10 Tips to Eat Healthier

Hello everyone!

I struggle with my nutrition and eating right so much. I have no problem motivating myself to get up and exercise most days, but for some reason, food has always sorta stumped me. I’ve wrestled with healthy eating choices for years, so I’ve developed some tricks along the way to make sure that I eat what I should… And not what I shouldn’t.

1.

Everybody always says that the ratio is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, and I know through experience they’re right. If you don’t keep an eye of what you put into your body, the exercise may as well be futile. Keeping a food journal is a good way to start tracking what you eat. I’m not necessarily saying to count calories, but journaling helps you be more mindful of what you put into your body.

2.

Drink. Water. And lots of it. If anything, try to cut sugared drinks out completely. When I was in high school, I drank one to two Cokes a day after school. When I stopped and just drank water, I swear it made a huuuuge difference. Try to only have two or three sugary drinks a week. This goes for iced teas, sodas, and alcoholic drinks. Still want a refreshing drink for those last days of summer? Find a seltzer water you like, or infuse your water with fruit!

3.

Try not to have too many salty snacks as well, such as chips and things like that. Cut down on snacking on chips and cookies and other things like that, and choose things like fruit or hummus. A few handfuls of chips or crackers can easily turn into polishing the entire bag or box. Again, I know from experience, haha!

4.

Not all granola bars are made equal. Avoid bars that have less than 3% protein, because that’s the stuff that will make you feel full! If there’s even less than 4%, you will probably still feel hungry after you’ve eaten the thing.

5.

If you get a sugar craving or feel unnecessarily hungry soon after you’ve eaten, take a drink of water. Sometimes when our bodies are thirst or need water, the signal gets confused and translated into a craving.

6.

Find some superfoods you know your body and your tastebuds like. I’ve gotten into eating overnight oats and greek yogurt with fruit lately. I eat them at both breakfast and lunch most days because I like how they taste, they travel well, and they keep me feeling full so I don’t snack. Find a couple things like this you can switch throughout the week, so you won’t get tired of them.

7.

Figure out what your body runs best on. For me, I need lots of protein in order to feel fuller longer. For some others, I know carbohydrates are the thing their body needs to run right. Feel out what makes your body feel the best after you’ve eaten it! If that turns out to be pasta in small doses, so be it.

8.

Keep it balanced when you’re eating. Keep general portions in mind when you eat. I like trying to adhere to the old plate-pie chart: 50% proteins, 25% fruits/veggies, and 25% starch (mashed potatoes, chips, etc.).

9.

If you’re craving something, just have it. Have that cake, pie, chocolate, or whatever it may be. Just don’t let it turn into more than one portion. Set a goal for yourself that you’ll only have three or four sweet treats a week, and stick to it. That way, you look forward to those indulgences, but you also learn to set limits for yourself.

10.

I rely on Pinterest for healthy recipe ideas, as cliché as that sounds! But it truly is such an amazing resource. When I’m just not feeling my go-to meals, I just search “healthy recipes” and thousands of options pop up. There’s something for everybody, and I find the Pinterest algorithm less intimidating than the deluge of information that comes with a Google search.

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I’m not a nutritionist. I am just a girl who tries her best to eat as healthily as possible, and I stumble and make mistakes frequently. And I mean it when I say frequently. Everybody is different! Do your research, and do what’s best for your body. And as always, know that when you slip up, that it’s not the end of the world. Just keep on going, and doing your best!

What are some of your favorite tricks to keep yourself on track and eating healthy? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO

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How do you start working out?

Hello everyone!

If you’ve never really exercised much before and you want to start, I know from personal experience how daunting it may seem. I’ve written before about my weight loss journey (read more about how I lost 70 pounds), but I don’t think I’ve ever posted about how to start your fitness journey. Here are some of my tips and recommendations on how to just jump into your fitness journey, no matter your fitness level!

Starting off…

It’s a good idea to start slow. Something manageable that you can easily fit into your day and can even enjoy. For me, it was yoga videos on YouTube. Just something to get your blood moving, and to start building a habit. I heard it takes 21 days to break a habit, so try going for 21 days exercising either every other day, or even aim for three times a week. You don’t need to train like an Olympian to start a healthy lifestyle, just take it easy. One step at a time.

So tomorrow?

Wake up, and pick a YouTube video that is 10-20 minutes long. Here are a couple of my favorites, but feel free to use anything on YouTube you want to try!

Tone It Up

When I first lost the weight, TIU was what I used every day. They had (and still have!) a daily schedule that I would follow, but you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to. Go at your own pace and take everything with a grain of salt. However, I liked having someone else create a schedule that I could follow when I didn’t know what I was doing. If you do use their “Daily Schedule,” right now TIU has an app called “Studio TIU” that they advertise on there for. Whatever workout they say to use Studio TIU for, look up on YouTube. They have SO MANY fantastic workout videos on YouTube, that you will never need to pay for their app. Here’s the link to their Daily Schedule if that’s a resource you would be interested in: https://my.toneitup.com/pages/daily-workout-1 The web page updates every day, and I have it saved on the hope screen on my phone to refer to, because I still do their workouts every day.

Blogilates

This is a great YT channel because most of the workouts are a good balance between easier exercises and harder ones. That, and they’re always pretty short and easy to fit into your day. Cassey, the founder of Blogilates and who leads most of the workouts, has a wonderful energy and makes the workouts fun, which is what you want! Make the workouts fun, and you’ll start enjoying exercising before you know it.

These are just two of my favorite channels, but there are so many great videos online that you can use as a resource! Just click around and find one you like, and do it. And the next day, repeat. If you liked yesterday’s video, do it again! If you hated it, pick something else that looks intriguing.

Of course, YouTube is just one option! Go for a walk, take a class at a local fitness studio or gym, research how to get into running, go for a hike. Do anything that sounds good to you, and figure out what works best for your personality and body!

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Do you have any tips and tricks of your own? I would love to hear your fitness hacks if you have any! And if you’re just starting your fitness journey? You can do this! I hope this post helped you 🙂

XOXO

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Summer 2018 Workout Routine

Hello everyone!

So far this summer I’ve succeeded in keeping up a healthy lifestyle. However, I’ve tried multiple different exercise regimens, such as BBG and the Rebecca-Louise Burn app, but I haven’t really enjoyed either enough to stick to them consistently. Mostly, I like doing my own thing and making up routines for myself. I just do what feels best for my body. If I feel like a 30-minute kettlebell workout, I’ll do it. If I only have time for a 20-minute yoga routine, I’ll do that. I’ve found that I stick to a healthy lifestyle much better when I’m enjoying what I’m doing, rather than forcing myself through something that I hate every second of.

Normally, I’ll start with some cardio.

I’ll do 30-40 minutes of cardio to start my workout off every day. Due to the beautiful summer weather (when it’s not ghastly hot and humid outside), I enjoy going outside to go running around in the sunshine. I’ll go around the neighborhood or to the track near my house, or even do sprints up and down the bleachers at the football stadium at my old high school. If the weather is too ugly for this, I have an elliptical I can use in my garage. Sometimes, I just feel in the mood to do that and watch YouTube videos until my 30-40 minutes is over. It all depends on my mood.

Next, I try to do something “toning.”

I usually do a Tone It Up video, but sometimes I like switching it up. I’ll do HIIT (high intensity interval training) or even an old-school aerobics video. I also try to incorporate an ab routine into my workout as well. I’ve been exercising so long, I usually just stick to the ab moves that I know and love. Here is a routine that I put together for you guys I’ve been loving, too!

 

Short ab exercise routine graphic. 60 second plank, 25 bicycles, 15 single leg raises per side, 20 butterflies, 20 v-sits, 15 hip raises, 25 side crunches, 60 second forearm plank, and ten burpees to finish. Then repeat.

Before ending the workout…

It’s sooo important to stretch. To prevent feeling too sore (because we all know it happens anyway) I’ll stretch and use a foam roller on my leg and back muscles.

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All in all, I try to keep my workout time to an hour to an hour and a half. Sometimes it’s not even that much. As long as I fit in even 30 minutes, I’m happy. A shorter workout is better than nothing, and as long as I’m feeling good and healthy, I know I’m doing what I can.

What have you guys been doing so far this summer? Leave your adventures and workout routines in the comments, I would love to see them!

XOXO

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Summer 2018 Workout Playlist!

Hello everyone!

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know how much I love making playlists. I mean, who doesn’t love a good playlist, though? I’ve made playlists for the last few summers, just because I love having them for when I run. They’re usually made up of the songs that I’m obsessed with at the moment, and this year is no different! But ya girl loves a good throwback, too 🙂

 

13 cup fresh lime juice3 tbsps agave nectar1 cup pineapple juice2 cups pineapple14 cup triple sec

I have the playlist all put together on Spotify, so come follow me on there! My username is writerchic 🙂 CLICK HERE for the link! I’ll keep adding my favorite songs of the summer to the playlist as the summer progresses, so make sure you’re following!

I’m going to the beach next week with my family (yay!), as I do every year! So, I will be posting my usual OOTDs and stories from the week! However, I will be posting even more on TGI’s Instagram, so make sure you’re following @thegingerintrovert on Instagram as well!

XOXO

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Fitness apps I’ve been using lately

Hello everyone!

I’m sorry for a late post to start off this week! With midterm season in full swing, it’s Tuesday and I already feel crazed. It’s weeks like these that I need something extra to keep me accountable for my workouts. Especially since I am one of those people that needs help keeping track of my workouts, or coming up with different exercises to do. I also need to be kept accountable. I’ve found that personally, apps are the best way for me to do all of these things, and still keep myself in check during the week when it is all too easy to skip out on a workout. Here are the super helpful apps that I use, both currently and in the past!

Tone It Up

As I explain in my original post about my fitness journey, TIU has been my number one go-to when it comes to fitness. As I’ll write about acouple paragraphs down from here, right now is the first time in about four or five years that I’m not doing their workouts consistently. I still love their workouts, and would recommend them to anyone, from a fitness newbie to someone who just wants to change things up! More often than not, I’ll use their “Daily Workout” webpage, which I have bookmarked on my homescreen on my phone. There are complimentary daily workouts and printables on their website that are just as good as anything you might need to pay for!

To be honest, I’m honestly not super crazy about their new app. Their new subscription service is a fitness “studio” app, where you pay $12 for the ability to enroll in live classes through their app, along with other videos and content they have on there as well. For me personally as a college student, this method doesn’t make sense for me, since I don’t know if I’ll be able to do an hour workout tomorrow morning at 9. However, just because this doesn’t work for me now, who knows about three years from now! I may be all about their “Tone It Up Studio.” But as a junior in college, I would rather put my money elsewhere.

Fitness Tracker

Before I recommend this app, I will preface with a warning. This app is basically a calorie counter. If you don’t think that it would be healthy (mentally and physically!) to use a calorie counter to aid in your healthy lifestyle, then please don’t. I don’t really use this app anymore for exactly this reason. However, I will also recommend it to some because it was really helpful when I was attempting to initially lose weight four years ago.

What I like most about this app is that you can easily record all of your meals, and also your workouts. The calorie counter aspect comes in when you select any number of different foods, which will list the calorie content, and it will count your caloric deficit while taking all of these aspects into consideration. You can also record your water intake, which I appreciated! Another thing I liked was that you can scan barcodes from food packaging when you’re logging your meals as well.

SWEAT by Kayla Itsines

I’ve been using this app for the last month. This is basically the BBG program by Kayla Itsines, just on an app on your phone and not a printable. You do have to pay money for it (the amount is determined by how many months ahead you want to pay for), but I’ve been impressed with the program. The workouts are challenging so I don’t know if I would recommend this app to a beginner, but for me I think it’s just the right amount of a challenge. The app also has a meal plan portion, including recipes and grocery shopping lists! I don’t use this function much while I’m at school, but hopefully over the summer I’ll be able to enjoy that aspect of the app more.

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As I continue with the BBG program, I’ll review it for you guys! If you have any questions about the program let me know, and I’ll be sure to answer them in the upcoming review. As always, be sure to leave your favorite fitness apps below in the comments as well! I would love to see them!

XOXO

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Photo cred: freestocks.org on Unsplash

How I stay healthy in college

Hello everyone!

Staying healthy while in college can be such a challenge. I try my best to keep a balanced diet and a regular workout routine. However, with the work we all have it can be hard to stay healthy and stay afloat at the same time. In my three years at college, I’ve learned a couple tricks to keep myself on track, while keeping up with my schoolwork.

Schedule manageable workouts.

To do this, I use fitness apps to your advantage. I like to use Tone It Up’s app, but lately I’ve been using Kayla Itsine’s Sweat app. Both of these apps send me reminders on my phone, telling me to work out. These little pop-ups can be big motivators, and sometimes that’s all I need. A little nudge.

Also, these apps have workouts that aren’t too time-consuming. Usually they take thirty, maybe forty minutes of my time. Honestly, that’s probably the same amount of time I waste on Instagram a day. Probably even more! There are lots of great workouts on YouTube that are less than forty minutes, click here to see some of my recommendations!

Research your college’s meal options.

My college, and hopefully, most universities, list the nutrition facts of all of the food they make in a word document they have online. They also list the weekly menu in advance, so I can plan ahead. I look at both documents frequently to figure out what I plan on eating. This may seem a little extra, but as a vegetarian, I find it difficult to eat well on any given day without some planning.

I go to a small school so the offerings in the cafeteria aren’t too varied. So, if I don’t particularly like what I see on the menu, I try to bring some things with me to lunch as a supplement. For example, I’ll bring along a yogurt or wrap in my bag to eat and pair with the veggies they have on the menu. There’s also always the option to ask for a veggie burger to be thrown on the grill.

Stock up on healthy (dorm friendly) snacks.

I’m a fan or carrots and hummus. Nutritious, filling, and not much of a mini-fridge hog. Another favorite in my room is chips with guacamole. However, for a quick grab in the morning, I try to keep Kind and Nature Valley bars on hand.

Surround yourself with supportive (and like-minded) friends.

If your friends are health conscious and work out, it’ll be easy to keep a healthier lifestyle in college. It’s just that simple. If you’re the only one who goes to the gym in your friend group, it’s a lot harder to motivate yourself. However, if you have a few gym buddies, they can keep you accountable and make your workout fun!

Know your college’s fitness program.

Does your college have a gym? A track? A dance studio? Are there special fitness classes made available to you? Take advantage of any and all amenities you’re entitled to as a student enrolled at your college. Whether that means a Yoga class on campus or a discount at a local gym (if you don’t have one on campus, as well). Honestly, I try to take as many opportunities for free fitness offerings on campus I can. And thankfully, my college’s fitness programs have lots to offer. Do your research, ask around campus, and see what your options are!

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I hope this was helpful in your pursuit of a healthier lifestyle on campus. If you have any tips or tricks you live by to be healthier, leave them in the comments below!

XOXO

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Photo cred: Cyril Saulnier on Unsplash 

Cute Workout Clothes for CHEAP!

Hello Everyone!

So every girl (or guy) who works out knows the struggle: cute workout clothes are so expensive! If you walk into the Nike outlet, Lululemon, or any sporting goods store, a good pair of leggings could be something like 80 dollars or more. I’m sorry, but you will never see me spending that much money on just one pair of leggings.

However, over the years, I’ve discovered some other places that have clothes that are just as cute and inexpensive!

This top is from Reebok, and I got it from Goodwill. It wasn’t used, and still had the original tags on when I picked it up! Now, be warned, when you shop the activewear section in Goodwill or Community Aid, you really need to pick through and inspect everything because a lot of the stuff can be pretty gross. However, there are usually a few items that aren’t used or were barely worn, and those are of course the ones you want to pick up! I have gotten my favorite Adidas shorts from Goodwill, along with a few workout tops and sports bras. Again, be careful and take a good look at everything, but don’t discount Goodwill. You never know what you will find!

I got these RBX leggings from TJ Maxx. Now if you know me (or have read any of my past posts), you will know that half of my wardrobe is from TJ Maxx. And my workout clothes drawer is no different. I think I spent about 15 dollars on these capri-leggings! The price range for leggings at TJ Maxx that I’ve seen can be between 12-25 dollars, depending on the brand, for leggings at TJ Maxx. I have also gotten some of my favorite full length, high waisted leggings from Target. It’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure they can be in the 20 dollar range at Target.

Now, sneakers can be pretty tricky when if comes to affordability. You can get sneakers at any Target or Kmart, but I’ve been there and I’ve done that and I do not recommend it. If you’re serious about your workouts, you really need the technology and support from Nike or Adidas or something like that. Now, you don’t have to spend a million dollars, either, if you do some smart shopping! I got my favorite gym shoes, which are black Adidas sneakers, for about 40 dollars at TJ Maxx last summer! That, and if you go to an outlet store and go to the clearance rack, you can find some cute sneakers that are at a pretty good price.

Lastly, whenever I’m running I need to wear a baseball cap to keep my hair in place! I recently bought this hat from the Morgainz Collection, and I love it! The Morgainz Collection was started by my blogger friend Morgan, and all of her hats are super cute and inexpensive! That, and she is expanding her line very soon! She will also be stocking leggings and crop tops, and the leggings will be up on her website soon! So, if you are interested in supporting her super cute brand, you can use my 10% off coupon code!! It’s gingerintrovert 🙂

Let me know if you guys also have any tips for saving money on workout clothes, I would love to hear them!

XOXO

L