feel so good. I totally agree with you – clean something everyday.

  48. I was so moved by your story of your health challenges. You could have been describing me. I went to my Dr. and told her I HAD to have some kind of postpartem depression or mental health problem (who says that?) I was trying to convince myself that if I had some horrible disease or diagnosis at least i would know and could deal with that. She said that wasn’t it. I had aches and pains every day for over 4 years…I was constantly feeling overwhelmed, undersupported, unappreciated and awful in a way I cant describe. I had little patience for my kids and less for my husband. Then I started taking more time for myself, more rest, more quiet time and I woke up recently and realized I had gone weeks without pain…I have been even more encouraged to do things for myself…take breaks from the internet, sit quietly, nap without guilt. Its been miraculous. I am now going to add brown rice to my diet on a regular basis. I feel like a whole world has opened up for me.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  49. Stacy, this is very helpful today, I love (and think I need) all of these tips. Have a great and relaxing holiday season.

  50. I am so happy to hear you have found ways to balance your life. Little things matter. It is amazing how the Lord gets our attention through our health. We care for our dear family but haven’t cared for the care giver adequately…it must be done for all.
    Thank you for sharing your story, it has been a big help. Much grace be with you. Rest up! ;)

  51. Oh!! Never thought of brown rice for breakfast. I am so going to put some in my cooker and give this a go. I am never satisfied at breakfast unless it is eggs, and we all get mixed warnings on those, so I worry. Will have to give this a go.
    Have I told you, I LOVE your “Five” lists? I got the Bakerella book and site from one, and the grandkids and I are having SO MUCH fun making cake pops. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! Merry Christmas!

  52. Loved this post. The cleaning bit, especially. I thought I hated cleaning. I did when I tried to clean everything at once!

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