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The beauty of the nut: The health benefits of eating seeds & nuts

wp-1470397805840.jpgThe research bears it out (even if I had not arrived at this conclusion from my own fitness journey); there are huge gains to be made from consuming seeds and nuts as part of a healthy diet. As one who has a fair share of basic anthropology and archaeology course work (background in biological anthropology) I’m far from surprised that some of the same food sources in early human history, have shown themselves to have been beneficial within the context of health. As outlined in serveral journals (follow this >>link<< for researched benefits of adding nuts and seeds to your diet) , while they do contain a significant source of fat (the “good” variety, i.e monounsaturated fats) they are also extremely nutrient dense.

A key take away from my own personal research and experience (i.e fitness journey) is to always ensure that you incorporate a variety healthy nutrient sources into your diet. Yes our bodies need fat just not the crap at your local fast food, wannabe be “restaurants”. There are no substitutes for healthy meal planning  and food choices.You want to lose weight, get fit and healthy? Then you have to be willing to do the work, educate yourself about your food and where it comes from, AND live the healthy lifestyle! This is the reality of maintaining your health and fitness AND to sustain those achievements,  YOU must maintain it. A good guide to eating healthy is provided by the >> CDC<<,  but you can’t rely on one source of information to access the information you need to “fight” the “food wars”, YOU must get engaged in the food production process yourself (i.e. advocate for clear labels on food items, support organic and local farmers, etc).

Now that I’ve said and done my part, what about you?..👣

 

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Body Talk…

So you’ve finally decided to dive in, accept the challenge, join the fit tribe, get your program in gear and now you’re…OFF! Well before you get too comfortable, I’m going to put a little damper on your personal party by injecting a bit of reality! I’m not trying to throw you off, i’m simply trying to give you ONE powerful tip as you embark on this lifetime fitness journey.

A lot of times it is so easy to get into a routine and then set our minds on auto-pilot; you have the right program for your fitness level (at least you think you do), your nutrition plan is all worked out, BUT you are MISSING one component that can make or break you (in terms of whether or not you succeed or quit and fail). What is that one COMPONENT? It’s called listening to your B.O.D.Y! That’s right, engaging in a physical self-check of how different parts of your body are responding to your workout routines will go a long way toward helping you avoid injuries and possible failure.

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Sunday free for all!…

Working on the weekends is soo NOT my favorite thing to do especially when the sun is calling, the temperature is rising, and…need I say more? It’s not that I mind per se, it’s just that summer is my hands down, shake your booty to the summer sounds, FAVORITE season!😎🎋☀️ Why? It’s because summer means life, adventure, connecting with nature and other people, UHH! It’s so hard to explain, but I just love it, ha haha.

Speaking of seasons, THIS is a brand new one and it’s time to reflect, decide, plan and ACT on all those good things I’ve been ‘planning” to do since the beginning of the year; HA HA! I don’t know about you, but if I stop MOVING, I STOP DOING and that my fellow travelers, IS NOT GONNA BE MY STORY! I’m just saying, it took me a while to get my groove back (mind, body, spirit) and I KNOW how HARD that struggle can be along the fitness journey. Think about it; I went from having my health and fitness in the dumps, being terribly insecure, having body image issues, etc, to where I am NOW and finally enjoying this “colorful” adventure.⚒👣

That’s not  to say I’ve hit everything on my list of to-dos, it just means that I’m in it to win it, get ready to fuel up for the next ride and GO, go, go! I KNOW I have a purpose and passion here on this “terra fIrma” and I am equal to the task! What about you? Still sitting on life’s sidelines? Hoping for a clue to help you regain your own personal power? Reclaim YOUR BODY and FITNESS? Contrary to what you may have seen on the Sci-fi channel, reality tv, and the like, there is no magical “A HAH” moment or chanting involved in CHANGING YOUR life.😜👁💡n

That’s right, the Stars will not realign themselves for your benefit, nor will the universe alter it’s current path of expansion; the ONLY thing you need to know is, YOU     Have to ACT. There you have it, the big hairy monster in the closet-FEAR of the unknown, of stepping outside the comfort zone, coloring outside of the lines! WOW! Ain’t it glorious though? Didn’t know you had it in you; huh? Boomsies on the journey2 y’all!…👣

P.s. Remember…wp-1466381519536.jpg

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Diva Skin? seriously?

Yes I have issues with breakouts a.k.a “eruptions”, discoloration , and just general stuff that only I can see, haha ha! Anyway, short of hiding yourself beneath a vail or becoming one of the mole people, the only sane and effective way to love the skin you’re in, is to KNOW your skin. What does that mean? S.I.M.P.L.E.! GET to know the skin you’re in; literally, make a, what I like to call, “a skin diary” in which you catalogue all the things you love about your skin, what you hate about it, and THEN make a list of ALL the products you’ve been using on your skin for the last month (longer, if you can actually recall it).

Once you’ve completed that list (yes, that’s why I said make a “diary” ’cause this is gonna take a minute ), break everything down from what you use on your skin daily as well day vs. nighttime skincare regimes. Believe it or not, this actually WORKS!! So well in fact, that    in my case, I actually started saving money because either I found out that I was doubling up on unnecessary product and or over stimulating my skin; which equaled D.I.S.A.S.T.E.R. for my Diva skin. While I love my skin now (thank you mom and dad, for good genes, plus sage skincare advice from both doctors and a knowledgeable mom-yes natural and ancient / traditional skin remedies that minimally processed win out every time! Boomsies!), this was NOT always the case.

In my teens and twenties, I ignored a lot of the advice that was handed down to me and I usually ended up crying and babbling to my momma about my terrible skin, my life was over, blah blah blah; you know the usually teen scream, ha haha. Anyway, once I got over myself and started really caring about my skin, what I put on it, and IF my Diva skin was loving my skincare regime, THAT’S when I had my AHAH moment. Once you start treating your skin like it’s a living thing, only THEN will it give you a break (no pun intended *wink*).

This brings us right back to, exercise, diet / nutrition, and mind-body wellness. I don’t think I need to beat that dead horse again BUT, I will; what you put into your body, whether or not you exercise, mental health, etc, ALL of these “THINGS” impact YOUR SKIN!!!  Stress and poor nutrition will kill your skin from the inside out-Those eruptions you’re so “frustrated” about? Yeah, they’re probably tied to your those ding dongs, burgers and fries you’ve been chomping on at work because you were too harried to pack a healthy and nutritional lunches this week alone. I don’t know about you, but it’s been my experience that when overly stressed, I eat crap (junk food is the panacea of emotional and stress eating), don’t really feel like exercising or engaging in anything productive.

I’m just being REAL about my issues, and maybe it’s something you have or have not experienced, BUT this was an area I felt like ranting about so here you’ve got it! For all of you have “celebrity star” skin, you know, the kind that NEVER seems to have issues; just perpetually PERFECT skin (yeah, STOP lying!), this may not be all that informative to you. But for the rest of us on planet earth, STOP and evaluate your skincare regime, your health and fitness as well as your mental health. Blessings on the Journey!wp-1461196251819.jpg

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No “Expert” required…

Okay, break out the tissue on this one because you might need it after I’m done! Here goes: be honest, I mean REALLY  be honest with your self-do you really think you NEED an expert to tell you you’re going nowhere fast, a hamster on someone else’s wheel, working on someone else’s dream? And do you NOT already know that you’re over-stressed, over-worked, over weight and slowly killing yourself because YOUR HEALTH sucks?!

I G.E.T. I.T.! Really I do know what that’s like! A few years ago I hit a rough patch in my life (relationship and health issues, etc) and though I’d like to say I’m totally over it all, that would be a lie. Yes I’ve grown a lot, but I’m still battling through health issues; the only difference is, I FINALLY got tired of looking in the mirror and NOT liking what I saw. This wasn’t because I was some evil “Borg” Queen (oops, my inner Trekkie speaks again *wink*) out to crush everyone in her path in order to climb the professional ladder, or even just a sad excuse for a human being; my problem? FEAR! It cripples and hinders even the best of us, and if you don’t get a grip on it, it will trap you on an endless cycle of discontent, failure and hopelessness.

In my case, the most obvious symptom was being over weight, unhealthy and stressed to my breaking point. I’m not going to go into a long story or get :preachy” but I will say this, YOU WANT CHANGE? Take ACTION otherwise you’re really not at your breaking point, AND YOU’RE just wasting your time and anyone trying to help you get on track; Yep, I’m talking about me! I CAN NOT help you get to where you want to be unless, YOU DECIDE and COMMIT to the journey too…

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Start Now…
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If it don’t apply, let it fly!…

Yes, yes, yes and YES! I was listening to some positive words of wisdom from a wise soul at work the other day, and at the end of all her musings, she said “if it don’t apply, let it fly”, in reference to negativity, unproductive criticism, and all those “things” or “people” who want to “help” us kill our dreams before we even have a chance to make our own calculations.

Wow, I do believe I’ve seen that movie! “No, no, you’ve gotta stick to what you know”,”are you still trying to lose some weight dear?”, “your standards are just too unreasonable”, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, “don’t quit your day job” ( to start your own business and follow your dreams) and Blah, blah, blah, BLAH! Been there, done it, AND NOT going back down that rabbit hole. It always seems like all the negative ninnys seem to appear in droves whenever you feel like you’ve finally hit that jump off point; where  you’ve gained the strength to take the risk to change and better your life.

My take away from that convo? don’t let your situation, negative criticism (yes, there is a difference between productive criticism vs. the other stuff), or other people’s vision of YOUR potential future, hinder you. If you’re serious about getting fit and healthy, then take ACTION and block out anything or anyone who’s telling you that you’re not being realistic. If that were true, NO one would take a reality tv star as a REAL candidate for president; just saying! Enough about that and back to the issue at hand. This journey has taken me to some interesting and uncomfortable places in my life, but I don’t regret any of it because I’m in a much better place physically not to speak of my mental and emotional health.

All that being said, you do have to be honest with yourself and face the facts about your situation, NOT wallow in them! Once you’ve done that, make a plan, plot your course, and stick to it. Now for the really hard stuff, haha ha…

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Get uncomfortable!

Get uncomfortable!

 

Too many times we get stuck because we get too comfortable in our lives, the status quo, our fears, and jobs that while they may not be our passion, at least they “guarantee ” a regular check / pay so that we can continue to pay our bills and go on the proverbial ” vacation” or “stay-cation” (I  soo hate that made up word,  for vacations you can’t afford to go on!). Still, being uncomfortable is not a feeling I’ve been encouraged to feel-especially during my formative years (i.e. childhood ). Now, I find myself growing and expanding beyond my comfort zone and that’s huge! Imagine breaking free from the weight, expectations and demands of people, situations and entanglements that if you’re honest, you should have long since terminated.

It’s scary but necessary and while it might be nice to stick with the comfortable and mundane-that won’t take you to the NEXT level! Fear, mediocrity and a lack of established  boundaries will not just hinder you from moving forward, they will also chain and enslave you to your current place in life. I know, it sounds depressing BUT, that old phrase? “Use it or lose it”? It’s true; if you don’t grow you will stagnate and atrophy (metaphorically speaking, of course! ).

Well what does that have to do with working out, blah blah blah? A LOT actually; if you don’t work out you lose muscle, strength, flexibility and even your health (depending on how far you go). The same way you train and work out your body, recognize it’s limits / boundaries and uniqueness, ARE the same exact strategies you use to develop internally as well as set limits for yourself and others (i.e. what’s acceptable for you in a relationship, when to say no, etc ).

Only YOU can make those calculations, and that ability and experience comes through A.C.T.I.O.N. There is really no way around it if YOU ARE serious about not just your physical fitness, but your emotional and mental health as well. For me, getting fit and healthy is the gateway for all things positive, empowering, and growth inspiring! This journey is oh soo exhilarating, but also demands that I let go of my fears and “baggage”-Wow! SCARRRRY!!!🙈

Bottom line? Be true to yourself and own it all, the good, the bad and yes, the ugly (sorry I couldn’t resist the movie reference; it’s a classic action flick / spaghetti western , and I’m an action/ Scifi buff so sue me!😜). Just, stretch yourself…👣wp-1465063791377.jpg

Your universe…create your space!

Your universe…create your space!

So yesterday I decided to take a nature walk after a muscle burning kick-ass workout and IT WAS GOOD! Yep, I did it and I can honestly say there’s nothing like the sense of accomplishment and pride you feel when you’ve pushed through and come out on the other side.

For me it was a big deal because this same time last year, I literally could NOT work up the energy, lung capacity and courage to do what I’ve done! I said to myself,  “REALLY?” “Are you really just gonna stay this way?” “Over weight, UNhappy, FEARful, and boxed in?”

Nuh Uh! I soo was not going out that way! Next comes a coworker and friend who supported me and got me started with an awesome program and a wonderful group of ladies, each with their own struggles and journeys,  BUT UNITED in staying the course of getting healthy, fit, and empowered! BOOMSIES!! YAY, YAY! *backsliding like Micheal Jackson now* Hall haha, OMG, what a freaking journey it’s been but it ain’t over yet.

Now I’M  a fitness coach (shout out to my Beachbody buddies) and I’m humbled and empowered with the knowledge that I’m doing for others what was done for me AND I’M making money doing it! Can someone say, AWESOME!! and KACHING!!!  No its NOT ALL about the money, but it’s really nice to get paid for doing something you’re passionate about; especially in a world where so many people are suffering from poor health and nutrition.

All in all, Tuesday was a beautiful and hope filled day full of the sights, sounds, and yes, “smells” of nature. Getting outside and into the outdoors is a balm for my soul and there’s nothing like it. Maybe it’s  something about the physical action of engaging with nature that makes you connect and define your place within IT-YOUR UNIVERSE!

Here’s MY JOURNEY and “say hello to my lil’ friend” ha, haha (love my AL Pacino movie lines, *wink*) as i share a small slice my outdoor therapy what about YOUR JOURNEY? If you haven’t started yours, feel free to join me on mine … 😉
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