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Fitness, Goals, Happiness, Health, Life, Weight loss

My 4 Steps to a Healthier Life

About a month ago, I had my first surgical procedure and while there’s nothing I could have done to avoid that outcome, it’s still made me seriously consider how I need to improve my health. Improving my overall health has been a goal for a long time, but the last three months have given me extra motivation. This summer took a huge toll on my emotional and physical health so I’ve been brainstorming ideas to rebuild my overall health and I’ve created my own 4 steps to a healthier life.

When you’re trying to overhaul how you live your life, everything can feel overwhelming. To make everything more manageable without losing motivation, I’ve condensed my goals into 4 areas I would like to improve on for overall health.

 

My 4 Steps to a Healthier Life

  1. Minimize harmful chemicals in personal care and home cleaning.
  2. Eat Healthy Portions of Wholesome Home Cooked Food.
  3. Improve Physical Fitness.
  4. Declutter and Organize.

 

Minimize harmful chemicals in personal care and home cleaning.

Reducing harmful chemicals in my home has been on my mind for a long time and I have already begun making adjustments.  I’m very concerned with the amount of chemicals I’m putting on my body and using to clean my home with on a daily basis. The problem is that even “natural products” are full of unhealthy chemicals so it won’t be a quick transition and I know that it will probably take more time to accomplish than anything else on this list. Continue Reading

Healthy eating, Motivation Monday, Weight loss

Motivation Monday #6

Hello! It’s Monday again and time for another roundup of healthy motivations to get you through this week! I was just recalling that it’s been about 2 years since I started posting some blog posts and almost exactly 2 years since I signed up for my first Iron Girl! It’s crazy to see how this journey has taken shape over the last couple of years with all the little bumps in the road. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be doing the race again this year though I haven’t signed up yet. My sister and I are still planning on running the Chicago Half Marathon as our first half at the end of September so that’s the money priority at the moment.

In other news, the Summer Corn Chowder is back at Panera! This is the first thing I ever tried at a Panera after going on a date with my mom to see Mamma Mia back in high school. 

Panera Summer Corn Chowder is Back!

Meal Inspirations

I’m currently working on cleaning out my recipe book and reorganizing it into a more useful resource because at the moment, I’m rarely using it and so many of my printed recipes are just hanging around. I follow a good collection of food blogs and I often find some recipes there that I can use or modify to fit my needs. Pinterest is another tool I use a ton but if I’m looking for something a tad more specific, Google search is a great recipe finder. Here are some of the recipes I’ve curated this week! Continue Reading

Biking, Exercise, Life, Week in Pictures, Weight loss

Crepes at Cafe Mezcla, bike rides, and hammocking

It’s been a beautiful week around here as all the flowering trees are fully in bloom and the landscape is greening up. Last week was Brady’s birthday and we were able to do a lot of outdoor adventuring to celebrate. I had been planning a weekend backpacking trip to Shenandoah National Park for the weekend but we didn’t end up going because the weather forecasts were looking potentially stormy and I was also dealing with a strained muscle in the hip flexor area. Sad. We’re still hoping to go this summer and we may try doing a shorter and close to home backpacking trip this weekend.

Since Brady worked late on his actual birthday, we went out on Wednesday evening to Brookeside Gardens to see the tulips before meeting up with his family at Cheesecake Factory for dinner.

Brookeside Gardens tulips in spring Continue Reading

Healthy eating, Motivation Monday, Weight loss

Motivation Monday #5

Happy Boston Marathon Monday! Hope you all had a lovely weekend and a great Easter with your family yesterday.

I spent some time being frustrated because it seems as though the Boston Marathon organizers have sold out and the only way to view the marathon is by logging into NBC Sports with a cable package account. Thanks for making the decision to choose money over everything else that this race is supposed to stand for. 

I’m not bitter.

Anywho. This last week I’ve been dealing with a few aches and pains that have prohibited me from running and even held back my step count for a couple days. I broke a 14-day streak of 10K+ steps per day. I strained a muscle in my hip flexor and though I’m not 100% positive, I’m pretty sure it happened while I was doing yoga. Serves me right for trying to stretch out my stiff body. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to start running again in the next few days as the pain keeps subsiding. 

If you’re currently dealing with an injury and something else that’s keeping you from running, here are a few ideas to keep you fit and going. Do what you can but don’t hurt yourself even more!

Continue Reading

Back Pain, Exercise, Goals, Motivation Monday, Weight loss, Women

April Goals 2017

March has come and gone and another birthday month is in the books. It’s kind of crazy how fast this year has been flying by because I feel like I only just wrote my goals for the whole year and we’re already 1/4 through it! It’s time to move on and share my April goals, but first, a quick March health and fitness recap:

  • Eat vegetable centered meals for lunches and dinners
  • Start weight training
  • Strengthening my back and core
  • Posture awareness
  • Keep track of my steps and water intake for this month: I’d really like to try and be getting my 10,000 daily steps in at least 5 days a week. I’m obviously in favor of 7, but if I can get 5/7 each week this month, I’m going to be pretty happy.
  • Run

April Goals

I’d say that for most of my goals, they were moderately accomplished and I’m improving in each category. Considering that I was sick for most of the month of March, I’m really happy with what got done.  

I’ve only started running in the last week because I felt like I really needed to just be walking. Even now, I’m taking up running slowly because of some issues with my knees. You can see a general workout recap below.

March Workout Recap - April Goals

The biggest accomplishment for the month was getting in my daily 10,000 steps! I really had to work for this one because if I wasn’t being proactive or dedicated to the goal, I would have come way under on most days. The crazy thing is, I’ve started to notice changes in my body due to the step taking and I wasn’t expecting much of it to happen at all. Over the last month I’ve realized that –

  • I’m getting more workouts and walks in. I’m not spending days just sitting around and I’m making less excuses
  • My back still has the same triggers but overall I’m in a better place
  • I don’t think I’ve really lost much weight, but I feel that my body is toning and looking a little slimmer.

Sure, some of this could be because I’ve also been working out as well, but I will definitely attribute most of my success this month to taking my 10,000 steps. It’s like having this goal as a central goal is keeping everything else in line.

I didn’t start until March 2nd so for the purpose of making better calculations, March is going to be 30 days long 😉

  • 22/30 days with 10,000+ steps
  • 296,129 steps total
  • Average of 9,871 steps per day
  • Most steps in a day: 16,187 steps

March Steps and April Goals

Part of the step counting motivation has been to prepare for our Disney World trip next month. We’re going to be in the parks for 5 days and if you’ve ever been, you know that there’s usually a ton of walking. The last 2 times I’ve gone, I’ve ended up in a wheelchair for part/most of the trip. I’d really like to be able to handle all the walking and not have too much pain so I’m trying to prep myself to be ready.

Here are my April Goals:

  • Again I’m going with trying to get in at least 10,000 steps in for every day in April. I didn’t get a full 7-day streak in last month so I’m attempting to get a really long one this month – maybe even 30 days! 😉
  • Running 3 times a week.
  • Getting in a proper stretch after each run and workout — I really need to start doing this because I keep forgetting and I’m paying for it. I need to do more yoga.
  • Strength training. I have horrible muscular endurance and I’d like to do at least 3 20+ minutes sessions a week with some random throughout the day exercises thrown in to help build up strength
  • Mindful eating. I’ve been realizing more and more how much of my life is focused on food. I love to eat good food and sometimes I just love to eat which leads to overeating. I’d really like to focus on eating slower, enjoying my food, and not stuffing myself.

 

Do you count steps?

In terms of overall health, is there any one thing you can point to that keeps you on track to accomplish your goals?

What are your April Goals?

 

linking with Amanda for this post

Exercise, Goals, Motivation Monday, Week in Pictures, Weight loss, Women

Motivation Monday #4

I can’t believe it’s Monday again… especially since last week was a week where all the days blended together and it was hard to keep track of which day was which. I spent the whole week subbing in a first grade classroom where all the kids were sick. I had kids cough right in my face while I was working with them and it wasn’t long before I felt myself fighting against the bug. It finally caught up to me on Friday and by the evening I really wasn’t feeling well. Kind of rough because we were spending the weekend up in Lancaster, PA. It started with my throat and I was extremely fatigued and dizzy whenever I was sitting or standing on Saturday. Sunday had some residual throat discomfort and minor nose stuffiness but it’s been a pretty light cold so far in comparison to what I’m usually hit with. I’m really hoping that this is the extent of it all.

If you need some ideas on how to fight symptoms of a cold, here’s an article with some suggestions – many of which I use whenever I’m feeling yuck.

Because last week was a rough week for my health, I struggled to have any energy to put into working out, but I pushed through a couple anyways including really focusing on getting steps in.

  • Monday – 15 minute bodyweight exercises, 10K steps
  • Tuesday – 5.4 mi bike, 35 minutes of Zumba, 12.5K steps
  • Wednesday – 10K steps
  • Thursday – 3 mi bike, 2.4 mi run/walk, 11.7K steps
  • Friday: 7.5K steps (sick)
  • Saturday: 3.3K steps (sick)
  • Sunday: 35 minutes Zumba, 10K steps

Continue Reading