nourishing & unapologetic
It's winter in Kansas. And, I love me some snow, but at resolution time I always am thinking of warmer weather.
I consider myself pretty #blessed in life. However, the blessings truck must have passed me by when lean body types were being doled out. (And, yes, I know if I eat clean, I'll get lean... but I'm only willing to go so far...because tacos. oh, and brownies. and potatoes. the struggle is real, people!)
So, in 2016, I'm going to give it my best. (Mind you we're only 11 days in...) You see, if there's one part I covet on other ladies, it's toned arms. Think arms a la Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, Michelle Obama, my sisters-in-law ...
To be able to wear a sleeveless shirt, a tank, a strapless and totally rock it...gah. I mean, can I get an amen? That surely is fashion heaven. No, seriously, have you ever had to not buy a shirt because the arms felt tight...if so, we're basically soul sisters.
Then it dawned on me, if I want to have better arms, I probably need to work for them.
Naturally, I did what every twenty-something girl would do. I consulted Pinterest on this matter. I have a pretty robust workout board of things I should do, wish I did, and sometimes do, but I still sought out some new pins. And, I think I hit the jackpot! This pin takes you to a mini-motherload of quick beginner's arm workouts. You can find them HERE. My plan is to start light and build up. I am pretty sure the latest health and fitness gurus say you have to lift some heft consistently to see real gains and good benefits, but we all have to start somewhere. And repetition, it's good for the spirit. Er, that's a saying somewhere, right?
I'm working my way through the videos the link provides and trying to add them on the regular, like in a real rotation! YES! I may or may not have been walking around with arms that are a bit like jello these past few days (yep, the tough reality hit me, I guess my upper body is really that much out of shape...), but I think that means there's hope for a bit of definition yet! I think I can, I think I can...
Keep me accountable, readers. Ask me about my curls, extensions, and presses. And better yet, join me for 2016: the year we got arms. (Or if you already have killer arms, pick another focus area and give it some love.) Let's make it happen!
Until next time,
HAPPY FRIDAY, friends! Let's jump right into my some of the things I'm currently obsessed with. You might want these things in your life. And it's almost the weekend so you'll have time to seek them out. You're welcome.
1. In October, my organization got a new office manager. She's AWESOME. She's super high energy and absolutely sincere. She's instituting new processes, ideas, and the like. One such new addition: twice daily ergonomic stretches. Now, before you yawn, and think "really?", hear me out. At about 10am and 2pm we gather as an office and do a quick routine of various stretches. She mixes it up each day, but we focus on back, hands, shoulders, neck, etc. And then we do an active movement of some kind (i.e. grass pullers, punching Monday in the face, desk push-ups, jumping jacks, and raising the roof on Fridays!, etc.) Let me tell you, if I miss stretching I know it. These little movements actually help. Plus, they're a nice way to break up a sometimes sedentary day. I encourage you all to bring this to your workplace...your co-workers will only think you're crazy for a few days...
In case, you need a starting place, check out these cool posters:
2. Hildebrand Chocolate Milk: dairy lover's unite! Okay, I honestly, I only love dairy in the form of cheese, ice cream, on cereal, cream cheese, did I say ice cream?... I am not a milk drinker. Growing up, I only drank milk before I went to the dentist because I am pretty sure my dad told me it would make my teeth whiter... (he totally tricked me!). But as a refined grown-up ;), I have occasionally drank milk if it was ice cold and chocolate. Then I found this milk from Hildebrand Dairy in Junction City, KS at my local Dillons. It is life changing. I now crave it. I try to have it for breakfast every day it's in the fridge. This milk is awesome. Rich, creamy, delicious. They have other flavors, but let's be real, I'm a chocoholic/purist. I'm not straying to another flavor. Look for it in your local dairy case (specific location list can be found here.) Don't be alarmed by sticker shock; you can return the bottle to get your bottle deposit back.
3. Cybex Arc Trainer: I'm trying to train for a half-marathon...my new training plan calls for a good mix of running, cross-training, and strength training. So I've been looking for ways to mix up my cardio on days that are non-running days. In the past I've disregarded the arc trainer at the Y. But, in lieu of another day on the elliptical or treadmill, I hopped on it last week. Holy moly! This machine rocks. I prefer the machine that engages both my arms and legs. If you crank up the resistance and/or the incline you can totally amp up your workout. Time goes by quickly on it and I actually feel like I get a good sweat session. I'm all for low-impact on the ol' knees because I don't want to hobble later in life... I encourage you to check this machine out next time you're at the gym. (Dang, I shouldn't have told anyone because now there might be a line to use one... feel free to move along if you see me coming, I'll want to get my Arc time in, haha!)
4. MantraBands: Nick got me this bracelet for my birthday. I am by nature a worrier. At some point I came across a quote photo that said "warrior not worrier." I've tried to embody that... worry doesn't do me any good. Now I have a wearable reminder to charge through difficulty, hopefully without reservation. I love these bracelets and fully intend to buy more of them.
Find your mantra. Live it and wear it daily.
5. Avocados: I think I may have eaten my weight in avocados recently. Oops! But that's okay, right? They're nutrient dense, have good fats...yada, yada..(Learn about their nutrition here).
I made PERFECT guacamole for Valentine's Day (and again for the next two days #truth). I found this recipe from The Ecofriendly Family on Pinterest (imagine that! check one off my birthday todo list of completing 29 pins). It truly is the simplest, best guacamole--almost like Chipotle's. Yes, I can attest to that from many a taste test :) Here's what you need:
2 ripe avocados
1/4 - 1/2 red onion, finely diced
Handful of cilantro, finely chopped
Finely dice and chop onion and cilantro, respectively. Put in medium size bowl. Cut the avocados in half. De-pit the necessary half. Using just the tip of the knife, score the avocado diagonally both ways, scoop out flesh in to medium size bowl. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper. Give it all a quick mash with your potato masher. Then cut your lime in half, prick the flesh of one half with a fork, and squeeze juice over the avocado mixture. Mash all ingredients until desired consistency (we like it a little chunky). Add more lime juice from remaining half, if desired--I like a little extra acidity so I usually have the juice of 3/4 of a lime. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and dare yourself not to eat it all.
Bonus like: @Garth_the_Goldendoodle account on Instagram: Shameless plug for our adorable pup's Instagram account. Yes, I became that person. We created our goldendoodle his own IG/social media account. But, hey, we have no Baby Born's yet and it's all in good fun. He and Shaggy are always up to something so now we have a place to highlight and report on their shenanigans. Feel free to follow him. #partyonGarth #pawfect #goldendoodle
I think that's a wrap. Hope you enjoy these things as much as I do. If not, find your own favorite things and relish in them.
Cheers to Friday! Cheers to the weekend! And, if Winter is back upon you, stay warm, friends!
Until next time.
*NOTE: None of my commentary is an official product endorsement; none of these brands know who I am. :) All opinions are my own.