Can you believe it’s October already! I love starting a new month out. It means new goals! Starting a new week, a new month or a new year imparts the feeling of fresh start. It’s a chance to reset, recharge and re-do. What I’m talking about are two words that get thrown around a lot when it comes to going after your goals: Inspiration and motivation. Inspiration is easy, it’s something we get from others or things around us (like the start of a new month), motivation on the other hand is all up to you! Keep Reading!
Miracle cures and that elusive fountain of youth… Keep Reading!
Once the aroma of freshly brewed roasted barley tea hits your senses, you’ll be drinking this intoxicating tea daily. Making a cup of roasted barley tea a part of your daily ritual not only smells great – you’ll get some added health benefits too! Keep Reading!
Let’s face the facts: Stress is a normal part of modern life. That’s right, even if you’re Queen Bey, stress is part of the daily grind. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be a BIG part of your life — if you can manage it effectively. We’ve looked into the daily lives of successful people from all walks of life to bring you advice for managing stress throughout your day. If you want to begin each morning and end each night with little less worry, start with these tips. Keep Reading!
Do your daily habits reflect your best self? Do they align with your goals, aspirations, dreams or what you want to improve upon or learn? If they don’t then it’s time to re-evaluate how to make your daily habits reflect YOU! Keep Reading!
You hear it all the time from, “you should drink more water,” to “eight glasses a day!” but do you actually drink enough water?
You should! Heck, it kind of is us. “Water makes up about two thirds of who we are, and influences 100 percent of the processes in our body,”says CamelBak hydration expert Doug Casa, PhD. In a most basic sense your body craves it, needs it and will benefit from it. Right here, right now make a conscious effort to fuel your body with the water it needs to thrive.
Start today. Operation hydration here we come! Let’s dive in to some proven ways water can benefit you and make you even more awesome than you already are:
1. Aids Weight Loss: If you are looking to lose some lbs. up your water intake! It’s not uncommon to pack on some extra pounds mistaking thirst for hunger so, the next time you think you are hungry, reach for a glass of water instead it may be just what your body needed. H2O is also a great replacement for high-calorie drinks like soda and alcohol ’cause really who needs all that extra sugar, carbs and fat anyway!?
TIP: Add some flavor and zest to your water naturally, try: lemon, mint, cucumber or berries
2. Energy Boost: Being dehydrated can zap your energy and make you feel tired and sluggish. The next time you’re feeling sleepy (when you shouldn’t be) reach for some H20 to refresh and re-energize your mind and body.
3. Natural Headache Cure: Often when we have headaches it’s simply a matter of not drinking enough water. Going without water for too long causes headaches for some people, and has been identified as a migraine trigger. Your headache Rx: Try drinking two to four cups of water for headache relief within one to two hours.
4. Healthier Skin, Hair and Nails: Drinking water can clear up your skin and help you get that fresh glow look going on! Commit to drinking a healthy amount of water over a week and see the effects it has on your skin, hair and nails.
5. Keeps Things Moving Digestive-Wise: Our digestive system needs a good amount of water to properly digest our food. Often water can help cure stomach acid problems and along with fiber it can cure constipation.
6. Scrub Brush For Your Kidney’s: Your kidney’s remove waste from your body but they can’t do it alone! Water is used by the body to flush out all of those toxins so, the more water you drink the better your kidneys will function!
7. Better Exercise: We all know it is essential to drink water when exercising, but did you know being dehydrated can negatively impact your workouts? That’s right dehydration will slow you down and make your workouts harder. Be sure to drink water two hours before you plan to exercise, and of course during and after.
8. Mood Booster: The next time you’re feeling irritable, grumpy or down in the dumps reach for a glass of H2O: Drinking water can refresh you so much, it can actually improve your state of mind. Don’t let dehydration get you down, drink water to clear your mind!
IS IT ENOUGH?
So, now that you know how water really does make you AWESOME let’s see if you are getting enough. The best way to determine if you are getting enough water is to take a peek at your pee! Yeah, you heard me! Remember, our bodies are about two thirds water… so, if your pee is bright-dark yellow you need to drink more, if your pee is clear to light straw-colored you’re a-okay.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I DRINK?
As for how much water you should drink each day well, that’s a simple question with no easy answers. Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years, but in truth, your water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live.
Although no single formula suits everyone, knowing more about your body’s need for fluids will help you estimate how much water you should drink each day. Try this hydration calculator from CamelBak to help you determine your water intake needs. Also, the “8×8” rule (eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day) isn’t supported by hard evidence, but it’s easy to remember and is a good start towards determining how much water your body needs!
If running has you in a rut or your gym has you yearning for some new scenery, then it’s time for a change of pace. Celebs are the ultimate gym bunnies to look to for inspo on what’s new and different in the fitness world, because seriously, who has the time to work out more than the likes of Madonna? Beat boredom and seek out some less traditional methods to challenge your body, try something totally new and, perhaps, have some fun doing it. If you’re after a healthy bod complete with a booty like J Lo, chiseled abs like Beyoncé and lean limbs like Jennifer Aniston, then you’ve got to try these celeb workouts that are totally worth the burn.
1. Cardio Barre: How does all of this sound to you: chiseled abs, defined arms and a booty to match? Yes, please! Take cue from Dakota Fanning, who feels that Cardio Barre makes exercising all the more fun because you get to feel like a ballerina at the same time. (via Cardio Barre and Jamie McCarthy/Getty)
2. SoulCycle: Talk about a workout — this total body fitness program is sure to get you sweaty and whipped into shape in no time. Katie Holmes is an avid fan, and for good reason. And don’t worry if you feel like your soul is literally getting crushed, because the motivational coaching you get from SoulCycle will keep you on your toes and on target with your fitness goals. (via SoulCycle and Bryan Bedder/Getty)
3. Surfset Fitness: Surf’s up with this new workout that actually mimics riding the waves — without the ocean. The workout designed by Surfset Fitness is touted by Madonna’s personal trainer, Nicole Winhoffer, as an all around, full body workout that can be adjusted for all fitness levels. If you’re after stellar abs along with a serious boost in balance, strength and endurance, you’ve got to get on board. (via Surfset Los Angeles and Jason Merritt/Getty)
4. Aerial Silks: This workout focuses on flying high while defining, strengthening and sculpting your arms, legs, abs and booty. Kim Kardashian is a fan of this fun, efficient and need we say uplifting workout. (via Aerial Physique and Jonathan Liebson/Getty)
5. AntiGravity Yoga: Take your workout off the ground and check out one of Gwyneth Paltrow’s tried and true fitness methods, AntiGravity Yoga. She explains that it’s a gentler approach to aerials where one can practice all of the yoga moves without needing arms of steel. Get it girls. (via AntiGravity Fitness and Rachel Murray/Getty)
6. Shockwave: Get prepared for a workout that is, quite literally, shocking. We’re talking circuits combined with Indo-Row machines, body bars and kettle bells to carve out the best possible you. Just check out Cameron Diaz — she worked hard to chisel those abs, and Shockwave is one of her fitness faves. (via Blaze Fitness Studio and Theo Wargo/Getty)
7. SLT: They say if cardio, strength training and Pilates had a baby it would be SLT: Strengthen. Lengthen. Tone. Don’t be turned off by the Megaformer — a machine outfitted with handles, straps and pulls — ’cause it’s there to help you get your sweat on while strengthening and lengthening those muscles. Look to Sofía Vergara; she does SLT to maintain her sleek physique along with eating clean by avoiding processed food. (via The Epoch Times and Robert E. Rodriguez/Getty)
8. Ballet Beautiful: Lusting after a sleek but strong ballerina body? Well, you’ve got to work hard to get it, but professional ballerina Mary Helen Bowers has created the perfect method for people like you and Natalie Portman to work your way to ballerina fit. (via You Beauty and Andreas Rentz/Getty)
9. The Tracy Anderson Method: Work it girl! Make like J.Lo and drink the Tracy Anderson Kool-Aid, because it’s a step in the right direction toward transforming your body inside and out. Choose a program that’s right for you, and fear not: If there isn’t a studio near you, you can train with Tracy right from your living room via the live stream video subscription service. (via Tracy Anderson and Kevin Winter/Getty)
10. Doonya: Dance away the inches with this vibrant, Bollywood-inspired workout. If you can’t get to a class, don’t sweat it; you can get Doonya’d right at home or on the go. Need a little inspo before you get down with Doonya? Check out Kelly Ripa dancing with Doonya for the first time on live TV. (via Doonya and Stephen Lovekin/Getty)
11. DailyHIIT: Prepare to get your butt kicked with this high intensity interval workout (HIIT) that is awesome because, a) not only do you get results like Beyoncé but b) you can do it all from your very own living room. (via Body Rock and Buda Mendes/Getty)
12. Da Vinci Bodyboard: Brought to fitness fanatics by the pioneer of Pilates, Floery Mahoney, the Da Vinci Bodyboard may look menacing, but it’s a powerhouse of resistance training, muscle-toning and strength-building goodness. Miranda Kerr swears by Pilates and suggests incorporating it into your fitness schedule at least two times per week. It’s easy when you’ve got everything you need right at home with the Da Vinci Bodyboard. (via Da Vinci Bodyboard and Neilson Barnard/Getty)
Okay gym rats, let us know if you’ve tried any of these celeb-inspired workouts before. If so, comment below if it was worth the burn!
There’s nothing worse than feeling bloated and uncomfortable amiright!? It’s often the cause of what we are eating and drinking along with lack of sleep. To get back on track and beat the dreaded bloat I’ve got just the trick!
My yoga teacher bid Namaste and shared this recipe at the end of practice she said, “CCF. This is all you need to remember: 1 Tablespoon Fennel, 1 Tablespoon Coriander and 1 Tablespoon Cumin.”
WHAT IS IT?
It’s a tea with SUPERPOWERS!
CCF stands for the three herbs in the tea: Cumin, Coriander, and Fennel, which are common Indian culinary herbs that many people will already have in their kitchen spice rack.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
Drinking CCF tea will…
-Bring your body and mind into balance of your natural state.
-Helps aid the digestive system and support the absorption of nutrients in your body.
-Relieve indigestion (and prevents it from happening in the first place)
-Decrease gas and bloating after eating, and gently kindles one’s overall digestive fire, so digestive capacity is improved over the long run.
-Gently cleanses from within flushing your body from toxins
HOW DO YOU MAKE IT?
-1 Tablespoon whole fennel seeds
-1 Tablespoon whole coriander seeds
-1 Tablespoon cumin seeds
-6 cups water
Combine the seeds and water in a pot, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil on the stove top. Turn to low, and very gently simmer for 20 minutes, keeping the pot covered. After 20 minutes, remove from heat, and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Strain the herbs, and drink warm or hot before or after meals. This tea can also be sipped throughout the day to keep your digestive system ‘enkindled’, and happily churning along.
I don’t believe in dieting, but I do believe in a healthy diet. So, what’s the difference you ask!? Dieting is a temporary thing, it’s something you will eventually go off. Diet is something you are able to sustain every day of your life.
How do you know what type of diet is for you? Truth is, there is SO MUCH information out there, the rules the promises the secrets to success it’s enough to make your head spin! You know what? I hate to break it to you but there really is no one-size-fits-all key to success. You have to focus on YOU and adopt a way of eating for your life. From paleo to gluten-free, clean-eating, low-carb, no-carb, sugar-free and countless others, forget about it! Don’t be preoccupied with rules because then you tend to not trust yourself. Going on a diet makes eating stressful and it trains you to believe that you can’t do it on your own. You need to learn a way to eat that doesn’t control you.
If you can’t go more than a couple of weeks on the regimen you select then don’t do it, because you’re just going to end up making yourself feel bad! Eating cabbage soup every day until the day you die is not realistic, it’s temporary, it’s depressing and it’s something you will eventually go off. Get this, 98% of people who go off a diet gain the weight back again which proves: Diet can not be approached short-term, it has to be for life! So, unless you are able to sustain your diet every day for the rest of your life, then you are setting yourself up for failure. Promise to never go on a diet that you won’t be able to do for the rest of your life, mmmkay!
Learning what your body needs and how much it needs is going to take consistency, dedication, hard work and some trial and error. You won’t get results over night… HELLO! You are making a lifestyle change here, but I promise, by making small changes each day you will slowly gain momentum toward your end goals.
It’s true when they say abs are made in the kitchen! Most of your body transformation will occur from what you eat. Physical activity is a strong part of that, but you’ll see the GREATEST change in your body when you change what you’re putting in your mouth. This doesn’t mean that exercise isn’t important, in fact, it will do nothing but make your life better. I’ll let you in on another secret: Exercise is not just for the physical benefits but more importantly, the mental benefits and what it does to your mind-set. Once you get to that point in exercise, where you do it for yourself, not your weight you will find clarity, make healthier choices, feel happier and your results will be the proof.
So, how does one start developing their lifestyle of healthy eating? You can follow someone else but only if it sounds interesting, you look forward to it or you could live like that, then give it a try! I needed a total reset with my eating and exercise regime. I knew what foods were healthy and that I tended to overeat certain foods that didn’t make me feel great, what I needed was a reboot. I chose to use the 21 Day Fix Extreme to reset myself because it actually taught me how to HABITUALLY make healthy meals and fit workouts into my busy lifestyle. I was excited about it, I didn’t feel deprived, there were no weird rules, no counting of calories or eating the same darn thing everyday! Most importantly I learned the right portion sizes for me, I had totally been overeating before!
Slowly over a 3 week period I was consistently working out every day, eating a healthy and balanced diet that didn’t leave me hungry, deprived or depressed and I was looking and feeling AWESOME! Science doesn’t lie, they say it takes 3 weeks to develop a habit!
What I wish I had when I started my lifestyle journey was Autumn Calabrese’s (the creator of 21 Day Fix) new cookbook, Fixate! I have to share just how amazing this cookbook is! It’s filled with recipes catered and geared towards your healthy eating goals! Imagine someone laying it all out for you… no counting, no color-coding just delicious, easy to prepare recipes for everyone! Whether your vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or like me and eat a little of everything there are healthy recipes and ideas for every meal of the day!
Cover to cover you’ll find 101 recipes that are easy to follow, not gourmet-hours-in-the-kitchen instructions. All the container equivalents are listed (for those who follow the 21 Day Fix) and the nutritional elements listed as well. You’ll also get Autumn’s tips, even for organizing your pantry and grocery shopping.
Inside Fixate you’ll find a section for every possible meal you can imagine: simple breakfasts, on-the-go lunches, sit down dinners, soups, salads, as well as healthy snacks like kale chips and protein bars.
Autumn insisted that all the “on-the-go” lunch recipes be easy and fast for working moms. “I based all of the on-the-go lunches off leftovers from dinner and even breakfast and turned them into delicious, easy-to-make lunch recipes. I also included a few of my favorite Shakeology recipes—even some Fix-approved skinny cocktails.”
And then there’s the desserts. I have a big sweet tooth and especially love the brownies (made with chick peas), peanut butter cookies and cake recipes, and the desserts are all gluten-free so absolutely everyone can enjoy them.
“This book is for everybody,” says Autumn. “You don’t have to be graduates of 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix Extreme. You also don’t have to be a chef or great in the kitchen. It’s for anyone who wants to make healthier versions of the foods they love.”
“Everyone will use the book differently. For some, it will become their “go-to” cookbook they use every single day. Others may use it when they’re going to a special event like a barbecue or party.”
And in addition to all the amazing recipes, Autumn has also included a detailed checklist for her absolute must-have kitchen and pantry staples, as well as the basic utensils and tools that every cook needs.
Autumn reached into her family history for inspiration. “My family was in the restaurant business, so I basically grew up in the kitchen,” she explains. “I was able to take my family’s recipes and make them healthier.”
“We took our time, tested the recipes and I love every single one of them,” she says with pride. “It’s not fancy cooking; there’s a variety of everyday go-to recipes and special recipes for special occasions.”
How many recipes are in the book, you ask? Try 101. Some were creations of a chef very close to Autumn’s heart: her brother. “That makes it even more sentimental for me,” she says.
Each of the recipes comes complete with detailed instructions, mouthwatering photos, nutritional information and container equivalents. What’s more, Autumn has added icons to each recipe that will let readers know if they are paleo, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian.
I hope that by sharing what has worked for me will inspired you to begin your journey of healthy eating and being the best possible you! Good luck and feel free to comment with successes, failures, tips and motivation!!!
Oh yeah, if you want a copy of Fixate, it’s AVAILABLE NOW!
Here is how to order this book!!!
Select –> Shop –> Fitness Program –> The 21 Day Fix –> FIXATE!
If you are interested in my support as your Beachbody Coach and would like to join me in a dialed in 21 Day focused challenge group email firstname.lastname@example.org!
When it comes to lifestyle changes like healthy eating it’s important to remember this: If you don’t like it don’t eat it.
A common mistake people make is trying to eat foods that they don’t really like and if you do that, you are setting yourself up for failure. Think of it this way, if you don’t like kale and you packed a big ‘ole kale salad for lunch, chances are you’re not going to enjoy it and you’ll easily gravitate towards the office donuts instead!
So, don’t do that!
Plan ahead, keep some go-to recipes in your arsenal and healthy eating will become a no-brainer!
(Click here to view or print)
Baked Oatmeal Cup (Makes 12) Freeze leftovers for the next week
Raw Zucchini Sushi Rolls
Ranch-Roasted Chickpea Salad Bowl: These salads bowls are packed with vegetables and ranch-roasted chickpeas!
Roasted Grape, Goat Cheese + Honey Stuffed Sweet Potato
Salad Stuffed Avocado
Edamame-Chickpea Power Salad with Avocado-Lime Dressing
If you’re interested in learning healthier habits without restricting yourself to the point of “HANGRY,” this is the meal plan for you! I find that when I am too strict with my diet I end up eating my weight back!
This meal plan is for the active, busy and fitness conscious woman, looking to maintain a healthy bod, stay sane and feel energized. It’s an approachable week of healthy meals that shouldn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed!
Sweet Potato Tostadas
Kale and Coconut Chicken Soup (Serve with 1 Cup Steamed Rice or Quinoa)
Loaded Sweet Potatoes
Chicken Salad Filled Avocado
Baked Chicken Fajitas
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
Kale Apple and Feta Salad
Thai Baked Salmon
Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Sweet Potatoes
So, you want to eat healthy and meal plan like a pro?
Don’t fail before you even begin! Spending time each week searching for recipes, making list after list of ingredients and groceries, getting to the store and prepping for the week ahead is about as exhausting as writing this run-on sentence… BUT it’s worth it.
Here is why: Anything you begin, a new job, a new family, a fitness goal etc. does not come easy, you struggle every day with hitting sales goals, waking up in the middle of the night with a hungry baby, working out once a day, saying no to office donuts… You get the picture, life is tough but, once you get your groove and understand how to NOT overcomplicate the process, all of that hard work begins to pay off. Soon you’ll find yourself meal planning and eating clean without even thinking about it.
Consistency is key, give anything about 21 days (this is the magic number that science has come up with) and you’ll form a habit. This means doing that one thing EVERY DAY for 21 days, no cheats, no skips and no tomorrows. Meal plan every day for 21 days and you’ll become a pro!
1. Get Inspired, Gather Recipes: Browse blogs and websites for ANYTHING that looks delicious and sticks to your clean eating goals. Store these recipes and don’t waste time or complicate things. I use Pinterest to store my faves because it’s visual and fast. Another option is Evernote For Food a quick way to grab recipes from the web on any device and create a cookbook, grocery list and meal plan. I’m also known for marking up cookbooks with sticky notes. Hey! whatever works.
2. Keep a Food Diary: Overwhelmed with the task of creating delicious, healthy and easy-to-execute meals for your household every day? You may want to start keeping a food diary. This habit can take away the headache of meal planning at the last minute. By recording meals that were definitely keepers you will have a go-to reference of stand-by meals that will make grocery shopping and meal planning much easier.
3. Start a Calendar: You’ve got to write it down. Choose a method that works for you, whether that be a chalkboard on the fridge, a journal, a Google Calendar or an Excel spreadsheet (like mine in the photo above.) Start filling in daily menus for the week with your clipped recipes or fave stand-by’s from your food diary.
4. Choose a Shopping Day and Create a List: You have your menus organized in your calendar now it’s time to really get organized. The goal of a grocery list is to ensure that you buy only what you need and it gets you in and out of the store quickly. Have your recipes nearby, take inventory of what you have in the cupboard and fridge and maintain a master list of things you buy each week (yogurt, eggs, milk…) then add to your master list the items you need from your recipes. Next, organize your list by grocery store department to save time like this:
- Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta
- Milk, Yogurt and Cheese
- Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs and Nuts
- Fats, Oils and Sweets
- Staples, Condiments and Miscellaneous Foods (spices, baking powder, etc.)
- Health and Beauty Products
- Household Items (laundry soap, light bulbs, etc.)
5. Food Prep: Think of this as an extension of grocery shopping. As soon as you return from the grocery store and begin unloading your bags, food prep begins. Wash and dry lettuce. Chop onions. Roast vegetables. Soak beans for tacos. Shred zucchini for zoodles. Stack up glass containers of prepped ingredients in the refrigerator and bask in your own awesome preparedness.
There you have it. Now go, get organized and become the meal planning warrior that you were meant to be!
Brown Bag It! 18 Healthy Lunches | Brit + Co. by Michelle Swift
I’ve just received my very first mail-order food product—a box of snacks! I stumbled upon Nature Box via the interwebs a bit ago and decided to give it a whirl. Once a month Nature Box will send you a box of minimally processed and nutritionist approved snacks—no high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors
Nature Box appears to be a convenient way to try new things, enjoy a surprise (call me old-fashioned but I love receiving paper mail) and make all your co-workers jealous of your awesome stash of snacks! I bought into Nature Box thinking it would be a great way to healthfully snack at work. Ideally I can stash a bag of snacks in my desk to last the week ensuring that all 5 assortments last the month or more.
I’m interested to see if Nature Box will work for me, I foresee myself eating the entire bag of snacks in one sitting as opposed to a single serving—but I’m an optimist so we’ll see how it goes!
My first monthly shipment included:
Orange Crush Granola
Lone Star Snack Mix
Cranberry Almond Bites
Wild Berry Bunch
The Nature Box came with a nifty card explaining each of the snacks, recommendations, and a recipe utilizing one of the snacks. Each recyclable package lists the ingredients and nutritional information. Other good things include free shipping, cancel/pause monthly membership at anytime, and soon to be personal, customization of snacks received in your Nature Box. I have to make mention of the cute packaging, did you catch the shiny green foil!
The weather has been fickle, 50’s and thunderstorms on Monday and below 30° with snow today! The cold, the wet and the sudden change in temps may leave you sniffley, headachey or simply feeling blek.
Start your day with this FIRE-Y tea to help kick the common cold out of your system. It is said that ingesting spicy herbs warms the body, causing it to perspire, which could be beneficial in fighting of the first signs of a cold. So nip the maladies of chills, runny nose or fever in the bud with the following:
SRIRACHA, LEMON, GINGER + HOT WATER
Yes, common kitchen ingredients that naturally stimulate and strengthen the body.
I don’t know about you but when I’m sick, especially with a sore throat, I crave spice. Well, wouldn’t you know, capsicum aka cayenne or chili pepper is a stellar anti-viral—fighting colds, aches and pains with its HOT herbaceaus power!
A classic immunity tonic that provides relief of fever, sinus congestion, sore throat and stomach ache. It’s the oils in ginger we should credit for its healing prowess and because they are so strong a little goes a long way.
Not only will lemon juice enhance the taste of this fire-y concoction it also helps in speeding up the healing process. Just 1 lemon contains over 80% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is another immune booster and will help shorten the duration of the pesky cold.
WHAT TO DO:
In a pot, over medium heat, boil water (enough for 1 mug of tea) and add a generous squeeze of Sriracha (you may also use a generous shake of powdered cayenne or a fresh cayenne pepper, slice it in half, toss it in the pot of water to steep.) Slice a 1-inch piece of ginger and add that to the pot. Let steep for 5-10 minutes then strain and pour into a large mug. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the tea and drink.