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Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Quinoa

In honor of fall being just around the corner, I present to you, a cinnamon apple breakfast quinoa recipe that is sure to delight your tastebuds and keep you feeling full all morning long! This recipe makes enough for two, so if you’re cooking for more, just go ahead and double or triple the recipe.

You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • A dash of honey to taste

How To Prepare:

  • Put quinoa, water, and apples in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir in cinnamon, and serve with a dash of honey!

That’s it, it’s super easy! For drool-worthy pics and to check out the original recipe, go here. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Quinoa

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Witch Hazel for Astringent

Hey y’all have you ever taken a good look at what’s in some of your skin care? I hadn’t until a few years ago, and I was absolutely blown away by the amount of chemicals, including just “fragrance” which was in everything, including my face toner! Did you fragrance, in that form, not a natural fragrance like we may think of, has actually been linked to cancers? Yeah, definitely not something you want on your skin, even if it does help keep your face clean and clear. Luckily, I found something all natural, that does the same thing. Witch Hazel!

 

That’s right, I was able to cut out that chemical filled astringent out of my beauty routine with a simple replacement, that’s actually cheaper too. Talk about a win-win. I get to save money and stop putting chemicals on my face that are then absorbed through my skin. I can’t say how these companies are getting away with this, but I do know that you have to be very careful about what products you use. I would have never thought that something I use to help with acne would be chock-full of chemicals, including a bunch that are on the list of known carcinogens. I feel bad, I’ve been using these products since I was a teenager, so knowing that I just didn’t even check what I was putting on my face isn’t the best feeling. But such is life, and now I’m sharing what I found with you all.

 

You can get Witch Hazel at any store, just a generic brand works fine, I really don’t think there is a difference. And it’s not just me that says to use this stuff, Zendaya has mentioned it in interviews for how she keeps her skin clear too!

Use Vinegar Instead of Chemicals

Did you know that you can use vinegar instead of chemicals for cleaning? It’s an all natural disinfectant, and mixed with some warm water, makes for a wonderful floor cleaner. By itself, it can clean glass stove tops, counters, and more.

I Can Be Skinny and Strong

Hey y’all, so yesterday when I was getting a massage, something I splurge on about every 4-5 weeks to help with my stress management, I mentioned to the massage therapist that my left shoulder was hurting due to upping the weights I was lifting and probably slightly overdoing it. Wellll, she looked at me and said, and I kid you not, “your body isn’t meant for lifting weights, you’re not an athlete.” First, I was in shock, because this woman sees me for an hour each month and literally has no idea about my life, and second, only athletes can lift weights and work on their health?? I was so stunned, but I did finally respond that I not only do I play tennis, but I have also practiced karate, ballet, gymnastics, ice skating, and other athletic endeavors, and was pretty good at a majority of them. She apologized and tried to backpedal, but despite that, it really stuck with me. So once again, I’m back here, trying to make a point that maybe we should stop judging people based on what their bodies look like, because I can be skinny and strong.

There’s a hashtag going around Instagram and Facebook, and I’m not going to lie, for people who are so against body-shaming, I sure do see a lot of it, especially towards skinny people. You might have heard of the hashtag, it’s #strongnotskinny. Yup, implying that because you are more of a thinner build, you must be some weak person who can barely carry her own groceries to the door. Really great for making everyone feel good about their bodies, huh? Sadly, not everyone reading this will understand why this is upsetting, because yeah, there are some people who are skinny and can’t lift heavy things or aren’t considered strong. But there are also those who do crossfit or weightlifting and just don’t happen to appear as strong as they are. And I can tell you as someone who is deceptively stronger than people give me credit for, it’s really annoying to constantly be told to eat a cheeseburger or try lifting weights. I do both, and the way my body is, you just can’t tell.

You may now be thinking, well who cares, what do you have to feel self-conscious about, you’re thin, you should be happy. I am very happy with my body, but at the same time, it’s hard not to feel like there’s something wrong with my body when people are sharing that hashtag or telling me I should eat more or asking if I’ve ever had or have an eating disorder, implying to me that there’s something unnatural and wrong about my body. My body is 100% natural, I workout 30 minutes a day for my cardiac health, lift some weights, and I also eat pasta and desserts, and have never had an eating disorder. But thanks to comments like that, even though I’m good with how I look, I can’t help wonder if that’s how everyone sees me, and if that’s something that needs to change. I know I shouldn’t care what others think, and that’s great to say, but much harder to believe when everyone is telling you there’s something wrong with you.

So let me just say this again, I can be strong and skinny. I don’t have to eat a burger nor do I have to rattle off all the different sports I did to be considered athletic. I know people who run more than me every single day who weigh more and I know people who don’t workout much who weigh less. How about we stop shaming everyone’s body and just let people live? Look at the guy who plays The Flash, Grant Gustin, apparently he’s had people attack him for his size, because he’s not muscular enough in their minds for the character. I mean, really? He’s a great actor, it’s a great show, and he’s stated that his weight fluctuates when he gets more anxious about things. You know what’s great for anxiety? Having thousands of people comment on your weight and say you don’t deserve a role that you’ve been playing well for over 5 years. No one deserves that, I don’t care what gender you are, because yes, this happens to guys too, and he’s a great example of it..

Everyone’s body is different, and we all have different metabolisms, different lifestyles, and we are all different sizes. Being skinny doesn’t make me weak, being strong doesn’t mean you can’t be skinny, and being larger than what your BMI says you should be doesn’t make you overweight either. Everyone’s body is different, and we need to accept that and focus on loving our bodies without having to tear others down.

No Gym Gym

If you’ve made some resolutions and health goals, but unfortunately can’t find it in the budget for a gym membership, I have news for you. You don’t need one! You can achieve your health goals without having to pay for an expensive membership or the expensive equipment that some use to build their own home gyms. Check out my suggestions for a no gym gym, that uses things you already have or can get pretty cheaply.

  • Run outside. Fresh air is free, and with sunrise being earlier and sunset being later, there is no time like the present to get outside before or after work and taking a brisk walk or run. You can even alternate between the two. Just make sure you keep your heart rate elevated for 30 minutes each day to truly get the cardiac benefits.
  • Use chairs to help with stretching. As someone who did ballet, I had to practice even when I wasn’t in the dance studio taking my lessons. However, I never had a ballet bar installed in my house, which meant I had to get very creative. Even though I no longer do recitals or take lessons, though I may go back to it, I still remember some of the stretches and practices, and have found that using the back of a couch is a pretty close second to a ballet bar. A hard backed chair works as well, just make sure it is firm enough to support your ankle and not too high to where you are uncomfortable while stretching.
  • Utilize your swimming pool. This may be surprising to some, but your pool can be used for more than lust-worthy Instagram pictures. You can swim laps, as well as do different core workouts! And if you have a pool or a community pool, you can get a workout in for free.
  • Try free classes in the area. If you think you’d like to take a class in the future and have the money for it, try some out on a trial basis to find the right fit for you. You don’t want to get locked into a membership if you find out that you really hate yoga and can’t stand hearing the word “namaste.”
  • Get a cheap pair of dumbbells for your arms. That’s how I get my arm workouts in each day, I don’t have any fancy equipment, just two 5 pound dumbbells that help me keep my arms toned. I may not be able to up the weight, but I can change the different sets and reps and exercises that I do to get all the muscles worked out.
  • Use an exercise band. These are also really inexpensive, but can help a lot with stretching and even resistance training.

There are so many ways to have a no gym gym, and most of it is completely free. You just may have to think a little bit outside of the box, but it’ll definitely be worth it.

Walking

Most of us struggle to get the right amount of exercise each day, in some cases you have to get up super early before work to get a workout in or you wait until the evening and try to work it around everything else. No matter who you are or whether you have a gym membership or not, one exercise that you can do that is great for you is walking.

The studies have spoken, and walking is one of the best forms of exercise there is. If you don’t believe me, check out this study about walking groups: https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/49/11/710 Walking has been proven to help with weight loss, cardiac health, lower blood pressure, and decrease depression, while also giving you a boost creatively.

With all the different benefits, even 30 minutes of a brisk walk each night can make a huge difference for your health, and it’s easy enough to do. If you have time to binge several episodes of The Office on Netflix, you have time to fit in a walk.

Yoga

If you’re looking to improve your flexibility, calm your mind, and work on your core, there is one workout that does all of the above. Yoga! In college, I did rooftop yoga once a week on the roof of the gym at my school, and I absolutely loved it. Now, in the words of the yoga instructor, this was not “namaste yoga” this was “CORE yoga” and she was not kidding, it was a great workout, I felt relaxed, but I also felt it the next day, it was a serious workout. Of course, depending on what you prefer, you may choose a more relaxed yoga, a core yoga, or even hot yoga, though since I live in the South, unless it’s outside, I want my yoga air conditioned, but that’s just me.

No matter which you choose, there are plenty of benefits to it for both men and women. I slacked on it a bit after college, unfortunately finding a good yoga place here is difficult, so I started doing it myself at the house with the help of videos. No matter how you do it, you’ll notice the benefits. I always find myself more relaxed after a yoga session, and yes, it is a bit of a time commitment, but if you’ve always wondered and never tried it, I encourage you to do so. It’s definitely worth it.

 

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