Hey September 19th… not exactly a “1st of the month” post but it IS my first of the month! How MIA have I been?!
Well here I am, past mid month now and things are slowly settling into a new routine. Kids are back to school, Jade started Kindergarten, Zoe’s big move in, starting her new job, I did my first final exam and am now preparing for my next course. It’s been a whirl wind of a September!
Things are likely to stay slow on the blog here, as we head into, more studies and school, homework with 3 kids, Taekwondo with one. Thanks giving, birthdays, more studies, Halloween, more birthdays, more studies, more birthdays. Christmas and New Years and all the things in between. Zoe is soaking in her, new home, new life, new job, new routines. A little new-ness over here, a little new-ness over there.
To say I am looking forward to it all would be an understatement. This year I get to share thanksgiving, with the bestie. Birthdays with the bestie. Halloween with the bestie. Pop corn nights every Friday. T.V nights on Wednesdays and Fridays (even trying a couple new shows I don’t normally watch). Come October we have hot chocolate nights too. Not to mention the movie ones. Zoe, closer now to the BF (who also happens to be my brother-in-law), gets to look even more forward to weekends and days off. There just seems to be full days, and wonderful things everywhere.
There is something to be said about being full, not busy, that is a different thing all together. Being too busy implies no time. No time for binge watching pre-recorded T.V shows twice a week with your favorite people. No time to finish as many books as you possibly can in a month. No time for playing cars and batman, for going for random drives or walks, or for popcorn and hot chocolate nights. Full weeks and months of birthdays and fun nights and traditions, and family get-togethers. School work too, home work, house work and work work we wont exclude. Little things I wont forget to mention like getting up early enough to see the sun rise over the lake, before the busy morning routine pours itself into the day. Filling empty moments with long naps, or long talks, long showers or long snuggles. I don’t know why people put so much importance on being busy and so little on just being full.
But I digress. Yes, the blog will likely continue to be slow for a while as we carry on with all the things. When there are no things to carry on with, we will likely fill those times with other important matters. Like writing in journals and turning the living room into one large bed and watching movies.
Want a work out program and don’t have the extra cash to hire a personal trainer or to purchase one? Or maybe you just don’t WANT to pay for a program right away, because you just aren’t too sure. But maybe you also have no idea where to start or what to do? So I decided to share my tips on how to build your OWN workout program! (and then a little extra exciting thing at the end).
DISCLAIMER: Thought I’d start right off with that, and just say real quick that I am obviously no expert and by no means a professional (yet *wink*wink*). These are simply MY tips on how to create your own workout calendars/program, and I make no promises that these tips will work for you. Take what you think will and leave the rest!
Keeping in mind that I DO NOT think that this can fully replace the quality and knowledge that comes with actually hiring a personal trainer or joining a program set out by a real certified health & fitness professional, but this (at least for me so far) is a fantastic option for anyone looking to do their own thing, or to get their foot in the fitness door.
Build An Arsenal: Free Resources Everywhere!
Start with building an arsenal of exercises and workout ideas. Best place for this in my opinion is Pinterest and Youtube. Google can be overwhelming and can make you easily discouraged, while Pinterest allows you to search and save all in one place, and Youtube allows you to follow, save favorite videos and get notifications when new videos are posted. TRY NOT to build your arsenal in too many different places. Neat and organized, in one or two spots is more than enough, and you wont get submerged in an ocean of different platforms and websites and lists and bookmarks and boards.
Make Monthly Calendars: Get It Written Down!
Start with either making yourself a monthly calendar, or printing one out (you can find free printable pages here and here).
This is the start to creating your own workout program. Making a calendar is a must regardless of how you do it (Use a planner if calendar sheets aren’t your cup of tea!) Having 1000 pins in your “Sexy Arms” board on Pinterest will do you no good if you don’t actually use them.
I’ve built my calendars two ways
Make one with just your days target areas and on the back, or separate sheet, write out your exercises for those target areas
Write the actual work out on the calendar. I write the workouts on the first week and then use arrows so that I don’t have to re-write them in each day, changing the amount of reps per set as the month progresses.
Building The Exercises: Use That Arsenal!
Workin workin plannin plannin. This is were most of the work comes in (aside from actually DOING it all of course). Time to break in to that arsenal that you have created and build yourself some exercises!
Choose your focus, but focus on all. By this I mean, decide what you are working on and focus on those areas BUT make sure you are working on ALL AREAS. For myself my weeks are, Monday through Sunday, as followed. Legs/Butt–Abs–Arms–Legs/Butt–Abs–Yoga–Rest and repeat. (I know I know, no cardio, so sue me.)
Make sure to push yourself, but be honest about it. If you have never in your life done more than 10 push ups, it’s probably best not to throw down in your calendar that you need to do 3 sets of 30 reps of them. Push yourself, but don’t go so far that you either A) hurt yourself or B) get discouraged and quit. Three reps of 10 to start is perfect!
When starting out I’d recommend 3-4 exercises at 3 sets each. As the month progresses you can add more reps to each set, add more sets OR add more exercises, just remember to put it in the calendar!
Try to mix up the workouts. For example If you work on your legs/butt more than once a week create different workouts. Like I said, I have 2 days for core and 2 days for legs/butt, each week the exercises are the same BUT within each week there are 2 different workouts for both ab days and leg days.
Make sure you get AT LEAST one rest day. It is important for your body to rest and recover, not only is this when your muscles re-build themselves, but you also want to give YOU a break, to just rest and just be. I have both an active rest day (yoga) and a full rest day!
Add smaller challenges to your calendar for extra fun! IF YOU WANT you could add extra things, like a daily ab challenge or arm challenge. Make up your own or search for one of the MANY that are already out there! My calendar has alternating weeks of morning crunches or morning push ups. This is where I roll out of bed and do as many as I possibly can. I just finished up crunches week and now headed into my 2nd pushup week of this month!
Tell people about it! Seriously doooo it. Instagram it, post about it… blog about it… or just tell your friends and family, but get it out there and let your plans be know! It will seriously do wonders for your accountability! (You could also totally like our FB page here, let us know what you’re up to and we can help you with that as well!)
Lastly it’s OK to mix it up. Getting sick of the workouts you planned? Found a new video you really want to try? Go ahead and do that instead of what you have written on your calendar. As long as you are DOING IT then go ahead and do it!
NOW FOR SOME COOL STUFF! OK I thought that all that stuff was pretty cool, but that’s just the obsessive planner in me.
SOOOO Don’t want to do AANNNYY of that?? Not really a planner? Here is something for you! Blogilates! Seriously head over to www.blogilates.com and go have a look through all her Youtube videos. The community is fabulous, SHE is fantastic. SHE SELL’S WORKOUT APPAREL! (it’s exciting OK.) But most importantly she offers FREE workout calendars!
Subscribe for free (it’s just a simple email subscription) to get the password to unlock this months free printable calendar, or check out the beginners calendar to get you started.
I for one have done a good handful of her workout videos and I can tell you they will not disappoint! You can also check out some before and afters from other people who have used her calendars and/or her videos. Have I mentioned yet that she is an absolute doll!
It is all there for you, already written, already built, all you have to do is print it out and do it!
Also go get the Blogilates app, which is totally free to download as well! There you get everything all in one place, recipes, shopping, calendars, videos. The calendars on the app ARE by subscription of $0.99/month though, so you could either pay $1 for the convenience of having it all right there OR you could use the app in conjunction with your free printable calendar OR OR you could do both!! Which is what I will be doing when I try out her calendar for September!!
Now go get to work, and create your calendar! (Or check out Blogilates!) If you DO build your own, using any or all of these tips, let me know! Or take a photo, get it on Instagram, and hashtag it #happyhealthyhouseholds so we can see!
So there is this thing around social media. This “What I eat In A Day”. On you tube you can find videos galore, as in the bloggy-world (give it a google!) Instagram is overflowing with photos of peoples food daily, as we all know, but have you ever perused through hashtags like #dayofeating or #whatieatinaday?
I find them interesting, food lover that I am, and also a way to find new ideas, GET ideas and if you are a visual person like myself you might find it extremely helpful in building meal plans for yourself.
So here I decided to catch a ride on the wagon and share with you what I eat in a day, only today it is a VS. what I USED to eat in a day.
So to jump right in we start with breakfast! Before my lifestyle change and my attempts to lose weight (which inevitably led to my focus switching to health in general) not only was I not eating the greatest things but I was also not eating at the right times. This here is what my breakfasts ALWAYS looked like before the switch…
Yes. So I would eat that until about anywhere between 11 and noon.
NOW my breakfasts look more like this!
More or less. Breakfast has changed up a lot, as I have tried different things and poo-poo’d them along the way.
The reality for myself is this. No matter how long it seems it has been since the switch, I basically trained myself for years YEARS to not be a morning eater, and this still is the hardest thing for me. Recently I have settled on breakfasts like this (some sort of fruit, nuts, my black coffee and of course water) because it is super quick, healthy and feels more like I am snacking. For WHATEVER reason, tricking my brain into feeling like it is snacking is my best bet for getting breakfast down the hatch.
Now morning snack also use to look a lot like breakfast did back in the day (OK like a year and a half ago, but whatever.) Morning snacks NOW look usually something like this…
Yea it does. Mmm, mmm, mmm. I am in a love affair with larabars. Not only do I find them delicious (except the coconut ones, NOT a fan) but LOOK at that ingredients list! Now recently a close friend of mine suggested going even better and just making a version of these myself, so this is a plan, I am sure there will be instagramey updates! I have also been seeing these RX bars floating quite heavily around instagram lately and I might have to give them a try as well…
I don’t really have a photo of what lunch looked like before because we try our best to not have it in the house much any more, but I gave google a search and found this. No joke, not over exaggerating 9x out of 10 if it was in the house, this was lunch…
Now lunch looks more like this!…
Again lunch is something that changes itself up, but currently my go to lunch is something on wasa crackers. Sometimes its avocado and tomatoes, sometimes its chicken and sriracha, usually it is always accompanied by something veggie-ish. This past little while it has been homemade pickles from cucumbers from the garden, but honestly it is usually more tomatoes, or carrots or celery or some other variety of fresh veggie.
If it is not this, then lunches usually consist of some sort of salad with a vinaigrette, pumpkin seeds and sometimes I find dinner left overs to top it off with! …
So these were usually more like afternoon “eat whatever random stuff I could find in the fridge or pantry”. If memory serves it would usually have ended up being left overs from dinners before, hand fulls of sandwich meat, more chips, crackers, or stealing some of the kids chocolate covered granola bars.
Now afternoon snacks are usually one or more of these types of things…
OH MY GOSH ITS DINNER TIME. Alright, dinner has ALWAYS been a good thing for me I feel. As much as the rest of the day sucked for food and eating, I have always loved to cook and have always loved food. Dinner has always been things like, stews and chili and chicken casseroles and bread or dumplings or biscuits. Lasagna, pastas and meat sauce, garlic breads and buns. Burgers and roasts and potatoes and veggies. Breakfasts for dinner, bacon, eggs, sausages, pancakes, hashbrowns and toast.
My dinners however were very much packed full of salt, sauces, processed foods, fat (and not the good kind) and AS MANY CARBS AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. Likely since, come dinner, I am basically starving for all the foods and flavors I could possibly think of.
Now dinners consist mainly of a variety of grains, beans, salads, veggies, and lean proteins. I also love sausages and so we do a lot of those as well, now we are just more aware of labels and ingredients and don’t mind spending a bit more to get a bit better. Also breakfast for dinner… will never not be a thing… just saying.
**Left is a type of weisswurts sausage with some garlic and onion sort of relish, next to a raw zucchini noodle salad with green onions, fresh dill and homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
**Right is ground turkey coconut curry mix with brown basmati rice (using epicures coconut curry seasoning) on romain lettuce with hot sauce and fresh peppers on the side!
I find food a thousand times more fun now that I have a better understanding of it, and I find it tastes a thousand times better knowing that it is delicious AND so much healthier for me.
Now we still do stews, and chilis and all those wonderful sounding dinners. Like I said we are just more aware of what ingredients we put in it. We still do pizza and burgers and hot dogs and nachos some times as well, because we are human, and we like food, and if we starved ourselves entirely of indulgence we would most definitely fail. There is a reason for that ratio that gets touted as the way to go. 80 – 20.
Ok so I don’t ALWAYS have dessert, though my kids usually do. Some times they eat just a piece of fruit, other times ice cream, others a cookie and some milk. I just wanted to throw this part in here just to give you an idea!
Bed time Snack
OK now usually, back in the day, I would go to bed after sticking my face in the fridge and eating as much of some sort of left over as I could in 5 mins.
Now I try to ex-nay the bed time snack all together. BUT if I am dying for something and it’s just too early to make myself go to bed I will let myself have a couple squares of dark chocolate or a bowl of sliced cucumbers with a little olive oil and smoked paprika. Stove top popped pop corn with a little seasoning salt is also a go to snack for me, but I’m telling you it is hard not to eat ALL THE POPCORN IN THE WHOLE HOUSE.
So that brings me through the whole day doesn’t it! It’s shocking to me even, to see my old eating habits compared to my new ones.
I “challenge” all of you now to do the same! How did you use to eat before you turned to health. What kind of eating habits did you kick to the curb. Or even how are you eating now vs. how you would like to eat?
Blog about it, instagram it , youtube or facebook it even but don’t forget to tag me, link me, message me, just come let me know so I can go see!
~How you eat, is how you feel. Eat good, feel good~