Post-Thanksgiving Reflection

I have been trying to start on my homework for the past hour, and I cannot get myself to do it. The cold and rainy weather is making it hard to do anything but snuggle up on the couch and watch Lifetime movie network all afternoon. I decided to take a quick power nap but instead I found myself on the couch unable to turn my brain off. As I was lying there in silence, I had a chance to turn off the constant clutter of thoughts; that my friend is how I found myself here writing this post.

We often get so caught up in our daily grind of life that we forget to take a break and allow ourselves to breathe. This week my anxious mind has been running on high speed worrying about how much homework I have, how many people I have to see, when I can workout, bleh bleh bleh. SO many to-do lists were running through my mind. I never got the chance to think about what I am thankful for. I mean, that’s what this time of year is for right? Reflection? Self-awareness? Peace? I was exhausted from my constant flow of thoughts and allowing myself to slow down gave me the ability to be in conscious thought and reflect on what I am grateful for. So I decided to make a list of what stood out most to me:

1)    The United States of America.

It’s sad to see how fallen our world is. I could worry all day about what’s going on, but that wouldn’t change anything. Instead, I thank God for allowing me to live in a country that allows me to worship my God, gather with my family and go after my dreams. So many do not have the opportunities that we all take for granted. Education, health care, you name it, we most likely have it. God bless the USA!

2)    My family.

I never valued my family as much as I do now. They are strong, hard-working, selfless, humble, forgiving and most God-fearing bunch of people I know. I wish nothing more than to be like them one day!

3)    My health.

I haven’t been on top of my gym grind this semester, but I have appreciated my health and how delicate it is. I love the feeling of being strong and in shape. I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to and be the best person I can be when I am in shape. I see that it is easy to overlook our health when you’re young and I am so grateful God has given me the self-awareness and knowledge I need to be strong, healthy and happy!

4)    Lubbock

My journey at Texas Tech has taught me some valuable lessons about life. I am thankful for the friends I have met who have been there throughout all of the trials and tribulations. I am thankful for the way Lubbock has made me the young woman I am today! It’s a great day to be alive and a red raider! Wreck Em’.

5)    The necessities.

Running water, food in my belly, a roof over my head, functional car, shoes on my feet, rain/the sunshine, electricity, etc. There are so many overlooked blessings that add quality to daily living. I am so grateful for the little things that allow me to live a clean, sanitized and functional life.

There are so many other things that I am grateful for, but it would take days to write about them all! I encourage you to take a moment to reflect and write down what you are thankful for.

Xoxo

Alee


What my battle with depression has taught me.

When most people think about the average college student, they think of all-nighters, crazy-fun weekends, football tailgates and overall a young person living the hell out of life. For the most part, I guess that is true. For the average college student, you would not expect them to have any other struggles beyond passing a hard class or saving up for a cuisine not based off of Ramen and frozen chicken. I went to college with this idea, that life would be the greatest thing ever and that my dark and grueling battle with depression would just disappear. I was damn right proved wrong when the “Sophomore Slump” hit. Of course, the new has worn off and reality of life, slowed metabolism and financial responsibility sets in but for me the battle of depression came back with a vengeance.

I guess I could consider myself a depressed person? As far as I can remember, the dark cloud has passed by months at a time, letting the sunshine through for a bit then clouding up again. It saddens me that I have missed out on so many opportunities and pleasures that youth brings because I was trapped by my own mind.

It was not until this semester that I truly sat down with myself and looked at the situation for what it is. I guess I was ashamed of it but who wouldn’t be? It is not exactly the best or easiest conversation to have and when you are the type of person that sucks at expressing emotion.

I allowed myself to accept and acknowledge what was going on in my heart and mind and learned a few things in the process:

  • Depression is nothing to be ashamed of.

We constantly compare our lives to that of others and it is so easy to feel ashamed or embarrassed of these deep internal feelings. It can often lead us to doing things that do not bring us joy just to come off as normal to others. When in reality, you are not alone. There are many people around you that might be battling the same things but are just as scared to talk them out. It surprised me that when I came out about my battle to close friends, a few of them joined me with tears in their eyes acknowledging their own battle with depression.

  • You have to be honest about what makes you happy and what doesn’t.

This includes friends, classes/major and of course the activities you participate in. In college, it is quite hard to swim against the mainstream current and pressures of what everyone is doing. Trust me, I battle with this all the time. It’s easy to blame others when you feel as if you aren’t doing what makes you happy. If you enjoy working out, work out and do it unapologetically. If the drinking culture leaves you feeling unfulfilled, leave it and do it unapologetically.

In order to change the function of something, you must change the structure. This my friends is the honest truth, you are the only one that is responsible for your choices and actions, therefore you cannot blame anyone else for how those choices make you feel. Be honest with yourself about what brings joy, vitality and satisfaction to your life and surround yourself with it. It feels uncomfortable but the change is worth it.

  • Talk about it.

This is a big one that I really have to work on. I suck at talking about myself unless it’s something not relevant to my emotions. I guess the transparency invites vulnerability, which I do not like. I’ve learned that it is so important to throw out your ego and force yourself to be vulnerable and honest with yourself and others. This creates a humble heart and allows you to be at peace with your current situation so it is possible to move forward.

I am not saying to talk to just anyone about your inner demons but find someone you trust or if you are like me and need to work your way up to talking to someone get a journal and write. My journal has been such a safe place for me to acknowledge my feelings and it wasn’t until recently that I shared a few entries with my roommates. It was freeing but it took me to write it out before I was ballsy enough to talk about it.

  • Solitude and loneliness are completely different.

If you are suffering from depression, it is a pretty damn lonely place to be. I still sometimes have times when I feel lonely, but that is when I get out of my room and walk a few steps to my living room to join my roommates and the feelings of loneliness fade away. The hardest part of not feeling lonely is making the effort to not be lonely. It is a pretty hard move to make because you just want to be alone when you are depressed but putting yourself out there helps a lot.

Though, loneliness is an unwelcomed feeling that I actively try to overcome, solitude is a choice. Solitude is an important step in self-discover and growth. Sometimes you just need to be by yourself but when it starts to come out of a place of fear instead of love is when it’s easy to allow loneliness and depression to overwhelm you.

  • Running away won’t fix it.

This semester has been really hard on this old gal and battling with depression hasn’t made anything any easier. I haven’t been motivated in school, the gym and any social environments. I guess you would say it is a serious case of burn out. I’ve called my parents bawling, wanting to come home. I have filled out a few applications for transferring. I have thought about changing my major. The easy way out seemed like the best choice for me and I praise God my parents didn’t let me come home. Why? Running away would not have made my depression go away. Honestly, it probably would have made me feel guilty which would have made everything worse.

Everyone’s battle is different and their journey for treatment and recovery is so unique to themselves. I am not completely recovered but I feel confident on my road to healing. I pray for those reading this who suffer from depression. I pray you find healing and happiness. Whether it is keeping a journal, seeking therapy or doing your own thing, I pray that you will be successful.

Life is way too beautiful to not be living it.

Xoxo,

Alee


This took guts.

I have been in an extremely low place these past few months. This low place has been dark, lonely and miserable. I have fallen into old habits such as my relationship with food. I have isolated myself from my family and friends. I have put my relationship with God on the back burner.  Overall, I have been waking up every morning already frowning and feeling hopeless and miserable. It has been hard. Brutal is actually a better way to describe it.

Reaching out and asking for help has never come easy for me. After a few binge relapses, I turned to my Addictions professors for a reference to a counselor that specializes in eating disorders. I reached out to her and was put on the waiting list. My mindset then shifted to think that I was going to be unhappy until I could get an appointment with her. Realistically, it would take months before I got in but I continued to walk around with a dark cloud above my head.

This sadness hurt me. It hurt me to know that when I would give someone fitness/health advice, I would turn around and binge eat alone in my dorm. It broke me that I was slowly running away from anyone who has ever cared about me because I was too stubborn to be vulnerable and open up. It tore me up recognizing that I haven’t felt these emotions or participated in such disordered eating since I was in my early teen years. The shame and sadness was far too much. I would pray to God to help me find happiness in whatever it was. I prayed that he would deliver me from this dark place that was keeping me from living a happy and healthy life. A short time of peace would follow some of those prayers but slowly would be replace with an unhappiness that continued to plague my life.

I have nothing to be unhappy about. I live an extremely blessed life. One filled with health, loving friends and family, opportunity to get an education and all of the little things many go without. Being the control freak that I am, it hurt knowing that I did not know how to control these feelings and did not know how to get rid of them.

I considered transferring schools because maybe the reason for my unhappiness was my school. I considered dropping my sorority because maybe the responsibility and accountability was the reason for my unhappiness. I considered a lot of things but none seemed to validate why I was unhappy.

It was not until after a late night run that I had an epiphany. Actually, God was just really tugging at my heart to open up my Bedside Blessings book that I would read only when I remembered or felt like I needed some inspiration. I never read according the day but I just jump around and read a couple days worth and thats it. This time was different. This time God was present and in control. Everything I read was on point to EVERYTHING that I had been feeling. Take note, that I have read these pages before and they have never registered like they did at this moment.

I want to share some of the things he shared with me.

First page I read the featured verse was James 1:2-4, ” When the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow.” For many of you that know me and the previous adversities I have encountered, you could see how this would relate to my life. Sure, this would have given me hope and assurance that everything would work out. This time, God had a different meaning he wanted me to understand. Life is rough and seems unfair at times. It is SO much easier to sulk and throw a pity party than it is to toughen up, take the storm for what it is and wait for the rainbow at the end. I have been throwing a raging pity party for myself. It has gotten me nowhere but a few binge episodes and darker cloud above my head. I of all people should understand that when hard times strike, persevere. Seems like I forgot that lovely lesson I learned early in my life. Even though I have felt low, God wants me to persevere and be patient. This patience will follow with self love and kindness, two things I have forgotten about lately. Lastly, he reiterated that trials and tests come that will undoubtedly impact our patience and give it a chance to grow.  As patience develops, strong character is cultivated, moving us onward towards maturity. There is no shortcut. Trying to run away or hide from our problems keeps us from becoming the person we have always wanted to become.

As I continue reading, God slapped me on the forehead (picture “should have had a V8) and tugged at my heart. This whole time that I was questioning why I was unhappy and WHY I couldn’t come out of the funk, I wasn’t actually turning to God. I would say a prayer here and there, before I went to bed. I only turned to Him when it was convenient for me. HA. Proverbs 3:5-6 says it all. “Do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” I was putting all trust in myself and thats like trying to used broken crutches when you hurt your ankle. Obviously, broken crutches don’t have the same result that unbroken crutches do. In the end, you lean on crutches and use them as your strength. Similarly, I turned to worldly things such as food, materialistic items for comfort and strength.

Last two things He made sure to touch on were diligence and integrity. Pretty deep stuff. Though I have never felt like it, I am a natural born leader. It was apparent in sports, school, work and social life. These past few months have felt like i’ve been trying to run a marathon while being knee deep in molasses. Yeah, that has never really happened but I am sure you won’t run very fast or get very far. Proverbs 21:5 brings up diligence. “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage.” Diligence goes hand in hand with patience and turning to God for strength but it also highlights the leadership quality within myself. Leadership calls for the stretching of creativity. As a leader, I have found myself against a blank wall. It big, intimidating, tall and slick. I can’t push through it, climb over it, or see my way around it. But, I can get my innovative juices flowing and think about possible ways to get beyond the wall. This is when it gets exciting. My innovation and creativity pair up, determined to get around. I obviously know that I do not want to be trapped by this funk but I need to start getting creative to move past it!

Finally, I was reminded that every journey is accomplished one step at a time. Whether it be school, fitness or relationships; integrity is important. Integrity is what keeps our personal life pure and straight, regardless of the benefits and perks that come through compromise. Make no mistake, integrity is some tough stuff. Integrity doesn’t take the easy way, make the easy choices, or choose the smooth path. Integrity is what you are when there isn’t anyone around to check up on you. After all, “A good name is to be more desired than great wealth” Proverbs 22:1. I have been compromising my integrity to please others. It has made me unhappy, clearly. God reassured me that it is OKAY to not be scared to go after what makes me happy (health/fitness, career, etc). I plan to work on keeping an eye on my integrity while leaning on God for strength and support.

It took a lot of guts for me to post this. I have prayed for courage and just like God promises, he delivered. I hope my message has touched a few aching hearts out there.

Xoxo

Alee

#shnsr


Mr. Deep Dish, I WILL NOT BE YOUR VALENTINE

Let’s talk about the munchies… Pizza munchies… Yeah, you know what I am talking about. The greasy goodness in that slice of deep-dish 5-cheese pepperoni pizza that calls your name no matter what time of day it is. Yeah, it’s annoying and after you cave and eat it all you want is a large pair of elastic sweatpants and a nap. Splurging on this monstrosity of a food is okay every now and then. Unfortunately, I have this weird love for pizza and could eat it every meal of the day.

Yeah, it’s hard for me to say no to Mr. deep dish after he’s been flirting for a while… BUT I have found a solution to this madness, dorm room approved pizza. Yeah, you heard me. Pizza that’s not going to put you into a long hibernation but instead give you the goodness of sprouted grains, rich tomatoes, and cheese. Too good to be true? No way!

I love Ezekiel bread products. They are wonderful! The cool thing about these products is that they are made out of sprouted grains and not all of the refined bad new bears type of stuff.

You may ask, “What’s so good about sprouted grains?” Well, it’s your lucky day because I am going to tell you about all the wonderful benefits of eating sprouted grain products!

First off, as you may know, refined and processed grains have been stripped of a good majority of their nutrients as the bran and the germ are removed from the grain. This process may increase the shelf life of the product but also kicks essential vitamins, minerals and fiber to the curb.

After grains, seeds, and nuts have been germinated, their nutritional content changes. Typically, they are not cooked and still contain digestion-aiding enzymes and their original nutrients that would have been destroyed by cooking or processing. Sprouted grains not only promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut to keep the ole’ colon squeaky clean, but they also are packed with protective antioxidants.

When you eat a sprouted grain bread product, like Ezekiel bread, you are getting filling protein, vitamins, minerals and enzymes, and most importantly complex carbohydrates that are slowly digested and keep your blood sugar levels stable, keeping you feeling full and satisfied!

You see, the more processed something is, the faster the body digests it, leading to snacking or feeling famished soon after eating.

^^^ That is my dilemma with Mr. Deep Dish. Once I cave, I feel bloated, greasy, tired, and starving soon after I indulge. The recipe below is wonderful! Sprouted grains keep me feeling full and energized! This is my go to when Mr. Deep Dish is on his A game at 12 AM. Pssssh please

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^^ LOL ^^

Don’t Want None Of Mr. Deep Dish
(Aka. Dorm Room Approved Pizza ft. Paper Plate b/c I’m Fancy)

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1 Ezekiel English muffin

Organic Pizza Sauce

1 Babybel White Cheddar Cheese Round

Directions:

Split English muffin in half, spread pizza sauce and portion up the cheese rounds, and then  heat in the microwave. Pay attention and wait until the cheese is melted. Enjoy with refreshing lemon water!

Ps. Get creative and try to add some fresh veggies on your pizza!

Xoxo,

Alee

#shnsr



How To Avoid Mushy-Brain Syndrome

Whether you put in a couple hours a day or procrastinate and try to cram the day before an exam (I do not recommend), you know that college demands a lot of studying. Through my experience, mushy-brain syndrome (MBS) is a result of spending countless hours studying. You know you have become a victim of this when your eyes begin to cross, and you no longer are retaining any information. It sucks. I have discovered a few tricks that have helped me avoid and cure this condition, and I would like to share them with you.

#1: Get moving.

Every hour of studying, I do some pushups, sit-up, and squats. If I am feeling the effects of MBS, I hit the stairs a couple of times to get the blood pumping. My routine takes a maximum of 5-10 minutes and leaves me feeling energized and ready for another hour of studying. If you are in the library, go for a walk outside or find the stairs and run up a few times. Trust me, it works.

#2: Snack right.

It’s obviously clear that we need food to survive. Anxiety and stress from a test week always cause me to lose my appetite, but I force myself to eat nutritious snacks that will give me energy and help me think clearly. Carrots, nuts, and whole fruits are great to take to the library for quick energy. I love wrapping sliced avocado in Turkey with a smidge of mustard! Remember to be mindful of serving sizes, and the looks people give you when you’re crunching on carrots or apples in the lib. HA!

#3: H2-OH-HELL-YEAH

Stay. Hydrated. There is nothing worse than trying to avoid MBS when you’re dehydrated. Keep a bottle of water with you at ALL times, trust me your brain with thank you. Also, be careful and do not overdo it on the caffeine. I made this mistake last semester and let’s just say there were many all-nighters. Overdoing the caffeine can do the opposite of keeping you focused and getting essential sleep. SO, a word of advice would be to set a time in the afternoon when you cut yourself off of caffeine. If you need some pick-me-up-juice, opt for green tea sweetened with stevia.

#4: Sunlight.

My dorm room is where I prefer to study most of the time but if you like the library or coffee shop, this applies to you too. I always open my window during the day to let the natural light shine through, if not, my room turns into a dungeon that traps my soul. Natural light creates an energy that helps me study and keeps my thoughts clear. If you’re in a library, florescent lights kill. Get outside and get some rays. You will feel more awake and like a living being when you let yourself out to enjoy the natural light!

#5: Beauty Sleep.

All-nighters are NOT worth it. Let me repeat, they are NOT worth it. Your test results could severely suffer when you have been up for 48+ hours. Cut the caffeine, get a solid night sleep, wake up a few hours early and study, and then ace your test. I have found that sleep is extremely valuable. I mean, you could be up at 4 AM, cracked out on caffeine, and not retaining any information; or, you could sleep and be rested the next day without looking like a zombie? Yeah, not enough makeup covers up a night without sleep. Value sleep and don’t wait to cram.

Mushy-Brain Syndrome can be a real pain in the rear. Find what works for you and you will avoid it!

Xo

Alee

#shnsr


Work harder than you ever have before.

It has been a while since Girl on the Run has gotten any action. I do apologize but like many of you guys, life gets busy. Today was the first day of classes and let me just say R.I.P. to my social life. HA. Just kidding, I love being busy.

As the flood of emails from my professors came in this morning, the syllabuses and my Erin Condren Life Planner got a good workout. I was pretty overwhelmed and needed a killer sweat sesh to center my thoughts so that I could reflect on the goals that I have set for my studies, personal life and fitness/health journey this semester. The mental clarity that I got from my workout was so refreshing. I was high on happy endorphins and able to distinguish a plan to accomplish my goals and overall achieve everything that I have ever wanted.

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I do not know about you, but I am a list maker. Lists help hold me accountable to the things I NEED to get done before I go play. Plus, cute stationary is always a plus. I decided to jot down all of my goals I have for this semester and wrote out ways that I would accomplish them. I wanted to share a few with you and challenge you to sit down for twenty minutes to do the same.

1. Quit hitting the snooze button ten zillion times

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You know that you have a problem when you have to set 5 alarms to wake up. I admit that I have to set 6 and still end up waking up late. I cause myself to feel rushed and add unnecessary stress that I could avoid if I just woke up when my alarm first went off. I have noticed that when I get up to my first alarm, drink water ASAP, workout and have a yummy breakfast, I am more productive, energized and overall in a better mood. To save my roommates from the wrath of my annoying alarm, I challenge myself to not snooze my alarm anymore and just get my ass up.
~ Strategy~
• Get up no matter how inviting/warm my bed is.
• Drink water ASAP (this helps)
• Get in a workout… even if it’s only a quick HIIT or yoga… JUST DO IT
• Instead of complaining how early it is, be grateful for a brand new day and that you can go after whatever your little heart desires.

2. Stick to your schedule (zzz’s)
I have never struggled with sticking to my to-do lists, but I do suffer in the area of R&R. I tend to just go go go and forget to ummm sleep, which is SO bad for my health… and skin…. and brain…. So, unlike last semester when I was a nocturnal college kid, I challenge myself to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Not only will sleep keep me from looking like a flesh eating zombie… BUT… it will increase my overall brain cognition (Umm HELLO, good grades?), help snack less (summa bod), have more energy, look beautiful, protect my heart and help me live longer (http://www.youbeauty.com/sleep/health-benefits-of-sleep). The pros of sleep outweigh pulling all-nighters, which are detrimental to my health and sure as heck not as productive as studying during normal hours of the day.
~Strategy~
• Quit cracking out on caffeine in the afternoon
• Stick to a sleeping schedule
• Get off Pinterest an hour before I go to bed, dim the lights, drink some chamomile tea and chillax with a good book.

3. Keep kicking that booty

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Lost 18 pounds, successful in the classroom AND maintained a social life in the first semester of my college career. Let’s just say I have a lot to hold me accountable. My philosophy is work hard, play hard and everything in moderation. This semester I am taking on a lot! Fifteen hours of tough science goodness, holding an assistant position in my sorority, being an active member in multiple organizations, continuing my fitness and health journey and balancing a social life, blog and volunteer work. Seems like a lot but what else would I be doing? Nothing.
Someone who I hold close to my heart once told me that I can do anything for any amount of time with faith, love and hard work. I challenge myself to go above and beyond and reach my goals while kicking booty and taking some names.
~Strategy~
• Wake up and be grateful for all of my blessings and opportunities (It all starts with my attitude)
• Even when things get tough (school, fitness, personal life), work HARRRRDDD.
• Instead of complaining, find a solution. Complaining is easy and will leave me feeling unsatisfied. Instead, find a solution and reap the benefits of learning/achieving something new!


As I go after my dreams, I challenge you to do the same. Revisit the New Years resolutions and goals that you have made but never accomplished and GO AFTER THEM.

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Always remember…
• No dream is too big.
• Your hard work appreciated.
• Your focus lays out the course that you take towards your final destination.
• Surround yourself with those who encourage you to be the best YOU that you can be.

#shnsr

Xo Alee


Resolutions with Rebekah!

A dear friend of mine, Rebekah Montgomery, is taking over the blog today! She shares some wonderful advice on how to achieve and keep a healthy lifestyle. I hope you enjoy 🙂

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“Since it’s that time of year, let’s talk about resolutions! The most common resolutions made always revolve around making healthier food choices, getting more exercise, time spent with others/helping others, and bettering ones-self whether it be through having more R&R or sticking to a budget. I think it’s safe to say that we all have a true desire to live a good and healthy life. Every year we tell ourselves that we resolve to do so! We have all learned, however, that this takes work and it takes sacrifice, and sometimes one month into the year we find ourselves back in our rut making the same old choices and wishing it were just easier! (Why can’t cheeseburgers and chocolate be health foods?? Why can’t I lose a couple of pounds watching Netflix????? I’ll go to the gym tomorrow…) Something I have learned in life is that in order to produce any real outcomes, you must get to the root of the issue rather than just make some surface level changes. That being said, I challenge you to this year resolve to do more than “spend two hours in the gym each day” or “eat less sugar”. I think the best way we can achieve that healthy lifestyle that we crave is by first adopting a healthy outlook. Over the past several years, I have been continually learning and growing in the area of “self-health”. To me, self-health, is an all around appreciation and respect for myself-body, mind, and spirit. Too often we allow negativity and a sense of hopelessness convince us that we cannot achieve the things that we want. Beyond that, we sometimes believe that we cannot be fully happy until we achieve these things. And that is when and where and why we stop running towards the goals that we have set for ourselves. Working towards something that we want so badly can be frustrating and discouraging if we focus on how long it is taking or if we compare our journey to someone else’s. Something I have learned is that it is more than okay to have goals, but you MUST allow yourself to be happy with and in the process or those goals are truly counterproductive and demean the whole premise of health. It is the journey-the ups and downs, failures and victories-that really make the whole thing valuable and worth it in the end. Here are three new resolutions I propose to you this year that may help you achieve those goals once and for all:

Moderation: “I am not eating a single carb today” Well, good luck. If you want to eat cheese and canned tuna all day, by all means do your thing…but I’m willing to bet you will be a lot less miserable and less likely to binge later on if you just eat that bite of cake or piece of chocolate…and do it with a smile on your face, saying “HA! We’ll see about that” to the voice in your head that is ensuring you that those 50 extra calories will surely ruin all of your progress. They won’t. There are actually countless recipes for making healthy versions of your favorite desserts and junk-foods! I think there may actually be some on this blog 😉 (PANCAKES<3)

Comparison: “My hips are so much wider than hers” Unfortunately no amount of squats or cardio will change your bone structure. Comparing yourself to someone else is one of the most harmful and detrimental things we can do when it comes to our health. You are uniquely you and can never be someone else; it is impossible. Comparing yourself to someone will only lead to you giving up. If you want to compare something, keep a journal of your progress and read it every day.

No negative self-talk: “I look fat today” No, you don’t. I promise you didn’t gain twenty pounds overnight, and regardless you look stunning and beautiful because you ARE. Love who you are and own who you are, right now. Maybe you’ll be even hotter in a month when you start seeing some tone to your tush, but your future you is no better than your present you. Audrey Hepburn said it best, happy girls are the prettiest. Just be happy and keep striving!”

Well said, Rebekah, well said. I sure will be keeping all of this in mind as I fulfill my resolutions this year and I challenge you to do the same! Make this your best year EVER!

#shnsr

Xo

Rebekah & Alee


Busy, busy, busy

Whether you are traveling, busy mom or dad or an on the go all the time college student like myself, it is sometimes challenging to make healthy choices. Although it is easier to grab a coke and a snickers, picking a healthy snack will give you the nutrients and energy to efficiently carry out your tasks for the day and will help avoid any unnecessary stress from an unfinished to-do list. Today, I want to share with you some of my all time favorite snacks that I always have with me or in the fridge to avoid any unnecessary sugar cravings or afternoon crashes.

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Kind-Bars-Giveaway

Paleokrunch and Kind bars are my FAVORITE! These two are perfect to throw into your purse, gym bag, backpack or carry on. They are both low-glycemic, all-natural, gluten-free, full and fiber and DELICIOUS.

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Fresh fruit is also great to throw in your bag in the morning, such a great way to get energy and nutrients from an all-natural source. I like to eat my fruit early in my day and stick to lean proteins and lots of greens in the afternoon. I love oranges and apples. What are your favorites?

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Dried fruit is also pretty convenient but pay close attention to the serving size. Dried fruit has a lot more sugar than you think. Prunes are a fabulous and a great way to get extra fiber to keep you regular. These pre-portioned packages are awesome to throw in your bag before you head out the door.

QUICK TIP: When you add more fiber to your diet, increase your water intake! Without sufficient water, fiber does no good! Fiber absorbs water thus allowing waste products to move freely through the digestive tract, and thus preventing toxic waste from accumulating.

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What are your favorite on-the-go snacks?

#shnsr

Xo Alee


Excuse me, but do you gut a problem?

Today I want to focus on super food that has been used since the beginning of time, bone broth. Why has it been used since there has been fire? Why is eating chicken noodle soup recommended by professionals and our moms and grandmothers when we are fighting a serious cold?

1) Aids in digestion:
Gelatin in bone broth protects the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and enhances the absorption of nutrients.
2) Fights infections:
Remember when mom and grandma would make you chicken noodle soup when you were sick? Bone broth is high in anti-inflammatory amino acids glycine and proline.
3) Reduce pain and inflammation:
The glucosamine in this lovely brew stimulated the growth of collagen, repair damaged joints and reduces inflammation.
4) Gorgeous skin, hair and nails (OHYEAH):
Collagen and gelatin in bone broth promotes hair growth and keeps your nails strong!
5) Assists in bone formation, growth and repair:
Bone broth contains calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, which help our bones to grow and repair.
6) Promotes sleep and calms the mind:
Amino acid glycine can be very calming.
7) Saves you money
8) Super easy to make
9) Better than buying supplements

Let’s just say this is some good stuff.

I like to warm bone broth on the stove and add ¼ cup of fresh basil. Super yummy, easy on the tummy and perfect for the cold winter months.

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Gut- Healing Broth (by MBG):

– One organic whole chicken
– 8 c of water
– 4 -6 stalks of celery, finely chopped
– ½ white or yellow onion, finely chopped
– Three cloves garlic, finely chopped
– 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
– 1 inch ginger root, finely chopped
– ½ teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

Place all of the above ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low heat for 8 -10 hours.

I like to cook mine until the meat is falling away from the bones.

I make this just before bed and it’s ready and hot for breakfast.

You can store any excess broth in the freezer and defrost for a later time.

Stay warm!!

Xo Alee