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!!

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Black Friday Exercise to Free You from Your Guilt

Ah, the day after Thanksgiving.. 

Recovering from lots of food, lots of family time, & possibly lots of adult beverages. Maybe you’re still with your family & friends. Maybe you’ve already been up for hours because you enjoy battling for deals that you can also get from the comfort of your bed… Online shopping is the way to go yall. 

I woke up feeling great this morning- my body is praising the lord for all of the food I gave it. However, my legs aren’t very happy since I made them finish a dreaded 5k yesterday morning. I know 3.2 miles isn’t very much for most people, but ya girl usually runs a single (1) mile if any at all.. So I’m pretty proud of myself for my under 30 min finishing time! rofl

  

It was actually a lot of fun (can’t believe I just said that). Turns out running outside with the fam isn’t as torturous as running on a treadmill..

Since most of us stuffed our faces all day yesterday, I came up with a quick & easy workout to get back on track. Anyone can do this fun little routine!! 

Exercise 1: Sit & Reach

Start on the couch. While holding in your abdomen, sit up and reach for the remote. Repeat as many times as necessary. Try changing the channel & volume in intervals to get more work in!

Exercise 2: Leftover Dash

Start on the couch again. Now you’ll get up & walk to the kitchen. Fix yourself a plate of leftovers. Put the food in the oven/microwave. Walk back to the couch..& then back to the kitchen when your food is ready. Remember to take breaks!! This one can be tough.

Exercise 3: Glass Curl

This one requires a glass of water, tea, coffee, wine, whatever you prefer. Same starting position- on the couch.. Grip your glass & lift the glass to drink from it. Squeeze your bicep muscles while lifting & lowering the glass. Chiseled tank top arms here we come ๐Ÿ˜‰

Stay persistent, & always practice safe sets!! 

Enjoy this time of indulgence, your body deserves it. Too much deprivation never did anyone any good anyways! Besides, most of the food we’ve all eaten for Thanksgiving is relatively unprocessed & full of much-needed refueling nutrients. Guilt-free holidays 4 lyfe!

~peace & all good~

Morning Workout: Torture or Terrific?

6 AM.

My alarm is doing its usual annoying job- waking me up out of a sound sleep. I really need to change my alarm sound because I hate waking up to the one I currently haveโ€ฆ Although, chances are, Iโ€™d grow to hate any sound that wakes me up day after dayโ€ฆ

This morning my alarm is waking me up because Iโ€™m attempting to get myself into the habit of working out before work. I have been trying to commit to this change for about 2 weeks. Usually it goes like this: my alarm goes off; I look at it; then I turn it off & set another alarm for about 1.5 hours laterโ€ฆ& skip the morning workout because whatever, Iโ€™m tired. 

Today I decided to actually get up.

It was still darkโ€ฆ But Iโ€™ve taken a few days off from intense exercise so I was feeling ~rested~

I drank some water, got myself dressed, & out the door I went! *yay* I wasn’t really sure what my plan for my workout was, but I was going to get my ass to the gym either way! 

While doing my warmup cardio, I looked through my collection of workouts. I decided to go back to the lift that got me hooked when I first decided to try weight lifting. Mainly because it’s quick & effective- both for time & muscle use. 

I left the gym before it was even 8 AM. & honestly that’s when I remembered why I love working out before work so much. I feel so energized. My mood is positive. I feel alert. I’m relieved that I don’t have to go to the gym after work, @ the time when its a struggle to find a single free dumbbell.. 

It’s a great feeling to start your day by taking care of yourself ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Whether you’re an avid yogi, weight lifter, runner, whatever- I highly recommend giving a morning workout a try!! Who knows? You might actually enjoy it & make it a regular occurrence.

~peace & all good~

#YogisWhoLift

So it’s Monday night, 

I’m in bed because work in less than 8 hours,

& I’m deciding getting this post out of my brain & into the screen of my iPod is v important. 

#priorities (or bad decision-making, perspective is everything I guess)

This post is really important to me because it’s the result of what life’s been throwing at me recently. A while back I started practicing yoga via YouTube; admittedly, half the things I thought were yoga I have come to learn actually aren’t… So I was loosely practicing yoga. I started because I was going through things that made me question who I am. I mean really question who I am. I was losing faith in my core values that I had worked so hard to discover. I didn’t know how to disconnect from my anxiety. I was losing a battle to negativity, & I was losing pretty fast. I needed to do something. 

That something was yoga. 

Backpedal a few years & you’ve got the time when I started lifting weights. It was a similar situation, but my anxiety this time was coming from body image issuezzz. I was trying to learn how to be healthy & fit.. I decided to try a 4 week weight training program. I loved it, saw results, & have grown into my own style of lifting since then.. 

  
Yoga has literally changed every aspect of my life…I know it sounds cliche but it’s true. What I’m realising now is how much it’s impacted my lifting. There’s a lot to gain from a body-mind-soul approach to fitness.

Mental Strength: In my experience, exercise of any kind is more of a mental battle than a physical one. My body can ingest some food or caffeine & be easily tricked into feeling ready for my workout. My mind, however, takes more effort. Practicing yoga has srsly transformed the way my brain thinks about me. I don’t have as hard of a time getting through self-doubt, or convincing myself that I am worth that hour and a half in the weight room, or that it’s okay if I’m not lifting as much weight as other people. I’m totally cool with feeling awkward at the gym, & that feels like a really big accomplishment.

Knowing My Limits: No ego lifting! I am able to recognise when I’ve done enough. I can feel in my body & mind when I shouldn’t go further. Being in touch with my body has allowed me to get to this point. Yea I’ll try something & fail with flying colors, but I’m not trying something I know I cannot do with the fullest effort. If I’m not there, I’m not there- simple as that.

  
Form: Along with being connected to my body, yoga has helped me stay in touch with what feels right & what doesn’t. This has helped immensely with form! I don’t overthink my body positioning because I know I’ll feel it if I’m doing something wrong. Increased flexibility from practicing yoga has also improved my range of motion…aka more effective lifting & less chance of injury ๐Ÿ™‚

Breathing: Breath is 100% connected to form. Yoga has taught me how to control my breath. Knowing how to control my breath helps me bring more oxygen to my muscles. More oxygen means more endurance…..& more blood flow for a sweet pump. ~swole~

Appreciation: I would vote that this as the most powerful benefit I’ve experienced from my yoga practice. I don’t measure progress by how I look anymore… If I can do a single extra rep I feel accomplished. If I work through my own self doubt, I feel accomplished. If I try to lift a new weight but fail, I know there was a time when I couldn’t even do the basic lift itself. I enjoy the smaller steps in my journey. I’m way less critical of myself. I don’t obsess over skipping a day at the gym, because I recognise the importance of taking care of my body.  I’m thankful for myself & all that I’ve been through.

So there ya have it- my personal experience as what appears to be two conflicting identities. Before my own journey I never really pictured lifting weights to have any connection to yoga. Zen meatheads? Um…..???? But as it turns out, the health of your body & mind are extremely connected. The love my yoga practice has shown to my physical exercise is the most clear example of this connection. 

I hope yall enjoyed this little exploration of my journey to mind-body-soul health!!

~peace & all good~

French Toast with a Dash of Protein

I’m all about high-protein recipes. If you can make a protein version of a food, I will. From pancakes to muffins to chilli, nothing is safe.. My family thinks it’s annoying but they will thank me when their muscles are happier than they’ve ever been! 

I was browsing le internet recently & found an article (click here to read) that had some info on how to turn an average breakfast classic into a protein-fest. ๐Ÿ™‚ French Toast..plus protein.. Yes please!!

What You’ll Need

  

  • 1/2 cup milk (I used half & half because our milk was sour..always a nice discovery)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein (I only have chocolate so I ‘borrowed’ my moms Weight Watchers protein)
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 slices of bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter 
  • dash of cinnamon 
  • dash of vanilla extract

First step (which I regrettably skipped) is to melt the butter. It may have something to do with the protein powder, but solid butter didn’t blend into the mix.. 

Preheat your oven to 350 & lay some parchment paper on a baking sheet. 

Then you’ll add all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor. Mix them until they’re….well, mixed.

  
I cut my bread into strips, because French Toast Sticks seemed like a cool idea. 

  
Then you’ll dip your bread into the liquid mixture. It only works if your sink (like mine) is overflowing with dirty dishes. 

  
Line the strips on your baking sheet. This pic is funny because you can see how the unmelted butter literally didn’t mix with the other ingredients at all. It was too cool for them… 

After 10 mins you’ll want to flip the toast so both sides get evenly cooked & crisp. 

  
This is what a side that’s fully baked looks like. Delicious.

  

Top your toast with syrup, confectioners sugar, sprinkles, fruit, or even more French Toast- whatever you want! 

Enjoy your protein-filled breakfast!! Your muscles will thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

~peace & all good~

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~