Health, Wellness & Beauty, Tone It Up, Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: How To Get Back On Track With Healthy Eating and Exercise

Hi Friends!

Truth: I haven’t worked out in three weeks and I’ve been eating so bad. I am busy, I don’t feel well, I got bad news, I thought of every excuse in the book but I have had enough! I’m done making excuses for myself, I’m ready to shape-up and get back on track!For me, it’s not only about looking good (although that helps!) I feel better when I eat on the nutrition plan and workout consistently. I have more energy, Im smarter and I overall just like myself more. So I’m committing to:

1. Doing my booty call workouts 5 /7 days (100 meltdown + Studio TIU workouts + The Daily Moves)

2. Go to barre 2-3 days a week at The Barre Method

3. Eating ‘lean, clean and green’ and by following the Tone It Up Nutrition Guidelines.

HOW TO GET BACK ON TRACK WITH HEALTHY EATING AND EXERCISE

Have you gone off track and got back on again more times than you care to remember? That doesn’t make you a failure! It makes you human. As long as you get back on again, and are making positive changes, then you are moving in the right direction. Here are all the tips you need to get back on track with healthy eating and exercise.

There is no fad diet, there is no detox, and there is no total deprivation in this post. There are just a lot of small, everyday healthy changes that are going to help to make you eat more nutritiously, have more energy and just feel a whole lot healthier, because that’s what it’s all about.

GETTING BACK ON TRACK

1) BE REALISTIC WITH YOUR GOALS

This is a photo of me a few years ago and whilst I would love to look like that again, it’s just not going to happen. I am not saying it is impossible, but just not realistic for my life with all the medication I am on.

2) GET BACK TO BASICS 

Forget fad diets, crazy detoxes or anything that promises miracle cures. Focus on eating less processed food, more fruit and vegetables and move more. Whilst I might not be able to always control what I eat, I can control how much of it I eat, so I am focusing on portion sizes and calories.

For me, the Tone It Up Nutrition plans works. It outlines why we should and shouldn’t eat certain foods and the science behind it. It also gives you a fool proof recipe guide book.

A few months ago I wrote a post on the Tone It Up frequently asked questions or you can visit the Tone It Up website for more details.

3) TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME 

I know all the changes that I need to make, because I have made them all before, so it’s tempting to make them all at the same time – but that just isn’t going to work. If I make too many changes at once, I will feel overwhelmed and fall at the first hurdle.

Just take each day as it comes and make small changes at a time. Maybe start off with healthy breakfasts for the week and going for a walk. Then the next week move on to upping your workout.

For me, focusing on portion control at the moment, even if the foods I am eating aren’t ideal. After a couple of weeks, I will set myself a new challenge. Constantly reminding myself that this is a marathon, not a sprint.

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Health, Wellness & Beauty, Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: How to Develop a Gratitude Practice for a Happier, Healthier Life

If you want more happiness in your life, learn how to develop a gratitude practice. It’s simple, free, and can have profound effects on your life. 

There’s been so much research on the benefits of practicing graditude. It’s pretty hard to ignore, but I will admit that I haven’t had a serious gratitude practice. I’ve done it, here and there. But I’ve never made it a formal practice.

The last time I heard about the benefits of gratitude, the information somehow struck me in a different way. I was listening to Bob Proctor, who is amazing individual that everyone should read, and he said to commit to writing down 10 things, yes 10, that you’re grateful for, every day, as soon as you wake up. 

I’ve always done a mental gratitude practice. In the morning or in the evening before bed, I’d try and name 3 things to be grateful for. It was never written and I can’t say it was something I did every single day without fail. 

In fact, I usually did my gratitude practice when I was feeling down or upset about something. I’d use it as a way to perk myself up to see that there were actually many good things going on in my life. I just needed to look for them. I still recommend this way of practicing, but I was curious to take things a step further.

I wondered what would happen if I truly committed to a gratitude every day?

Before we jump into all the benefits, let’s first talk about how to establish a gratitude practice.

How to Develop a Gratitude Practice 

As I mentioned, I used to just think about things to be grateful for whenever I remembered. Some days I’d forget. When I did remember, it would often be a reaction to a bad mood and I’d just be looking for gratitude to get me out. 

Once I started a regular gratitude practice, I found the bad moods didn’t come as often. I learned to get ahead of the negativity curve, and start my own positive status quo.

Write It Out

I really recommend putting pen to paper to get the most out of starting a gratitude practice. It’s so much more powerful to write down what you’re grateful for as opposed to just thinking about it. And yeah, ditch the electronics for this. No one needs more screen time. 

I have a little notebook and pen on my bedside table. I practically graze my hand on the notebook after I hit my alarm so it’s pretty easy to remember to do it.

I put the date at the top of the page and then just have a numbered list from 1 to 10 with a word or phrase next to each number.  

Each entry doesn’t have to be super long, but if you’re a freeform thinker and love journaling, then write as much as you like. If you’re already a little unsure if you can commit to starting a gratitude practice, then start with a simple list.

When I started my gratitude practice, all of my yoga teachers, my mail carrier, and delivery people got an even heavier dose of verbal appreciation from me. The unseen trash people, farmers, and delivery people have also been getting silent praise as well.

Sit Quietly

If you can sit quietly for a few minutes after you create your gratitude list to soak it in, all the better.

I put the date at the top of the page and then just have a numbered list from 1 to 10 with a word or phrase next to each number.  

When I started my gratitude practice, all of my yoga teachers, my mail carrier, and delivery people got an even heavier dose of verbal appreciation from me. The unseen trash people, farmers, and delivery people have also been getting silent praise as well.

Sit Quietly

If you can sit quietly for a few minutes after you create your gratitude list to soak it in, all the better.

Notice where the gratitude lives in your body. I’m gonna guess your heart is going to be all warm and tingly. Feel it and get even more grateful for the happy sensation.

Should a conflict arise later in the day causing tightness in your chest, try and tap back into that feel-good heart gratitude sensation. Hopefully that will cause the tightness to soften and you can reframe the situation and find something else to be grateful for.

Set the Tone for the Day

Starting your day with a gratitude practice gets you off on the right foot and that’s why I recommend writing your list in the morning.

When the first thing you think of when you wake up is all the things you’re grateful for, instead of how much you hate your job, trust me, you’re going to have a different day. 

I found that throughout the day, I wanted to add to the list. After about a week, I found myself looking for more things to write down. And you know what? I was finding them….everywhere.

What to be Grateful For

If you’re thinking 10 things to be grateful for everyday seems like a lot, start small. Really small. 

Ideally you’re waking up in a bed, with a structure over your head, and sheets, and blankets. You just nailed #1-4. Yes, those count.

One of the big shifts I noticed is how many things I take for granted….until something happens. For instance, I cut my pinky finger while whipping up a new recipe and it was catching on everything. Every time it caught, I’d think, dang, that little finger.  

After regularly doing this gratitude practice, my attention shifted to, I’m so happy that I have 9 working fingers. Why on earth would I spend any time and angst on one little scrape on such a small part of my body, but folks, this is what we do. This is how we live our lives! 

We see the little scrape and start beating up the poor little pinkies of the world, instead of stepping back and seeing the bigger picture. I find when you can focus on things outside of your tiny bubble, you can realize how good you’ve got it.

So start small with your gratitude list. Repeat the same items every day if you want. Soon though, you’ll begin seeing more and more wonderful things in your life. I know I wanted to add to my list at night or during the day as I discovered more to appreciate.

That’s the law of attraction at work right there. The more goodness you see, the more will find you. I’m going to need a bigger notebook. 

Share Your Gratitude Practice

Don’t believe me? I invite you to try this written gratitude practice for at least 14 days and see how you feel. Hashtag So start small with your gratitude list. Repeat the same items every day if you want. Soon though, you’ll begin seeing more and more wonderful things in your life. I know I wanted to add to my list at night or during the day as I discovered more to appreciate.

That’s the law of attraction at work right there. The more goodness you see, the more will find you. I’m going to need a bigger notebook. 

Share Your Gratitude Practice

Don’t believe me? I invite you to try this written gratitude practice for at least 14 days and see how you feel.

It really only takes a few minutes. It’s not going to hurt you. In fact, I do believe it can have profound effects on your life if you’re open.

Have a friend join you. Practice with your family at meal times. Commit to it and watch the changes come.

I talk about all of the benefits of gratitude in my next post, but I first wanted to get you set you up with the specifics on how to set up a gratitude practice. Then we’ll dive into the results of starting such a simple, but powerful daily exercise.

I’d love to hear your feedback if you’re just starting or are already doing a regular gratitude practice. Hashtag: #tiugratitude.

It really only takes a few minutes. It’s not going to hurt you. In fact, I do believe it can have profound effects on your life if you’re open. 

Have a friend join you. Practice with your family at meal times. Commit to it and watch the changes come.

I’d love to hear your feedback if you’re just starting or are already doing a regular gratitude practice.

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Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: 7 Foods for a Flat Belly

With so many diets out there it’s hard to pin-point which one is right for you. One thing remains consistent: we all want a flat belly.

Here are seven foods for a flat belly.

Eggs

Simple, I know. But eggs are a food that should be a staple in your everyday diet, and here’s why.

Firstly, in one large-sized egg, you will find around 7 grams of protein, with 6 grams of fat and minimal carbohydrates.

Not only does an egg contain a lot of protein, but it also contains high-quality protein.

This is measured by the different types of amino-acid chains found in the protein source.

Sweet Potatoes

If you’re looking for a healthy carbohydrate source, look no further than the sweet potato.

In just one potato, it contains 400% of your daily recommended vitamin A, making it very nutrient-dense whilst containing fewer calories than a regular, white potato.

Spinach / Kale

Yes, these leafy greens should be a staple of your healthy diet.

I know it is not something that many look forward to eating or would like to eat every day.

But the health benefits are amazing!

So, if you can find a way to fit them in, you definitely should.

Chia Seeds

Packed with fiber, these healthy little seeds should become part of your everyday diet.

Their fiber content will make sure your digestive tract will run smoothly and will also increase your satiety when you consume them.

However, despite containing all this fiber, it’s the antioxidant qualities of chia seeds that is what makes this healthy food popular and recommended by experts.

These antioxidants fight molecules that damage your cells and increase your risk of cancer as well as also helping with anti-aging.

Almonds

Many are aware they should eat nuts for a healthy, balanced diet.

However, they are unsure which ones they should eat, and the quantities in which they should eat them.

By far the best nut to consume for a healthy diet are almonds.

Berries

Berries are very good for you, and not only because they’re one of your five a day.

They are high in antioxidants and help to fight chronic diseases.

Not to mention the fact that, unlike some of the above healthy foods, these are very tasty and appealing to the palate.

Oats

This basic breakfast has become a staple in the diets of fitness fanatics.

Plain and simple, yet packed with health benefits.

This carbohydrate source is possibly the healthiest grain on the planet.

I’m going to incorporate more of these in my diet in hopes to get a flatter stomach!

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Health, Wellness & Beauty, Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: Intermittent Fasting

Hi Friends! Well I finally did it, I hopped on the Intermittent Fasting (IF) train. I’ve been following Lauren Gleisberg workouts for a few months and she recommends to pair them with IF.What is It

Intermittent Fasting is alternating intervals of eating and fasting. Most commonly, the fasting period is 16 hours with the remaining 8 hours spent eating. Basically, as soon as you consume food you “break your fast” and your 8 hour interval begins.

How It Works

IF is an effective fat loss technique because it allows the body to switch from burning sugar/carbs to burning fat for its primary energy source. When you eat, the body begins to digest by breaking down food into smaller components to be used within the body.

Part of what we eat is immediately used. The excess food is saved as storage to be used for energy at a later time. Our bodies actually have a preferred order that it follows when looking for energy, glycogen (carb storage) is first and fat last. When too much time is spent in the eating interval, our body has enough glycogen to serve as energy so it won’t look elsewhere (such as fat stores).

Fasting allows your body to shift so it turns to existing fat stores to burn up as fuel.

Basically by increasing the interval in which we do not eat, we allow our bodies to use fat as fuel.

When we eat, the body begins the process of digestion: breaking down food into smaller components to be used within the body. Some of what we eat is immediately utilized. Excess food is saved as storage to be used for energy at a later time. Weight and fat gain is the results of too much food and “storage energy. Our bodies actually prefers glycogen first when looking for energy and fat last.

When too much time is spent in the eating interval, the body has enough glycogen to serve as energy so it doesn’t look worse where (such as fat stores). When you fast it allows for this shift in which the body turns to our existing fat stores to burn up as fuel.

To sum it all up…. if we keep replenishing our glycogen (carb) stores – such as through eating – our bodies will be less and less likely to burn up fat! By increasing the time we do not eat, we allow our bodies to use fat as fuel.Lauren suggest combing IF with weight training for best fat loss results.

Benefit of Intermittent Fasting

  • Reduction of Body Fat
  • Improved Cellulite
  • Inflammation Reduction
  • Mental Clarity
  • Improved Energy
  • Self Control
  • Breaking Down Your Eating Schedule
  • Experts suggest 8 hours of eating, 16 hours of fasting. For me eating 11am-7pm (eating) 7pm-11am (fasting works best). I suggest slowly adjusting to your fasting schedule.
  • Eventually you will get to 8 hours of eating 16 hours of fasting.
  • 8 Hours of Eating
  • The second you eat or consume food you “break your fast”.
  • 16 hours of Fasting
  • After your eating window closes your fasting window opens.
  • I am not a licensed dietician, nor medical doctor, nor fitness expert. The purpose of this blog is to share my experience with weightloss, fitness and life in general and to offer a little entertainment along the way. If you are seeking a professional opinion on how you should achieve your goals, you should consult a professional. 

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    Health, Wellness & Beauty, Wellness Wednesday

    Wellness Wednesday: Why I started using the Billie Razor


    I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve really been enjoying our Wellness Wednesday series every week! If you’re new around here, you can catch up on all of our Wellness Wednesday posts here. Today’s post is a little unique and to be honest, is covering a topic I hadn’t given much thought prior to connecting with the brand. But the more I learned about Billie – their product, their purpose – the more I realized just how important it was for me to try + share with y’all!

    It may seem pretty random to dedicate an entire blog post to the razor I use, but hear me out. There are parts of my beauty routine that I put a lot of thought, research, and care into. When it comes to beauty and skincare, I won’t use just anything – I’m pretty sure y’all know that by now. I really scrutinize the products I put on my face from foundation to moisturizer. I have tested out every concealer and self-tanner under the sun. I’m super particular about hair products and tools. But when it comes to shaving my legs? I literally just grab whatever razor has the most appealing packaging and seems most familiar to me. I don’t pay close attention to ingredients, pricing, or anything like that. SO when I had the opportunity to learn more about Billie, I decided it was definitely worth a look. I mean, if not every foundation is created equally, that same logic probably applies to razors, right?

    All about the Billie brand 

    Billie is a female-first brand that delivers both razors and body products (of amazing quality!) at a super discounted price. I had honestly never thought of getting my razors delivered, but then I realized just how convenient and, tbh, sanitary this is. (Am I the only one who forgets to regularly replace their razors/cartridges?!) A key part of the Billie brand, which I love, is the belief that women not only desire the same quality as men when it comes to shaving, but that it should be available at a reasonable price point too. If you think about it, when you hear about ‘quality shaving companies’ you most likely don’t think about products and services aimed at women. You think of guys taking care of their faces/beards, etc. You can read more about their brand and mission here.

     The products + my personal review

    When I received my Starter Kit a couple of months ago it contained the razor base/handle, magic holder (super convenient!), and two 5-blade razor cartridges. I also got some of the body products to test out and review, too. The Billie razor is uniquely designed to give you a close shave without being harsh on your skin. I have super sensitive skin and didn’t have any issues with any of the Billie products. My skin was insanely smooth and soft, and I didn’t have any bumps or irritation after shaving. Seriously y’all, it gives you the BEST shave! The blades are actually framed with aloe so I found that to be extra soothing on my skin. Another thing I love about the razor and all of the products is that they are totally toxin-free and made with natural, high quality ingredients.

    I also tried out some of the Billie body products: the lotionthe shave cream, and the body wash. All of their products are made with natural ingredients and the price point is extremely reasonable (the lotion is only $12). My fave was probably the lotion because my skin needs all the hydration it can get, but I honestly loved all of them! Every products smells AMAZING and is designed with the goal of leaving your skin smooth, hydrated, and healthy.

    How the Billie subscription services work 

    When you sign up for the Billie razor service, they’ll deliver your Starter Kit which includes a razor handle, magnetic razor holder, and two razor cartridges for $9. The price point is seriously unreal, especially for the quality! Then, Billie will send you four replacement cartridges however often you need them for $9. Another amazing part is you don’t have to pay for shipping! Shipping is free and you can always add on other products to your orders – like the body lotion, super luxe shaving cream, etc. It’s really that simple! You can get started by ordering your starter kit here.

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    Wellness Wednesday

    Wellness Wednesday 10-2-Minute Habits That Will Change Your Life

    So you want to get healthier. Great! But where to start? Should you do a cleanse? Go Paleo or vegan? Try CrossFit or join a yoga studio? Or should hire a trainer or nutritionist? The options seem endless and overwhelming. When you’re not sure what direction to go, start small. You don’t have to revamp your whole life all at once. You can embark upon the journey toward a healthier lifestyle simply by incorporating any of these 10 healthy habits into your life today. They don’t take a ton of time, but they have tremendous health returns!

    1. Practice conscious breathing.

    When you feel anxious, you disrupt the ease and flow of your breath. You might not even notice these slight disruptions in your breathing pattern and how they affect you. But reestablishing normal breathing restores your energy and focus.

    To do this, breathe in through the nose for a count of five. Feel as though there’s a balloon that is filling your entire pelvis and causing it to stretch out in all directions. Hold that inhale for a moment, and when you exhale, contract all the muscles in and up the spine as you exhale for a count of five. Hold the exhale for a moment and repeat 10 times.

    2. Chew more slowly.

    It’s not just what you eat that matters, it’s also how you eat it. You can eat all the healthy food you want, but if you don’t chew your food well, it can lead to indigestion, bloating and lack of nutrient absorption. The more you chew, the more saliva you produce. Saliva coats the particles of food with enzymes that break it down for better nutrient absorption.

    Chewing 25 times per bite helps cultivate more mindful eating. You eat in a more relaxed state of mind, which aids digestion. Plus, the more slowly you eat, the less you’re likely to consume because you’re giving your body time to let you know you’re full.

    3. Sip warm lemon water.

    Your body needs to be rehydrated first thing in the morning. But swap out the ice water and add warm lemon water to your daily routine instead. Warm lemon water quenches thirst, preps and primes your digestive system, aids in detoxification and supplies a free-radical-crushing dose of vitamin C.

    Lemons may taste acidic, but they are actually alkaline forming, helping the body maintain an ideal pH balance and neutralizing free radicals to keep you feeling vivacious and looking vibrant. “Lemon water benefits the enzyme functions in your body, stimulating the liver and flushing out toxins,” says Josh Axe, DNM.

    4. Take movement breaks.

    When it comes to improving your movement, it’s not just about doing your workout for an hour in the morning and checking it off the list. Your body thrives on movement. More movement all throughout the day is highly beneficial for your body and brain.

    Mobility exercises help lubricate the joints to ward off stiffness, aid in circulation and help boost energy levels and increase focus and productivity. For every hour of sitting, aim for at least a few minutes of mobility drills, such as alternating between arm backstrokes and pelvic circles.

    5. Fix your posture.

    Proper posture — with the spine aligned and the joints stacked — puts your body at ease, reduces tension and strain and ensures that muscles and tissues are well oxygenated and receive nutrients for proper function.

    Katy Bowman, biomechanist and natural-movement expert, recommends first aligning the outside edges of your feet with a straightedge. Then make sure your feet are hip-distance apart. Press all four corners of your feet into the ground. Make sure your pelvis is over your heels. Engage your thighs to lift your kneecaps, squeeze your glutes, keep you chest lifted with the bottom ribs tucked in, and keep your head in a neutral position with chin slightly tucked.

    6. Take Off Your Shoes

    One of the greatest health tools is right under your feet — literally. Earthing, or walking or standing barefoot on the ground, sounds simple enough, but how often are you actually barefoot outside? It may sound a bit hippie, but a 2012 review published in the Journal of Environmental Public Health found that research supports the touted benefits of going barefoot, which include improved mood and sleep and reduced inflammation and chronic pain. Just don’t step on any rusty nails!

    7. Dry brush your skin.

    Take care of your body’s largest organ — your skin. Dry brushing is a natural technique that can reveal the beauty of your skin by sloughing off dead skin cells as it stimulates the lymphatic system. Dry brushing has also been credited with giving the skin a natural, luminous glow.

    To do this, purchase a dry brush with natural bristles. Start at your feet and brush in long, sweeping motions toward your heart (avoiding the face) without applying too much pressure. Don’t dry brush for too long or too often. Try just a few minutes once a week.

    8. Set an intention.

    When you want to break out of your comfort zone or start a new healthy habit, you must first have a strong intention to do so. As Wayne Dyer, author of “The Power of Intention,” says, “The power of intention is the power to manifest, to create, to live a life of unlimited abundance, and to attract into your life the right people at the right moments.” You can set an intention for every action in your life. Before eating, set an intention to eat mindfully. Before working out, connect to your intention. Ask yourself, “What are you aiming to achieve?”

    9. Apply sunscreen.

    Sunscreen isn’t just for summertime. Dermatologists recommend wearing sunscreen daily because, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. Yikes! Even if you’re not hanging outdoors for a long period of time, UVA rays that cause wrinkles and premature aging can pass through window glass. Check the ingredients on your sunscreen and look for one with the mineral zinc oxide for UVA protection. If you’re going to be outside for an extended length of time (at least two hours) look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 that’s sweat and water resistant.

    10. Express gratitude.

    Western society is constantly telling us we need to be more, do more, have more and achieve more. It can be depleting and depressing. Keep your vibe high and light by filtering out the noise and filling yourself up with gratitude throughout each day. There have been numerous studies regarding the positive effects a daily gratitude practice has on the mind, body and spirit.

    Keep a journal in which you jot down what you’re grateful for each evening before bed or when you wake up in the morning. Try writing affirmations — positive things about yourself and your life. Or write a thank-you note to someone to say how grateful you are to have him or her in your life.

    What Do YOU Think?

    Which of these healthy habits are you ready to start today? What are some simple habits you incorporate into your daily regimen to be your healthiest self? We would love to hear your ideas and know what you think! Leave your comments below to join the conversation.


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    Wellness Wednesday

    Wellness Wednesday: The Importance of ‘Knowing Your Why’

    When you take the time to exercise and treat your body right…this activity truly does wonders for both your mind and your body! Taking the time to workout will not only make you feel less stressed and happier, but that in turn makes you a better daughter, girlfriend, co-worker etc bc you are taking care of yourself! We all know that exercise has amazing physical benefits for your body…weight management, muscle tone, healthier heart, longer life span, etc. But when you’re finding your ‘why’, and trying to keep yourself motivated to stay active…think of the benefits that are greater than that. Taking 45 minutes to get your heart rate up, take a break from work or from kids, will inspire you, empower you, and ease your stress load EVERY time. THAT is why, I make exercise such a priority in my day to day life!

    Working out is one of my favorite ways to relieve stress and regain energy and perspective. It helps me clear my head, relives my anxiety and overall just makes me feel better.

    If you’ve felt unmotivated lately or like you’ve fallen off the wagon with working out…let today be your day 1. Remind yourself that you are worth taking care of – mentally, emotionally, and physically. And working out, getting outdoors, being active, is one of the best ways you can take care of yourself! Thanks for reading!

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    Wellness Wednesday

    Wellness Wednesday: My go-to healthy breakfasts

    Another week, another wellness wednesday post for ya! I don’t know about you but breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day. I could honestly eat it 3 meals out of the day haha I never get tired of it! Today I want to share my top 5 easy and healthy breakfast ideas with y’all! I probably have at least 10 favorite breakfasts I rotate between…but today I’ll keep the list to 5, and maybe do a part two down the road! These are all healthy breakfast ideas you can make SUPER fast, and will keep you feeling fueled and filled up for the day!

    Healthy breakfast idea #1: Hard boiled egg on avocado toast

    I love to boil a whole dozen eggs at the beginning of the week, to either use at breakfast or for a snack! I love this breakfast because it doesn’t require any pots or pans and tastes so good. I just get a piece of bread (I love Dave’s Killer bread!), toast it…mash up an avocado [I usually use half of an avocado], add salt and pepper, and then add the hard boiled egg! Sometimes I’ll do two eggs on the toast, and I always have this with fruit!

    Healthy breakfast idea #2: My go-to green smoothie

    I love making this green smoothie for breakfast because it’s easy, it fills me up, and allows me to get in some greens first thing in the morning! Here is my go-to green smoothie recipe:

    The ingredients:

    • 1/2 banana
    • a handful of blueberries or grapes (whatever I have in the fridge at the time, both work well!)
    • two cups of spinach
    • 1/4 cup of greek yogurt (I love the Fage 0% fat, but you can use whatever you want!)
    • 1/2 teaspoon of mace powder
    • 2 tbsp PB powder
    • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
    • splash of almond milk
    • 3-5 ice cubes (yes, that’s insanely specific lol trust me)

    Healthy breakfast idea #3: Egg scramble

    If you can’t tell, I’m obsessed with eggs haha. This is another breakfast idea that will help you get your veggies in early in the day! I love to saute spinach and bell pepper and sometimes onion depending on my level of laziness that morning lol…and then scramble two eggs and add it to the pan. Top this scramble off with avocado and add a side of fruit and you’ve got a colorful and healthy breakfast! If we happen to have bacon, I’ll have a side of bacon with this as well. Gimme all the protein!

    Healthy breakfast idea #4: Oats!

    I LOVE oatmeal y’all! Especially on a cold morning, but year round I think it’s such a comfort food. Not to mention SO good for you and really filling! Purely Elizabeth is my favorite brand of oats – I love the apple cinnamon flavor! I love Purely Elizabeth oatmeal because it has organic quinoa, amaranth and flax…so this superfood blend packs 8g of protein and 6g of fiber! I usually just make this with water, and add some RX bar nut butter for a healthy fat!

    Healthy breakfast idea #5: Greek yogurt parfait

    I love greek yogurt because it is PACKED with protein, so it keeps me feeling really full! One of my favorite healthy breakfast ideas is half a cup of plain (full fat!) greek yogurt, add in lots of fruit – raspberries and blueberries are my fave with this, and then I add in some Purely Elizabeth granola! I love this breakfast because it’s one you can throw together in 60 seconds, and not have to use any pans…so easy clean up! This is also an idea you could make ahead of time and bring to work with you!

    If you try any of these healthy breakfast ideas, make sure to tag me on your instagram stories so I can share with others! If you have any easy healthy breakfast ideas, we would love to hear them in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

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    Wellness Wednesday

    Wellness Wednesday: HIIT Workout

    Happy wellness Wednesday! I’ve been getting way more into HIIT workouts recently and wanted to share one with y’all today, to give you something new to try in the gym! I’ve been loving HIIT workouts (high intensity interval training) because they are extremely effective, efficient, and challenge my body in new ways.

    The premise of a HIIT workout is basically to spike your heart rate for a short interval of time by pushing to your almost max effort, and then bring it back down by recovering, then do it again and again. There are a few benefits to working out this way. You will burn fat much quicker, and also continue to burn calories even AFTER the workout is over! (Note: i am not a personal trainer, but that’s what I’ve read and heard from trainers and coaches). And the HIIT workout I’m sharing with you guys today also involves strength training so you’re building muscle as well!

    There are thousands of different variations you could do of a HIIT workout. The one I’m sharing with y’all today involves both cardio and strength training and will work your entire body! The great thing about it is you are strength training while your heart rate is already high from the cardio portion, meaning it will be more effective!

    Megan’s HIIT Workout

    • Start by warming up on the treadmill. Fast walk or slow jog for 5-10 minutes
    • Hop off the treadmill and complete the following 3 moves (if you have questions about what any of these moves are, you can google or YouTube it! Set a timer for 8 minutes – get through as MANY sets as possible before the timer goes off! Meaning little to no rest in between sets!
    • Side plank on your left side – hold for 30 seconds. Engage your core by pulling your belly button to your spine. After 30 seconds, switch to your right side
      • Alternating lunges with dumbbells (I use 8lbs but use whatever feels challenging to you). Start with your feet together, then step your right foot back into a lunge, making a 90 degree angle with both left leg and right leg, bringing your right (back) knee to JUST above the ground. Then bring feet together. Repeat on opposite side (left leg back). Complete 10 reps PER leg (so, 20 total)
      • Shoulder press with dumbbells (I use 8lbs but use whatever feels challenging to you!). 12 reps
    • After you have completed all 3 moved for a total of 8 minutes, get back on the treadmill and RUN at your 80% max effort for 3 minutes, without stopping. (I typically put the treadmill around 7.0, but do whatever YOUR 80% max effort is). Run at this pace for 3 minutes. When the 3 minutes is up, walk for 1 minute to recover.
    • Repeat the entire workout above (minus the warmup) for a total of 3 or 4 sets total (depending on how dead you are at the end of 3!).

    Unfortunately, I don’t have a treadmill so I can’t do the running part of this workout but when I did I would do this workout all the time. It’s a simple yet super effective HIIT workouts. If you try it, make sure you tag me on instagram or in your stories and let me know what you thought! Thanks for reading!

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    Wellness Wednesday

    Wellness Wednesday: My Battle with Anxiety

    In honor of National Mental Health Awareness Month I decided to share my battle with Anxiety. In the past few years, I r been dealing with some tough personal stuff (divorce & cancer) that’s been a big journey for me and I really want to share it with you. Im still very much working through everything, but I’m excited to be stepping in a positive direction.

    When I think about it, it’s hard for me to imagine a life without anxiety. It’s hard to explain that it doesn’t feel like anxiety all the time- sometimes it feels like a nagging sense that I’m behind, and if I just worked a little harder I could catch up. Sometimes it feels like opening night before the curtain rises and the butterflies are strong in my stomach. Sometimes it feels like not knowing where to put my hands when I’m talking like I’m self-conscious or am about to say the wrong thing. Sometimes it feels like I’m sea sick and the world is sliding out from under me, and sometimes it feels like barely anything at all- just like there’s the slightest weight on my chest. But it’s hard to imagine my life without it, as lovely and strange as it would be.

    I just thought that everyone was like that, until a year ago.

    In the year things have been fabulous on paper- friends and family are beautiful, my health is improving, I have great boyfriend, I’ve been traveling and reconnecting with friends, and digging into the wonderful messiness of life, but day to day it hasn’t felt like that. Slowly things have been getting hard- I haven’t been sleeping, I’ve gone from my normal (being slightly anxious most the time, but it was manageable) to being extremely anxious, having trouble concentrating and with my memory, and being easily tired out. Things that have always been mild quirks of mine started to amplify to the point of making life less comfortable, and then it started to get exponentially worse.

    It was a level of stress I can only describe as similar to a moment when you realize someone is breaking into your home, only it was like that from the moment I woke up until I went to sleep. I was agitated and exhausted, stressed and confused. I had negative thoughts that I didn’t want but had a really hard time keeping quiet. I had no idea what was happening and fewer words to describe d. I kept it to myself and tried to manage it on my own, but in the end, there was nothing to say other than “Something is wrong, and I need help!”

    I made an appointment to see my doctor. It was so profoundly confusing, I knew intellectually that nothing was really wrong, but I felt like my body was on the verge of deciding between flight or fight all the time, and I couldn’t calm down. When I met with my doctor I was so relieved to see her I could have hugged her. We went through a symptom checklist and after answering “yes” to every question she asked, she said a word that made everything snap into focus:

    Anxiety

    That word was exactly the one I’d been trying so hard to find myself. It was a perfect fit, and more than that it was a diagnosis.

    Anxiety Disorder is a psychological disorder much like depression, where you experience some level of anxiety at almost all times. It’s not normal anxiety- like being worried about a test or a performance- but an underlying constant, like a hum in the background of every day that might feel different from time to time, but is always there. The flare up I had in a year ago was hard, but it was a huge opportunity to see that my level of anxiety has been high for many years, but I so was used to always feeling on edge that it didn’t seem strange to me, and there was always a logical explanation for my stress level. I felt like things were legitimately causing it, and often times they were real stresses in my life (I do live in the real world!) but when those stresses were removed, the feelings wouldn’t go away, they would calm down for a time or shift, and I would think that something else was causing them. Until they became too big for me to ignore.

    I was diagnosed last April and I’m still very much at the beginning of my journey with this. Because I was in such an extreme state I’ve started on a medication to help calm my symptoms down, and the clarity and peace that I’ve gained from it has been exceptional- I feel like I’m myself about 70% of the time again, and while I have good days and bad days it’s lovely to be able to live more effortlessly than I have for a while. I’m also still in the process of looking back and seeing how this has affected me, and how long it’s been a burden to me that I didn’t have the ability to see.

    Because the symptoms are such a mix of psychological and physical, people with anxiety often wait for over ten years to seek help, and I can’t tell you how much I wish I’d had this diagnosis when I was 15 before it was so severe rather than when I was 33. But knowing what I do now, more than anything I feel excited. I’m excited to explore my treatment options, and to find a way to live with this that is comfortable and manageable. I’m excited to know that I don’t feel like this because something in my life is causing it, because knowing that means I don’t have to solve anything, I just have to wait for the feelings to pass. I’m so excited to be having fun day to day, to find writing easy again, and to have the words to explain what’s been too confusing for me to talk about until now.

    If I can ask one thing from you, at the end of a very long post, it would be that if you have anxiety that is interfering with your life please talk to someone you can trust about it. A friend, parent, teacher, guidance counselor, pastor, doctor – anyone, just reach out. They might not understand what you’re feeling, but they can help you work out what a good next step is for you. There are lots of treatment and therapy options, and you don’t have to deal with it alone.

    And just as an aside, thank you so much for reading my corner of the internet – I can’t express how much it means to me. Thank you so much. <3

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