My Favorite Green Smoothie Recipe

Happy Good Friday, everyone!

Lately I’ve been starting my day with this green smoothie recipe that I absolutely love.  It’s delicious, refreshing and, most importantly, it’s healthy- the perfect combination to start these spring and, soon, summer mornings.

 

  • 1 cup of unsweetened, iced green tea (I either use Pure Leaf or I make my own)greentea
  • 1 handful of spinach
    spinach
  • 1 handful of cubed pineapple
    pineapple
  • 1 handful of frozen mango chunks

mango

  • 1 tsp of honey, and the juice of 1/2 lemon (you can also use grapefruit or an orange – any kind of citrus you’d like)

honey

  • Blend until smooth, enjoy!

smoothie

 

 

 

 

 

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Holiday Survival Guide

The holiday season is quickly approaching.  With Thanksgiving less than a week away and Christmas approaching soon after that, some of you may be stressing out about how to stay on track with your health and fitness goals.  Don’t worry! You’re not alone.  Here’s how to enjoy your holiday guilt free:

1. EAT BREAKFAST

As Tempting as it may be to show up to your holiday dinner with a full appetite, make sure to eat a healthy breakfast.  Showing up starving may cause you to overeat.

2. TAKE A SMALL PLATE

If possible, grab a smaller plate so you don’t overload.  This is a tip used often in weight weightloss which suggests putting a small piece of food on a large plate will cause your brain to believe you are eating a small portion, resulting in you putting more food on your plate.  Filling a small plate will make a small portion look like a lot more food.

 3. LOAD YOUR PLATE WITH GREENS & VEGGIES

Balance is key so, make sure half of your plate consists of healthy greens and veggies, and EAT THEM FIRST!

4. EAT SLOWLY

Eating slowly may help you eat less and give time for your brain to receive the signal of feeling full.

5. DON’T DRINK YOUR CALORIES

Whether there be juice, soda, or alcohol, water is always the best option.

6. EAT BEFORE DRINKING

If you plan on drinking alcohol, hold off until after you are finished eating.  Delaying alcohol consumtion could cause you to consume less.  Also, don’t forget to match your drinks with a glass of water.  This will help the hangover too!

7. MODERATE DESSERT

Cookies and pudding and pies! Oh, my!  This is the hardest part for mose people.  Try to limit to one dessert or just a little taste of each. 🙂

8. EXERCISE

Take a family walk after dinner.  Some of the most beautiful outdoor sights to see are during the holiday season.

9. PORTION LEFT OVERS

If your family offers you leftovers, don’t take more than one serving, or simply say “NO, THANK YOU!”.

10. Holi- DAY!

Not holi-week or holi-month.  Just ONE day.  So, enjoy the day and get right back to your normal routine the next day. 🙂

No one wants to worry about what is meant to be an enoyable time with the ones you love most.  You’ve worked hard all year long so, you deserve to indulge.  Keep these ideas in mind and enjoy your holiday.  Tomorrow is another day and, in just a couple of months, a new year with brand new goals.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! ❤

 

Asthma Awareness

Asthma – I never knew it could be fatal until just recently after finding out about the passing of a high school friend.  After researching and talking with others, I’ve learned that asthma is a relatively common cause of death.  So, for anyone else who is unaware the dangers of asthma, I wanted to take the time to educate you, so the proper pre-cautions can be taken if a life-threatening attack should occur.

 

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes obstruction of the airways making it difficult to breath.  Asthmas could be serious and, as mentioned, can even be life-threatening.

 

Common Types of Asthma:

Nocturnal Asthma: This type of Asthma occurs at night or at any time you may sleep.  This is because of the horizontal position and that your pillows collect allergens.  To reduce symptoms of nocturnal asthma, make sure to cover your mattress and pillows with a machine washable protector and be sure to wash bedding and protectors regularly.  Do not allow pets in your bedroom, and try to keep your head up.

Allergic Asthma:  Includes typical asthma symptoms and is triggered by allergens – e.g. pet dander, dust, mold, pollen.  If you suspect you have allergies, get tested by an allergist to find out exactly what you’re allergic to.

Non Allergic Asthma:  This type of asthma is due to more environmental factors like smoking, certain odors or sprays, a viral infection, or other medical conditions such as obesity and Acid Reflux.

Exercise-Induced Asthma: Triggered by strenuous exercise.  Common symptoms such as wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath will occur during or after exercise.

Work-Related Asthma:  Work related asthma is asthma that occurs from an asthma-prone work environment.  Asthma may occur if you work in an environment with allergy causing irritants such as pet dander (veterinarians, vet tech), latex gloves (healthcare providers), or chemicals.

 

How to prevent Asthma:

To lessen the symptoms of asthma, make sure to have a current, filled inhaler.  Dust and vacuum regularly, it may be helpful to wear a protective mask.  Make sure to wash your bedding regularly.  You may want to invest in an air purifier as they clean contaminants from the air. Natural remedies such as Himalayan salt lamps and beeswax candles also work as an air purifier.

 

Know the signs:

  • Wheezing when breathing in AND out
  • Coughing that won’t stop
  • Chest pain/tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Turning Blue
  • Inability to speak

** If you are experiencing these symptoms or symptoms are not responding to a rescue inhaler, seek medical attention immediately. **

 

This post is dedicated to the Memory of Kimberly Anderson who lost her life to an asthma attack on October 23, 2018.  To support her family during this difficult time, please click here to donate.

 

Benefits of Beeswax Candles


All Natural: Lower Toxicity as they are 100 % all natural with no chemicals.  Some candles such as candles made from paraffin wax produce heavy soot and toxic byproducts which beeswax candles do not.

Air Purifying: When burned, beeswax candles release negative ions which clean the air eliminating odors, dust, and mold.  This is especially good for someone with allergies and asthma.  For someone who suffers from allergies and asthma, light a beeswax candle in the bedroom 30-60 mins prior to going to sleep to clean the air for a better sleep.

Stress Relief: The sight of a flame alone and the natural scents of a beeswax candle can aid in relaxation.

Light: Provides brighter light and lasts longer than other burning wax. Beeswax candlelight is the closest to natural sunlight.  If you are using your beeswax candle as a light source, it can reduce headaches and minimize eye strain.

* Beeswax candles are not a vegan product although may be accepted by some vegans. *

To see some of my homemade candles, visit @b_lovincreations on Instagram.

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Iron & Rescue: Apparel For A Cause

Are you into fitness or love the outdoors?  Are you an animal lover?  If you answered yes, you have to check out Iron and Rescue.  Iron and Rescue is a fitness apparel company that donates a lb of dog food to rescues with every purchase.  I found this company through a friend on Instagram who is very into lifting and is a huge animal lover.  Spend $50 (which I discovered is very easy after making my first purchase) and get free shipping.  They sell all kinds of tees, tank, jackets, hoodies, and stickers.

I received my order this past Friday and couldn’t be happier.  I ordered a yellow tank and a dark dark grey, tee-shirt material hoodie.  Perfect for the spring and fall, inside or outside of the gym. Iron and rescue uses quality material and has shirts with quotes with all kinds of personalities.  I will definitely be ordering again.  What else is better than ordering fitness apparel that also rescues our favorite furry friends?  To order, head over to www.ironandrescue.com but hurry!  They sell out fast! 🙂

 

Tips For A Healthy Heart

Heart disease, among others, runs in my family.  I’ve had the unfortunate experience of losing a few aunts and uncles to a heart attack so, now that I am growing older, I am becoming more conscious of my health so I can live a long, happy and healthy life. If you are looking to keep your heart healthy, you can do so by taking the following 6 precautionary measures.

  1. CUT DOWN ON SALT

Too much salt causes elevated blood pressure which leads to heart attack or stroke. The recommended serving of salt per day is 2,300 mg.  The average American consumes more than 3,400 mg per day.  Just one tsp of salt contains about 2,325 mg of sodium.

  1. AVOID STRESS

Stress itself may not be directly related to bad heart health, however, it can lead to high blood pressure and high cholesterol.   In addition, stress is likely to cause you to make bad decisions like, smoking, drinking, overeating, and physical inactivity – all of which lead to bad heart health.

  1. CUT DOWN ON SATURATED FAT

There are healthy fats and unhealthy fats.  Saturated fat is unhealthy fat.  Too much saturated fat raises the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) in your blood.  Just like good fats and bad fats, there is good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL).

  1. WATCH YOUR CHOLESTEROL INTAKE

When there is too much bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood, it builds up in the artery walls.  This causes the blockage in the arteries disallowing the blood to carry oxygen to the heart which will result in a heart attack.

  1. REDUCE ALCOHOL

Moderate to light drinking is heard to raise good Cholesterol (HDL) and reduce effects of bad cholesterol (LDL), and prevent blood clots, however, regular to heavy drinking can cause irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure.

  1. DO CARDIO

Your heart is a muscle just like any other muscle in your body so, working it out only makes it stronger. Cardio gets your heart beating faster and can a help you maintain a healthy weight which lowers your risk of heart problems and can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

 

Make sure to compare nutrition labels when grocery shopping or ordering out.  You can also use health trackers like My Fitness Pal to log your food intake and goals.  Don’t forget to get your yearly physical as well.  They’re free with insurance!  Preventative care will help you avoid future problems.  You only get one body so, take care of it!

Fitbit: 16 Awesome Features

 

If you’re anything like me, you can’t go anywhere without a fully charged Fitbit. I’ve had a Fitbit for about 3 years and it has been crucial to me on my fitness journey.

 

  1. Step counter
    • This is the most obvious feature.  It is recommended to take 10,000 steps a day which is the default step goal set in a Fitbit, however, you can change your step goal.

 

steps.jpg

 

  1. Heart Rate Monitor
    • A normal BPM at rest is between 60-100 for adults. Someone who is more physically active and has better heart health typically has a lower BPM and can go as low at 40 BPM for well-trained athletes.  My resting BPM usually stays around 63.
    • While exercising, your max BPM can vary depending on age, sex, and level of physical activity. To easily calculate what your max BPM should be, subtract your age from 220.  A 30 year old’s max heart rate would be 190.  (FYI – I’m not 30…yet!)

 

  1. Sleep monitor
    • This is not a feature I personally pay attention to too often, but it is very interesting to see my activity throughout the night. This feature shows how long you’ve slept and your most restless hours.  It will tell you the latest time you’ve went to bed in the passed week and also allows you to set a reminder to go to sleep.

 

  1. Challenges
    • This is probably the most fun feature.  This allows you to challenge your friends to hold yourself accountable for your goals.
      • Workweek Hustle: Allows 2-10 participants and lasts 5 days, Monday-Friday (duh).
      • Weekend Warrior: Allows 2-10 participants and lasts 2 days.
      • Daily Showdown: Allows 2-10 participants and lasts 1 day.
      • Goal Day: Allows 1-10 participants and lasts 1 day.
    • Along with these challenges are races and adventures.  Race your friends through beautiful cities and trails.  You can race your friends or take solo adventures.

 

  1. NEW! Period Tracker
    • Ladies, it’s finally here! Fitbit now has its own period tracker.  Log the first day of your period and Fitbit will remind you when it’s ending, your most fertile time of month, and when your period should be starting again.

 

period2.jpg

  1. Weight Tracker
    • Watch your progress by logging your current and goal weight.  You can even buy this scale that will sync up to your fit bit app!

 

  1. Food Tracker
    • Just like other meal tracking apps, track your macros and calories by logging your food.  You can enter it manually or scan your food’s barcode.

 

  1. Exercise Tracker
    • With this feature, set a number of days you would like to exercise, 1-7 days.  Fitbit will auto recognize exercises such as walking, running, outdoor cycling, sports, elliptical, and aerobic workouts.  It will be recognized if you have been exercising for a certain amount of time and add it to your exercise goal.

 

exercise1.jpg

 

  1. Active Minutes
    • Fitbit will count your active minutes throughout the day.  Set your activity goals in settings.

mins.jpg

 

  1. Alarm
    • Use the alarm feature and wake up to a quiet vibration or for other reminders throughout the day.

 

  1. Stop Watch
    • Access a stop watch right from your wrist.

 

  1. Text/Call Notifications
    • Turn your notifications on to read text messages and to see who is calling you.

 

  1. Reminder to move
    • If you work in an office and sit at a desk all day like I do, this feature is very helpful in making sure you get up and walk.  You can choose how many hours in the day, how many days, and within which hours you want to be reminded.  If you haven’t taken 250 steps by 10 minutes to the next hour, it will alert you to get up and take a walk.

 

  1. Stair/Mile Count
    • Fitbit counts the floors and miles walked.  Elevation will be detected when going up stairs and will be registered when you climb about 10 feet at one time, however, it does not register when going down stairs.

 

  1. Water Intake
    • Set your water goal in ounces and track your water intake each day.  You can enter manually or use Fit Bit’s quick add feature.

 

  1. Calories Burned
    • This feature obviously counts your calories, but don’t be fooled by the number.  The calories counted by Fitbit is your TOTAL calories burned, not just exercise calories.  So, the total includes calories burned simply by existing.

cals.jpg

 

These features are based on Fitbit Charge 2.  Features are subject to change with different Fitbit models.