My word for 2016: Looking back & Leaping forward  

2016

 

As 2015 comes to a close and 2016 begins, I can’t help but look back on everything that occurred over the past year. Did I make the most of this year? Did I accomplish all that I set out to do? Each year I choose a word that will be my theme, or guiding light, for the next 12 months.  My word for 2015 was COURAGE – I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and allow myself to dream bigger. I did! Looking back, I think I definitely took a step outside of my comfort zone this year and lived courageously by traveling through Europe, deciding to finally pursue my passion, serving on a mission trip in Spain, moving across the country and so much more.

It’s amazing how quickly a year goes by, yet how much occurs in that short span of time. And as this year ends I see how far I’ve come- how I transitioned from dreaming small, to dreaming big; From chasing dreams, to living them as my reality. If I keep pushing forward and pursuing like this, how much greater will 2016 be?  I’m grateful for what I have learned and experienced this year, and look forward to this next year being even better!

My word for this coming year is FREEDOM. My goal is to fearlessly pursue freedom. I want freedom with my time, with my finances and with my dreams. My desire is for freedom from having to fit a certain mold or follow the usual life path.  For a long time I allowed myself to be paralyzed by all of my fears and anxiety. I would joke that I am a “square” and don’t like change- but No, the truth is I was afraid of change and afraid of not being in control. Letting myself get away from that mentality, just a little bit has already been so freeing, but I am ready to take it to the next level in 2016 as an entrepreneur, dream builder, and servant leader. I am giving up feeling inadequate and unworthy, and choosing instead to find confidence in my body and continue prioritizing my faith, health and fitness.  I am determined more than ever to live a life by my own design and pursue the purpose God has laid out for me.

2016

 

A few other resolutions I have for 2016 include:

  • learning to rock out with my new ukulele
  • eat a whole food, plant based diet more consistently
  • practice yoga at least once a week
  • read at least 6 books this year
  • lead by example and be the best dang health coach I can be!

 

 

What’s your word for 2016?

What are your healthy resolutions for this new year?

 

Whether 2015 was your best year yet or the worst year of your life, be encouraged that there is still so much for you to achieve and succeed at in 2016.  Dream big for 2016.  Don’t remain stuck in your past, rather leap forward into this brand new year and write out the next chapter of your life. Set some healthy resolutions, focus in on your priorities and the people/things you value.  Kickstart the year with these intentions and implement strategies that will keep you on track to meeting your goals. Design your own goals and discover your passions. I hope you will go boldly into this new year with an optimistic perspective and a heart ready to embrace beautiful new adventures this upcoming year.

 

2016

 

So here is to 2016!

May it bring light, love, and freedom to us all.

 

The best is yet to come,

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Healthy Holiday Recipe Re-do’s

Have a Happy, Healthy

I can’t believe we are just a few days away from Christmas and a brand new year! I hope you all are enjoying this wonderful time of year. I wanted to announce that there is a huge opportunity coming up soon from PrescribingHealth ! You’ll hear more about it in just a few days so stay tuned, especially if you are looking for an effective way to reboot your lifestyle and revamp your health.

Today I  just wanted to share a few of my favorite healthy holiday recipes.  Who says eating healthy can’t be delicious too?  These are some of everyone’s classic treats, with a healthy holiday twist. I hope you try these recipes out and enjoy them as much as I do.  


 

HAPPY HORMONES HOT CHOCOLATE:

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Find more great whole food plant based recipes from Homespun Capers here. 


 

VEGAN EGGNOG

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Check out more from Tasty Yummies here


 

 

RAW GINGERBREAD COOKIES AND BALLS

 

raw-gingerbread-cookie-balls-recipe-glutenfree-lowfat-veganVisit RawManda‘s site for more raw foodie delights. 


 

 

CREAMY CANDY CANE SMOOTHIE: 

 

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Find out more about this superfood nutrition here. 

 


 

 

HEALTHY PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE PROTEIN BALLS:

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    This is healthy dessert alternative by Tried & True was delicious!  

     


     

    I would love to know which of these healthy holiday recipes is your favorite. Do you have your own healthy holiday treat? I’d love to hear about it. Please share in the comments below.

    P.S.–

    If you want to be the FIRST to know about my big announcement & upcoming opportunity be sure to sign up here.

    Merry Christmas!

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    Why I don’t have a Christmas Tree this Year + Beating Holiday Stress

    holiday stress

    It’s a busy time of year for all of us with holiday events, commitments, traveling, deadlines at work, too much spending, shopping for gifts, cooking, and overall a whole lot of holiday stress. Oh wait, but isn’t it also supposed to be the most happiest time of year?

    My husband is finishing up finals while I basically work two jobs– as a pharmacist and wellness coach 😉 In the past three weeks alone, we have driven to Florida, attended various holiday parties, been to a potluck, celebrated my husband’s birthday, my best friend visited for a weekend, we drove to Atlanta, GA andddd today we will be driving to Florida again.  When am I supposed to finish my Christmas shopping?! Bah Humbug!

    Despite all the hustle and bustle that goes on, this really is my favorite time of year. The issue is that we all too often forget to take a minute to enjoy what’s really important.

    My life seems pretty FULL, but I want to make sure it is  FULLfilling.

    I decided not to decorate this year simply because I’ve been too busy and well, honestly, it’s just not worth it since I will only be home for two weeks, then off to Florida until after the New Year. Instead I will focus my energy on intentional and fulfilling activities like making plans to spend time with family and friends while in Florida, or working on my wellness business, staying on track with my nutrition and fitness, and reading books that feed my mind and spirit. These are things that help me grow, help me be a better person to others and strengthen my inner peace so that I can stand up tall when stress strikes. 

    Instead of being overwhelmed by the holiday stress, why not allow yourself to embrace the happiest time of year?  It’s not about the perfect dress for the holiday party, getting the most expensive gift to give, or spending all of your time worrying about this or that. Focus on fulfilling, life-giving actions that are not just going to help you be your best self, but allow you to be so much more to others too.  

    holiday stress

    Here are a few of my simple tips to avoiding holiday stress:

    1. When buying gifts, set a budget – if you tend to overspend, then pay for all of your purchases with cash
    2. Don’t worry about finding the perfect gift– You should love the giver more than the gift.  After all, it’s the thought that matters and if they really don’t like it, most gifts can be returned or exchanged.
    3. Make the holidays more low key– if you don’t get around to decorating or to sending out your annual christmas cards, don’t sweat it. Life WILL go on.
    4. Stay away from toxic people– spending time with some of your family or friends may not be the most relaxing part of your holiday so limit your time with these people into bite-sized portions so they don’t kill your happy holiday vibes.
    5. Express Gratitude– every single day, take a moment to think of all of your blessings and see how much life anxiety is alleviated with this practice.
    6. Stick to your regular diet – Yes, all of the food around the holidays is delicious, but if you find yourself skipping meals just to be ready for big dinners, you might actually find yourself eating more. Enjoy the good food and decadent desserts,go for it, but in moderation.
    7. If you do eat too much, don’t beat yourself up about it – It is the holidays, after all, and only comes once a year. Forgive yourself an indulgence and do better the next day 🙂

     

    Less stress, more joy!  Ask yourself, if your holiday season is FULL or FULL-filling? What can you do to avoid stress, and instead, be more intentional about enjoying this Christmas? 

     

    Happy Holidays,

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    My Favorite Must-Have Fitness Gift Ideas

    merry christmas

    ‘Tis the season of gift giving! With Christmas less than two weeks away you may be procrastinating panicking (like me), shopping for those last minute gifts. If you’re wondering what on earth you can get your friend or family member who is a health and fitness enthusiast, I’ve got you! I have compiled a list of some of my personal favorite fitness gift ideas that any wellness warrior will be sure to love.  

     


    BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES: Totu wireless  $19.99 

    I recently purchased these and love them. It’s nice not fighting with my tangled headphone cords anymore or worrying about the earbuds constantly falling out.

     

    fitness gift guide

     

     

    MASON JAR LIDES & STRAWS: Ball Sip & Straw pack of 4 for $7.00 (Also available at Target)

    Sip in style… and no more spills.  A must-have for any juicing/ smoothie lover.

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    HEADBAND: Nike Training Headband $15

    This stylish headband is a super-soft, stretchy fabric blend in a wide design for a secure fit that helps keep hair and sweat out of your eyes.

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    SMART WATCH: Basis Peak  $149.99

    I am recommending this watch specifically, because I own one and love it.  They also have the most amazing customer service.  Here’s what it does: 24/7 sleep and fitness tracking, heart rate (no chest strap), tracks walks, runs and rides, notifications for texts, emails and calls. It also integrates with various health apps and you can change the watch straps for other colors.

    **FitBit is also a very popular and well liked smartwatch to consider

    Fitness Gift Guide

     

    SOCKS: Nike DRI-FIT no-show socks $8

    I never cared too much about my socks, always opting for the cheapest pair, only to find a hole in them in a short time later. It’s especially annoying when your sock keeps slipping down into your shoe– talk about frustrating! But ever since I tried these Nike cushioned socks, I felt like I was walking on clouds because of their supportive compression fit. They are crazy comfortable and very durable.

    fitness gift guide For runners, a great sock is  Thorlo running socks ($15), which are made of sweat-wicking material and have strategic cushioning to keep any run comfortable. A friend gifted me a pair of these and I am so happy with them 🙂 

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    NICE GEAR: Having nice workout gear gives a little boost of confidence and motivation to get our exercise.  We all want to feel comfortable during that sweat session while still looking great. Here are a few of my favorite pieces:

     

    Get 20% off your first outfit + free shipping with Fableticsfitness gift guide fitness gift guide

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Athleta Running Half-Zip

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    **Other great brands: Nike and LuLuLemon

     

     

     

    COOKBOOKS

    The Skinny Taste Cookbook for $18.00  AND  Thug Kitchen for $14.99   

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    RUNNING GLOVES

    No more fumbling to change songs with icy fingers; the Lucy E-Tip Run Gloves ($30) feature a smartphone-compatible index finger tip.

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    WATER BOTTLES 

    Camelbak Chute 1L, $14 

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    Nathans Speadview Hydration Handhel, $28.65

    This one is great for running + holding your phone.

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    SMART JUMP ROPE

    Chialstar Smart Calorie Counter LCD Digital Jump Ropes, $9.99- You can take exercise everywhere and anywhere with this.  It includes a timer and counts the calories you burn in addition to the number of jumps

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    FUN GRAPHIC TEES

    There are a bunch of cute ones at Target, ranging from $9 to $11  

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    The Fit Lady’s Closet  at LiveLoveLifeFit— My good friend and fellow blogger + fitness enthusiast offers some great goodies on her website, including these two graphic tees ( $16.99 to $18.99)

    http://www.livelovelifefit.com/#!apparel/c1r7iScreen Shot 2015-12-07 at 10.34.56 PM

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


     

    Here are some other great fitness gift ideas to consider:

    • Groupon offers great discounts on massages and fitness classes.
    • Yoga mats aren’t just for yogis, but are also useful for stretching.
    • Gym bags are a must-have to tote around workout gear.
    • Armband or belt to carry a phone and keys.
    • Gift cards to a healthy restaurant or juice bar is a nice idea too.

    Still need more ideas? No problem! Check out LiveLoveLifeFit’s holiday gift guide for ideas sure to please the fitness enthusiast, the new mom, the mother-to-be, the go-getter, or the the make-up junkie.

     

    This holiday season give a gift that will not just be thoughtful, but useful and very much enjoyed by your friend or loved one.

    WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FITNESS GIFT IDEAS?

    Share them in the comments below. 

     

    Merry FITmas,

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    Life Lessons from Running: A Beginner’s Journey

     

    running

    About 3 weeks ago I checked off an item from my bucket list by running my first half marathon.  I don’t consider myself to be much of a runner, but preparing for this feet was quite an experience.  I wanted to share what an unlikely runner, like myself, learned on this journey.

    I am not a runner. I don’t know how to run. I don’t like running. This is what I always told people about myself when anything involving running came up. It wasn’t until I met my husband that I realized these were false limiting beliefs I was projecting onto my life as a truth. He thought it was ridiculous that I couldn’t run and helped me prove to myself that I was indeed capable of it.

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    my number one supporter & motivator, my husband.

    The first few times we went for a jog felt like pure torture. I couldn’t breathe, I felt gross and sweaty, I was bored, and quickly became tired. It was so uncomfortable and I never looked forward to it at all. He kept encouraging me to keep at it though, so I did. Eventually, I became committed to proving myself wrong about not being able to run. I began to believe I could do it! That’s when I started to see a little progress.

     

    Beginnings are Hard… but worth it 

    My first 5k felt like a marathon but I was incredibly proud of myself for completing 3.2miles without stopping.  My next goal was to complete a 10k. It was painful and less than pleasant but once again so fulfilling when I completed it. I was happy with how far I had come, but now I’d get back to my usual strength training. I told myself I had enough of this running thing for a while. Well here we are a year later and somehow this husband of mine convinced me I could do a half marathon. I even put it on my 2015 goals list.

    bib and sneakers

    I set out to complete a 12-week Hal Higdon training plan in preparation for this half. Training felt annoying some days because I was just tired of running and even a little bored. Slowly though, things changed as I looked forward to my runs.  I was excited to log more and more miles in an attempt to challenge myself. My once bored mind began to feel recharged and ready for life during and after these runs.

    It’s always so hard to get started with anything worth pursuing in life, but once you find your rhythm and believe in yourself, suddenly, things become smoother and clearer. You realize you CAN and you indeed WILL accomplish this.  The important thing is to start where you are. I didn’t just wake up one day and decide I could run 13.1 miles. I started so humbly, trying to just run 1 mile without dying. What I’ve come to love about running is that I can determine my own goals.  Remember that nothing worth doing ever comes easy.

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    Expect the Unexpected  

    Life is funny in that you can plan all you want, but life will just laugh at you because it has its own plans. I tried to adhere to the training as best as I could. I was ready to start my tapering the week before when out of no where I was bed ridden with, first, flu-like symptoms, followed by a stomach virus. Not only could I not run or cross train the week before my race, but I also could barely keep any food down. I worried all of my time and efforts in training would be wasted.  Luckily, I was well enough to participate on race day, but still not quite fully recovered. I know this affected my performance but just to make things even more exciting, there were other unexpected elements on the day of… the weather and elevation! Asheville, beautiful as she might be, is also very mountainous.  It is also much colder there.  The race course had elevations up to 2333ft, and I felt like I was running up and down mountains the entire time. It was tough and I became so frustrated at myself for not doing more hill runs or preparing better.

    Mind over Matter Mentality 

    As I ran the 13.1 mile course my mental strength & endurance were definitely tested. I was frustrated by the elevation and found my body feeling weak early on.  I found myself focusing on my frustration instead of enjoying the run.  Your thoughts really do become your reality. The minute I noticed how negative my thoughts were, I was able to intentionally focus on more positive things. I reversed the negative thoughts into positive affirmations. Instead of “I hate these freaking hills” I told myself “These hills are going to be great for tightening my glutes” and “This is hard, but it’s making me stronger.” I found these positive reflections to be encouraging in helping get through several frustrating miles.

     

    Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever

    It was around mile 10 that I began to feel a sharp pain down my leg and knee. My IT band had tightened up and I found myself barely able to run on my left leg.  I seriously considered quitting at this point.  I wondered if one of the bystanders cheering us on would drive me to the finish line.  Then I remembered all of the hours spent training and how disappointed I would be at myself for not completing this race.  I acknowledged that I was in pain but knew I just couldn’t quit no matter how long it would take me to get through the last 3 miles.  I had come too far to stop now.  When you invest so much of yourself in something, you can’t just walk away and give up on it once an obstacle blocks your efforts.  I learned from this experience that pain, obstacles, and difficulties are all part of the journey.  The way that I responded to each of these things would determine how I experienced my journey.  If I would have quit when things became a little tough, I never would have succeeded. Perhaps it took me a lot longer to finish the race then others, but I learned so much about myself, gained confidence, became stronger, and still got that medal!

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    I hope my story inspires you to do that thing you’ve always felt too uncomfortable to pursue.  Don’t try to compare yourself to anyone.  If you keep your end goal in mind, there are no limits that can be put on you.  Have a YOU vs. YOU mentality, striving to only compete with yourself and no one else.

    I’m proud of myself for being a half marathon finisher. There may be another 13.1k in 2016 for me, but with a flatter course this time.

     

    with Love,

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