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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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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 πŸ™‚

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.

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.

Take Care of Your Skin This Winter

It’s finally getting cold here in Florida, and my skin is feeling it! I usually deal with chapped lips, but my hands are getting in on it too, and they are cracked and peeling with all this dry cold weather. Luckily, there are several ways to tackle this, and take care of your skin this winter, and it’s in perfect time for Wellness Wednesday!

  • Get a good hand lotion. I don’t mean a regular lotion, I mean one specifically made for dry, cracked skin. The other stuff will help temporarily, but you really need something to moisturize for a while and specifically for this type of skin. Jergens has an option that works, as does Aveeno, and Vaseline. I used the Vaseline one this evening when my hands were absolutely bright red and cracking, and it helped so much!
  • Stay hydrated. Part of dry skin is dehydration, so it’s important to keep up your water intake even in the winter. I know this can be difficult since we aren’t as likely to feel thirsty, but trust me, your skin will thank you.
  • Try sleeping with lotion gloves at night. I got a pack of keratin gloves for my hands in a subscription box and they are specifically made to help keep your hands in great shape all winter long.
  • Use a moisturizing hand sanitizer. We are in the midst of cold and flu season, which means I am washing my hands even more than normal and using hand sanitizer, both of which dry your hands out even more, which is why I was so excited when my friend sent me a lotion that was also a hand sanitizer. Now I can keep my hands germ free, and moisturized all season long.
  • Wear gloves while doing dishes. If you find that your hands are getting even more dried out after doing chores, wear gloves while you do them! Keeping your hands dry may give them more time to heal and not get as dried out.
  • Try a hydrocortisone cream if it gets really bad. If you’ve been ignoring it for a bit, a regular lotion may not work as well, but a hydrocortisone cream should get your hands back to normal.
  • Put an antibacterial cream on any open spots. If your hands have gotten to the point where they are cracked and bleeding, make sure you take care of those spots to avoid an infection. Keep them clean and use an anti-bacterial cream.

While we certainly can’t prevent dry skin, we can fight back against it. These tips help me out during the winter months, and hopefully they’ll provide you some relief as well!

Try Essential Oils

Hey y’all, so with the holidays coming up, Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and then BAM Christmas, I think it’s safe to say everyone’s feeling the stress a bit more. I know I sure am, and when I get stressed, I start looking for different ways to help me handle the stress. One way that is a great option for many people is essential oils. While I certainly don’t believe essential oils can cure everything, I do think that a pleasant scent while you are dealing with potentially unpleasant emotions or feelings can make a huge difference in stress levels.

Scientific evidence backing up the use of essential oils is slim, but I know for myself, whether it’s a placebo effect or not, breathing in certain scents helps me to calm down and relax for a bit. There are many people who will agree with this sentiment and have found using essential oils to be beneficial in several ways.

Certain scents help with certain things, so depending on what’s going on with you, you may need a different scent than one I would reach for during the holiday season. Here are the associated health claims with each one.

  • Peppermint is used to boost energy and aid in digestion (while peppermints themselves are great for eating, you don’t want to eat peppermint essential oils, just enjoy the Christmas-y scent they bring πŸ™‚ )
  • Lavender, Bergamot, and Sandalwood are all used to relieve stress and help with relaxation
  • Rose helps with anxiety
  • Chamomile is a mood booster and helps with relaxation (a cup of chamomile tea is one of my favorites after stressful evenings)
  • Ylang-Ylang helps with headaches and nausea
  • Tea Tree helps with fighting infections and immunity (tea tree oil on your scalp can also help relieve dandruff, just make sure to use a small amount)
  • Jasmine helps with depression
  • Lemon helps digestion, mood, headaches, and more. It’s also a great scent for kitchens, very fresh and clean.

If you want to find out more information about essential oils, check out this article https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-are-essential-oils#types It’s a great resource for those who are interested in trying these out.

Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Recently, my household has been dealing with a shoulder injury. Nothing too serious thankfully, but enough so that a doctor visit was necessary, and so is an ice pack and rest. Inflammation can be a serious issue, especially if ignored for a while, but luckily, there are ways to help improve it. I started whipping up an anti-inflammatory smoothie to help with this issue and reduce inflammation naturally.

You’ll Need:

1 cup of coconut or almond milk

1 scoop of Tone It Up Vanilla and Greens protein

2 teaspoons turmeric

1 teaspoon honey

Frozen fruit of your choice

3 teaspoons flaxseed

Preparation:

This is the simple part, throw it all together in a blender, and then enjoy! If you want to change up the thickness, add more fruit, if you prefer a thinner smoothie, use less fruit or add more milk.

It won’t cure inflammation, but with those superfoods in there, it can certainly help your muscles to heal and start feeling better!

Journaling

Hey y’all so for this Wellness Wednesday, let’s talk about journaling. I am actually new to journaling. I kept a diary for a bit when I was a tween (I mean, what girl didn’t), but I never really got into that, and so when journaling really started becoming popular, I was iffy about it. Well, I am here to tell you that I am ready to give it a shot!

You may be wondering, what made me change my mind about journaling. First, as a psychology major, I try to keep up with things related to mental health, so that means anything new as far as ways to help improve your mental health, ways to relax, ways to rewire your brain in a positive way, I want to hear about it and learn about it. Journaling is no different, especially since there are many journals that guide you through the process and only take a few minutes out of each day. Studies are showing that journaling has a positive impact on reducing stress, helping you to let go of anxieties, and even rewiring your brain to think in a more positive manner. I mean, with all of that going for it, I figure, a little more positivity can never hurt!

I went ahead and bought two very different journals to get started. The first is a two minute morning journal. It’s designed to help you “win every day” and one of the ways it does that is by having you write down something you’re letting go of today. You also write what you’re grateful for, every single morning when you get up. They say, the more specific the better, and here’s where the sign behind that comes into play. When we focus on things we are lacking in our lives, we become a little more down about things, especially when bad stuff happens, and we forget all the great things we have. By putting those thoughts in your head first thing in the morning, you’re making your brain think about positive things and keeping it at the forefront of your mind right at the start of your day, which will help you have a more positive and upbeat attitude about things in the future, even if your day takes a turn for the bad. The second journal is a bit different in that it has several journeys for you to go on, thus providing journaling in different areas for your life for a long time. There’s a spiritual, achievement, humanitarian, mending fences, self-discovery, and more. I figured, that is definitely something worth exploring, even if you’re pretty certain you know who you are and what you believe or what you want out of life, taking a deeper look could help clarify some things for you.

journaling

So give journaling a try, if it’s not for you, no harm done, but if you find it helps you out in any way, even if it’s just giving you some time to sit down and unwind, then it was definitely worth it.

Skincare Must Do’s

Hey y’all so one thing I’ve really been focusing on lately is my skincare. It’s soo necessary, especially as we age, and there are so many things that can help. So for this Wellness Wednesday, it’s all about our skin.

Fun fact, did you know the skin is the largest organ on the body? Since that’s the case, it’s more important than ever to take care of your skin.

Here are some skincare must do’s:

  1. Drink water. This is the biggest thing you can do, your skin will be glowing and you’ll feel great!
  2. Apply a face mask once a week. As someone with sensitive skin, this can be a bit difficult sometimes, and it took some trial and error, but I finally found some that worked well for me and relax my skin without causing irritation. It’s also great for self-care.
  3. Remove your makeup each night. I’m not going to lie, I slack at this one way too often. But there are studies saying it can age you, not to mention give you acne and other skin issues, so make sure to set aside some time to remove it every single night.
  4. Use a toner. Even if you don’t have oily skin or an acne issue, use a toner. It’ll help even out your skin tone and keep your skin from getting oily or acne-filled.
  5. Moisturize. Again, sometimes with oilier skin you may think you don’t need any more moisture, but moisturizing is good for your skin, especially as we get into colder weather (everywhere but Florida anyway).
  6. Exfoliate weekly. Even if you wash your face every day, build up can still happen, so make sure you exfoliate each week. It’ll help clean out the buildup and gunk that can gather.
  7. Get a good cleanser. There’s no question that you need a quality cleanser for your skin. I’ve tried several kinds, my favorite is one by SheaMoisture and they have several options.
  8. Use a jade roller. This is good if you deal with puffiness under your eyes or wake up with some puffy skin one morning. The best part, you can put it in the fridge and it’ll really cool your face down.
  9. Stop touching your face! Again, this is one thing I’m horrible about, but I’m trying to work on it every day. Touching your face multiple times can cause wrinkles, acne, and more.
  10. Eat for your skin. You are what you eat, so make sure you are eating healthy foods and nourishing your body and your skin. Cucumbers are not just good for over your eyes πŸ™‚

 

Get Your Greens

Hey y’all so by now we’ve all heard it enough since we were kids to eat our greens. In fact, it’s just as important now to eat your greens as it was then. No, you’re probably not still growing into a big strong kid, but your body still needs that fuel and for this Wellness Wednesday, it’s all about getting your greens!

A colorful plate is a healthy plate is what health experts are saying, and while it’s tempting to look at a bowl of M&Ms or Skittles that’s not quite what they mean when they talk about a colorful plate. Instead, think about veggies!M&M's Chocolates in Bowl

I personally have always been pretty good about eating my vegetables, even since I was a kid. I always like broccoli, green beans, peas, even lima beans. But thankfully, my palate has expanded since then to now include other greens like kale, spinach, and asparagus. However, I understand that not everyone loves these things, which is why there are some easy ways to sneak it into foods, so you won’t even taste it. These tips are great for if you have kiddos too or simply struggle to make those healthy meals each night!

Get your greens tips:

  • Blend them in a smoothie. Adding fresh or frozen kale or spinach to a smoothie automatically bumps the healthy up a level, and with it blended with other fruit and delicious protein powder, you won’t even taste it! I even found a protein powder that has greens and the protein, I ordered some this weekend and once it arrives, I’ll start making my smoothies that way. If you’re interested, it’s Tone It Up Greens and Vanilla Protein Powder. Their protein is plant-based, and tastes fantastic.Clear Glass Bottle Filled With Broccoli Shake
  • Add them to pasta dishes. I know when I was a kid, I was a bit of a picky eater, but you know what would guarantee I’d eat it? Put it in pasta. I’d eat anything if there was pasta over or under it, and sadly, that hasn’t changed. But it’s a great way to get some spinach or even zucchini in your diet, without really noticing the taste.unnamed (2)
  • Speaking of zucchini, did you know there are zucchini brownies and muffins out there to make? They taste great, and I can assure you, you won’t even taste it. One of my favorites is pumpkin zucchini muffins, which you can find the recipe here.Β 
  • Eat them with rice for a delicious power bowl. These can be prepped ahead of time, and are so easy to make. Just start with a bed of brown rice, then add your favorite veggies, heavy on the greens, and voila, you have a delicious and healthy lunch that didn’t take too long to prepare.
  • Add them to casseroles. With the blend of different flavors, you won’t even realize you’re eating a whole bunch of veggies, because it tastes so good! There’s a plethora of healthy casserole dishes out there, all you have to do is a quick web search to pull up some recipes.
  • Make a veggie soup. Simple, delicious, and perfect for the cooler weather, soups can be a wonderful option for dinner with sandwiches or bread or salad, and you can get plenty of greens in there.

 

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