Challenge Accepted

Coming back from Christmas, I knew that I really wanted to get back into feeling better about myself, get a hold of the unconscious eating and start moving my body more. I spent the fall really focusing on eating when I was hungry and making better choices. I wasn’t perfect by any means but changes here and there helped out a great deal. Then the holidays hit…it’s always a rough time for me no matter how much I try to prepare or make a mental game plan.

A challenge was coming up for Tone It Up, a fitness community and program that I follow and I thought, “ok, girl. It’s time to get serious!” When I actually follow their program, I’m solid and I’ve seen real results. What I’ve come to realize is that when I focus and work hard I have great results. Duh. Like that’s big news. But when I start to see those awesome results, I usually backslide. I start to think, “oh it’s okay to have a little more of this, I’ve done so well!” or “I can skip that workout today because I did a really hard one yesterday and look how good things are going!”

Those little indulgences, if you will, add up when you do it over and over again and before you know all those good habits you’ve started to introduce just go away. In case you didn’t know, no matter how much you plan or daydream or think and wish about taking care of your body, it doesn’t do a dang thing unless you put those thoughts into action.

That’s been a big problem for me over the years; a little results, backsliding and then nothing but thinking for a long time until I’m ready to get started again. I’m really burned out on that cycle. I want to make actual changes that are sustainable.

The #loveyourbody challenge is here and I’m doing it but a little bit differently so I actually see the 8 weeks through. I have to have a realistic plan going in because if I did all the things at once I would just be setting myself up for failure.

I started with simple goals and decided to add a new element each week. One thing at a time so that I get a week to practice and get better at it. The week before the challenge, it was all about just getting up and working out, trying to find the time that works best for me. Also, just trying to change the mindset of being too tired or simply put-it-off-til-tomorrow mindset needs some serious focus and I need to actively practice that.

This last week was all about eating better and making smarter choices. Swapping out items, adding more greens, listening to when I’m hungry and when I’m not, downing the water, and trying for a few less sweets. All these things I know and I try to practice but it needs a refresh and I need to be consistent.

This week will be all about sleep. I need it and I can tell that going to be at 11:00 is not allowing me to be successful at getting up at 6. Yup, I’m an 8 hours a night gal and that last hour really does make a huge difference for me. Next week? Probably adding in the daily moves three times a week. After that, who knows, but I’m adding each one as I get better with the previous.

The point is to add in something each week, building better habits rather than trying to change things all at once. I think that was always my downfall; I’d start strong with good intentions and drop it after a couple weeks because I didn’t build in the practice so the work and habits weren’t sustainable.

If you’ve found yourself in the midst of a challenge or looking to do one, get back on track and all, maybe figure out where you can actually push yourself to better and then make that happen in a realistic way. Going all in can work for some, but not all. One step at a time still gets me there, maybe at a slower pace, but hey. It’s my pace!

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More Greens Please!

Oh yes, y’all! It’s that time of year where we see an overabundance of health club adds, active wear sales, pushes for the latest exercise craze and tons of new year diets. In short, we’re all ready to get back to some good habits after months of indulging. All I can say is pass the greens, please!

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I’m pretty proud of the fact that I didn’t go hog wild, but I definitely enjoyed every piece of fudge, little cookie, and decadent meal we had and y’all, we had many a good meal! When Janson and I got home we both couldn’t wait to get back to simple meals, veggies included, and ate oranges like they were going out of style.

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If you’re in the mood for a simple morning drink, a mid-morning pick-me-up or an afternoon snack, I’d say this isn’t half bad!

Basic Green Drink

  • 1/2 a banana

  • 1/2 cup of orange juice OR 1/2 an orange OR 2 small cuties

  • 1 large cup of spinach

  • 1 TBLSPN of peanut butter (or almond butter or protein powder)

  • Dash of cinnamon

  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup of coconut water (or plain ol’ agua)

Blend all ingredients together, add more liquid if desired and voila! One very easy green drink.

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Options:

  • Add any fruit you like. Personal favorite, mango with banana and pineapple

  • Blueberry works really well with ginger and chocolate almond milk

  • Classic strawberry and banana is always a winner, too! Add a little almond milk to make it a tad bit creamier

  • Side tip, slice up your perfectly ripened bananas and freeze them in a Tupperware to use as needed

That’s as simple as it gets. Unless you just want to eat spinach by itself, but if you ask me, this is tastier and offers a few more vitamins and nutrients as well so maybe go with what’s more appealing.

Here’s to getting our bodies back in order!

Happy healthy eating, y’all!

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New Cookbooks, Yes Please!

Do you ever have a moment when you feel, "whoa. I am one person in a sea of people?" Yeah, I get that on Instagram sometimes when I'm flipping through and I realize just how many people there are in the world. That and whenever I travel to NYC. 

In any case, as overwhelming as Instagram can feel sometimes, I do love the fact that following some of my favorite people can lead me to new favorites. Do you feel an example coming up? 'Cause here it is! 

Love the Bobby Bones Show, if you're a country music fan, and I follow Amy on IG quite a bit. Her personality is fun and I enjoy following her stories about health, fitness, and of course, her ongoing adoption process. A few weeks ago she posted about Laura Lea Balanced and I was completely fascinated. 

Basically she's a holistic chef living in Nashville and her stories consist of her displaying her meals throughout the day, what's in them and yeah, you basically watch her sample food, too. And I love it. I know, a little weird, but I'm fascinated by her choices and what she puts together. So after following for a couple weeks, I finally tried a few of her recipes and really enjoyed them--except for a grilled chicken marinade that I blame on my use of greek yogurt...should have just used regular ol' plain yogurt...

Bought her book and it just came in--eek! I'm totally geeking out! I spent time reading that sucker the last couple nights and drooling over the pictures. It's simple ingredients and I can't wait to dive in!

Best of all, she offers tons of choices to make things as you need them. Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, whatever. I tried a pecan date loaf bread with white flour (Shocking! People still use white flour? Yep--this girl does) instead of buckwheat and it still turned out delicious! It's nice to find something that offers wiggle room depending on what you're wanting AND she promotes listening to your BODY more than anything else. I like that concept so much and I've found that it's been incredibly helpful to get me back on track these last couple weeks. If you're interested, check her out here, Laura Lea Balanced

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I've spent the last maybe three years trying new ingredients and taking time to figure out how to make healthier choices that are sustainable for me. It's a work in progress. Seriously. Chik-fil-a is still my favorite fast food trick and I can't always convince myself to make the right choices 100% of the time or (les be honest here) 50% of the time, but that's part of this journey, right? 

If you haven't tried things like tahini, tamari, tumeric or even kale, start small. I tried to change my entire diet for a four week challenge at the beginning of my search and I'm pretty sure that was the worst thing I could have done. You might find yourself crying in front of a closed Marble Slabe, just for example...Cutting yourself off cold turkey from all your regular choices just doesn't work so be smart, introduce things a little at a time and keep trying until you find what works for you--there's tons of options out there (Pinterest, anyone?) so don't give up. 

One last little thing, I learned a great new way to eat yogurt in the morning: add a scoop of almond butter or peanut butter to it! AH! GAME CHANGER!

Seriously, try this: 

1/4 cup of blueberries

1/2 - 3/4 cup of yogurt

2-3 Tbl spn of granola

1 Tbl spn of almond/peanut butter

1/4 - 1/2 tsp of chia seeds

You can thank me in the comment section. Just kidding, but really, you should try this! 

Happy weekend, y'all! 

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Greenie Coladas

If you like greenie coladas...

OK, so maybe those aren't the words to the song, BUT it came to mind when I whipped up a green smoothie for myself this past Monday. In an attempt to use what I've got in the kitchen, I tried to make something new that would help me fill up on some greens. Let's just say I'm a little over the salads these days and I'm finding it increasingly difficult to chew on more rabbit food. 

SO, what better way to eat your greens than in fun smoothie form, am I right? Here's your Greenie Colada Smoothie breakdown: 

- 1 cup of spinach 

- 1/2 ripe banana

- 1/2 cup of pineapple (add a couple extra chunks in if you'd like)

- Dash of cinnamon

- 1/2 - 3/4 cup of Coconut water

- 1/2 - 1 tbl spn of ground flax

Blend water and spinach together first then add rest of ingredients. Once smooth, pour into festive glass, add umbrella, and sip while singing "If you like greenie coladas..." That's probably the most important part of the whole process. 

Feel free to use frozen banana and pineapple for a thicker smoothie experience. I always have frozen bananas on hand and during the summer I like to buy pineapples, chop them up and freeze the cubes for smoothies later. 

What's your favorite smoothie? 

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