A few tips to get you up for an early a.m. workout

Now that daylight savings is in full effect, and it’s cold/dark in the morning, it’s almost too easy to hit snooze and skip that morning workout. These days if I don’t work out in the morning, it just won’t happen–so I have to prioritize and make sure I’m getting up at 4:45…at least most of the time ūüėČ

wake-up

Tip #1:
Set your alarm for 5 minutes before you have to actually get your feet on the ground, but DON’T press snooze. The snooze button is a death trap, but giving yourself 5 minutes before getting out of bed to scroll social media, meditate, or just give yourself a pep talk is extremely beneficial.

Tip #2:
Make sure you prepare as much as possible the night before- pack your lunch, pick out your gym outfit/ work clothes, make sure your shaker bottle is clean…whatever you need to feel on top of your game, so you aren’t running around like a psycho at 5 am while your husband waits on you (just me?? okay…)

Tip #3:
Reward yourself!! Think about the delish protein shake that’s coming your way, the cute new lulu outfit you have to wear..whatever get’s you going.

Tip #4:
Accountability. If you have someone who is waiting on you, you are much more likely to get up! For me, my husband get’s up with me, so if I know he’s ready to workout, I don’t want to hold him back. If there isn’t a workout bud that can go at 5 am, find an accountability partner you can check in with.

Tip #5:
Schedule Schedule Schedule. If it’s not realistic for you to get up early every day, then pick 3-4 days (or whatever your goal is) and stick to those days!! If at the beginning of the week, you just say “oh I’ll workout when I get the chance”…it is NOT going to happen. Make it a priority by putting it in your schedule, and sticking to those specific days.

Any tips you have to getting up at the crack of dawn??

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Motivation Monday: Finding Balance

I can’t believe I haven’t updated this blog in one whole month! Life has been a bit overwhelming (work + school + life in general). I won’t bore you with the details, but it really got me thinking about balance.

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The word balance is kind of thrown around (pinterest, i’m looking at you)…but obviously anyone who has to juggle life, kids, school, work, working out, relationships, traumatic life events…whatever…know that it’s not quite that simple.

I put so much pressure on myself, but I realized that a major part of balance is only attempting to balance what truly matters. I realized that sometimes it just does not matter if the dishes are done or I can’t fit a workout in. It’s not necessary to try and juggle a million things at once. Sure I can take on too much, but it’s only a matter of time before something isn’t getting proper attention. There are periods of life where more is possible, and others where it’s simply survival mode. Only YOU know where you are at and what you can truly handle.

A huge aspect of health is mental health, and pushing yourself to the limit is no way to treat yourself.¬†I think we are our own worst critic (can’t be just me, right?), but you can’t forget to cut yourself some slack!! I really need to take my own advice on this. Don’t forget about your mental and emotional health!

Have a great week!

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Back to school: my favorite healthy snacks

I’ve found a few go-to snacks that I can keep in my purse that fill me up if I need something quick. If you’re a busy student, mom, or working babe, it’s always good to have a little something on hand for extra busy days!
I’ve separated these by if they need to be refrigerated/be in a lunch box with an ice pack or if they can just go in your car/purse.  I usually use a lululemon bag to pack my lunch in- it’s the perfect size to put in my purse and I can throw in an ice pack to keep things cool for long days.

healthy-snacking

Here we goooo….

Non-refrigerated items:
Emerald roasted almonds (I like the cocoa and vanilla flavors)
Skinny pop
Boom Chicka Pop
Celery + carrot sticks
Apple slices
Celery + pb
Questbars (white chocolate ras is the way to go)
Pretzel Crisps

*the fruit/veggies may only hold up a few hours in your purse‚Ķdepending on AC conditions or if you’re outside, etc.

I got the individual sized bags of skinny pop and boom chicka pop at target. They are great because I have a hard time controlling myself with an open bag of skinny pop in the house ūüėČ but obviously you could also portion it out of the big bag.

If you have an ice pack and can keep a few things cold, I love:
Chobani greek yogurt
Cheese sticks  (with my apple)
Cottage cheese + fruit

What are you snacking on these days??

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Motivation Monday: Productivity Essentials

Last Monday I went back to work full time after going part time when I started grad school last fall. I was working as a nanny, but have been in my current position since April, and was able to transition to full time before fall semester starts in 2 short weeks!
Now that my time is more limited, I’ve been trying to spend it wisely….not only is school starting in 2 weeks, but I’m also moving at the end of the month and I just had family in town for a week. Productivity and smart time management is more important than ever! Especially if I want to spend any time with my husband or pup….and I do.
Last week was a trial to see how a.m. workouts would go, and it seems like that’s going to be my best option for sticking to my workouts. I didn’t want to let myself get lazy, so I was at the gym at 6am last Monday…hopefully tomorrow will be the same!!

productivity

I’ve been keeping my eyes open for time management tips and trying to practice¬†what I learn…here are a couple things that have been saving me!

  • Utilize the “Fringe Hours“- I heard about this book on this podcast last week and it really resonated with me. Utilizing the time that usually goes wasted (early morning, right after work) ¬†is a great way to get more done and feel fulfilled.
  • Use the weekend wisely. I’m all about a relaxing weekend, but in order to feel a fresh start on Monday morning, I need to make sure a few things actually get done! My weekend must-do’s are cleaning, laundry, meal planning, grocery shopping, and a little meal prep. A couple of well spent hours are crucial to starting the week on the right foot! But¬†don’t forget to relax too!
  • Plan out my workouts for the week ahead of time so I don’t show up to the gym without a plan
  • Pack my gym bag and lunch the night before! Since I’m getting ready at the gym a few days per week (until we move and are super close to our gym), it’s essential I have absolutely everything I need for heading to work!
  • There’s no such thing as multi tasking!! I heard this from a business consultant who coaches people who make $$$$ and he said that basically our minds can do 1 thing a time. If we do 2 things at once, we are like an internet browser- toggling back and forth-then every time we go back to the first thing, it takes a minute to re-focus and we actually lose time. It’s better to focus on one thing a time! Who knew?
  • To follow up the above, I believe there is a way to maximize time and do 2 things at once- for example using the time that eggs are boiling to unload the dishwasher. When you simply have to start a task and then let it go on it’s own (landry, dishes, cooking) you can spend the time you are waiting to¬†do¬†something productive. Win win!

I know I feel better when everything is planned out vs when I spend a lazy weekend doing nothing, so it is SO worth it to spend a couple hours trying to GSD !!

Have a productive week! Let me know if you have any tools, systems, or hacks you live by to get more out of your 24 hours!

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What’s the real cost of juicing at home vs buying juice??

As you can see from my last couple posts/my instagram [@afitgirlsguide], I am a little obsessed with whole juicing again. It’s such a great way to get fruits and veggies in the diet…and in the case of whole juicing- fiber! I love whole juicing in my Blendtec because it keeps all the great fiber in it, vs separating it out in a typical juicer. And of course it’s tasty! I’ve been trying out some really great combos that are SO refreshing on a hot day.

cost-of-juicing

In the past I used to buy a juice every now and then from Sprouts or Whole Foods, but they are so expensive and I never really made it a habit [luckily]. After buying produce specifically for juicing, I am totally shocked at how much juice can be made at home for the same price!!

Recently I’ve been doing 1/4 lemon, 1/2 cucumber, handful of kale, handful of watermelon, and about 1/4 of green apple with some water in the Blendtec.

Here’s what I purchased from Sprouts:

2 lemons @ .50 each
4 cucumbers @ .50 each
1 container of organic kale @ 3.49
1 seedless watermelon @ 3.99
2 green apples @ 1.49 /lb

total price: 12.09

This amount of produce will probably make about 8 drinks, with watermelon left over. That’s $1.51 per drink!! And it’s a lot more than the amount in a tiny juice bottle or cup too! Compare that with $7.99 bottle of Suja and you are saving a lot of $$$.

Of course this requires you have a high powered blender or juicer, but if it’s something you use often, it’s worth it! Save more money on juice, buy more lululemon…no brainer.

Have a great weekend!

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Motivation Monday: 5 minutes to more motivation

I think everyone faces a lack of motivation at some point. It’s normal for this feeling to ebb and flow, but what about when you just need to get your act together? Sometimes you have to be a big girl, but let’s face it…..sometimes you want to just snooze a little longer (or just waste a little more time instead of actually getting to work)!
I had a recent epiphany though, that no matter how many times I press snooze (or how good it might feel in the moment), it does NOT lead to feeling more rested. If anything I end up feeling rushed AND tired, instead of just a bit sleepy. Now when I’m feeling lazy in the morning, I make myself get up and make my bed. It leaves me feeling productive, and then I can start my morning.

motivation-in-5-minutes

Whether it’s work, fitness, or just life that needs to get done…here are some tips for YOU.

  • Go outside. Take a 5 minute walk and listen to your favorite song, or even better- this podcast.
  • Keep a private Pinterest board called motivation, with the things that speak to you personally. When the going gets tough, open up your board and remind yourself WHY you are going to push through.
  • Meditate. Take 5. Close your eyes and imagine yourself being successful, working hard, and kicking butt. Set a timer on your phone, and when the alarm rings, it’s time to get moving.
  • Ask yourself WHY. Are you just sleepy? Feeling lazy? Not excited about your goals anymore? ¬†Asking yourself why can get to the root of the problem! If it’s just about of laziness, give yourself 5 more minutes to do whatever you want…pinterest, online shopping…but SET A TIMER!! And then get to work!
  • Stand up and stretch! There is something about getting the blood moving that wakes up the mind, and allows you to keep powering through. Look up some videos for stretching on youtube. There are a ton, no matter your level of privacy or surroundings!
  • Drink a large glass of water. Seems weird right? But dehydration can do some funky things to the mind and body, so drink up! Doing something good for yourself will give you a little step in the right direction.

Do you have any tips for getting sh*t done?? If you want some more productivity tips, check out this post.

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Motivation Monday: Power in the ritual

As I was preparing for the week ahead, I realized that there is really something to be said for a good ritual. I am definitely a creature of habit, but I think if you are trying to change any habits, then routine is necessary!! For example, I LOVE giving my apartment a good scrub down before the week starts. It helps me start fresh, and there is nothing better than going to sleep in a fresh bed! On Saturday I went to town scrubbing floors, bathrooms, washing the sheets and towels, and even my makeup brushes. It made my Sunday so much easier (and much more enjoyable), since I could just relax before starting a new week.

excellence

A few other rituals that can start your week on the right foot….

  • a little meal prepping
  • a long bath/shower
  • decompressing with a good book
  • meditation
  • a sweaty workout
  • a fresh mani/pedi
  • deep cleaning your home!
  • tidying your work space
  • hanging up your clothes (SO guilty of letting this get out of hand during the week…)
  • meal planning

If I had all the time in the world I’d do them all, but hey….just choosing one or two will help you start the week on a productive note!!

Enjoy your week!

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4 tips for adopting a more focused life #essentialism

What is essentialism?? According to Greg Mckeown, author of Essentialism:The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, it involves pursuing the things that are truly important to you and eliminating the rest. When I first heard of this concept I thought it was fascinating, but didn’t know if it was do-able. At this point, considering the evolution of technology,¬†the amount of distractions in life are endless. I wondered if it was possible to tune this out. What I found out was that you aren’t necessarily “tuning out”, but really just “honing in” on the things that you actually find meaningful and important.

essentialvia 

I’ve found that this is¬†just like adopting any other healthy habit. Instead of focusing on what you are NOT going to do…ex:”not eating fast food”, focus on what you ARE going to do ex:¬†“cooking at home”…Put the emphasis on what you are in control of, versus what you are avoiding.

Upon looking at my own habits, I realized I had a few goals that were going unmet, and meanwhile I was wasting time every single day doing things that I really didn’t care about (looking at gossip websites/magazines/social media/ blah blah blah). I am still at the beginning stages of adopting this philosophy, but was able to recently listen to a talk at a work conference on a similar subject, and had a few lightbulb moments.

As a real “people-pleaser”, it sounds heavenly to be able to focus on what really matters, while letting go of the rest… aka JUST SAY NO. I’ve been trying to use the word “no” more this year, and it’s surprisingly satisfying.

focus

Between my own experience, and from the extra materials I’ve been listening to, here are 4 tips for adopting essentialism:

  1. Know what you want. This is ABSOLUTELY the most important. It’s impossible to decide what doesn’t matter, if you don’t know what does¬†matter. This may take a little¬†soul searching, but think about what you want in life. How you want your life to feel. Consider your work life, home life, relationships, and even your personality type. Keep in mind, what looks good/fun/exciting on the outside, doesn’t always feel that way from the inside. If you are lost, I highly recommend listening to this podcast.
  2. Create a mission statement. After deciding what absolutely matters most (again this can include any/all aspect(s) of life… home life, family life, personal, spiritual, etc), create an overarching mission statement that will help guide your decisions.
  3. Accept the fact that saying no to what doesn’t matter = ¬†saying YES to what does matter. It gives you more time ¬†and resources to focus on your mission!
  4. Post your mission statement. In the conference I attended, we were encouraged to post the mission statement in a frame on a nightstand or on a bathroom counter, or even your desk. This ensures you are looking at it multiple times a day, and you can reflect on how your choices are measuring up.

Since I’ve had the topic of essentialism on my mind, I’ve been able to ask myself regularly “is this activity that I am doing right this second something that is leading me to my goals?”. Keep in mind this doesn’t mean going-going-going non-stop. Part of my mission statement includes nurturing my relationships, specifically with my husband. So if we are sitting on the couch together watching TV after a long day…well that’s time well spent! I’m mindful of the other activities we do together, but I don’t feel pressure to be chasing the grind 24/7.

One thing Greg said, that I thought was interesting is that people (esp in the beginning of a career/new job) want to be the “yes” person. While this may help you get ahead at the beginning, it’s no way to spend a career. You end up unable to focus on what you are good at or where your talents really lie. He mentioned that people actually end up getting farther ahead when doing what they are good at! Imagine that. #nobrainer

As I continue to adopt the practice of essentialism, I will continue to update with any changes I notice!

BTW here’s a great article from NPR, and there’s¬†an interview with my girl-crush Chalene, on episode 3 of her podcast.

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Nordstrom Sale: fitness picks

The best sale of the year is here…the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. A million bloggers are picking their fall faves, but true to form- I’m focusing on the fitness outfits! There are some GREAT finds this year, including multiple pairs of nikes (!) …. check it out!

nsale-fit-picksThe tops:
1/2/3

The bottoms:
1/2/3

The shoes:
1/2/3

Happy shopping and have a great weekend!
*some affiliate links used

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Skinny Strawberry Limeade

With the crazy hot temps this summer, a cold drink is essential. Lemonade can be kind of a calorie bomb, so this is a tasty alternative. It’s super easy to throw together for a 4th of July BBQ as well.

strawberry_limeade

For each glass of limeade, you will need:
Handful of strawberries
Juice of 1 lime
1 stevia packet
8-12 oz water
Ice

You can either puree the strawberries, lime juice, and stevia or simply mash them together. If you are making a large batch (or don’t like “chunks”), I recommend blending or pureeing.

Enjoy!

 

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