National Ice Cream Day is here!

In honor of National Ice Cream Day (a.k.a. one of the best days ever) it only makes sense to share a recipe from fellow blogger Rachel of “Healthy & Psyched” featuring her homemade ‘nice cream’ bowl. This recipes packs the nutrients and yumminess all in one delicious bowl. Plus, it’s not super complicated – so I think even I can pull this recipe off! HAPPY NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY!!!

I had actually scheduled a different post for today, but then I found out it was NATIONAL ICECREAM DAY. So I decided to upload the recipe for my breakfast, which I posted on instagram : mango and nectarine nicecream (a.k.a. banana icecream). I’ve called it a Sunshine Smoothie on account of the colour and the bits of…

via Sunshine Smoothie Bowl (Mango & Nectarine) — Healthy & Psyched

20 Things To Start Doing

20 Things To Start Doing.jpg I have a list of 20 “things” to start doing every day for a happier, healthier life. I found it a couple of years ago and completely fell in love with it. The list is actually hanging in my bedroom next to my mirror so that I glance at it every single day.  Each idea is so simple, yet the benefits and positive differences each step makes are huge. 

In my next few posts I’ll go into detail about the “20 Things to Start Doing.”

Here are the first 5…

#1 Drink a lot of water and green tea

YES, WATER

This one may seem self explanatory. I mean after all, we have heard about the importance of drinking water ALL of our lives. But there’s a simple tip I have learned that identifies that right amount of water you should intake each day. Think about it, someone that weighs 180 lbs and works out an hour a day probably needs a different amount of water than a 115 lb person that never expels water through sweat (a.k.a. they probs aren’t working out.) So here’s how you figure out exactly what you’re needing…and shockingly it’s accomplished through a math equation.

weight in lbs (x) 2/3 ounces needed per day

ex: 110 (x) 2/3 = 74 ounces…which is a little over 9 cups.

The other tip is to add extra ounces for exercise. So add an extra 12 ounces for every 30 minutes.

ex: If the 110 lb person works out an hour today, then they will need 98 ounces of water…which is a bit over 12 cups.

GREEN TEA

The benefits are almost infinite. Here are some of the most impressive…

  • IMG_5950.jpgtons of antioxidants
  • may delay deteriorization caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • lower risk of cancer
  • lower death from heart disease
  • lower death from stroke
  • improve brain function
  • burns calories, fat, and allows you to exercise longer
  • reduce high blood pressure
  • protects liver from alcohol

After reading that list I sure hope you are on the way to your kitchen to heat up some tea right now. The benefits are insane. Plus, green tea can be super yummy. Mix in some honey or throw in some berries for extra flavor.

#2 Eat a big breakfast, average lunch & tiny dinner.

It’s fairly well known that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” It jump starts your metabolism and gets your body going. Plus, who doesn’t love breakfast? It’s the perfect chance to start  your day off right. I love to incorporate lots of fruit and protein. Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 11.35.38 PM

A fav breaky of mine…

  • whole wheat english muffin
    • topped with peanut butter and honey
  • lots & lots of blueberries
  • coffee
  • protein shake (not pictured)

So delicious and super balanced.

 

 

 

#3 Eat fruits, veggies & natural food.

When you eat good, you feel good (and look good). What could be better?

#4 Go for a swim/bike ride/walk your dog

This step can be made fun. Basically, just go do something! Anything!

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 11.50.11 PM.pngOne super easy way to get some extra exercise is to simply go for a walk. Grab your dog, headphones and tennis shoes and take a 20 minute stroll through your neighborhood. It’s amazing how refreshed you’ll feel.

One tip I have is to make sure your dog can handle the walk…last time my pup and I went for a “walk,” I ended up carring him an entire mile back home because he was too tired (lazy) to go any further…thanks a lot Bruno.

 

#5 Read a book…or 10…

I really like #5. Being in college, I often feel like I’m drowning in homework, textbooks, papers and projects. Taking the time out to read a book usually isn’t my first go-to during the small bit of free time I have. However,  I forget how much I really do enjoy to read a book I actually WANT to read. In my last few weeks of summer I’m going to make it my goal to read a book that I actually will like reading.

So there’s that. Your first 5 “things to do.” Start off slow and begin to incorporate these 5 pointers in your daily routine. In the next few days I’ll give you all the deets on the next 5 ideas on the list (#6-#10).

 

Tennis: Top 3 Lessons You Learn When You Pick Up a Racket

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Tennis taught me…

  1. Always Try New Things

    • I randomly picked the sport.
    • Then randomly joined the high school team & completely fell in love with it
  2. Everything Is Mind Over MatterIMG_5220

    • When the temperature is 102 degrees and the sun that radiates off the cement courts makes it feel 112 degrees, there is nothing else you can do but push through and ignore the fact that you could pass out/die at any moment.
    • Tennis is 100% mental. In singles, it’s an individual sport. You have you AND only you to rely on. It’s both terrifying and liberating to completely depend on yourself.
    • The wind might be fighting against you, you might be hitting everything out, your opponent might be really getting under your skin, but if your mind is strong enough to overcome the odds, then there’s not doubt that you can win.
  3. Pushes Your Comfort Zone

    • Chances are the first time you touch a racket you’ll rarely ever come into contact with a ball. You’ll swing through the air and completely miss. Then once you start hitting the ball, you face the challenge of getting it over the net.
    • All the pressure is on you.
    • If you’re playing in front of a crowd, you know that all eyes are on you (yet again, it’s not a team sport. Even in doubles there’s just 2 of you)
    • The sport pushes you to overcome your fears, strengthen your mind, and become a stronger person through the process.In tennis, “love means nothing.” If the score is 0-0 it’s “love all.” Some say this is because the only thing keeping a scoreless player on the court is their “love” for the game.

       

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      In tennis “love means nothing.” A score of 0-0 is “love all.” Some say this is because the only thing keeping a scoreless player out on the court is their love for game. 

YouTube = Fitspiration

Of all things, who would have thought that YouTube can be an extreme source of fitspiration? Well, let me fill you in, I LOVE youtube. I have found my very favorite workouts and instructors through their site. There are countless videos with all types of workouts. It’s really awesome because you can search for a workout of a specific length.

It’s your cardio day?

Look up HIIT workouts or weight loss.

You’re going for a more relaxed workout, but want to focus on your abs?

Search for yoga and core or how about some pilates.

Tons of strength workouts are available as well. You can add focus to just shoulders, legs, or glutes. You name it and you can find a workout that will meet all your fitness needs.

Through the years I have narrowed down some of my very favorite fitness channels…

Christine Salus

Subscribers: over 129,000

Workout Type: Strength, Plyometrics, HIIT, Cardio, Circuit

I love, love, love Christine Salus’s workouts. Not only are they challenging, but they’re actually fun. The time flies by because you are constantly doing something different. Many of the videos are fairly short as well since you are working extremely hard at a high intensity. You don’t have to exercise for as long. I’m a huge fan of her HIIT workouts. My most favorite is the 500 Calorie Total Body HIIT workout (no equipment needed) plus 8 minute ab challengeThe total workout time is a minor 30 minutes, but the high intensity makes it fantastic. It’s an interval workout that consists of 4 rounds of 5 different exercises and very short rests. The end is a killer ab sequence to completely burn out. I highly recommend all of her workouts and channel.

Ali Kamenova

Subscribers: over 96,000

Workout Type: Interval Yoga

Another top favorite of mine, Ali Kamenova. She has completely changed the way I look at yoga. Before I thought of it as stretching, relaxing, maybe some strength work. Do one of her workouts and then just try to say that yoga is easy…trust me your mind will be blown. Kamenova uses an innovative approach through her use of interval yoga. There are high numbers of planks in many of her yoga videos. She also throws cardio in to really get your body pumping. This is not your average yoga. One specific routine I really enjoy is the AK30 Interval Yoga Intermediate Calorie Burn Weight Loss HIIT.  The workout incorporates vinyasa flow yoga as well as an interval cardio sequence in the middle that even includes jump squats. Check out her channel to mix up your typical yoga routine and really push your calorie burn.

Yoga With Adriene

Subscribers: over 1,467,000

Workout Type: Yoga

The yoga that Adriene offers is very natural and is all about what feels best for your body. I really enjoy her workouts because I feel like I am in an actual yoga studio all from the comfort of my own home. She’s focused on working to your personal limits and always improving yourself through consistency and practice. Adriene has many videos that focus on a diverse array of different topics. There are healing, stretching, flow, yoga on the road, beginners, and even weight loss yoga. The Yoga For Weight Loss – 40 Minute Fat Burning Yoga Workout is amazing! I do this video all the time to sort of reset my body. It focuses highly on core work but touches on the entire body as well. The sequence tones the abs, is great for digestion and blasting fat. Try out Adriene’s yoga to really take your workout routine to a new level!

 

 

 

 

You CAN Workout At Home

The fitness world is vast, complicated, and for many people it’s intimidating. Exercise doesn’t have to be so hard. There’s no need for an insane workout schedule or dare I say even a gym membership.

As a college student I am lucky to have access to an ah-maze-ing rec center. And when I say amazing, I’m not kidding. The University of Missouri’s Rec is rated as one of the best collegiate rec centers in the nation.

Anyways, back to the point…during the school year I am constantly using the rec which is great, although now I’m back home for the summer. I easily could have gotten a gym membership at a local place, but I decided to mix things up.

I have found youtube to be a FANTASTIC source for workouts, especially when you want to try new things. Plus it’s nice because you can do them from anywhere. I take advantage of the large spaces I can find at home to create my own little gym. For HIIT workouts I usually use the family room. Lately, I’ve done yoga in the mornings out on my deck. The point is, there is no excuse to not get a great workout. The intimidation of working out at a gym or the cost of a membership are completely nonexistent.

So my best advice to selecting a workout…MIX IT UP!

When working out at home I love to do different things each day. First, this helps so that your body is constantly challenged and never becomes accustomed to the same movements which avoids an plateaus. Second, you won’t get bored – and that’s the best part honestly!

I love yoga. I love HIIT workouts. I even will force myself to hop on the treadmill and muddle through. The modest weight bench, dumbbells, and other forms of resistance training come in handy as well and get put to great use.

All in all, fitness doesn’t have to hard.

 

 

 

 

Snack Blast

 

IMG_5650Let me tell you about my latest obsession…peanut butter. Creamy dreamy rich peanut butter. It’s a literal bliss, a pure dollop of heaven. Honestly, I think I eat it on a daily basis. Some people tend to stray away because of the high amount of fat it carries. Although fat is a necessity for your body and optimal to have a balanced diet. Peanut butter is rich in vitamin E and magnesium. It’s even known for promoting weight loss as crazy as this may seem. So now you understand that I highly approve and love good ole natural peanut butter. For this snack blast however I used PB2, which is a powdered peanut butter.

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I wanted to incorporate lots of protein in my snack to stay full and satisfied, hence the yogurt. At first I was going to use it as a “dip” for my fruit, but it was so dang good I had to grab a spoon. Next I threw some of my fav homemade protein balls on my plate and then tossed some fruit into this jivin’ snack. Wa-la the most amazing combination of foods EVER!

Snack Blast Yogurt Recipe

1/2 cup vanilla Greek Yogurt

1 T PB2 powder (no water added)

1 /2 – 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Throw all the ingredients in a bowl & mix. Easy as that and so delicious. You can adjust the amount of protein powder depending on how big your scoop is. Keep in mind that whey powder will increase the liquidness of the yogurt. I also tossed some shredded coconut on top just for fun (and extra flavor.)IMG_5649

My Snack Blast has 4 large sliced strawberries, 1/3 cup blueberries, my yogurt, and two homemade protein balls.The nutrition facts demonstrate the great balance of macronutrients this whole snack packs.

Nutrition Facts:

307 calories

30g protein
38g carbs
5g fat