How I silenced negative self talk and my inner bully
Obstacle Course Racing is a strange hobby. I get that. People will occasionally ask why anyone would want to pay good money to suffer. I certainly never saw myself competing in such a punishing sport. In fact, when I was in high school my foreign language teacher declared me “Least Athletic” to our class during a lesson on teaching the Spanish words for least and most. I still remember the smirk on her face and my mixed feelings of annoyance, indignation and embarrassment. The logical part of my brain knew she was wrong. While I certainly wasn't MOST athletic, I was an accomplished track and cross country runner and knew there were plenty of students less athletic than I was. And yet…. the insecure part of my teenage brain whispered that everyone knew running wasn’t a REAL sport and maybe, just maybe her opinion matched the way my peers saw me. Least athletic. Scrawny, small and weak. Clumsy. Too Girly. So those careless words added to my own collection of self criticisms and negative self talk to remained tucked away for 20 years.
Happy New Year friends! I had a quiet evening at home with the hubby and kids playing games and watching the New Year's silliness on t.v. I'm not a big New Year's Eve person, I'm happy safe at home in my PJ's with the people I love most! I may or may not have eaten a few of the last remaining Christmas cookies and toasted the New Year with a Christmas Ale instead of champagne. I guess I'm just not quite ready for Christmas to be over! But ready or not, it is over just like 2017. Out with the old and in with the new!
I've never really been a resolution kind of girl. In the past I didn't do a lot of reflection and didn't set resolutions. I was busy parenting little people and honestly, who has time to reflect when they're chasing toddlers around the house all day? Now, I prefer to check in with my goals and maybe a set a few new ones to push myself and my fitness further. This year my goal is to finish my first marathon and return to the podium in the Spartan Race age group championships. My biggest goal of all is to remain healthy and injury free this year. I want to race HAPPY and work on staying mentally strong during the times the course becomes difficult...sounds like a goal that could transfer into everyday life too, huh?
In addition to my race goals I came up with a few other things I'd like to focus on this year. Those things grew into a list of 18 healthy habits I want to adopt or continue into 2018. You might like to join me! Here are 18 things that can help all of us have a happy, healthy 2018 no matter what the year ahead has in store for us. Comment below if you'd like to join me or if you have your own list of 18 for 18!
Christmas is over and the new year is upon us! Many people are now feeling the effects of too much sugar, alcohol, fat and carbs enjoyed over the last month. I know I am! You may be feeling bloated and sluggish, experiencing digestive problems or maybe the scale has creeped up a few pounds. This is often when people look toward juice cleanses and detox teas, diets or drinks to jumpstart their weight loss or to "reset" their bodies and get back to feeling like themselves. You may have seen Facebook friends selling these products online; they pop up all over social media, on Pinterest and you might even see ads for them on television and in magazines. I'm here to tell you-save your money! You don't need a detox tea to get your body back on track. These products are expensive and in addition to being ineffective they can be downright dangerous and filled with chemicals that are anything but healthy.
Don't worry! There are healthy and safe ways to give yourself a jumpstart and "cleanse" your system of all the junk you may have put into it over the holidays! The key is to fuel your body with real food and plenty of fluids to kick your body's natural filtration system into high gear. No pricey teas needed! Here are some simple ways to make 2018 your healthiest year yet!
6 Simple Steps to a Healthy Detox
1. Eat your veggies!
Vegetables are a detox powerhouse! They are full of antioxidants, have anti- inflammatory properties and fiber that helps to ahem, move things along your digestive track....if you know what I mean!
Cruciferous veggies in particular are known for their awesome detoxifying powers. Try kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or cabbage as your next side at dinner!
2. Start your day off with lemon water
Before you take that first delicious sip of morning joe swig some warm lemon water to give your system the hydration it craves. Lemon water provides electrolytes in the form of potassium, calcium and magnesium. It is believed to help purge toxins, improve immunity and hydrate all in one simple drink.
3. Drink, drink, drink!
Aim to drink at least 2 quarts of water per day. Replace sugary drinks, sodas and juices with plain old H2O. Cheap, easy and SO effective!
4. Sip Green Tea
Green tea is the only "detox" tea you'll ever see in my hand! Green tea, like our veggie friends, is filled with antioxidants that help to fight off disease and repair cells.
Yoga is my favorite way to eliminate feelings of bloating or mild digestive issues. Go for twisty poses to stimulate your sluggish digestive system. Yoga not your thing? Go for a walk, run, take a Zumba class-whatever gets you moving! You'll be glad you did. Bonus! Sweat is a natural way for your body to release toxins!
6. Relax with Epsom Salts
Epsom salts contain magnesium which is absorbed through the skin during your soak in the tub. Magnesium helps to detoxify the body and can help with constipation. As an added bonus, they are a great way to fend off post workout soreness and they smell divine!
Still trying to break the sweet tooth habit? Yeah, me too. I just love sweets and for some reason I often want something sweet in the morning. Donuts and muffins might taste good in the moment but they leave me feeling hungry and pretty bad within no time. Queasy and shaky is no way to go through the morning! I'm always looking for a way to indulge my love of sweets without cheating my goals or ending up with that nasty sugar crash that inevitably follows a sugary breakfast treat.
That's where these delicious cookies come in, perfect for a pick me up any time of day and healthy enough for a light breakfast. The protein powder helps keep you full while the banana and raisins give just the right amount of sweetness. Play with adding in different dried fruits, nuts and maybe even a few chocolate chips if you're feeling a little indulgent! These are similar to the Baked Oatmeal To Go recipe I shared a while back( baked-oatmeal-to-go.html )but with no added sugar. If you liked those you'll love these! I liked them so much I ate them all before remembering to take a picture so you'll just have to use your imagination!
If you make them be sure to share what you thought and how you made them your own in the comments. And, as always, don't forget to like and share on Facebook!
Oatmeal Raisin Protein Cookies
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Drop by heaping spoonfuls on a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten slightly to form cookie shape. Bake 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire rack.
Store in the refrigerator. This is an important step if you don't want moldy cookies! Delicious straight from the fridge or warmed up.
Thanksgiving is just a few days away and I can almost taste the pumpkin pie already! I love Thanksgiving, for me it ranks right up there with Christmas. It is always a wonderful day filled with food, fun and family beginning with a big breakfast at my house with my sister's family. The kids watch the parade and the adults enjoy a last little bit of relaxation before the cooking begins. Thanksgiving breakfast is a tradition we all look forward to and to me tradition is what the holidays are all about. I love making new ones, like this breakfast, with my kids.
Thanksgiving is a day to indulge in a few extra treats and things we normally don't eat. We make sure there are lot of veggie sides and healthy options in addition to the traditional comfort foods that make the holidays special but this is one day that I will happily eat all the carbs! Personally, I think life is too short to miss out on special meals and holiday traditions. The key is not to over do it and not to let one day of indulgence turn into two, or three, or more. I'll get right back on track the next day and I'd encourage you to do the same!
I like to squeeze in a workout before the big meal and most definitely find time for one the day after to chase away any lingering food coma or bloating from over indulging. I like a good sweaty workout before and some nice detox yoga the day after. You won't see this girl doing any Black Friday shopping unless it's in yoga pants from the comfort of home!
I hope you love this quickie cardio workout, try it out and let me know what you think! Would you like to see more things like this on the blog?
Hey friends! Are you having as much trouble as I am exerting willpower over the bucket of Halloween candy? All those cute little fun sized treats add up to a not so fun set back for our fitness and clean eating goals. So to help us get back to our goals I've created this HIIT style Halloween workout. Just 3 rounds (more if you're feeling extra energetic thanks to your sugar rush!) of 5 exercises with a 30 second rest between. Remember- you can adjust the reps as needed to fit your personal fitness level. This workout will take right around 15 minutes. Don't forget to add a short warm up and cool down for safety!
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As always, leave me a comment to say "Hi!" I love hearing from you!
Fall is here! I love Fall, who doesn't? With the cooler temps and changing leaves comes an unstoppable urge to bake all the things! Especially all the pumpkin spiced things. If you ever bake with pumpkin puree then you know that you almost always end up with a weird amount of leftover puree that isn't enough to double the recipe but is too much to throw away without feeling guilty about the waste. Please pumpkin companies, will you just give us an even 2 cup can of pumpkin?? Until then, I guess we're on our own. But don't worry-I've got a solution to all your pumpkin problems.
I made my favorite pumpkin muffins yesterday and needed to figure out what to do with the roughly 3/4 cup of leftover puree. Pumpkin pancakes? Pumpkin smoothies? Hide it in sauce? Um, no. That's when I spied the ever present brown banana languishing on the counter. Not enough banana to make banana muffins and not enough pumpkin to make more pumpkin muffins so....time to get creative!
Just a few tweaks to the original recipe gave me whole grain banana pumpkin muffins. The banana flavor is subtle and compliments the pumpkin nicely. One banana perfectly made up the amount of pumpkin I was short and didn't change the moisture or texture of the muffins. These are a very moist muffin so if you aren't going to eat them all in a day or so plan to keep them in the refrigerator to avoid losing your delicious treats to moldy grossness. No one wants that!
Try them out for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments!
Got a suggestion for using up random leftover pumpkin? Share that with us, too!
Hey there! It's your old MIA blogging friend! Did you miss me? It's been over a month since I've posted last. Life is going so fast right now that I feel like I blinked and POOF! Another month gone by. Anyone else feel the same way? I thought so. Can we be honest for a minute? Being a parent is hard! Working full time is hard! Staying at home with little ones all day is hard! I've been on both sides and let me tell you, it's all hard. There are days when we are all ready to lose our minds no matter how much we love our kiddos or love our jobs or both. There are days when it's just plain hard. So many responsibilities and so few hours in the day. When are they going to start cloning moms? C'mon scientists! No one needs a sheep clone-we need mom clones!
All joking aside, if you are feeling the stress of balancing kids, school, work and keeping your home off of an episode of Hoarders you aren't alone! You have plenty of company, yours truly included. Our lives are full of the good kind of stress, busy kids and sports and birthday parties and jobs we love but it's stress nonetheless. Your body can't really tell the difference so it's important to manage it before it gets out of control. When life gets crazy the big stress relievers like massages and weekends away are about as likely as hitting the Powerball so I have a 5 minute fix that will have you ready to take on whatever the day has to throw at you. This yoga trick is a quick, easy and FREE way to put stress back in it's place.
I love meal prepping. It saves me from last minute panicked lunch packing at 6:30 in the morning and insures that I never have to eat school cafeteria food. Most weeks I enjoy the process of planning, cooking and dividing up meals for myself and my husband. Most weeks. Then there are weeks when things get crazy and the grocery shopping doesn't get done, I'm tired and the kids' activities leave no time for prepping. Sound like your house? Those are the weeks when you face a choice. Give up and eat whatever or get creative. I prefer to get creative!
This week I had to do just that! Getting back into our school routine takes a little time and grocery shopping seems to be the one thing that falls through the cracks for the first few weeks. Games, meets and parent nights at school left zero time for a real trip to the store which meant we were without our food prep supplies. One quick 10 minute trip and a couple of meal prep cheats later and we were back in business! Keep reading for my meal prep cheats that let you save the prep with less of the stress!
Many families these days, mine included, invest large amounts of time and money in youth sports. We sign up for camps, seek out training opportunities, spend countless weekends traveling to tournaments, meets and games all to help our young athletes develop into their full potential. But how many of us put that same thought and effort into fueling our players' bodies?
Nutrition is the missing component in many athlete’s training programs, whether adults or kids and teens. What you eat before and after a workout or game is important for optimum performance and recovery. This overlooked piece can be remedied with a few simple steps and some advanced planning. Be sure to always remember the golden rule-nothing new on game day! Try these tips before the big day to be sure your athlete feels and performs their best.
Eat your breakfast
Choose simple, easy to digest foods. "Good carbohydrates" (such as whole grains) and protein will supply the energy needed to fuel your athlete. Whole grain toast or bagels topped with nut butter and fruit, egg sandwich or wraps, oatmeal with fruit, or smoothies are all good options that don't take a lot of time to prepare.
Hydration is crucial for performance. Dehydration can lead to cramping, dizziness and worse. At the very least it makes athletes feel sluggish and tired. Drinking plenty of water the day of isn't enough. Begin increasing water consumption several days before the game or race. Trying to drink too much the day of can backfire and doesn't properly hydrate the body. No one wants to run with a belly full of sloshing water! On a daily basis aim to drink enough that urine is light to clear.
If your athlete has long breaks between games or doesn't play until after school snacks are an important part of preparing for competition. The right snack re-energizes and refuels your athlete. The wrong snack can lead to belly aches, cramping and nausea. Some good options include nut butter or turkey sandwiches on whole grain bread or wraps, fruit, trail mix, or string cheese. In a pinch low sugar, minimally processed protein or granola bars or pretzels will keep your athlete going. Avoid high sugar, fatty or greasy foods before competing (and in general!).
Recover & Refuel
Now is the time to replenish what the body used up. Re-hydrate immediately after and fuel up with lean protein and good carbs! In the 30-60 minutes post game your athlete may benefit from additional protein and easy to digest carbs. Good old chocolate milk is a favorite with my boys! Follow up with a healthy dinner and your athlete will be ready to hit the field, court or track again in no time!
Have a tip for fueling young athletes or even grown up weekend warriors? Share it with us!
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Hi! I'm Erica, a fitness and healthy food loving wife and mother of three here to inspire you on your wellness journey!