Drinking 2L+ of Water a Day and Loving It!

Hey lovelies! It probably comes as no surprise health and wellness means everything to me. I am constantly looking for new ways to improve my health and water is one of those simple wins I come back to time after time. I really do notice a difference when I drink at least 2L of water a day. That can be challenging when you’re traveling or on the do so I make sure to always have a reusable water bottle with me and fill it up as I go. I also drink 1 large glass of water when I wake up (about 500ml) and that is an amazing way to start the day after 8 hours of rest with no water. It definitely helps flush out any toxins and re-hydrate me for a busy day to come. I’m also craeful not to drink water when I’m eating as that is not great for digestion. Instead I wait about 1 hour before and after eating to drink my water. That is a really hard shift to make at first but once you start doing it and becoming aware that drinking water while eating actually inhibits digestions it makes me want to do my best.

My goal is 1L of water before lunch and 1L after. I sometimes even manage 2L after lunch if it’s a particularly hot day or I have been sweating/exercising a lot. One thing I have noticed is that everyone is different and so 2L may be too much or too little water for another person. For me I feel best at 2L but I encourage you to test yourself and see what’s best. I naturally drink more water in the summer than winter too which makes sense.

I highly encourage everyone to drink more water and see how it makes you feel!

One of My Favorite Whole30 Recipes

As I mentioned in my last post I recently completed the Whole30 challenge. I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes I found online during this diet that tasted so good I couldn’t believe that it was part of this restricted eating regime! If you Google Whole30 challenge you’ll find so many amazing recipes so I encourage you if you’re considering this challenge to do more research online and find all of the recipes that won’t make you miss bread as much as you thought!

Check out this recipe I found below and let me know what you think in the comments! I just made this last night and it’s so good!

BLT Breakfast Salad With Soft Boiled Eggs & Avocado

Serves: 2 generous servings

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 bag of cruciferous greens blend from Trader Joe’s (you can substitute a head or two of kale chopped into ribbons if you can’t find this blend.)
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds
  • 6 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs, soft boiled
  • salt & pepper to taste

    Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine your cruciferous greens blend, onion, tomato, sunflower seeds and chopped up crispy bacon. If you need help on how to cook bacon, you might find this tutorial helpful.
  2. Place all of your salad dressing ingredients together in a mason jar. Put the lid on the jar and shake until the dressing has completely come together. Pour the dressing over your salad and work it into the leaves. Use your hands if necessary. Set the salad aside.
  3. Soft boil your eggs. I find that six minutes in boiling water tends to be my sweet spot for the perfect soft boiled egg. Once the eggs are done, peel them, slice them open and serve them on top of your salad with some avocado slices.
  4. Enjoy!

My Thoughts on Whole30

I just completed the Whole30 challenge and I feel so good! The Whole30 challenge is eating clean for thirty days straight with no dairy, grains, legumes, sugar or even natural occurring sugars in maple syrup or Stevia. You also aren’t supposed to eat too much fruit because of all the natural sugars in this as well. Basically I’ve just been eating vegetables and lean protein! Which isn’t that different from how I normally eat though I do indulge in treats from time to time and I love fruit! Last month I had a number of parties and events to go to and I ended up over indulging in sweets and unhealthy foods (hello deep fried appies!) so I need a kickstart to get my meals back on track.

It’s interesting when you start the Whole30 challenge that your body is constantly craving sugar when it’s no longer allowed to have it. Even if you don’t eat a lot of sugar like me suddenly when your body can’t have it anymore of course increases the cravings. I would say the first week of the Whole30 challenge was the most difficult however now on day 30 it’s become apart of my routine. I’m actually considering doing this for another 30 days to see how my body feels. The only annoying thing is when you are trying to go out for food or having meals with friends or family. I hate feeling like a burden with all of my food restrictions but everyone has been very accommodating and nice about it. Everyone can’t believe how healthy I eat and they want to try it too!

Have you heard of the Whole30 challenge and would you consider doing it?

A Look At My Fitness Routine

As you might know I’m all about health and fitness! I go to the gym almost every day and I also exercise at home or on the go. My usual day looks something like this: wake up at 6 AM and have cayenne and lemon water and a small snack like a banana or an apple, go to the gym for 6:30 AM spin class, go home to shower and get ready for work, go to work, go for a 30 minute power walk on my lunch break, get home to make dinner, and then go for a bike ride in the evening with my boyfriend before bed. As you can see I exercise a lot in a day! I believe in breaking a sweat daily and I try to incorporate exercise whenever I can. I do take rest days however; sometimes I don’t go to the gym in the morning or I don’t go for my walk at lunchtime. But I always make sure to do one of my three favorite tasks a day: fitness class, walk or leisurely bike ride. I also make sure to eat healthy food and a lot of it throughout the day to keep my body nourished and full. When you exercise as much as I do it’s important to eat enough to make back all of the calories burned. Some fitness trainers like to restrict the calories they eat in a day while is I let myself eat as much healthy food like vegetables and lean protein as my body craves.

I also find that for the early mornings fitness classes work best for me. I have a hard time motivating myself to go to the gym if I’m just going to going to lift weights or run on the treadmill. But if I have a class with an instructor to look forward to I can’t wait to get to the gym in the morning! As I mentioned I often do spin class at 6:30 AM but my gym also offers other classes such as HITT and yoga. For those days that I’m feeling more tired and need some stretching yoga is a great alternative. I also do a lot of stretching on my own after working out beyond what the instructor has us do for about 10 minutes after they work us. I like to stretch and foam roll for about 30 minutes every day given the amount of exercise I do and how sore my muscles become.

Tell me more about your daily fitness routine! I’d love to learn more about my readers and also if you have any requests for work out or meal ideas please comment below and I’ll make sure to incorporate your ideas in the future posts!

Post Workout Protein Powder

I exercise a lot and used to struggle to eat enough protein to help me build muscle and keep me full. Enter protein powder! I usually drink one protein shake a day as a snack which gives me about 20 gram of protein. Sometimes I add a couple scoops to my breakfast smoothie but usually I mix it with just water and have after a workout in the afternoon.

I’ve tested so many brands over the years and I’ve learned the whey ones so popular with body builders hurt my tummy so I’ve switched to vegan varieties. Some vegan ones hurt my tummy too if they’re made with pea protein and I also HATE the taste of stevia, so the one I like right now is Trader Joe’s organic hemp protein powder. I get the chocolate one and it only has hemp seeds, palm sugar and cocoa powder. It only has 10 grams of protein per scoop so I usually have two scoops with water in a shaker bottle. The chocolate taste is so yummy and it’s not too sweet!

I’ve been using protein powder for about 5 years and I definitely find it helps me build and maintain muscle mass. Before I started using it I had like zero definition even though I worked out all the time. I also make a point of eating more protein in general usually in the form of lean meat like chicken and turkey. I also aim for 8-9 servings of vegetables a day and right now I’m trying a grain free diet to see how that works for me.

A healthy diet is key to any exercise regime and protein powder is just one tool I keep in my back pocket! What are your tips for incorporating more protein into your diet?

The Power of Motivational Quotes

I must have hundreds of motivational quotes saved on my phone, including one on my lock screen that I change up every few weeks. I am a huge believer that motivational quotes and affirmations can help cultivate a mindset of success and happiness. I use positive affirmations written on sticky notes around my home to start my day off on the right note, and I find myself reviewing motivational quotes saved on my phone throughout the day, especially when I’m feeling stressed or angry. I thought this would be the perfect place to share some of my favorite quotes with my readers in hopes of helping you set your days up for success. They say happiness is a choice and I truly believe that. Try reading two motivational quotes and repeating two affirmations out loud every day for a week and see how that changes your life. Below I will share some of my favorites to get you started!

 

Lemon and Cayenne Water

Well, it’s a new year and time to refresh things from a health and wellness perspective! I’ve recently been starting my mornings with a drink of lemon and cayenne water. It sounded not particularly tasty at first but it’s actually great!

Apparently this mixture is excellent for detoxifying the body and assisting the digestive system. The lemon is packed with vitamin C which combats toxins.  Lemons are also filled with antioxidants and electrolytes. Not only that, but lemons help neutralize the body’s pH. Because digestion is so important, this drink is a great way to set the stage for your day.

Cayenne pepper is also known to stimulate the circulatory system by opening the capillaries, aids digestion, and helps regulate blood sugar. It also boosts the temperature of your body and kick-starts your metabolism.

So, how does it work? As soon as you wake up, warm up a half litre of water (but not too hot), add the juice from a full lemon, and sprinkle a bit of cayenne pepper. Be sure to buy non-irradiated cayenne pepper, since irradiation reduces the nutritional profile and natural medicinal properties of herbs and spices. Once that’s done, mix everything together and drink it! I also like to rinse my mouth out with about a half glass of water when I’m done. Waiting about 30 minutes before eating breakfast for best results!

 

 

 

Perfect Healthy Holiday Salad

This beautiful, delicious, and healthy salad is sure to be a hit around the table this holiday season!

This vibrant salad is packed with colorful fruits and spinach and has a lovely light and creamy dressing which is composed of buttermilk and infused with fresh rosemary, orange zest, shallots, and a hint of Dijon mustard. It’s delicious and so nice to look at! Credit due to Brooklyn Supper for the inspiration!

Ingredients (Makes Four Servings)

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Botanicals

  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 3 oranges
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1/2 shallot sliced very thin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Instructions

To make the dressing, start by whisking the orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, mustard, and buttermilk into the olive oil, one at a time. Then add the shallots, rosemary, and sea salt.

Once that is done, cut off the very top and bottom of the oranges. Then, carefully slice off the orange peels and remove the white pith. Cut the oranges into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Pour most of the dressing over the spinach.

Then, spread the spinach on a large plate or platter and place the oranges throughout the salad. Place the pomegranate arils and shallots on top. Finish your salad with a drizzle of dressing, rosemary leaves, sea salt, and fresh pepper.

Ayurveda and Alkaline Water

Have you heard about the latest health and wellness trend? According to Ayurvedic medicine, drinking from a copper water vessel can have incredible health benefits. Water stored in a copper vessel is known as “tamra jal” and can help balance the body’s doshas (vata, kapha, and pitta), make your water naturally alkaline, and support good health and wellness in a ton of other ways!

A few months ago, I bought a handmade copper water bottle from Copper H2O. My bottle is a piece of art and I am borderline obsessed with it! Something about the amazing shine of the copper and its aesthetic appeal makes me so eager to drink out of it often throughout the day, which is great for keeping me hydrated!

I have since learned that copper has a ton of great properties which make it great for water bottles. Studies have shown that copper is anti-bacterial and anti-oxidizing, and it’s also great for the immune system and keeping the brain stimulated!

It also feels so good to be avoiding the use of plastic bottles. Did you know that studies have shown that on average only 1 in 5 plastic bottles are recycled, and plastic bottles take between 400 and 1000 years to decompose? It also takes three times as much water to produce a plastic bottle as it does to fill it!

Try using a copper water bottle – you’ll love it!

Strengthening Willpower and Self-Control

I’ve been thinking recently about willpower and its role in health. Research has shown that willpower and self-control are vital to a happy, healthy, and successful life. Interestingly, research also suggests that willpower is not some innate quality that we either have or not. Rather, willpower is like a muscle – and, like a muscle, the longer we use it, the stronger it becomes. However, like a muscle, your willpower should not be overworked!

We can strengthen our will power by ensuring that we are not kept in a constant state of willpower depletion. Exercising self-control is a great way to build willpower, but never giving yourself a break is a good way to lessen your resolve. In addition, you can use your imagination to keep unwanted thoughts at bay and thereby increase our willpower.

As you might expect, stress also greatly affects our willpower. When we are stressed, we tend to fall back on our bad habits like crutches. Bad habits also include unhealthy eating. We can reduce this tendency by training ourselves to respond to stressors with healthier choices, such as listening to calming music, visualizing or viewing calming scenes, or moderate exercise. The more often you do these things, the more likely that these healthy stress-relievers will save you when a major stressor comes along!

Health professionals suggest using mindfulness tools to reflect on eating choices and other health decisions. For example, if you reach for the ice cream at the end of the night, you might try questioning your objective. Is the ice cream acting as a substitute for something, like friendship, or to fill a dull moment? If that is the case, you can call a friend or do something fun to fill the void.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out this great article by the American Psychological Association. Stay tuned for more articles about how to maintain your determination and willpower!