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Switch Up Your Workouts

Hey y’all, so I know you’re still going strong on those New Years resolutions and keeping up with those workouts, so now’s the perfect time to remind you to switch up your workouts for this Wellness Wednesday.

We all know how important it is to keep up with your cardio and it’s also equally important to switch up your workouts to make sure they stay effective. I don’t mean that you have to completely change what you’re doing, because that’s not it at all, but you should mix things up a bit. What many people don’t realize is that if they continue to do the same workout every day, it won’t work the same way that it did a few weeks ago. You need to change it up a bit whether that be trying a new workout to get you out of a rut or just adding to your current workouts. It also doesn’t have to be a permanent change, but if you’re pretty regularly doing cardio and then arms, try adding in a new workout for your arms, you can find several on Pinterest. This will help shake up your workout and get you working a different part of your muscles too. The same thing goes for cardio, if you find that you’ve suddenly hit a rut in what you’re doing, change it up. If you’re on a treadmill, adjust the elevation of your workout, or try going faster and see if you’re finding that to be challenging for you. These changes can be simple tweaks that can make a huge difference.

If you find you’re just growing bored with your current workout or it really doesn’t seem to be working for you, don’t be afraid to try something new! I have tried so many different workout classes and exercises from Zumba to kickboxing to running outside to treadmills and ellipticals, and not all of them worked for me, and that’s ok. I tried it, if I loved it, I kept coming back and if I hated it, I tried something else! Even if everyone raves about it, it’s ok if you don’t enjoy that type of workout. My friend and I tried pilates once, and neither of us got what the big deal was. What works for some doesn’t work for others.

Switch up your workout every now and then and see what a difference it makes!

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Go Through Your Jackets

Now is the perfect time to go through your jackets and see if any are too small or too large, and donate them. Especially now when temperatures are dropping, jackets are in need, so if you have any you don’t wear or need anymore, donate them to your local shelter or a store that is doing a jacket drive.

XO Rice Krispies

Hey y’all so that special time of year is coming and for all of you who are excited for Cupid and all the love and romance he brings, I have a recipe you’ll love. It’s super easy and super cute, making it perfect for Galentine’s Day, a romantic date night, or preparing a snack for the kids’ school. XO Rice Krispies are a delicious and fun treat anyone will love.

You’ll Need:

Pink and/or red food coloring

1 box Rice Krispies cereal

1 bag of marshmallows

XO cookie cutters (Not necessary, you can form these by hand)

How To:

  1. In a medium sprayed or buttered sauce pan, melt the marshmallows over low-medium heat until fully melted.
  2. Add in the box of cereal.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Spread out into a wax-paper lined pan.
  5. Use cookie cutters or your hands to create XO shapes.
  6. Enjoy!

Meatless Mondays

Hey y’all! How are your resolutions going so far? We’re only about two weeks in, so hopefully everyone is still going strong. One of my resolutions was to try to eat more veggies and less meat this year. Now, I know the importance of eating meat and I will never fully cut it out of my lifestyle because A) I love a good steak and B) eating meat has many health benefits that I want for my body. However, I can also definitely try to eat a little bit less because that’s also good for my body and good for the environment. So I’m going to try to work harder on incorporating meatless Mondays, as well as only have meat in one meal a day.

Meatless Mondays

So meatless Mondays is essentially no meat on Monday, which for someone who is very used to recipes that use meat, can be a bit difficult. I’m still trying to find healthy lunch and dinner options that are vegetarian, as well as don’t only consist of pasta. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love pasta, but I also am trying to limit that to once a week, so I can’t have it for lunch and dinner. Luckily, Pinterest is a great resource for me, and I also found these frozen black bean burgers that are delicious, and not super high in sodium, which means I can enjoy them without worrying too much about the preservatives factor.

Meatless Lunches

Here is another place where I struggle. So I can enjoy a salad just as much as the next person, but the problem is that I’ll be starving in an hour or two, and that was when the salad had chicken on it! When it’s just a plain salad, that simply doesn’t cut it for me, and I know several others who would agree with me. Once again, I’m having to get a bit more creative with things, but luckily that can also be easily done. Make yourself a peanut butter sandwich to go along with the salad or make up a quinoa and vegetable power bowl. Those are both good sources of protein and don’t contain any meat. Hummus and vegetables and pita bread is another great choice. Again, if this is something you’re considering doing, use your resources, Pinterest never fails with a recipe for something.

At the very least, if you find that you can’t go without any kind of meat on Mondays, go with a lean white meat and try to lower your intake of red meat. I get it, steak is delicious, again I love it, but I also rarely have one because it really isn’t the healthiest option out there. But turkey, chicken, those lean white meats, those are great options to help your heart stay healthy while still getting your meat fix.

If anyone has some vegetarian recipes they’d like to share, please post them in the comments! I’m always looking for new recipes to try 🙂

Have an Evening Routine

Hey y’all, so there are some nights when it seems like there is just too much to be done and too little time to do it…at least, that’s how I feel sometimes. You know what really helps me to get things done and stay focused? Having an evening routine. I know, I know, but trust me on this, it really does help. The past few weeks I’ve been coming home from work and first thing I do is change and get my workout in, and I haven’t missed a day, and that was during the crazy holiday times too! I then have a bit of energy so I can get some chores done, make dinner, etc. It’s all because I have an evening routine and that really helps me to streamline my night.

Don’t Bottle It All Up

We all know what happens when we take a jar or a bottle or even anything and we keep shoving things down in it, eventually it will all come exploding out. The same thing happens for people, when you keep pushing down anger or sadness or any kind of emotion like that, it’ll come out eventually. It may be something big that causes the eruption of emotions and it may be something quite small. No matter what the cause is, it’s important to not bottle it all up.

Psychologically speaking, bottling up or stuffing down our emotions isn’t healthy. There’s a reason therapy is so beneficial, oftentimes because people just need to speak about their emotions and get them out of their heads and bodies and into the world. Not to mention, communication with your loved ones is super important, and it’s usually them that cause these feelings to erupt at certain times.

There can be a lot of things that we may bottle up. We may hide our sadness at something and keep it hidden and whenever more is added, we just shove it down deep and pretend it’s not there. That’s effective, I suppose, for a little while, but at some point, that sadness is going to come up, and it’s going to cause you to break down crying whether at a broken nail or a commercial or something else. The same goes for anger. If you’re angry at someone about something they did, you can try to bottle it up, but if the behavior continues, you’ll find yourself exploding on them, and you may wind up saying things that you won’t be able to take back.

Luckily, there’s a simple cure to this problem. Don’t bottle it up. When someone says or does something that upsets you, you’re allowed to share that they did so. It’s not a bad thing to let someone know if they’re taking advantage of you or at least if that’s how they’re making you feel. One thing I’d definitely suggest is saying something along the lines of, “this makes me feel this way” because sometimes people don’t realize how their actions or words can make you feel. They may not realize that putting you in a certain situation makes you feel very uncomfortable and then that discomfort turns to anger towards them. Basically, you may take something as an attack or as them being inconsiderate, but if they’re unaware it’s an issue, they won’t be able to stop the behavior.

The only way to get these emotions out and work through them is by talking about them. You don’t have to have a therapist to do this either, call up a friend, grab a cup of coffee and just talk. And have those uncomfortable conversations. It may not be pleasant to bring this up to someone, but it’s necessary for your mental wellbeing.

Go Out of Your Way to Watch Out for Others

How many times have we heard to watch out for our fellow humans, but how many times do we actually do it? And no, while watching out to not walk into someone is important, that’s not quite what I mean for this post. Go out of your way to watch out for others in other impactful ways. If you see your neighbor struggling with a bunch of heavy boxes or bags, run up and offer to help or even grab their door for them. If you see something that doesn’t seem right at your neighbor’s house, send them a text and double check it. You won’t bother someone by helping them when they need it nor will it ever be a bad thing to go out of your way to watch out for others. We’re all in this together.

Cranberry Apple Spiced Sangria

You can find this original recipe here: https://www.bangtutor.me/2019/09/cranberry-apple-cider-sangria-drinks.html and I think this is just perfect for these cooler winter months.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 bottle of red wine, I prefer a Cab, but a red blend would work nicely as well
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup cranberry juice (get the 100% juice, not the concentrate version)
  • 1/2 cup Triple Sec
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup cranberries (I use fresh since they’re so easy to find right now)
  • sparkling water
  • 1 cup diced apple cubes
  • cinnamon sticks for presentation

To Prepare:

Mix everything except the cranberries, apple cubes, sparkling water, and cinnamon sticks in a large pitcher.

Add cranberries and apple cubes, and ice if you desire. Top with sparkling water to fill the glasses.

Add your cinnamon stick for presentation.

 

 

2020 Resolutions

Happy New Year y’all! We are now in a brand new decade, and with that comes brand new resolutions. I know so many people don’t believe in making resolutions because they won’t follow through with them, but I personally am not one of those people. I love resolutions, partly because I love lists to check things off of, and this is just a big list for the year, and I’m pretty good at keeping up with them. So here goes, my 2020 resolutions.

  1. Continue to achieve my fitness goals. I have been exceedingly focused and committed to working out on a daily basis and I plan on continuing that as well as my healthy eating lifestyle changes. I’m a big believer in moderation, so I have my healthy foods as well as my occasional junk food. It keeps my body healthy and balanced, and I don’t have to worry about bingeing on junk food.
  2. Save money. Ohh finances, we love them and we hate them. One of my goals is to save more money this year. I did ok last year, but I want to do even better this year. Building up a savings account is so important, especially for unexpected expenses. So this year, starting even earlier than today, I’m focused on cutting my spending and saving more. Spending will be focused only on things I need. No clothes shopping unless I truly truly need, less eating out (which I rarely do anyway), I let my Disney annual pass go, and I’m selling different designer clothing I don’t wear or use anymore.
  3. Help more. Every year I organize a toy donation at my work for the holidays, and I also feed a stray cat at our office, but this year I want to do more. I want to help others more than just that, and one way I can do that is by locating more volunteer opportunities in my area. I’m already planning a beach clean-up, as well as working with my sorority alumnae chapter during their service days, not to mention random acts of kindness if the opportunities present themselves. There are so many ways to get out there and help others, and I can’t wait to do so.
  4. See friends more. I have several long distance friends in other states, and while we try hard to see each other, I plan on making more of an effort to not only stay in touch, but to get together with them at least once a year.
  5. Read more books. This year, I want to read one book every two weeks. I love reading and have several authors I like with new releases coming out this year, so I want to make more time for reading. I probably came close to reading a book a month last year, and that simply isn’t enough for me. And in the spirit of saving money, I’ll be using my local library to help me achieve this goal, that way I can read new things, without having to spend money purchasing all the books, though some will be downloaded to my Kindle so I can enjoy them over and over again.
  6. Treat myself to a monthly spa day. If you read my blog regularly, then you know how important it is to take care of your stressors, and for me one great way to help with that is a monthly massage. I want to continue this tradition I have into the new year, and I also want to add to it. Now, I don’t mean necessarily paying for a facial, mani/pedi, etc., but I certainly do mean coming home after the massage, pouring a glass of wine, putting on a face mask, and painting my nails myself. This is a great way to unwind and relax, and I can even add reading a good book to it to make it a perfect day.
  7. Get my yearly check-ups. That’s right guys, everyone should have this on their list of resolutions. Go see your GP, ladies see your gynecologist, everyone go see a dermatologist for a skin exam, and anything else you need to do based on your age or health status. Take control of your health this year and make sure if there’s anything going on with your body that you’re aware of it.
  8. Take a new class. I haven’t decided what kind of class I’ll be taking, but with so many options out there, I know I’ll find one that’s perfect for me whether it’s a fitness class or maybe photography. I’m going to find something that interests me and explore something new. A wine tasting class could always be fun.. 😉
  9. Let things go. I’m one of those people who always wants the best out of myself and others, and sometimes that just doesn’t happen. This year I’m going to truly focus on letting those things go when expectations aren’t met. It’s not worth the stress I put on myself, especially since I cannot control how others act in a situation. I can only trust that God is in control, and everything will work out how it’s supposed to, even if I don’t have a say in it.
  10. Spend less time on my phone. I am generally pretty good about not looking at my phone when I’m with friends and family or am out at an event, but I’m only human and do find myself playing on my phone when I shouldn’t be. This year I’m going to make an effort to spend less time on my phone and more time present with what’s going on around me, whether that’s watching tv or at a concert. I mean, let’s face it, most people don’t look at your slightly blurry concert pictures anyway lol.

These are just a few of my resolutions for this year, and I look forward to everything 2020 can bring me. What are some of your resolutions? I’d love to hear them, and I hope you’ll enjoy following through on them for the entire year!

Don’t Join a Gym if You Won’t Go

New Years is a time of the year when gym memberships go up. Everyone is posting about “New Year, new me” and they’re determined to get themselves in shape. They go out, they sign up for a gym nearby that has some New Year membership deal, and then they feel they are good to go. Here’s the problem with that. In a few months, many of those who signed up will be avoiding the gym because it’s just not the right fitness option for them. So here’s my advice: don’t join a gym if you won’t go.

It sounds harsher than I mean for it to sound. Gyms are fantastic, they have cardio equipment, weight machines, free weights, and some even have massage chairs and other amenities that can be taken advantage of. However, for many, that’s just not the right option for them to complete their fitness goals. If you dread getting up and going to the gym and constantly have an excuse not to, then quite simply don’t go. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up on your health goals completely, quite the opposite. It just means your money may be better spent elsewhere.

While most people only think about joining a gym when they are looking at ways to improve their fitness goals, there are actually a bunch of different ways you can meet your health and fitness needs, without ever stepping foot into a gym.

  • Join a sports group. There are many groups you can find on Meetup or even on local bulletin boards where people meet up to play sports. Maybe you’ve always wanted to play tennis or are really interested in getting back on the basketball court after your glory days in high school. Joining a gym won’t help you with that, but joining a group or a league will help you meet new people, and perfect your playing skills.
  • Find a fitness class. There are a few gyms that offer fitness classes with their other equipment, but for the most part fitness classes are separate, so if you’re really looking more for the fitness class rather than the gym equipment, find a fitness class that interests you. My best friend is obsessed with kickboxing, and she goes daily. I personally love to dance, so dance cardio classes are super fun for me to get a workout in without even recognizing that I’m working out. There are so many different classes out there, it’s just a matter of finding one that interests you so you’ll actually want to go.
  • Find a walking group. You don’t need to pay for equipment that you won’t use when you have the great outdoors at your fingertips. The past few months, we’ve had several neighbors and their dogs start joining us on our walks around the neighborhood, so we’re getting some cardio and exercise in while also having some time to socialize with those that live near us.
  • Ride your bicycle. If you have a bike sitting in your garage that you keep meaning to take out, use it as your cardio! You’ll get some fresh air, and if you really enjoying riding your bike, this adventure won’t feel like exercise, unlike going to a gym.

There are other options out there as well, it’s just a matter of finding what interests you. The main point here is that you shouldn’t sign up for a gym because everyone else is, especially if it isn’t something that interests you. Exercise can be fun, if you find the right option for your personality. If you really love the community and workout you get from a gym, then keep going! Everyone is different and there is no one size fits all workout option.

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