Stepping stones to a happy soul

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Bust a move!

It can be discouraging to start a consistent workout routine. Perhaps a gym full of regulars is intimidating, or you simply don’t know where to start. It does not matter if you begin moving by taking twenty minutes out of your day to power walk around the neighborhood or if you go headstrong into the gym or begin a workout program. As long as you get up and get moving, that’s the most important thing.

Motivational post on Pinterest.

A popular saying in the fitness world (from StudentFitBits on Tumblr).

If you are more comfortable exercising in the comfort of your living room or garage, that’s also a great place to start. Have fun and create your own personal gym with colorful weights and a jump rope for cardio. There’s no need to invest in big machines. Tune into Pandora or Spotify and find your favorite upbeat tracks to fuel that energy!

This would also be a good starting point to develop knowledge about different beginner exercises and practicing proper form, which is extremely important to be aware of so you don’t strain or injure yourself.

Are you too busy in a day to fit in a work out? Not to worry, because there’s an app for that! There are many of them, such as the 7 Minute Workout, that give quick, heart-pumping, calorie burning interval training exercises. The great thing about this, and many other apps, is that there are a variety of exercises and you can do them anywhere. If you prefer a tutorial you can watch on your computer, Blogilates (mentioned in my previous post) also creates fun and upbeat workouts while her bubbly personality motivates you to push harder.

There’s no excuse for busy bodies. Everyone can, and should, get up and bust a move. I promise you will feel tired, but fantastic afterwards.


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Eat well and often.

Starving your body is not the way to go for weight-loss or kickstarting a healthy lifestyle. By restricting calories and food, you are putting your body into starvation mode and your body will have nothing to run on. It’s like a car; it needs fuel to run properly. No carbs means no energy, so you’ll feel sluggish, tired, and drained. Even worse, your metabolism will slow down because your mind and body is preparing itself for starvation by storing fat. This is the complete opposite of your weight-loss goal, right?

When I began my health journey, I planned out five small meals per day and they were mostly prepared at home. By cooking at home, I know exactly what is going into my body and I am able to practice portion control. It sounds a bit crazy or obsessive, but for me, portion control is important, especially when I want to eat foods I enjoy.

Recipes can be quick, simple, and inexpensive.

Cassey Ho from Blogilates promotes these types of meals and shares many delicious recipes that have helped me plan out what food I ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Cassey caters to a wide range of tastes, from food inspired from around the world, to paleo and vegan diets. Here’s a video on how to make a delicious yet healthy quesadilla:

Bottom line, food is your friend, not your enemy! Eating several small meals a day will help keep you full, curb your cravings, and keep your metabolism up.

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One who inspires me.

I just wanted to share this video because, in sum, this woman speaks the truth. Well, at least in my opinion. Her name is Jarmaine and she is one of the people I follow for inspiration and motivation to keep a healthy lifestyle.

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I relate to her because she has a body type similar to mine, and she reassures me that being healthy and fit does NOT have to equal a Victoria’s Secret or a bikini competitor’s body. She is all about keeping that balance of being able to enjoy food she loves, yet still having self-control and staying motivated to work out and eat healthy. This is something I personally still have to improve on, but as she mentions in a recent video, Skinny Obsession, it took her several years of her fitness journey so that the lifestyle is actually a part of her. I’ve learned that it’s a long and tedious journey, but as long as you don’t give up, there will be improvement, no matter how small.

As a bonus, she also loves makeup (like myself) and is hilarious in her videos so she’s never a bore! I hope this helps some of you, because it knocked some sense back into me! As I mentioned in my first post, I believe that it is so important to have a friend or someone you look up to for inspiration to keep yourself motivated in a positive way. You won’t have to go through your journey alone.

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Carbs: the good, the bad, the yummy.

Good-standing relationships (friends, significant other, family) are healthy and should help you excel and become a better, successful, and happier person. This same concept applies to food. You know the saying, “You are what you eat?” It’s true. Eating bad food will make you feel as such, whether it’s guilty, sluggish, or overly full. Eating food that is good for you will leave you feeling energized and satisfied.

Carbs are a major part of our diet. Despite what many people say, not all carbs are bad for you.

A simple carb breakdown from

In my opinion, because carbs are a main part of our diet, it is also what needs to be altered the most. All it takes is a simple switch. I personally love bread, especially in pastry form. But I knew I had to cut out treats like that out of my diet, even if it was homemade or freshly baked at a bakery. When I started making changes in the way I ate, I still kept eating bread, but I looked for healthier alternatives. I looked for whole wheat or whole grain bread, usually with oats, flax, or chia seeds baked right in. They are higher in fiber and nutrients. Yes, they are a bit more expensive and a bit dry on its own. But that’s where you can get creative with your meals. Here are a few quick and simple recipe options that I love:

Breakfast or pre-workout snack: Crunchy peanut butter on whole wheat toast. I always go for the unsalted option and I spread on no more than 1 TBSP. You also gain protein and energy from the peanut butter, which is perfect in the morning before you start your day.

Personal Pizza: For this, I use whole wheat Middle-Eastern flatbread, which you can find at Trader Joe’s. It’s a perfect round size for a mini pizza. I usually roll it up or fold it in half, wrap it with foil, and take it for my lunch on the go. I use a 1 TBSP of marinara sauce, a small handful of spinach (optional), and a light layer of low-fat mozzarella cheese. Then pop it into a toaster oven at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes or until the cheese starts to bubble and brown. If you want some protein, feel free to add grilled chicken, a few slices of pepperoni, or bacon. Yes, it’s okay to eat these and still be healthy! But I always follow a single serving size.

Remember, if you must have bread or rice, find a whole wheat or brown rice option. It’s these small substitutions in your diet that will make a big difference. You’ll feel it and eventually see results on your body.