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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 🙂

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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.

A Reflection on 2019

2019 was a year that went by too fast and also too slow. Nothing too monumental happened, yet I feel it was a year of growth for myself. I learned a lot about myself and I got pushed to certain limits that helped me to look at myself and what I want out of life and out of people in my life.

My Friends

2019 was a year where I lost some friends and gained some new ones. Some old friends disappeared from my life, partly because I stopped reaching out, and rather than mourn that loss, I’ve accepted that they don’t want to be in my life anymore and that’s ok. It’s important to learn that you can’t constantly reach out to people to nurture a friendship. There has to be some effort back from that other person, and if there’s not, it may be best to just let it go.

I also was able to reconnect with some friends who moved back to Florida, as well as make new ones by going outside of my comfort zone and trying new things. Trust me when I say making the time to meet new people is worth it, and that even if you and someone have grown apart, that doesn’t mean you won’t grow back together in the future.

Health and Wellness

This year saw improvements in health and wellness for myself and for others I care about. It didn’t come without work, but I’m extremely proud of the work put in by myself and by others, and I look forward to continuing to see improvements in 2020. I’ve got my health goals laid out, and have several others who have their own health goals they are working towards. Having this group makes it much easier to accomplish said goals rather than trying to go in alone. Find your group, and join a fitness class, gym, or social group that will get you up and active. Take care of your body and mind, nourishing both, and know when to sit back and get some rest.

Relationships

I can’t say that I fell in love in 2019, but maybe that’s something that will happen in 2020. I learned a bit more what I want from a relationship, while also getting ghosted, and while that may not have been fun, it was a good learning experience. It showed me who that person really was and helped remove someone who wouldn’t have been good for me out of my life.

Personal Goals

I continued working on a novel I’m writing and took the next step towards getting it published by sending it to some beta readers. My editing is by no means completed, but I look forward to continuing work on it and hopefully sending it out for querying in the near future. I also look forward to growing this blog. I love writing these posts and interacting with some of my readers, and I hope you enjoy the content as much as I enjoy writing it.

I always look forward to a new year as a fresh start, and this year is no different. I am so excited to see what 2020 has in store for me, and to thank 2019 for the lessons I was given. Happy New Year everyone!

New Year’s Resolutions

Hey y’all, so I know I’m a bit late on putting my New Year’s resolutions up, but I promise you, I had them written on New Year’s Eve! Between traveling and then the jet lag, I just didn’t have the time I wanted to get them up, but they are here now! I’m putting them up here to help hold myself accountable, as I have several friends who read this and can make sure I’m keeping up with my goals 😉 But I’m also doing it to share with others, and maybe someone reading this will find they want to add to their list from mine.

New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Be honest about my feelings. Yeah, jumped right into this one, for too long I know myself, and plenty of others, have been hiding feelings or not being honest about them, and for myself at least, that stops now. Feelings aren’t always great, but it’s important to not minimize or pretend they aren’t there.
  2. Keep up with that fitness. I’ve been pretty good about fitness, but it never hurts to make sure I keep it a priority by putting it on this list.
  3. Live in the moment. With everything going on, and our giant to-do lists and full calendars, this one can be challenging, but I am ready to give it a try. I’d say immersing myself in what Paris had to offer was a good start.
  4. Live each day with kindness. I know some days can be trying, and I don’t always have the best reaction to stress, but I can fix that with a quick shift in my attitude.
  5. Name something I’m grateful for each day. It’s amazing what a little gratitude can do for each day.
  6. Be neater. Some of you may be shocked to learn that I am not the neatest person ever. But that doesn’t mean I’m not trying to work on that, and this new year is the perfect time to start fresh.
  7. Volunteer more. Giving back is important, and volunteering is one of the best ways to do it.
  8. Save, save, save. I have several things that I want to do, and the only way I’m going to get there is if I save up some funds for it. So for me, that’s a huge priority, I’m 26, and need to focus on my savings a bit more.
  9. Be open to new opportunities. There have been several times that I’ve overthought something to the point that it’s gone, and I don’t want to do that anymore, so I’m going to be open to new opportunities as they present themselves.

That may not be everything on my list, but to be fair, I’m very thorough, and I really like lists, so my resolutions are rather long. However, these are some of the most important ones to me, and I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store. I’m hoping for health, blessings, and dreams coming true for myself, and each and every one of you.

Write Down Your Resolutions

Did you know, that if you write your resolutions down, you’re more likely to accomplish them? So write those goals down, get any tools or accessories you need, i.e. if you want to be more organized, get yourself a planner, and get ready for a fresh new year!

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