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I’m Victoria Arnstein, and This Is How I Live

By | How I Live, Inspiration & Purpose, Parenting | 2 Comments
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Victoria Arnstein is vivacious, funny, fit, and inspires others to join her in the pursuit of well being and good health! She can be found on Instagram at @fruits4life or on Facebook or on YouTube.

Location: Oahu, Hawaii
Current Craft/Gig/Work: Full-time Mother, Writer, Comedian
Number of Children: 3
One word that best describes how you live: Liberated
Current Mobile Device: Galaxy S4
Current Computer: Google Chrome Laptop

What is the first thing you do or think of when you wake up in the morning?

Drink water.

Walk us through your first hour of the day…

If it is a school day, I drink water, hopefully almost always eliminate some toxins from the day before, check emails and texts, scan through social media for updates from loved ones. Get workout clothes on, grab a fruit, bike ride or drive kid to school, choose what workout I am in the mood for and go at it..run, swim, stand up paddling, bike,  free weights, hike or all of the above gets me going! If there is no school, same thing, just no dropping kid off at school. My kids know I need to workout to be happy, so they don’t get in my way before then…lol, I need a sweat fest daily or else.

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Victoria and her three beautiful children, at the Woodstock Fruit Festival.

What’s your ‘place of work’ set up look like?

The outdoors is my place of work, and where I live, I clean and prepare meals.

What’s your favorite way to stay organized?

I am not sure, since I am not that organized 🙂

If you were low energy before, what was the biggest change you made to have more energy?

Changed my diet from meat and dairy to fruit based and added more workouts in the sun.

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Victoria at a fruit luck in Hawaii.

What’s your best energy-saving shortcut or life hack?

A half hour more of sleep from the night before.

What is your favorite go-to meal?

Fruit that is in season and ripe.

How do you stay fit?

I don’t think exercise is a chore, as I love and can’t wait to play outdoors. Whether it’s swimming, running, stand up paddling, hiking, biking and just going for a walk listening to a good book or great music!

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Both Victoria and her husband, Michael, are phenomenal long distance runners and athletes.

What is your night time/sleep routine?

About 10:30 I make sure to get really tired and then I am able to fall asleep deeply and quickly. I get up to pee about 2 times per night. Hopefully get back to sleep right away, if not, I get onto the computer or talk to a loved one who is on a different time zone for a big and then fall back asleep for a deep sleep and wake up in time for school.

What are you currently reading? Or watching?

I just finished listening to the book Unbroken by Laura Hillerbrand about a man Olympic runner named Louie Zamperini and his trials and tribulations when he was stationed in Hawaii for the airforce and his plane went down. He was lost at sea for 48 days only to get rescued by the Japanese enemy and was tortured as a POW for 2.5 years during wwII. Riveting book!

What apps or software can you not live without?

Audible and Spotify, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

What is something that you happen to excel at, when it comes to parenting?

The ability to run long distances and swim long distances without stopping and still be a kick ass mom!

What is the best life advice you have ever received about being a parent?

Do one thing and do it well, it’s not a race.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see __________ answer these same questions.

Kate Pallardy, Michael Arnstein

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting for readers and fans?

If you can give yourself a gift, let it be the gift of ultra running training, it was the greatest way to endure pain in every other aspect of my life. I was able to tolerate pain and deal with problems that came my way better than I ever did before training for an ultra marathon. Also to eat a diet that does not tax your body so you have way more energy than you could imagine. Like fruits and veggies and keeping fat low.

The How I Live series asks athletes, heroes, experts, and flat-out high energy parents to share their diets, shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Every week we’ll feature a new parent and the recipes, habits, tips, and insights that keep them thriving.  Know someone that you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Let us know.

 

15 Quotes That Inspire Better Parenting

By | Babies, Children, Inspiration & Purpose, Parenting, Responsibility, Self-Esteem | No Comments

Here’s a collection of quotes that we can use to inspire ourselves to be better parents. I hope that you find these quotes inspiring and that they continually serve you well on your parenting journey.

1.) “Children don’t listen to us. They watch us.”
~Kevin Cosmo

Occasionally, we may drop a pearl of wisdom from our mouths that our children pick up and keep for life, but one thing is for certain; they will master our tendencies, habits, and lifestyle. Our way of living leaves a lasting impression upon our children, that words cannot begin to encapsulate. We lead by example, for better or worse. Let’s do our best.

2.) “Love is a process of inclusion. Once I include you as a part of me, I will be to you just the way I am to myself.”
~Sadhguru

When we are fully in love (a state of total acceptance, inclusion) with our children, we will give them the same respect we are due and show them the same tenderness of care that we too deserve.

3.) “Your children need your presence more than your presents.”
~Jesse Jackson

Children will remember moments with Mom and Dad more than they’ll remember a toy car or plastic doll.

4.) “Whatever you would have your children become, strive to exhibit in your own lives and conversation.”
~Lydia H. Sigourney

Leading is done from the front. Do as we want mimicked, because it very likely will be.

5.) “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, then we must teach the way they learn.” ~Unknown

We have the best opportunity to help our children reach for whatever dreams they aspire to, by tuning into our child’s needs, desires, and challenges, and then adapting our approach to meet them where they’re at.
Have you ever met someone exactly like You? Then, why would we expect to find a child who is like any other child? Teach to the individual.

6.) “All parents should know that: “He who knows patience knows peace.”
~Chinese proverb

Why didn’t someone tell me sooner?

7.) “A person soon learns how little he knows when a child begins to ask questions.”
~Richard L. Evans

Let’s hop off our high horses, and enjoy life on the same level as our children. Parents may have arrived on the planet a few years before their children, and figured out how to make an income, but children are keenly aware of many things that parents miss and are already masters at finding life’s joys.

8.) “Children keep us in check. Their laughter prevents our hearts from hardening. Their dreams ensure we never lose our drive to make ours a better world. They are the greatest disciplinarians known to mankind.”
~Queen Rania of Jordan

Use children for what you can parents; a reminder that life is truly AWEsome.

9.) “Don’t demand respect as a parent. Demand civility and insist on honesty. But respect is something you must earn — with kids as well as with adults.”
— William Attwood

Respect is a two way street.

10.) “It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.”
— Joyce Maynard

Words are a distant second, behind action.

11.) “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
— Elizabeth Stone

Creating a child takes very little effort, but to create a parent takes commitment, consistency, and effort.

12.) “Call them rules or call them limits, good ones, I believe, have this in common: they serve reasonable purposes; they are practical and within a child’s capability; they are consistent; and they are an expression of loving concern.”
~Fred Rogers

Mr. Rogers is so on point, that I’ll share another gem from him…“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”

Rules and boundaries don’t mean the absence of fun and play. Quite the opposite, actually. Can you think of a game that doesn’t have rules or boundaries? Limits create a safe and trusted place for all the fun to take place.

13.) “If I had my child to raise all over again,
I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I’d finger-paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I’d take more hikes and fly more kites.
I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I’d do more hugging and less tugging.”
— Diane Loomans, from “If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again”

We don’t get to do it over again. So parent in a way that you’ll remember with joy and fondness.

13.) “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
~Jim Rohn

If we plan to be around to enjoy and help our children through life, then that hinges almost entirely on how we take care of our health. Have you thought about playing with your grandchildren? Or your enjoyment of life during, and after raising young children? Invest in your health. It’s worth every bit of effort, for you and your family.

14.) “If a parent loves a child because the child is theirs, it is about the child being their property.
If a parent loves a child, for who the child is, the child is very fortunate.”
~Kevin Cosmo

Kahlil Gibran analogized the parent-child relationship to a bow and arrow. Our children may come from us, but they are not ours. If we attempt to force our children to be daffodils, because we are daffodils, we will likely end up with a wilted flower. Each child is it’s own unique wild flower.

15.) “Parenthood, its not a job. It’s an adventure!”
~Author Unknown

Go live it!

The Secret To Not Regretting A Moment Of Parenting

By | Children, Family, Inspiration & Purpose, Parenting | One Comment

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I’m running back into the house to grab a couple bananas for the kids, who are sitting in the car, finally. By the time I get back out, our eldest has escaped and is climbing up the tree positioned next to the car. I wanted to make it to the library in time to rent the books, and be back in time for 5 o’clock dinner, so I gave him the ‘serious scowl’ and growled, “Get back in the car.” He slunk down the tree and went dejectedly into his car seat.

Why did I need to be back at 5? This is a question I only ask in hindsight, for if I had asked it at the moment, I would’ve likely realized that ‘I’ am the only reason that ‘the time’ matters so much.

As young adults starting a family, we often get wrapped up in ‘doing things right’; keeping the house in just the right order, getting meals served ‘on time’, making it to school before the bell, having clean clothes, financially supporting our families, finding the ‘right’ extra curricular activities for our children, and the list can go on and on and on, as long as we’ll let it get. While all along, the precious opportunity of being a parent and the joy of being a child, culminates in being present. We need to be present to see our child’s first steps, or to perceive our child’s pain through his avoidant glance, or to notice the way our child is smiling so joyfully at us, amidst their rambunctious tomfoolery.

We will all be old one day, many of us will be grandparents, and when we scroll the pages of the family photo album, we’ll look back on our short time with our children, only regretting the moments of anger and irritation, and ever pining for the moments of joy, play, and laughter.

Set your future self up for a lifetime of joy and happy memories, by taking the time to clarify what matters most to you. Is it the clean house or the pleasant family spirit that is paramount in your home? Is it being on time or having positive interactions with your child? Sometimes we’ll get both of what we want, but when the time comes to make a choice let’s remember; we will have lots of opportunities to clean our homes and be on time, but we only get a brief interval with our young children. Remember what matters, and cherish every moment.

Do You Even Know What Are You Giving Up?

By | Inspiration & Purpose, Responsibility | One Comment

Life is a game of trade-offs.

Compromise simply is the order of the day.

You want to hear it another way, that you may have already heard before?

For every single action there is a reaction. Every effect has a cause.

Recently, a friend recommended I check out the TV show Boardwalk Empire. Currently, there are some 48 episodes of the show, each an hour long. It may be a good show, it may even be a great show, I can’t know unless I watch it. But, one thing I DO KNOW for sure; it is going to be a serious investment of my time.

In that same time I could work on any of my saved list of ‘sprints’. (Whenever I find a class, lesson, or a skill I want to acquire, I collect it in my list of ‘sprints’. Specifically, I visualize sprints as being 30-day increments, wherein anytime I have the ‘free time’ I can jump right into the chosen sprint for that month and practice away. There are some sprints where I will commit a certain time period to it each day.)

Some of my sprints…

  • Play “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” on the Ukelele
  • Improve Typing Speed by 25wpm
  • Study, Corroborate, and Research Carroll Quigley’s “Tragedy and Hope”
  • Practice Handstands
  • Draw Portraits with Left Hand
  • Practice Yoga
  • Study Level 1 of Rosetta Stone Latin
  • Complete Coursera course “Introduction To Public Speaking”
  • What Do You Want To Learn About? What Do You Want To See Improved In Your Life?

In that 48 hours, how many book pages could I have read? How many moments with my loved ones could I have celebrated? How many new ideas, experiences, and acquaintances could I have happened.

All that said, sometimes sitting back and enjoying a wonderfully crafted piece of television is just the thing that suits us at the moment. I personally see no inherent harm in watching a 30 minute tv show. I just want to be aware of the compromises I make when it comes to my health and my time.

 

I’m Matt Frazier “No Meat Athlete” and This Is How I Live

By | How I Live, Inspiration & Purpose | No Comments

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Meet Matt Frazier, the high energy parent behind NoMeatAthlete.com. Founded back in 2009, at about the same time that Matt went vegetarian. Six months later, Matt qualified for the Boston Marathon with a time of 3:09:59 at the Wineglass Marathon, over 100 minutes faster than his first marathon time seven years prior. In 2010, Matt ran his first 50-mile ultramarathon, and has run several more ultras and marathons each year since.

 

Matt is the author of the book No Meat Athlete: Run on Plants and Discover Your Fittest, Fastest, Happiest Self. When he’s not running, cooking, or blogging, Matt enjoys reading, gambling, music, and brewing beer. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife, son and two rescued dogs.
Location: Asheville, NC
Current Craft/Gig/Work: Founder of No Meat Athlete, a blog, book and podcast about plant-based running and fitness.
Number of Children and Ages: 2 kids — an (almost) 5-year old boy and 2-year old girl
One word that best describes how you live: At the intersection of simplicity and all the craziness that comes with being a parent and running a business from home 
Current Mobile Device: LG slide-keyboard phone that doesn’t do anything except be a phone 
Current Computer: I’ve got two: a Macbook Air and a Gateway All-in-One deskton on its last legs

Walk us through your first hour of the day…

First I hang out with my kids for a few minutes, then make a single cup of pour-over coffee, which takes 10-15 minutes or so because I boil water on the stove and hand-grind the beans. Then I either read for half an hour or do an exercise like Morning Pages from the Artists’s Way (three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing, basically a form of meditation on the page)matt-frazier-with-smiling-kid-and-smoothie

What’s your ‘place of work’ set up look like?

The three main pieces are a Varidesk standing desk, a long wooden table for recording podcasts and brainstorming, and a chalkboard-painted wall with quotes I like and a list of books on my list to read. I also have a framed essay from Seth Godin called “Pick Yourself” on the wall next to my desk. I try to keep it as uncluttered as possible otherwise.

What’s your favorite way to stay organized?

I still haven’t mastered this, but right now, I’ve settled on good old pen and paper lists. I have one sheet with any working projects on it, and each week I work off another sheet with the next to-do items for each of those projects, plus any other urgent things that week. Basically it’s the system from Getting Things Done, and I try to follow the rest of the principles from that program in one form or another.

If you were low energy before, what was the biggest change you made to have more energy?

Really, changing my diet — first to vegetarian and then later to vegan — made energy almost a non-issue for me. I’m never tired until the very end of the day, and that’s very different from how I used to be, even when I thought I ate pretty healthily.

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Matt with his wife, Erin, and Robert Cheeke

What’s your best energy-saving shortcut or life hack?

It’s not really a hack, but I do so little “consumption” (of TV, news, social media, blogs) that I don’t spend any energy at all on worrying or thinking about current events. Which I realize also means that I’m out of touch with current events, but I kind of like it that way.

What is your favorite go-to meal?

It’s a smoothie. Mostly fruit, but also some raw nuts and seeds and greens. It works for breakfast or as a pre- or post-workout meal or an afternoon snack. Along with a big salad, it’s one food I try to eat every single day.

How do you stay fit?

Just running, and at a pretty low intensity, usually. I try to always have a marathon or ultra in mind that I’m training for, and as needed I will do some harder workouts for that. But I tend not to keep my weight on very well with all this running and my diet, so once or twice a year I hit the gym for a few weeks and add some muscle.
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What is your night time/sleep routine?

My kids wake us up around 7am every morning, so I try to get in bed around 11pm. Nothing really special here; I usually read for 30 minutes or listen to an audiobook before I go to sleep.

What are you currently reading? Or watching?

Right now I’m reading a book called Mindset, by Carol Dweck, and rereading Tony Robbins’ Awaken the Giant Within.

What apps or software can you not live without?

I don’t really use any apps, since I don’t have a smartphone. Not really into any particular software, either. WordPress?

What is something that you happen to excel at, when it comes to parenting?

Being present — I had a smartphone for a few months but got rid of when I realized I was always checking stuff when I was, say, at the playground with my kids. Or maybe that means I was really bad at being self-disciplined and present, but at least I had the awareness to do something about it!

What is the best life advice you have ever received about being a parent?

Praise growth and hard work, not innate ability. So don’t say, “Nice job, you’re so smart!” Instead say, “Nice job, you did a great job of learning (or practicing) that!”

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Fill In The Blank: I’d love to see __________ answer these same questions.

Rich Roll.

The How I Live series asks athletes, heroes, experts, and flat-out high energy parents to share their diets, shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Every week we’ll feature a new parent and the recipes, habits, tips, and insights that keep them thriving.  Know someone that you want to see featured, or questions you think I should ask? Let me know.