Start Your New Year’s Resolution NOW

The new year is a crazy time. The world of fitness & health gets more frustrating than usual- filled with people jumping into new fitness routines, people who vowed to make this year their year

We’re all guilty of this ‘new year, new me’ mindset. We start making promises to ourselves to change all of the things we didn’t like about the previous year. We tell ourselves this year will be different- we’ll get in shape, we’ll run that marathon, we’ll finally try those healthy recipes that have been bookmarked for months..

Why do we need the number at the end of today’s date to change to allow ourselves to be better? What is the purpose of waiting? Maybe it helps us put off our own health without feeling guilty, because ‘once January comes around things will be different’…’the new year is when I’ll get serious about working out’. 

Here’s my advice to you (& myself): START NOW!!!

Start researching. There’s a wealth of information for anyone new to the world of fitness & health & wellness. Here are some of my favorite user-friendly places to search:

  • BodyBuilding.com Sooooo many free workout plans, informative articles, exercise how-tos, & even supplements! This is literally how I built my lifting knowledge-base. 
  • Fitness Blender I just discovered these guys. Their YouTube channel has a plethora of at-home workouts that range from interval cardio to weight training.
  • Bad Yogi Official Erin Motz is a seasoned yogi who totally gets that most people who do yoga are not experts… She has lots of free classes that make you feel good about your imperfect practice ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s going to take some time before you find a fitness regime you really enjoy. It’s going to take even more time before your hard work is gratified with visible results.

Experiment with different types of exercise. Figure out the different things you’d like to try now.

Make small changes each day so you don’t shock your system & give up when it gets too difficult too fast. 

Get a jump start on your 2016 goals!! Have fun, try new things, & never give up on yourself! 

I hope you all have a wonderfully funky final week of 2015. 

~peace & all good~

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Breaking Bad: Work Habits Edition

Greetings earthlings! This blog post is brought to you by tired mental state & me thinking about ways to save my weary brain..

We’re all (generally speaking) creatures of habit. We love routine, it makes us feel normal. 

Going to work at 9 am is my daily routine. Coming home between 4 & 5 pm is my daily routine. Sitting at my desk talking people through the process of a criminal case is my daily routine. Sitting….for hours… It’s making me go crazy. I love my job, & I don’t want to grow so entrenched in my routine that I start to resent it.

Since I’m finally able to wrap my head around my new routine, it’s time to take ownership of it! I haven’t been doing enough for me. I haven’t been taking my lunch hour or exploring the area around my office. & no one is stopping me from doing these things!! I’m not tied to my desk. I have the freedom to leave or take a break whenever I want…I just haven’t done it. 

So today I decided I’m going to commit to myself. I’m going to change some of the habits that I’ve fallen into during my work day. Not some ‘use the stairs to keep ur waist slim :)’ or ‘leave the carbs at home for more energy lolz’ BS. More like- ‘take care of your mental state during work so you aren’t burned out & agitated when you leave your office’…

Here are my 2 Golden Commandments to myself:

  • I will eat my lunch away from my desk. Yeaaa…. I’m sick of staring at my damn computer screen while I eat. That shit is depressing & makes for mindless food consumption. I like to enjoy my food. I’m going to use the time I spend eating as a refresher. Even if I’m still sitting in my office, I’ll be physically seperated from my desk & that will do wonders for my mind.
  • I will take a walk. Fresh freakin air. What a wonderful thing…that I definitely need more of. I think I’ve been discouraged by the colder weather recently, but I forgot how great even a short walk can make me feel! I’m going to bring some warmth accessories to my office so I can’t be deterred by the crisp or chill- I’ll always be prepared ๐Ÿ™‚

Peace of mind is an extremely important part of being healthy. As I’m sure we all know, it takes a lot more than exercise to create a happy life for your mind & body.. All of my fellow office workers- I hope yall can look at your own daily routine & see if you’re doing enough for you. 

I think this is a reminder from the universe that I need to take care of me. We all need that reminder sometimes.. We fall off track, we get run down by routine. That’s not the focal point though- what is the focus is what we do when we realize we’re not doing the right things for ourselves. 

Refocus. Set new standards for your daily routine. Throw some changes into the mix. Feel good about how you spend your days!!

Peanut Butter Energy Bars

I’m always hungry.. I need a consistent source of energy (aka food) to keep me going throughout the day. Without an energy source, hanger sets in quite quickly. Which means I’m always looking for easy snacks & meals that will keep me full.

I also love peanut butter. [Anyone who has nut allergies, I’m sorry….this post won’t be of much help to you on your quest for easy recipes.] If you follow me on Instagram (@leedleg) you know I also love oatmeal. Put a few of my favorite things together & you get this amazingly quick, easy, & filling snack! 

Peanut Butter Oat Bars

What you’ll need: 

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3 cups raw oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds (camera shy)
  • 1-2 tablespoons cinammon

  
These bars are great because you can pretty much put whatever you want in them… They’re no-bake, so keep it within the realm of ‘doesn’t need to be cooked’. But go crazy! Add chocolate chips, almonds, my mind is blanking on other things….you get the point- take control of your snack bars!!

The first thing you’ll do is melt the peanut butter & honey together in a small pot.

   Already so yum, very wow.

Then you’ll mix in the oats. I tried to do everything in the same pot but it didn’t go so well… So I suggest starting this step in a separate bowl.

Once the oats are mixed with the peanut butter-honey blend, it’s time for all the other ingredients to join the fiesta!

   Using your hands > Using a spoon

When everything is mixed to your satisfaction, transfer it to a baking pan. 

  *holding the jar of peanut butter next to the pan is optional*

This is where your bars will live overnight while they become who they’re meant to be… Store the pan in the fridge, covered with tinfoil/Saran wrap/whatever you have. 

Voila! Tomorrow, let the bar come to room temperature & cut it into a desirable range of sizes. Bring em with you anywhere you might need a snack! These will probably last you a while if you’re not sharing, so keep them fresh in the fridge ๐Ÿ™‚

~peace & all good~

Detoxifyin Myself

I’ve felt a little under the weather lately. Not in an ‘I have an illness’ way…more in an ‘whoa I don’t feel my best mentally or physically’ way.. 

The beginning of this week was when I felt the worst & decided to make an effort to fix this crappy feeling. I was sitting at my desk & felt completely wired yet exhausted at the same time. My eating over the past days had been shit, I wasn’t getting any satisfaction from my workouts, I was tired as hell… Being attentive to my body helped me realise something wasn’t right. I took a break from lifting (sad face) & focused more on tending to my body’s immediate needs (happy face). 

   Taking time to put things on pause & just breathe has been much needed.. My sister says this pic looks like I’m giving my soul away LOL nah fam, I got full control of that ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ive also been trying to cut out processed foods & coffee from my daily routine. (yes, ik it sounds terrible but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do..)

Now that it’s Friday & I’m a few days into this restart, I feel really good! The things that are working well I’m going to continue (duh) & see how much more detoxed I can get. To me, making a change like this isn’t about anything complicated- it’s about paying attention, noticing…how do I feel after eating certain things? How do my days go when I do certain things?

More fruit & vegetables: pretty self explanatory.. I’m back on my salad flow. Getting creative with the foods I bring to work & planning for how hungry I’ll ACTUALLY be rather than pretending a smaller amount of food will suffice. 

  Breakfast: instant oatmeal with peanut butter & a ground cocoa/flax mix

  Lunch: greens with beans, feta cheese, & seasoning
Coffee replacement: a large glass of ice water. I’ve been drinking it before even peeing for the first time in the morning & it’s actually made me feel really awake. More importantly, I didn’t tell myself I couldn’t have coffee…I just didn’t let myself think I need it..

Tea: What more is there to say?! Tea is the bomb! The variety of types, the soothing powers it has, the wonderful ness. Yea…basically. Also- tea is a good way to help ease your minds worries about a lack of caffeine. You’re not taking it away, you’re just having it in a less intense amount.. 

Vitamins: I decided to bite the bullet (or pills..) & go for a daily, guaranteed source of vitamins my body clearly is in desperate need of. I haven’t been able to give my body everything it needs- yet I’ve been taking so much out of myself by working out/working/being alive.. I’ve always been sort of skeptical about vitamins, but this change is way overdue. I’ve been taking the Shaklee Women’s Vitalizer pack of vitamins everyday & tbh I feel great. WHICH I JUST REMEMBERED THAT I FORGOT TO TAKE TODAY ….

Not sure if it’s a combination of everything I’ve been doing to refresh myself this week, but whatever it’s from I’m feelin it. If you’re feeling ‘bleh’, try some of these changes! It seems difficult but it really hasn’t been that hard.. I didn’t think about this as staying away from bad things, I’ve been thinking about it as doing more of what’s good. Positive change rather than negative change. 

Start feelin good yall! Don’t deprive yourself of anything, just replace what you don’t need with more of what you do need ๐Ÿ™‚ Live in abundance…maybe not in the ways you’d like (financially, materially, etc..) but in the ways you can directly control (happiness, energy, etc). 

~peace & all good~

Being Human & the Inconsistencies That Follow

*Sunflower picture is irrelevant but I took it & liked it so there it is..*

As far as I know, everyone reading this is a human being.. & we all understand what being human means (for the most part). It means that everyday you wake up is different from the last. Your feelings may be inconsistent from day to day, your mindset, motivation, energy level, ability to perform various tasks…all changing on a pretty regular basis.

Today was one of those days where I really felt the inconsistent nature of being human.

I woke up feeling pretty good. I’ve been sore for the past few days because I’ve switched up my workout routine, but today I wasn’t too sore. After breakfast I played around with some head stands (upside down is my favourite place to be), stretched out, & drank some mate.


Head stands were on point & I was ready to take on my workout after a day of rest yesterday.

About a week ago (ha) I was able to reach a new weight while squatting.

I love squatting… I do it every time I go to the gym & lift. But because it’s something I do so regularly, the fluctuation of my daily mental/physical abilities really shines through. Today, my form was slacking & I was struggling to move the weight I usually use to warm up.

When I got home from the gym, I was hungry… (duh). I made a salad with:

  • spinach
  • seasoned black beans
  • yellow pepper
  • goat cheese
  • multi-grain chips

ย  It was as delicious as it looks! It was super quick to make & even quicker to eat ๐Ÿ™‚
However, before the salad came a poptart…. Pumpkin pie flavor to be exact. I wouldn’t recommend it. But I ate it anyway.

So far, my day has been the epitome of the ups & downs that come with being a human. It’s frustrating to experience the downs, but the way our bodies & minds are set up allows us to roll with whatever comes our way. It is more than okay & perfectly normal to not be on your A-game everyday. That’s what makes us human!!

For me, I had a frustrating lifting session that wasn’t up to my normal standards & ate a snack I wouldn’t normally subject my body to. However, I also had great balance & focus in my yoga practice & made a healthy salad. This whole journey is full of learning opportunities that I think are really important to take advantage of.

If your day has you feeling down, just know that things will be up again- probably sooner than you think ๐Ÿ™‚

~peace & all good~

A Berry Delicious Smoothie

Ha…See what I did there??

Here’s a quick, healthy smoothie you can make for breakfast, lunch, a snack, pre-workout, post-workout, whenever! All you’ll need is a banana, some strawberries, blueberries, & whatever fresh/frozen fruit you can get your hands on! 

I used fresh berries because we had an abundance of them in the house & I figured why not freeze them for a smoothie? 

  I folded the larger bag in half when I froze it so I would remember to use the berries in 2 smoothies. 

Frozen fruit is a great option because it saves $$ & lets you enjoy your favourite fruit even when it’s out of season!

Fill your blender with about a cup of water (or milk if you want it creamy). A smaller amount of liquid will keep the mixture thick like an actual smoothie. 

Now it’s time to throw in your fruits.

   (it looks like more water because the fruit displaces it)

If this is your breakfast/pre-workout snack- keep your coffee or tea close..

  
I added chia seeds & vanilla protein to my mix. If there’s anything else you desire, there’s no time like the present. Add away!!

It’s blending time 

If your mini blender is anything like mine, you’ll have to help the whole blending thing actually happen…annoying side effect of getting a cheap blender. 

  
Enjoy your healthy, delicious little creation! Get creative with the next one ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Adding smoothies to your regular diet is a great way to give yourself more energy. Being consistent is a little difficult at first, but once you start feeling the benefits in your body it’ll be worth it! Having more fruits & veggies will be a good thing.

~peace & all good~

Soul Food: Hike to Heal

Hiking is a loaded form of exercise. It’s obviously great cardio, but I think there’s so much more to gain from a good hike. I might be reaching here- but bear with me!

ย ~Bull’s Hill in Cold Spring, NY~

Hiking is one of my favorite things to do (although I don’t necessarily do itย that often). I really enjoy the peacefulness of the nature around me, even though I usually can’t breath for most of the time I spend on a mountain… Within about 15 steps I’m probably sweating & losing my breath….but that’s beside the point!

I’ve had a lot of realizations while on hikes. Usually keeping them to myself, sometimes sharing them with whoever I’m with at the time. The main one that I think should be shared is that hiking parallels life. It takes a lot of the same things to be successful in both.

Be in the Present

The path up a mountain is not typically well-cleared. There are rocks & bumps & tree branches & other treacherous qualities about trails. It requires you to stay focused solely on the path that’s right in front of you.

If you look ahead to try & figure out what’s coming up, it’s almost guaranteed that something will trip you. Trust me, I know this from experience…& not just once…

Looking back means you stop moving forward. Of course it’s always cool to look back down the trail you’ve travelled once you get to a high point. You keep trudging for who knows how long, & all of a sudden when you turn back the place you started seems so small & far away.ย But if you look back too often you’ll slow down your trip & it’ll take you forever to get to the top!

ย  a view along the way up Bulls Hill

How is this like life? Wellllllllllllllll. If you focus too much on the future, you won’t have time to enjoy what’s going on rightย now in your life. Challenges you need to face in the present will pass you by & your progress will take a hit. You’ll be too concerned with what may/may not happen to truly observe & appreciate where you are now.

And ifย you only focus on the past….we all know that’s a bad idea. I’m sure everyone can relate to the thoughts of ‘ugh my life was so good when I had _____’ or ‘wow I was so happy when I dated _____, why can’t i go back to that? *sadface*’. Yeaa…..stop that. If you never turn to move forward you won’t get anywhere. However, looking back is great when you’ve made accomplishments/met goals because it lets you see how far you’ve come.

Determination

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Hiking is not easy…it’s tiring, can be boring in some stretches, it makes you hungry & sweaty.. But once you get to the top it’s so worth it. Imagine if you stopped right before the best viewpoint because you decided it wasn’t worth it to keep going. That would really suck because you were so close, but let the difficulty turn you away from your end goal.

In life, we have to be determined to reach our viewpoints. Whatever goals you set for yourself, you have to remind yourself of them to keep yourself motivated. It’s so important to give your determination fuel during your journey. I like the idea of vision boards- they’re a simple reminder of what’s important to you in life. Even just simply taking the time to actually think about what you want to accomplish can be super motivating. Whatever you do, keep your eye on the prize ๐Ÿ™‚

ย  a little yoga at the *almost* top of Lamb’s Hill in Fishkill, NY

So, maybe this will make you want to go for a hike…I’m hoping for one soon too.

Maybe you’re going to take more time to enjoy your journey.

Maybe this will give you the extra push you need to keep working for what you want.

Maybe this just made you laugh..

I don’t know! But I hope you enjoyed the read & hopefully got something out of it!

~peace & all good~