There is never a start and stop date to a healthy regimen. We roll from one plan into the next to keep our results progressing. My goal is to have a workout for you to follow 365 days of the year and I’m thrilled to share the next step of our 2019 plan.
We began the year with a very successful 30×30 Challenge that thousands of you participated in. Before the huge ConfidenceKini Challenge kicks off this spring, I put together a hybrid training plan for the next 5 weeks.
This Hybrid Training Workout Calendar has a daily workout for you from 1 of 3 of my highly effective fitness programs. I call it “hybrid training” because it utilizes a variety of styles: weight training, circuits, an optional glute focus add on plan and more.
Because we all know it’s our nutrition game that amps up our results, I want to REPEAT the 5 Week Food Plan! You ladies went absolutely crazy over how easy the plan is to follow and how good the meals are, so let’s get at it again. PLUS, each week, I’ll be sharing a new recipe to toss into the plan to keep it fun and fresh!
Creating a healthy lifestyle is far more than eating well and working out daily. Healthy relationships are foundational in creating a healthy, happy life. In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up… let’s talk healthy relationships.
THE MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP WE HAVE
First things first… I firmly believe the most important relationship we will ever be in is the one with ourselves. We can’t love others until we first love ourselves. We can’t accept love from others until we first love ourselves.
Use this blog post as a reminder to make sure the relationship you have with yourself is one that is thriving.
^this is a quick list that I love to refer back to when I am in need of some extra self love
2) How to Feel Happy even when you don’t feel great (here)
^this is a must-read post with my “happiness system” that you’ve heard me talk about many times; it’s how I’ve truly transformed my daily life to enjoy an average Tuesday
10 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP
When I wrote these 10 tips, I was specifically thinking about the relationship I have with my husband, Anthony. To me, that relationship is the healthiest and strongest relationship I have in my life, so I used it as a source of inspiration for these tips. I also included a few pics of Anthony and I from our early days at the bottom of this post for a good giggle!
1. MAINTAIN A FRIENDSHIP IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Some of the healthiest relationships I’ve witnessed exemplify this so clearly that it cannot be ignored. Remain friends with your partner! Think about what you do with your friends: you ask how their day was, you make fun plans with them, you put in effort. It’s unfortunately too easy for romantic relationships to become robotic and mundane over time. I’ve found the more I can look at Anthony like my best friend, the stronger our connection remains.
2. TAKE INTEREST IN EACH OTHER’S INTERESTS (even if you have to fake it!)
This has been a real game changer in our day-to-day happiness with one another. Anthony and I both make a point to take interest in each other’s hobbies. And I won’t lie… sometimes you do have to fake it until you feel it become genuine. Of course, Anthony and I have shared interests as I’m sure you and your hunny do. Still, there are a lot of things that we are each into but I make a point to get to know his interests, ask about them and even get involved. He does the same and I really feel this feeds into maintaining a strong friendship and healthy relationship.
3. COUNT THE GOOD NOT THE BAD
This is one I remind myself of daily, especially since we 1) moved in together 2) got married and 3) became parents. This is a bad habit of mine but I am a “counter” as in I think “I did x, y and z and you only did _blank_” It’s so easy to count what your partner isn’t doing. I try so hard to shift my perspective to see the good and what Anthony is doing. My mom always told me, “things do have to be 50/50 but they have to feel fair.” When you take on this perspective, it’s pretty eye-opening as to how much your partner is putting in.
4. MAKE GOALS + A LIFE VISION TOGETHER (so you grow together)
Okay, this may be one of my more important tips! My girlfriend is single and recently asked me, “what do you think is the number 1 reason why you and Anthony have stayed together so freaking long?!” Anthony and I have been together since I was 15 and he was 16. I’ve seen a lot of relationships in which the two people simply grow apart as they age. It’s less of a relationship thing and more of an individual thing, you know what I mean?! On the contrary, I feel like the reason Anthony and I have been able to maintain a strong relationship all these years is because as we grew up, we also grew together.
I think one way to do that is to share goals and a life vision. I am not suggesting you break out the magazines, glue stick and a poster to make a vision board. What I am suggesting is that you talk about those things (and often!) Discuss what your dream life looks like… where do you see yourself living? how many kids would you like to have? what type of life do you hope to lead? Make goals as a couple… do you want to take 3 trips per year? How can you budget for that? You become teammates in life. You grow together as you grow through life. This is – without a doubt – key for Anthony and I.
5. GET PHYSICAL
Ummm… yes, in the way you’re probably thinking haha. Get physical that way! There is no denying that those with a healthy sex life often have a healthy relationship. BUT, what I was really thinking with this tip is to get physically active together. Your partner doesn’t have to love working out at the gym like you do… that’s just one way to get physical. Anthony and I have always enjoyed an evening walk together after dinner. As our lives have evolved, we now push a stroller for our evening walk. It’s just our thing and a time in which we connect and communicate. There is something about physical activity with your partner that deepens your connection.
6. KEEP YOUR PERSON YOUR PRIORITY
This is something that takes time. Your boyfriend of 5 minutes is not more of a priority than you best friend of a lifetime. However, at some point, I think it’s important that your significant other becomes your #1 and you have to stick to that. Of course, there are times when I choose lunch with my girlfriend over hanging out with Anthony – that’s not what I’m talking about. I am referring to “the big stuff.” When your partner voices his or her opinion how they wish to spend time with family around the holidays or something related to parenting. Make each other a priority and don’t let outside voices influence the way you two lead your life.
7. GO THE EXTRA MILE
A little extra effort goes a long way in a relationship. Have you heard of the 5 love languages?! Anthony and I have taken that quiz and know each other’s love language. I am laughing right now because Anthony was so annoyed with me asking him all the questions required to discover his love language haha. Knowing how your partner feels love most will help you go the extra mile in that way. For example, it mean so much to Anthony when I take the time to listen to him (quality time is his). I try my hardest to initiate quality conversations that I know have been pushed off throughout the day; I put my phone away and give him my attention. Know your partner and go the extra mile in ways you know they feel love most.
8. REFUSE TO LOSE YOUR INNER CHILD
This is something I know you probably laugh at when you see Anthony and I (and our antics) on social media. We truly are big kids! I feel this is one of the ingredients for a healthy relationship. We laugh. A LOT! We love to joke with one another and poke fun. We play… literally; we will go to the park with our son and both of us are running around. No matter how old we get, I hope we never lose that inner child because we each have so much FUN with one another in those moments. It has helped us strengthen our relationship even after so many years together.
9. THE BASICS: HONESTY + COMMUNICATION
You can’t share 10 healthy relationship tips without hitting the basics. Nothing beats an open and honest relationship where two people are communicating well. You’ve just go to do it. I once heard someone say that you both need to overshare. Talk too much. Voice your feelings. We all know the relationships basics but we just have to ensure we are living them in our relationship.
10. STAY INDEPENDENT, what?!
This is another one that is totally, completely important to Anthony and I. We have a very close relationship yet we are very independent people. I don’t need him and he doesn’t need me. We choose to be together. I have my own friends. I have my own work. I have my own money. I have my own hobbies and passions. I have my own life. Likewise, he has his own friends, work, money, interests, etc. We share a lot of that but the reality is we do spend a good chunk of time doing our own thing. It makes it way more special when we come together and share in our relationship.
Alright, there are my 10 tips for a healthy relationship. No relationship is perfect. Mine sure isn’t but I feel like we can learn a little bit from each other… mistakes we’ve made and things we’ve figured out along the way.
I hope just 1 of these tips is something you can bring into your relationship to continue building the happy, healthy lifestyle we are all creating.
Just for fun… here are a few photos from the early days of Anthony and I
Valentine’s Day is this week and for those of us who will be enjoying a Valentine’s Day dinner at home, I wanted to share 3 meal ideas I know you’ll love.
Call me crazy but I’ve never been big about going out for Valentine’s Day. Even prior to marriage and kids, I thought it was more romantic to be with just my partner at home. If someone is willing to spend the time to cook you a meal that is total #GOALS to me. Plus, the restaurants are jam packed and it’s more difficult when the holiday falls on a weekday.
What about you? Are you someone who enjoys Valentine’s Day dinner out or in?
Anyway, I have 3 healthy Valentine’s Day dinner ideas that will make your celebration delicious. Whoever your serving these meals to won’t have a clue that they’re heathy.
1. CLASSIC + DELICIOUS
If your Valentine’s Day dinner vibe is something you want to keep simple and classic OR if it is something that the entire family will be enjoying, I would suggest this. My only suggested modification would be to make these Spicy + Cheesy Stuffed Peppers in RED bell peppers to make it more festive.
This is a community favorite entree recipe so it will not disappoint. In fact, if you’ve never tried this recipe before… I highly suggest you add it to your list on Valentine’s Day or any day this week.
This would be a great dinner idea if your Valentine’s Day plans include cozying up with your love, relaxing on the couch, watching Netflix and eating something yummy. My husband LOVES when I make this beef stew, so he was definitely my inspiration behind this dinner pick.
The best part is that you can prepare this earlier in the week and freeze it. The morning of Valentine’s Day, pop this into your crockpot and your Valentine’s Day dinner will be ready without any hands on cooking time! Now, that’s a Valentine’s Day gift haha.
This dinner idea is totally my pick of the three. I enjoy a more of an informal approach to cooking and eating at home. Plus, I think it’s a bit more romantic to “share” entrees.
For this dinner idea, whip up a batch of my Buffalo Chicken Dip. You can serve it with celery sticks, tortilla chips or both. It’s an absolute hit with everyone who has tried it, so you definitely won’t disappoint your hunny.
Then finish it with a something sweet… FroYo Bites. The strawberries gives these a festive touch and I would maybe suggest even adding a bit of melted chocolate over the top for a more romantic, Valentine’s Day vibe.
My workouts are only as good as my workout leggings. I used to be a cute over function type of buyer. I would suffer through a blister to wear the most adorable pair of sneakers. As my workout intensity increased, I realized just how important it is for my attire to keep up with my pace. I have tried HUNDREDS of different types of leggings and narrowed down my 3 absolute favorite workout leggings.
As I was putting this together, I realized my 3 favorite workout leggings were all around $100 give or take a bit. With workout leggings, I think quality > quantity and highly suggest that approach. I personally rather re-wear the same pair of quality black leggings all week as opposed to having 5 different pairs. BUT, I included 2 other, less expensive options I really like as well.
3 BEST WORKOUT LEGGINGS
Here is the rundown on my tried and true favorite options, which I consider to be the best workout leggings for 2019.
Alo Yoga makes 3 pairs of leggings that I am absolutely obsessed with. You’ll likely recognize these pairs because I am constantly wearing them.
Overall, I think Alo Yoga has the best combination of comfort and fit. These 3 pairs of leggings are as comfortable as pajamas. And for fit, they stay put, which is very important when working out.
MOTO LEGGINGS – these have a classic cotton feel and I suggest these for a cross training but not for your sweatiest workouts. I love the high waisted version although there is a regular rise available. These are my go-to leggings for when I want to lift and then continue wearing my workout outfit throughout the day. Cute-ness factor is 100!
AIRBRUSH LEGGINGS – these have a contoured fit that feels like a “second skin.” It provides that tight and lifted feeling… the high waist band is the perfect size, leaving me feeling sucked in without anything “spilling over” the top. These leggings really smoothes out your legs and butt. The fabric is moisture-wicking so during my workouts, I don’t feel overheated and sweaty. They are very stretchy. For 2019, this pair is my favorite from Alo Yoga!
LOUNGE LEGGINGS – I do wear these to the gym occasionally but I definitely wouldn’t wear them on my super sweaty workouts. They are beyond comfortable… so so comfortable that I just had to mention them here. The material feels like a cozy blanket. The waistband is perfect.
Sizing Note: in all the Alo Yoga leggings, I wear an XS which is a 2-4 although I am normally more of a 0-2 in “regular clothing”
These are the exact pair of Lululemon leggings that feel like butter; they also have 3 lengths, which I will link here:
I am a big fan of Lululemon leggings in general. I do believe of all the brands I’ve tried, they have the best coverage, meaning that when you squat down and get your workout on, the material doesn’t get sheer. If it does for you, it’s a good indication to size up.
These leggings are incredibly lightweight; no exaggeration… it truly feels like you’re not wearing pants. The hi-rise on these is everything. The waistband and leggings don’t move around as you move around (so important to me!). The fabric is cozy and legitimately feels like butter.
If you’ve seen me in a pair of plain black leggings within the past 6 months, there’s a 90% chance it’s these. I wear them multiple times per week. I always suggest starting with a black pair to really get your wear out of them.
When washing, wash these on a gentle cycle and do not throw them in the dryer because I noticed they are susceptible to piling if they aren’t taken care of properly.
Sizing Note: I am a size 4 in Lululemon leggings. I do recommend trying on each pair before buying because I notice some inconsistency with sizing when it comes to styles and colors. I know that colors/patterns can change the fabric and I’ve occasionally gone up a size in a particular legging when I select another color. Also, if you find any pair of Lululemon leggings gets sheer when you squat down, size up!
These were a pair of leggings I purchased that instantly became a hit
I’ve always loved the Outdoor Voices brand. I love what they stand for and I love their look. I’m a matchy matchy kind of girl, so I can’t get enough of the coordinating sets from this brand.
When I first tried on these leggings, I knew they would become a favorite. I HIGHLY recommend these to women who get very sweaty during their workouts. Not a lot of leggings can handle leg and butt BUT (pun intended!) these sure can.
These leggings don’t budge even during the most intense workouts. The fabric always seems to keep you cool. The fit is both comfortable and flattering. AND, they’re so so cute with lots of color option!
Sizing Note: I am an XS in this brand
FAVORITE BUDGET-FRIENDLY LEGGINGS
1. ZELLA LEGGINGS: these aren’t the least expensive but they’re a moderate price range and I compare them most to Lululemon in the way they fit and function.
2. OLD NAVY LEGGINGS: Old Navy makes a moto leggings that really rivals the Alo Yoga moto leggings. People RAVE about these and they are literally a fraction of the price.
3. TARGET – JOY LAB: Target has some really great activewear pieces but one brand I love in particular is Joy Lab. The ones that I linked are total Alo Yoga Moto Legging dupes for 1/4 the cost.
I beat the winter blues in the gym with some really good music (and by really good… I mean mostly inappropriate rap music lol). Today, I wanted to share my workout playlist that I’ve been listening to lately. I hope you find a song or two that you like just as much.
I am also spicing up this blog post by sharing a few random health and wellness items I have in my Amazon cart at the moment. Not sure if I am the only one who does this… throughout the week, I add items to my cart and then all of the sudden I realize I have 27 items totaling $685 – it’s the modern day window shopping, right?! I then get serious and place an order for the things we really need so here are a few I think I’m going to go for!
WORKOUT PLAYLIST (WINTER 2019)
I tend to have a combination of 80% “new” and 20% “old yet new” songs on my playlist. For my workout playlists, I am also big on the beats per minute… I find the more upbeat the song is, the more I can elevate my mood and workout! Probably my favorite song on this playlist is False Alarm – it just always gets me pumped up for a workout.
PLEASE leave song recommendations you have in the comments of this blog post! I always look for new ideas.
I’ve been organizing my home and cabinets lately and it’s interesting to note which items cause the most chaos. While I would love to purchase an “organization system” for everything, I start with the items that seem to make things most messy. In my kitchen cabinets water bottles are a big one, so I think this unit will really help. Plus, I can add onto it!
I’m always looking for ways to help myself and my family drink more water. I love having a pitcher in the refrigerator for homemade iced teas or infused water concoctions. I was attracted to this one because of the great reviews, the different sizes available, and how it works with both hot and cold drinks. The cute design helps too.
I actually am debating between these two. For years, I’ve purchased THESE so I put them in my cart to reorder because we’ve lost several; I’ve always loved the variety of sizes – they seem to be all we ever need.. Buttt, then I saw THESE and I really like the locking system on them. I’ll let you know what I decide!
My love of weighted hip thrusts has me eyeing up this pink barbell pad. I don’t usually use these pads for squats: although I should try it out! I definitely need some padding for hip thrusts so my hip bones don’t bruise as I add challenging weight. I’ve made that mistake before!
10 of the best healthy snack ideas that can help you lose weight, get fit and enjoy every bite of the process. If you are a member of my meal plan, you know I’m not crazy about the concept of snacking. Snacks are often protein-poor and carb-heavy, which isn’t a great combo for getting in great shape. Still, sometimes snacks are just part of the meal line up, so here are some healthy snack ideas for you to enjoy.
1. Protein Muffins
Snacks packed with protein will help keep you fuller longer. I have an delicious Chocolate Protein Muffin recipe here
2. Beef or Turkey Jurkey
This makes for the perfect, portable protein option. The key is to find an option that is natural and not too too high in sodium!
3. Apple + Banana Slices with Peanut Butter
The combination of both apple and banana with a side of peanut butter for dipping. I usually use 1/2 a banana and 1/2 an apple to keep the carbohydrates in check (I’ll use the other half the following day).
4. Cottage Cheese + Sunflower Seeds + Pepper
This is a unique snack idea that I came up with in college because it was protein-packed, inexpensive, came together in a matter of minutes and could be easily packed for a grab-and-go option. You just mix cottage cheese and sunflower seeds together in a bowl and sprinkle with a little bit of pepper.
5. Hardboiled Eggs
One of the easiest protein options to pack. I love making a batch of hardboiled eggs at the beginning of the week and store them in the fridge. My favorite way to enjoy is with the Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning! Have you tried that yet?
6. Deli Roll Ups
For a protein-packed, low carb snack, I like to wrap all natural deli meat around a piece of cheese. I’ll usually use 1 slice of cheese (and rip it into 3 strips) and 3 slices of off the bone, all natural ham to wrap around the cheese. Yum!
7. Greek Yogurt + Granola
Greek yogurt OR my new favorite yogurt, which is YQ by Yoplait (it’s high in protein, lower in carbs/sugar and tastier than Greek yogurt) with ~1/4-1/3 cup of granola mixed in.
8. Trader Joes Crispbreads topped with Chicken Salad
This is a super specific snack, but if you have 1) Trader Joes and 2) Zoe’s Kitchen near you, you’ll love this. The Trader Joes crispbreads are delicious and have an amazing nutrition profile. I’ll eat 1 or 2 and top it with Zoe’s Kitchen chicken salad. It’s so filling yet light.
9. Bell Peppers + Hummus
When I want a lighter snack, I opt for sliced bell peppers and hummus. In particular, my favorite bell pepper color is orange – I am convinced it tastes best.
10. Cucumber Slices + Laughing Cow Cream Cheese
Another lighter snack idea. What I love about this one and the bell peppers in hummus is the crunch is provides (you get that chip or cracker satisfaction. I’ll top cucumber slices with laughing cow cream cheese and enjoy.
Those are some of my go-to snack options. They’re higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than most of the snack ideas out there, so I hope they keep you full and reaching your goals.
For the first time ever… I am giving away $1,000 cash to a person who purchases and participates in the 30×30 3.0 workout + 5 Week Food Plan.
HOW TO WIN:
Winners will be selected based on physical progress AND (most importantly!) dedication to the community and 30×30 + Food Plans. My team and I will be Insta-stalking… we see all the Instagram posts & stories we are tagged in so keep up your check ins and community support!
Grand Prize Winner – $1,000 cash
2nd Winner – $250 cash
3rd Winner – $100 cash
HOW TO ENTER:
1. Email your before photos to firstname.lastname@example.org 2. Subject line: “Full Name, Instagram handle – before photos” 3. You may wear a swimsuit, sports bra or fitness attire you feel comfortable in 4. Photo must include date of when photos were taken (you can be holding a piece of paper with the date or have it posted on the wall) 5. Photos must be submitted by Fri, Jan 25 6. Participants must be 18 years of age or older
These are the self tanning drops I’ve been using on my face and body for the easiest, most natural glow. About a month ago, I posted an IG story saying that I purchased a cleaner, more natural facial self tanner (I now also use it on my body) and since then I get asked every… single… day about them! AND (you guys are so sweet), you’re always sending messages that it looks like my skin is glowing… it’s 110% the drops and not me lol. Let’s get to the review
WHAT ARE THE TANNING DROPS
Again, THESE are the tanning drops. The brand is Isle of Paradise.
I purchased mine from Sephora. They sell out fast but then come back in stock quickly so keep an eye out and order them if you see them available. I say that because I haven’t been able to order another since my first purchase, which is a bit annoying but I guess it reinforces they’re that good.
You mix them right into your moisturizer or lotion and apply as you normally would to your face and body.
Quick Background: I am crazy about self tanner. This is definitely the Wisconsin girl in me… we went so long without that summer sun, so I desperately tried to stay tan year round. I’ve tried just about every product out there.
Even now, living in Texas, I just feel better with a tan. However, as I get older, I crave a more natural, subtle tan (which is very hard to achieve with self tanner).
I previously shared a FULL SELF TANNER REVIEW -> HERE (these are the “more traditional” self tanners but since purchasing these drops, I haven’t used any of those a single time)
The real reason I wanted to try out these tanning drops is because I have NEVER found a facial self tanner that I liked and that didn’t cause me to break out.
I use these tanning drops on my face and body. Absolutely zero breakout or irritation.
They’re so easy to apply because you mix them right into your moisturizer, so it really doesn’t add much work to your routine. Previously, I would have to “gear up” to apply self tanner but with this product, I add a few drops to my lotion, apply, wash my hands and I’m done.
I used my regular facial moisturizer and body lotion. Nothing special. It does make it a tiny bit more “liquidy” – naturally but it still applies like lotion.
There is also no scent, which is pretty unique. I take that back… there is a tiny scent but a good one. It would almost remind you of a beach product but definitely not that typical self tanner scent.
THE RESULTS: I definitely notice a natural glow that develops quickly. In fact, I love how quickly it develops because sometimes I’ll apply in the AM, do my make up and by mid-day, I already tell I look like I laid out by the pool for a few hours.
The color is really beautiful, especially on my face. It’s not orange, rather that natural bronze that I feel every self tanner aims for but doesn’t exactly hit.
Honestly… you sweet ladies have been more of a testimonial than me. The day after I first applied, I posted an IG story (talking bout something else) and literally had 20-30 DMs asking if I tried the tanning drops because I looked bronzed and glowing.
most beautiful color (especially on face!)
produces a natural glow not just a tan
quick + easy application
the bottle lasts a long time
no typical self tanner scent
can’t purchase on Amazon
often sold out
^yes, those are really my only 2 cons lol
PRODUCT REVIEW SCORE: 10/10 (and I don’t give 10s easily)
WHICH COLOR + HOW MANY DROPS
The tanning drops are available in light, medium and dark and the directions suggest to use 1-12 drops depending on the color you’re trying to achieve.
COLOR: my initial instinct was to purchase the medium shade bottle. However, the more reviews I read, the more suggestions I saw to purchase the dark and use less drops. I am really happy I went with the dark. I would be interested in trying the medium to compare but dark definitely isn’t “dark.” To me, it’s a beautiful, bronze that looks super natural.
NUMBER OF DROPS USED: like I mentioned, the suggestion is 1-12. For my first application, I mixed 4 drops with my moisturizer to use on my face and then mixed 6 in with my lotion to use on my body. It was honestly perfect for me. I now do 4-5 on my face and 5-6 on my body, but read my application tips below for how I do an “application” vs “re-application.”
HOW TO APPLY SELF TANNER DROPS
You know the usual self-tanning application suggestions…
exfoliate 24 hours prior to application
apply to clean, shaved body
Yeah, okay… I don’t do that; I just apply after I shower or after I have just washed my face haha.
I begin with my face… I mix my 4-5 drops into 2 pumps of my facial moisturizer. I apply the moisturizer as I normally would BUT I also make sure that I go down my neck, onto my chest and I also carry the lotion onto my ears/back of neck.
I then mix 5-6 drops into my body lotion and apply as I normally would. It’s so easy! I wash my hands and wait to start glowing lol.
I would say the facial tanner lasts 3-5 days. On day 3, I can tell it’s not as bronzed/glowing and then by day 5, it’s pretty much gone. The tan on my body actually tends to last a bit longer.
I think it’s because my facial skincare routine is a lot more intense and naturally exfoliates/rubs off the tanner. I get a pretty solid week out of the body tanner but I’m not real worried about it fading, especially because I’m mostly in long sleeves and pants this time of the year.
I “re-apply” on Day 4, which is just a less intense version of my application. I am specifically calling it a reapplication because I have tried using my initial quantity and I noticed that the tan was not as natural looking.
FACE APPLICATION: 4-5 drops
RE-APPLICATION: 2 drops (cut initial application in half)
For example: on Sunday, I’ll do an application to my face and body and on Thursday, I’ll do a re-application on my face. Then, Sunday back to the face and body application. Does that make sense?!
I feel like I made this a very serious post on… self tanner lol. BUT, I honestly love these drops and wanted to share an in depth product review on them!
Intermittent Fasting is a style of eating in which we alternate between periods of eating and fasting. Now, I don’t like the term “fasting” because it insinuates something restrictive. Funny thing is that we all already do some form of intermittent fasting… we eat during the day and we don’t eat while we sleep. Intermittent Fasting is a more exaggerated form of what many of us are already doing with greater benefits, such as increased fat loss.
I’ve receive so many questions on Intermittent Fasting. I know a lot of women are following IF alongside the new food plan (which is going to be AMAZING for results), so today, I wanted to share all my resources on IF.
WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING
You eat for a period of time and then you stop for a period of time – it’s that simple. There is a standard 16/8 protocol that is often suggested, but I also believe in many modifications (especially for women) that are still very effective. Intermittent Fasting or IF is most popular because of the accelerated fat loss benefit because the time spent “fasting” allows the body to switch from burning sugar/carbs to burning fat for its primary energy source.
WHY I SHARE ABOUT INTERMITTENT FASTING
First off, I follow IF and saw the benefits for myself so I wanted to share in hopes of help you too. I believe my job is to share as many tools as possible to help you reach your goals. Some tools are more useful for you than others. Yet another woman may find different tools useful. Basically, my goal is to share as much as possible and then empower you to decide which approaches, plans and tips are the best fit for you.
IF is another tool in our nutrition toolbox. It is not a diet. It is not a quick fix. It can be a powerful eating approach for fat loss and a variety of other benefits. My mini guide will provide all the details on it but today, I want to preview it so you can decide if it’s something you’re interested in.
I have several blog posts I highly recommend reading if you are thinking about trying Intermittent Fasting OR if you’ve just started. These posts are full of my tips, tricks and even mistakes (so you don’t make the same ones lol).
I TRIED INTERMITTENT FASTING + THESE ARE MY RESULTS
I’ve followed IF 2x in my life- the 1st time was a huge fail and the 2nd time I was successful. Learn from my experience (and my mistakes)
I am pretty certain by now you’ve heard about the celery juicy trend from at least ten different people. From news programs to women on social media and friends… I’ve heard celery juice conversations just about everywhere. But, WHY?! Why is everyone juicing celery? What are the benefits of celery juice? And is this trend right for you?
Well, first off… celery juice isn’t exactly a trend. It may seem like it right now but people (including me!) have been drinking juice in celery for years. But, what is new for me is drinking straight celery juice. So, why am I doing it?!
WHY I JUMPED ON THE CELERY JUICE BANDWAGON
To keep it real, the power of social media and positive testimonials caused me to try celery juicing lol. If you have yet to try celery juice but are someone who has heard about it twenty times… I was exactly in your shoes a few months ago. A friend would mention it. I would see an article circulating on Facebook. A girl sharing her healing story would pop up on my YouTube feed.
There is one person that I heard mentioned again and again in celery juice conversations – the Medical Medium. Most everyone who juices celery suggests reading his books; I have not read them but his Instagram and website provide a sufficient amount of information to understand all about celery juicing for me.
I was also blown away by real life men and women I found on YouTube and Instagram who were sharing how it healed certain things for them. I love following the Little Blonde Book who shares about celery juicing often and how it helped her completely get off medications for Chron’s Disease.
I struggle with eczema and that was one big motivating factor for me personally to try it out (among many other benefits I’ll mention below).
When it comes to trying health-related things, I tend to have a “why not – let’s give it a try” type of attitude. That’s exactly how I felt after perusing all sorts of celery juice content.
BENEFITS OF CELERY JUICE
Here are a few of the benefits of celery juice that I found most interesting.
REDUCES INFLAMMATION: inflammation is a link to a laundry list of diseases. Celery juice contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties that essentially starve the bacteria and viruses that create the inflammation
ANTISEPTIC: celery contains mineral salts that can act as an antiseptic when they make contact with viruses and bacteria; the salts break down the pathogens’ cell membranes working to destroy them and eventually flushing out these viruses from the body
AIDS IN DIGESTION + BLOATING: hydrochloric acid plays an essential role in digestion, keeping the digestive system alkaline. Celery juice restores hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach, which makes for better overall digestion. On the topic of digestion… bloating is a common problem many of us face when undigested protein and fat get trapped in the stomach and small intestine. Celery juice promotes hydrochloric acid and bile production to help break this down and reduce bloating.
SKIN HEALTH: eczema, psoriasis and acne are three skin conditions often talked about with celery juice. Like I mentioned, I was most interested in healing eczema. Supposedly, the cluster salts in celery juice pose as a toxin and killer to the pathogens responsible for these skin conditions, which is why they can help heal them. Personally, I haven’t been juicing long enough to notice a huge reduction but my eczema has definitely not gotten any worse (which it normally does in the cold) since starting. AND, I do feel my skin looks clearer but maybe that’s just in my head lol.
DETOXIFICATION + OVERALL WELLBEING: there are many other shared benefits like preventing high blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, fighting ulcers and acid reflux, and detoxifying that made me feel the overall health associated with celery juice was a worthwhile benefit in giving it a try.
CAN’T I JUST EAT CELERY? EATING VS. JUICING
Eating celery is beneficial and healthy but it doesn’t deliver the same powerful benefits as does juicing celery for 2 main reasons
1) juicing celery removes the fiber (wait, isn’t fiber good? yes but….) this allows the benefits of what’s contained in celery to become more bioavailable as our bodies are able to digest and utilize it better without the fiber present
2) we would not be able to eat the amount of celery required to deliver the benefits found in celery juice
LG TIPS: HOW I JUICE MY CELERY
I pretty much followed the Medical Medium protocol on celery juicing, which you can find on his website, but I’ll be sure to sprinkle in some of my own tips here too!
BUYING CELERY: you’ll learn that somehow not all celery tastes the same. In fact, the taste of celery can vary store by store. I also learned that organic celery actually tastes better, but if you don’t have organic available that’s just fine. Personally, I like to buy all organic produce when juicing.
WASH CELERY: wash celery (extra important if it’s not organic). Chop off any leaves if desired; I find the celery juice is less bitter when the leaves are removed. If I want to speed things up for the following morning, I will wash and chop my celery the night prior.
JUICE: I drink 16 oz of fresh celery juice. For me, this requires about 1 large bunch of celery. For best results, it is suggested to make celery juice fresh and drink it immediately. The medicinal properties decrease when it’s frozen but it’s important to drink within 24 hours of making if you do decide to store in with a lid in the refrigerator.
I use THIS juicer. I love it for it’s functionality/good price (for a juicer!) but most importantly, I love it because it’s very easy to wash. Trust me on this… you will NOT keep up with juicing if there are too many components to your juicer or if it’s difficult to clean, which is why I recommend this one most!
What about the blender?! as I mentioned, one of the keys to celery juice is removing the pulp/fiber, which a blender cannot do. However, you can blend your celery juice then use a strainer to get just the juice
WHEN TO DRINK: you want to drink your celery juice in the morning on an empty stomach. Then, wait 15-30 minutes (I prefer to wait the full 30) before eating breakfast.
If you cannot juice and drink your celery in the AM, the second best time is to drink it on an empty stomach sometime during the day 15-30 minutes before a meal.
MODIFICATIONS: when I first began celery juicing, I reduced the overall consumption. I started with around 8 oz of celery juice. I also added a cucumber, which is a medical medium suggestion. Some people will juice an apple with the celery if the flavor is too difficult to get used to. Just keep in mind- the goal is 16 oz of straight celery juice.
NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS?
The most common side effect I’ve heard is that some people experience a change in their bowel movements when they begin celery juice. This is a normal detox side effect, especially in individuals who may have a higher level of toxins. Because the celery juice is killing off bacteria and detoxifying the body, loose stools at the beginning may occur. Honestly, I did not notice any of this. Maybe it’s because I started off slowly?! BUT, I did just want to note that it’s talked about as normal when you first begin celery juice. As your body passes out all the toxins, the normal bowel movements should resume.
IS CELERY JUICE RIGHT FOR YOU?
Finally, I want to make this clear… everything in health is controversial to some extent. Celery juice is no different, so please take everything I shared and all that is out there with a grain of salt, do your own research, consult your healthcare provider, and make the best decision for you.
I love it! I do feel I’ve already noticed some health improvements and again, I have an optimistic attitude on the overall health of it. If I miss one day, I don’t stress about it, but I do plan on keeping this up consistently.
Have you tried celery juice? Please share anything from your experience in the comments!