5 Unhealthy Habits I Kicked To Get Fit

I didn’t think I would be able to quit a lot of things. Besides, we’re all creatures of habit, right? Actually, adapting is kind of our thing. The problem is our love for instant gratification.

Most of the time we know that something is bad for us. But we rather put off the beneficial habits for unhealthy habits we can enjoy that very second. My bad habits started to feel like a never ending cycle. Some habits I was able to quit cold turkey and for others it was gradual. It’s okay to slowly wean off a bad habit. You’ll get to a certain point when it feels natural to let that habit go.

We all have unique characteristics, which means different habits to break might require different strategies. And I wanted to share with you unhealthy habits I kicked to get fit.

Smoking

Yep, I was a smoker. I smoked a whole pack of cigarettes a day for 5 years. It was a social thing and stress reliever for me. Smoking was so habitual that it became ingrained into my identity. As you can imagine, there was a culmination of reasons why I needed to quit.

Most habits good and bad will come with a price tag. But smoking was costing my lungs and my wallet. I realized enough was enough! It’s amazing that I quit successfully living with two chainsmokers. But I really didn’t want to smoke any more. Smoking dictated everything I did and I knew I was addicted.

I got into fitness and noticed the quality of my breathing was so poor that I had a hard time getting through my warmup. I just wasn’t feeling my best. My hair was breaking, my breath always smelled, I never felt like I could get a full deep breath. Gum disease also runs in my family and I was showing all the signs. My dad used to dip, but after the dentist told him he had gingivitis, he quit. I’ve seen first hand what tobacco can do. Cigarettes also trash up the planet, which isn’t cute either. I decided to quit cold turkey a week before my breast augmentation and I haven’t smoked a cigarette in 3 years. Now I can’t stand the smell and I legitimately don’t know how I smoked like that.

Negative Self Talk

Everyone has insecurities and things they don’t like about themselves. They say we are our own worst critics. Maybe it’s because we’re with ourselves 24/7, so it’s easy to pick ourselves apart. But some of us take it to another level.

It went from the occasional self-deprecating humor to standing in front of the mirror and being really unhappy with the person looking back at me. I would tell myself pretty gnarly things like “you’re not good, pretty or smart enough.”

The constant practice of self-talk can and will result in you believing every single word. After I figured out how much I was hurting myself, there was a change in my self-talk. Now, I focus on my strengths and know I am more than good enough and worthy. Do I still have bad days? Yep. But this self-love thing is a journey and no one is perfect. We’re all just trying to do the best we can.

Being A Night Owl

My sleeping patterns have always been imbalanced. I would spend hours laying in bed before drifting off. And sometimes I would just give up and distract myself with YouTube or find something to do.

I would sleep in until the very last minute. I was (and really still am) the girl who rather get 30 minutes of extra sleep than get up to do her hair. Of course, I would be zombified all day, running on coffee and energy drinks. And as soon as the moon started glistening, my inner werewolf came alive. My mood, appetite, and energy all suffered and I knew it was time to try something different. For once in my life, I longed for a morning that wasn’t rushed and a brain that wasn’t shrouded in fog.

One thing I realized was that my evenings weren’t eventful at all. In fact, I was working from home and didn’t get in any regular physical activity. I knew that being sedentary was probably keeping me restless at night. I started out with bodyweight workouts and ran 3-4 times a week. This alone, made it so much easier to fall asleep. My little body was exhausted and ready for rest by the end of the night. I also created a night time routine that signals my brain it’s time to wind down so I can wake up in much better spirits.

Eating Junk

I was blessed with a lightning speed metabolism. My teens and early adulthood was spent eating whatever the hell I wanted. But when I turned 23, I noticed I was gaining fat in my lower belly. The first thing I did was track my calories and came to the conclusion that I had way too many fats and sugar in my diet. Instead of reaching for the extra bag of Doritos, I started grabbing the peanut butter crackers.

I tried avoiding temptations like buying foods I knew I didn’t need. And I quickly realized how much money I had been spending on junk food. Again extra money I’d be spending that I don’t necessarily have to be throwing on Oreos every week. Once I got the message that “food is fuel” through my head, the cravings for junk vanished. Now I look for more nutrient dense foods that give me natural energy. But if I want a treat, I don’t deny myself, girl.

Soda

I was the girl who always ordered a Dr Pepper with every meal. My mom always kept soda in the house. So when I left the nest, soda was something I always drank and never really thought about. But do you know how much sugar and calories are in one can of soda? A 12 oz. can of Coke contains 150 calories, 39 grams of carbs, and 39 grams of sugar. When I took the time to read and dissect the label, I was shook to my core. Especially since I wasn’t just having one soda a day.

I knew the excess sugary carbs weren’t going to get me to my fitness goals any faster. So, I started drinking flavored water like Sparkling Ice and Clear American instead of soda. I also started drinking more regular water and overtime soda lost its taste. Now I focus on getting my calories from whole foods instead of liquids. I can’t remember the last time I had soda. I haven’t cut out caffeine completely because I can’t quite live without tea yet.

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Heather

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4 Tips For Going Vegan For The Busy Gal

4 Tips For Going Vegan

I have been plant-based for ten months and I have learned so much. I’ve noticed an improvement in my mood energy and have even successfully built muscle along the way. Unfortunately, there is a lot of miss information when it comes to a plant-based diet. Some people claim that a vegan diet is a miracle diet and on the other side of the spectrum there’s people saying that you will shrivel up and die. I’m here to shed some light on the situation and give you 4 tips for going vegan.

 

I am not trying to convert you into this diet or lifestyle. I simply want to open your mind up about a pretty controversial topic. Maybe you’re not ready to be 100% plant-based, but you’re curious about incorporating more plant foods to your diet. These are some tidbits of advice that’s helped me feel and look my best on a plant-based diet.

 

 

Mindset

Obviously a vegan diet doesn’t include meat and dairy products. But focusing on what you can’t have is going to make your diet feel that much more restrictive. If you’ve had conversations with any meat eater they will most likely say that vegan food is bland, nasty and expensive. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Not a lot of people prefer the taste of plain chicken, they usually spice it up with lemon pepper and garlic powder. And the same goes for beans and lentils. It’s all about the flavor! Eating a plant-based diet also doesn’t have to be expensive as long as you don’t buy your groceries from Whole Foods and you stick to whole plant foods. I also wanted to warn you against vegans who say it’s all or nothing. Do not listen to that approach. Incorporating more fruits and veggies to your diet is beneficial for everyone.

You might not be able to eat meat and dairy, but there is so much more to food other than meat. This diet is meant for you to eat in abundance of healthy food to nourish your body and mind. Going plant-based has allowed my mind to open up about trying different foods I wouldn’t normally eat. Slowly replacing and adding plant-based options like almond milk or soy milk. For me it’s hard to look at a vegan diet as restrictive. We might not drink dairy but we have rice milk, coconut milk, almondmilk etc.

 

Do The Research

I think the most important step is to do the research. Figuring out why you want to go vegan will help you shift your focus on the gains and positives instead of what you can’t have. I had no idea that my choices as a consumer affected the planet. Once I learned exactly how meat and dairy products are made in process and how these foods contribute to high blood pressure, cancer, and other preventable diseases, it was an easier switch. Also educating yourself about nutrition and what you should be eating on the daily is going to help you thrive long-term on a plant-based diet.

 

Stock Up On The Essentials

And there is no need to clean up the kitchen of non-vegan foods, unless you have a family member or friend who will use them. One of the reasons you might be going plant base is to create less waste in the world so there’s no need to throw away anything. But you can start stocking up your pantry and fridge with whole plant foods. Next time you’re at the store buying more fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains and less animal products. Spices and seasonings are also a must but you don’t have to get too crazy. A few essential seasonings that I like to use our pink salt black pepper garlic powder onion powder and cayenne pepper.

 

Start Slow

Some people can go cold turkey and give up meat and dairy. But others need to transition into this new way of eating. Either way, you’re going to slip up. I’ve bought bread with honey in it and instant oats that contain eggs and trust me I’ve made many more mistakes. And it wasn’t the end of the world. I think it’s great to take your time, try different recipes, and educate yourself because there is a lot to learn.

 

 

Here’s some recipes that I really enjoy and maybe you will as well! 

 

 

 

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7 Healthy Morning Habits To Jump Start Your Day

7 Healthy Morning Habits To Start Your Day Off Right

When we’re kids, our parents teach us habits to create a morning routine like brushing your teeth and combing your hair. And even though these habits stick with us for life, they don’t have much meaning to them (besides looking like a functioning member of society). What I mean is brushing your teeth and combing your hair doesn’t necessarily set you up for a productive day. So I want to share 7 healthy morning habits to start your day off on a positive note.

 

Create A Solid Routine

Getting in the pattern of a consistent morning routine will help all aspects of your life. It seems that when I am prepared and my morning goes smoothly, so does the rest of my day. I make it as easy as possible for myself to get my day started because I know I’m not a morning person. This usually means I lay out my workout or street clothes for the day and make my to-do lists the night before. Whatever routine you create for yourself, so it every single day.

 

Tidy Up

One of the first things I do in the morning (besides brush my teeth) is declutter my area. After the bed is made, I clean up whatever mess was left from the night before. Let’s face it, sometimes we stay up until we become a useless plate of wobbly jello. I do feel there is a correlation between your environment and your ability to think. Whether that’s making your bed or wiping down your bathroom counters, get your space organized. Your environment should be a reflection of the clarity you need to focus in order to get shit done.

 

Be Thankful & Journal

Nothing puts me in a better mood than thinking about all the things I’m grateful for. If you want to connect to your world even more, write down what you are thankful for in a journal. Daily reflection can help you focus on successes instead of complaining about the messes. It’s hard to move forward when you stop remembering all of your wins along the way. Maybe you’re still half way to getting that degree. But at least you started and are doing the best you can. Concentrating on the things you are proud of is a healthy way to keep fueling that motivation and positive self-talk.

 

Move Your Body

I prefer to workout in the mornings because it’s something I can check off my list early in the day. Even if you don’t have a structured workout routine, spend a few minutes walking, practice yoga, or any low impact activity. You could even take at least five minutes to stretch a certain muscle group. Stretching improves flexibility and range of motion, although it doesn’t relieve muscle soreness. There is a huge misconception that stretching can help you recover faster, however, you can find real ways to prevent and recover from sore muscles here.

To-Do List

Making a to-do can help you figure out what you want to accomplish for the day. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t check everything off. To-do lists are a great way to visibly see your goals and priorities for the day. Save your brain some energy and write everything you need to do. Then you can order each task in order of importance. This helps me decide what needs to get done now and what can wait until tomorrow.

 

Put On Your Business Suit

Okay, maybe not everyone works a corporate job. But even if you work from home, I think it’s important to change out of your pjs or sweats and into an outfit that’s put together. It’s so easy to throw on whatever and start your day. And no, you don’t need a suit or anything dressy. Even if you just put on a pair of jeans and a nice top, it will get you in a more productive mindset. This is something I’ve been implementing into my day and it really does help me feel more confident and creative.

 

Laugh!

We live in a society that is very focused on wealth, abundance, achieving goals, and comparing yourself to one another. I mean, come on, you have to realize how hilarious this all can be at the end of the day (or the earlier, the better). When I get in a morning belly laugh, I feel like it sets a positive tone for the rest of the day. Laughter is also an easy way to reduce stress. Life is short, try not to take yourself too seriously out there. Watch a funny video or talk to that friend who you know can make you laugh until you cry. Do whatever you have to do to release those endorphins!

 

 

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How To Manage Stress In A Crazy World

How To Manage Stress In A Crazy World

 

Some people might think that you can’t manage stress because stress is just something part of your everyday life. But feeling stressed out all the time can affect every other part of your life like the way you think, communicate, and function. Simply realizing that the reins are in your hands will allow you to take back control of your thoughts and emotions. Health runs deeper than exercise and nutrition. To truly be healthy, I feel like you have to be in a positive headspace. Just like exercise, stress is not a one size fits all. I understand not all of the tips below will work for everyone, but they help me when I’m feeling stressed or anxious.

 

Stress Tip 1- Keep A Journal

It’s easy to overlook your thoughts and emotions throughout the day. Write as many details down when you get stressed out. What made the situation stressful? How did you feel? And how did you react to the situation? Keeping a daily journal can help you notice any similar patterns. For example if stress arises towards the end of your day, maybe you can start going for evening walks.

 

Stress Tip 2- Create Lists & Prioritize

Realize that not everything will be crossed off your list. Unfortunately everyone leaves this world with plenty of tasks uncrossed. Creating to-do lists can help you figure out what needs to get done now and what can wait until tomorrow. I like to write the most important tasks at the top of my list so I know where my attention should be.

Stress Tip 3- Move Your Body!

I know the last thing I want to do when I am stressed out is get off the couch. But physical activity helps your body release endorphins, which can give you a happy distraction. Take a walk around your neighbor, put some music on and dance around the livingroom, or go for a bike ride. You don’t need to do some intense weight lifting program, just get that blood flowing.

 

Stress Tip 4- Make Time For Yourself

Rest and relaxation are so important for your physical and mental health. Self care is thought of as a luxury, but it should be a daily priority. Take some time out of your day to draw, practice yoga, or do anything you enjoy. I also love to look up hilarious compilations of old Vines to stress less. Finding the humor in situations and not taking life too seriously is a great way to smile more and escape from the pressure of life.

Stress Tip 5- Use Your Time Wisely

A lot of the time it’s not the deadline that stresses us out. It’s our procrastinating that drives us mad. Of course there are only a certain number of hours in the day, but you can use them to your advantage. I like to make lists! I write down everything I need or want to accomplish in the order of importance. It’s easy to waste our time with mindless busy work. But if we focus our time on getting the big things done first, we’ll reach our goals faster. I also like to break tasks up into smaller projects. This helps my brain not feel so overwhelmed.

 

Stress Tip 6- There’s a Time To Say No

Oftentimes we think we can take on way more than we can actually handle. We are naturally people pleasers. But you have to remember that you cannot make everyone happy. You also can’t be in more than one place at a time. Deciding what you value most will help you figure out where to allocate your time.

 

Stress Tip 7- Learn To Forgive

You have to accept the fact that not everything is going to be perfect all the time. Learn to forgive each other and let things go. If you hold onto grudges, you’ll hold on to negative energy and ain’t nobody got time for that. You’re doing yourself a disservice by keeping hate in your heart. Rember, everyone is going through their own battles, so let that shit go. You’re also going to let yourself down from time to time, so forgive and move on with your life.

 

Stress Tip 8- But First, Heal

Starting an exercise program is a lot of extra stress on the body. If you are at a time in your life when you are feeling high levels of stress, don’t jump into any intense training. It might be in your best interest to get your mental space in a positive, less anxious place. Meditation, yoga, walks, and jogs are a great place to start.

Stress Tip 9- Clean!

Honey, when my area is a mess, my life feels like it’s a mess. For me, all I’ll be able to concentrate on is how dirty my house is or how I should organize my car. I’ve learned and developed a habit to clean up my space before I go to sleep. It helps sets the tone of the day when I wake up to an organized, tidy house.

 

 

How do you manage stress?

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Heather

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Why I Am Going Plant-Based | Exposing The Truth

plant-based

I’m Going Plant-based??

 

I am going plant-based because I don’t want to have animal cruelty as part of my lifestyle in a world where it is considered normal and necessary. In our past history, we have normalized male dominance, slavery, and abuse. Does a society get to dictate what is moral?

 

We all claim to be animal lovers and couldn’t stand to see an animal in pain. I’ve had several dogs as pets and have loved them all deeply, yet here I was paying for the torture and slaughter of these innocent animals. A pig, cow, chicken, turkey, dog, cat, are all living beings on this planet. They all are capable and very much do think and feel. I didn’t eat animal products because I needed to for my health or survival. Nobody needs meat. I did it because I enjoyed the convenience and taste of their dead flesh. I consumed animal products because my culture trained me to think that my body needs them to grow up strong and healthy.

What The Research Tells Us…

 

However, I’ve read the research and it sounds like these animal products are doing anything but promoting a healthy life. Meat and dairy are high in cholesterol, which is the #1 risk factor for heart disease. The thing about cholesterol is that your body already produces the amount you need. And the thing about a plant-based diet is that plants do not contain cholesterol. I mean think about it, we eat the animals to get protein, but the animals got their protein from plants. So all those nutrients are being filtered through their bodies. I am not going to continue to fund this holocaust when I can eat straight from the source and not have to harm anyone. My food will not be touched with antibiotics, carcinogens, or growth hormones ever again.

 

And have you seen the commercials on tv? There will be an advertisement for KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s. But in between all those are commercials for high blood pressure, high cholesterol & weight loss medication. The proof is literally in front of us.

Why Not Just Go Vegetarian?

 

And some of you reading this might ask “why don’t you just go vegetarian if meat is so bad?” Well, the dairy industry isn’t pretty either. Not for your health and not for the animals. Imagine if you were a mother who had just given birth and your body is ready to breastfeed and nurture your baby. Instead, someone takes her/him away to be slaughtered. Then, another species comes in to take your milk. That’s what happens to dairy cows globally (it doesn’t matter if they come from a factory farm or family farm). And you wonder why aliens haven’t surfaced. They know how we treat other beings who live on our own planet. Imagine what we would do to them.

 

Like most children in the U.S. soon after I was weaned off my mother’s breasts, I was introduced to cow’s milk (btw very strange that we are the only species in the world who consume another animal’s milk). We are told that dairy milk contains calcium, which we need for strong bones. And calcium is very important for our bone growth and development, but we don’t need to get it from milk.

Milk… What’s With That Stuff?

 

Studies have shown that people who drink milk don’t have any fewer fractures than non-dairy drinkers. In fact, one particular study in Sweden showed that people who drink more dairy suffer from more fractures and have a higher mortality. Not only this, but people who consume more dairy products have a higher risk of developing cancer, diabetes, acne, digestive problems, and more. No wonder why so many people are lactose intolerant. Milk was once nicknamed “nature’s perfect food.” I think milk is nature’s perfect food… for baby cows. I am not a baby cow and I will not consume something that isn’t meant to be for me. Which is why I am going plant-based. Animals were not put on this Earth to feed, clothe, or entertain me. We are all here for a purpose and to live out our lives peacefully.

 

If there was a way to eat that was good for your health, helps protect the planet, and saves lives, wouldn’t you do it? It’s not about waiting and relying on the government to change things. We have to do this ourselves. It’s unfortunate that our system doesn’t care about our health, and can take our money to poison us. Enough is enough! Take back control and go plant-based.

 

 

 

Sources:

https://nutritionstudies.org/12-frightening-facts-milk/

https://www.nutritionstudies.org/animal-vs-plant-protein

 

 

What are your thoughts on going plant-based?

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Heather

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Self Care Ideas: 5 Tips For Taking Care Of You!

self care ideas

Self Care Ideas & Tips for Taking Care of You!

Hey ladies! Self-love is one of those things that if you can conquer, you can handle anything that comes your way. Being able to just be happy with ourselves is an irreplaceable feeling. But learning to love and accept your strengthens and weaknesses can be a challenge. I am on my self-love journey and wanted to share a few tips that help me feel my best. Here are some helpful self care ideas! 

 

self care ideas

Pamper Yourself

Give yourself a manicure or pedi. Something about having a fresh paint job makes me feel all that is woman. Personally, I’m not talented to do them myself, so I go to the salon. But if you prefer to do them at home, give yourself the ultimate spa experience. Fill up the tub with bubbles and light those candles! If you like getting your hair done, treat yourself to a blowout. Maybe try some highlights or a stylish lob. Sometimes when I’m feeling low, I like to put together a really great outfit and do my hair and makeup. We usually feel a little better if we look better, so why not look your best?

 

self care ideas

Rock A Bare Face

Try not to wear makeup every single day. Set at least 1-2 days out of the week that you don’t beat your face. If you want youthful, glowing skin, you’re going to need to let your skin breathe. I know it’s hard to put down the paintbrush (especially when all these 14-year-olds are looking 25). Maybe on the weekends or any day you’re just hanging out at home, give your skin a little break and just be natural.

 

self care ideas

Give Yourself A Love Stretch

Ever find yourself sitting around at home and you just feel like you need a little something to bring balance to your day? Instead of fighting it, roll out the yoga mat and stretch it all out for a few minutes to clear your noggin. Stretching allows you to be in the moment and help you de-stress. Also, most of the time we are sitting all day at a desk or the car, so it’s important for our posture and overall health to get in a few minutes of stretch time.

 

 

Tidy Up Your Space

Even if you live in the tiniest apartment, take pride in the space that belongs to you. When my house is clean, I feel more motivated and focused to get other projects done. If I’m trying to work in a room that is unorganized and filthy, I will not get much accomplished. Take a few minutes out of your day to keep things clean and in their place. When you keep your house clean, you don’t need to clean anything (which is another check mark on your to-do list).

 

self care ideas

Journal Your Heart Out

Keeping a journal on hand is a great way to organize your thoughts, goals, and to-do list. A lot can be accomplished with a notebook and pen. Being able to physically mark things off your list can motivate you to get stuff done. If you have goals, write them. If you don’t have goals, create them and write it down. Journaling is such a powerful tool we take for granted. Got something you need to get off your chest? Write it out. Need to prioritize your day? Write it out. I think you get the idea.

 

 

What are some ways that you practice self-love?

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6 Tips To Live A Little Healthier Everyday

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Tips To Live A Healthier Life

 

I learned a lot from my parents growing up. But one lesson resonated with me the most: take care of your body. My mom threw me in sports when I was a kid and told me to eat my veggies so I’d grow up big and strong. And I did! Well, I am 5 foot, but I’m a very active and strong tiny woman.

 

It’s great to have parents that embed healthy habits in your head. But so many kids don’t have this support or they grow up and go their own path. It’s also very easy to overlook the simple activities that promote good health. Drinking water, going for a walk and getting enough sleep all seem pretty basic to have a positive impact on your health…right? This is where huge mistakes are made. Falling into a cycle of unhealthy habits can lead to a stressful and chaotic life.

So here are some healthy habits you can start today if you are looking to feel more energized and positive. This is the only body we get, so why wouldn’t we treat it with love and respect?

 

 

 

Move Daily

Most of us sit at a desk all day long to collect a paycheck. We take that paycheck straight to the store where we buy frozen meals or fast food. Then, we go home and sit some more. And as we age, our sedentary bodies begin to lose muscle mass and bone density. This becomes a major problem the older you get and that’s when injuries and illness happen.

Another problem with inactivity is that you have eyes watching your every move. Your children, spouse, family and friends are taking in everything you do. So, wouldn’t you want to set a good example of self love? You don’t even have to do an intense workout every day. You can simply walk your dog, practice yoga, or even clean your house. The point is to incorporate some type of movement every single day.

 

 

 

Hydrate Yourself

Being hydrated helps with several functions in the body including maintain immune health and digestion and protects your joints. Drinking enough H2O also helps flush out toxins from the body and helps keep your muscles strong. If you workout, you should really be drinking that water. It aids in transporting oxygen to the muscles. This is why you might feel early fatigue during a workout if you’ve been dehydrated.

Quench your thirst without empty calories and added sugar. Try and shoot for 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces everyday. I know water isn’t the best tasting, but it is essential to live a strong and healthy life. So spice it up with some berries or lemon and figure out what will make you drink a little more water.

 

 

 

Get Quality Sleep & Rest

They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing. When you catch those z’s, your body is digesting everything from the day, helping you de-bloat, and refreshing your skin. Typically when you feel like shit, you look like shit. So try your very best to aim for at least 7 hours of quality sleep. Have you ever stayed up all night and the next day you didn’t even want to do the things you normally love? Tiredness can make you moody, irritated, and feel like this world is that much harder.

If sleep is something that doesn’t come easy, try a guided meditation. Simply developing a night time ritual is a great way to get your body ready for sleep. One of my evening habits to have a kiwi before bed. (I love their weird texture!) Kiwi ramps up the melatonin hormone, which helps you relax. The bottom line is that rest is a must for your mind and body if you want to live this crazy thing called a healthy life.

 

 

 

Laugh Until You Cry

I feel like even when you’ve had a really tough day, you should find somehow to laugh. And at the very least smile. Call your old bff and reminese about that one time you and her rode your dad’s lawn mower at midnight. (Not that I’m talking about me or anything) Days when I don’t have anyone to make me laugh, I’ll throw on a few YouTube videos of bloopers or an episode of Impractical Jokers. Having a good long laugh is just like having a long cry. It’s medicine for your soul so laugh a little.

 

 

 

Fuel Your Body With Nutrients

Want to know why you need 4 cups of coffee to get through the day? It’s because you’re not fueling your body properly. Drink your water and eat your macros so you can skip the Starbucks line. You need to eat a  balanced diet to provide your body with minerals, vitamins, protein, carbs, and fat. In order to get all these nutrients in your system, you should eat a variety of foods. Eat the rainbow, and I don’t mean Skittles.

The first step of eating healthier would be to cut out refined foods and sugary drinks. It’s called junk food for a reason. Processed foods and candy contain empty calories, which don’t help your body function at optimal level. You have to eat to survive, might as well do it right.

 

 

 

Just Breathe

It seems like everything is after our attention these days. Work, family, school. television, YouTube videos, advertisement (you name it) all seem to be in competition with each other. But what if you could bring back the balance? Taking a deep breath can help undo stresses and reduce blood pressure.

When you’re stressed beyond belief, your hormones get out of whack, which can affect your mood and appetite. Obviously you need oxygen to live, but it also helps cleanse the body of toxins. And don’t forget to be grateful for the ability to expand your lungs. Slowing down your breath can really help calm your mind and slow you down in a fast paced world.

 

 

What are some healthy habits that you have started this year?   

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5 Things I Wished I Knew Before I Started My Fitness Journey

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5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Fitness Journey

 

 

If you think that living a healthy life should be easy, you couldn’t be more wrong. Of course I’m not trying to deter or scare you away from developing a healthy lifestyle. However, I do want you to have a realistic expectation when it comes to starting your fitness journey. When you convince yourself that something should be easy, you tend to persuade yourself to quit when it isn’t easy. There are times in life when your work schedule or personal life will make it harder to keep up with your healthy lifestyle. Believe me, I have made some mistakes along my health journey and assumed that it would be a piece of cake too. Here are some things I wish I would have known when I started my journey.

 

Low Calorie Diets Do Not Work

About 2 years ago I started noticing a few extra pounds. I thought it made sense to reduce the amount of calories I ate. The problem here is that when you’re on such a restrictive diet, your body starts to use muscle protein as energy. Muscle speeds up your metabolism. So, the less muscle mass you have, the harder weight loss will be. Low calorie diets especially don’t work when train. All of your hard work in the gym will be for nothing since your body will essentially be breaking down muscle. I promise food is not the enemy. The enemy is you not fueling your body. Speaking of food for fuel, if you want to try out the most recent easy recipe on my channel, go ahead and click here.

 

 

Other People Might Not Join Your Fit Life

You know your loved ones will always support you, but that doesn’t mean they are going to stop eating McDonald’s and clear out the sweets in the pantry. Needless to say there will probably be plenty of temptations around you. Your friends and family may not see health as a priority like you and that’s okay. You can’t control another person’s thoughts or actions. The best thing you can do is educate them on why you want to live a healthier life. Remember you are on this journey for you.

You only get one life, so live it for you.

 

 

Motivation Comes & Goes (You Will Mess Up)

You are not going to feel motivated to wake up in the wee hours of the morning or late at night after work. Of course, some days are better than others. Personally, I have to dig deep within me to find motivation 4 out of the 5 days I workout. It’s easy to persuade yourself that you could do something better with your time. But in reality, you really can’t. Unless you’re spending time with loved ones, or (something funny) Exercise and eating right is the greatest thing you could give to yourself.

And don’t worry, motivation won’t be the only thing standing in your way. Life happens and will throw you curve balls all day long. Maybe you have to help out a friend instead of going to the gym. Or what if you give in to those sugary cravings? Just as sure as life happens, life moves on. With that being said, you’re going to mess up and that’s okay. No one is perfect, but it’s the point that you are giving it your 100% effort to make that beautiful, foxy change.

 

 

There Are Different Ways To Live Fit

When I started my fitness journey, I knew there were other ways to exercise and eat right, but I really didn’t venture out. I played sports in high school, but after that was over, it was up to me to find physical activity. So, I started running a few times a week. It was free and I could let my dogs get some exercise. Soon enough, what little fat I did have came right off. Strangely, I was doing all this work and for some reason I wasn’t liking how my body looked.Then I found weight lifting and the rest is history. The point is there are so many ways to exercise, eat right, and rest. My advice is to try everything!

 

 

Don’t Try Everything At Once

I know you are super pumped and motivated when you start your journey. But as I mentioned before, this energy will come and go. That’s why it’s so important to create and build healthy habits in the beginning. Before you dive right in, try taking baby steps first. Start by assessing where you are now. How is your mental state? Are you stressed out a lot? If so, maybe you need to focus on practicing meditation and take some time for you. Does your diet consist of healthy whole foods or fast food? Are you drinking enough water? Then, maybe you should focus on your nutrition. The point is, don’t feel like you have to eat right, exercise, and rest in a perfect balance in the beginning. It is all a learning process and by slowly introducing these aspects in your life, you will set yourself up for success.

 

 

What is one thing you wish you knew before you got started on your journey?   

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Peace & Love,

Heather

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6 Tips to Combat Period Pain

period pain

Tips to Make That Time of The Month Not So Hellish

 

I know you feel exhausted and so much discomfort, but we all know the show must go on. Work, relationships, and life don’t get put on pause just because it’s that time of the month. From controlling our mood to performing everyday activities, your period can make everything more challenging. Not to mention those lovely period pains.

 

My Period Pains

Personally, I have a violent period. Let me paint you a picture. I usually sleep terrible the night before because my mind is racing around like it’s the Boston Marathon. Luckily for me, I always start in the morning. Some girls start their periods in the middle of the day and you really have to be prepared! The first morning I’ll wake up with ridiculous cramps and pains. Trust me, I do not want to get out of bed at this point. Once I muster up some motivation and I’m (halfway) ready for the day, I’ll run my errands and get some work done. But today is not like any other day. Today, I mobile order (as usual) at Starbucks and the lovely barista made my Americano iced. So maybe I flash the look of death before he remakes my order and then didn’t wish him a good day. Throughout the rest of the next 5 days I experience cramps, bloating, bitchy mood swings, cravings that can’t seem to be satisfied. And sorry for the details, but I’m also a very heavy bleeder.

 

Since I have been dealing with this once a month for the past 15 years, I wanted to share some tips for my ladies out there. I feel like not enough women are talking about something that happens to over 3.5 billion people in the world. Your period doesn’t have to be a living hell, I promise. It all starts with education and conversation. Here are 5 ways to make that time of the month less uncomfortable and less stressful. I would love to hear your tips, so don’t forget to drop a comment down below.

 

 

– Drink Water –

You should be drinking water on a daily basis anyway. But I get especially parched when it’s my time of the month. Staying hydrated with also help reduce bloating. You start retaining water when you start your period. And you are probably retaining more water than you should because you are dehydrated sister friend. In fact, I want you to grab a glass of water before you read any more of this post!

 

 

 

– Reduce Your Stress –

You already know this week is not going to be easy, so prepare your mind for what’s to come. Don’t plan to do any activity that you find super discomforting or yields painful results. I would skip the micro-blading and waxing session this week. Maybe throw on some comfy (but cute) romper instead of trying to squeeze your bloated ass into a tight pair of skinny jeans. When I notice my stress levels are through the roof, I like to take a few minutes before bed to meditate. You can also do this in the morning to set your intentions for the day. Some other activities you can do throughout the week (or the week before) include having a spa day, getting some fresh air, or doing a yoga session.

 

 

 

– Eat Right –

You know when you have the urge to go through the Mcdonald’s drive thru and order 3 large fries and a chocolate milkshake? The truth is that a friendly chemical called serotonin (which helps you feel happy) decreases in your brain the week before your period starts. You have no choice but to crave sugary treats and foods that are high in carbs and fat. Kind of what happens when you experience “heart break” or sometimes even depression. A lot of people associate emotions with food, which creates a very unhealthy relationship with nutrition. Instead of going for the french fries and donuts, choose sweet potatoes and sugar substitutes like honey or stevia. I notice a huge difference in the way I feel when I give in to my sugary, processed cravings versus when I eat whole grains, bananas, citrus, and complex carbs.

 

 

– Exercise –

Getting up and walking around your neighbor sounds like the last thing you want to do. But it will be one of the best things for you! I remember I felt like I was dying on the couch one day and my stepmom told me to walk around the house. Of course my first instinct was to roll my eyes. But once I got my head out of my “you know what,” and listened to her, I actually felt better. Now, I make it a point to do a little yoga, walk, or do some light cardio when it’s that time of the month. Even if the very least thing you do is stretch, it will help get that blow flowing. Physical activity also releases stress and puts you in a better mood. And who doesn’t want that?

 

– Take A Warm Bath –

Warm baths are not only great for relaxation and helps ease muscle pain, but they also melt away cramps. If you are anything like me and tend to just ache everywhere, it’s nice to take a few minutes to soak. Bathes are very soothing for your back pain as well. And if it’s cramps you are combating, grab a heating pad (not while you’re in the bath, of course) or warm wash cloth and put it over your lower belly.

 

 

– Change The Way You Look at Your Period-

I’m not saying try to look forward to your period. But I am just suggesting that you shift your perspective. You know it’s going to happen. So, use your period as a week to unwind and take care of yourself. Instead all the PMS and crazy lady symptoms, try to remind yourself that this is temporary. Besides, you’re a woman… what more could you ask for lady?

 

 

 

 

How To Do Make Your Period Less Sucky?   

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Peace & Love,

Heather

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The Road Trip Checklist | Winter Edition

road trip checklist

The Road Trip Checklist | Winter Time Edition 

 

The holidays might be over, but your traveling isn’t. Maybe your New Year’s Resolution was to spend more time with family or to travel more. Whatever the reason is you’ll most likely be on the road or on a plane sooner than you think. Laptop chargers, phone chargers, toothpaste… out of all the things you need to pack, you are more likely than not to forget something.

Personally, if I know I’ll be heading out of town, I like to make a little checklist. Usually, if it’s written down, I have a better chance of remembering it. You can use this checklist yourself on your next road trip. This post is not sponsored, but a site called Bagail.com  sent me this great quality canvas duffle bag!

 

Road Trip Essentials

 

A Cozy Blanket

road trip checklist

Sometimes you travel with friends who like to blast the AC or roll the window down during Winter. In which case, bring a blanket. You don’t need to bring a huge quilt with you. Just a small blanket that you can throw over you while you are in the car, on a plane, or just chilling in the hotel room.

 

Water

road trip checklist


It’s important to stay well hydrated during your trip. Obviously, you can stop at gas stations along the way. But I like to keep a few water bottles nearby. You never know when you’re car might break down or when the zombie apocalypse will start. So, it’s best to be prepared.

 

Chargers

road trip checklist

This goes for laptops, cell phones, Apple watches, cameras, and any other piece of tech you need a charger for. It’s the worst feeling when you plan on editing a YouTube video and realize 2 states over that you forgot your laptop charger. (been there)

 

Headphones

road trip checklist

Planning on working out or listening to a podcast at breakfast? Well, you’re not doing a damn thing without your headphones.

 

Notebook

road trip checklist

You never know when an idea or thought might come into your head. I know you can always use your phone to jot down ideas. But there is something raw and meaningful about physically writing something (if you’re not driving, of course). You can also doodle or plan out your trip.

 

Snacks

road trip checklist


Who doesn’t get hungry when you’re on the road? Protein bars, walnuts, almonds, dark chocolate, and beef jerky are great road trip snacks. You can even take a small cooler and pack your own meals for the day. I promise it will be cheaper and healthier than any fast food place.  

 

Hand sanitizer

road trip checklist

You’re touching the steering wheel, your hair, your mouth, public restroom doors… girl, ya nasty. You might not be, but other people are, so don’t forget the hand sanitizer and hand wipes. We all know gas stations aren’t the cleanest.

 

Hand Lotion

road trip checklist

Artificial heat always dries out my skin. I like to keep a small bottle of lotion with me so that I can add a little moisture to them when they are looking like SpongeBob out of the water. 

 

Hair clips

road trip checklist


I recently put my hair on the chopping block and made a vow to stop using elastics. (All they do is tear up your hair!) Needless to say, I have opted for the hair clip. So what if they are totally 90s? I’m a proud 90s baby with a full head of healthy hair. You can also just clip them to the strap of your purse or travel bag.

 

Face Wipes

road trip checklist


You’re driving along through polluted air, dirt, grime. So obviously that stuff is going to get all in your pores. It never fails that I end up with a pimple when I travel. It definitely helps to pack some sort of face wipe or makeup wipe to keep your skin free of sweat and debris.

 

Change of clothes

road trip checklist

I spill my coffee all over myself just like the next busy person. Which means I’ve learned to pack a change of clothes to keep in reach at all times (especially when traveling). There are bumps and potholes in the road, people slamming on their breaks… messes do happen. Besides, I know I feel gross within a few hours of a road trip. It’s nice to have a fresh outfit to change into.

 

Tissues

road trip checklist


Speaking of gross, things come out of your nose, mouth, and other places. It’s always when I have to sneeze that I don’t any napkins, so make sure you pack some or keep them in your glove box.

 

Shower Cap

road trip checklist


No matter why you are traveling, I’m sure you don’t want to spend most of your mornings styling your hair. Personally, I have frizzy hair that can’t be rocked air dried. This is why shower caps come in handy. I only wash my hair about once a week anyway, so a shower cap is a must have for me. 

 

 

Lip Balm

road trip checklist


Lip balm or chap stick is an absolute must have when it comes to travel. My lips usually feel punished by the colder months, wind, and artificial heat. 

Brush/comb

road trip checklist

You got the music blasting and the windows rolled down, I see you girl. But there’s just one thing… your hair is a mess! Grab a brush or wide tooth comb to get out the kinks before you’re next stop.

 

Q Tips

road trip checklist

I include q tips because I am a huge fan. Something about a nice clean ear help me start my day off the right way. 

 

 

Toothbrush & Toothpaste

road trip checklist


So you’ve been eating, drinking caffeine or energy drinks (whatever your vice is). Now it’s time for some upkeep. Grab your toothbrush and don’t forget to floss! 

 

Grocery bag- It only makes sense that trash goes in the trash… so don’t forget a trash bag or grocery bag. At least when you travel with me. Nothing irritates me more than seeing empty chip bags and Gatorade bottles all over my car… or the road. This might also make it easier for you to pack healthier snacks like bananas and mandarins (since you’ll have a place to put the peels in after).

 

 

Hat 

road trip checklist


I don’t know about you, but my hair is not looking so hot when I’m traveling. I usually don’t do much to my hair at all. So it’s wavy and frizzy. If I don’t want to walk in somewhere looking like the wicked witch of the south, I’ll just throw on a beanie. I love hats especially in the winter time because they keep your head nice and warm.

 

Sunglasses- If you are familiar with the wide open highway, you are no stranger to the bright big sun. Squinting your eyes is not only doing to worsen your vision, but also give you wrinkles. Keep those sunglasses nearby to protect your eyes from those harmful rays. Besides, you like to see right? 

 

Deodorant/Antiperspirant

road trip checklist


A few hours into the road trip or flight things might start smelling…. not as fresh as a daisy. In this case, grab a stick of deodorant and throw it in the bag! 

 

Jacket- Again, the car, hotels, and restaurants can get chilly, so grab a light jacket or sweater to throw on when you are out and about.

 

Feminine Products- Sorry gentlemen, but as a woman, I deal with that time of the month and have other lady friends who do as well. Just in case you are gone for longer than expected or start earlier than usual (mother nature can be mysterious), pack a few extra pads or tampons. You never know who might them! 

 

 

Eye contacts and solutions

road trip checklist


I have pretty terrible vision, so driving without contacts is a “no-no.” I always keep a back up pair of contact lenses with me just in case they get scratched or I somehow lose them. 

 

Laptop

road trip checklist

Most places have wifi these days, so bring your laptop. You don’t have to miss out on any school or work deadlines. 

 

Book- When you don’t want to stare at your phone the whole trip, bring a book. I like to unwind in the evening with a mind bender and some hot tea. 

 

Face Mask

road trip checklist


I like to do a face mask at least once a week. So if I’m going to be gone long, I don’t let this interrupt my flow. Peel off  or sheet masks are awesome because they usually dry fast and come off easily. 

 

Face Cleanser

road trip checklist

Whether or not you are stopping at a hotel, you can always wash your face as long as you have water. You can stop at a public restroom or just pull over and use a water bottle. Either way, it’s important to clean yo face. 

 

Dry Shampoo

I honestly only wash and condition my hair once a week, so dry shampoo is super helpful the other days of the week.

 

Protein powder/ Blender bottle

road trip checklist

Just because you are on the road, doesn’t mean you have to lose all your gains. Keep fueling your body with protein and whole foods as much as you can. It’s not the most appetizing, but just adding some protein powder and water to a blender bottle can help supplement at least 15-30 grams of protein! 

 

SPF

road trip checklist

My daily facial moisturizer contains 30 SPF, so I just smooth out a layer on my skin and I’m protected for the day. You might think your skin doesn’t get damaged from the sun. But even that short walk between your front door and car can harm your skin. The sun also beams in through your windshield, which can do a number on your face during long rides.

 

A Snazzy Bag

road trip checklist

Of course you need a stylish travel duffel bag to take with you on your trip. I absolutely love this bag from Bagail.com It has plenty of pockets for you to organize your things. It’s comfortable to carry around with it’s adjustable shoulder strap and soft handles. I love how durable and thick the quality is, so I’m hoping it will last a long time.

 

II also have a 10% coupon code if you are interested in any of the products on Bagail’s site: BAGAIL90

 

 

What is one thing you can’t leave behind? 

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Peace & Love,

Heather

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