My Advice:Staying healthy can be a struggle. In a world of super-sized-deep-fried-cheezy-awesomeness...it's hard sometimes. It's hard to find motivation to workout when all you want to do is take a nap or watch Netflix all day or just snuggle with a fur baby (I want a cat so bad). But trust me, once you get up and get going, you will feel so much better about yourself. Yes, working out and eating better will make your body look "better." However, for me, my focus has been on how it makes me feel on the inside. I don't have any real goals in mind for how I want my body to look besides leaning out. Instead, I want to feel stronger, I want to be happier, I want to have my mood more balanced. Those are the goals and the feelings I get after working out that keep me going back.
I think we've all been there. New Year's comes along and everyone wants to get in better shape, eat less junk food, lose weight, and so on. Every single year I was that person. I would stick to my goal for a little while, maybe 2-4 months, and then I would just stop working out or eating healthier. Sound familiar?
What I think has changed for me this time is that I really have made a commitment to myself to do better for myself, inside and out. I've noticed when I work out regularly and try to eat healthier, I feel better prepared to mentally handle my life. My anxiety is less and my depression sees less days as well. I'm better able to cope on days where my anxiety or depression is present as well.
About a week ago, I took my commitment to a whole new level. I joined a gym. WHAT.
If you knew me, this is a huge thing to commit to. Before, I had always thought to myself, "Why pay for a gym membership when you can just work out at home?" And to some extent, I still do believe that you don't need a gym to get into shape. Especially if you're a beginner. There's so much available content now that working out at home really does work for some people.
The gym at first can be a very intimidating place for someone who's new. Thankfully, my boyfriend has come with me most times and has showed me how to work a lot of the equipment there. Some of the machines are just super difficult for me to grasp, even with picture-diagrams on the machines, themselves. If you find yourself to feel a little nervous about joining a gym, find a gym buddy to go with you a few times! Also, just remember, everyone in that gym at some point or another was a newbie just like yourself.
Today was my first time going to the gym solo and I have to say I feel rather empowered. I decided I wanted to do cardio, so I did 30 minutes on the elliptical. Boom done. One of the hardest parts of working out is just getting to the gym, yoga mat, etc. Once I'm at the gym or all ready to work out, I'm generally pretty good with getting through a workout. And after working out, I feel so much better and happier and accomplished. Proud.
Supplements:I'm still learning a whole lot about the world of supplements. Right now I take: Fish oil, B12, C and D3. All of these are taken for a different reason and I may do a different blog post about supplements. For right now, though, I take them to feel better, really. I take fish oil for my skin and because I don't eat fish very often. I take B12 for energy, C for my immune system, and D3 because I'm a vampire. Also, I aim to drink as much water as possible per day. It really helps me sleep better, have more energy, and stay fuller, longer.
Matcha tea:I'm going on month 4 of not having any coffee. What what. Instead of coffee, I've switched to teas. the main tea I drink now is matcha green tea. Personally, I love coffee. However, my body doesn't respond very well to it. It makes my skin break out, it makes my hormones and mood go all out of whack, and it makes me hit the afternoon slump a more quickly during the day. Matcha is amazing, It tastes good, is pretty cheap, and it's just so much better for my body and mind than coffee ever was. I don't get a caffeine crash like I would with coffee and if you google the health benefits? Oooo. Try it!
Where diet is concerned, I always find that when I eat healthier, or choose better options for myself, I want to workout and vise versa. I truly do enjoy eating healthier. That isn't to say that I never eat "bad" foods. Of course I do. I still occasionally drink alcohol as well. For me, having a "diet" isn't something that's sustainable. You can tell yourself you'll never eat a cookie again, but how realistic is that? Life happens and food is a part of life. Life is way too short to count calories and worry about eating a slice of pizza with respect to my waistline.
What usually happens is that people restrict their diet: cutting out all carbs, all sugar, all junk food, etc. Then what happens is that once you get a tiny taste of one of those things, you binge and ruin all of your "diet" goals. I know this has happened to me soooo many times. I don't believe in dieting. I don't really believe in cutting out certain foods all together. I believe in eating clean, less processed, foods. Honestly, clean food can taste just as good, if not better than junk. That's why I've included some recipes I love :)
- 3/4 Cups of oats
- 3/4 Cups of Greek yogurt
- 2 Egg whites
- 1 Teaspoon baking powder
- 1 Scoop any protein powder
- Cinnamon to taste/or vanilla extract
- Any healthy toppings you want! (strawberries, blueberries, dark chocolate chips)
All you do is spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray. Mix all of your ingredients in a bowl, let it sit for about a minute or two. The batter is a bit more runny that traditional pancake batter, so add less batter to the pan at a time so that you don't have a hard time flipping it. Once it bubbles around the edges, you can flip! It tastes a bit drier than a traditional pancake, but if you add fresh fruit on top it really is a beautiful thing.
- Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless (as many as you want)
- Paprika, thyme, garlic powder, salt, pepper, parsley= all to taste
All you do is trim any fat on your chicken, butterfly it to make it a lot easier to cook. Then you just put as much spice on it as you'd like. Once this is done, you can cook it any way you'd like. The last time I made it, I used a George Foreman grill and it came out pretty awesome. I usually pair it with rice and veggies or make a chicken wrap with a tortilla. The options are endless!
You can do literally anything to eggs and they'll most of the time still be a healthy option. I am a huge lover of omelettes. You can use any veggies you have in your fridge that are about to go bad or any left overs you may have and chuck it in. If you're worried about cholesterol in eggs, use only the whites. Or you can do half egg whites and half whole eggs.
- Spinach, large heaping handful
- Frozen fruit of your choice, handful
- One banana
- One serving of Greek yogurt
- One scoop or half a scoop of protein powder
- Water, almond milk, or orange juice
- Matcha tea, one-two table spoons
Chuck it all into a blender with the liquid on the bottom. Blend until smooth and there ya go. You can't even taste the spinach, I swear!
Peanut Butter Banana Toast:
All you do is toast whole wheat bread. Put peanut butter on the bread. Slice up a banana on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon. OH YAS. It's one of my favorite snacks/breakfasts.
More to come on this fitness journey!
Don't forget to breathe!