Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: Strawberry Oatmeal

Hey Girls!

Sorry I’ve been MIA, between work and taking care of my health my free time has been less and less. Thankfully this is my last week of work and although I will miss the girls so much it will be nice to focus on my health. Since I’ve been working it’s been challenging to find time to relax and focus on me. I also have not worked out at all the past few weeks and that is a big no no for me. Not only do I feel better when I work out, the doctors want me to workout. I start Lauren Gleisberg fall challenge next week and I could not be more excited. I bought a home gym bench and have my workout area ready to go.

Anyway, for today’s Wellness Wednesday post I’m posting my go-to breakfast I have been loving. Not only is it healthy, it seriously taste like dessert and is so easy to make.

  • Combine a pack of instant plain oatmeal with 1/4 C water and 1/2 C. strawberries
  • Mix ingredients together
  • Cook in microwave for total of 3 minutes stopping every 45 seconds to mix.

Girls I’m so in love with this breakfast, plus it’s giving me all the fall vibes. 🍁

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Lifestyle

Getting my creative mojo back

Hi loves,

I’ve felt like I’ve lost my creativity over the last month or so.

Im referring to the passion I once felt around my blog and the way I express myself.

I am talking about creativity in the form of writing, photography and ideas.

I lost a sense of inspiration and curiosity around my world which might be sparked or expressed by wearing interesting pieces of clothing or jewellery, exploring local markets or galleries, noticing beautiful moments or being creative about daily routines and being open to possibilities and opportunities.

Overall I just haven’t felt like me on a creative sense and I knew I needed to change that. I haven’t had the urge to write or read in weeks and this makes me want to cringe because I use to find so much joy in these everyday rituals.

Last Sunday I decided enough was enough and I would use the next seven days to figure out 1. Why? 2. How to fix it. 3. Fix it!

Here’s what I asked myself:

Why do we lose our creativity?

Of course there are many reasons. I think part of why my creativity has been lost because there is no space for it. Other things have been prioritised or workload doesn’t seem to allow it. However creativity can add a sense of richness that can make life feel far more fulfilling.

If you want to stay connected to your creativity, you need to see the value it brings to your life, prioritise it and give it some time and energy.

Five ways to get your creativity back

1. Move your body

You might feel that you’re being more productive sitting and working. However if you find you’re getting stuck, research conducted by Stamford suggests that walking stimulates creativity both during the activity and for a short time afterwards:

“A person walking indoors – on a treadmill in a room facing a blank wall – or walking outdoors in the fresh air produced twice as many creative responses compared to a person sitting down, one of the experiments found.”

So don’t feel guilty about stepping away from your desk and taking time for a walk while you think about your projects – it’s a proven way to boost your creativity.

2. Get off social media

It can be a fine line. Social media can be a source of creativity, with Instagram a current fave for many. I love it too!

However we all know how easily social media can go beyond inspiration and become a source of procrastination, comparisonitis, distraction, frustration or envy. And the fun and creativity of sharing photos, or anything else online, can also cross into pressure, or occasionally, into a carefully curated online image which conflicts with reality.

Social media can be a slippery slope and I’m sure many of us can relate to Sian Richardson’s words in her article, How to Stop the Death Spiral of Consumption:

“You check Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter the second you wake up. You launch into you emails before you’re even out of bed.

And before you know it… You’re all up amongst the death spiral that is mindless consumption and information overload. You don’t even realize you’re doing it until at least a week or two into it, when you find yourself constantly mind-f-d and really un-productive.”

Be honest with yourself: if you check your social media accounts or share photos and feel creative and inspired – great!

If you know you’re spending a lot of time on social media, and feeling creatively blocked yourself, or other unhelpful feelings and thoughts are being triggered, maybe it’s time to take a break. You might remove a few of your favourite social media apps from your phone for a while, or create some guidelines for yourself about how you want to engage.

It’s hard to feel creative if you’re filling every moment of downtime with images and stories from other people’s lives.

3. Plan or write on paper

If you usually work and create at a computer, it can be easy to sit with numerous tabs open in your browser (guilty!) and flick between different sites while you’re also creating or working. Needless to say, it can be distracting to create in such an environment.

Quite aside from the ability to be distracted, there are actually clear benefits to getting offline and handwriting some of the time.

Writing or taking notes by hand is so simple, but this Wall Street Journal article suggests that “writing by hand engages the brain in learning… (and) research highlights the hand’s unique relationship with the brain when it comes to composing thoughts and ideas.”

4. Take breaks

Sometimes people struggle to stay productive and focused as they work – and then they admit they don’t take breaks and expect to sit at their desks and stay productive indefinitely.

If you have developed bad habits around this, you might find it useful to develop a list of short, life-enhancing activities that you could incorporate into breaks during your day to boost your wellbeing, focus and overall happiness.

It can be a mental shift to realise that taking these breaks can make you far MORE effective and productive.

Examples of short breaks:

• Do a short guided meditation – try one of Sara Brooke’s

• Turn up some of your favourite upbeat music and dance for 5 or 10 minutes

• Do a ten minute workout – you can find plenty on YouTube, like this 10 min arm workout from Tracy Anderson

• Make a green smoothie

• Take a walk around the block

• Do fifty squats, or push ups, or burpees (50 is a lot of burpees. Maybe 20!)

• Stretch, or do some restorative yoga

It’s pretty easy to see how incorporating any or all of these “breaks” into your workday is going to have positive flow on effects. Start your own list!

5. Re-fuel

Get conscious about how you’re fuelling yourself, in all ways:

• What kind of nutrition are you feeding yourself?

• What are you reading in terms of books or magazines?

• Have you been to any concerts, live music, art shows, Festivals or great movies lately?

• Could you spend some more time in nature or at the beach?

• Are you spending enough quality time with those you love?

• Is it time to initiate some new relationships?

• Might you explore a new hobby or short course, or devote some time to an interest that brings you joy?

• Might altering your work environment help?

• Explore different cafes to write or work out of.

For the last seven days I worked on all 5 of these tips and guess what? I got my juju back. I have 45 different blog topics to write about over the next few months. I have ideas on how to grow Megan Motivates and meet new people. I have pages and pages of things that are new and exciting.

Stay tuned… good things are coming.

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Lifestyle

One Year Ago

One year ago today I broke my hip after not being able to walk for the previous two months.I traveled to Disney.

Tennessee

and Myrtle Beach many times.

I faced many challenges everyday over the last year like tieing and buckling my shoes, putting my left leg in pants, getting up off the couch and getting out of bed.

I’ve learned so much over the last year and accomplished things I never thought I would do like skiing twice,

running again, lifting weights,

and walking miles and miles. And although these things are all physical they all require so much mental strength to push through the pain and weakness. So never let your weakness stop you from achieving your greatness.

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Lifestyle

Taste and Technique: Tuscan Farmhouse

Back in December Christmas was approaching and I had no idea what to get Mike for Christmas, when the idea of cooking lessons popped in my head. We both love to cook and it seemed like a fun date night. I found a local place that does lessons called Taste and Technique. You can choose the night based on the cuisine you want. I knew there would be no football today because the super bowl is next weekend and the meal was Tuscan Farmhouse so I immediately booked it.

We started the night with bruschetta with goat cheese, tomato and a balsamic glaze. The chef made this in advance and it was delicious.

Next each couple made a dish. We were in charge of the braised tuscan chicken with white beans and kale which the instructor said was the most labor intensive dish. We were up for the challenge!

 

After everyone prepped the food they were assigned it was time to cook in front of the class.

The first couple started by making sausage and potato soup and while that was simmering the next couple started making the Tuscan greens and beans salad. After we enjoyed the salad the next couple started on the mushroom risotto with pesto pork loin. While that was cooking Mike and I started by crisping the chicken stovetop before placing it in the oven to bake. By this time the soup was ready to be served. After we enjoyed the soup it was time to enjoy my favorite dish which was the risotto with pork loin. Finally, it was time to enjoy our dish which was also Delicious!

The night ended with homemade biscotti with a lemon glaze.

Overall, we had a really great time. The instructor was really sweet and knowledgeable and I would definitely go again.

 

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Lifestyle

On Wednesday’s We Wear Pink

Ever have those days were you just wake up in the best mood? That’s me today. I got a solid 8 hours of sleep, woke up and had a nice breakfast and enjoyed my tea. After I went to Synergy Wellness Spa to get botox and lip fillers. I get botox about twice a year to hopefully prevent lines when I get older but this is my first time getting lip fillers. Right now my lips look a little large because they are really swollen. Next , I went to Target to do a try-on session so be on the lookout for that tomorrow. I found some really great, reasonable pieces that I cannot wait to show you. If you follow me on instagram  then you know I found a small lump on my lower back. Given my health history they want to make sure it’s nothing to be concerned about so I am getting an MRI this afternoon. After that I’m going to come home and get my workout on. I’ll probably do a studio Tone It Up workout and of course the daily moves. If I’m feeling really energetic than I will also take a peloton spin class.

I picked up this sweater from Loft a few weeks ago because I thought it was the perfect sweater to wear around Valentines Day. Unfortunately, Loft is sold out but I found a dupe for under $19.00!

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Lifestyle

New Years Eve

It’s a beautiful day here in South Carolina and I could not be more excited for tomorrow. There is just something about a blank page or a fresh start that is so refreshing. I’m looking forward to it and the Tone It Up Love Your Body challenge begins January 14th. Yay! I’m not doing the 5 day detox before I start. For me the detox doesn’t work. It’s not enough calories and I end up binge eating to make up for the deficit of calories. If it works for you that’s awesome it unfortunately just is a trigger for me.

Today we ran a bunch of errands and I picked up my new car! She’s a beauty!

I’m loving this sweater weather. I scored this loft sweater for under $15! I just love the detailing in the back and it’s such a pretty color.

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Lifestyle

Such a steal

My entire outfit was less than $45 for Christmas Eve! What do you think? The dress itself is under $15 (originally $89.50!). I sized down to a 0.

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Lifestyle

Comfortable and Casual in South Carolina

Hi babes,

We made it to Myrtle Beach (MB!) yay! It took us 16 hours to get here (usually takes 12!) but we now will have a car down here. We are leaving a car here so when we come and won’t have to rent one. We are flying back to New Jersey on Wednesday. It’s so warm here I opted to wear a sweater and jeans so I don’t have to wear a coat.


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Fitness, Health, Wellness & Beauty, Lifestyle, Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: Tone It Up Frequently Asked Questions

Hey everyone,

A lot of you have been asking me about Tone It Up with the new year coming up. So I put together a TIU FAQ.

  • Is Tone It Up worth the money?
  • In my opinion absolutely. Tone It Up is expensive however you are buying a lifetime membership. When you pay the $150 you get all the past challenge pa me and all the future challenge packs plus the nutrition plan. I have been a member since 2013 and it’s the best $150 I’ve ever spent because it’s changed my life.
    • Is Tone It Up vegan?
  • When you buy the plan you can buy the regular, vegetarian, or gluten free version.
    • Does Tone It Up work?
  • It works for me. Of course everyone is different, however; this is the first lifestyle I have followed and had success with. I say lifestyle because I don’t consider Tone It Up a doer. Prior to this I tried plenty of diets but never stuck to or had success with anything.
    • What is Tone It Up?
  • Tone It Up was founded by Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn according to the Tone It Up website it is “a community of women, inspiring and supporting one another to live the life of your dreams; fit, healthy, and happy!”.
    • When is the Tone It Up bikini series?
  • The bikini series is a challenge that begins each January and is completely free. It’s a great way to learn more about Tone It Up without paying for the program.
    • Where is the Tone It Up headquarters?
  • They are headquarter in Manhattan Beach, California.
    • What is Tone It Up studio?
  • Studio Tone It Up is a monthly subscription app where you can do live or on demand workouts with the Tone It Up Trainers. There are varies categories such as kettlebells, abs, arms, legs, etc.. You can try it for free for 5 days!
    • Is Tone It Up free?
  • No, Tone It Up cost $150 for a lifetime membership.
    • What is Tone It Up protein?
  • Tone It Up Protein is a plant based protein that Tone It Up makes and is sold on Toneitup.com, Target or at Whole Foods. It’s so good, I love it, especially the chocolate!
    • How did Tone It Up start?
  • It’s actually a really cute story. I’ll direct you to a Forbes article that talks about how they started Tone It Up. Click here for the article.
  • Hopefully I answered all of your questions. Feel free to reach out to me if you have anymore!
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