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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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!

Common Gym Pet Peeves

Going to the gym is stressful enough without other members disturbing your gym experience.  You may have encountered someone like that or you may be that person to disrupt someone else.  After speaking with a few fellow gym goers, I found we all have similar gym pet peeves.

 

1. PEOPLE WHO DON’T RE-RACK

Many times I find myself scared for my safety trying to switch off weights that were left on a machine.  The point of these weights are to lift them, right?  So, why not lift them one more time to put them back?

2. PEOPLE WHO DON’T CLEAN UP AFTER THEMSELVES

The gym is filled with germs as it is so, if you sweat all over the equipment, please wipe the machine down when you’re done.  There are spray bottles for a reason.

Also, there are garbage cans at every turn.  Please use them instead of leaving your trash in machines.

3. USING CELL PHONES ON EQUIPMENT/PEOPLE HANGING OUT ON EQUIPMENT THEY AREN’T USING

We’re all there for a reason, to work out!  Don’t get on a machine just to make a phone call.  If you’re talking on the phone, chances are you’re not working hard enough for your exercise to be effective.  Let someone else have the chance to use the machine.

You may have made friends at the gym.  Great!  But, talk to them on the side where you’re not in the way.

4. GETTING ON A TREADMILL NEXT TO SOMEONE WHEN THERE IS A FULL EMPTY ROW

Two words – PERSONAL SPACE!

5. SIZING SOMEONE UP

No one is there to be judged.  They are there to better themselves.  Everyone is on their own journey at their own pace.  There is no need to make anyone feel uncomfortable. Keep your judgement to yourself!

 

Speaking of sizing someone up and personal space – Guys (and girls), don’t be a creep. The last thing someone wants is to be ogled or approached with some absurd pick up line while they’re trying to work out.

So, be courteous people!  You’re not the only one at the gym!

 

 

 

 

 

The Journey Starts Here

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Hey Bodscapers!  Welcome to my blog!  Now, before you get the wrong idea, I just want to make it clear that I am not a nutritionist, I am not a fitness professional, and I am definitely not a fitness model.  I am just someone who found her passion a little later than she would have liked to.  I wish I had known years ago that I would be so interested in health and fitness and wanted to make a career out of it. IE: Gym Teacher, Nutritionist, Health Educator.

For a few years now, I’ve known that I was very interested in everything health and fitness since I started learning about my own health and getting fit. I’ve been on a very long journey and it wasn’t up until very recently that I had wished I would have worked toward some kind of career.

I signed up for my very first gym membership at Retro Fitness in 2013.  My boyfriend was in a touring band, so I always wanted to look my best for his return.  After getting a few mani/pedis, I realized joining a gym and getting a sick body was cheaper than spending $50 every couple of weeks.  Not to mention, more rewarding to the both of us.  Although I signed up for the gym a year before, it really all started in 2014 when I got my first medical billing job after getting my billing and coding certification.

I was working for a multi-specialty practice where the employees were able to see any doctor for any reason cost free. Let me tell you, I DEFINITELY took advantage of that.  I hadn’t seen a doctor in I don’t even know how long so, I decided to get a physical. Unsurprisingly, my blood test results came back to show I had hypothyroidism.  I say unsurprisingly because I was diagnosed when I was 14 years old.  Of course, when I was 14 I didn’t really understand or care what hypothyroidism was, and I was not about having to take a pill every day for the rest of my life.

After being diagnosed a second time, I told a coworker whose response was “Wow, you might be a totally different person”.  She proceeded to tell me why and my life immediately made sense.  Soon after my new PCP referred me to the endocrinologist in the practice, I made an appointment for a consultation. Long story short, she confirmed my hypothyroidism and that it was due to hashimoto’s disease and diagnosed me with PCOS as well.  I started treatment and since following my endo’s diet and exercise plan, I lost almost 20lbs and was in the best shape of my life by summer 2015.

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I became obsessed and was researching every little thing.  Why are muscles sore? What do they look like after a work out? What are Macros? What is a calorie? How much water should I drink? How much should I be eating? What should I be eating? What does fat look like? What is hypothyroidism? Hypothyroidism diets?  What is the best way to burn fat?  You get the point.

Fast forward, to the end of August 2015 – I moved out of the house that my brother and I shared with our significant others and a roommate.  I wanted to enjoy my apartment and it was 5 mins further from the gym (tough right?) so, I took a little break from working out.

Fast forward again to October 2015 – I left the job that I loved after 1.5 years for another job that would pay me more.  I could immediately tell that this was not the job I would be staying at. I lasted 5 months before I finally found a new job and, in that time, I gained about 35lbs!  Before I found a new job, I would go home and cry every day.  I would treat myself by eating junk food and drinking wine and relaxing on the couch.   After 5 months of misery, I finally found a new job, however, I didn’t turn myself around right away.  It was probably 6 months into working at my new job that I one day looked in the mirror and saw fat on myself that I didn’t even know fat could store.   At 167lbs, I was the heaviest I’d ever been, and it was time to make a change.  Not to mention, I was going to be a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding in June 2017 which was only 8 months away!

I told my future sister-in-law and the rest of the bridesmaids that I planned to lose 30lbs and, with guidance from my endocrinologist, diet and exercise I lost 31 lbs. By the time it came to get my dress altered, I was 2 dress sizes down!

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By June 2017, my brother was married to his new wife.  Almost a year later, I gained about 10lbs back but am in good shape.  I work with a trainer and am aware of everything that goes into my body.  I continue to research about nutrition and exercise and continue to work hard.

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If you follow my blog, I will continue to share my story along with my knowledge and progress.  I hope to help and motivate those in need.  Like I said in the beginning, I am NOT a professional!  Just someone with a passion….

Until next time!