How I’m Tackling My Fitness Roadblocks This Month

I kicked off my morning with some strength training and a good heart to heart about nutrition with my trainer. I needed to get real about my challenges and why I’m feeling stuck. I am feeling stuck because I’m getting in my own way but I needed to be real too – what are the realistic solutions to my challenges, my roadblocks? 

  1. I’m not eating enough clean and nutrient packed calories. I’m not getting enough protein.
  2. I am not eating breakfast.
  3. I’m not drinking enough water.
  4. I’m strength training but I’ve been slacking on cardio.
  5. I wasn’t clear about what my daily caloric intake should be.

  1. I’m not eating a lot of junk food.
  2. I’m doing something active every day even if it’s just crunches in the evening.
  3. I’m going to personal training for strength training weekly.
  4. I’ve cut back on sugar in my tea.
  5. I’m getting better sleep.

  1. Add cardio to my week, at least 3 times. – Get up and go for a walk/run in the mornings before work.
  2. Start drinking water right after my morning cup of coffee – replace some cups of tea with water – continue to drink it through the day by always having a bottle of water with me.
  3. Track my food in my Fitbit app – focus on getting set amount of calories that my trainer set for me each day – more nutrient dense foods. If I plan ahead I’ll be able to manage this better.
  4. Have a protein shake or protein/granola bar in the morning. – I’m not a big eater in the morning so choosing light foods but protein packed I think will be key for me here.
  5. Plan out a more balanced exercise routine for the week that includes yoga, upper body workouts and cardio in addition to my personal training appointments.

My biggest roadblock right now is time. I feel like I never have enough time to get it all in one day but with some planning ahead, boundaries and time management I can tackle this! 

 

10 Awesome Things I Do for Health, Happiness & Balance

It’s Day 7 of the #loveblog2018! Today’s prompt is ‘Wellness’ and this is a topic that has become a huge focus in my life so I’ve very excited to be sharing my thoughts about it today. Make sure to check out my post about Guilty Pleasures’ from earlier in the season and all the other prompts from the series too at www.bellebrita.com. One of the reasons I love participating in the #loveblog so much is because it gives me (or pushes me more) to share my story in a more personal way. 

I grew up with a mom in the medical field and a dad in safety management so I guess wellness has always been a part of my life in some way or another but it didn’t really become such a main focus for me until I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia in my twenties. At that time my mindset around wellness wasn’t very well at all though. I felt like true wellness was going to be something that would always be out of my reach after being diagnosed. I thought I’m always going to feel crappy, achy, tired, and everything that comes with that. I felt saddened that I was in my twenties and couldn’t keep up with my friends. I was taking nine pills a day and a bi-weekly injection just to ‘survive’, just to escape the pain. I felt like a zombie most days and if I wasn’t at work I was on the couch or in bed. It wasn’t how I dreamed of spending a good part of my twenties. I carried on like this, having ups and downs, good days and bad days, some weeks better than others…side note – *this is a general overview, I still had good trips and happy days but overall it wasn’t what I dreamed of for myself. The energy I dreamed of having I couldn’t sustain. Everything was in spurts. I craved consistency. I craved to be able to express the energy that filled my mind in physical expressions and actions. 

The year I turned thirty, I lost my job. I found myself home and on the search…it turned out to be a huge blessing for me, it turned out to be an opportunity to change my life. The job I was working I had very long hours and it was emotionally and physically stressful on a daily basis (which I laugh because my first Rheumatologist had told me that the best thing for me was to stay away from stress – ummm, right.) With losing my job I also lost my Healthcare benefits and that left me unable to afford my medications (it sounds awful, but really it was a blessing in disguise). So I went off my pills and off the injections. I started working towards a complete lifestyle change. I started practicing yoga twice a day. I gave up fast food and junk food and I started studying my disease. I started reading how to manage it organically. I taught myself how to eat better. I started using essential oil therapies. I meditated, and I learned my limits and how to schedule resting and recoup time into my weeks.

It took me about a year and a half to find a new job but fast forward and now I’m working at a job that even though can be stressful and have long hours (that seems to be a common thing in today’s world), I have the flexibility to work from home, I have a management team that understands I may burnout sometimes and need some downtime, and I have co-workers that get the idea of how important wellness is to me and they motivate and inspire me to stick with it. I’m naturally a Type A Personality so I always have a lot on my plate (i just don’t know what to do with myself if I don’t have a whole bunch of projects going on at one time) but I’m getting better each day at managing them realistically and being more forgiving of myself when I need to shift things or when I slip and I keep the focus on if I want to feel good then I need to continuously take care of myself. Today some of the words used to describe me is ‘energetic’ and ‘positive’ and ‘motivated’ and that feels good, they describe more of who I aspire to be. I owe so much of that to the idea of wellness, to the changes I made to bring wellness to be a reality in my world.

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page

 

  1. Daily vitamins – Women’s Multivitamin (currently loving SmartyPants for Women), Vitamin D supplements, and a Vitamin C supplement
  2. 30 crunches daily and participating in a 30 days plank challenge – I co-manage a local healthy lifestyles/fitness group at work called No Sweat York and we’ve committed to doing a 30 day challenge this month – check out our No Sweat York Instagram Page for photos and thoughts from our challenge
  3. A Greek Yogurt daily during the week at the office – Yogurt was something I just couldn’t get myself to eat except for one – I love the Fage Greek Yogurts with fruit <3
  4. Gave up eating out so much and am cooking healthier meals at home – helps keep my sodium intake down which helps with decreasing inflammation
  5. Personal Training at my gym for strength training – Legs one day, Arms another
  6. Making sure I schedule down time each week for lazy days, just to mellow out and recoup
  7. Washing my face every night with Alba Organic Make-up Wipes
  8. Scheduling my tasks out throughout the week so I’m balancing out my time better
  9. Journaling ‘one sentence a day’ to help keep my mind clear
  10. Participating in my #FebruaryArtChallenge for some daily/weekly art therapy to release stress

Wellness is about being well rounded to me, it’s about being real and honest, rolling with the punches sometimes and having balance in my life. That’s what keeps me feeling good, keeps me happier. Wellness is something that I am continuously working towards and adapting to fit into what’s going on in my life. It is not only about health and fitness physically but also keeping our minds and our hearts healthy. What does wellness mean to you? 

This week’s giveaway is brought to you by Callie Richards, LuLaRoe Fashion Retailer. One lucky winner will receive a fabulous LuLaRoe outfit in the size(s) of their choice. The giveaway ends on February 14th. US residents only. While Callie will consider your style preferences, she cannot guarantee any patterns or colors in your outfit. Enter to win here: http://bellebrita.com/2018/02/winter-date-night-outfits/ Brita Long of Belle Brita will verify the winning entry before emailing the winner during the third week of February. If the winner doesn’t respond, she will start the process over again. Good luck!

Meet Your Hosts

Brita from bellabrita.comBrita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.

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Amritha from joinmeintransit.com. Amritha is a travel and food blogger offering travel, dining and healthy recipe guides for vegetarians who love to vacation. Her mission is to guide others in creating meaningful life experiences with friends and family through mindful travel, vegetarian food, and an active lifestyle.

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Laura from dofivethingsaday.com. Laura is a big dreamer, full time marketing manager, blogger, and part-time artist. She aspires to inspire people in their everyday lives and help them to live towards their dreams and making the most out of every day by sharing her own experiences and stories.

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7 Super Reasons Parsnips Help You Get Healthier

I have always had a love for root vegetables – potatoes, carrots, fennel, and more – but over the past few years I have truly come to love parsnips. Not quite as common as their closely related cousin the carrot, parsnips are an easy vegetable to add to many recipes and are a perfect dish to enjoy during colder months.

7 Health Benefits of Parsnips

1.) High in dietary fiber. Parsnips are packed with soluble fiber which helps reduce cholesterol levels and helps maintain healthy digestive function.

2.) Is a great resource of folate which is needed for the formation of red and white blood cells in bone marrow, is important for the development stages, and aids in energy metabolism.

3.) Contains high level of potassium which is needed for skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle function. This nutrient is important for healthy heart function.

4.) Are high in Vitamin C which helps improve eye health, helps repair and regenerate connective tissues, protect against heart disease, and aids in the absorption of iron.

5.) Good resource of manganese and Vitamin K which helps with digestive health and wound healing.

6.) Due to high dietary fiber content, parsnips are great at helping you stay fuller longer.

7.) They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and organic compounds which helps fight against disease.

Some Delicious Recipes to Try

Oven Roasted Parsnips with Thyme from FoodnessGracious

Paleo Risotto with ‘Parsnip “Rice” from Empowered Sustenance

Baked Parsnip Fries from Sweet as Honey

Roasted Parsnip Salad from Girl Gone Gourmet

Roasted Parsnip & Garlic Soup from Sharing Our Food Adventures

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research.
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Why I Eat Brussels Sprouts Now

My first experience with Brussels Sprouts was not a pleasant one. They were tough and they were bitter. I vowed to never eat them again…that was when I was sixteen…seventeen years later and I love them. I remember the second time I tried Brussels Sprouts. My mom and I were at a local farm to table restaurant and they were a featured appetizer that night. They were cooked perfectly with crumbled bacon and a balsamic glaze over top. Since that day I look for them on menus now! Brussels Sprouts are a very particular food, packed with health benefits but a bit touchy on taste – they only taste amazing if they’re cooked and prepared right! They’re also great raw, pull the leaves off and throw into a salad.

Not only have I come to love the taste but I feel a little bit of pride knowing I’m chowing down on a top Power Food!

I was super excited to partner up with The Jen Reviews Team to bring you some awesome benefits of eating Brussels Sprouts:

Here’s My Top 5 Most Pleasing Health Benefits That I Get From Brussels Sprouts:

1.) High in Fiber

2.) High in Vitamin C

3.) Full of Antioxidants

4.) Can Act as an Anti-inflammatory (which is great for my Rheumatoid Arthritis)

5. Promotes Healthy Digestion

Want to know more great benefits of Brussels Sprouts? Want some tasty recipes to try?

Visit Jen Reviews and read more on 15 Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts +8 Delicious Recipes!!!

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research

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10 Amazing Benefits of Rambutans

I am totally that girl that has all kinds of yummy, exotic fruit on her desk…the strange to some folks…kumquats, lychees, and one of my favorites – Rambutans! 

Rambutans are those spiky red fruit that you may see popping up time to time. They are native to the Malay-Indonesian region and some other regions of tropical Southeast Asia. Packed with sweetness and lots of nutrients, these make a fantastic power snack!

I was super excited when they arrived in my SuperFood Box last week…fresh and ready to eat. Usually their a bright, vibrant red but they had faded a little in their travels but still wonderfully delicious when I cracked them open. Though they look a bit intimidating, they are an easy fruit to pop open. Just press on the seam and pull the spiky exterior off. The fruit encases a pod – I just oddly munch the juicy fruit off of the pod (Yup I’m that girl).

10 Amazing Health Benefits of the Rambutan

  1. They’re high in fiber.
  2. Packed with vitamin C.
  3. Good source of Copper which is necessary for the production of white and red blood cells.
  4. They contain a high amount of antioxidants.
  5. Good source of phosphorus which helps remove the waste in kidneys.
  6. They contain gallic acid which eliminates free radicals and helps prevent and fight cancer.
  7. They are a great energy booster.
  8. They are rich in water content so they are very hydrating and are good for your skin.
  9. Good source of iron.
  10. They also have antiseptic properties which helps the body fight off infections.

Stay tuned this week for my full review of my Superfood No Worries Box!

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research. 
All opinions are my own. This post was sponsored by Yogi Surprise in which I received compensation for my review. For more information please reference my disclosure page
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15 Sweet Healthy Benefits of Honey

We all have that occasional sweet tooth…I know…but there are many healthy options out there. One of my favorite sweet treats is honey. I remember eating spoonfuls of honey with my Grandpa on a Sunday afternoon. It always brings so much warmth to my heart. 

Honey:

  • Studies have shown that replacing sugar with honey has helped with weight management and with lowering blood sugars.
  • It has also been shown that raw honey can trigger certain hormones that will help suppress the appetite.
  • Honey is a natural energy source. It has been nicknamed, “the perfect running fuel”, containing carbohydrates that can be easily processed into energy.
  • It’s packed with anti-oxidants that helps boost memory.
  • Honey contains no fat or cholesterol.
  • It holds anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It can help with allergies due to the small amount of bee pollen it contains and can also help reduce sinus inflammation.
  • Honey coats the throat which can act as a natural cough suppressant.
  • Some studies shows it can aid in a good night’s rest.
  • It can reduce acid reflux and heartburn.
  • Honey boosts your immune system.
  • It helps cleanse and strengthen your digestive system.
  • It is a natural aphrodisiac.
  • It has antimicrobial properties which can help fight gum disease.
  • And honey has carcinogen-preventing properties that aid in cancer prevention.

Honey is a natural sweetener…but be weary of processed honey, raw honey is the best way to go. Remember that honey still contains fructose so be sure to use it in balance and moderation.

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research. 
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13 Healthy Reasons To Eat Peaches

Why not celebrate this fuzzy, sweet fruit this month?

August is National Peach Month and for good reason with all the farmers markets bringing them to the table. This sweet fruit is more than just yummy to eat, it is packed with vitamins and nutrients to help you get going each day!

1.) High in fiber which aids in digestion and helps you stay full longer.

2.) Filled with antioxidants.

3.) High in phenolic and carotenoid compounds which help prevent cancer.

4.) High in vitamin C which helps maintain healthy skin.

5.) Also high in beta-carotene which helps improve eye health.

6.) Useful in pregnancy because they are packed with many essential vitamins and minerals.

7.) Contain magnesium which can help in managing stress and anxiety.

8.) Studies have shown that peaches have some anti-inflammatory properties.

9.) Peaches boost your immune system.

10.) Are a great source of zinc, which has anti-aging properties.

11.) Contain phosphorous which aids in strengthening bones and teeth.

12.) Peaches are great at detoxifying the body.

13. Are a good source of iron.

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research. 

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12 Benefits of the Sweet Summer Melon Cantaloupe

Who doesn’t love some delicious, sweet melons? Especially on a hot summer day! This has to be one of my favorite things about summertime! 

1.) They have a high water content which provides a refreshing treat.

2.) Cantaloupes contain Vitamin C which is important for a healthy immune system.

3.) Because of their great amounts of fiber, Vitamin C and choline they help support a healthy heart.

4.) Cantaloupes have nutrients that help prevent cancer.

5.) The beta-carotene found in cantaloupes helps aid in healthy skin.

6.) They are a good source of potassium.

7.) The nutrients found in cantaloupes have anti-inflammatory properties.

8.) The high fiber content aids in digestion.

9.) Cantaloupes contain carotenoids which help maintain healthy eyes.

10.) Studies have shown that nutrients found in cantaloupes can improve insulin metabolism.

11.) They help maintain kidney health.

12.) Cantaloupes provide a natural energy boost.

 * Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research. 

14 Reasons You Should Be Going Bananas Every Week

Bananas are an quick and easy go-to snack or addition…I love some in a bowl of cereal! 

Bananas fall onto the Power Foods list for many many reasons:

  • Most commonly known for being high in Potassium –
    • essential for good heart health
    • helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels
    • Potassium also helps you be more mentally alert
  • A great source of fiber (about 3grams per medium banana)
    • helps aid and regulate digestion
  • A calcium rich fruit
  • Low in sodium
  • Low Fat
    • Bananas do contain a type of fat called sterols though, which helps keep blood cholesterol levels controlled by blocking the absorption of dietary cholesterol
  • High in vitamin B-6
    • helps in the production of white blood cells
    • strengthens the nervous system
    • studies have shown it to help in protecting against Type 2 Diabetes
    • helps reduce swelling
    • Aids in weight loss
  • They are high in antioxidants
  • Bananas are high in pectin
    • Pectin helps with digestion and gently removes toxins and heavy metals from the body
  • Contains high levels of trytophan which converts to serotonin (the happy good feeling chemical in our brain)
  • Are high in magnesium
  • Higher in sugar with approx 14-15 grams of sugar per medium banana, but the sugars are of low glycemic value.
  • Contain fructooligosaccharides which act as a natural prebiotic
    • helps maintain good bacteria in our lower intestines
    • supports overall digestive health
  • Are a natural antacid
  • They help restore electrolytes to the body

So to sum it up they are a yummy treat that helps keep your gut healthy, your sugars in check, and give you energy!

Here’s my Grandmother’s Banana Bread Recipe for you to try too : Throwback Thursday Recipe Post – Grandma’s Banana Bread

 

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research. 

6 Sweet, Healthy Benefits of Strawberries

The wonderful red, juicy fruit – the strawberry.

Not only a great sweet treat to beat those cravings but packed with wonderful nutrients. 

A simple, sweet treat recipe:

Ingredients:

– Package of Sugar Free Strawberry Jello

– Fat Free Whipped Cream

– Sliced Strawberries

1.) Prepare jello as directed on box.

2.) Place sliced strawberries in jello mix in bowl.

3.) Allow jello to set as instructed on box.

4.) Scoop into serving dishes and top with whipped cream.

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research.