MUST READ books to get fit

I’ve always loved to read. There’s just something about getting lost in a good book. I also love reading to learn new things!

When I started my health and fitness journey, I constantly was reading new books and blogs to learn more about nutrition labels, portion sizes, etc. It was around then that I stumbled across three books that I continue to read over and over again. In my opinion these books are must reads for anyone looking to lose weight or become healthier.

The EveryGirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness: How I Lost 40 lbs and Kept It Off-And How You Can Too! by Maria Menounos

First off, Maria Menounos is serious #BodGoals. This book is so relatable. Maria is personable and talks about her process of losing 40 pounds and keeping it off. She lists specific meal ideas and workouts and talks in depth about suggestions for getting started. This book focuses on the average girl who lacks time, money, energy, and willpower to get in shape. Each chapter also focuses on one pillar of losing weight and keeping it off. I found this method to be super helpful!

The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body – Cameron Diaz by Cameron Diaz

Do you remember when you took chemistry in high school? Sometimes things would be easy to understand, and other times, it was like your teacher was speaking a foreign language. Ya feel me?! Somehow Cameron Diaz breaks down the science of health and nutrition in an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand format. This book is chock-full of info on how to take care of your body for your lifetime. Diaz says it best saying, “In this book there is no such goal to reach in 7 days or 30 days or 365 days. The goal here is forever. And what you will earn is measured not in pounds or in inches lost, but in what you will gain.”

Younger Skin Starts in the Gut: 4-Week Program to Identify and Eliminate Your Skin-Aging Triggers – Gluten, Wine, Dairy, and Sugar by Dr. Nigma Talib

Your skin is the largest organ in your body! It needs to be taken care of and protected. I haven’t always taken great care of my skin, but this book opened my eyes to the importance of great skin care. Basically this book covers how good skin starts from within. The food you eat, the things you drink and the supplements you take are a direct correlation to how your skin looks on the outside.

What are some of your favorite fitness and health books? Are there any books that you continue to read over and over on your journey?

Friday Fit Tip- positive mindset

Happy Friday! Starting today, you can expect to see a Friday Fit Tip every single Friday! (Talk about motivation for the weeeekenddd!!)

Today’s Friday Fit Tip is a positive mindset.

A positive mindset is defined as “a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the bright side of life and expects positive results. A positive person anticipates happiness, health and success, and believes he or she can overcome any obstacle and difficulty.”

On your fitness journey, you will face obstacles and difficulty. Maybe you have an extra cheat meal during the week, or miss a few workouts. Whatever the obstacle or difficulty, having a positive mindset allows you to accept that challenge and continue forward.

Obviously it’s not possible to always have a positive mindset- we all have bad days. But focus your energy on being positive as often as possible and facing any challenge that comes your way.

One thing that I do to remain positive is to think of each day as a fresh start. No matter what happened yesterday, tomorrow is a brand new day. Wake up, start fresh and conquer your goals.

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Spending Freeze 2017

Have you ever had your debit card or credit card declined? Have you ever had to obsessively check your bank account to see if you have enough money to buy groceries? Do you count down the days until you get paid? Have you ever had that knot in your stomach wondering how the heck you were going to get your bills paid?

I have. I don’t say this for sympathy, I say this because maybe some of you can relate. Our society is centered around consumerism and the need for the newest, latest gadget. And frankly, I’m sick of living that way. I’m sick of living paycheck to paycheck.

So we decided to do something a little crazy. My boyfriend and I are doing a spending freeze for the year of 2017. This means we only spend money on necessities. Our goal is to see how much debt we can eliminate and how much money we can put into savings.

This also gives us a whole year to put people and relationships with others ahead of THINGS. And that’s really what matters. 60 years from now I’m not going to remember that cute top I bought or the venti iced coffee I just HAD to have. I’m going to remember the people, the relationships and the memories.

With that in mind, here are the lists of things we have to spend money on (our needs) and the things we will choose not to spend money on (wants). We know that things will come up and that we haven’t covered everything, but this is a good start for us!

What we have to spend money on (necessities):

-Rent

-Car payments

-Car insurance

-Renter’s insurance

-Student loan payments

-Credit card payments

-Utilities

-Cell phone bills

-Food (store-bought, off-brands and only when we eat everything in our cupboards)

-Doctor copays (if needed)

-Medicine

-Gas

-Workout supplements as needed

 

What we will not spend money on (wants):

-Gifts (sorry friends and family- this year will be a year of thoughtful homemade gifts)

-Shoes

-Home decor

-Make-up

-Clothes

-Coffee at coffee shops

-Gas station convenience stores

-Books

-Eating out

 

Have you ever done a spending freeze? Do you have any tips or suggestions for us? We will keep you updated on our journey!

What is clean eating?

Clean eating? As in eating cupcakes in the bathtub? Not quite…

So, what is clean eating? Clean eating is eating whole, real foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, therefore making them as close to their natural form as possible. This means avoiding processed and refined foods such as white flour, sugar, bread, pasta. 

Here are some examples of unprocessed foods:

-fresh fruit and veggies

-nuts

-eggs, boneless skinless chicken breasts

Clean eating is about more than getting fit. According to BodyBuilding.com, “[clean eating] is about making choices that promote optimum long-term health for your body.”

It really is amazing what eating GOOD foods can do for your body. Eating clean truly gives me more energy, helps me sleep soundly and overall I just feel great! Anytime I deviate from my clean eating routine, I instantly notice the changes in my body. How insane is that?!

If you’re looking to start eating clean, here are a few suggestions!

  1. Don’t treat clean eating like a diet. Eliminate that word from your vocabulary. Choose to eat clean and eat whole, real foods as often as possible. Have a cheat meal every now and then to keep you sane.
  2. Say goodbye to added sugar. This is harder than it sounds, but it is well worth the effort. Naturally occurring sugar, like the sugar found in fruit, is totally okay! Just say goodbye to  the added sugar in juices, syrups, sodas, etc.
  3. Learn how to read labels. If you are purchasing something outside of the produce or meat section, take time to read the label and learn what is in your food. If there’s a long list of ingredients that you can’t pronounce, don’t put it in your cart. *Stay tuned for an upcoming blog on how to read nutrition labels.

Have you tried to eat clean before? How did your body respond? Share your story below in the comments!

Eat breakfast, lose weight

Breakfast is THE most important meal of the day! I bet you’ve heard that a million times. But why exactly is breakfast so important?

According to WebMD, “breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day. It also gives you the energy you need to get things done and helps you focus at work or at school.”

What if I’m not hungry in the morning?

Don’t worry! You don’t have to eat a huge breakfast. If you aren’t usually hungry in the morning, just grab a piece of fruit or a protein bar for the road. Even a small breakfast is better than nothing at all! Skipping breakfast makes you more likely to eat overeat later in the day, and even makes you more likely to be overweight.

I’m always running late, I don’t have time for breakfast!

My friend, you are talking to the QUEEN of meal prepping. If sleeping as late as possible is your thing, take time to meal prep your breakfast. This makes mornings a breeze! Some weeks I make a big batch of healthy muffins, other weeks I prep protein pancakes and pop them in the toaster in the AM. There’s tons of options for breakfast foods that you can make ahead of time.

I thought skipping breakfast would help me lose weight….

No! Skipping breakfast can actually lead to weight GAIN. Skipping breakfast throws off your body’s “rhythm of fasting and eating. When you wake up, the blood sugar your body needs to make your muscles and brain work their best is usually low. Breakfast helps replenish it,” according to WebMD.

Takeaways:

-Do your best to eat breakfast every morning, even if it’s a small meal like yogurt or a piece of fruit.

-Eating breakfast and eating every few hours increases your metabolism which can lead to weight loss.

Mistletoe Memories

Every Christmas, we would get up early and rush to the barn to get chores done. I usually did chores in the morning before school, but Christmas morning involved all of us. Everyone bundled up, rolled out of bed and pitched in.

The barn felt different on Christmas. It was a feeling of content as the rest of the world slept. It was a feeling of accomplishment as we finished chores earlier than normal. It was a feeling of family as we all worked side-by-side.

Once we finished chores, we would head back home, shower and snuggle up under the Christmas tree while my Mom made breakfast. Those are my favorite memories.

I don’t remember the presents I got or how many presents I opened. I remember the layers of clothes we wore to stay warm. I remember making hot cocoa as a special treat during chores. I remember the excitement of Christmas as my sisters and I did chores together. I remember the thrill of getting chores finished early. I remember walking into the warm kitchen after being in the cold elements. I remember my family, the bright Christmas tree and that magic feeling of Christmas.

As we head into the holiday weekend, keep your favorite Christmas memories close to your heart. It’s easy to get stressed out and bogged down during the holiday season. Years from now, your kiddos won’t remember you forgot the perfect present or that you couldn’t afford many presents under the tree. They will remember the other details. The family, the love and the magic of Christmas.

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

2017- the year of YOU

2017 is going to be the year of YOU. The year you drop those extra pounds, feel good in your skin and take time for yourself.

It doesn’t matter where you are at in your life. Whether you’re single, have a house full of kiddos or are juggling multiple jobs. This is the year of you.

To set up the optimal year, it’s important to set goals. I like to set goals each month to keep me on track and keep me progressing.

When setting goals, make sure to set goals that are measurable. For example, instead of writing “Get in shape”, write something like “Lose 10 pounds by March”. This allows you to measure your goals and keep yourself accountable!

Here are my goals for January 2017. What are your goals? Email, Snapchat or tag me on Instagram with your goals and I’ll keep you accountable! 

Macy’s goals- January 2017
-Drink 1 gallon of water per day

-Workout 6 days per week

-Eat 5-6 small meals per day, consisting of primarily fruits, veggies and protein

-Dedicate at least 2 hours per week to self-care activities

-Get at least 7 hours of sleep per night

Easy Salsa Chicken

I’m always looking for quick recipes that taste good and are healthy to eat. One of my go-to recipes is what I call easy salsa chicken. All you need is a crock pot, boneless skinless chicken breasts and salsa!

Easy Salsa Chicken  

Ingredients:

-Boneless skinless chicken breasts

-16 oz jar of salsa

  1. Place frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot. You can use as many as you would like.
  2. Dump your entire jar of salsa over the frozen chicken breasts.
  3. Set your crockpot for 8 hours and enjoy!

Note: There’s many ways to enjoy this dish. When I get home, I like to take a fork and shred all the chicken so it is easy to use in many ways!

One way I eat this meal is by making healthy tacos! Buy whole wheat, high fiber tortillas and make tacos using the chicken, salsa, veggies of your choice and a dollop of plain greek yogurt -it tastes like sour cream, but is a healthier option!

Another option would be to use the shredded chicken to place on top of a salad. I often make a salad using spinach, top with the shredded chicken and use extra salsa as the dressing.

When preparing this dish you can choose to throw in more chicken breasts than needed for dinner and use that chicken for meal prepping lunches for the rest of the week!

Monday Motivation

This is your week. A new day, a fresh start. The days are yours to accomplish your goals, to change your future and to be the best possible version of yourself.

Whether you’re looking to get in shape, get through your finals or simply to stay stress-free during the last week before Christmas- you are in control.

What will you choose to control this week? What will sacrifice to reach your goals? What will you do to better yourself?

In the wise words of Grant Cardone, “the average call me obsessed, the successful call me for advice.”

Become obsessed with your goals, with bettering yourself. This is your week. Make it count.