I feel like it's super efficient to give you updates via a countdown, so here are my latest tips and tricks to staying healthy & happy. Just know, being healthy isn't all about food & exercise - though these two things play a huge part. This list is always changing & turning into something else because I'm A.D.D. AF & also a little OCD if you care to know (re: I get bored easily, but need to have my life in order regardless). So please, don't take all of these tips & implement them into your life, you're not me, you're you. Be picky, choose 1 or 2 that sound like they'd fit who you are & what you need in this moment. We are all different and we are always changing/evolving.
Find a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group.
I stand firm on this one. Buy local. Most CSA's grow all of their produce organically, but may not be certified ($$$). Does this mean you shouldn't buy it? No, visit the garden and choose to trust another human being. It's freeing. I pick up my local CSA bag every other Tuesday. It costs me $20 & comes with a dozen eggs half the time (also locally sourced & pasture raised). I get potatoes, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, & some things that I have to Google to figure out how to cook. It's seasonal - lots of greens in the spring, potatoes and winter squash in the winter, you get the point. I've priced out purchasing the same organic goods at my local grocer and its 3x the cost. If you're like me & can't stand to be wasteful, you'll learn to cook new things. It'll make you much more likely to eat at home. You'll probably prepare some of it ahead of time, meal prep is KEY to eating healthy.
Lucky for you this is a national brand. So if you're looking for a new workout, it shouldn't be too hard to find a location near you. Until now, I've been a "Groupon worker-outer" (coining that phrase). Working out via Groupon saved me from getting bored & it saved me that cash moneyyyy. There was never a studio I was like, "I'm so sad my Groupon is up." I was always ready for my next adventure in getting fit.
Enter, Pure Barre.
A brand spanking new studio was opening up right next to my house. The owner graciously gifted me with a free month in return for some Instagram exposure. I was already looking at Groupon for my next adventure before I even started Pure Barre. Boy was I putting the horse in front of the cart...is that even the right saying? I'm terrible at sayings. I finished my month & Kelsey (the owner) asked what I thought. I was so taken aback by that question, I hadn't really thought about it. In that moment though, I was upset. It hit me that my month was over, but I wasn't done getting what I wanted to out of this experience. I had never encountered a workout that kept me engaged in the way that Pure Barre did/does. I had never been with a studio that was so organized & proficient at what they do. Honestly, I hadn't had instructors that didn't make me feel out of place (unless they were my friend prior to instructing me). These girls are a family, & when you join, it's like they are inviting you to be a part of that. They know everyone's name, they give you adjustments during class without hesitating, they are curious about your life. So when Kelsey asked, I had a million thoughts going through my head & I'm pretty sure I rambled some things off that may have maybe made sense. All I could think about was signing up to continue this journey & how I was going to make that happen. This is not a cheap journey by the way, it's not outrageous by any means, but it's not the YMCA. You pay around $100/month - which I think is actually pretty motivating in and of itself. You get what you pay for with this studio though. The workouts are low-impact with high reward. There are modifications for everything you could have issues with. Pregnant? No problem. Knee pain? No problem. Chronic lower back fatigue? They've got you. The biggest change this has made in my everyday life is, I'm waking up at 4:40 AM twice a week. If you're sitting there saying, "No friggin way." "I'm not a morning person." "Working out early upsets my stomach." Well, you're me - you're just me before Pure Barre. So Kelsey, if you're reading this - this is the answer I wish I gave you that day. You and your team are helping me in ways you are probably unaware of, thank you - from the bottom of my heart!
Please keep in mind, if you suffer from depression or anxiety - waking up early to workout can make all the difference in the world. Mental health & physical health are tied together like peanut butter & jelly. Starting your day on a positive note can carry throughout the evening. My cure will always be a little bit of sweat and whole lot of Jesus. Maybe you should give it a try, couldn't hurt right?
What do you do every day? Are you big into social media? I find myself on Facebook and Instagram a lot because of this website. I love going through my feed & commenting on people's posts, mostly people I don't even know. I've found that showing a little love & kindness in this way is uplifting for me.
This morning there was a man sitting alone on a stoop outside of work. He looked lonely, so I said "Good Morning" in passing. I don't know what that meant to him, but I hope it brightened his day.
What plans have you made today? Are they serving you or are they serving those around you? Try to make a selfless decision today.
You wouldn't believe the effect that being kind has on your mental health. Remember, health is about more than food & fitness. Keep this mantra replaying for the rest of today & maybe you'll impact a fellow human in a way you never thought possible. After all, it's easy & it's free, so really you have zero excuse not to be a decent human.
My Wake-up Light
So I finally splurged on one of these bad boys & it has made my 4:40AM wakeup call all the easier. These lights simulate the sunset and sunrise! So when I lay down in bed to read, I can set a timer where the light will slowly dim until the sun has officially set. This is perfect for me because it's a gentle reminder to put the book down & get some friggin' sleep. In the morning, the sun begins to rise 40 minutes (this time is adjustable) prior to my alarm. It's incredibly dim when it first turns on, I don't notice the light at all until 4:40 when birds begin to chirp out of this little life-enlightening (pun intended) piece of awesome! Light therapy is a thing people, it puts you to bed and wakes you up gently.
This is the light I purchased & plan to gift others!