Day 15 – Find (aka Make) Time to Meditate, Pray, Reflect

Day 15 – Find (aka Make) time to Meditate, Pray, Reflect, etc.

Whatever suits your religion/belief/lifestyle, give it a try.  Some health benefits of prayer and meditation are:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Sense of Inner Peace
  • Increased longevity
  • Reduced symptoms of depression
  • Alleviation of anxiety, stress, and pain
  • Help with insomnia and physical symptoms associated with chronic illnesses

The time you take to pray or meditate can be your time or time you share with family.  Personally, my prayer time is strictly my time.  It’s personal time I have with God each and every day.  And it has been my “practice” to pray every day since I was a small child.  But, even throughout my busy teenage years, I maintained my prayer time.  And I can’t imagine not having that time each night.  It’s the time I take to reflect on the day and to be thankful for all of the people and things and abilities I have been blessed with.  And most of the time I go to sleep with a clear head and heart.

Your time does not have to be prayer if that is not your believe.  But you, too, can take the time to reflect on your life or your day.  To be thankful for what you have or to look forward to what’s to come.  What’s great about meditation and prayer is that it’s your time and you can make of it what you want.

If it isn’t something you normally practice, try it for a week.  See if you get clarity and joy and inner peace or strength.  At least take the time to reflect.

~FB

 

 

 

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Day 9 – Go Meatless

Day 9 – Go Meatless

go_meatless

Going meatless, even just once to a few times a week, can have a tremendous impact on your health. You don’t have to cut all animal products out of your life cold-turkey, but decreasing the amount of meat and increasing the amount of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole-grains that you eat can do wonders for your health and the health of the environment.

Don’t get me wrong (or hate me), I am a full-on meat eater.  But eliminating meat from meals every once in a while can be great.  It can be time-saving, money-saving, and health-beneficial.  You don’t have to sacrifice deliciousness because you’re eliminating meat.  Have you ever tried a whole roasted herbed cauliflower or a vegetable burger? Mmmmm.

Go ahead and expand your horizons by making full meals solely out of plants.  You’ll be surprised with the plethora of ideas and recipes you can find or come up with.

~FB

Day 7 – 5 Down

Day 7 – 5 Down

declutter

Several years ago, my friend came up with this wonderful idea of daily purging. She and her family committed to removing 5 items from their home a day for one year. Some items were donated, some were trashed. She created a blog (https://www.5down.org/) and chronicled their daily purging. I think her idea is spectacular. I am such a pack rat and I like to hang on to everything in those cases of “what if?” – but, do I really need the book reports I wrote in high school? Probably not. So I am going to follow suit of my friend and commit to 5-downing it (hopefully, daily). In fact, I purged yesterday and it felt great.

Go ahead and try it.

~FB

Day 5 – Love Thyself

Day 5 – Love Thyself

5-self-love
I know all too well how easy it is to beat myself up for things I dislike about myself. We are our own worst critics, picking apart any and everything about our bodies, our looks, our abilities. So take this time to focus on what you love about yourself! Take a long hard look at yourself (literally and figuratively) and embrace it. Love it. Flaunt it! When you are confident in yourself, others will follow suit and be drawn to you like moths to a flame. Push that negativity aside and show yourself the love.
 
(Here’s a photo of me post-boot camp – sweat, freckles, and all. I could sit here and go on about my big nose and my barely there eyebrows (which have been partly sweated off – Haha!), but instead I’m sharing with you and embracing it.)
freckles
Go ahead and give yourself a hug!
~Fb

Day 4 – Gratitude

Day 4 – Gratitude

We often take what we have for granted. But take a look around you. Look at your surroundings and acknowledge how grateful/lucky/blessed you really are. Be thankful for the air in your lungs, the legs that carry you, the food in your belly, or your warm bed at night. Go ahead and say thank you. Pass on your thanks. Say a prayer. Or SHOW your gratitude in another way. Grateful people experience less aches and pains.

Take some time to stop and smell the roses (literal or otherwise)

roses

There is always something to be grateful and thankful for.  So take the time to think about your life and where you are and what you have and what you are able to do.

Be gracious.

~FB

Make 2019 Great! (Health and Wellness Challenge)

feeling-great-my-physio-sa

The end of the year is upon us.  Literally, tomorrow is December 31.  It’s hard to believe that another year has passe by, yet, here is we are again, getting ready to ring in the new year, saying goodbye to the Christmas and holiday festivities, and trying to ram as much junk in our faces as we reflect on how well we did and didn’t do this past year.

A while back, I came up with the idea of a month-long challenge for better health and wellness.  And I am talking overall health and wellness – mind, body, spirit – not just body.  And I have been diligently working away like a busy little bee to get ready to launch this challenge January 1.  I’ve already worked out the full calendar for the month of January, highlighting a new challenge each day.  Challenges that will provide for your physical, emotional, mental, and social health.  <– These are all important aspects of overall health and wellness and I wanted to take the focus off just physical (and nutritional) health, although, I am sneaking items for those in too!).

So get ready to bring 2019 in with a bang and work toward bettering your overall health and wellness and clarity.

Stay tuned..and I promise you Day 1 will be easy peasy.

Happy New Year!

Follow me on Instagram @nsfitbitch for the short and sweet of it.

Healthy Snacking

I am not 100% healthy all the time.  I admit it.  I am human and occasionally, I like to indulge in snacks that are not the healthiest choices.  (Who doesn’t like popcorn at the movies?)

But most of the time, I try to be very conscious of what I’m eating and I like to know what I’m putting in my body.  So, when it comes to snacking and making those healthier choices (and opting not to stick to just fruit or vegetables), I often like to go the homemade route.

My recent obsession are homemade protein nut butter cups.  They’re made with just a few ingredients – dark chocolate or cocoa or chocolate protein powder, coconut oil, and nut butter of choice (I use almond hazelnut).  Melt and mix and freeze.  Easy peasy.

Protein-PB-Cup

I’m also a huge fan of making my own “Larabars“.  It’s definitely a lot cheaper than buying actual Larabars, and I can throw in whatever I want.  I also like healthy cookie dough dip (made with chickpeas but you’d never know it!) and black bean brownies.

And, in the summer when it’s super hot, I might make a little “nice cream” – a healthier version of ice cream made with frozen bananas.  This is a great compromise for people like me who are also allergic to dairy.

Knowing exactly what I’m eating is definitely important to me, not only because of the obvious benefits of eating healthier and cleaner and knowing my ingredients, but also because I can eliminate as much garbage from my diet as possible.  This is especially important when I’m following the Whole 30 Program and eliminating sugar and processed “foods” and other junk.

However, as I said, I am human and I do like to indulge on occasion.  But that doesn’t have to equal eating garbage.  There are plenty of healthier options on the market – even for your favorite “junk foods”.

For example, Amplify Snack Brands – the makers of Skinny Pop popcorn – have some wonderful snack products that are comparable in taste to your regular snacks, but without the garbage and the guilt.  Their Paqui Tortilla Chips use non-GMO corn, are trans-fat free, are nut, soy, and Gluten-free, have no MSG, and are certified Kosher.  Oh, and they come in a bunch of crazy flavors (Haunted Ghost Pepper, anyone?).

Amplify also in their roster, Oatmega Bars – grass-fed whey protein bars offered in a plethora of flavors – and Tyrrell’s Hand Cooked Potato Chips– which offers “no iffy ingredients”.  And of course, let’s not forget the  Skinny Pop brand of popcorn and other products, which are also “free of all those things, including GMOs, MSG, peanuts, soy, tree nuts, and Gluten”.

As you can see, there are many options on the market for snacking better and it’s commendable to see companies with a conscience – ones that care about our health and the ingredients they choose to put into their products (and therefore, that we put into our bodies).

So, if you’re on the go or not able to making your own healthy snacks (or have no interest in it), check out Amplify Brands (or at the very least, ensure you check your labels for ingredients on your snack foods) to see what product might become your next favorite snack.

Be kind to your body and what you put into it.

~FB

“Small Change, Big Gain”

Last month I wrote a post on my Top 5 Wellness Favorites.  Included in that post, was mention of the company Elysium Health.  Elysium is all about the small, daily habits that lead to a healthier and better life.  And since my post, the team at Elysium has come up with a great infographic and included quotes from some wellness sites – MINE INCLUDED.  (That’s me at the bottom – NSFitBitch.)

ElysiumSCBG

Thank you Elysium for providing this great infographic and for including my post.

~FB

Start

Happy Monday Morning!!

Today is the start of a brand new day…and week.  So why not make the decision that today will be the day you change your life.

Bad Workout

Deciding to start a fitness program or healthy lifestyle does not mean you have to commit to running a marathon or hitting the gym every day or signing up for an intense boot camp class (though, you’re more than welcome to come to mine!).  You can start your brand new life by going for small walk around your block or adding in the Commercial Break Workout to your TV watching routine or even, since it’s summer, going for a swim.

Just do something.

I promise you that if you started adding a little fitness (and healthier eating) into your life your body will thank you.  And soon enough, your body will crave it.  Chances are you will feel more energized and happy and excited…and proud.

So, Happy Monday!  Make today the day you change your life.

~FB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Begin (Confessions)

I saw this post in my Facebook feed this today and knew I had to write something about it.

Beginner

…Because this is truth.

We all have to start somewhere.  We are all beginners.  We will not know our full abilities until we try.

When I first began my fitness journey I could not do a full three minutes on my elliptical.  In fact, I found it so hard that I gave up.  I was winded and sweaty (I still sweat like I’m burning in Hell) and, frankly, I was embarrassed that a mere three minutes of cardio nearly killed me and I gave up!

I had bought that elliptical on a whim of trying wanting to be healthy (read: skinny) and I failed.  And, apparently, at that time I was okay with failure.  But then one day, that one particular day, I made a decision and my life changed – forever and for the best.  I swear to God, that elliptical saved my life.  I saw this with all seriousness and certainty.  I was on a path that was destroying me.  My self-esteem was shot, my mental health was in the toilet, and I was overweight to a degree that I should never have let happen.

And I jumped on my elliptical and had my first real workout.

And, although I swore I would never publicly show this photo – I realized, “well shoot!  This was me!  This is what I looked like!”  So, here goes:

Side by side

Left: Before / Right: After 

Yep!  The pic on the left with the scratched out face and the really, really badly blonde hair is me.

And you know what’s sad?  I I don’t even recognize that person on the left and I’m ashamed that I allowed myself to treat my body that way. After A Lot of hard work, dedication, and discipline, the pic on the right reflects closer to where I am today. But each day I grow in my fitness. I’m so much stronger and adventurous in my exercising. And I look forward to challenging myself daily.

Once I started exercising regularly and eating healthier, I started feeling better on the inside too.  I know not everyone gets this or agrees. But this is 100% true for me. Exercise helped bring me out of a 10 year depression. It helped with my self-esteem and confidence.  There are days when I still struggle with these but overall, I’ve become a different person.  (Give it a chance….you might be shocked to find that exercise can help you too.)

Mood changer

When I look back to those years ago and hopping on my elliptical and failing miserably at my first attempt of working out, I almost feel glad,  Because I was doing it for the wrong reason.  As I said above, I wanted to start exercising to get thin, not to have a better life.  And it wasn’t until I decided to change my life that my life changed.  That’s when I really began.

So, don’t be afraid to begin.  Even if it means you’re starting over or beginning again.  It’s when you’re really ready that you will make the effort.  As you know, my mantra for years has been “If you’re not willing to do the work, you’re not ready to lose the weight.” (Thank you Shaun T!)  Again, #Truth!

So, don’t be afraid.  Go ahead and begin.  And if you have to, begin again.

~FB