Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Whip Into Shape Wednesday: Five Favorite Yoga Poses

One of my favorite things to do for my overall fitness and health is yoga.  One day I will talk about my yoga journey.  I would encourage you to try yoga.  You don't have to go to a class (I have never stepped foot into a yoga studio), you can do it all in your own house!  You don't need any equipment, not even a yoga mat.  Just do it on a towel, or even the carpet.

Today I am sharing five of my favorite poses.  I have about a billion favorites, it was difficult to narrow it down to only five.  This will have to be a series!  I have linked to sites that will tell you the proper technique to get into these poses.

 This one is a heart opener, and it feels like a really good morning stretch.
I also think it is a beautiful pose.

 This is a favorite of mine because it was a challenge that I had to conquer.  It took me two months, which doesn't sound like a long time.  But when you try something every day and fail every day, sixty days feels like a really long time.  The hard work I put into it made me really proud of myself when I finally accomplished it.

 This one is a great stretch for the legs.  Can you tell I like to stretch?!

 Quite a mouthful for that one!  You should see the actual name of the pose - Utthita Parsvakonasana!  I like binding poses.  Because, no surprise here, they provide a good stretch!  This one works your entire body.  Impressive!

This pose is similar to the first one, in that it feels like a good stretch.  This pose is a challenge for me because I have to trust my body when I lean back.  I have a fear that I will fall, so my arms don't really want to go back this way.  I have fallen, and guess what?  I'm still here.  So up we go again, learning to trust ourselves.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday Spread: Snacks

Before we get to dinner, I want to talk about snacks.  I love snacks.  I am a grazer.  Even if I eat a huge meal, I am hungry again in two hours.  So it is best for me to eat smaller meals, and get by between meals with healthy snacks.

Morning snack ideas:

Idea #1:  Apple with peanut butter and pretzels
Idea #2:  Tortilla with cheese and turkey
Idea #3:  Ham with cream cheese and dill pickle
Idea #4:  Grapes and cheddar
Idea #5:  Hard boiled egg
Idea #6:  Tuna with pretzels
Idea #7:  Avocado toast

I have dairy for breakfast, so I try to avoid it for snacks, too.  But if your breakfast doesn't include dairy, then plain greek yogurt with fruit and nuts (which is my breakfast) would be a great morning snack.

I try to avoid sweets (even fruit) and carbs after 2 or 3 pm.  Your body just doesn't have time to metabolize them before it starts to slow down before bedtime.  I had a girlfriend who didn't change her diet at all, except for to stop eating sugar and carbs after 2 pm.  She lost 15 pounds!

Afternoon snacks ideas:

Idea #1:  Carrots and hummus
Idea #2:  Celery and peanut butter (great if you are craving sweets)
Idea #3:  Veggies with guacamole/salsa
Idea #4:  Cherry tomatoes with feta or mozzarella
Idea #5:  Kale chips (these are easy to make at home, and a great chip sub)

If you are DYING for something sweet, go with fruit.  Do NOT grab a candy bar or soda.  NO.  BACK AWAY.  Berries are good.

We are looking at all food groups.  Here are good and bad options:

Good fruit options:  fresh fruit or frozen fruit.  Check the ingredients to make sure the only thing listed is fruit.  If you are concerned about cost, find out what produce is in season and those will usually be less expensive than out of season produce.


Bad fruit options:  canned fruit of any kind, juice, jelly/jam, dried fruit (including raisins), candied fruit, fruit snacks, smoothies.

Good veggie options:  fresh veggies!  The possibilities are endless!  Spinach, zucchini, cucumber, squash, mushrooms, celery, carrots, tomatoes, avocado, etc.  You could make an amazing frittata with tons of veggies.  And frozen veggies, but just like the fruit, check the ingredients list.  This should not include any sauces, butter, or cheese.

Avocado (actually a fruit?)
Brussel sprouts
Green Beans

Sweet Potato/Yam (although there is a difference)

Bad veggie options:  white potatoes, corn.

Good carb options:  corn tortillas, half a slice of whole wheat or seeded bread, pretzels.  You are looking for things that are as natural as possible, which is difficult to find in carbs.  That is why I like to stay away from them.

Bad carb options:  white bread, cereal, cream of wheat, donuts, muffins, oatmeal.
Good protein options:  eggs, ham (not deli meat), chicken, salmon, quinoa, seeds, beans, natural peanut butter or almond butter.

Bad protein options:  candied nuts, bacon (I know, boo), sausage.

Good dairy options:  plain cottage cheese, sliced cheese (cheddar, provolone, etc.), eggs, sour cream, cream cheese, butter.  I consume full fat products, not low fat or non fat.  But this is a very small portion of my meal.  One serving or less.

Bad dairy options:  ice cream, American cheese, any flavored yogurt, including flavored greek yogurt.  These ALL have unnecessary sugar added, or fake sugar.  I don't care what the packaging says.  This includes "vanilla" yogurt.  You need plain.  PLAIN.  Add your own fresh or frozen fruit for flavor.  Then you are in control of what is in your food.

Good dip options:  Hummus, salsa, guacamole, bean dip, yogurt dip, mustard, soy sauce, aioli, sriracha, tzatziki.  Ideally, making these yourself so that you can control the ingredients is the best route.  If you (understandably) can't do this, then make certain you look at the labels.  We want low carb, low sugar, low sodium.

Bad dip options: Ketchup, BBQ sauce, tartar sauce, ranch dressing, horseradish, any dessert dip.

I hope these tips help keep your tummy full with healthy food in between meals!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sunday Spread: Lunch

Have you read why I eat what I eat for breakfast?  If not, check it out here, and then come back to join me for lunch!  As a reminder, I am not a professional dietitian/nutritionist/health care provider.  Just a crazy googler who wants to eat as healthy and whole as possible on a regular basis.

Lunch is usually the same thing, every day, both during the week and on the weekends.  *yawn* I know.  But I do this for a few reasons:

1.  It's easy and I'm lazy super busy.
2.  I don't have to think about my calorie intake or serving size, because I've eaten like this a billion times, so I know it's the right amount of food.
3.  If I do splurge, it's really easy to get back on track.

Spinach, mushrooms, cucumber, avocado, chicken.  Veggies and protein.  Done.

Good veggie options:  spring mix, arugula, romaine, kale, red leaf lettuce, iceberg lettuce, carrots, pickled beets, tomatoes, onion, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, artichoke hearts, peppers, peas, celery, radish, olives.

Bad veggie options:  corn.

Good protein options:  eggs (hard boiled with a salad is great!), ham (not deli meat), chicken, turkey, steak, ground beef (taco salad without the shell), salmon, quinoa, seeds, beans.

Bad protein options:  candied nuts, bacon (I know, boo), sausage.

Good salad add ons:  seeds, nuts, cheese, cottage cheese, apple, pear, water chestnuts.

Bad salad add ons:  croutons, candied nuts, dried fruit, bacon.

With all of the good stuff on my salad, I don't really need any dressing.  Sometimes I will make mayo, hummus, or salsa, and I will dip my salad bites in that beforehand.  I also use oil and vinegar.  I'm not truly against any salad dressing, but many times there is just a heavy hand used, which blows your calories out of the water.  If you are going to use a dressing, make sure you measure the serving size and note the calories.  Drenching your salad in dressing is NOT a healthy alternative to my eating plan.

I would like to note that with ^these good lists, you can make a HUGE, very filling and satisfying salad.

Dinner meals are next, then snacks, drinks, and splurges.  Keep checking back!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Fashion Friday: Outfit Ideas

Here are a few outfits I wore recently!

I wear a lot of black, so the pop of pink in this outfit is so much fun for me.  You could also wear boots with this in the winter.
shoes (exact, OBSESSED) / skirt similar similar similar / pink tweed moto blazer similar similar similar in brick (great for winter) / cuckoo clock necklace, vintage from my grandmother almost exact

I love the detail on this shell.  I couldn't find the exact match!  *sad face*  This is quite a bit of pattern mix (eyelet, braided neckline, and leopard print), but the solid colors work with the print so none of them are competing with each other.
Boots (old, you can read about how I care for them here) similar similar / skirt (exact, in love, but not in stock) similar similar / braided neckline shell similar similar / cardigan similar similar

Last one, which gives me goosebumps because it's winter right now, and I would freeze in this outfit!  Also, not a stitch of black, which directly contradicts my previous statement.  I have so many v-neck tees, it's ridiculous.  When Target and J. Crew have them on sale, I stock up on all colors and get duplicates of my favorite colors!  I love dressing up a t-shirt with statement necklaces.
Coach kitten heels almost exact similar in silver similar (only $25!) similar / accordion skirt from Target, I can't find it, but they have great options here here (love that mustard color, and a suede skirt is on my wish list!) here (have this and love it) / gray t-shirt exact and also have one of these in gray / necklace from Target similar similar similar

I hope you have enjoyed a peek into my closet!  I will be sharing more soon!