5 Healthy Hacks

 

Since I just shared some of my workouts with you, I thought I’d compile a quick refresher on some healthy hacks for life, especially life in quarantine! If you feel like you’re falling more into the slumps or down in the dumps, you may just need a few tweaks to your daily routines.  I find that if I get off track, I need to stop and look at where my energy and time is going. 

  1.  Move your body AT LEAST 30 minutes every day.  Break it up if you have to! 5 minute stretch in the morning, 10 minute yoga break mid day, 15 minute walk after dinner. Boom, done! Or do a dance session, lift some weights, hop on your spin bike, play some tennis or run after your kids!  Just do it every single day.  You’ll quickly find how great you feel, and want to move more!  If you have a dog, make it a goal to walk the dog first thing in the morning and once again in the evening.  Once you’ve gotten into that habit, don’t count that as a workout, but just as a daily routine. Watch your body start changing immediately! 
  2.  Drink that water!! If you’re not drinking at least 1/2 your body weight of water or more, you are most likely not getting enough H20!! I’m not talking your teas, coffee, pop, whatever…straight up water yo!  Buy yourself a cute new water jug or one that keeps your water extra cold! Cut some fresh fruit, stick some mint in there, do whatever you need to do, but get more water. It will help your skin glow, your digestion flow, and you may even eat less since you’re probably more thirsty than hungry when you go grab that extra snack.  I’m also trying to drink a huge cup of water before a meal so that I don’t overeat as well.
  3. Enjoy SOME sweets. Fruit is not evil!  I find that if I eat enough fruit throughout the day or cut some up at night after dinner, I don’t find myself wanting to eat a whole batch of GF cookies.  One or two cookies won’t kill your vibe, but reign it in. I will even have a few chocolate/butterscotch chips with some tea if I really want.  Do not deprive yourself, or you will end up overeating.  Have a glass of wine or a white claw. It’s ok! Just try not to have 3+ or you’ll just undo the work you’ve done.  Remember we are in a wonky time so if you take away all the fun things, you may just quit and that’s no good.  If you do over-indulge, tomorrow is a new day.  Do not stress *we don’t need that cortisol raising any more than it is!
  4. Eat the rainbow!! No not skittles, but rather fill your plate each meal with as many colors as you can.  Breakfast I try to get my spinach (green) tomatoes (red) eggs, avocado, blueberries or strawberries….you get my drift.  If you find yourself eating all bland foods at each meal, you may not be getting all of the nutrition your body needs and you’ll crave it and cave in other areas.  Now that Summer is almost here, those fresh fruits and veggies will be abundant! Keep those carrots handy, celery, berries, and salads are so great on a hot sunny day!
  5. Gratitude.  I know you’ve heard it a million times but if you just take a few minutes in the morning, or at night, or both, to find a few things in life you’re thankful for, life does seem to have a funny way of turning around! I try to write in my Start Today Journal daily but if I don’t, I will still take time to reflect and count my blessings.  If you start focusing on all the bad, negative, how things could be better, than that’s all you’ll see.  Trust me, I know because I fall into that sometimes too.  But I try so very hard to have a happy headspace and focus on the good!  It’s amazing how much good will come back to you!

Productivity

I’ve been really focusing on what’s making me productive and how I’m getting everything done.  I watch tons of other moms on YouTube doing their thing, I surround myself with positive people and have a few tips that I believe can help you if you feel overwhelmed.  I am doing the #last90dayschallenge and so a few of these are inspired by Rachel Hollis, but I started implementing them before 10/1 so I can speak from experience that they are helping in more ways than one!

1.) Cut distractions. 

This could be negative family or friends, social media in general, mindless snacking, or your phone.  I know babies, kids and dogs can be a bit demanding, but get into a schedule and figure out a good routine.  I know if I put the dog outside on her doggie run, I have a good amount of time to get some stuff done without worrying about her puppy-ness wanting to chew on toys that haven’t been cleaned up etc.  My kids are getting older so I can set some timers and let them watch a show, play a video game or independently play without having to watch them like a hawk.  If you have a baby or a toddler, then give yourself grace.  You’re number one focus is keeping that human alive!  Otherwise, turn off the phone, ignore messages (for now) and set a time later in the day to accomplish those things.  Having a list helps me.

2.) Finish things.

There’s not much worse than that feeling like you have a million things left not done.  Maybe you’ve started most of them, but if you’re like me, you can easily get distracted (kids, dogs, life!) and then I don’t finish something and it hangs there.  Just do it.  It probably only takes half the time we think anyway.  Set a timer and get-er-done!  The satisfaction of crossing it off the to do list and actually seeing an end result will catapult you onto the next activity that needs to happen.

3.) Drink your water & Cut or limit sugars, processed foods, and alcohol. 

Tired? Drink your water.  Hungry?  Drink your water.  Bored? Drink your water.  Feeling run down? Drink your water.  Want a soda or coffee?  Drink some water.  I’ve been making myself drink half of my body weight in water, and before I allow myself to eat or drink something else (even tea) I chug a bunch of water to see if it’s something I still want.  Water is SO important for all of our organs and to keep us running full steam! Here me out, I get it.  The latté, cookie, chips, pop, whatever seems so helpful but it I find that the quick fix does not fix the overwhelm.  I know I’m just coming off a cleanse, where I did omit these items, but seriously, I have no brain fog, lots of energy (at 6am) I’m sleeping great and if I had not gotten mindful about what was going into my body, I don’t think I would have realized how great I could feel.  Am I never going to have wine or a Green Tea Latté again?  Heck no, BUT I will have them in moderation.  I think we all tend to get a little lenient in the summer and before we know it, we feel like crap, and the spiral continues.  Plus half of the problem is that we don’t even realize how much we’re consuming until we step away from it for a bit…

4.) Wake up an hour early.  

It’s not easy.  I love sleep.  I love the cozy bed and the feel of the soft sheets.  BUT, when you start making a habit of getting up before the rest of the house, something changes inside.  I look forward to starting my day.  I get to do a few of my favorite things, writing, reading, sipping tea and just be alone with my thoughts.  You could workout, pray, meditate, whatever you feel like doing, but do it before you have to go take care of everyone else.  Creating before you start consuming will change your life people!  I’ll write more on my morning routine later, but just try it for a few weeks.  If you normally get up at 7, set that alarm for 6 and just set things up the night before.  I literally cannot stress the importance of this one!  YOU matter and putting yourself first to be with God, or a good book, or sweat sesh will give you that push the rest of the day.  An hour sound like too much?  Start with 15-20 minutes and work your way up.  I was up at 5:45 no alarm today, just because.

5.) Have fun!

The less we look at things at “chores” or things that we have to do, the better we feel.  If I have a dirty floor, clothes piled everywhere, messy rooms, food to prepare and overflowing dishes in the sink, the first thing I do is breathe.  Push play on a good audiobook or even a fun song, watch a TV show or YouTube video while you get to work.  {I recently just rented an old favorite movie, You’ve Got Mail, so that I could watch it while I folded and put away the endless loads of laundry}.  Once I realize I can habit stack, I know it won’t be so bad. Then I throw some laundry in, (to feel like I started taking action on SOMETHING!) get going on the dishes, prepare the food, clean up and before I realize it, everything is back in place and I can sigh in relief that my kitchen is no longer a disaster area!

Water & Cleansing

Need inspiration to drink more water? Buy yourself a custom tumbler! My friend Rachel’s amazing!  I had her whip me up this pretty little one.

“When life hands you lemons, pray they are lulu.”

Check out her custom etsy shop, Simply Mama Boutique. Stay tuned in another blog post for a giveaway too!

I wrapped up my 10 day cleanse and I will 100% admit, it was SO darn tough!  Being super cold up here in NY, all I am craving are warm baked goods, pastas, and lots of hot lattés.   Was my cleanse a total flop?

No.

I actually think it was the perfect re-boot that my body needed.

  • I upped my water intake (we need 1/2 of our body weight in water at least!)
  • I upped my veggie intake
  • I stopped snacking mindlessly
  • I pretty much omitted sugary foods/drinks (I did cheat and have a soy green tea latté on Friday, my last day before taxes)
  • I ate more lean protein
  • I ate more real foods, not so much bars/shakes/aka processed junk
  • I worked out
  • My jeans are baggy again
  • I lost the bloat/extra flub around my midsection
  • I slept well
  • I had more energy
  • I only drank (wine) on Saturday night
  • I became more mindful of what I was eating

I didn’t lose any weight, but if I had measured inches I am sure that I lost some.  I am at a steady 135 and I am 5’7.  I am in between a 4/6.  My goal is to continue 80/20 eating.  I want to enjoy a latté when I’d like one, but not drink them daily.

I want to tone up and build more muscle, while enjoying delicious foods. My body seems to work best if I eat clean all day, and then dinner I can be a little flexible and enjoy a little pasta or cheese pizza.  I cannot do the all or nothing thing, it never works.

Next up I’m going to play around with intermittent fasting a bit more.  I am fascinated by it, and have several friends who swear by it.  Stay tuned!

I did notice the biggest difference when I started CHUGGING my water.  The fiber for sure helps flush out toxins, as does the cleanse tablets, but more than anything ladies and gentlemen, water, water, water!!!

Top 5 tips to drink more water:

  1.  Cute tumbler
  2. Figure out if you prefer water cold or room temp
  3. Use a straw (I don’t know why, but I always drink more with a straw!?)
  4. Add lemon or fruit to flavor
  5. Have water everywhere.  I have multiple cups going day/night.

10 Day Cleanse

It’s that time again!! You know, when your jeans are just a tad too tight to feel comfortable in.  The extra glass of wine never hurt anyone. Those couple of bites of birthday cake, which turn into several pieces.  Snacking off the kids’ plates and just not really putting forth any effort with your diet. Guilty as charged!

I personally LOVE the AdvoCare 10 day cleanse.  I cannot do Spark due to my reflux (I can’t drink coffee or eat garlic, fried foods, too many starches, sugars, etc without feeling the effects.) What I can do instead of Spark is Pre-Workout. It tastes just like pink lemonade and it doesn’t have any sucralose as it’s sweetened with Stevia.

I try to do a cleanse every season (ever 90 days) and for me it’s more of a re-set of my system. I know what works. I know what I need to eat to feel and look my best. But it’s soooo easy not to…and to just be meh. Well, I’m over that and I’ve used every excuse in the book to put my cleanse off, so today is the day!

I mentally prepared myself yesterday, as I enjoyed some delicious Cabernet and made my beautiful family some ground turkey lasagna. Totally worth it and everyone enjoyed! So what will I not eat the next 10 days? Processed sugars, starchy white carbs, dairy, wine, and of course my beloved green tea lattes are off limits.  Last time I cleansed and was craving a sugar filled latte, I stopped at the local Yoga studio and grabbed a hot freshly steamed apple juice.  Totally curbed the craving!

Side note, I do have a schedule cheat night for our date night this weekend! I will roll with the punches, as we have not had much Jenn and Joe time with holidays and kids’ birthdays, plus bad weather.

What can I eat? ANYTHING in the fruit and vegetable groups.  I need to stock up for some more fresh goodness at the store!

Lean proteins are key–I doubt I’ll eat much steak and if I do, I make sure it’s 90% lean or like a filet mignon. Tons of fish and chicken for sure!  Beans are cheap and easy, and if I’m feeling hungry, I’ll toss some in with whatever I’m eating to keep me full.  You should NOT be hungry while cleansing!

Since this is not my first rodeo, I know I’ll have to fill up water bottles and leave them everywhere. I find it tricky to drink enough water when the weather is cold, but I will get it done!  I sometimes drink caffeine free herbal teas to help get more water in when I’m freezing. Hopefully I can drink enough and flush this fat away!

I’m quite annoyed with myself for not sticking with a consistent gym routine.  Sickness, weather, you name it will cause me not to workout and that’s kinda lame. I can totally work out from home, if need be…so my goal is to sweat 5 times a week. I consider Sunday a win, since I walked Holly for 45 minutes and then had an epic dance party with the kids after dinner. I sweat, so that counts in my book!

I’ll try to keep track of my food on my insta-story as that seems to keep me motivated and held accountable. I’ll probably eat the same thing a lot (for time sake) but I also hope to keep up with it longer than just 10 days.  I hate reaching for a man made protein bar and shake when I know I should be eating real whole foods.  When I’m not cleansing, I aim for 80/20–again, that’s 80% clean eating and 20% ehhh not so clean.

You’ll see the following foods throughout the week:

  • Eggs
  • Spinach
  • Whole wheat toast
  • Oatmeal
  • Fruit
  • Salads
  • Roasted veggies
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Hummus
  • Corn tortillas
  • Ground turkey
  • Venison
  • Chicken breasts
  • Tuna
  • Nuts
  • Dried cranberry
  • Natural Peanut Butter
  • Almond Butter
  • Fish (Sushi too, just no rice and very little low sodium soy sauce)

I have also started doing some research on intermittent fasting.  I don’t know if I truly could go longer than 14 hours, but I may try! I find that when I cut myself off after dinner (6/7pm) I sleep better and feel better in the mornings. I have become quite in tune with my body and since my reflux acts up, I think eating a final meal around then gives my body plenty of time to digest before I go to sleep.  Sleep is SO important–we should not be having our bodies digesting while we’re healing and resting up for the next day.

Do you have any insight with intermittent fasting? I hear that it’s something you should gradually work up to, and I just don’t know how I feel about not eating for like 24 hours. I get pretty cranky if I don’t eat every 3 hours as it is, so I dunno…if it works for some people that’s great, but I am unsure I could get too many hours while breaking my fast.  When I did a strict juice cleanse for 3 days, by the end of the 3rd day I had to eat lettuce with lemon juice…I was so hungry!

 

Stay tuned and keep an eye on my instagram for updates.