Category: Wellness

Skinny Tips for the Fourth of July

IMG_5111Summer is in full effect and nothing says it louder than the Fourth of July weekend! There will be plenty of BBQin’, boozin’ and hangin’ by the water with friends and family.

Whatever your weekend has in store, I have a few skinny tips for you to get through the weekend, guilt free.

DRINK: Choose clear alcohol – vodka or tequila with soda water, a squeeze of grapefruit and extra lime. You can also garnish with cucumber and mint for a more refreshing drink.

Did you know?? Tequila is one of the few liquors that is not made from a starch or grain (it’s made from the Agave plant). When combined with the lime and grapefruit, it does not cause your blood sugar to spike so it helps curb those typical late night junk food cravings.

EAT: Load the grill up with lean protein like chicken, fish, kabobs and roasted veggies. Make a mixed green salad or fresh fruit salad for a lighter side dish. Doing burgers? Go bun-less.

Worried about having healthy options at a party? Bring your own to share!

Remember at a party there are typically four categories we can indulge in: booze, bread, snacks and dessert. Limit yourself to one or two of the four, but never more!

EXERCISE: Plan on getting your workouts done first this in the morning on at least 2 days this weekend.

What are your July 4th weekend plans? I’d love to hear YOUR skinny tips for the 4th! Have fun, be safe, and keep it skinny! 

xo
Jenn

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I share more of my healthy living tips and tricks on Facebook and Instagram. I’d love for you to follow along on my health and fitness journey!

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Pull Yourself Out of Negativity With a Power Phrase

There’s a little voice that runs in my head that tells me “Jenn, you can’t….”

You can’t start your own business.

You can’t lose the baby weight.

You can’t be a full time working mom.

You can’t fit in a workout today.

You can’t afford to live there.

You can’t fix your marriage.

Maybe I am overly cautious, maybe it’s a lack of confidence, but I know I’m not alone. The truth is we all have moments of self doubt.

Negativity is a slippery slope. One negative thought can lead to another and another, so how (and when) do you pull yourself out?

I started implementing a “Power Phrase” which is something I learned from a podcast by Chalene Johnson.

A power phrase is something that you say to yourself in moments of self doubt. In times when you know in your head and your heart you have to do something that scares you. In times when your inner voice is telling you “no, you can’t.” What do you tell yourself to get through it? In those moments, I say these words in my head:

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I set the record straight: “Actually, I can.” You’re telling me I can’t, but you’re lying. I CAN. Call me crazy, but it works.

What we constantly tell ourselves over and over again eventually becomes our reality. Make sure you’re telling yourself what you want to hear.

Chances are you already have a power phrase, but if you don’t, take some time today to think about what it might be. Here are a few examples:

That’s not true.

Oh, no you don’t.

It’s not gonna kill you.

All is well.

I got this.

So tell me, what is YOUR power phrase? 

xo,
Jenn

I share more of my healthy living tips and tricks on Facebook and Instagram. I’d love for you to follow along on my health and fitness journey on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM.

Healthy Date Ideas

IMG_4687Happy Friday, friends!! With the weekend finally upon us, I thought I’d share some of my healthy date alternatives for you to explore this weekend.

It’s no secret that Mark and I have been trying to focus on our health a little more these days. It’s not just about getting in shape, it’s also about keeping our marriage alive and healthy, which means carving out more time for each other. After adding a little one to the mix, it’s easy to spend every single minute as a party of three. So we’ve been making an effort to schedule babysitters or line up the grandparents to watch Kaylee once a week.

But how do you make it work when you want to explore the local farmers market and drink green juice and he wants to drink beer and try that new burger joint?

Well, with all things in marriage: compromise is key. But if you’re looking for some healthier date alternatives, I’ve got you covered.

WALK there // If the hubby wins and we’re going out to eat, I like to choose a restaurant that is walking distance from home. Whether it’s a day date or a fancier evening affair, taking a long stroll to get there is a great way to extend our time together and sneak in a little exercise. Walking also helps with digestion on the way home 😉

DO something // Instead of sitting around at yet ANOTHER restaurant, talk your partner into an active day date. It could be a day of paddle boarding, ocean kayaking, a long hike, or a little bike ride. Even a long sunset walk is a great way to connect. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that.

GO somewhere // Our favorite thing to do if we have a full day is to go on a mini adventure. We pick a town that is 30 minutes to an hour or more away and just explore. It always feels good to just get away, even if it’s not overnight. We walk around, try the local coffee shop, check out their downtown and sometimes do a little shopping if I’m extra lucky.

What are some of your favorite “healthy” date ideas? Please share!

xo, Jenn

I share more of my healthy living tips and tricks on Facebook and Instagram. I’d love for you to follow along on my health and fitness journey on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM.

 

Get Out of the Mid Day Slump with My “10 Minute Power Jog”

IMG_3968My husband and I have this routine now where we wake up at 5am, drink some lots of coffee, and do a workout together. We love starting our mornings together, just the two of us. Because let’s be honest, we don’t get a lot of “us” time these days. Working out together first thing sets our tone and intention for the day, and we feel more connected now as husband and wife than ever before. Win-win!

The MAJOR downside is that the coffee maker goes off at 4:45am (!).

Wah. Never in my life, would I have thought I would WILLINGLY set my “alarm” that early. But we have come to realize that mornings are best for us, because trying to workout with a toddler running around just doesn’t happen these days. If we don’t do it first thing in the morning, we end up dreading it all day long. Our daughter is waking up earlier and earlier these days (WTF! moms: any advice here?), which means OUR wake up call also got pushed up.

As you can imagine by noon I am EXHAUSTED. I’m not gonna lie: some days it got to a point where I needed a power nap. This wasn’t working. I can’t start napping. And drinking more caffeine isn’t all that healthy.

So – I’ve been implementing a “10 minute power jog.”

Let me tell you: it is seriously a game changer. It’s like a triple shot of espresso. It’s LIKE a 45 minute nap. Only it’s not. It’s PROACTIVE. It only takes TEN minutes. Who doesn’t have 10 minutes? Trust me you will feel like a whole new person afterwards. Ready to tackle the rest of the day.

Now, there are a few rules I’ve given myself:

  1. It’s a jog. It’s not a walk. It’s not a run. It’s not meant to be a workout but you should break a tiny sweat. I take my time and run at whatever pace I’m feeling.
  2. It’s 10 minutes max. It’s not a workout and it does not replace my exercise for the day.
  3. It’s not mandatory. This isn’t another thing I’m adding to my “to-do” list. I can do it when I need it but it’s not an everyday thing.
  4. It’s not scenic. I’m not driving anywhere for this. It’s right out my front door – 5 minutes out and 5 minutes back.

I would love for you to try this with me! Next time you’re hitting that mid day slump, I challenge you to do something proactive and see how you feel. Let me know what you think!

Throw Away Your Scale : Why You Can STOP Weighing Yourself TODAY

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Once upon a time, I weighed myself every morning. It helped me stay accountable and kept me motivated. I thought it was for good reason, but it was horribly unhealthy. I let that little number dictate my day. My LIFE, really.

When I got pregnant, I saw the number increase at such a rapid rate, and because there was absolutely nothing I could do about it, I started to become less and less focused on it. I knew I HAD to gain weight to keep my baby healthy. For once, I gave myself grace to gain.

In the process, my habits changed. I knew I was going to be gaining weight no matter how healthy I ate, so I didn’t need to step on the scale. I felt such a sense of relief. When “the baby wanted me too”, I indulged. And really, I didn’t go overboard. My husband and I ate out at restaurants whenever we wanted, because we knew those lunch dates would be few and far between when our little bundle arrived. I exercised daily and listened to my body.

I gained 40 pounds and I don’t regret an ounce of it.

For once I chose what I wanted from the menu. Not what was the lowest calories, but what really, truly sounded tasty. I stopped eating when I was full (because when you’re THAT prego, you can only fit SO much). I learned what hunger and satisfaction actually felt like.

My relationship with the scale changed for the better during those 10 months. I fell out of the habit of weighing in regularly and measuring my success by that stupid little number. And now…I DON’T weigh myself everyday, or even every week, for that matter. I go by pictures. How I feel. How my clothes fit. My measurements.

Do you ever let the number on the scale dictate your progress? Or even worse, your day? Do you get anxious to step on the scale? 

Well today I want to encourage you to STOP. Stop letting that little number control your life. You are worth so much more than a number.

When we weigh ourselves on a daily basis, the number we see plays tricks on us. Our weight naturally fluctuates day to day due to water retention, hormones, sodium intake, etc.  Another big factor is our body composition – our muscle to fat ratio.

Now I know you’ve probably heard “muscle weighs more than fat.” Well friends, that is NOT true. A pound of muscle actually WEIGHS the same as a pound of muscle. !! They are both a pound. The real concept is that a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. So if you replace fat with muscle by incorporating strength training into your workout routine, you may not actually see the scale go down, but you’ll be smaller.

Today, I encourage you to let the numbers go. Throw the scale away for all I care! Focus on your journey. Focus on fueling your body with wholesome nutrients. Focus on moving your body. Focus on challenging yourself every day. When you let go of the stress of the scale, you’ll be amazed at what your body will accomplish.

Start Goal Setting TODAY

SetAndReachGoalsI am HUGE, firm believer in goal setting and today, I want to encourage you to set some for yourself. This is something my husband, Mark taught me and I am so hooked. You can accomplish some amazing things by just letting yourself realize and fully understand what you truly want.

Every year, it’s important to set personal and professional goals. Maybe it’s how you want to feel or how you want to look. Maybe it’s the relationships you want to have. Maybe it’s a financial goal. Maybe it’s a career goal.

Goalsetting

So HOW exactly do we set goals?

At the beginning of each month, form these concepts into more specific goals. And then weekly, make a game plan of how you are going to get there. Make sure your goals are really goals and not “to-do” items. Cleaning the house is not a goal. Going to work is not a goal. Those are tasks. Think: BIG PICTURE.

Here’s an example: you want to lose weight. 

**Yearly: I want to be 30 lbs lighter a year from now. I want to feel confident and good about myself.

**Monthly: I am going to lose 2-3 pounds per month. I am going to respect my body and improve my health.

**Weekly: I am going to workout 5 days this week and follow a healthy nutrition plan. I am going to listen to personal development podcasts to help boost my confidence.

**Daily: TODAY I am working out and eating healthy. I am speaking positively about myself and loving my body at the state it is currently in.

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My #1 tip is to write down your goals! The act of WRITING with pen and paper helps define what it is we really want. Put them in a place where you can see them everyday. Maybe it’s a notebook or planner, maybe it’s posted on your bathroom mirror.

Once you’ve laid our your game plan, start daydreaming! This feels super awkward at first but it’s all about our mentality. Your inner thoughts become your reality. So THINK and ACT as if you’re there. Here’s a video clip I love on how to do this:

What are YOUR goals and what are you doing TODAY to get there?

All About That Bass

Loving this song lately — really funny lyrics with some pretty awesome messaging. Now I’m all about being a healthy size and weight, but positive body image is most important. You can’t have a healthy body if your mind is in a bad place. And in a society where so much value is placed on appearance, we could all use a little reminder once in while.

“Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.”

Enjoy!

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

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Labor day weekend holds a very special place in my heart.

Sure, it marks the end of summer, the start of a new school year, and some of the best sales of the year. Oh, and who can forget the good old fashion rule: we can’t wear white after labor day. Totally old school in my book. Rules are meant to be broken, especially in fashion.

But besides that, it is the weekend my husband and I chose to get married. Our intent was we’d celebrate each anniversary with a little weekend getaway.

This year we decided to do a little stay-cation in La Jolla, CA and just take a few days to enjoy the beautiful coast right in our own backyard.

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Stay tuned for pics!

Tell me: What are YOUR labor day weekend plans? 

P.S. Skinny tips for your summer cookout!

What I Wish I Knew in College about my Health

college-lifeA dear friend tagged me in an old college photo last weekend and it instantly brought us all back to the time and place we met. Looking back, college was full of SO many good times — now a million and one memories. While some days I’d give anything to go back for just one day, I can’t help but look at how much I’ve changed since then.

When I graduated from high school, I was “healthy” and “in shape.” But then again isn’t every 17-year-old? (The truth is: I didn’t know a thing about health – but that’s a whole other story, for a different day.)

And then college happened. And over those 4 years, the weight crept on. By the time I graduated, I didn’t recognize myself. Five pounds a year will do that to you!

I’m happy to say, after graduation I learned how to lose weight in a healthy way. I found a healthy balance between having fun and nourishing my body. And eventually I re-discovered my love for exercise.

I wanted to share a little on what I know now and what I would have done differently if I were moving back into the dorms today.

Drink smart // Let’s face it: every college kid is going to drink. A lot. Don’t waste your time with sugary flavored vodka and fruity mixed drinks. Remember, clear drinks are better choices than darker varieties and just say no to the 3am burritos.

Find a routine // The one thing about college life is that every day can be totally different if you let it. With class schedules different every day and parties popping up whenever/wherever, a routine is easy to get away from. Get a healthy breakfast every morning, get plenty of sleep and find a gym time that fits in with your class schedule.

Eat real food // Frozen dinners get you nowhere in life. Learn to cook real food, even if it’s just grilled chicken and brown rice. It will save you in the long run. Start simple and slowly add in spices and try new recipes to mix it up. Easy and cheap is not the answer.

Walk // College campuses are giant. Save some money, don’t buy a parking pass this year. Walk from your apartment/dorm to class instead. Those extra steps will add up and you’ll thank me later. Oh how I wish I had at Fitbit circa 2005.

What do you wish you would have known in college that you know now? How would you have been healthier?

A Note on Mental Illness Following Robin William’s Death

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“Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien — but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most — from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets.”

–President Barack Obama

The news of Robin Williams’ death yesterday morning due to apparent suicide is such a tragedy. While I am by no means an expert in this area, I can’t help but want to write about it.

Coincidentally, my husband and I were talking on Sunday about our favorite childhood movies and I immediately brought up two of my favorites: Hook and Mrs. Doubtfire. Robin Williams brought so much laughter and joy to my childhood. The news is surely a shock to us all.

I can’t help but wonder though. How could someone with so much going for them possibly feel depressed to the point of suicide? He had it all, right? The fame, a dream worthy career, and a beautiful family.

But it’s important to remember that depression and most mental illnesses don’t take personal factors into account. Mental illness can affect anyone. It’s time that we, as a culture, as a community, stop shaming people for what is out of their control.

Now maybe we can’t prevent the inevitable. But what if we can.

In memory of Robin Williams, my hope is that we can all be a little kinder to each other and strive to make each other smile, laugh and feel happy. There is no doubt that he did that for us.

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