I’m going to begin this post by saying I am in no way, shape or form a nutrition or fitness expert – I just really enjoy exercise and eating healthy [most of the time]. I used to think that I could eat whatever I wanted and if I went on an elliptical for nearly two hours almost everyday, I would lose weight and tone up. Turns out – this wasn’t the case. I gained weight and my skin broke out often – not the best combination. Since then I’ve learned what works for my body and want to share a few tips with you guys today.
The first tip is to drink more water – this isn’t groundbreaking advice I know, but I can’t tell you how different my skin feels and looks when I fill up my water bottle four or five times throughout the day. I don’t experience dry patches, and my face is completely free of break-outs and redness.
Another product I use to hydrate and moisturize is coconut oil, and after using it quite a bit I am pretty sure you can put this miracle substance on just about anything. It is especially good for the colder months [and polar vortex days]; I apply it to the ends of my hair the night before I wash it for shiny, soft locks, as well as massage it into my cuticles and face before bed for added moisture.
I used to get sick often during the winter but I have been able to keep colds and coughs at bay [at least for the past couple monts] and I think this because started to take vitamin C daily. In addition to its health benefits, I’ve read that vitamin C also helps with brittle, dry hair.
As for healthy eating tips, I’ll first say that I do enjoy [really, really enjoy] a good cheeseburger and bowl of ice cream from time to time. Before I consciously started to watch what I was putting into my body I would snack a lot throughout the day and think oh, it’s only a mini snickers, what’s the big deal? Six mini snickers later and I wasn’t feeling so great. Now, I try to eat meals that I know will fill me up – for instance, oatmeal with a scoop of chocolate soy protein powder and peanut butter. This Young Married Chic inspired breakfast is delicious and will fill you up for hours!
Another thought on eating healthy is that you shouldn’t have to give up meals and foods that you love. For example, I love pasta and I’m also a huge breakfast person – french toast, pancakes, you name it. When I buy pasta I always buy whole wheat and now I actually prefer the taste. When I’m watching the Food Network or reading a food blog and see a recipe that I want to try, I’ll substitute whole wheat pasta for whatever the recipe calls for and will make other adjustments like using turkey bacon instead of pancetta or adding almond milk instead of cream. As for the french toast, there’s a restaurant on Long Island called Maureen’s Kitchen that makes the most ridiculous, mouth-watering stuffed french toast with cream cheese and raspberries. I make my own version of this dish with whole wheat bread, egg whites, almond milk, light cream cheese and fresh raspberries. Not exactly the same, but still a delicious, filling breakfast or brunch meal!
Finally, a note on exercise. I’ve learned that even if I go on an elliptical every single day for an hour a day, my body will not change. But, if I mix up my workouts, take a couple of days off from the gym and incorporate classes, I see instant results. If you’re not a gym person I highly recommend going to a studio and trying a class. Before moving to the DC area I told myself that once I was settled in, I would try a spin class – I had wanted to for a while, but I was terrified. Five months later and I am a full-blown spin class junkie! You are in control of how hard you work in the class but what makes it more fun [and challenging] than working out alone in a gym is that there is a feeling of camaraderie amongst your fellow spinners, and the instructors are there to push you and keep you on track with encouraging words and great music.
If you have any healthy eating or fitness tips please share them in the comments below!