You Can Do This, Mama.

Hi folks! It’s been a few days since I have posted anything because my hubs and I went out of town to NYC for a romantic getaway. ❤ We had a blast- ok, you talked me into it. Here’s a pic of us enjoying a rooftop club in Manhattan:

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Anyways…I wanted to hop on here and share my newest piece on Her View From Home! It’s a shout out to all you mama’s out there who feel tired, neglected, ignored, or just plain scared. (Don’t we all feel these things in a variety of ways at different times on our mommyhood journey?)

Here’s a snippet:

You can use your unique voice to impart lasting words of wisdom to your little ones. You can laugh out loud in the middle of folding laundry and cry tears of gratitude as you stumble over piles of Legos. You can see your reflection as a timeless reminder that you tirelessly fought to be your own kind of beautiful, the kind that only you can be. You can boldly love those babes with fierce abandon; with a certainty that calms every fear inside of their hearts.

I hope you scoot over to Her View From Home and give it a glance. Pass it along to any mama friends that you think might need some encouragement to keep on being amazing! Noone can do your job- God picked you to love those kiddo’s in your home. Pat yourself on the back and put one foot in front of the other on the hard days. It will be SO worth it!

Read more HERE!

Motherhood

 

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Why a Weekend in Vegas Doesn’t Appeal to Me

Hey friends! I want to share with you what I am learning over and over again in my life…especially in my #healthyover30 journey.

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You look in the mirror and don’t see physical changes so you FEEL discouraged.

You had a bad eating day. Now your tummy aches and you FEEL like a failure.

You worked out extra hard and your body is aching so much that you FEEL overwhelmed.

You got in an argument with your spouse before bed last night and you don’t FEEL like getting up early to run.

You read the magazine article about Gwyneth Paltrow’s kick-a** post baby body and you FEEL defeated.

You see how feelings don’t care about your goals and plans? They want you to give in to their whiny and selfish ways. Here’s the thing: 

Feed Your Feelingsand

You can’t listen to your feelings. They will only leave you high and dry when the next best thing (a.k.a. the newest feeling) comes along. Why do you think I am calling this my #healthyover30 journey and not my #healthyover30 weekend in Vegas? Cause it’s not a short-lived goal. It isn’t something I’m temporarily excited about but only doing until the feelings of fun and anticipation drop me back off at the airport alone. I’m not just choosing to live a healthier lifestyle when it’s convenient or thrilling.

I’m choosing to do this whole foods, exercise daily, love my spirit-soul-body thing forever. No temporary high can give me the results I want. Even the good feelings leave…

Good health brings great feelings but there’s more to it than that. It brings less doctor’s visits and more endurance during trials. It brings more purposeful moments with my children and extra patience with myself. It increases my understanding for others blazing their own health trails and gives me boundaries that keep me focused on living my best life.

Feelings can’t do any of that. So, I’ll keep on lacing up my running shoes. Promise me something? That I’ll see you on the track. 

Monday Motivation Tips

Monday motivation

I didn’t get to blog about #healthyover30 this past weekend so I thought I’d start off this week with that post. I’m gonna give you all some tips that I’ve taken from a variety of sources that are working really well for me. They are pretty obvious but, hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? 😉

Tip #1- Drink a ton of water. Like, when you think you have had enough water for the day, drink another bottle. 🙂 Sometimes we think we are hungry when really our bodies are dehydrated. This has really helped me stay full longer, too!

Tip #2- Workout in some way, shape, or form every single day. Even if it’s only 20 minutes- get moving DAILY. I walk in the mornings five days a week. I do Zumba once a week and I do at home strength training once or twice a week. Some days I combine things, too!

Tip #3- Go to bed by 10:00pm. Why? Because most of us have to get up by 6:00 in the morning and this bedtime ensures atleast eight hours of sleep. You may not think you need that much sleep per night but, I promise you, you do. Do kids ever seem to run out of energy? Nope. Ya know why? Because they take naps during the day and go to bed early. I don’t know about you but I want to be as energetic as I was when I was five.

Tip #4- Cut out the sugar. This is really hard, but of all the changes I’ve made, it has produced the most obvious results in my weight and energy. Just going without that morning doughnut and skipping the coke with lunch will give you a boost and prevent a sugar crash. Plus, you’ll start to realize that you don’t even need it as much as you think you do!

Tip #5- Have fun with your food. I think that the main reason I’m having success with my vegetarian journey is because I’m incorporating delicious recipes that include a wide variety of foods. The more colorful it is, the more I’m inclined to want to make it! I have never been good in the kitchen. I just decided that I can cook and it’s going to be fun, darn-it! Our attitude has a lot to do with our success!

So, I hope these tips encourage you in your #healthyover30 journey. The most important thing I can tell you is this: Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all have bad eating days. (I ate pretzels with Nutella until I almost hurled last night!) We all skip workouts when we are tired. ( I chose a chick flick and wine over a workout last weekend!)

Once in a while diet mess ups do not negate all the work you’ve done. Just remind yourself that you’re worth the sacrifice and make a better choice next time. You can do it- you know how I know? Because I’m doing it!

Weekend Health Journal!

weekend

Hi friends! Let me just start this post by saying that it is EXTREMELY difficult to eat healthy while on vacation. Like, seriously. :)BUT- I have done a pretty good job and have actually kept up with my personal goals while traveling.

I haven’t eaten meat since last Saturday, people. THIS IS A HUGE DEAL!

Remember my one year goal of becoming a vegetarian? Well, something just clicked in me once I really started to focus on my food by cooking yummy plant based recipes and I haven’t craved meat in a week. I even had the grand opportunity to indulge in fried chicken, sausage gumbo, and bacon this past week, (we are staying in community housing), but I resisted and ate things like this:

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Avocado on toast with soy bacon strips and a nectarine

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Strawberry, spinach and cucumber salad with a Hawaiian roll.

*Disclaimer- I am not in my own kitchen nor do I have all the wonderful ingredients that I normally do at home so my pics this past week are not as beautiful as they are normally. I’m trying, though, so give me a little grace and I’ll get back to taking more beautiful pics once I get home next week, K?*

In terms of exercise, I have walked every single day on vacation. Sometimes, I walked with my hubby or daughter, but most days I just got up early and did it all by myself.Why? Cause my day always goes better if I workout first thing in the morning. Most days I averaged 3 miles but a few days I got in more mileage due to extracurricular activities like going to the zoo or sea world. I’ve been missing my walking buddy, Jenn, this week for sure! It’s not quite as fun talking to myself cause I already know what my responses will be. LOL (Come on people, let me have that one.)

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Keeping it real with my no makeup, post workout selfie. 🙂 Gotta hydrate!

I also found another YouTube sensation that I love almost as much as my Mind Over Munch girl. Her name is Brenda Leigh-Turner and she has a website called Lean Secrets where she shares great fitness and nutrition advice. This girl knows her stuff, that’s for darn sure. Here’s one of her videos:

Lastly, I wanted to throw out some encouragement to those of you that are on your own #healthyover30 journey. (Yes, I know that you may be above or below 30 but you’re still welcome to join me!) I am learning that it’s more important to stick to a schedule then it is to kill myself a few inconsistent days a week in an effort to work off the calories I overindulged in the night before. Prevention is always better than a prescription, right? So, my words to you are simple:

crush

Whatever fitness or nutrition goals you have set for yourself, you will only achieve them if you stick to it. A really intense workout is fine and all but only if you do it regularly. Being consistent with your exercise is what works. Break up your routine and do different things at the gym but don’t let your feelings trump your efforts.

Results come to those who resist temptation and eat healthy regularly not just once in a while. Believe me, this has been a process for me. It’s taken me a long time to get to this place. But, I’m seeing and feeling results after only three weeks of my #healthyover30 journey!

Need some visual stimuli to keep on doing this #healthyover30 thing? Check out this amazing instagram page from @eatingbirdfood. Here’s one of her pics:

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A beautifully colorful smoothie bowl!

‘Nuff said? Happy healthy Sunday!

Weekend Health Journal and Tips!

Hey everyone! I promised you that every weekend I would update you on my health journey as I make some better choices. (Here’s the first post in #healthyover30 with that info.)

First of all, I want to share a life-changing video with you! It’s only eight minutes long and is so motivating towards reaching daily goals. The woman speaking is Terri Savelle Foy and she wrote a book that I read a few years ago called “Imagine Big.”

ImagineBig-Book

This book helped me see the importance in writing down my dreams and goals and living my life with a purposeful mindset. I highly recommend it!

Here’s the video from Terri:

I have started doing most of the things she talks about in this video and I seriously have never been so productive in my life. I have more energy and get more done!

Now, let’s talk about my vegetarian diet progression. I have become hooked on the recipes from Happy Herbivore. Take a look at some of the yummy things I have made!

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These are called Dragon Rolls and they are so simple and full of clean ingredients. I made my own sriracha hummus to drizzle on top! Seriously, good stuff.

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See that burger? It’s an illusion…there is no meat in that thing. I made it out of black beans and it was TASTY!!! I am feeling a difference, people. Whole foods really do make you feel whole. (I just came up with that right now! lol)

Lastly, I wanted to share a great resource with you. I just finished the book called, “The Brave Body Method.” It’s got so many practical and spiritual tips in it for losing weight and getting on track with eating and fitness. Not only is the book amazing, but the author, Eileen Wilder, has a website with free videos and printables as well. Check it out here!   She will motivate you and help you discover your own unique kind of beauty.

Thank you all for following me on this journey! If you aren’t already, come find me on twitter (@Nspiritandtruth) or instagram (HVheartsong). That way you can see what I’m eating throughout the week.

OH, and one more thing:

BBM15-Zigler

 

Healthy Over 30!

Healthy

Today is a health focused post! Each Sunday I am going to include some health tips from different people in the nutrition/fitness community that I have been following. Feel free to tackle a few tips this week and comment to let me know how they worked for you. I will use the tag #healthyover30 so go ahead and tag your instagram pics, facebook posts, blog pieces, and tweets with #healthyover30 if you’re joining me on this journey. Isn’t this fun? 🙂

Before I get started with the amazing tips I have found for you this weekend, let me tell you my personal goals for this season of my life. I am 35 years old (so not a young spring chicken anymore!) and I feel like I am now at a place where I need to need to go big or go home. My kids are getting more independent and I am finding myself with a little more time to be able to really focus on me lately. (Woo hoo!)

For the past month or so, my friend, Jennifer, and I have been meeting to walk or run about three to four mornings a week at 5:15 a.m. Usually we finish 3 miles. This past Saturday we did a little over 5 miles. We also get together every Monday night and take Zumba from this seriously awesome chick at the YMCA. Her classes have been a huge motivator for me in my recent fitness journey! (I am going to include her FB page link in the tips below so you can watch her videos if you want!) I have also, in large part to Jennifer’s influence, started taking huge steps in the vegetarian direction. She has been a vegetarian for the past seven years and has shown me that there is so much creative freedom in this meatless lifestyle. I am turning over a new leaf, friends!

Here are my current #healthyover30 goals: (Follow me on twitter @Nspiritandtruth)

  1. Get my Zumba instructor certification in August to start teaching.
  2. Run or walk 20 miles a week.
  3. Start eliminating meat from my diet in gradual progression from one day a week to seven days a week. (This is a year-long goal I’ve given myself.)
  4. Post daily pictures of healthy meal options through instagram for accountability. (Follow me at hvheartsong)
  5. Journal the highs and lows of this process every Sunday for you to glean wisdom from along with tips to stay motivated.  

Now, on to some fun links and tips for you to read or watch when you get some time!

Here’s the link to my fave Zumba instructor’s facebook page: https://www.zumba.com/en-US/instructor/Kylie_Edwards/75327

She has her playlist on there as well as step by step video teachings so you can learn the choreography. And she’s a bit spunky so she’s super fun to follow. My fave routine from her class is to the Fifth Harmony song, “Worth It”!  

This is my new favorite Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/MindOverMunch

This girl, Alyssia Sheikh, has some amazing recipe videos and workout tutorials on here. She posts new videos every Monday and Thursday with links to pdf files for the printable recipes. If you’re vegan, vegetarian, or a meat-eater, she is your gal! Take a look at her meal prep video: 

Wanna know my go-to healthy living magazine for recipes, inspiration, and fitness helps? Well, here ya go! Skinny Mom

Lastly, here is my empowering #healthyover30 song choice for that extra push to keep going on tough days.

I hope that you will join in the fun and set some #healthyover30 goals for yourself as well. If you’re not over 30, you can still join in the fun. Just comment below with your hashtag of choice linking to your personal goals page and I’ll follow and cheer you on! Have some fitness or nutrition advice that you would like to share? Comment below to let me know and we’ll be in touch. I love hearing about everyone’s goals and journeys. Oh, and don’t ever forget:

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Healthy

How I Started to Love Motherhood Again

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Today I was published on the amazing site, HerViewFromHome, with a piece on motherhood. I wanted to be real about my struggles as a mom while encouraging all the different types of moms out there to keep on going.

It Will Be Worth It.

Please hop over and check it out! Mother’s Day is right around the corner and this may be just the encouragement you need to see your amazing job as a mother with brand new eyes. We mama’s need to stick together and hold each other up, right? I got your back. 🙂

Here’s the link to my article again: How I Started to Love Motherhood Again

Thanks friends!

photo credit: via photopin (license)

Learning the Language of Love

As many of you know, I am reading one book per month as a personal growth goal for 2016. (See the list of books I’m diving into HERE.) February’s selection was an amazing book by Bob Goff called “Love Does.”

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This book had been recommended to me atleast a dozen times before I actually got around to reading it. Now I know why! Here are a few things I learned about love from this life-changing book:

  1. Love is personal. Each chapter gives the reader a story from the author’s life where love was shown to him or through him. I was in awe of the many different ways he was able to recognize God’s love on his behalf. Goff has a natural knack for story telling and leaves us in a place where we are motivated to look for God’s ever present love in our lives as well.
  2. Love takes risks. Every story Goff weaved brought a level of challenge and adventure with it. He claims that “Jesus invites us on an adventure, He shapes who we become with what happens along the way.” (p. 130)
  3. Love doesn’t need a mission statement. You don’t have to join an organization that claims they are in the “love others” business in order to actually love others. He calls people who don’t flash their love around “secretly incredible people.” No capes to show off your love. No signs to promote your love. Just loving for the sake of loving.
  4. Love isn’t afraid of failure. In fact, love thrives off of going after our dreams even when the probability of success seems low. Goff says that failure is just an opportunity to think differently about some things.
  5. Love is audacious. It goes to extravagant measures to ensure others know that they are, in fact, loved. It doesn’t matter if people think you’re going overboard or caring too much. Love is more concerned with loving than with what onlookers might have to say about the way you do the loving.

I hope these reasons encourage you to check out this book. I know it is one that I will read again. I’ll leave you with my favorite quote from the story he told about his beloved, yet beat up JEEP:

“I know it sounds goofy, but I want to be like that Jeep. I want to leak from having been hit by Jesus. From having something crazy happen to me, something that flipped my life upside down. I’ve met people like that, people who leak Jesus. Whenever you’re around them, Jesus keeps coming up with words and with actions. I don’t suppose everybody gets hit by Jesus, but those of us who have talk about Him differently. We start steering funny; we start leaking where we stand. And it’s because we got thrown from our lives in a terrific collision.” 

 

(To see January’s book review, click here.)

Keep it Up

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photo credit: A Brand New Day via photopin (license)

Consistency is hard. I really struggle with it. It’s hard because I have to make a choice between what my body tells me I need to do and what my feelings tell me I want to do.  Sometimes I have to block out my emotions all together to be able to stick with something for the long haul.

Take exercise. I have to separate myself from the dread that inevitably wells up inside of me at the thought of working out so that I can actually  do it. Don’t get me wrong, I love to run. I love zumba. I love yoga. But, the fact that my body is enduring some sort of physical resistance (a.k.a. cardio) keeps my butt on the couch more often then I would like. So, my fix for this lack of motivation? Set a goal so I HAVE to move my body.

Right now, my goal is to run the GoGirl half marathon at the end of March. I have run multiple races but have always had a running buddy with me. Last year was the first time I have ever run a half by myself. And, let me tell you, the sense of accomplishment and pride is so much better when you do it by yourself. 🙂 I had a goal and I finished it without anyone pushing me to get it done. That, my friends, was pretty satisfying.

I say all of this to get this main point across: Having a goal is a great motivator to get you out of your comfort zone and into the fast lane of life. It keeps you on track despite how you feel. And having people around you to support you and hold you accountable is definitely important, too. But, what I’ve come to realize is that believing you can do it is really 3/4 of the battle. If you can envision yourself accomplishing your task, you can do it (with or without help).

What is it that you are having a hard time sticking with today? Do you find yourself relying on your feelings instead of your reasoning? Decide WHY you need to be consistent. That is what keeps you going when you are having trouble continuing the race.

And lastly, finish. Whatever it is. Just do it until it’s all done. Don’t quit because then you will regret it. Maybe not the next day or the next month. But, one day, you’ll look back and say to yourself, “Man, I had the chance to do things different and I didn’t.”  Life is gonna happen to you whether or not you are doing anything with it. So make the choice to do something pretty darn amazing with it!

Comment below with a goal you have set for yourself this year! Thanks!