Getting Healthy #3

Third step to a healthier me was drinking more water.

This is very easy to do. I just had to change my habits a little and taaadaaaa!! I’m drinking more water.

#3 – Drinking Water
Water. It’s essential to life. Almost everyone needs to drink more water.

I noticed that I will drink more water if it’s in a cup or a mug, rather than in a bottle. This seemed very lazy, because the fact that I had to untwist a tiny cap somehow stopped me from drinking water… silly, right!? But it’s true! If I pour myself a cup of water, I will down it so fast. So that’s what I started doing at the office.

I have the equivalent of about 1-2 glasses of water at the gym in the morning. Then at work, I’ve made a habit of getting myself a cup of water each time I grab a cup of coffee, which is only once a day now. I fill another one at lunch time and another in the afternoon. It helps that I will also take my vitamins, usually with my breakfast and that helps me drink more water as well. That’s about 4-5 glasses of water. Then when I get home, I pour myself a tall glass of water (equivalent of another 2 glasses of water) to go with dinner and for before bed. I also leave the cup on my nightstand and if there is any left, I will usually down it first thing in the morning.

Although 8 glasses of water a day may sound like a lot, it really isn’t. What I found is that replacing other drinks with water will help you achieve that goal while eliminating sugary drinks and additional calories. I only drink black coffee, skim milk and water. I don’t drink fruit juices or fruit concoctions or soda anymore. If you like fruity drinks, make yourself a smoothie! Beware of buying them, though – I always prefer to make my own so I know what’s going in it. Throw in some fresh or frozen fruit, a bit of Greek yogurt or skim milk and blend. Much better than a store-bought mystery smoothie filled with needless calories and sugar!

Water is so important for your body. It helps make you feel fuller, helps you digest and cleanse, helps your skin… it does wonders for you! It will also help prevent your lips from chapping, your skin from itching, and of course against dehydration. (Every time I have a headache, I drink more water rather than take anything for it, because it’s usually due to dehydration. I haven’t suffered from any headaches since drinking more water!)

I think everyone should drink more water! It’s  delicious and refreshing 🙂

 

How many glasses of water do you drink a day?

 

Love,

C.

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Getting Healthy #2

The second step to getting healthier was to begin exercising more regularly. Last year, I went on a trip to Hawaii and that served as my biggest motivation to get myself in shape. I exercised and went on a meal plan and managed to lose 10 lbs before the trip. I was content with that, but unfortunately I gained half of it back only a few weeks after returning home. I have managed to keep off 6 lbs though!

This time, I’m aiming to lose the weight gradually, perhaps a little more slowly, but hopefully permanently.

#2 – Exercising Regularly
This part, for me was even harder than quitting smoking. I’m not even kidding…

To try and find time to squeeze in a workout at least 3 times a week was NOT an easy task. Between a full-time job, 2 evening classes, homework, house cleaning, cooking and a social life… who has time to exercise?! Well, I will find the time!!

I worked out steadily during the summer, but once this semester started, I didn’t have any energy left in me to wake up at 5:45 every morning. But lately, my boyfriend and I have been making it to the gym about twice a week. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing.

Our goal is to make it 4-5 times a week, every week. No excuses. I know that once I graduate in April, I will have so much more free time… can’t wait!!

Exercise is so important. I personally prefer to work out in the morning, because after work I’m usually way too exhausted. By the time I get home, I’ve spent about an hour on the bus unwinding and I am completely demotivated. But if I go in the morning, I get to start off my day in the best way! It energizes me and keeps me alert throughout the day and I’ve noticed that I’m generally a much happier person when I make it to the gym in the morning.

Exercising has also helped me to sleep better. By the time my head hits the pillow at night, I am out cold until 5:45 the next morning. I’ve also noticed that I’ve been having a lot less nightmares since going to the gym again (I’d been having way too many unpleasant dreams lately). It just feels great and though it takes a while to get into a routine, it is SO worth it.

Exercising has so many benefits and even if you don’t like the gym, you should make an effort to take the dog for more walks, go for a jog, do an at-home workout – any little change helps! Any exercise contributes to a healthier lifestyle.

My goal is to lose another 4 lbs. and to strengthen my core, tone all over and increase my endurance. I’ve already noticed a difference in my endurance and I can last a lot longer on the treadmill, but I usually don’t stay on too long because I do speed intervals, which helps burn a lot more calories.

To me, one of the most important things to remember is to not stress about it. Missed the gym one day? Oh well, make it up the next day. But do! Don’t just postpone it. Just don’t stress about it too much. You’ll be happier and healthier.

If you guys want to share some of your workout routines or transformations, I’d love to hear about them! Support and motivation are great factors in success.

Love,

C.

Getting Healthy #1

Hello lovelies!

In my most recent years, I’ve become more and more interested in healthy living and exercise. I look at my parents’ generation and what they eat and all of the disease and I know that there is no way to escape these things – especially since there will always be something else.

BUT, I tell myself that I can definitely prolong my life by being as healthy as I can, and taking care of myself, both body and mind.

#1 – Quitting Smoking
My first task was clearly to quit smoking. Mission accomplished!

I never smoked as much as the regular smoker, but I started making excuses for myself and had myself convinced I wasn’t even a smoker. That’s when I knew I had to stop. I would have maybe 1 cigarette a day, on the drive home after work. I loved the feeling of having my windows down, blasting the music and having a cigarette. I would smoke a few cigarettes when out with friends on weekends. I could make a pack last weeks, but I still didn’t like the fact that I was a regular smoker, and lying to myself about it.

My main motivation was my check-up with my doctor. I was ashamed that I would have to admit to her that I had been smoking, so I was determined to quit before then. Also, my dad is a smoker and when I was a little girl, I would beg him to stop because he was “stinky”. I thought, hey, I don’t want to be stinky! I would often smell it on my fingers, or feel the grittiness on my teeth and that was the farthest thing from pleasant. Lastly, being a university student with a mortgage, I told myself that I absolutely could not afford this habit. Time to kick it.

So I quit smoking, just like that. I was lucky because it was easy for me, but I know it’s that that easy for everyone, especially those who have had the habit for much longer. I had only been smoking on and off for about 2 years, but decided to quit before it was too late.

Since quitting (about 5 months ago), I have had about 4-5 cigarettes in total, during social outings with friends, but I am starting to not even crave it in those situations anymore. The first few weeks were the toughest, but it gets easier! I don’t think about it now and I tell myself not to stress about it. That’s important too. The more you stress about it, the more you crave it because you’re constantly thinking about not smoking… I told myself that if I had one, it was okay. It was okay, as long as I didn’t make it a habit.

I’m very proud of myself and I just want to recognized all of those who have either quit smoking, or are trying to quit. It’s not easy, but you can do it!

If you guys want help, support or advice, don’t hesitate to message me.

Good luck!

Love,

C.

 

Where Have We Been!?

I just wanted to update everyone and let you know why we haven’t been updating the blog lately.

Things have been a little hectic these past few weeks.

K and A are getting all ready to move in together soon (stay tuned for posts about the move). We’ve been hitting up Home Depot, painting, purchasing furniture… well, at least they have. I’m just around for the moral support!

I’ve also been swamped with assignments and midterms, and that’s never fun, but I’m really excited about the fact that I have 6 months left until K and I finally graduate from university! Yay 🙂

On top of that, I’ve been having some major computer issues, but our tech guy fixed everything right up for me today – so a great big thanks to him!

On a sadder note, it is with great sorrow that I announce the death of my boyfriend’s beloved grandmother, who passed away Sunday evening after dinner. Though we are deeply saddened by this event, we are happy to know that she has joined her husband in a better place and is no longer suffering. It’s never easy in situations like these, but having family and friends around for support makes the world of a difference.

So with all that, we haven’t really had the time to post much.

We’re still around and you can definitely expect more posts from us shortly.

Love,

C.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend. I had an insanely busy weekend and couldn’t get around to my laptop, so I know I’m late with this post. Please forgive me!

We closed up the cottage last weekend and this weekend we got ready for the fall season.

Weekend Recap
Friday: I went out to Boston Pizza with some friends to celebrate my birthday. I love seeing my friends – we’re all so busy with work and school, but it’s always so nice to make time to see each other.

Saturday: My boyfriend and I attended my aunt’s wedding, which was just so beautiful and of course made me cry (I’m an emotional wreck when it comes to these sappy things).

Sunday: My boyfriend and I spent 8 HOURS cleaning the house… well, more like re-organizing, re-arranging and tidying but WOW did it ever feel good! I feel like the house looks and feels more like a home now.

Monday: I did a bit more cleaning in the morning and then headed over to my boyfriend’s parents’ house for Thanksgiving dinner, which was amazing, as always. Turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, asparagus, carrots, broccoli and cheese sauce, stuffing, wine… ooh it hurts just to think about how much we ate! After dinner, we watched The Hangover (Part II) and I unintentionally took a little nap, grandpa-style – haha! We also celebrated my boyfriend’s mother’s birthday, which is the day right after mine.

All in all, it was a busy weekend, but it was a great one!

Yesterday, I put some thought into this holiday and realized how truly lucky I am. I know that I sometimes take things and people for granted, but it’s important acknowledge how grateful I am, and to let those people know. I am thankful for my family and friends, my boyfriend, my job, my home, and my general situation as well as many, many more things that I have been blessed with.

 

What are some of the things you are thankful for?

 

Love,

C.

My New TOMS Botas

Hi everyone!

My boyfriend bought me these (TOMS Brown Fleece Women’s Botas) for my birthday and I must say, I am impressed! I didn’t ask for anything specific for my birthday this year, but he remembered me mentioning (months ago!!) that I wanted a pair of TOMS and he picked these out himself. They are SO adorable and I’m so excited about them, that I’m wearing them at work today since it’s Casual Friday. I never want to take them off. Seriously… so comfortable and soft.

I’ve wanted a pair for a while now, ever since I was looking for a pair of casual shoes that were neither flats nor sneakers… and there you have it!

I also considered buying myself knock-offs, but I heard about TOMS One for One program and I knew that was the only way to go.

TOMS One for One Program
With every pair purchased, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One.

That definitely makes them worth their price.

Anyways, I just wanted to share these quickly with you guys!
Love,

C.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy Birthday to meeeee!!!

Today is my birthday! Can you tell!?

I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all of my friends, family and coworkers who have made this day so special. I feel so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

I had a pretty rough morning – slept through my alarm and then broke out into some kind of allergic reaction (ouch!). Also, when I finally made it to work, my computer was rebooting itself over and over and over… I’m surprised it didn’t explode. But everyone is fine now. I think the universe wanted me to take a break from work this morning, heehee.

The rest of the day has been great and I’m very excited for tonight. I was taken out to lunch by my papa and later I’m being taken out to Baton Rouge for dinner. I can’t wait! I’ve never been, but I hear they have amazing ribs… Mmm. PLUS, my sister-in-law baked me a rainbow cake! How freakin’ sweet, right!? Ahh, I’m so spoiled.

All that to say that I feel very special and I can’t wait for the rest of the day/week. So thank you to everyone who made this day so special. And of course a great big thank you to my 2 candid beauties, my best friends K. and A. I love you both!
Love,

C.

Review – Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

Hi everyone,

I’ve been using Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm for about a year now and I have to say that this lip balm is the best I’ve ever used.

First of all, I’ve never really been a fan of lip gloss because I find it way too sticky and having to reapply is just too much work for me! Also, my lips on on the thin side and I’ve never been able to pull off wearing lipstick, either. I would love to be able to rock some hot pink lips or a sexy red pout, but I just don’t think I can do it! So I stick to a more natural look for my lips.

Most lip balms actually have ingredients that will dry out your lips faster, which some people say is a company’s way of getting you to buy more of their products. The key is to stay away from ingredients such as camphor, or anything with alcohol (usually ending in “ol”) such as phenol and menthol.

If you visit the Burt’s Bees website, you get a sense of how socially / environmentally responsible they are, which is nice really to see, not to mention rare these days. They have a whole section on their commitment which I found really interesting!

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm
I personally love this lip balm because it’s natural. The company strives for 100% natural products, and although not ALL of them are natural, most of them are. This balm contains peppermint oil, which gives your lips a nice tingle. It’s not sticky like some other balms and it makes your lips feel smooth. Plus, I just love that it’s in a tin. I didn’t pay that much for it, either. I think they’re around $5 and they last a long time. I lost my first one and immediately had to buy a second! I don’t use it daily, which I don’t really recommend, but I definitely use it more in the fall/winter.

Tip: If you feel like you need to use lip balm daily because of dry, flaky lips, you might be dehydrated or using a balm with an alcohol ingredient. Try drinking at least 6 glasses of water a day and switching to either a natural lip balm, or petroleum jelly.

Natural is the way to go!

Summary
Product name:
Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm Tin
Price paid: $5
Pros: natural, inexpensive, effective
Cons: there are none in my opinion!
Overall review: Love this product. A must!

Love,

C.

 

Do you know what’s in your lip balm?

We’re Working Out!

Hi everyone!

Monday began a new month and I thought it would be the perfect timing to get back into my workout routine. For the past 2 years, I have been exercising regularly, but as a new semester begun, I saw my good habits fade away – and fast. I know that my life will ALWAYS be busy and I will always have an excuse, but I believe that being healthy is a big part of being happy. It’s important to make that time and the longer you maintain certain habits, the easier they will become – good OR bad!

Last week, my boyfriend stumbled upon a workout plan from Men’s Health so we decided it was time to get back into our gym routine.

Our Goal – Long-Term
Our goal is ultimately to be healthy. We plan on working out 4-5 times per week and to keep it up for as long as possible.

Our Goal – Short-Term
For me, a trip down south is usually a good motivation. We’re planning to go to the Dominican Republic in February 2013, so I’m aiming to look and feel good about myself for that point. I’m looking to lose about a few pounds and tone my body.

For my boyfriend, I think he is also using the trip as his motivation. He is mostly looking to build his muscle mass and increase his strength and endurance.

First Week
Yesterday we woke up at 5.45am and headed off to the gym, then off to work. This morning, we did it again. I am so proud of us! Tomorrow we decided would be our “rest day” and we start again Thursday. I love the idea of the rest day in the middle of the week because it helps you look forward to it and motivates you to keep going.

The Perks of Morning Workouts
I am such a fan of morning workouts. There are so many benefits to it, too. While I know that it’s not for everyone, I definitely recommend it for those who can. For my boyfriend and I, it fits in with our busy schedules. We both work Monday to Friday, and I take evening classes, so it’s difficult for us to find that spare time. Often, I’ll be really exhausted after work and want nothing more than to go snuggle up in my bed. Working out in the morning gives me that alternative while also making me feel better about myself, and more positive in general. I feel more awake and productive at work, plus it speeds up my metabolism to burn extra calories throughout the day. That, combined with healthier eating habits (which I’ll discuss in a separate post) make for a great health boost!

I love working out. I always feel like I haven’t worked out hard enough unless I’m sore the next day.

What are some of your workout routines? We’d love to know!

Love,

C.