Another year, another opportunity to regain control of our lives. Wipe the slate clean. Forget the past and forge our way to an intentional, well thought out future. Slow down. Enjoy what matters. Find our “WHY?” and do activities that make sense and create joy in our lives.
Now, before you scratch your head at my list, I need to set the record straight. In the past, I probably would have given you a tight list of tips that only pointed you towards exercise and nutrition. But it’s a disservice to you to lead you astray this year. Your health is much, much more than that. So, this year I need you to look at the bigger picture. There’s so much that impresses us to think, move, act, choose, sway. BE. And that’s exactly why I believe we need to consider all these influential factors. Instead of focusing on fitness solely (while it’s obviously important to thrive and function) let’s take 2017 to the next level. What, you may ask? WELLNESS--all encompassing, balanced and realistic. A more holistic approach to health. Healthy in mind, body and spirit-- not just body.
10 Tips to Achieve Wellness
1. Pray upon Rising
Before your feet hit the ground, connect with the man upstairs. A simple conversation to express your thanksgiving, concerns and ask for guidance in the day ahead. This simple act is the ticket to setting the tone for your day. Caffeinate your day by emotionally connecting with your creator and your purpose. It’s better than a shot of espresso!
2. Live Intentionally
Do things that have meaning to you. Ask yourself, is this taking me closer to my goal or away from my goal? Make things count. Notice patterns of behavior that are draining your energy and time and minimize or kick those habits to the curb.
3. Schedule Your Physical Activity
If it’s not in your calendar, it won’t happen. Choose a time of day that compliments you. If you know you're most productive and energetic in the morning, do it in the morning. Put it in your calendar just like you would a dentist appointment. Strive for 3-5 days per week, choosing a combination of weight training, core and cardio. (Follow me on Insta & FB for ideas!)
4. Learn to Say “No”
Know it’s A-OK to say "no". Does that mean you don’t care? No. Should you feel guilty? No! (See how I did that? Ha!) It just means that we’re choosing to live intentionally. Do what empowers you to be a better person and live a happier life. Saying yes to everything will eventually create unwanted stress. And ain’t nobody got time for that! But in all seriousness, think of this--- when you say no, you’re giving someone else who desires an opportunity to say yes.
5. Volunteer with No Strings Attached
Give back. Service others. Try to volunteer on a monthly or quarterly basis. The act of giving brings personal joy and a sense of purpose. Check out www.volunteermatch.org for ideas and opportunities.
6. Read 10 Pages of a Book Daily
Will 10 pages a day make you smarter? Yes! And when you add that up over the course of 365 days, that’s 3,650 pages. Gah, that’s a lot of books! Just think how much smarter we’ll be come December, 2017! Choose books that will help you grow personally and professionally like self-help, profession specific, spiritual improvement, motivational, etc. Tip: get it in while sipping your morning coffee or place the book on your nightstand as a reminder to read before you get your shut-eye. Keep a notepad close by to make notes or highlight as you read if you’re reading from a downloaded source. When you finish a book, go back and glance over your highlighted notes.
7. Listen to Podcasts while Driving
I’m on an intentional living roll! Successful people use their time wisely. How long is your drive to work? Use it to plug in to things that are intellectually stimulating. There are so many choices and they’re inventoried by category; check out the top rated lists too. Lots of good stuff out there. But you’re a music lover so giving up your karaoke time is painful. Same here. I love great music, but I've created a habit and allow myself to feed my addiction by listening to music while I cook, wash dishes, while in the vehicle with family or friends and while entertaining. 2017 is all about balance.
8. Rest, Stretch & Recover
We are HIIT and CrossFit crazy these days. Don’t get me wrong, doing more in less time is purposeful and can transform our bodies but it's also very taxing. To the point that we’re suffering from injuries and harsh blows to our immune systems. Give yourself a minimum of 1-2 days of pure rest, gentle stretching and recovery each week if you're a HIIT junkie. Read more about HIIT at www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/high-intensity-interval-training.pdf and the importance of rest and recovery at www.stack.com/a/hiit-too-much
9. Meal Swap with a Friend at least 1x per Week
Find someone who lives close by or works with you that you can easily swap with. You don’t want to meal swap with someone that will create stress because you must go out of your way to exchange meals. There are a couple of ways you could approach this. I cook for you on Monday, you cook for me Wednesday or we both cook a meal and swap on the same day so that I technically now have two meals prepped (mine and yours) that we can now eat off for 3-4 days. Make enough for your family and his/hers to have leftovers. Choose someone you can count on and is mindful of cooking like you. Over the weekend, choose a day when the two of you can chit-chat about your menu to ensure it’s something you’d eat. Foods you dislike and all food allergies must be provided. This is critical to making this a successful trade off. Communication is key. Add a third buddy and you have your weekday meals covered! Check out this article at www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/5-steps-successful-dinner-swap for more tips.
10. Donate Unused Items
Any clothing, shoes and home goods you've forgotten about needs to be donated. Decluttering and organizing your home will give you a sense of accomplishment and a fresh start to the new year. Researchers at UCLA say that clutter is linked with mood; particularly self-esteem and depression. So if you're feel a little blue, clean and organize!
Simple, aye? Know you’re worth it. Make things happen in your life this year and watch how you begin inspiring others to not just 'be' but to live intentionally. Make it a year of being physically fit + spiritually fit + mentally fit to find peak wellness in 2017. The stronger you are in all these areas, the happier you will be. Ya know, the things that truly matter :)
Health and Fitness is More than just being Physically Fit
Happy New Year!
Cheers to a Healthier, Happier You!
Ever stress out trying to purchase gifts for your health enthusiast friends and family? Stress no more! I concocted the perfect gift guide for you to thumb through and choose THE PERFECT gift or to at least give you a few ideas to get your "A" game going.
As you scroll through the guide below, ask yourself these questions to help you decide which gift would be a match made in heaven for your friend or family member: (and I took the guess work out of where to find these items-- scroll over photo caption for link)
1. What's my budget? These gifts range from $9.99 (motivational books) to $139.95 (TRX suspension system).
2. What activities does he/she engage in? This will help you narrow it down. If your buddy lives out of his car, hitting the gym before work and tossing his sweaty gym clothes to stew in the hot car, you may opt for a car diffuser!
3. Pry a little- ask questions about what his/her health and fitness goals are. Dig a little deeper by creeping through their social media pages.
Neutral Gifts for Any Fitness Enthusiast for Under $50
Merry Christmas & Cheers to a Happier, Healthier You!
Why do we wait for a New Year to set new goals? Tradition? Social norms? Let's break the mold and write our own personal healthy story.
Health is wealth. True statement. What are you waiting for? Hop on this wagon and get your journey rolling to a better you BEFORE the NEW YEAR begins.
Tips for Success
1. Find an accountability partner- social support is key.
2. Do what you enjoy- if you love the activity, you're more likely to stick to it.
3. Make it a priority- schedule it just like a meeting, lunchtime or doctor's appointment because, let's face it, if it's not 'blocked out' it generally won't happen
4. Try something new- get out of your comfort zone with your accountability partner. Ever wanted to try CrossFit? Do it! Or maybe a spin class? Whatever it is, step out. Most all will allow you a trial class.
5. Journal your progress- your highs and your lows. It's a great way to stay motivated & humble; sit down and read your journal every 3-4 months; it's refreshing at times because small subtle changes are sometimes neglected and go unseen until the bigger picture is revealed over time.
It's not rocket science, you say? No, it's not! It's so simple, it's almost silly to read. The hard part is agreeing, committing and acting on your goal. I challenge you to hop on social media, shoot out a few texts and ask your friends who's ready to join you! Join the health movement.
Cheers to a Happier, Healthier You!
*all photos found on pinterest.com
Beware of What You Wear (and Eat)
You’ve heard the old saying “You are what you eat.” Have you ever thought about this one---“You are what you wear”? I kinda get a chuckle out of people who say they’re living an organic lifestyle, but haven’t really considered what is being placed ON the body. That is, they’re eating organic foods but fail to think about what’s penetrating and being absorbed into his/her skin! Think about all the pollutants you’re scrub-a-dubbin on that awesome organ of yours. Yeah, your skin is your BIGGEST organ. Can you say you’re really taking care of it and everything attached to it? I’ve recently put all my products under a microscope. I’m rethinking their claims of brightening the skin, replenishing and rejuvenating those fine lines and sun spots, brightening those teeth or making that dull drab main so silky smooth. Oh just stop it! I know what you’re thinking…. she’s a damn hippy. Well. Maybe. But when I see cancer and other chronic illness rates climbing, you gotta stop and look around and take it upon yourself to become an educated consumer and make the BEST choices to reduce your risks. Because the bottom line is you are your best advocate and you have the freedom to improve your lifestyle with every choice you make.
If you’re like some people I know, the sentiment is, “we’re gonna die from something, so just live. Eat whatever. Do whatever.” No. That’s an ignorant way to live. God gave you a body--------- a body that should be a temple to serve and to be obedient. To testify, to love, to share. Taking the easy way out and living a life of just doing what makes you happiest is selfish and self-destructive. Of course that mantra is easier to accept when you’re asymptomatic, but when the body starts to fail you, then what? Life is fragile. Life is a gift. Let’s give it the healthiest attention and nurturing we can to serve God the way we’re all meant to. Amen?
I honestly set out to bring awareness to the antiperspirant you may be using but as I dug deeper into the research, I wanted to persuade you to take a close look at anything and everything being placed on your skin that could be making us sick or could potentially lead to chronic illnesses. What’s even scarier is the side effects of using products with harmful chemicals can mimic serious illnesses that may be misdiagnosed and mistreated; and I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to take any medication that I don’t need.
I had a little scare when I found several lumps in my breasts several years ago. It startled me enough to make a serious lifestyle change. I began reading labels and educating myself on toxins in health and beauty products and household cleaning products. There’s dangerous substances in so many products that we may not even be aware of that are making us ill. Or even your pets. The first product I became super interested in finding an alternative for was my antiperspirant. Why? Because the key ingredient that blocks your body from sweating is aluminum. I’m a heavy sweater even when I’m not exercising or exposed to hot temperatures. So I get it. It literally drips down my arms at times. I wore dark colors and sleeveless shirts so the sweat stains weren’t visible. It was sooooooo embarrassing, gross and quite stinky! Nothing worked. I tried the crystal thingy and every other paraben and aluminum free deodorant out there sold by Whole Foods and every other chain store. They were sticky, gummy and by mid-day I smelled like a wet, moldy dog under my pits. Nothing seemed to work until I found this gem.
YES!!!! I finally found a deodorant that works. It’s for real folks. I’ve purchased and shared this brand with family, friends and clients and all who have tried have confirmed its effectiveness. (SCORE!) I found it at our local health food market, but it can easily be purchased on www.amazon.com. Go get yours! My favorite scent is Indian Hemp. And this line carries other an entire selection of beauty products. We use the bar soap as well. Another favorite is this shampoo and conditioner by Shea Moisture www.sheamoisture.com.
Sweating is our bodies natural way of detoxify, so why in the world are we trying to stop a bodily process that is natural? It’s like controlling your menstrual cycle with meds to skip a period---don’t get me started on that one…just think of all the built up trash lining your uterus because you’re manipulating how your body functions. Ewwww. Sorry guys.
Sadly, aluminum is everywhere. It’s one of the most abundant elements in the Earth’s crust and the more we’re exposed, the greater the risk of toxicity, which is highly dangerous, particularly for brain health. The CDC lists the most common products and how we absorb or ingest it on a daily basis. Some are naturally occurring, but much of our exposure is from products we’re using.
Sources of Aluminum:
Quick Facts about Aluminum:
Reduce Your Risk NOW
Listen, I’m not trying to scare you; I want you to value your health and make the best choices to nourish our bodies, which ultimately will improve all areas of our lives. Common knowledge isn’t always common practice and I beg you to start making conscious decisions that empowers you to become the healthiest you. So what can we do right now to reduce our risks? Go back and review the list of products that are contaminated with aluminum and get rid of it all—trash it. Chunk it and say ba-bye to it all. Replace it with safer products. Here’s a few ideas and personal references to get you started:
Krista Bleisath, www.beautycounter.com/kristableisath
Dr. David Williams http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/avoid-aluminum-for-better-brain-health/
Dr. Joseph Mercola, M.D. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx
Mount Sinai Hospital http://www.mountsinai.org/patient-care/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/aluminum-toxicity
National Institute of Health http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21337589
National Institute of Health http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2782734/
Cheers to a Happier, Healthier You!
Why do you do what you do each and every day? What drives you to get out of bed? Who do you feel responsible for? You and you only? Your kids? Your family? Friends? No really, why? Perhaps we need to step away from New Year’s resolutions and dig seriously deep to tap into our ‘WHY’?
Lots of big and little distractions get in the way of our personal why, but as 2016 approaches, let’s refocus. Do you want a simpler life? How many times have you set a New Year’s resolution? Year after year I’m sure. It just seems like the thing to do. The topic for conversation after we get past Christmas. But how long do you actually work on your so called resolution? I bet if we flipped back in history, your success rate was less than remarkable. Your track record may be mocked. I know I can laugh at mine for sure. I set ridiculous and not so ridiculous goals. I’m gung-ho for the first couple of weeks and then suddenly everything fades. What was once on the surface began slipping further and further away as the holiday fun ended and the New Year activities and work began.
Faithfully Fit Fitness
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