My Healthy Life: A Manifesto

my healthy life

Before writing this post, I thought I would revisit what I wrote around this time last year. I had just signed up for Weight Watchers again, and had already lost close to 20 lbs since having my baby (she was a month old at the time – crazy to imagine, eh). Since then, I have made some major changes.

While Weight Watchers totally kicked my butt into gear and helped me learn from the food and activity choices I was making, I have opted for a complete lifestyle change and ultimately chose a route where I wouldn’t have to pay a monthly fee to be told how to eat. I also was not completely behind the idea where you get count points based on caloric intake – tricking people into believing that diet food is healthier for you, when it can often be worse.

I don’t want to focus on consuming diet food, but rather consuming food that is real, whole, good for you and delicious. My healthy goals for this year are to: workout for 30 minutes per day, practice yoga for 30 minutes a day and cook all of our meals from scratch. Sure, there will be times where we go out to eat. I am in no way perfect when it comes to my diet, and I think 99% of people can agree with that. But I will be more conscious when I do go out to eat. That’s all you gotta do. Be conscious.

I also want to focus more on remixing recipes by substituting good, healthy ingredients where they are needed and I will continue sharing my concoctions with you.

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In case you are also resolving to get more fitness and healthy food in your life for the next year, here are a few websites that really helped me last year:

  • Greatist: This is one of the first websites I got into when I started this health kick. I attempted many a health challenge through Greatist, and while I barely ever stuck with them – I learned a lot and I love how proactive and fun the writers are. They actually created Renew Year, where they post new challenges each morning and you share on Twitter when you complete the challenge with the hashtag #healthyishappy. I love it!
  • The Gracious Pantry – This is by far one of my favorite sites and has truly motivated me to keep eating real and good food. Her recipes are all clean and she has good ones! My family loves every recipe I make…and that is really saying a lot. Because they hate anything with the word healthy in it.
  • DoYouYoga.com – I love this yoga site, and I love Erin Motz. She always makes yoga practice fun, and they’re always adding new videos. She has really inspired me to pursue a yoga instructor certification, and that is one of my goals now.
  • Fitness Blender – I found this couple through YouTube, and I love their workouts. They’re quick, but get the job done. They also do different challenges that you can join in, and they often post videos talking about nutrition and health – which I love. It’s not about being skinny for them, it’s about being healthy.

While you may not be on your A-game all the time, as long as you are eating good food and remaining active, you’ll be fine. I promise.  Let’s do this not to be skinny – let’s do it to be healthy. Most of all, let’s DO IT.

Have you made a resolution to be more healthy in 2014? Did you write about it? Share your link in the comments and post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google + with the hashtag #myhealthylife. You can also find more healthy inspiration on my Pinterest. Cheers to healthy and happy new year!

Weekly Wishes #2

Image belongs to the Nectar Collective

Image belongs to the Nectar Collective

Last week I started a new weekly series called Weekly Wishes that I found on a pretty amazing site, The Nectar Collective. It’s a weekly link-up where participants write a post (such as this) and link it up to the post Melyssa writes on Nectar Collective, then you leave a motivating comment on the person’s post who linked up directly before you.

In doing so, I actually found Andrea Lui, who runs a handmade jewelry shop on Etsy called Oh! Jewelicious. Her work is beautiful and while I’m not much of a jewelry person, I can see myself wearing her stuff! I especially love the sparrow earrings. It’s hard for me to wear necklaces or anything that dangles because Cecilia has quite the grip and I wouldn’t want it to break. Look how cute these sparrows are…there is also a necklace to match!

Image belongs to Andrea Lui

Image belongs to Andrea Lui

I shared my weekly wishes for my business, creative, fitness and home wishes last week, and

Last week’s wishes:

Business wish – Create buttons for both my Sweet Mariposa shop and my blog. Read through Ch. 9 in The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin.

Creative wish – Finally finish these cheese graters! I’m going to share the tutorial on my Linkouture when I’m done!

Fitness wish 15 minutes of exercise + 15 minutes of yoga each day

Home wish – Start canning all my vegetables from the garden

How I did:

I did end up creating my buttons for Sweet Mariposa, but have decided against making buttons for my blog at this time. I don’t think they are really necessary right now, and I have some projects in the works for this blog and may create a few buttons then. After looking through loads of different tutorials – only to be unsuccessful at all of them – I took the easy route and just copied the code from a button I got from another site and entered my information. Simple, eh? You can see the button on my sidebar – hooray!

I’m also through Ch. 10 in The Handmade Marketplace so I’m pretty sure I will finish the book this week (there’s 12 chapters). I’m going to jot down some of the information I got from the book and see how much of it I can incorporate in my own work. I will be writing a review in the near future.

I also finished the cheese graters, and I sent my tutorial over to the wonderful Bev at Linkouture, so it should be up soon! It was a big challenge of mine to get these done, so I’m relieved I finally did it! You can also find them at my Etsy shop. I can do different colors and styles if you fancy one.

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I was able to squeeze in a couple bodyweight workouts through Fitness Blender, and I treated myself to a couple restorative yoga sessions at night, but I find it really hard to stay on my fitness goals. So I’m really focusing on what food I’m putting into my body and getting exercise when I can – which isn’t hard with how mobile my little one is now! We’re always walking and exploring so that certainly helps. I lost a few pounds in the last week so it’s working!

And finally, I put all those crazy peppers to good use and made some homemade hot sauce! I used a recipe I found on Pinterest and I’m still having trouble finding the original website. I’ll share the recipe this week but here’s a photo for now! I also made homemade apple butter with that recipe I shared last week that I got from My Baking Addiction and it was amazing! I put it on my toast this morning and topped it with banana. I could have eaten the whole jar but figured I better save some for tomorrow. I will share my experience with making both later this week.

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Now moving on to this week!

Business: Get together with Heather to go over her Press Release (very exciting stuff!) and get her into some awesome author communities! After becoming an Oh My Handmade member, I am true believer in how important it is to be a part of a community. They help you go over ideas, and will support your work and everything you are doing any chance they get. We need to get all of her bases covered so we can continue networking and promoting all of her wonderful work.

Creative: See that three tiered basket in the picture? (hint: it’s #7) I want to restore that this week. I’m going to hang it in our pantry an use it to hold all of our bread and snacks. I just can’t decide if I want to paint it all one color or use multiple colors. Let me know your thoughts! Last week, I also started to work on a serving tray that I was upcycling into a chalkboard cheese tray. I’ve since changed my mind and decided to use it as a prop for photos. I just need to make a few little fixes and I’ll be done…so I wanted to finally finish it this week!

thrifty finds

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Fitness: I’m going to continue working on my goal of getting a 15 minute workout along with a 15 minute yoga session in every day. It’s challenging but I feel so good after I’m done that I want to continue working on it. It’s also such a lovely feeling to not have to cringe every time you try on an old pair of pants. I’m also making it a goal to get rid of the white sugar and flour in the house, and find good, healthy replacements for sugar.

Home: Well, it’s time to switch out the garden. I’m going to work on moving all of the old stuff out, cleaning up the garden area, and starting planting new veggies. I’m going to look up what will be good to plant right now and look into planting some succulents and flowers. Of course, I will be sharing my journey with you along the way! Although my garden had its ups and downs this season, I learned a lot – and I was able to make so much from it! Hoping to get a pressure canner soon *fingers crossed* so I can more and more good stuff!

What are your weekly wishes? Write about them and link up to the Nectar Collective. You can also share them in the comments and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Here’s to having another lovely and productive week!

Gettin Fit: Old Clothes Challenge

Baby, it’s cold outside. And when it’s cold outside…a few things start happening. We skip a couple days of shaving (ok, maybe that’s just me), we wear more and more clothes and…we suddenly forget about our diets and go buckwild for all the comfort food our stomachs can handle! I don’t what it is, but the minute it gets cold – I immediately want a grilled cheese and a cookie.

Since I’m a little under a month away from my deadline to reach my goal weight (I have 13 lbs to go, and it needs to be gone by Nov 12 – my birthday), I can’t let the cold weather come in between me and my old clothes. I found a few recipes that will help keep us all on track with staying healthy and fit. And of course, there is pumpkin involved.

Image belongs to MJ and Hungryman

Image belongs to MJ and Hungryman

Pumpkin and kale lasagna roll-ups from MJ and Hungryman – This is exactly why I love roundups. I found this recipe through a healthy pumpkin roundup on Greatist, which led me to a site I never visited before – MJ and Hungryman. They posted this recipe on another site I didn’t know about until now – Healthy Aperture – a healthy food photo sharing site run by dieticians. So if you don’t believe in the power of roundups, it’s time to start believing!

Image belongs to Love & Lemons

Image belongs to Love & Lemons

kale stem pesto from Love & Lemons – If you are all about the kale, or if you happen to have some leftover from making those awesome lasagna roll-ups, then check out this recipe. Now, I will have to admit – I made a spinach pesto before and I gagged. It was horrible. My poor food victims sat and ate it as politely as possible until I finally told me they could stop. We ended up flooding the pasta with store-bought sauce, which defeated the whole purpose of making my own sauce. So, I’m going to give this recipe a try and hopefully it will turn out better than my spinach pesto!

Image belongs to Elana's Pantry

Image belongs to Elana’s Pantry

How to Roast Butternut Squash from Elana’s Pantry – A little while ago, my boyfriend’s aunt was nice enough to give us a big ol winter squash from her garden. I’ve been meaning to look up recipes with winter squash in them but I keep forgetting! Then I saw this recipe from Elana’s Pantry…just what I needed! Elana said that you can use any winter squash with this recipe so I’m going to try it on my winter squash with some pasta tonight. YUM!

I’m looking for some cool fitness blogs to follow, aside from my favorites: Greatist, DoYouYoga and Fitness Blender. I’m looking for fitness bloggers that are all about home workouts, and if they do yoga, then that is a bonus! Please share any health and fitness blogs you follow so I can check them out!

Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter for more health and fitness inspiration and join my challenge by using the hashtag #oldclotheschallenge on your posts. Let’s make this holiday season a healthy one! Go team!

 

Gettin fit: Old clothes challenge

Goals: 30 min of yoga/ 30 min workout daily | Eat 2-3 clean meals daily

Well, this past week I have a slipped a little, but I’m getting back to my routine. I decided to stop posting my “365 days of yoga” challenge pictures on Instagram. I found that I was so worried about getting a shot of the pose I was on that I wasn’t fully into my routine. Today was my first practice without taking any photos, and I felt like I got a lot more out of it.

So, I have 12 weeks left of my old clothes challenge and I have about 18 lbs I would love to shed. That’s a little over a lb a week and I do believe that I can do it. I just need to stick to my goals. For those of you who want to eat a little better and workout a little more, here is some inspiration:

Image belongs to Eat Hugger

Image belongs to Eat Hugger

I’m going to attempt this Italian Quinoa tonight for dinner. I got the recipe from the 30 Day Real Food Challenge with Eat Hugger and my girl Erin Motz. The challenge is definitely a good way to get into eating real food and there are some pretty good recipes in there.

Image belongs to Greatist

Image belongs to Greatist

I have been religiously following Fitness Blender for all of my workouts thus far, but I dig this 30 minute Bodyweight Workout from Greatist. While I think I get more from following the videos since I get to see exactly how you are supposed to do each pose, I do love listening to my tunes while I workout, so these are great. Also, I can print this out and take it outside if I want to take my workout outside.

So, I’m interested to see how my family will react to the quinoa tonight. I almost want to keep my camera out to capture the excitement.

What are your favorite real food recipes and/or bodyweight workouts? Share them in the comments and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #gettinfit. If you want more health and fitness inspiration, check out my Pinterest!

Gettin fit: old clothes challenge

IMG_5294To know me is to know that I will plan my birthday months in advance. Normally, it’s because I plan on having a month (or week if I’m poor) long celebration. This time around, I’m planning it because that’s when I plan to meet my goal. Since my birthday is in 3 months, I’m giving myself that amount of time to kick it into high gear. I know, I know…I’ve set goals before and never stuck to them. But hey, maybe it will work this time.

The baby and I are starting to get our schedule down and now that she’s into her walker and playing with all of her toys in her playpen, I have a little more time to work out and practice yoga. I do try to include her in my workouts, but now that she’s mobile, she would rather not. I’ve also started baking all my breads on Saturdays and Sundays when I have more help. Then, I use them all week. And it works!

I have found all of my workouts so far on Fitness Blender. They have quick workouts and I always feel good afterwards. Sore, but good. And of course, for my yoga needs, I stick with Erin Motz and Do You Yoga. I just love her.

Tonight, I’m going to cook my black beans and oatmeal so they are ready for tomorrow. I got my black beans in a bag, so this will be my first time preparing them. We’ll see how it goes! I’m finding it easier to stick to my clean eating lifestyle, and I’m feeling a lot better.

Posting my yoga and workout sessions daily has really helped me stay on track. I just don’t want this blog to be over-saturated with workout stuff. So, I decided to start a healthy blog called too fit to be square. I upload pictures of my workout sessions, good food I made, recipes, workout tutorials and videos I found and just general healthy inspiration.

I will still be updating this blog about my healthy journey every week, but that blog will be updated daily.

Feel free to follow my blog if you are needing a little inspiration, and you can join my old clothes challenge by using the hashtag #oldclotheschallenge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can find more healthy living inspiration on my Pinterest.