#LifestyleFriday - October 2015 Monthly Favorites & Inspirational Findings

Well hello there! Welcome to a special #LifestyleFriday. Today I am rounding up all of my favorite things and inspirational findings that have influenced me during this October.


A Pair of Apps

Let’s get into today’s topic by saying that as I’m writing this I’m listening to the rain. Is it cloudy in Bucharest? No. I’m using my Calm app. I discovered it in one of Mimi Ikonn’s videos, where she was mentioning it for relaxation purposes and/or meditation. So I looked it up, downloaded it and I simply love it! Natural sounds, relaxing sounds, meditation timers/routines and many more. You get a few predetermined sounds and functions, but can add more if you wish, either by downloading or by upgrading to Premium version. Go check it out and tell me what you think.

Instagram addict? Guilty! I created my profile in late July this year and since then, it has come to the point that this October it got my full atention and involvement. I find it to be very helpful in raising awareness for what this blog is all about. People get to see the behind-the-scenes of the smart healthy lifestyle I believe I can help you with. It makes the things I write be more relatable and… social. I recommend it for raising awareness, building your business or showing off your personal brand.

On to the next thing!

Movement & Exercise

I’ve been doing vinyasa yoga for over a year now, and I can totally see how much I progressed. This is a type of yoga that emphasizes flowing from one move to the next, concentrating on the synchronicity between move and breath. Things got easier with each day, and I needed more challenge.

And so I tried my first Power Yoga session. As all my yoga training, I also did this online, via my teacher Adriene (YouTube channel - Yoga With Adriene), in the comfort of my own home. I said to myself that if I can’t do this, there’s no problem. Just see how it goes. After 45 minutes I was so happy that tears got into my eyes. I had suceeded not only in doing it, but also completing the practice.

For those of you who are not familiar with Power Yoga, let me tell you it’s actually quite hard. The movements are swift and you get out of breath pretty quickly. You have to relax, tell yourself you’re going to do it, breathe deep, go with the flow and when you least expect it your practice is over. I totally encourage you to challenge your strenght. Slowly, at your own pace, but do it daily, and soon enough you will see results.


The next topic I want to talk to you about is books and inspirational people. This month has been quite serendipitous in that aspect and has lead me to quite impressive finds from my point of view. Being such an independent spirit, I have always been interested in that kind of individuals that I can resonate with, that have that special kind of drive and that create wonderful things by questioning and challenging the status-quo of our society. The ones that stand up for what they believe in, work hard and are on a world-changing mission, on a world-improvement mission. I simply love that! I honestly do!

I act on intuition and insight and I truly believe that things appear in our lives at a certain time, a certain place and with a defined purpose. There are lessons to be learned, and we experience them through these serendipitous moments, where one thing leads to another and it all makes sense inside your core.

October’s Matrioshka-Like Teachers

They say that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I must be more than ready, because this month I had seven teachers pop out almost from nowhere. Starting from late September and through this entire month, I have found or remembered the following teachers: Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, Robert Kiyosaki, Chase Jarvis, Simon Sinek, Gary Vaynerchuk and Lewis Howes. I wrote them in the order of appearance. The process of finding them resembles opening a Matrioshka doll: one lead to another, and another, and so on.

Summarizing all of the things these guys helped me understand and learn about myself is close to saying they put a mirror in my face and showed me what I might have forgotten through the years.

I remember now. I am a storyteller. Let’s talk about that for a bit.

What Have I Learned and a Few of My Beliefs
I believe in the fact that this world can be changed for the better, there are so many opportunities arrising every moment, day and night. The world is getting more connected than ever, the people find more and more kindered spirits and the ones who put up the work on a daily basis, live up to see their dreams come true.

Human beings are so resilient and so strong. I aim to help people change for the better using love, smarts and relationships, all summed up into life stories. With words or through photographs, or even both.  I aim to find that inner spark and light it on fire. We all have it. Don’t crush it even you’re crying and feeling helpless. It will pass.

The world is becoming a more social place than usual. People are once again forming tribes, but based on their similarities, not so much on their proximity. This world needs leaders that show the way, that open new opportunities and help through teaching. We are all beings lead by emotions and insights, some more than others. The leaders are ourselves. We can all lead. Lead this world to a better place.

We are constantly seeking to improve ourselves and the lifestyle we have. I believe that we have it in us to be better, smarter, kinder. I believe that we first have to like ourselves, we first have to discover what we really want and go act on it. We all have our “why”s. Translate those into actionable, real plans and do something for them daily. All positive things will prevail, all that is bad will fall off in the end. That is my belief. But it takes work!


If you are not yet familiar with the Monthly Trilogy I’m creating, I’ll explain it briefly. On the last week of every month I will post three reviews concerning experiences and lessons learned (#SMartWedesday), my multiple sclerosis status, health tips and a quick recipe or life hack (#HealthyThursday) and my monthly favorites together with inspirational findings (#LifestyleFriday).

That being said, this was all for this week’s #LifestyleFriday! Thank you for reading. To receive my next articles right into your inbox, subscribe to SMart Choice Lifestyle by filling your email adress in the box on the upper right corner Join my SMart Warriors list to receive access to Premium content and many more!

Have a most wonderful day!


#HealthyThursday - October 2015 Monthly Health Review & Quick Recipe

Hello there! I’m back with another #HealthyThursday and lots of healthy tips for you guys! This is a part of the monthly trilogy I will do from now on. The last week of every month will have a special #SMartWednesday, #HealthyThursday and #LifestyleFriday editions, meaning I’ll post my monthly review on all things information, health and lifestyle. Let’s see what was up this month in the health department.


I am pretty open to sharing all about my condition and don’t feel like you’re invading my privacy if I let you in on some of my ups and downs. After all, MS is an ilness that aims to isolate you on the long run, so why let it? Do the oposite, talk about it, treat it like it’s another part of your life and then move on. More about this in a second!

This October, my MS (let's call it Smaug, just for the fun of it!)... So, this month, Smaug decided to let me know that it’s still there. Being the ubnoxious dragon that it is, it decided to breathe fire down my left arm. Back to reality, that means that I had an acute numbness episode on my left arm, ranging from my last two fingers and going up to my elbow. Up and down, up and down.

Fatigue was also a bit of an issue, as I felt more tired than usual, had less energy and ability to concentrate on the tasks at hand, but I had it pretty mild compared to other times. All this has been happening due to my menstrual cycle (yes, I AM talking about this publicly!). Meaning the amount of time between two “that-time-of-the-month” 3-4 days.

As my body temperature is going up and my hormones are running free and with flowers in their hair through my body, I tend to experience the so-called pseudo-exacerbations. These are manifestations of my symptoms, but to a much lesser intensity. Annoying and scary nonetheless (especially when my right eye begins to hurt out of nowhere and I think it’s a relapse… scary!).

I know they are not actual relapses because they happen for a short while, and completely dissapear after my period kicks in. For the past year I have been journaling my MS, and I can see a pattern rise up as I’m approaching my period each month. So, long story short: the ladies may experience things like these once a month. It’s good to know.


This month I noticed some positive changes in my health. They are mostly due to what I do on a daily basis. I wake up at 7 a.m., drink half a liter of lemon water, sit down and meditate for 10-15 minutes, fully engage in 45-60 minutes of yoga and cardio/aerobics, shower, have breakfast and get to work.

By the time I am in front of the computer, my mind is not racing, my body has been fed, stretched and clensed from all the toxins that accumulated overnight. I approach my daily tasks in good shape and although my righ eye is hurting a bit as I am writing this right now, I take brakes and still go on. It’s the life I chose for myself, and I am going to make the best of it in spite of multiple sclerosis.

Though I say this, I tend not to push too hard and just listen to my body. Rest accordingly, have a little snack like some nuts or seeds, a cup of green tea maybe and then go at it again. Life is never served to you on a silver platter. You have to work to achieve what you want. Always!

So my healthy tips for you this month are to establish a morning routine that suits your time and condition. Do the best you can with what you can. Adapt and by no means try to replicate exactly what I do. Personalize it to fit your lifestyle. I only share what I do so that I hopefully inspire you to get better and to focus on the things that are still good and working in your life.

Let me tell you that when I get grouchy, anxious and sad, my whole body seems to ache and symptoms seem to appear also. That being said, I hope you are doing allright this October and let’s go ahead with the recipe. So excited for this moment!


This is it! My first video ever! I am so anxious for it but nonetheless happy that I can share it with you and that I get to communicate in another way than in the written form. Tell me if you would like to see more of these in the following months. Here we go!

This was all for this week’s #HealthyThursday! Thank you for reading and if you would like to receive my next articles right into your mail, subscribe to SMart Choice Lifestyle by filling your email adress in the box on the upper right. Join my SMart Warriors list to receive access to Premium content and many more!

Have a most wonderful day!


#SMartWednesday - October 2015 Monthly Learnings & Blog Statistics

Hi there! Missed talking to you since last week! I’m back with #SMartWednesday. Starting with this October, at the end of each month, I write all about what my experiences were, what did I learn and let you in on stats of the ‪#‎SMartChoiceMS‬social media platforms. Let’s dig into it!

Experiences & Growth

October has been an interesting month for me as I discovered so many new things and correlated with like-minded people, in real life and/or via social media. This goes for both SMart Choice issues, as well as for personal ones. It's a very fulfilling and changing experience to have.

Quieting the mind even more  through meditation has made me a more focused and more in depth-view kind of person. It has reconnected me to my inner spark and helped me face and come to terms with most of my fears and anxieties. But not be fooled! This has been an ongoing process for over a year now, and I am just begining to scratch the surface. Nonetheless, I like what I’m finding on a daily basis.

I understood my WHY in doing all that I do. I know! Pretty deep stuff, huh? In fact it’s very simple and could happen to you too. I just looked deep inside myself and understood the reason that has always made me tick. The one thing that was always a part of me, no matter what was the type of thing I was doing at a certain moment in life. They say that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. There were several ones which appeared. I will talk more about that this Friday, on #LifestyleFriday.

Lessons Learned

Pay attention to the five people you surround yourself with (in real life/online/dead/alive). You are the average of those individuals. It will reflect in your ideas and your point of view. It does change your world view and the way you connect to reality, in time influencing the way you evolve or decline along the way.

I kept my brain active and searched for ways to give back to all of you (show gratitude) and how I can be of assistance. I tried to remain humble and listen to your story instead of constantly telling mine. We’re on a social relationship and it’s a win-win situation.

Being social and connected with likeminded people can truly make a difference. I know that many of you are visiting SMart Choice Lifestyle via a desktop computer. Some of you could have difficulties getting outside or perhaps you are to busy to network in real life.

That’s what social networks were created for. Go online, engage, get into discussions with peers. There is nothing more rewarding than talking to people who understand what you’re going through or that are into the same things as you are.

If you are a young MSer, newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, there’s no better place for you to be than on shift.ms. It has been my hub from the first month I found out I had MS, and the people there have helped me tremendously. Go check it out!

You have to stand up for yourself and be your own advocate. Even if it’s through tears.

Stats & Social

October looked pretty interesting in terms of statistics and social media engagement. I put aside my innate introversion and really got engaged with people on social. And the most wonderful thing happened: you began to respond and did what human beings always have done. Communicate. Be curious. Support an idea if it resonated with you.

That translated into a overall growth for SMart Choice, compared to the previous month.
The blog had 448 unique visitors, of which entirely new ones made up 41% of the total.

You spent an average of 4 minutes / session, with an average of 3 pages / session.

The demographics showed that during this month, you were 100% female, with ages between 35-54. Is that true? Raise your hands if you’re not from this interval.

The top 3 places from which you guys visited SMart Choice were: Romania, UK and the USA. Followed by Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Switzerland, Ireland and Spain. Thank you all for visiting!

Socials looked like this: Facebook - 40 likes, Twitter - 86 followers, Instagram - 42 followers. This numbers are reached this month, and reflect the whole eight months since starting the blog.

Most of the traffic was sourced through Facebook, followed by shift.ms and last but not least by Twitter. Instagram did not bring any traffic whatsoever. I’m working on posting more interesting content, so that you can receive more value through what I give.

This was all for this week’s #SMartWednesday! Thank you for reading and if you would like to receive my next articles right into your mail, subscribe to SMart Choice Lifestyle by filling your email adress in the box on the upper right. Join my SMart Warriors list to receive access to Premium content and many more!

Have a most wonderful day!


How to Search For Love In All The Right Places

All that surrounds us (material stuff, objects, books, buildings) are somebody’s creation. Someone had an idea, then loved that idea and created it. Someone loved that thought, and thus that object is the result of that love. Of this creative force that binds the world together.


Human beings appear from an act of creation, from an act of love. Rapes are and express the lack of love. The rapist has no love for himself and by abusing himself, he thinks that women deserve to be abused in return. He wants to gain power. Power will always be a fight for escaping fear. The fear of not feeling love. The fear of the void and a meaningless existence.
The lack of love is the source of all the evil in the world. It gives birth to rage, fear and aggression. It’s toxic. It’s Hell on Earth. When we do not have love in our lives, when we don’t love the ones around us, when we want to dominate to find love, that’s when we are in Hell. And we take this Hell with us when we die.


Let go of what you can’t change. What does not harm you or influence you directly, has no purpose in annoying you. The mind is the one that is bothered by external factors, because it has decided long ago what annoying is, what this and that are and so on.
At the end of the day, do these external factors change who you really are? No. They only change mood and mood can be bettered, changed, shifted. Remember who you are and always have been. Remember what you love and what you feel.
You need to be loved. You need love to feel secure in the world. It has many facets and understandings and you can find it everywhere. Don’t dwell on negative things. Fill your heart with joy and happiness because you are loved and cherished and taken care of. And from there you can grow. Remember mostly to love yourself. There is no love without loving yourself first.
You are the most precious gift God has made to… you. To your soul. Your mind is gifted, so use it wisely, to do good and expand love. That is your calling. You suffer when you see cruelty and injustice. You defend all those that are accused and done wrong by others. You are their protector.


Do something with this gift. Help people feel better, love themselves more, love others more.
You are made happy seeing beauty, in all of its shapes and sizes. In all of its color, sound and taste. You have a good sense of aestethics and can see the good in everyone. You can see the beauty of that human being, the little child inside that just wants to be loved and accepted.
We are all like this. We collect beautiful things believing that they will make us happy. But that is void of meaning and purpose. Without a kind soul, without taking care of yourself internally, there is nothing there. We accumulate materiality and then we feel empty. Our spirituality suffers.
And then we come back to claiming and craving acceptance. Some people do not recognize it. But the need is there! We all want to be loved. We all want to be helped. We all want to be beautiful, love beauty and see beauty all around.
But we have it inside us. Let it shine and inspire others. It’s your beautiful soul and it shines right through your eyes.


You have an aggressive gatekeeper at your soul. Your mind doesn’t let you see the love you have inside. Your mind is constantly criticizing, judging and pointing fingers at you. We internalized the social model, we criticize ourselves because society is constantly criticizing itself and us too.
The truth is that you are your own worst enemy. You never stop comparing yourself to others, never stop complaining and showing disgust if you don’t conform to what the rest of the world accepts as beautiful, smart or good. Society trained you well! It trained us all so well that we can no longer distinguish between love and fear.
We think that loving someone means to fear losing that love. Fear is selfish. Fear is needy. Fear is angry and demanding. Love is selfless. We love because we enjoy the feeling and the reaction it produces is our partner. Love is independent. We love without clinging, without asking something in return. Love is pure joy and it gives without asking. We love because it pleases us and the other, because we choose to do so.


Love to be loved in return. And most of all: love yourself to be able to love in return. Love what you do. Love what you say. Love what you live and teach others how to be loved and how to give love. Love attracts love.
Feed yourself with positive emotions and when the negative ones come back, because they will come back at some point, just breathe, aknowledge them and move on! Move on and keep loving. Breathe, hug, kiss, relax!
The world is what you make it. It is how you feel it and how you react to it. Reasoning is blind. When you offer love, you get love in return. Contradiction is absurd and leads nowhere. Fear is a blockage and again… leads nowhere.


Yes, you are beautiful! You have gorgeous ideas and insights, creativity and empathy. You have understanding. You are wise and you will get through it all. There is only love in this world. Open your eyes and see it. Open your heart and feel it. Love yourself first, and you will feel love in return.
Find your truth. Who are you exactly, and what do you really want? Don’t believe what others say, don’t even believe what you say to yourself. Allow your heart to feel. To lift itself from the mundane and to search for love deep inside you. It’s already there.
Learn to find love, learn to feel and accept it into your life. Forgive all that have done you wrong. Ask forgiveness from the ones you did wrong to. Forgive yourself for all the self-judgement and self-hatred and start again. Start with love. Build your Heaven on Earth, so that when you die you can take it with you.
This was all for this week’s #LifestyleFriday! Thank you for reading and if you would like to receive my next articles right into your mail, subscribe to SMart Choice and join my SMart Warriors list!
Yours truly,

#HealthyThursday - My Story on How Yoga & Healthy Eating Can Improve Life

Hello you! I am so happy that we get to meet again through this article. Today I thought about talking about why exercise and a healthy diet are crucial to general wellbeing and how they helped me become stronger in fighting multiple sclerosis. Let’s get into it!


Exercising and multiple sclerosis have been thought to be uncompatible for a long time. But recent experiences of people living with the condition proved that moderate exercise can in fact improve your general wellbeing and make you stronger in the long run, helping you fight the illness on much higher grounds, so to speak.

It is known that many MSers have trouble with pseudoexacerbations (acute sensations without any relapse danger) of their symptoms when they get to hot. That’s why it’s advisable to start slow, do minimum impact exercises untill your body gets stronger. Push through that eggshell we all have and do your best regularly. By keeping at it, in the long run I promise you that you will see good results.

Multiple Sclerosis wants to keep you down and not being able to move. Beat it through movement and healthy eating. Along with exercising, what you put in your body also counts. A fast-food, processed aliments and smoking way of life never helped anyone, especially a person with multiple sclerosis.

These unnatural things are more than harmful to your body, as they change the inner chemistry that keeps you as healthy as possible. Ingredients that you are hardly able to pronounce and 98% that comes out of a bag or box becomes dangerous, as your immune system can get irritated and confused by them and start an immune attack that will create havoc in your body. With an already weakened or missfiring immunity, you surely wouldn’t want to inflame it even more than it already is.


Long story short: I was a couch potato, eating mostly junk and loving Coke and coffee. Untill multiple sclerosis decided to pay me a visit and make me transform my lifestyle around. Because, although MS is a serious, posibly debilitating condition, it helped me see the bigger picture. It forced me to analyze and review my entire life, beginning from the food I ate and up to the hours of sleep per night.

It was a brutal self-assesment, as I found many (MANY!!) mistakes that did my body harm on a daily basis. I was eating for pleasure, not for nourishing, and so I was starving from the inside out. It was time to make a change.

My eating habbits, went through a lot of changes. I noticed that gluten bloated and made me feel sluggish after eating it. So I cut it of for a month, to see how I felt. Never better! I did a test meal afterwards, and it was proof that gluten was no good for me. One down! No more gluten for me!

The second category of food I experimented with was dairy. Oh, those greek yoghurts, those lovely cheeses! But, oh! Those lovely cramps, that bloating! Did the same test and after one month, dairy became my enemy. I had to let it go! (Irony and drama intended!). No more dairy for me! I do make exceptions, but everytime I do them, I feel bad, so I decided that is not worth it. Do whatever makes you feel better.

Sugar was a completely different story. As you, I am addicted to the sweet taste and chocolate is the best thing ever. But is it healthy? No. Especially when the ingredients on it are 10 letters long (or more). So… what to do, what to do? Let go sugar? Ahmm, no way! I know! I’ll find replacements! And I did! Honey, stevia, and the king of all kings: coconut oil chocolate. It satisfies the sugary tooth everytime I have cravings. Being only human, I do have guilty pleasures such as my boyfriend’s chocolate muffins, or a few squares of dark chocolate. But that’s it! And I don’t do it everyday.

I tend to stay away from the foods that make me feel bad and that accentuate my symptoms. I mostly eat clean foods, as close to their natural state as possible. I make home-cooked dishes that are full of spices and taste. Chicken, turkey and fish are definetly my best friends and I eat seasonal veggies. Fruits are eaten in moderation, as they do contain a lot of sugar.

As I said, I was a proud couch potato, and although I wasn’t overweight, my body was out of shape. And I know that not only for my panting as I walked up a longer set of stairs or something like that, but by comparing it to my current fitness level. It.was.a.disaster! Stiffness, pains and mostly discomfort.

My MS didn’t gave me any problems in the mobility area, but it began to make me afraid of moving to much, of getting out of the house to often. I know! Fraidy cat! But that’s a good thing after all. I had the time to browse the Internet and try some yoga for the first time in my life. I wanted to get in better shape and be stronger, and yoga was offering the right kind of non-exhaustive workout that I was so curious about.

Little did I know that as time went by, I would become addicted to stretching my muscles and growing my body-mind-breath connection. One evening I had a rough time with some upper back pain. Once again I turned to Google for some advice and at the top of my search results was a video with exactly what I was looking for: yoga for upper-back pain.

This girl, Adriene, had a YouTube Channel and a very lively and friendly personality. Up untill then, I was only playing aroud with moves, sequences and went on and off with my yoga practice. I played the video, followed the easy instructions and I could see that my body responded. After the routine was over, my upper-back pain was gone. Litrerally! It felt like there never even was a pain in that area. And I was fascinated! It did work. It did help! What more can I try? I’m curious what other benefits there might be.

I browsed her channel, found the 30 Days of Yoga Challenge and from that month on, I was hooked! From that month on I never missed a day. I practiced every single day of the week. In time, I got from sweating my shorts off to being able to relax, focus and calm the mind while stretching the body in more and more complicated asanas (positions).

Of course I had days when I found it hard to practice. My body would not respond well and I got tired. But I pushed through it, went out of my comfort zone. Little by little, I began to sweat a little less as the days went by, I searched and tried more difficult routines and pushed through them. Repeating some of them made me see that I got stronger and stronger and that I didn’t pant my lungs out when I climbed stairs or my arms didn’t fall off after lifting a 2 year old baby and carrying him to his mum.

Last week I had two big rewards. The first one was that after months and months of struggle, one day, after my core yoga workout, I tried doing side plank just for fun, to see how fast I’ll fall tumbling down to the mat. And surprise, surprise! I didn’t!

I could balance my body on a side, without my hand trembling, without feeling that my shoulder would come out of its socket. And I did it on both sides too (Yes, I’m smug about it! My work is rewarded. All the time I was exercising it had payed of. Thank you, Adriene Mishler!)

The second one happened this Thursday morning. I went through my first 45 minutes of power yoga (yoga asanas at a faster rate, getting your heart pumping and body into shape). I was sweating again, but I was happy that I got out of my comfort zone and challenged myself. It payed off, as now I am stronger and have more faith in my capabilities.

Challenges always do that!


And that’s what I mostly do, guys! Not so fancy, not so unusual, just healthy eating and moving my body. These are all my personal choices. I do not recommend them literally to anybody, because, as with everything in life, it’s all about tastes, opinions and choices.

I just hope that this article has inspired you to begin living healthier and to do the best your body needs. Keep a balanced lifestyle and diet and you’ll be fine! MS or no MS!

This was all for this week’s #HealthyThursday! Thank you for reading and if you would like to receive my next articles right into your mail, subscribe to SMart Choice and join my SMart Warriors list!

P.S. Adriene’s YouTube Channel is right here! Click on the video and make sure to subscribe to her channel. You'll thank me for that! ;)


Have a wonderful day!

Yours truly,