Things We Should All Do More of in 2016

Champagne gals

It’s funny how, as we grow up, the excitement of the holidays seems to fade a little. Between working until the last minute to avoid having to take too much PTO to having to pay off your credit card in tiny increments just so you can afford Christmas gifts, it’s sad to see how much our perspective can change from the time we’re little to now being – dare I say it – adults.

I’ve been on a quest to get back that excitement and gratefulness and I think it’s important to try and channel those feelings in the every day, even after the tree has come down and we’re getting back to our ‘diets’ after one too many gingerbread cookies. As we get ready for Christmas and start gearing up for the new year, I’ve put together a list of some things we all should be doing more of in 2016.

Show our appreciation – like, really show it. 

Whether it’s a heartfelt note or a bottle of your friend’s favorite wine as a ‘thank you’ for hosting you over the weekend, little gestures like these honestly go such a long way. The truth is, no one really expects these things any more, so it’s become pretty commonplace to get a half-ass ‘thank you’ and move on. The feeling of being truly appreciated, in my opinion, really helps to make that relationship stronger.

For every non-nourishing thing we put in our bodies (think pizza), try to include something nourishing (think a big kale salad). Simple as that.

We’re getting too old to keep eating sh*t and think nothing of it. As I’ve said before, I am 110% all for balanced eating and I probably eat a little too much of the good stuff, but if you’re going to eat something that’s not so good for you, balance it out with something healthy and chances are, you will feel more satisfied and less bloated the next morning.

Call our grandparents more.

If you’re fortunate enough to still have them around, try to give them a call once a week. It’s amazing how much a simple phone call means to them. My grandpa can barely hear me when I call him, bless his heart, but hearing his voice light up when he answers the phone is such a good feeling.

Buy thoughtful gifts.

I know it’s easy to go pick up a pair of earrings or a gift card 30 minutes before you’re supposed to be at a friend’s birthday dinner, but why not put a little more thought into it? It doesn’t have to be expensive or super hard to get, but think about what the person really likes and give it a little more effort.

Ask for the things we want.

As the saying goes: “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” Life’s too short to fill your head with all of the things you want in life but never act on them. Want to take on bigger responsibilities at work? Ask your boss! More quality time with your significant other? If you don’t ask, chances are he won’t even know it’s on your mind. Want to finally get in good shape? Maybe that girl in the gym who’s super fit would show you some things if you just asked. It’s easy to just kind of remain at a standstill, in whatever area of life it may be, but I think it’s really important to keep striving for more. If you’re fully happy with where you are in life, then that’s amazing! Just keep in mind, there’s a different between being content and complacent.

Create traditions.

Whether it’s an annual girls’ night every year with ice cream and champagne for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show or dinner at a fancy restaurant for you and your BF before you both go out of town for the holidays, now’s the time to start creating those traditions and sticking with them. It’s so fun having something to look forward to and creating those memories.

Hope you all have a happy holiday & sending best wishes for your most amazing year yet! What do you want to do more of in 2016? 

Work Out in the Mornings? Here’s Why You Should Reevaluate

Happy Monday! I have to address the fact that I’ve taken a little hiatus from blogging because I was working on a few behind-the-scenes things (like working with a friend on my *fancy* new logo and adding a few things to my site!!) – still a total work in progress but hey, we’re getting somewhere.

So I want to talk about a topic that I’ve thought a lot about over the past year or so: to work out in the mornings or in the evenings? Some of you probably think “as long as I’m working out, who cares!” but I’ve actually found that there can definitely be a difference between the two…

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Ah, the sound of your 5 a.m. alarm awakening you on a Tuesday morning to go sweat for an hour before the sun comes up. You rise from your bed, Sleeping Beauty style, stretch your arms and say to yourself “It’s going to be a lovely day!”. You put on your favorite lulu’s, your “Will Run for Wine” tank and your sneakers and you’re out the door by 5:45. Happy Tuesday to you!

Hold the phone.

If this is a realistic situation for you, we’ve got things to chat about. Who actually enjoys waking up early to make it to the gym or a workout class in time to sweat, shower, get ready and be at work on time in the middle of the week? Not me. And probably not you either, despite your latest Insta of the sunrise over your barre studio with the caption “Rise & Grind!”

Now, let me backtrack by saying that I 100% understand the Morning Workout Thing. As a matter of fact, I used to do the Morning Workout Thing. I would set my alarm for 5 a.m., make a cup of coffee, watch the news for a little bit (lol), get ready and be out the door by 5:45. It was, believe it or not, a pleasant little morning routine that I had for quite some time which left my evenings open for all the crazy weekday shenanigans I get into!! (Real Housewives and laundry, anyone?)

And then I realized something.

While I really do understand and believe in the benefits of getting your workout in first thing, I found that personally, I was half-assing my workouts. I was still so tired halfway through my workout and didn’t have the energy to push through 10 more minutes on the treadmill or one more set of squats. So I would leave my gym, go home to get ready and carry on with my day – often feeling kind of unaccomplished and blah about the work I just put in.

Granted, this was before I started going to workout classes as my main source of exercise and was just working out at my apartment gym, but even then, I’ve found that I just can’t give it my all that early in the morning. Sure, some may say it’s better than nothing, but if I’m going to take the time out of my day to work out, I want to get everything I can out of it.

Another aspect of the morning vs. evening workout conundrum is your mood. Que the “But you control your mood!” and “It’s your choice to be happy every morning!” comments, which I’m all for, but like – it’s HARD to “create your own happiness” when you wake up before the sun does. REAL TALK.

yoga-balls1

If you’ve seen me at a 6 a.m. spin class, you may or may not think I’m kinda bitchy – which I’m not, I’m just effing tired! Undereye bags and all, I probably don’t look like the most approachable human being at that ungodly hour of the morning. I also do not want to talk to Sheila about her love life or what she’s doing today after class is over. Sorry Sheila, it’s not you. I am just still kind of half asleep…

So I reevaluated my current workout sitch and started scheduling my workout classes after work and, so far, it’s working for me. There are plenty of days where I’m exhausted after a long work day, but I find that 5 minutes into class, I’ve usually found my energy to get through that hour. If I’ve got plans after work, I’ll definitely schedule my workout for the morning. Don’t start skipping your workouts after reading this post and say “Well Leighanne told me I was half-assing my morning workouts!” You still should make an effort to sweat at least three times a week to stay healthy. It’s all about what works best for you.

Again, this is not to say that you shouldn’t workout in the mornings – it’s to encourage you to take a minute to evaluate and make sure you’re getting all that you can out of your workout schedule! Because seriously, who has any time to waste these days?!

I want to hear from you! Do you work out in the mornings or evenings and why?

9 Ways to Make Your Day Healthier ASAP

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Happy Friday!!! For real, this week has draggggggged like no other… ready to get this pawty started. *new poppin’ champs emoji*

So I’ve gotta say, I’ve been lacking a little motivation on the health front lately. I absolutely go through phases where I’m super into it, and others where I just want to sleep an extra hour and have a bowl of ice cream (which I’m fine with because I’m all about balance). At times it can all feel a little overwhelming trying to do it all; early morning workouts, a million ounces of water a day, no carbs after 3pm… I’m getting stressed out already. I often have to remind myself, though, that if I’m not doing every single “healthy” thing I can, it doesn’t mean I’m failing. I think it’s about baby steps and just doing the best you can.

To help alleviate a little bit of that stress for those of us trying to be a little healthier today, leading into a (quite possibly) overindulgent weekend, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite healthy tips you can implement right now to make up for all the vodka sodas you’re going to drink this weekend/Waffle House you’re going to gorge on… pick your poison ;)

  1. Switch out your romaine or iceberg lettuce in salads to dark leafy greens like arugula, spinach and kale.
  2. Swap your daily soda (yes, even diet) with a La Croix or other sparkling water.
  3. Instead of on a bun, order a burger wrapped in lettuce. You can still enjoy a juicy burger and cut your carbs!
  4. Never let your water bottle sit empty at your desk. Drink up!
  5. Potty break squats: Every time you get up to use the restroom, do 10! (If you’re following tip #4 then you’ll squeeze in a lot of these throughout the day…)
  6. Make homemade salad dressings and marinades instead of the store-bought versions, which often have way too many ingredients in them. I like using a combo of apple cider vinegar, honey or agave, olive oil, sea salt and other seasonings, depending on the flavor I want.
  7. Instead of calorie-packed creamers and artificial sweeteners, use unsweetened vanilla almond milk and cinnamon in your coffee (more on why you should drink cinnamon in your coffee)
  8. Eat your “carbier” meals earlier in the day and load up on proteins and veggies for dinner.
  9. If you’re craving sweets, try fulfilling your craving with one square of dark chocolate. If your craving is still there (which it probably won’t be), just eat the damn brownie – ONE, not three.

Hopefully these little tips help you to have a healthier day! Pick a few to try right now so you can go into the weekend feelin’ goood. TGIF :)