Sharing a Lil’ Bday Wisdom

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After a fun weekend of celebrating my 4th 21st birthday (yea, it’s a thing), I can’t help but look back at years past and think about all of the good times and the things I’ve learned. There’s obviously been times in my life that were not so glamorous, but it’s nice to be able to look at where you are in life and say, hey, I’m doing alright. As I continue to grow up, it seems like there’s always something else to learn or to take away. So, to celebrate this special day I’m sharing a little birthday wisdom. Here’s a few things I’ve learned over the years :)

Everyone is “busy.”

We are all busy all the time. It’s impossible not to be. But I’ve learned that there are certain relationships worth making time for, no matter how crazy life gets. If it takes me writing “make plans with so-and-so” on my to-do list for that week, I’ll literally do that. I’ve become very good at keeping in touch with important girlfriends because, at the end of the day, those relationships are a huge part of what makes life worth living, right? Stop making excuses and start reaching out to those people who are most important to you.

If you’re working out to get skinny, you’ll never be satisfied.

I have to reinforce this to myself almost every day, but it’s the truth. I’ve gone from being a cardio bunny to half-assing my workouts at the gym to finally being at the point where I’m truly working out to become stronger and more healthy. Sure, I’d love to attain a model bod eventually but by focusing on the fact that, with each workout, I’m getting more strong and fit, it helps keep me encouraged and motivated.

You’ll never be fully happy in a relationship until you work through your ‘stuff’ first.

We all have things that hold us back in our romantic relationships and until you face those things, you’ll never be truly happy in any relationship – not just that one. You can be in a relationship with the most amazing, perfect-for-you person ever, but if you aren’t content with who you are and what you have going on, you’re always going to feel like something’s missing. Work through that sh*t!!

Having an “all or nothing” mentality when it comes to food is so 2009.

Back in high school I counted every single calorie of every single morsel of food I put in my mouth. In college, I drunk-binged on cheez-its and pizza on the reg. There was no in-between, no balance. If you think this way about food – “I have to eat 100% super healthy” or “Screw it I’ll just eat like shit cause who cares?”, it isn’t a healthy mentality. I’m at a point now where, as much as I’d really love to look like Blake Lively or a Victoria’s Secret model, I still enjoy the foods I love – because who can pass up a good cheese plate or truffle fries, right? I eat clean about 85% of the time but let myself enjoy the foods I love in moderation. Because food = love.

Spending your hard-earned money on experiences, rather than things, is much more rewarding.

Don’t get me wrong, I love splurging on a new pair of shoes or home decor (usually the latter), but I’ve found that spending my money on events, festivals, concerts and traveling is SO much more fulfilling. There’s been quite a few times where I’ve felt like I really can’t spend on anything – whether it’s a material thing or experience – but I think there’s a really fine line between being money-conscious and being overly conservative. You worked for it – go sample a billion wines and eat a ton of cheese at that cool food festival or take a spontaneous weekend trip!! The memories of those experiences will be much more valuable, trust me.

Thank you for reading & sharing my birthday with me! xx

 

 

One Year Down…

The month of September marks an important time in my fitness journey. Around this time, one year ago, I committed to giving the Tone It Up lifestyle a try with the Frisky Fall fitness Challenge TIU trainers Karena and Katrina were hosting. I had found TIU through Pinterest a few months prior and had tried some of their workouts during my senior year of college, but it wasn’t until this fitness challenge (and investing money-wise) that I said to myself “Okay, I’m going to do this.” I bought the nutrition plan, printed it all out, put it in a binder and started reading.

TIUBeginning

Let’s be real, my main reason for “joining” (when you purchase the nutrition plan, you become a member, which means you obviously get the plan emailed to you, you get subscribed to the Members Only e-newsletters and receive exclusive access into the Tone It Up online community) was my immediate obsession with TIU trainers, Karena and Katrina. Just watch one of their videos and you’ll see how STUNNING they are. Not only that, but they are so down-to-earth, motivating, inspiring, glowing and hilarious. Both women embody everything I strive for in my personal life – from unwavering self-confidence to flawless skin to their overall outlook on living a healthy lifestyle. 

They’re the kind of girls who fill their diets with nutritious, feel-good foods, but are totally okay with treating themselves to a few glasses of champagne or dessert when they crave it. Their workouts are innovative, fun, do-able and NOT boring! They’ve designed their workout and nutrition plan with the average woman in mind – the woman who wants to be healthy and fit but has a million other things going on, too. They really just get it.

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I have to be honest and say that I do not have an extreme physical transformation story to share with you guys, like some of the other amazing women who are a part of TIU. I’ve dropped maybe five pounds, am seeing a little more definition in my arms and a little less flab in my legs, but for me, the main changes have happened in the way that I eat, the way I view fitness and the way I view myself. While I’ve always been a generally healthy eater, I’ve learned so much more about fueling my body properly thanks to K&K. I love to cook now and am always trying out new things in the kitchen, in addition to meal prepping almost every Sunday. I’m finally finding ways of working out that are fun and challenging for me. This last one is still something I’m working on, but these women have created the most amazing community that inspires me to love myself and treat myself well. That’s pretty powerful stuff.

So let’s talk about the nutrition plan.

The educational part of the nutrition plan is what has made the most difference in my healthy lifestyle journey up to this point. K&K teach you about superfoods, best times to eat certain foods, how to balance out your meals, how to eat in a lean, clean and green way and so much more. Not to mention, they’ve probably put a zillion recipes into this thing. Out of all of them that I’ve tried, there’s only been a few that were just okay – the rest have been amazing. Some of my favorites are the Turkey Pumpkin Chili, Blueberry Oat Breakfast Bars, Confetti Kale Salad, Stuffed Bell Peppers, Sweet Potato Cookies, Banana Chia Seed Muffins… my list is endless. Their recipes are so good, and they make you FEEL good.

In this past year of attempting to eat in a more lean, clean and green way (LCG) thanks to Tone It Up, I’ve noticed a huge difference in how what I eat makes me feel. When I eat too many non-nutritious or heavy foods, I absolutely feel how it affects my body. I literally call it a food hangover, because that’s how it feels! I become extremely tired, bloated, uncomfortable, my skin looks dull, I’ve got undereye bags – so hot, right? It’s amazing how even just a day of clean, nutritious eating can make you feel amazing.

KandK

As far as their workouts go, they post FREE (yes, totally free) workout schedules each week, packed with fat-blasting cardio workouts, toning routines, yoga/stretching videos and more.

While I have stopped following these weekly workouts since joining ClassPass (I’m just in a phase where group exercise is what’s working best for me), Tone It Up is the first place I turn to when I want to complete a quick yoga practice before work or just feel like I need some extra toning or a fun HIIT routine. Seeing their smiling faces (and perfect bods) in their workout videos just makes you want to push yourself that much harder.

If you haven’t heard of Tone It Up, or you have but you’re not ready to make a full commitment to the program, I highly recommend checking it out. They’re starting their Fit for Fall Charity Challenge this Monday, where we will all be logging miles to support a charity of choice. I can’t wait to support, simply by getting fit!

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Check out all the info here. Happy Fit For Fall, y’all!

Good-for-You Sunday Night Burger n’ Fries

I looove comfort food on Sundays. There’s just something about a cheesy slice of pizza, big bowl of ice cream or juicy cheeseburger (maybe all three. just kidding. maybe) to close out the weekend. I’m guilty of letting my healthy eating take a backseat on the weekends, and the truth is, it REALLY adds up. If you think about it, taking “off” Friday-Sunday from your otherwise healthy lifestyle means at least 10-12 days a month! LIGHTBULB -“hmmm maybe that’s why I’m not seeing results…”

So in an effort to satisfy my cravings without giving in whole-heartedly, I’m on a quest to make the healthiest versions of foods I crave – like this Feta Arugula Turkey Burger and Sweet Potato Fries recipe! This dinner is sooo good and full of good-for-you ingredients. Who’s whipping this up for Sunday night dinner, tonight? (It’s okay to have a glass of wine too since, y’know, it’s healthy.)

Feta Arugula Turkey Burgers

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 handful arugula, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2c feta cheese
  • 1/2c chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • Seasonings (to your liking): parsley, sea salt, pepper

Add turkey, chopped arugula, feta cheese, red onion, Dijon mustard and garlic into a medium-sized bowl. Crack the egg into the bowl and mix together. Season with parsley, sea salt and pepper to your liking. Form into 5 patties and cook over stovetop or grill until browned on each side.

turkeyburgers

Baked Sweet Po’ Fries

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Seasonings: Paprika, sea salt, pepper

Combine olive oil and seasoning in a medium-sized bowl. Wash the sweet potato; you can either peel it or leave the skin on. Cut into 1/4 in. strips and toss into the seasoning mixture. Place the sweet potato fries on a cooking sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes at 450 degrees.

turkeyburger

     | bunless over lemony arugula and shaved brussels |

turkeyburgwrap

            | in a whole-wheat flatout wrap with arugula & avocado |

Happy Sunday! xx