{September 11, 2013}   Jewelry-making slideshow–Sequence 2

{May 29, 2012}   Getting back on the horse

I haven’t posted in far too long. I sprained my ankle working out, causing not only a loss of exercise time for the last couple of weeks, but a profound loss of motivation. While I couldn’t do my usual workouts, I found myself unmovtivated in other areas of my life. I realized that having that exercise routine made me more organized, more focused, and more able to reach my goals. Without that motivation I used to have, skipping ab and arm workouts became much easier. But my ankle is mostly back to normal, and I am more than ready to get back on track with my routine. Everybody loses motivation sometimes;¬†I am a perfect example of this. But I am going to make time to bring those workouts back and motivate myself to continue. How do you keep yourself motivated?

{May 14, 2012}   Stress hurts. Lose it.

It’s finals week for me and stress is at an all-time high. If I’m not actively studying for a test I’m worrying about one, and that can be just as bad. But it’s time like these that I remember how important it is to prioritize and find time to release some of that anxiety. There is hope for all of you worriers out there, and it can come in many forms. Unsurprisingly, one great way to get rid of excess stress is to work out. It’s not only good for your body, but it affords you some time to clear your mind. If you don’t want to get your gym on, try just taking a walk. This a good way to take a quick break from studying or working and give yourself time to relax. If that doesn’t help, make yourself a cup of tea or a healthy snack and take a few minutes to enjoy it. You’ll find that there are plenty of useful ways to rid yourself of that extra stress you’ve been carrying around. And remember, giving yourself a break is just another step in a healthy lifestyle.

{May 8, 2012}   Forbidden Foods

There’s that little corner of everybody’s pantry with the forbidden foods, the ones we tell ourselves we can’t eat because they’re too “bad” for us. But here’s something many people may not know: a lot of those so-called “bad” foods have actually just gotten a bad rap. Here are a few you should consider adding back into your diet, or at least back into your “good” pile:

1. Nuts. They are oftentimes high in fat and calories, but this snack is chock full of nutrients. You don’t have to eat a lot to get their value. Try adding them into a trail mix for a powerful midday snack.

2. Avocados. They’re very high in fat, causing many people to put them aside for times of weakness only. But much of the fat is actually “good” fat and can help reduce the risk for heart disease and some forms of cancer. Not only that, but it boasts high fiber, potassium and vitamins.

3. Cheese. Many people assume that cheese is just too fatty to be considered acceptable for a diet. But by eliminating it, you are also losing the calcium and positive nutrients it has to offer. The best way to keep cheese in your diet is to figure out which varieties will satisfy your craving and deliver the greatest health benefit.

Now go into your pantry (or fridge), pull out one of those so-called “bad” foods and make a healthy meal. Happy eating ūüôā

{May 6, 2012}   Take time to give back

The purpose of eating better and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is, in essence, to give back to ourselves. We are maintaining a lifestyle that will make us feel the best that we possibly can. But most people find that feeling better about yourself comes about internally. Instead of focusing all of your energy on how a dress looks or if pants make you look fat, do something productive with your time: give back. There are plenty of ways to help people less fortunate. No matter what you choose to do, you will be taking your mind off of your insecurities for just a short while, and helping someone who really needs you. You might even find that doing community service can help improve your self-image and feeling of self-worth. There is no better feeling than knowing you have made a difference. It is truly what makes you beautiful. It’s not how well the clothes fit that matters; it’s who you are and how you live your life. So today, forget about how your appearance impacts you and do something productive. It might just make a difference you never expected.

{May 2, 2012}   Give yourself a break

Diets are hard. We say “no” to ourselves constantly, keeping our sub-conscious cravings in check. But this can become¬†a tiring, 24-hour job, and immersing ourselves in it can actually be counterproductive.

I’ve talked about body image before, but it can’t be stressed enough.¬†We punish ourselves for bad food choices, for not being strong enough or having enough will-power to say no. What many people don’t know is that self-criticism is¬†actually harmful to a diet, and can make you indulge more. Instead of punishing yourself for eating badly, reward yourself by eating well. Remember, no one is forcing you to make healthy choices. This is a lifestyle, and it cannot be maintained without a desire to be healthier and in-shape.

Dieting isn’t about denying yourself; it’s about giving yourself what your body needs to be at its strongest.¬† When you eat something off your diet, don’t lose your mind in a frenzy of self-loathing. Instead, take a portion that will give you a taste of what you’re craving; don’t go over the top. And when you’re done, you will have enjoyed something. Food is meant to be enjoyed, by the way…remember that. And then¬†plan the rest of your day accordingly. For example, if you get dessert with lunch, make sure your dinner is a bit more calorie-conscious. You’re not doing yourself any good by giving in to self-hatred. Life is about enjoying what you have, not depriving yourself. Just make good portion choices, and keep “everything in moderation” in your mind.

{April 30, 2012}   We’ve all been there

It’s late. You’re working on the last few pages of a paper you put off working on until this evening. You’re tired and frustrated, but worst of all, you have the muchies. Every treat in your dorm seems to be calling to you.

Avoiding late-night snacking is one of the hardest parts of any diet.¬†For years, many of us have been told that late-night snacking is the worst possible thing anyone can do when¬†trying to lose weight. But you might be surprised to learn that¬†this diet law is being questioned. New¬†studies show that snacking at night doesn’t¬†cause a¬†difference in weight gain other than affecting total caloric intake. So for example, eating a healthy snack at night isn’t bad; the problem comes in if you’re¬†snacking on donuts like a champ at 1:30 in the morning. Calories¬†start adding up where you¬†least expect them.

So long story short,¬†if you’re hungry late at night, reach for something that won’t ruin your healthy¬†day.¬†¬†Plus, there are tons of options to go for when you’re fighting evening hunger pangs.¬†All is not lost when the sun goes down, people. Just like everything else, make healthy choices and the rest works itself out. Happy eating!

{April 25, 2012}   Just do it.

You’re busy. You have school or work (or possibly both) weighing you down. Your schedule couldn’t possibly get any busier.¬† Looking at your to-do list, it’s easy to take working out off the agenda. It’s extraneous. It can be pushed back as far as necessary to get all of your other work done. But this method is not constructive, nor will it give you results. Working out is a way to give back to your body. It’s not just a time to clear your head of the stressful clutter of modern life, but also a way to do something healthy for yourself. The minute you remove it from your schedule, you are letting yourself become more bogged down with unnecessary worries. Do yourself a favor: don’t cross the gym off your list until you’ve finished your workout. Your body will thank you. And once you have had the chance to clear your mind a bit, you might just be glad you stuck with it.

{April 23, 2012}   It’s just life

This post is somewhat timely in my life, and (sorry, folks) not very much related to food. People tend to worry too much about seemingly everything and anything possible. We stress ourselves to the point of not realizing the importance of simply living. It’s a cliche, but sometimes the most important thing to do for yourself is just be happy. So, that’s my healthy challenge for this week. For the next seven days, instead of focusing on all of the negatives in your life (and there may be many), turn it around and remind yourself of the positives. Give yourself a week off from worrying and stressing to the point of exhaustion. Being healthy is just as mental as it is physical.

Take time to help yourself this week. You still have to go to work or school (or both), but you can give your mind a bit of a vacation. Becoming healthier and happier is a choice. What will you choose this week?

et cetera