10-22-2014

Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

You know what I just realized? The NYC Marathon is next weekend!! I’m seriously so pumped for all of you running it and I can’t wait to go be a spectator. And to see Kara Goucher run!

Let me know if you’re running so I can try to find you in the crowd! I plan on having this sign :)

boston-marathon
Anyway, here are your links for today!

Featured: 4 Yoga Poses For Tight Hips (Keeping It Simpelle)

IMG_0749

 

I love this pose though I can’t lean forward like that. And I’ve never tried the shoelace one. Think I will do these tonight!

  • Spooktacular Smoothies (Run To The Finish) – Cute idea and the smoothie recipes look delicious. If you have a smoothie recipe, head on over to Amanda’s page to link up to this post!
  • Yoga Must Haves (Tina Reale) – Those shorts/underwear by C9 look really comfy! I need to get more tops specifically for yoga. I like my running shirts baggy but this doesnt’ go well when you’re in downward dog :-P
  • Taco Pizza (A Mindfull Mom) – This just made me really hungry. Combining tacos and pizza? Sounds awesome.
  • Last Minute Healthy Meals (SuzLyfe) – I’m all about quick, healthy meals – especially for dinner. I usually get home from the gym and just want to eat. There are some good ideas here.
  • 30 Best Kettlebell Exercises (Lifting Revolution) – I need to get a kettlebell to just have in my apartment for when I don’t go to the gym. Bookmarking this!

Do you wear different types of fitness apparel for different activities? What do you prefer? I need loose fitting shirts and spandex shorts!

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07-23-2014

8 Ways To Reward Yourself For Working Hard

Sometimes, we all need a little extra motivation to push us towards our goals. For me, in a time where I’m not really training for anything, this is especially true! Or even if you are working towards something, a little treat always feels good.

I like to reward myself when I complete a goal, like finishing a marathon, or setting a PR. My favorite way to do so is adding in an extra rest day so I can truly relax ;) But here are 8 other ways you can reward yourself for working hard in the gym & out:

ways-to-reward-yourself-for-working-out

Photo Credit: kaneda99 via Compfight cc

1. Buy new workout clothes, sneakers, etc. Who doesn’t love going to the gym in new gear? I love splurging on some items (hello lululemon), but also find great things regularly at T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, Target and Old Navy. I think buying clothes is great for when you hit mini-goals…or basically, at any time ;)

2. Pamper yourself. If you’re like me, you don’t pamper yourself enough. I get manis and pedis occasionally but not that often. Whenever I do this, or get a new haircut, I always leave the salon feeling confident and well-manicured. Don’t get massages often? Save it for after your longest run ever, or after a tough race…what a great way to relax and work out those knots.

3. Save up. Pampering yourself costs money. A great idea I saw on Pinterest a while ago was to put $1 in a jar every time you hit the gym. If you go 5 days a week for a month, you’ll have about $20 at the end (thank you captain obvious, I know). $20 = two manicures! Or save up for a big workout clothes shopping spree…or a massage…or a blowout…or new running shoes (that’s what I splurge most on).

savings-jarSource

4. Eat dinner somewhere new. We’ve all heard the saying “Don’t reward yourself with food, you’re not a dog.” That’s not what I mean. Find somewhere with a great, healthy selection and go out on a dinner date. Nothing better than a delicious salad or a good chicken dish after a hard workout.

5. Be a tourist in your own town. Visit a new museum, park, etc. in your town. I can name probably 10 places in my area that I haven’t been to in all the time I’ve been here. Hey, I’m 45 min outside of the city and I, myself, haven’t been to the Statue of Liberty yet. Also, check out your library for special coupons or deals. I just found out my library gives away passes/tickets to the Guggenheim Museum and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. I need to do this before the summer ends!

6. Take a new fitness class. After training for a race for months, I need a break from running. Same with lifting. Taking a new fitness can help reignite your passion for fitness, and you may also find your new favorite way to exercise. If you’re in a plateau, either physically or mentally, find a new class or club (like a running club), to try out.

7. Get someone else to reward you. Hey, massages are expensive…so why not get someone else to buy one for you ;) This is a good incentive for couples. Perhaps you and your significant other (or you could also do it with your best friend) make bets based on your goals…winner gets the reward! Who else is competitive? ;)

8. Buy something you’ve wanted for a while. Recently, I splurged on a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers. I’ve wanted them for so long but never bought them because I rarely spend a lot on myself. I always tell myself that money is put to better use. Well, this time I got the sunglasses I’ve been wanting for years. I bought them to reward myself to getting new clients for my business, and you can do the same for any big goal you set and achieve.

What’s the last thing you splurged on for yourself?

Do you like to splurge or are you like me?

What would you add to this list? Leave a comment below!

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05-27-2014

Unhappy

Lately, I have not been the best with eating. In fact, for weeks now I just haven’t cared as much. I mean, I haven’t been eating like total garbage. I eat a pretty healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s just what’s been had in between those meals that hasn’t been great. And it seems months of being lax has caught up to me. I’m just not happy with myself now.

I know I did this to myself. It’s my own fault considering I’m the one who decides what goes into my body. I’ve definitely eaten too many cookies, too much ice cream…too many sweets in general. Each week I try to eat better, but my sweet tooth has just gotten the best of me. I can’t control it. Has this happened to anyone else?

Anyway, this weekend I went out with friends and we took a bunch of pictures, and I just was not happy at all with how I looked. Once I saw the pictures, I felt self conscious about how I looked, and the next day I thought, “I really need to make a change.” Those pictures just made me feel…gross, for a lack of a better word.

I know that if someone, such as a client, was telling me this, I would tell them not to be so hard on themselves. I mean, how many times have we seen this quote?

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But at the same time, I just know I need to make a change. This is probably the heaviest I have been…and it’s definitely not muscle. My workouts have been great. I mean, I exercise pretty much every day. But you know that saying about how you can’t out exercise a bad diet? Yeah, it’s true.

This weekend I ordered a nutrition plan to get back on track. I will let you guys know which one it is and my thoughts once I get it. I want to do a full review of it myself before I post about it.

How can I be so motivated workout-wise, but just not at all nutrition-wise? Why is eating clean so hard? Especially after you’ve fallen off the wagon. I’d like to lose 10 lbs, since that is about what I have gained. But ideally, I just want to feel comfortable with myself again! I just wanted to get this off my chest and see what your thoughts are. Any tips would certainly be appreciated.

Have you gone through something similar before?

How do you bounce back after falling off, whether it’s with exercise or nutrition?

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03-31-2014

How To Make Your Own Natural Beauty Products

My mom is all about natural remedies and options for every day things we use. For example, she always has herbs and teas ready for any ailment we may have. Though I’ll admit sometimes I do prefer straight up medicine ;) But natural remedies for being sick aren’t the only thing you can create. Recently, my mom made a face mask for my brother, who has dry and sensitive skin. This is just one example of what you can do for yourself right at home. And save yourself some money as well! How To Make Your Own Beauty Products

HAIR

Dry Shampoo

My mom told me about this one because she saw it on Dr. Oz. That episode focused on baking soda solutions, so a few of the things I cover here will talk about that.

baking soda for hair

If you have oily hair like I do, then this may be something you try. I use dry shampoo a lot because my hair gets oily even if I washed it a few hours ago. Ugh.

Here’s what you do:

Sprinkle baking soda on your hair along the part. Tousle it with your fingers and fluff it with a hair dryer, which also helps to shake off any excess.

I’ve tried baby powder but haven’t been a huge fan. For me, I’d still have white patches and I don’t want to look like I have dandruff. I haven’t tried baking soda, but think I will! You might say, well I still have to buy baking soda, so how will this save me money/be any different than buying dry shampoo? Well, there are a ton of other uses for baking soda which I will outline below. Definitely more bang for your buck than buying 1 product for 1 use!

Hair Volume

Dr. Oz also suggests using baking soda to give your hair more volume. Mix a quarter-sized amount of baking soda with your shampoo, and it’ll help get rid of oil and build-up. Furthermore, it will give your hair body once you blow-dry it. Who doesn’t want a little bit more volume?

Hair Mask

Want shinier hair? You can pay for some expensive hair masks or deep conditioners, or you can try to make your own first to see if it helps.

I just had to use this picture.

I just had to use this picture.

 Photo Source: jmatthew3 via Compfight cc

I have heard of using honey and oil as a hair mask a few times, but couldn’t remember a specific source. I found a great source by a Yahoo! Contributor. Here are the ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil (optional – it’s to give the mask a refreshing aroma and slight cooling sensation on the head so it’s relaxing).

Here are the instructions:

Pour the organic honey, olive oil and peppermint oil into a small mixing bowl. Then combine the ingredients together until you have a slightly thick golden hair mask. When applying the honey olive oil hair mask it is best to tip your head over the bathtub or large sink so the hair is in front of your face. Then you want to take small handfuls of the hair mask at a time and massage and lather it into the hair and scalp as best you can making sure every strain of hair is covered from root to ends. Next tuck your hair away into a shower cap so it doesn’t drip all over the place. Once the mask is in your hair, it is best to leave it in for about 1 hour. It you do not have much time 30 minutes is okay as well.

FACE

Do you have acne, or are you breaking out? Then a baking soda face mask may help. This is the mask my mom made for my brother and it seems to have helped him. This is also from Dr. Oz’s baking soda series. A mask of baking soda and honey can help absorb oil and smooth and clear the skin. Here are the instructions:

Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with 1 1/2 tablespoons of honey. Apply this mixture to your face for 10-15 minutes. Add water if you need to help it liquify, but don’t make it too thin. Don’t try this treatment more than about once per week.

Only 2 ingredients needed!

TEETH

I’m sure you have all heard of how baking soda can help whiten teeth. I actually plan on starting to try using baking soda on my teeth this week, so I’ll keep you all posted on the results! I’d rather try this at-home version first before paying $40 for Crest Whitening Strips (even though I’ve heard good things about it).

I want this cat's pearly whites :-P

I want this cat’s pearly whites :-P

Photo Source: *¦·sindorella·¦* via Compfight cc

 Here’s how to make your own baking soda natural toothpaste:

Add three parts baking soda to one part smashed strawberries and one part lemon juice. This combination will remove stains and plaque while providing flavor. Store the extra in the fridge in a sealed container and use it as your toothpaste twice a day.

Here’s another option I found that uses hydrogen peroxide and baking soda:

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide 2 tablespoons baking soda   In a small jar or other airtight container, combine the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Mix them together to form a smooth, thick paste. (You can keep this paste stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks).   After brushing and flossing your teeth as you normally would, wet your toothbrush and apply a small amount of this paste (cover the bristles). Then brush your teeth for two minutes, avoiding the gums, as this can lighten them as well. Now rinse the toothbrush and brush your teeth with clean water for two more minutes. Rinse your mouth with warm water.   Do this one to two times per week, until you reach your desired shade. Then reduce usage, and do this only one to three times per month.      

Not sure how I feel about using hydrogen peroxide but might be worth a shot. I really need to whiten my teeth…my coffee habit has not been good to them!

RANDOM

A little side topic here going along with the teeth thing…has anyone tried oil pulling?? I have seen this being talked about all over the internet recently and am kind of curious to try it. But at the same time, I can’t imagine having coconut oil in my mouth for 20 minutes? If you’ve tried it, I’d love to hear your thoughts and results! Anyway, I hope you took away something from this post! I love hearing about natural remedies and options, and I’m excited to try using baking soda for various things. Like I said, I prefer to try something out first that is natural and inexpensive, and if it doesn’t work then I will try the next option.

Have you tried any of these at-home beauty products? Or tried making anything on your own? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

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03-19-2014

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

It is literally almost spring! I’m so ready for it…the next few days will be in the 50s which will be nice. Let’s just hope it stays that way?

Here are your health links for today:

  • 5 Tips For Eating Healthier (Crazy Running Girl) – These are great tips…and really, who actually eats the serving size for cereal?
  • The Fatigue Fallacy (Nia Shanks) – Great points made in her post. You should not be finishing every workout feeling exhausted. Read on to find out why.
  • How To Make A Healthy Salad (I Heart Vegetables) – If you follow these simple “rules” you will have a delicious salad! She also includes a few recipe ideas.
  • Lucky 7′s Body Weight Workout (Blonde Ponytail) – No equipment needed & 7 rounds?!? This looks like a tough, but awesome, workout.
  • 9 Everyday Stretches For A Healthy Body (The Sweet Life) – We could all really benefit from stretching more often – I know I could. Start incorporating some of these!

Is it spring already in your state? What’s the temp like?

Do you stretch every day?

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03-12-2014

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Can someone explain to me how it was 60 degrees yesterday and will be back down to 25 tomorrow?? Well, it was good while it lasted I guess!

Here are your health links for today:

Do you shop at a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or just your general grocery store? I’ve been reading a lot about Aldi’s recently but have no clue what that is…none near me!

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03-10-2014

The Thigh Gap

Trigger warning: I will be somewhat discussing eating disorders.

When I first started my blog on Tumblr in 2010, a lot of posts I saw were “thinspo” or “thinspiration” which included pictures of girls with thigh gaps. It took me back to the days where a friend told me she wanted a thigh gap, and that your thighs shouldn’t touch. At the time, I wasn’t a personal trainer yet, so I didn’t think much of this, and didn’t think it was unhealthy or anything to want a thigh gap. I was remembering all of this because I saw Cassey from Blogilates posted on her Facebook page about searching for #thinspo, #thighgap and #skinny on social media platforms…I’ll get to that further below.

If you’re not sure what a “thigh gap” is, look it up on Google and a ton of pictures will show up.

thigh gap myth

The Problem

As with any desire to change a certain body part, it becomes a problem when it is something one obsesses over. From what I’ve seen through social media platforms like Tumblr, it seems that younger girls are really striving for this. Looking through the hashtags on thigh gap pictures, you may find things relating to eating disorders. There are lots of workouts that also target this “thigh gap.”

thighgapworkout

Why It’s A Problem

Having a thigh gap could be an unrealistic goal…something many girls may never achieve. Why? Because part of it depends on your hips. If you have wider hips, you may naturally have a thigh gap. If you have narrow hips, you probably don’t and won’t – no matter how many exercises you do. Here’s a good visual (and post explaining the thigh gap) I found on Tumblr:

thigh gap

Girls are chasing something that they may never achieve, and may be doing unhealthy things in order to get the thigh gap (like eating less).

Now, I’m not saying that people with thigh gaps are unhealthy. I’m saying that we shouldn’t be so focused on one body part, no matter what it is.

Social Media & Its Role

While social media certainly helps promote thigh gaps and helps girls spread these “thigh gap workouts” and “thinspo,” social media platforms are also doing a good job of letting users know that searching for these key terms isn’t necessarily healthy. Cassey from Blogilates reminded me of this (as I mentioned in the first paragraph). I knew Tumblr had a pop-up message, but wanted to explore other pages as well.

For example, when I searched “thigh gap” on Tumblr, this was the message I got:

thigh gap warning

I think it’s a great message, and helps to promote healthy goals, as well as possibly help those who need it.

Here’s a message from Pinterest:

pinterestthighgap

If you can’t read that it says, ” Eating disorders are not lifestyle choices, they are mental disorders that if left untreated can cause serious health problems or could even be life-threatening. For treatment referrals, information, and support, you can always contact the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237 or www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

Cassey mentioned that no posts came up on Instagram for “thigh gap” and I searched as well, and it comes up as blank. However, if you search #skinny, a similar text pop-up as the Pinterest and Tumblr ones comes up.

Nothing yet for Twitter.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s thigh gaps, flat stomachs, “toned” arms, etc. I always feel disheartened when someone is so focused on one part of their body. Sure, I want to lose some belly flab, but I know that there are healthy ways to go about it, and also know that it’s possible I may never have a visible six-pack. As I mentioned, it’s a problem when something like this is obsessed over, and the sole goal of eating “healthy” and working out.

Like I said, I’m not bashing anyone with a thigh gap. We shouldn’t focus on whether or not we have one…but why not shift the focus to how strong our legs are? Girls should strive to make their legs stronger, whether it’s through running, lifting, CrossFit, etc.

I’m glad social media platforms are also standing up and trying to help those who may need it. It’s a step in the right direction.

What do you think about the thigh gap? Have you heard of it before?

Time to be positive: Leave a comment with your favorite body part and why you love it!

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03-05-2014

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Found a bunch of great stuff these past couple of days that I have been excited to share with you all!

Here are your health links for today:

  • So You Wanna Start Eating Healthier? (The Healthy Maven) – Great tips on how to eat healthier but not feel too constricted.
  • What If You Don’t Have A Heart Rate Monitor + Bootcamp Workout (Fit N’ Cookies) – You don’t need a heart rate monitor to check in on how hard you’re working. Here are 2 ways to self-monitor.
  • Myths Of Stretching (Tony Gentilcore) – Great article as usual. Does holding a stretch for 10-30 seconds really do anything?
  • Tips For A New Fitness Routine (Toned And Fit) – Whether you’re starting this spring, or know someone who is, these are all great points to follow.
  • Hip Stability Exercises For IT Band Syndrome (Run To The Finish) – I definitely have uneven hips; 2 physical therapists told me :-O Will have to incorporate these into my own routine, because my IT bands are definitely tight!
  • A Guide to Working Out In The Morning (Holly’s Leaps Of Faith) – I really don’t think I will ever be a morning workout person but I like the point of, “I regret getting up early to workout – said no one ever.” True…

Do you prefer working out in the morning or evening? Why?

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02-26-2014

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Is it the weekend yet?! I’m really excited for this weekend because I’m heading down to Atlantic City for a friend’s birthday…soooo Saturday needs to get here already. Anyone else like to gamble? (By gamble I mean play the penny slots) :)

Here are your health links for today:

  • Dark Chocolate Banana & PB Bars (9-to-Fit) – Um…yum?
  • What The Heck Are Macros (Toned And Fit) – Great, quick overview of macros and how the whole “If It Fits Your Macros” thing works. I actually wrote a post explaining it more here. I’m all for IIFYM if you are eating healthy foods too (and not-so-healthy ones in moderation).
  • Coconut Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies (Girl Meets Life) – I need to make these. I have so many things on my “to-do” cooking list…need to get on that…
  • 13 Fitness Challenges That Will Destroy You (STACK) – I really want to try the 10/10 challenge. The trainer says average people will probably last a minute or less. To quote How I Met Your Mother: Challenge accepted.

Check out those challenges…which do you want to try? Or do you have a fitness test of your own that you use to see how fit you are currently?

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02-19-2014

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Is this week dragging for anyone else? I keep thinking today is Thursday. Oh well, only a few more days until the weekend!

Here are your health links for today:

Do you like eggs? What’s your favorite way to eat them? I usually do hard boiled because it’s quick, but on weekends I like them over easy :)

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