Man, I don’t know about you, but this summer has FLOWN by since we have been so busy. I love making the most of our time together, and enjoy keeping us busy doing different activities. But I try to make sure I take care of myself too, so I don’t get run down. Here are some of my top tips for self-care:
Get plenty of rest. Sleep is crucial for your well being, so make sure you are getting the rest that you need. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, here are a few things that might help: Stop drinking caffeine by 3 pm, try limiting all blue light devices (phones, tablets, TVs) one hour before going to bed.
Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. The better you fuel your body with good food, the better you will feel! Make sure you are getting LOTS of veggies and healthy proteins. I typically try to have a serving of vegetables 4 times a day.
Drink LOTS of water! You should be drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water daily. Find it hard to get in your water? Try adding fruit to it to give it some flavor.
Exercise regularly. Finding and committing to a good fitness routine is important for your overall health. Not only is it good for your cardiovascular health, it’s good for your mental health as well, and is a great stress reliever. If you’re needing help in this area, I would be more than happy to get you started on the right path!
Feed your mind. I know some people don’t like to read as much as I do, and that’s fine. You can now listen to books electronically, or there are some awesome podcasts out there. Whatever method you choose, make sure you are doing something to grow yourself! This is one of the best things I have ever done for myself! Complete game changer.
Do something every day for YOURSELF, whether that’s just some quiet time alone to read or meditate, or even just take a hot bath. Do something YOU enjoy and do it ALONE! You’d be surprised how this can recharge your batteries.
And lastly, go on a date with your spouse or significant other at least once a month! If you’re not married or dating, have a girls (or guys) night out! It’s so important to have those connections, and nurture that relationship regularly. I also like to add to this by finding new things to do or restaurants to try. It keeps things interesting.
Giving your body that little bit of extra special treatment is a great and natural way to relieve stress. Taking care of yourself can also make you a better caretaker for others. If you’re a mom, it’s SO important to take care of yourself so you can take care of your kids. When you neglect your own needs, it can cause you to be unhappy, have a low self-esteem, and even cause levels of resentment. So, when you start feeling a little grumpy, take a time out and spend a little time doing something just for you! You’ll be glad you did!
What are some of your favorite self care tips? I’d love to hear them!
We LOVE traveling, and with summertime brings alllll the vacations! We also like to take road trips vs flying because it’s cheaper and there is some beautiful scenery to be found when driving long distances. Not to mention the fact that you don’t have to turn around and then rent a car when you get where you’re going like you would if you flew.
As we are getting ready to go on a road trip with my family, and the planning that goes into a long road trip, I thought it might be helpful if I shared some of my go to tips for traveling in a car for long periods when you have children.
My number one tip… SNACKS! Allllll the snacks! Kids are just like us, and tend to want to eat when they are bored. So, I like to make sure I pack LOTS of snacks for them to munch on in the car. I try to pick the least messy snacks I can find, but to be on the safe side, I typically pack a package of wipes to clean their hands and faces. Some of my go to snacks to pack are fruit/veggie pouches (I recently got a big box at Costco, but I like GoGo squeeze also), some kind of snack crackers (like Goldfish or cheddar bunnies, etc), my kids love Z Bars so I usually pack a couple of those for them, and fruit snacks (we like the ones made with real fruits and veggies). This is a good time to maybe pack a treat you don’t normally allow, especially for those littles who have a rough time sitting in the car for long periods.
2. I also usually pack several toys, games, and different activities for the kids to do to keep themselves busy. Most Dollar stores and the dollar spot at Target usually have some cheap things you can buy to give them something new to occupy their time. I always try to get one or two new things before we leave, even if it’s just a new activity book or fun pack of crayons/pencils. Magnetic games are a MUST for the car!
3. One of the most important things for us is a fresh supply of movies for the DVD player, but tablets and such are a great idea too! I like to let them download a new game or two just for the trip so they have something new to play. Headphones are great to have too, so you don’t have to listen to whatever they are watching/playing.
4. Make sure to pack blankets, pillows/travel pillows, and any special stuffed animals or loveys to make your children feel comfortable while traveling.
5. One of my favorite little hacks is to get some kind of organizer for your car. I have a two compartment one, which is perfect because I can designate one for each kid. They each have their own toys, a light blanket, books, games, activity books, crayons, pencils, snacks, etc! That way there’s no fighting (ok, maybe minimal hah) over who’s toy is who’s. If you don’t have a lot of room, packing individual little backpacks or bags works just as great!
There are still going to be ups and downs when traveling with children, but I have found that finding ways to keep them busy and distracted definitely cuts down on the whining and fighting and makes the trip a little more enjoyable. I’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite go-to travel tips?
One of the things on the top of my husband’s bucket list was to attend Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. This year, we finally made that happen!
Easter Jeep Safari is a 9 day event consisting of day long trail rides in your own four-wheel vehicle. You can choose to do these trails on your own (based on your level of experience), or choose to do guided tours in which experienced guides lead you along the trail routes. You take your own food and drinks and spend most of the day driving over obstacles big and small. We had so much fun just spending time as a family and enjoying the trails riding in the Jeep. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking in Moab. This event is sponsored by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers Inc, one of the local four wheel drive clubs of Moab.
You can choose one of the many different trail options each day, and its completely up to you as to whether you run trails every day or take some days to take in the sights. What’s nice about the trails is, there is something for everyone! Is it your first time? No problem! There are trails that just about any experience level can drive with no problem. My favorite part of the guided tours is that everyone is so willing to help each other out, whether you need a spotter or if something breaks, there is always someone there to help you out.
When you’re not out driving the trails yourself, head over to potato salad hill and watch all of the brave souls try to conquer the obstacles. The week of the event, on Thursday and Friday there is a vendor and information show that is free to the general public. It’s all set up in the Spanish Trail Arena. Friday night, there is a HUGE raffle drawing for all kinds of prices donated by all of the vendors in the show. Each person who registers gets a complimentary ticket for the drawing. There is also a Jeep display where you can see all of the concept vehicles Jeep created. Moab is a great place for them to generate ideas for production vehicles.
We had so much fun, we are already planning our trip back for next year!
According to the Oxford Dictionary, superfoods can be defined as “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.” There are many studies being done evaluating the powerful effects that food can have on health and confirming the extensive benefits that superfoods have to offer. Superfoods do so much more than just help you meet your vitamin and mineral needs or help you shed a few extra pounds when it comes time for swimsuit season. In fact, these foods can help you achieve better health, prevent chronic disease, and improve the way you feel day in and day out — and they’re some of the top anti-aging foods around. When combined with regular exercise and a balanced diet, adding a few of these top superfoods into your day can benefit many different aspects of your health. So, I wanted to share just a few of my favorite superfoods with you, and tell you some of their benefits.
Tiny but packed with nutrients, blueberries fit the superfoods definition to a T. Blueberries are brimming with disease-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals, as well as plenty of vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese.
Best of all, these flavorful fruits are delicious and easy to enjoy as one of the best foods to lose weight. Use them to bring a hint of sweetness to salads, add them to baked goods or even enjoy them alone as a healthy snack.
Almonds are one of the most nutrient-rich nuts available. They are among the best non-dairy sources of calcium, providing more milligrams of calcium per serving than any other nut, and are also high in vitamin E and protein.
You can enjoy these nuts raw as a tasty snack or try roasting them up for a warm treat on a cold day. Just remember that almonds are high in calories, so be sure to keep your portion size in check — it is definitely possible to have too much of a good thing.
3. Green Tea
Green tea is a type of tea made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, which is the same plant used to make other types of tea like black, white and oolong tea. Unlike other tea varieties, however, green tea undergoes very little processing, which helps to maximize its content of antioxidants and polyphenols.
Research shows that green tea can help boost metabolism, improve oral hygiene, enhance insulin sensitivity and decrease several risk factors for heart disease.
To get started, simply start brewing a couple of cups per day to slowly incorporate this superfood into your daily routine. You can also opt for other green tea products instead, such as matcha, which delivers a concentrated punch of antioxidants in each serving.
Eggs have historically been a controversial topic in the nutrition world due to their high cholesterol content, but they remain one of the healthiest foods. Whole eggs are rich in many nutrients including B vitamins, choline, selenium, vitamin A, iron and phosphorus.They’re also loaded with high-quality protein. Eggs contain two potent antioxidants, zeaxanthin and lutein, which are known to protect vision and eye health.
Despite fears surrounding egg consumption and high cholesterol, research indicates no measurable increase in heart disease or diabetes risk from eating up to 6–12 eggs per week. In fact, eating eggs could increase “good” HDL cholesterol in some people, which may lead to a favorable reduction in heart disease risk. More research is needed to draw a definite conclusion.
Dark, leafy greens, like spinach, are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium, as well as several phytochemicals (chemicals made by plants that have a positive effect on your health). They also add fiber into the diet.
How to include them: Try varieties such as spinach, swiss chard, kale, collard greens, or mustard greens. Throw them into salads or sauté them in a little olive oil. You can also add greens to smoothies, soups and stews.
How Superfoods and Supplements Can Work Together
Superfoods and supplements go hand in hand and can help optimize overall health, bringing you benefits that go above and beyond what a nutritious and healthy diet can provide. In fact, some of these superfoods contain health-promoting compounds and nutrients like fiber, protein, heart-healthy fats and antioxidants that earn them spots as some of the best foods for weight loss and best fat-burning foods around.
Similarly, supplements often bring a burst of other important compounds that can sometimes be difficult to obtain from foods. Collagen, for example, is the most abundant protein in the body and is thought to help ease joint pain, improve skin elasticity and improve hair growth, making it one of the best superfoods for women. It’s also considered one of the best foods that help you lose weight, thanks to its protein content and amino acid profile. However, it’s found in very few sources in the diet, such as bone broth or powdered gelatin, which is why adding a supplement to your routine can be especially beneficial.
Of course, both superfoods and supplements should be used to complement a healthy, well-rounded diet rich in essential nutrients to have the maximum effect on health.
There are a wide range of foods that qualify as superfoods and can be incorporated into the diet in a number of different ways. Add a few of these foods into your daily routine along with a well-rounded diet and routine physical activity to get started on your journey to better health.
School is out this week, so I’ve been busy planning things for us to do to keep us busy. I love making bucket lists for every season because it is a great tool for days when you just aren’t sure what to do. I like to let the kids take turns choosing our activities. There are a LOT of things we can do at home for free, but I do also plan some activities that get us out of the house.
There is just something about summer that bring the life out in me. I think it’s my favorite season! Those sun-filled, warm breezy days are upon us yet again, and I couldn’t be happier. I just love having both of my kids home, even on the days they drive me crazy!
So, here are 20 FREE things you can do as a family this summer! This is just a little glimpse into our big list, but I wanted to share a little of it with you.
What are some of your favorite things to do in the summer? Anything not on the list that are your go to summer activities? I would love to hear from you in the comments!
Everyone knows the famous quote: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” We are all guilty of being too tired to cook or finding there’s nothing in the fridge and decide to just hit the drive-thru or order take out. I know I am! When you plan and prep, you can help prevent that from happening. And, the more you do it, the more you’ll get the hang of it. You will be amazed at how much time and money you’ll save, and you might even see faster results.
Use these 10 tips to make meal prep easier and faster:
Make a Plan. Make a list of your favorite healthy foods. Use this list of foods to find quick, healthy recipes and make in bulk. Plan out what you’ll eat for every snack and meal. Tip: Save your plans for future use. Once you’ve got a few weeks worth, you can just rotate through them for even more ease and convenience.
Stick to your Grocery List. If you stick to your list, you are less likely to buy junk food. If you want to buy a treat, and it fits in your plan, go for it. Just keep them at a minimum. By sticking to your list, you will minimize those impulse buys and might even save yourself some money. Tip: Try scheduling grocery pick up. Most stores are offering this now, and I’ve found that I am MUCH less likely to buy junk when I do this because I’m not physically going into the store and seeing all the things I DON’T need.
Keep snacks simple. In order to keep things simple, choose snacks that don’t require a lot of time to put together. Fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs, and fresh cut veggies are great options.
Cook foods all at once. Roasting vegetables, sweet potatoes, and even chicken breasts all at once will save you time, and cut down on your utility bill. Imagine…all of your side dishes for the week…ready in about 30 minutes!
Look for shortcuts. I like to buy precut/packaged veggies and fruits to make things simple. You could also buy a rotisserie chicken and split up for things like salads, soups, or even just to munch on as a snack.
Mason Jar Salads. This is one of the easiest things to throw together! And the jars are a great, cheap way to store them for a few days. Just make sure to put your dressing on the bottom, then toppings, and add lettuce on top to keep it from wilting.
Mix things up. I don’t know about you, but I get bored eating the same things all the time. So, I like to make sure I have a few different options for breakfast and lunch to give me some variety and to keep me from getting tired of eating the same things. It can be something as simple as just changing up the ingredients in your salad jars, or mixing up the veggies you are eating.
Invest in food storage containers. Have a variety of sizes of containers available based off of what you want to put in them. Then, if you know you’re going to be out for a while, throw a few of your containers in an insulated bag and take it with you wherever you go!
Keep your eyes on the prize. All of this meal prep is for a purpose… to help keep you on track with your health and fitness goals. When you have meals prepped, it’s so much easier to stick to your plan.
Don’t forget to Exercise. All of this meal prepping will save you so much time and that means more time to get in a workout. No excuses!
Do you have an meal prep tips you’d like to share? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at email@example.com. As always, thanks for reading!
On Valentine’s Day, the last thing you want to do is get stuck in a Netflix and takeout rut—or, worse, end up at a cheesy, overpriced, and decidedly unoriginal dinner. Whether you’re single, coupled up, or somewhere in between, ensure your V-Day is free of clichés with these non-boring ideas, below.
Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve and pretty similar. They’re both made up holidays, they’re both associated with smooching, and they both never tend to go as planned. But that’s OK, because what matters the most about V Day is that you spend it with people you love and who love you back. Having a reservation at the most romantic corner table in the fanciest restaurant is just icing on the fake-holiday cake. I know we can’t always afford to go all out, so I’ve created a few different categories to choose from, depending on your situation.
Stay at Home Date Ideas:
Roast S’mores in the fire pit.
Themed dinner and movie night.
Watch the sunset (or sunrise).
Date night in a box.
Suite Retreat. Create an at home spa type basket and enjoy together.
Here are a few ideas if you are looking to go out on the town:
6. Go for a hike/picnic. Take along your favorite foods and drinks and enjoy a meal out in nature.
7. Get dessert only. This is a great idea if you’re short on time and/or money, but still want to go out.
8. Go for a progressive dinner. Get appetizers and drinks at one place, your main course at another place, then end the night with dessert at a different place.
9. Do a selfie date night. Go around town taking selfies doing your favorite activities. You are sure to document some fun memories!
10. Go test out your skills at your local shooting range. This is one of our favorite things to do on date night.
11. If you’re really looking to pamper yourselves, enjoy a spa day date. There’s nothing more relaxing than a day of pampering.
12. Book a hotel room for a night, no kids! Enjoy each other’s company without interruptions.
If you’re looking to spend the evening at home with your family, these are some great ideas to ensure a fun-filled evening:
13. Have a family dance party. Turn on some good music, turn off the lights, grab a flashlight (bonus points if you have a disco ball or light), and get moving! I promise, your kids will LOVE it!
14. Go on a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt. Create a list of things to find around the house, or take it outside if you choose, and the winner gets a price!
15. Family dinner and a movie night. You can even let your children pick the menu and help prepare dinner. Then choose a movie to enjoy as a family.
16. Have a conversation heart dinner. Decorate the table with fun conversation hearts plates, napkins and decor, then have a heart themed dinner. Go around the table and take turns telling each other things you love about your family.
Well, there you have it! I’d love to hear what your plans are for Valentine’s Day this year and if you try out any of these ideas!
Are you looking for a little help establishing a healthy day-to-day routine in your life? Or maybe you’re looking for a little inspiration on how to take your health and fitness to the next level?
Today, I want to share my daily fitness routine and some habits to help you improve your daily workout routine.
During the school year, my routine is much more structured. So I like to drink my pre workout about 20 minutes before I plan to workout. I like to use this.
For my workouts, I usually do 3-4 days of strength training, and then 1-2 days of cardio. I absolutely LOVE Beachbody on Demand because I can do my workouts anywhere! If I can’t make it to the gym, I can just grab my phone or iPad and go to my room to get my workout in. On the days I want to go to the gym (free childcare!), I just download my workout ahead of time and take it with me!
After my workouts, especially the ones where I worked out hard/lifted heavy, I always drink my post workout. It helps aid my muscles in recovery, and combats muscle soreness.
One thing I must stress, is that you need a rest day! Sometimes more than one. It’s definitely important to listen to your body! I usually use my rest day to stretch or do yoga.
Now I want to share some habits with you to improve your daily workout routine. Especially if you’re just getting started (or starting back). 1. Choose a workout you will enjoy. Don’t try to choose something you know is too difficult or even too easy. Make sure it will challenge you, but not so much that it makes you miserable and dread doing it. 2. Use social media! I know that sounds weird, but if you put it out there, you will be more likely to follow through knowing people are expecting you to. 3. Find a support system. Accountability is SO important in your health and fitness journey. 4. Ease into it. If you find yourself struggling, just do what you can when you can, and you WILL get stronger! 5. Schedule your workout into your day. Just like anything else, write it down. You don’t miss doctor appointments, or dentist appointments. Don’t miss your workouts! 6. Set your clothes out the night before. It’s so much easier for me to not have to think about what I’m going to wear when I get up in the morning. It’s already out and ready for me to just throw it on. 7. Don’t be afraid to buy cute workout clothes. I LOVE buying new fitness attire. I find it way more fun and motivating when I look cute. 8. Your daily workout routine needs to be just that… DAILY. Yes, rest days are important, but it’s just as important to still MOVE on those days. That’s why I like to at least stretch or do yoga, maybe even go for a short walk. 9. Which brings me to rest day. Make sure you schedule those rest days! Yes, it’s ok if you have to take more than one. It’s more important that you listen to your body so you don’t injure yourself. If you need to move your day up sooner than you had planned, that’s ok too. Don’t beat yourself up about it. And last, #10, make this a LIFESTYLE change! This is not a fad or a temporary fix. You should be making this fitness routine a part of the rest of your life!
I’d love to hear your thoughts, or if you have any other tips you’d like to add. Feel free to leave a comment!
With every new year comes new goals. And usually SOME of those goals are health and fitness related. I wanted to share these tips with you.
How to Get Started With Fitness (Before Even Pushing Play)
If you haven’t exercised or tried to eat clean in a while (or ever!), Day 1 of a 30, 60, or 90-day fitness and nutrition program can feel intimidating.
It doesn’t have to be. Here are several small things you can do to get started. With these simple tips, you can begin to prepare your body and mind for a healthier lifestyle before you even break a sweat or eat your first green vegetable. Though you could snack on some snap peas while reading this article…
Figure Out How Many Calories You Should Eat
Knowing is half the battle, right? Use this simple method to determine approximately how many calories you should try to eat each day, or consult your fitness program’s nutrition guide, and begin to make small adjustments to reach that daily goal. Using a nutrition tracker like MyFitnessPal can be extremely useful in helping you figure out how many calories are in the foods you eat and where you’re overindulging.
Get those muscles ready to move. If you haven’t used them in a while, do some gentle stretching to wake them up and get familiar with the current limits of your flexibility. Knowing where you’re tight can help prevent injury. Try these stretches to improve hip and lower back flexibility so you’ll be ready to move comfortably in workouts.
Start to Move More
Even if you’re not Pushing Play yet, you can begin to make an effort to move your body more every day. Take a walk, stand (or do squats!) when you talk on the phone, take the stairs, park a little farther away from your destination, stretch during television commercials, rearrange the furniture in your living room. What suggestions do you have for adding gentle movement to your day? Share your ideas in the comments.
Being dehydrated can make you sore even if you don’t exercise. Set yourself up for success, and minimize initial muscle soreness, by drinking plenty of water in the days leading up to the start of your fitness program. Get in the habit of drinking enough water every day. Read this article to find out how much water you need and get tips to help you drink enough.
Throw Away Junk Food
Empty your desk, cupboards, fridge, freezer, car, and secret snack stash drawer of foods and drinks you know you shouldn’t be eating. If you want to reach your fitness goal, prevent temptation by removing junk food from your house. If the packaged foods are unopened, donate them. We know you spent good money on those Ding Dongs and Doritos, but they are doing the opposite of helping you reach your health and fitness goals. If throwing them away seems like a daunting task, try these 6 tips to kick your junk food habit.
Build a Healthy Pantry
Now that you’ve eliminated the processed junk food from your home, replace it with good-for-you staples that will help you create healthy meals every day.
Set Up Your Workout Space
This could be as easy as moving the coffee table in your living room, or as elaborate as setting up a dedicated gym in your garage or basement. You won’t need much space to exercise, but it’s a good idea to figure out where you’ll do it and make the space usable and inviting for the workouts you’ll be doing.
Plan an Outing that Involves Exercise
A great way to get into the spirit of exercise before you actually commit to a fitness program is to plan activities with friends that get you moving. Invite friends or family for a hike, go ice skating, or organize a softball or flag-football game.
Find Your Reason Why
In this video, Tony Horton says, “If you’re really caught up in the numbers on the scale, or the dress size, and what’s happening with the tape measure, chances are that does’t really motivate or inspire you. Find a new purpose. Find a new reason why. The reason why has got to be so powerful, so strong that you’re not going to quit, you’re not going to fail, and you’re going to be consistent, and show up 5-7 days a week for the rest of your life.”
Build a Support System
Getting fit doesn’t have to be something you do alone! Announce your commitment to get healthier and stronger to your friends, family, and coworkers. Start or join a Challenge Group, join a Facebook group, or recruit workout buddies and accountability partners to help you stay motivated when your resolve starts to slip or you feel tempted to make unhealthy choices.
Make Time in Your Schedule
Figure out when you’ll fit exercise into your daily schedule and begin to make adjustments to reserve that time slot every day. Will you work out in the morning? During your lunch break? In the evenings? Schedule exercise time in your calendar and commit to it as an important meeting with yourself. You wouldn’t skip a meeting with your boss just because you feel tired or grumpy, would you? No, you’d be there on time with a smile on your face and do your best to impress.
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It’s OK to Start Slowly
You don’t have to Push Play and go full speed on the first day. If you’ve been spending the last few months or years sitting on the couch, just do what you can. It’s OK to start with a few minutes of exercise and work your way up to a full workout. Five or ten minutes of exercise a day is better than no minutes. Try to add one minute each day until you can do a full workout. In his article, 5 Steps to Avoid Muscle Soreness, our fitness expert Steve Edwards said, “It’s very tempting to begin an exercise program with a lot of enthusiasm, but try your best to go at a reasonable pace. If you’ve never exercised, or it’s been a long time since you have, go much easier than you feel you are capable of on Day 1 and ramp things up at a pace that is based on how you feel. If you’re not sore, go a little harder the next day. If you’re a little sore, take it down a notch.”
What tips do you have that could help someone else get started? Share them in the comments.