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Importance of Vision board

When looking to become successful it is important to have a vision for what success means to you. Success means something different to everyone. It can be big things like having a million followers on Instagram or it can be little things like reaching your goal weight. Whatever it is, you need to have a picture in your head.

I find it helpful to have a vision board. It helps me picture what I want. I have big abstract goals on there and I have specific goals on there. I change it every once in a while to reflect new goals and visions. Recently I started creating another vision board dedicated to my fitness goals specifically. I reflect on my vision board every night before bed.

I think vision boards are great because they remind you what you are working for. They remind you why you are putting in all of this hard work and what will come at the end of all of this. Recently I’ve been having a tough time in my journey, and just looking at my vision board has helped me get back on track and focused on where I want to go.

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A day in my life

I start the day by getting out of bed around 6am and think about positive thoughts. Positivity helps me get in the right mindset to start my day. Next I review my list of goals that I want to focus on everyday. Then I make my bed and clean the litter box. I find that if I make a habit out of these tasks I am more likely to stick to them, so I complete these everyday whether it’s the weekend or a weekday. After I make my bed and clean the litter box, I workout. Typically I allow myself 1-2 days a week to be a rest day. I don’t like to plan the rest day in advance because it’s typically happens naturally with my schedule on the weekends. Next, around 7am I shower and get ready for work. Before work I eat breakfast and get my snacks ready for the day. If I have time I might work on blogging or relax before I need to leave for work. I typically leave for work around 8:30 and get home around 5:30.

At work my day to day tasks vary. What’s typically constant is that I will have a snack around 10:30, eat lunch at 12, then another snack around 2:30 and leave at 5.

When I get home from work I start making dinner and typically eat around 6. I’ll typically take about half an hour to myself then work on blogging, reading, cooking, meal planning, or posting clothes for sale on Mercari.

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Don’t Take on Too Much

Yesterday was a rough day for me. I drank too much, ate way too much, and I was not productive at all. It made me realize that I am being too hard on myself. Yes, having goals and a to do list are important, but it’s also important to not have too much to do.

I am going to take today and tomorrow to alter my plans and really think about how I want to proceed. I am hoping that by having a less strict plan I will be less hard on myself and won’t break as easily. I will share what I come up with.

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Turn your Bad Habits into Good Habits

I recently read Rachel Hollis’s book “Girl, Stop Apologizing” and was so inspired. If you haven’t read it yet, I definitely recommend it! It was something that really helped inspire me to keep pushing towards my goal to grow this blog. One concept that I wanted to explore was building habits. Follow along as I share her 3 parts of a habit and how to train yourself to turn bad habits into good habits.

The first step in a habit is the “Cue”. The “Cue” is what causes you to take action. It is something that signals a certain learned behavior. It could be an emotion or an outside stimulus. Hollis used anxiety as an example. The cue can either cause you to make a good decision or bad decision. We tend to eventually choose the same action each time, which is where the habit is born. Turning a bad choice into a good choice comes from what action you take after you are cued.

The next step in a habit is the “Action”. The “Action” is your behavioral reaction to an emotion or outside stimulus. Hollis used binge eating as an example. I think her example is the reason I felt so connected to this definition of habit. Binge eating has become an action that I take for quite a few cues. This journey I am on has taught me that I have the power to change my actions.

The final step in a habit is the “Reward”. The “Reward” is what you get from the action. It is what makes you perform that behavior every time without even thinking. In Hollis’s example, the reward was feeling happier after binge eating. The problem with that reward to the bad choice was that it was temporary. She had anxiety, so she binge ate and felt better, then she had anxiety because she binge ate so she binge ate again. Her changed action was exercising instead of binge eating. Both actions resulted in the same reward, but the reward for exercise lasted longer than the reward for binge eating.

You can read this and move on, or you can read this and use it to change your life.

I challenge you to think about a bad habit you have and break it down. What cue is causing a bad habit to form. How can you turn that bad habit into a good habit. What reward will you get from the different actions taken to the same cue? Comment below!

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Don’t Let Negativity From Others Get You Down

Since starting this journey I’ve realized that I tend to focus on others instead of myself. Previously I have talked about the fact that I react negatively to others when I should take a deep breath and react in a positive way. If that person responds positively to my  positivity then clearly I was the issue. Not letting others negativity get you down is very similar. If someone is ranting negatively about something, remember that you are in control of how you react. I’ve realized that I need to focus on myself instead of letting their negativity get into my head.

I recently started thinking about this topic because my coworker tends to talk very negatively at work. She talks negatively about her life, our bosses, coworkers, everything going on with Covid-19, and so on. I used to let the negativity get to me. I would get really stressed and then I would internalize that stress. I felt like I needed to respond to her negativity with positive and kind words, even though she shot down all of the kindness and positivity I was offering. Eventually I realized no matter what I say these are her issues. I don’t need to respond and offer my opinion and advice, because that isn’t what she is looking for from me. All I can do is offer a polite attitude while she is venting.

When listening to negative thoughts from others, how you should react is dependent on the thoughts. I am going to break down negative thoughts by others into two categories. First, negative thoughts that have nothing to do with you. These are things like someone talking about how much they hate their life or something their friend said. These thoughts have nothing to do with you. In these cases all you can and should do is offer kindness, but don’t offer an opinion or advice. It is none of your business unless they ask for your opinion or advice. Don’t let their negativity get you down because their negativity is not affecting you, so there is no point in internalizing your stress about their negativity.

Second, negative thoughts that do have something to do with you. These are things that even though they may not directly affect you in the way the other person is talking, the topic may have implications that could affect you. First, it is important to take a deep breath. Typically other’s negativity is not directly affecting you, but if the topic may affect you, you need to deal with it in a more positive way.

The first thing to think about is whether you have control over whatever may affect you. For example, my coworker was venting over Covid-19. Do I have control over Covid-19? No. Do I have control over the actions I take to prevent myself from getting Covid-19? Yes. If you focus on things you can’t control you will drive yourself crazy with worry. Focus on doing your best to prevent possible negative situations. That is all you can do.

Whenever you are faced with any type of negativity you need to take a deep breath. Ask yourself whether this negativity affects you or whether it has nothing to do with you. If it has nothing to do with you, offer a kind attitude and hold off on offering an opinion or advice unless asked for it. If the negativity may affect you, ask whether you can control it. If you can, then do just that. If you can’t, focus on doing the best you can and control what you can control.

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I am in control of my life and it’s an amazing realization

Recently I came to the realization that I am in control of my actions. I have realized that I can make any changes to my life that I want. All I need to do is follow through. If I don’t want to binge I can tell myself not to binge. My mind needs to work on being stronger than my actions.

Now that I’ve come to the realization that I am in control of my life and I can use that control to make changes in my life, I need to actually go forward and do that. Below I am going to talk about 3 goals of mine, how I can reach those goals, and how I am going to use the control I have over my actions to get to those goals.

Three goals I am working on right now are drinking less wine, drinking more water, and reading more. When working on goals it is important to have a specific goal. If you don’t know exactly what you are reaching for you won’t know how to get there. I want to cut down the amount of wine I drink to 1 glass per day. I want to get through at least 70 oz of water per day. I want to finish 1 book per week

These goals are very simple. They require a lot of willpower and require changes in my thoughts to accomplish. For the amount of wine I drink I need to think about when I am going to drink that wine. Typically once I have 1 glass of wine I continue to drink wine throughout the day. If I wait until right before bed it will help keep me at just 1 glass per day. I have mentioned in another post that it is important to enjoy the moment. I am going to see this glass of wine as a chance to sit down and relax. Cutting down on wine may actually help me increase my water intake. I typically have wine with my dinner, so if I am not drinking wine it opens up more time to drink water. I will keep track of how much water I drink per day and make sure I complete my goal of drinking 70 oz per day. Finally, I will need to add more reading time to my schedule. I typically read a chapter or less per day, but I really want to increase that so I can continue learning more to share with you! I will need to break down the book into 7 parts and read 1 per day.

While these goals seem simple, they are going to be difficult for me. They are going to show me just how much control I have over my actions. I need to take control and really focus on what I want to accomplish. If I do that, I can accomplish anything!

What are your goals and how are you going to take control of your life to reach those goals?

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Enjoy your food

I‘ve realized that when I eat, I eat very quickly. Before I’ve even finished chewing the first bite I am already shoving the next bite of food into my mouth. Coming to this realization has made me ask myself: Why am I in a hurry? It’s OK to eat quickly if I have a limited time to eat the food. Most of the time, however, I am not in a hurry when I am eating. So why do I do this? I think it comes from when I was a child. My dad would always finish his meal really quickly, so I wanted to be just like him and finish my meal quickly. I also feel like I don’t want to burden others by eating too slowly. Why should they have to wait for me to finish my meal?. With this journey I am learning that I should focus on myself. I don’t need to eat quickly to make sure I am not a burden to others.

Another thing I realized about my eating is that I eat like I’m never going to eat again. A lot of times I will eat sweets when I am not even hungry. I think I do this because I have a big fear of missing out. If I don’t eat that ice cream or that cookie I will never have an indulgence again. What is going to happen if I don’t get to try that food? Nothing. A lot of times when I am eating out with people, even if it’s at a place that I probably will never go back to again, I like to try the food of the people I’m out with. Even if it’s a basic burger or mashed potatoes, I still want to try it. I am working on focusing on what I am eating in the moment. It would be different if I plan on going back to that place and want to try what they had next time, but most of the time that’s not the case.

If I’m shoveling food into my mouth at a quick pace, how am I supposed to even taste it. My initial thought on this is that I eat that quickly because if I eat fast enough I won’t have any time to stop myself. However, what’s the point of eating that quickly if I can’t even taste the food that should be giving me happiness. I have been thinking about the fact that I tend to punish myself. I was watching a show about eating disorders and they made the statement that people with eating disorders don’t treat themselves because they are punishing their bodies. I realized I don’t like to just sit around and relax or pamper myself so I wonder if I am punishing myself. I am still trying to figure out why I am punishing myself. There is no need to punish myself. Food should nourish me and indulgences should be tasted and enjoyed.

I’ve noticed that when I eat more slowly and take time to really enjoy the food I am less likely to reach for more. The slower I eat the food, the more I have time to enjoy it. I will get the same enjoyment from eating a big bite of cookie as I will from eating a small bite of cookie. So if I have more bites of a cookie because they are smaller, I am less likely to reach for a second cookie to enjoy. I have time to think about what I am eating and the enjoyment it is giving me and don’t feel the need to keep eating.

When I eat too fast I tend to eat more than I am hungry for. My food doesn’t have the time to get to my stomach and fill my stomach up if I eat it too fast. So by the time I am full I have eaten more than what I would have if I would have eaten slowly. Because of this, I feel sick because my stomach is overfilled. One of the Pure Barre instructors was talking about thinking about how you feel after you eat. I know that by eating past the point of full I do not feel good after. So that means I need to slow down my eating so I don’t eat past the point of full.

Do you struggle to slow down and enjoy your food? Comment below!

How to Love Yourself

I always see articles about how important it is to love yourself. A few years ago this concept of loving myself was so weird to me. I didn’t know why it was so important, which is probably the reason I was so unhappy. Lately, I have been trying to focus on myself and be more confident in my own skin. Below is some personal advice for how to love yourself. I am still not to where I want to be, but I am working on it. It’s all about the progress!

Fake it til you make it

I’m sure you’ve heard this before. Have you tried it? I know it always seems to work for me. If you tell yourself that you love yourself and keep ‘faking it’ then eventually you will actually love yourself and it won’t be fake anymore.

Make a list

I find it helpful to list reasons why I should do something when I am trying to get into the habit of doing something. When learning to love yourself, listing reasons why you should be loved is very helpful. This goes along with faking it til you make it but takes it a step further because you realize you don’t need to fake it.

Find inspiration

I like to google image search when I am looking for inspiration. There are so many quotes on there that really inspire you to love yourself. Instagram also has a lot of great inspiration too. Find a page that is dedicated to loving yourself and scroll through their feed.

Surround yourself with good people

Finally, find people that love you. When trying to love yourself it is helpful to know that you are loved by others.

Bedtime Routine

Last week I wrote a post about the importance of sleep(see post here), so this week I decided to follow up with tips for getting a good night’s rest.

The first place I found with tips for getting a good night’s rest was sleep.org. Their first recommendation was to go to bed and wake up the same time every day. This is crucial to keep the body’s circadian rhythm on track. Another recommendation is to avoid caffeine and make sure you don’t go to bed on an empty stomach or full bladder. All of these can keep you up and wake you up throughout the night. Next, create a comfy bedroom. Make sure you have enough pillows and blankets and that your room is the perfect temperature to make you comfortable. Finally, create a routine. Sleep.org recommends stuff like reading, a bath, or soft music. They recommend avoiding tv and smartphones. Personally, I have incorporated these into my nightly routine and would find it hard to sleep without them before bed.

I also found some very helpful sleep tips from Help Guide. Help Guide recommended keeping your bedtime and wake up times the same every morning. Instead of sleeping in, they recommend a mid-day nap. They recommend keeping it down to 15-20 minutes. Help Guide also recommends as much bright light during the day as possible and avoiding blue light(from phones and tablets) at night. I’ve seen glasses that help filter blue light, so I might look into them so I don’t have to cut out my smart phone browsing at night.

These are just a few tips to help you improve your sleep. Most importantly, find what makes you comfortable at night and get into the habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time.

ACK Green Smoothie

This green smoothie features Apple, Cucumber, and Kale. I wanted to come up with a green smoothie that has a strong green flavor. Most of the time I hide the flavor with citrus or pineapple, so this recipe is very different than many of my other green smoothies.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 2-3 Kale Leaves
  • 1 Scoop Vital Proteins
  • 1 Pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Directions

Blend the almond milk, vital proteins, and apple together. I find it’s best to chop the apple and cucumber ahead of time. Next, add the cucumber and blend. Finally, add the kale and blend until smooth. Cayenne is optional. It is supposed to help boost your metabolism. I like to put it in at the beginning so it can blend evenly.

Negative Calorie Diet

The negative calorie diet is a diet designed by Rocco Dispirito that focuses on not focuses on the amount of calories consumed. The negative calorie diet focuses on eating high quality foods that will fuel your body. Ont his diet you are allowed to eat however much you want of any negative calorie food. I am still learning more about this eating style, but in this post I will summarize the 3 factors of a negative calorie food.

Whole Foods Factor

Negative calorie foods are foods that have none to very little processing. This factor focuses on the quality of the calories you are ingesting as opposed to how many calories. Studies have shown that if you are eating higher quality foods and more calories than someone eating low quality processed foods you are more likely to lose weight.

Fat Burn Factor

Certain foods are more thermogenic than others. Thermogenesis is the heat generated by the body’s digestion process. The more thermogenic a food is, the more calories your body burns. Typically proteins and cruciferous vegetables are very thermogenic.

Full Factor

Nobody likes the feeling of being hungry. Negative calorie foods are very filling which means you need less of them to feel full. They are typically high in water content, high in fiber, or rich in protein. Negative calorie foods help fuel your body throughout the day keeping you full longer than processed foods that immediately turn into sugar.

Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for more information about the Negative Calorie Diet. All information from this post is gathered from Rocco Dispirito’s book.

Very Berry Smoothie

This recipe is similar to the other berry smoothie I made but without the banana and yogurt. I had some frozen berries leftover from last time, so I decided to come up with a little bit different take on a berry smoothie than last time. I also added my immune booster shot to give it a little of a kick. See recipe HERE.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup of Almond/Coconut Milk
  • 1 Cup of Frozen Berries(I used strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries)
  • 1 Immune Booster Cube
  • 1 TSP Chia Seeds
  • 1 Scoop of Vital Proteins Strawberry Lemon

Directions

When I make smoothies I typically blend everything else together before I add the frozen items. For this smoothie I just threw everything in at once because everything else blended together without stirring. Enjoy!

Celery Green Juice

I haven’t had celery juice in a while so I decided to make some this week. They say it is soooo good for you, so why not start my day with it! I had collard greens leftover from last week so I used those, but you could also use any other mild green like lettuce or spinach. The lemon could probably be replaced with orange or lime if you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 1 Granny Smith Apple
  • 1 Lemon, peeled
  • 2 Stalks of Celery
  • 2 Collard Green Leaves
  • Ginger

Directions

Alternate ingredients into the juicer until you’ve pushed everything through. I always like to make sure the ingredients are chopped ahead of time fo the size that will fit into the juicer.

Meal Prep – Week of June 28th

This week I am looking to eat light to try to kickstart my healthy eating again. I am also trying to counteract any potential overeating during the holiday next weekend.

Grocery List

  • Apples
  • Lemons
  • Celery
  • Almonds
  • Cucumbers
  • Green bell pepper
  • Ginger
  • Kale

Breakfast

For breakfast I will be doing a celery juice with apple, lemon, collard greens, and ginger. I had the collard greens left over from last week’s smoothie so I decided to use them so they didn’t go to waste. I will share the recipe later this week.

Lunch

For lunch I will be having almonds and a “Zero Calorie” berry smoothie. I discovered the “Zero Calorie” diet in a book by Rocco Dispirito and will be sharing what it’s all about later this week. I will also share the recipe later this week.

Dinner

For dinner I will be having a green smoothie featuring kale, cucumbers, and apple along with green bell pepper.

Benefits of Sleep

All of us sleep, but have you ever thought about why? What does sleep do for our body? I have been getting back into a normal routine lately and getting used to waking up earlier to workout so I have been tired. I decided to do some research about why sleep is so important.

Although scientists aren’t 100% sure why we sleep at night, there is a lot of research that sleep has many benefits. A lot of sleep research is done with people that are sleep deprived. Researchers have come to the conclusion that a sleep is mainly focused on the brain.

Benefits

  • Sleeping helps your brain catch up so you can remember what you have learned
  • Sleeping helps your brain process emotions so you can react more positively
  • When you sleep your blood pressure decreases and allows your heart and blood vessels to decrease
  • Sleep gives you the energy you need to stay active
  • Blood sugar drops when you are sleeping which allows the body to reset
  • Sleeping is a time for your immune cells to rest which helps them work more effectively against sickness
  • Sleeping helps control weight in two ways:
    • Sleep affects the hormones that control how much you eat
    • If you are tired you are less likely to have the motivation to get up and be active

As you can see, sleep has many benefits. It is important, however, to make sure you don’t sleep too much. Sleeping too much can lead to calcium buildup in the heart and arteries and less flexible leg arteries. It is best to shoot for 7-8 hours a night.

How much sleep do you get each night?

Sources

https://www.livescience.com/32469-why-do-we-sleep.html

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/benefits-sleep-more

Benefits of Activated Charcoal

Activated Charcoal has been very popular in the world of wellness lately. Activated charcoal traps toxins and prevents the body from absorbing them. The charcoal has a negatively charged porous surface. The negative charge causes the charcoal to attract positively charged toxins and the porous surface helps the charcoal trap those toxins. Because the charcoal is not absorbed by the body, it carries toxins out of the body with your stool.

Activated charcoal is used in many poisoning and overdose situations. If taken within 5 minutes of ingesting a substance, it reduces the absorption rate by up to 74%. It is not effective for all types of toxins, but it has been widely used in the US for a lot of poisoning cases since the 1800s. Another benefit of activated charcoal is that it can reduce cholesterol. The charcoal molecules can bind to cholesterol and prevent the body from absorbing it.

I recently wrote an article about how to reduce bloating. Read it HERE. One thing I didn’t find when doing research was activated charcoal. The research for this post taught me that activated charcoal can help reduce bloating and gas. Activated charcoal reduces the absorption of certain bacterias that can cause gas.

Recently I started taking a supplement by Codeage(find it here). It contains activated charcoal along with some other detoxifying substances. The supplement helps your body bind toxins and get them out of the body before your body absorbs them. I just started it but I feel great already! Comment below if you want to know more about it!

Sources

Peachy Greens Smoothie

I was trying to think of a new smoothie recipe to make and decided to try peaches and greens.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp of Oats
  • 1-2 Tbsp of Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 Cup of Almond Coconut Milk
  • 1 Scoop of Vital Proteins
  • 1.5 Frozen Peaches
  • 2-3 Collard Green Leaves

Directions

Start by mixing everything except the peaches until smooth. Add the peaches and blend until smooth. Enjoy! Add more or less greens or peaches based on your taste. Save money by buying fresh peaches and cutting and freezing them yourself. Make sure to freeze them on a tray first to avoid all of them sticking together.