Fit Friday: 30 Ways to Incorporate Self-Care into Your Life

If there is one thing I have learned over the last couple of years in this fit journey, and most definitely since returning to work after 17 years as a stay-at-home-mom: women, especially mommas, put a whole lot on their plates.

The amount of pressure we place on ourselves is truly more than anyone should deal with.  No matter what Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram portrays, life is not perfect.  Not one of us is a perfect wife, employee, mom or grandmother.  We all like to hide behind a facade, because that’s what is acceptable, but that facade eventually will fall, leaving behind a generation (or two) of exhausted ladies who no longer want to care for their homes, marriages, or themselves!

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Self-care is so important in the society we live in today.  We are all guilty of people-pleasing, comparison, and striving for perfection in a world where perfection doesn’t exist.  As a result anxiety, depression, drug-abuse, alcoholism, and walking out on families are growing problems among women.  If we don’t pause to take care of ourselves, who is going to take care of our family when we break?! Continue reading

Fit Friday: Healthy Travel

While in Hawaii for our anniversary, Audley and I made it a point to stay on a fairly healthy track.  It’s funny, but I often find it easier to stay focused while traveling than when I am a home and work.  This isn’t to say we didn’t indulge while in Hawaii (I had a couple of amazing desserts), but I did lose three pounds during the week just because we chose activities to fit our healthy lifestyle.

So how do you manage to stay fit and on target while traveling?

First, chose locations/activities that fit your lifestyle, not work against it.  I enjoy relaxing on the beach more than anyone, but why waste away 8 days of vacation laying on the beach or beside a pool?!  There is a whole world to see and enjoy…. check it out!

Which way do we go?

Which way do we go?

Second, prepare for obstacles.  We knew before going breakfast at the hotel was expensive ($40 breakfast buffet…. no thank you).

Local fresh fruit makes a fabulous choice for breakfast!

Local fresh fruit makes a fabulous choice for breakfast!

We did enjoy a large breakfast one morning, but for the most part fresh fruit and protein bars served a loyal meal for us.  I prefer Quest Bars when using protein bars in my nutrition plan.  These were convenient, easy to travel with by plane and great to have on hand for the morning as well as when we were out during the day.  We packed an insulated cooler bag (carried it over in my suitcase) that was easy to stock with apple, oranges, & natural peanut butter for snacking.

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I LOVE this fabulous insulated cooler bag that I ordered from Miss Lucy’s Monograms just for this trip! It fit perfectly in my suitcase for flying and served as a wonderful tote for healthy snacks whether we were at the pool, traveling in the car or hiking. You can order one as well from Miss Lucy’s Monograms. They have fabulous options!

Third….. HYDRATE!  I know water is expensive when you have to purchase it at a hotel or from a convenience store.  One of our first stops when we rented our car was at a grocery store.  There we purchased a bag of ice, a foam cooler and a case of water.  We were set for a couple of days and it saved a lot of money.

Fourth, don’t indulge every day.  I knew staying the Doubletree Hotel on Oahu meant fresh & warm chocolate chip cookies waiting on us when we arrived.  I saved a little cheat for them.  We also chose a fabulous chocolate mousse for our anniversary dessert and on another night had a lovely banana spilt.  BUT, it wasn’t everyday and knowing dessert was on our agenda I ate a healthy dinner and splurged at the end.  Also, Audley and I spilt every dessert.  Sharing allows you to enjoy a taste without completely overdoing it.  Just know, it’s perfectly alright to skip dessert.

Fifth, skip the bread basket.  I know, we all love piping hot bread spread with creamy butter, but seriously ask the waitperson not to bring it to the table.  There are far better choice that won’t affect your waistline to nosh on prior to supper.  Try ordering a shrimp cocktail, hummus and veggies, or even a crisp, green salad with vinegar & olive oil for dressing.

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A light appetizer Audley and I split before supper; he claimed the oysters, I enjoyed and fresh pacific shrimp and we shared the Limu Poke (ahi tuna and avocado)

Sixth, incorporate fit activities into your schedule.  We hiked at Volcanos National Park as well as Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park on the Big Island.

Hiking

Hiking Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park …. It was so hot this day, but the hike took us past gorgeous ocean views and seeing my first sea turtle up close.

Hiking at Volcano's National Park ....

Hiking at Volcano’s National Park …. Seeing such huge waves crash against the cliffs was unforgettable

On Oahu we did a little more sightseeing in touristy areas like the Arizona Memorial, Punchbowl cemetery and the Polynesian Cultural Center, but we walked a lot on those days and definitely ate lighter meals.

Make you own itinerary.... riding a bus all day does nothing for you whereas walking the Punchbowl you can soak it all in. Very powerful and heart wrenching, but worth your time.

Make you own itinerary…. riding a bus all day does nothing for you whereas walking the Punchbowl you can soak it all in. Very powerful and heart wrenching, but worth your time.

 We did swim a couple of times, but saved most of these laps for the evenings. The night swims in the pool were especially wonderful after supper and kept our bellies from feeling so full at bedtime.

And finally, don’t be afraid to walk!  The Hilton resort had a tram and boat for transportation around the area, but only used it when the occasion called for it (I wasn’t walking over a mile to supper in a pair of heels!).  Besides, if we had ridden the tram all week, we would have missed out on some lovely art and history lessons (and entertainment from Audley) scattered throughout the resort halls.  We averaged 6-7 miles everyday walking, not counting some of our hiking…… perfect for not gaining weight while on vacation!

Oh the things we would've missed if we had ridden the tram everywhere!

Oh the things we would’ve missed if we had ridden the tram everywhere!

Take advantage of every fit opportunity you have and make your next vacation one of the healthiest you’ve ever enjoyed!

FitFriday

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Fit Friday: “Fried” Green Tomatoes

It’s summer in the south which for me means it’s time for fresh produce from the farmers market and my mother’s garden.

 It’s not a complete and full summer without the deliciousness of Fried Green Tomatoes, so I’ve had to improvise to fit this lifestyle we do our best to stay focused on.

Giving up fried green tomatoes was torture the first two summers, but this year I said no more.  After looking through my cabinet I came up with a possible solution that turned out to be a big hit, especially among the two men in my house.

The best thing about these “fried” green tomatoes is that it only requires four ingredients and was table ready in 15 minutes.

So, here is my healthy version of fried green tomatoes.

Fried Geen Tomatoes

Ingredients:

Unseasoned Panko

2-3 teaspoons Texas Pete Hot sauce (optional, but really good!)

3 eggs

2-3 fresh green tomatoes, thinly sliced

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Pulling it all together:

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and hot sauce. Dip the sliced tomatoes in the egg mixture, then coat in Panko crumbs.  I like to dip my tomatoes a second time in the egg and panic, just to make sure they are coated thoroughly.

Place on a broiler pan that you have sprayed with Olive Oil spray, then bake at 425 degrees for 5-6 minutes, until the crust on the tomatoes in golden and crispy.

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Serve up to your hungry bunch and they’ll be gone in a heartbeat.

The best part of all?

No guilt.

Crispy "Fried" green tomatoes

Crispy “Fried” green tomatoes

Have a fabulously fit weekend!

FitFriday

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Fit Friday: Quinoa Salad for Hot Summer Days

I don’t know about you, but when the temperatures rise to 100 degrees I want to do as little cooking as I can get away with.  We want our meals filling, but as light as possible.  There is no worse feeling than to feel stuffed and bloated while winding down your day in the heat.

Skipping meals isn’t an option, so cold salads have become our summer staple.  One of my favorites is definitely light and filling, easy to prep and makes an easy solution to eating on the run as well.

Quinoa salad has become my “go-to” meal for these dog days of summer.  Prepped early in the day (or night before), then left in the refrigerator for the flavors to mesh, it is the perfect meal or side dish!

I’m sharing two of my favorite salads for Fitness Friday today.

To make these cool summer sides or meals I took a 14 ounce bag of quinoa and prepared all of it according to package directions, except I replaced the water with unsalted chicken broth for added flavor, then divided for the two recipes.  Be very careful not to undercook your quinoa as it’s a whole lot like eating pebbles, or to over cook the grain and have a pan of mush on your hands.  I’ll be honest, I have done both and it will totally kill your salad dreams.

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Cooked Quinoa

Cooked Quinoa

After the quinoa was fully cooked, I divided it into two large bowls to make my salads.

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One of the easiest and tastiest quinoa salads to make is my Southwestern flavored quinoa.

INGREDIENTS:

7  ounces of Quinoa, cooked

1/2 bag Organic frozen corn

1 15 ounce can of no-salt added black beans, drained and rinsed

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Medium red onion, chopped

Green Bell Pepper, diced

English Cucumber, diced

2 Roma Tomatoes, chopped

Juice of two large lemons

1 tablespoon olive oil

Fresh cilantro

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Combine the vegetables with the quinoa and squeeze the lemon juice over the top.  Drizzle your olive oil and then mix well.  Taste to decide whether you need more lemon juice.  Add the cilantro, cover and let sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight for the flavors to mesh.

MangoShrimpQuinoa

My other favorite quinoa salad dish is Mango & Shrimp.  I really love this one, especially after it has had time for the flavors to really come together!

INGREDIENTS:

7 ounces quinoa, cooked

1/2 pound grilled shrimp, peeled, deveined and halved

1 mango, peeled, sliced & chunked

1 large jalapeño, seeded and diced

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

1 medium red onion, chopped

3 limes, juiced

1 tablespoon olive oil

cilantro

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Combine the quinoa with the shrimp, mango, pepper, tomato, and onion.  Add the lime juice and olive oil and mix thoroughly.  Then toss in the cilantro.  Taste to make sure you like the strength of the lime juice.  In the summer limes are often smaller and less juicy than the fall, so you may want to add a bit more juice.

Cover and let sit in the refrigerator a couple of hours (overnight is much better!).

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Just a little side note; if you are wanting a salty juicy dish, this IS NOT one for you.  I love these two dishes because they showcase fresh flavors without artificial flavor and toxins getting in the way.  

Skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do to your body when you are striving to live an active and fit life, and especially if you are trying to lose weight and gain muscle!  Take advantage of these fresh dishes that can be enjoyed right from the refrigerator for a lighter meal as they both contain your carb and protein servings.

You can’t beat that simplicity!

FitFriday

Have a Fabulous & Fit Weekend!!

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