My Self Care Routine

*dealing with a knee injury, don’t mind the kinesio tape. trendy right?*

If you’ve stopped by my blog any in the past, you probably know I’m a big advocate of self love. I think loving yourself should come first (well…after Jesus, the real mvp) in order for other relationships to flourish in life. The relationship you have with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have. 

So, one of the most important ways to keep up the self love supply is to practice self CARE! It sounds so cliche at first, but when you really stop to think about it, it is so important. Especially if you’re on a really busy schedule and don’t have much time to spend on yourself. If you’re not taking care of yourself, how are you going to genuinely be able to take care of your marriage, kids, other relationships, etc.?! It just makes sense to take time, even if it’s a small amount of time, to focus on yourself, your health, and your happiness.

With the hubby being gone for so long, I have had extra time at night and on weekends to spend on myself. Not in a selfish way, but in a self-improvement way. Because if I improve myself, I can ultimately improve my marriage and relationship with him! So everyone wins 🙂

Here are a few things I always make sure to incorporate into my routine as self care.

1. Exercise. This is probably my biggest (and most obvious) form of self care and it has been for as long as I can remember. If I’m stressed, I hit the gym and get my endorphins going and instantly feel better. If I’m angry, I go for a quick workout and blow off steam. If I’m feeling just blah, even a light yoga workout or walk can be a mood booster and simultaneously makes me feel better about my body! Getting plenty of exercise has SO many benefits.

2. Quiet time. This is something I totally dropped the ball on for the past two years, as life got really busy. I stopped taking my quiet time at night or in the morning and just got into the routine of skipping it. Recently, I started forcing myself to sit down for quiet time every morning with my coffee, and it has been life changing. Just like getting OUT of the habit became routine, you can easily get back INTO it if you simply make the time to do it. For me, quiet time is reading my devotional or Bible while sipping my coffee, and spending a few minutes in pray. It sets the tone for my day and gives me a sense of peace, regardless of how much stress I’m under. Find something that you can turn into your quiet time and use it to kick off your day OR wind it down at night!

3. Reading a book…for FUN. This is another one that I got too busy for the last couple years and recently started doing again. I forgot how relaxing it is to read a good thriller for an hour (or more depending on how thrilling it is!) a day! My friend Lauren came to visit me this summer and brought some good books with her. I borrowed one and we read on the beach and on the couch in our free time, and WOW was it nice. It’s such a good temporary escape from reality! I felt so recharged after finishing a book that week, so I’ve started reading more!

4. Eating GOOD food. This means two things to me, and in my opinion it has to be in BALANCE. Self care means taking good care of yourself, so naturally you should be eating foods that are good for your body! Whole foods, REAL food. Not eating junk every day or McDonald’s every day. I traveled a lot this summer, which forced me to eat out much more than I usually do… and it was such a good reminder as to WHY I choose to eat healthy most of the time. I felt SO gross when I was eating out a lot! My stomach hurt constantly and I just felt really sick. The other half of this ‘eating good food’ equation, however, is indulging when you want to! You can’t let the healthy lifestyle become an obsession – you have to find your balance! If you eat healthy during the week but want to have beer and nachos during the football game on the weekend? DO IT. DO IT!!! If you’re PMSing or had a terrible day and need a cupcake and some wine? FREAKING DO IT!

5. Get outside. Being outside, even for just a few minutes a day, can be so beneficial! The body converts sunlight into vitamin D once it hits your skin (just wear sunscreen if you’re out for a while!). Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium and promotes bone health. It also helps with muscle function and your immune system fighting off bad guys. Plus, being in the sun just makes you feel amazing! So go on a quick walk on lunch break, hit the beach for some yoga, or simply sit in your yard and read a book. Whatever you choose, you’ll feel great after spending some time outdoors! Again, instant mood booster.

6. Listen to your body and know when to slow down. This is so important. At my last job, it was SO high stress and high activity, that it was literally taking a toll on my physical health. I knew it would be a mentally stressful job, but it began causing my migraines to become SO much more frequent than they already were, I wasn’t getting enough sleep, and my foot that had surgery had begun to really bother again. Sometimes, you have to listen to the signs you’re body is giving you to take a step back and slow down. My husband reminded me that quality of life is more important than making a certain amount of money! It’s so true – it’s not worth putting your health at risk. Sometimes it’s okay to slow down and binge watch a season of Friends instead of going going going every single day!

That’s the run down on my self care techniques! I know there are lots of other ways to practice self care, but I don’t want to talk your ear off any more than I have 😉 Maybe I’ll do another self care post soon! Leave me a comment telling me your favorite self care practices!

XO beth

denim shorts – Shein // dare devil shirt – Wildfox couture (old) // lace bralette – Victoria’s Secret in store only, similar here // parachute team hoodie – my husband 😉

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Wellness Wednesday

HIII happy hump day! Halfway to Friday people.

So lets talk about my favorite yoga pants. These blue and gray ones from Firepower are seriously the shiz. They feel so amazing on! The material is comfy and high quality. They are a little more expensive than what I normally buy BUT hear me when I say SO. WORTH. IT. They’re still cheaper than Lulu though but still the same quality (hello, score). And they’re squat proof ladies!! I love how high waisted they are so no riding down your booty as you squat. This black mesh sports bra is also from Firepower. You can get a discount with my code – ‘REASONER’! I’ve got more exciting, new Firepower looks coming soon so stay tuned for those.

I have mentioned recently that I’m struggling with a knee injury that has set me back in my workouts (hashtag anxiety). Fortunately it’s looking like I won’t need surgery (thank God!) but they still don’t know why it’s still hurting. So frustrating! But anyways, at first I used my knee as an excuse to skip my workouts completely. Yes I was in a lot of pain so that’s understandable… to an extent. But now I have realized that instead of letting it defeat me, I can use this time as a chance to focus on what I CAN do instead of what I can’t.

For example: one of my biggest fitness goals right now is to do a pull-up on my own. So instead of being sad I can’t work legs on leg day (my fav workout) I can focus that energy on improving my upper body strength. My knee may be weak but my arms are perfectly fine. Might as well go hard with them! If you have something that you feel is holding you back from your goals, let it motivate you instead!

While rest days are extremely important, don’t use the little things as an excuse. Get out there and kick that excuses butt. Tired from work? Even just a 30 minute walk can boost your mood and energy. Too hot outside? Go for a swim – then you’re cooling off AND getting cardio in. Whatever it is, just do it.

And get some Firepower so you’ll look badass doing it 😉

Thanks for reading!

xo beth

**shoutout to Elle Lua Photography for these bomb pics

 

My Review of “What the Health”

*actual picture of the eggs I ate last night ^

I’m sure you’ve heard by now all the rave about the latest documentary on Netflix called “What the Health.” I certainly have, and was shocked at the response and number of people claiming they needed to instantly change their whole diet based solely on this documentary. So I immediately decided I needed to watch it and form my own opinions on it.

If you haven’t heard about it or seen it yet, this documentary looks at the link between our diets (mostly meat and dairy) and major diseases they can potentially cause. It is clearly produced by people pushing the vegan agenda, and it also completely discredits several major health organizations (like the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, etc.).

I will start by saying this: I do acknowledge and appreciate that the health of our nation is being discussed. We are certainly experiencing an obesity epidemic in this country, and it should be brought to light how to prevent it further. The majority of people need to start understanding how the type/amount of foods they are consuming is affecting their overall health. However, the way this film goes about it is not so much informative as it is simply one giant scare tactic with little valid research to back it.

One of the biggest red flags to me was that, throughout the whole 1.5-hour-long film, they interviewed only TWO Registered Dietitians, and one of those two only spoke for about a whole 20 seconds. The rest were mostly doctors who simply stated their opinions without backing it with hard scientific evidence. AND, at the end of the film, several of the doctors even admitted that doctors hardly get ANY nutritional education and know little about how diet affects the body… so then why are we taking everything they are pushing on us without questioning their research or validity?!

Here are my main points I wrote down while watching it that I want to share:

YES processed meat is not the type of meat you should be consuming for the majority of your meat choices… NO meat will not give you cancer, as long as you are choosing the right kinds! (Lean meats that are organically raised/fed are best, but this is not always realistic. It isn’t the meat that’s harmful, but the chemicals/antibiotics that are sometimes put in them.) I personally am not the biggest fan of meat but only because it’s a preference thing – I do still try to eat a serving of lean meat at least a few times a week.

YES a vegan/plant-based diet CAN work for people! Don’t get me wrong, I find nothing wrong with a plant-only diet, if you have your reasons for doing so. You can still get all the macro- and micronutrients needed from plants if you follow it correctly. But if you choose to do so because this video scared you into thinking meat of any kind at all is going to kill you? NOT a good reason. You do not have to rely on a plant-based diet to avoid disease. People on a plant-based diet can still get sick, just like people on animal-based diets can. Every body is different and handles food in its own way.

NO sugar alone does not cause diabetes… the main contributors to diabetes are genetics, lack of physical activity, and high energy (calorie) intake. So yes, a diet full of sugar is often associated with a high energy diet. Don’t let the wording of that whole diabetes conversation confuse you. And no, eating plants will probably not reverse your diabetes in a week or two like they imply. Food can certainly be the best medication in many circumstances, but it’s very complex and disease-dependent.

NO eating one egg a day is NOT equivalent to smoking five cigarettes a day!!! This one really pissed me off, to be honest. If eggs were as bad as smoking five cigarettes a day, I’d probably be dead or have cancer by now. It is also not equivalent to a whole egg McMuffin.

YES eggs have cholesterol in their yolks! NO it is not going to kill you as long as you’re eating them moderately, and yolks also have nutrients not found in the whites of the egg.

YES diets high in red meat (*note I said HIGH in red meat, not just eating a serving. A small amount in the diet won’t hurt you*) can be a risk factor for cancer… BUT this film claims that even lean chicken can cause cancer! Um, last time I checked chicken isn’t red meat so bye.

YES you can consume dairy and NOT DIE!!!! Let’s think about this… if dairy is terrible for us, then WHY IS IT A WHOLE FOOD GROUP?! Yes you should choose low/non fat options and yes you should not eat it in excess… but to go to the extent of saying that even babies don’t need milk? A bit excessive if you ask me. And if you’re reading this then I assume you pretty much asked me, so you can’t get mad at my somewhat sassy opinions. 🙂

YES you should try to avoid constant medications IF possible, but some people simply need them based on their conditions. So yes, the pharma industry is huge and all about the money, but some people can’t simply be healed by eating plants. If it were that easy then this would all be a different story.

YES some of the sponsors of these organizations do happen to have a conflict of interest, and I do find that odd and slightly off-putting. But at least the organization is there and is making the effort to do something about the issue. Before completely discrediting them, you should make sure your research is accurate.

Overall, I would not recommend this documentary to someone because it is so one-sided and misinformed that it is completely misleading people. My advice? Find what works for YOUR body, based on YOUR specific needs, and focus on a balanced, varied diet consisting of REAL whole foods, while also making healthy lifestyle choices. If you want to lose weight and trim fat? Energy in must be less than energy out… AKA eat less and/or workout more. Adequate amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrate are key. Don’t buy into everything you hear, unless you know they are a valid resource back by scientific evidence.

Thank you for reading! If you disagree with my opinions, please know that I respect that and don’t mean to offend ANYONE! I simply want people to be informed of misleading information so that they know to make the best choices for their body/wellbeing 🙂

If you ever have questions about nutritional information, feel free to comment or email me!

XO beth

 

 

Resolution-Friendly Snacks

Hi babes! I hope this post finds you well! I’m so glad it’s Thursday; this week has been super busy, and this weekend is going to be even busier but in a good way! I am regretfully really behind on Grey’s AND Scandal right now (I know I’m ashamed), and I feel like my Thursday would be significantly better if I could actually watch tonight’s episodes. Ugh. First world problems?

ANYWAYS. Let’s talk about healthy snacks! I’ve seen so many people post about their healthy resolutions for the year, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite snacks that are yummy and nutritious without going overkill in calories!

First is baked apples. GAME. CHANGER.

I have allllllways been an apple a day kinda gal. Like since high school I have eaten apples all the time. Sometimes more than one a day – and let me tell ya, I don’t think it’s true that they keep the doctor away haha. But they are great snacks!

Somehow, I have never really thought to bake them, I’ve always just sliced them up and eaten them with peanut butter or almond butter. One night my dear friend Nora mentioned something about baked apples for dessert and I immediately thought, “okay I need that in my life.”

So here we are, a few weeks later, and I have baked many an apple since. Thanks Nora 🙂 It’s such a great cure for those nights when your PMS is screaming at you to eat all the dessert in the world but you don’t want to cheat on your meal plan so you bake an apple, melt some PB, and if you really wanna get crazy with it, serve them warm with Halo Top ice cream. Thank me later.

Recipe:
1 apple (if single serving – more depending on # of people)
cooking spray
stevia (1 packet usually does it)
cinnamon (to taste)

Slice up your apple (my current apple of choice is the Fuji; they’re big so even one is shareable! this recipe is husband approved). Spray a baking dish, glass is best, and line your apples on it. Sprinkle your apple slices with cinnamon and Stevia. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.

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Next up we have rice cakes. Which sounds really boring. However, if you top it with the right things, it’s actually amazing. My toppings of choice for rice cakes are peanut butter (or almond butter or PB2) for a sweet one and avocado for a savory!

Now, if you’re on a strict meal plan and don’t want as many calories, then consider just using PB2 on this one. These rice cake snacks are healthy, but they are high in unsaturated fats – the good fats! but still fats, which means calories. So if you have the room in your plan, these make a great post-workout snack!

Tip: buy the UNsalted unflavored rice cakes 🙂

For the sweet one, I just spread nut butter of choice on the rice cake, throw on a few slices of banana for extra nutrients, and about a teaspoon of chia seeds. If you want extra sweetness, drizzle with honey!

For the savory one, simply slice and mash up about half of an avocado, spread it on the rice cake, and sprinkle with a tiny bit of pink himalayan salt (I get mine from Trader Joe’s, it’s lasted a while) and pepper. If you’re into spicy foods, add some red pepper flakes! I’m not brave enough for that, but if you are I admire it about you.

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That’s all for now! Hope you make it to Friday in no time! You are beautiful. Thanks for reading!

XO Beth