Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why does accountability matter?

I am not sure I would get anything done without accountability.  I make things important when I feel like someone cares and it matters.

The first step is being honest with yourself.  I know I try harder when someone holds me accountable.  I own that, and I am okay with it.

Source: Pinterest

When I first got a personal trainer in 2006, I would show up because I didn't want to lose $50 for not showing up.  I had accountability.

I love to workout with friends because it gives me accountability.  I have a Signature membership at Sunstone Yoga here in Dallas.  It is amazing.   I can bring someone with me for free every time I go.  I think I have taken everyone I know at least once.  I am so much more likely to go if I know someone is waiting for me.

My favorite accountability partner is Nala.  If we don't go on a walk, she looks so sad.  I hate to disappoint her.  So we walk.  Even if I don't get a workout in, I know I will probably walk at least a mile.  At least I'm moving.

Sometimes when you walk, you even have to stop and smell the roses.  Like she did this morning.

If you find an accountability partner, you just might you find it easier to build a healthy habit.  Challenge a friend to workout with you or drink more water with you.

Have you ever found it difficult to get in a regular bible study routine?  I know I did.  I discovered Hello Mornings.

I love it!  Best thing I ever did to get in a bible study routine.  They provide a six week bible study, and there are daily check-ins on Facebook or Instagram. It is amazing how much more motivated I am to do my bible study in the morning just because I get to check-in with someone.

So if there is something you want to change in your life, I encourage you to consider finding an accountability partner. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Conquering those Cravings on the Drive Home

Have you ever had one of those days where you ate a great breakfast and packed a great lunch, but then caved on the way home? I know I have all too often.

Anyone who knows me well knows I am a complete other person when I get hungry.  I stop functioning.  It is all I can think about.  It shouldn't be that hard to wait 15 minutes to eat until I get home, but it is. It is near impossible.  When I am hungry, I cannot resist the drive through.  

I finally had to accept that the best thing I can do is pack a snack just to eat on the drive home.  This satisfies my hunger and keeps me from caving at the drive through.  It also saves me money!

Easy Snacks to Eat on the Drive Home

1. A piece of fruit

I like to pack a banana, a sliced-up apple, or a sliced up-peach.  I prefer to eat most of my fruit sliced up.  Some fruits are too messy to eat in the car, but apples and bananas are perfect.  My favorite is probably an apple because then I don't have to worry about what to do with the banana peel.


2. A granola bar or protein bar

These aren't necessarily all natural, but they are a great solution when you are starving and trying to avoid fried food.  There are so many varieties, you can find something you like.  My favorite bar is the Nugo Dark Chocolate Pretzel bar. 

3. Popcorn, pretzels, or crackers

Pack a sandwich or snack baggie with your favorite popcorn, pretzels, or crackers.  These are all easy to eat in the car and better for you than french fries. 

I actually usually buy healthier crackers than Club crackers, but I did buy some of these the other day because they are just so good. 

4. Sliced veggies

You could pack a snack baggies with some carrots, celery, or bell pepper slices.  This is a snack I usually eat at work more than I do in the car because I prefer to eat raw veggies on salad or have something to dip them in like hummus, ranch, or guacamole.  However, if I pack to popcorn or pretzels than I don't mind alternating a bite of carrots/celery with a bite of pretzels or popcorn. 

5. Crackers and peanut butter or almond butter

You could pre-make some cracker sandwiches with peanut butter, almond butter, or your favorite nut butter. I keep thinking I should do this more because I used to love the pre-packaged peanut butter cracker sandwiches from the vending machine as a kid. 

6. Cheese Slices

I usually try to cut back on dairy, but you could bring string cheese or cheese slices if you eat dairy.  This is great with crackers, veggies, or an apple. 

7. Turkey Jerky or Deli-meat

Trader Joe's has some fabulous Turkey Jerky.  It is a great snack for some extra protein.  You also could pack your favorite deli meat to eat with veggies, cheese, or crackers. 

What is your favorite snack to pack for the drive home?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Tips for How to Drink More Water

You always hear that you should drink more water.  Once you start drinking water regularly, it is easy. You body will crave water.

I don't think anyone will dispute water is good for you.  We all know it is good for you...vital to survival. The issue is wanting to drink other things more than water.  Here is an infographic I found listing some of the benefits of drinking water.

Source: Pinterest

Initially though, it can seem impossible.  I grew up on Dr. Pepper.  That was what I drank.  Period.  Later, it morphed to other sodas.  But I rarely drank much else.  When I graduated college,  I started working with a personal trainer.  She told me I had to drink 80 ounces of water a day.  At first, I thought I would die.

As I learned to drink water regularly, here are some tips I learned along the way.

1. Drink water at room temperature

The first tip she suggested to me that made it easier to drink more water was to drink water  at room temperature. When water is cold, you drink small sips.  When it is room temperature, it is easier to take in more at a time.  At first it may seem strange, but you quickly get used to it.

2. Set goals and deadlines throughout the day of when to have finished a certain amount of water

I also would set deadlines for myself.  I had to drink my first 32 ounces by mid-morning. Then, I would refill my water bottle and drink the second 32 ounces before I left work.  After that, I could drink the last 16 ounces in the evening.

3. Exercise

If you exercise some most days, you will find it easy to drink water. You will need to stay hydrated, and will easily drink down at least 20 ounces.

4. Add lemon slices or cucumber to your water

This is my favorite suggestion.  I just started doing this the last few months.  I drink so much water that sometimes I just want something other than water.  However, adding cucumber, lemon, and/or mint to my water makes it taste like something other than water.  It is so refreshing on a hot day, too and very detoxifying.

5. Infuse your water with fruit

If lemon and cucumber aren't your thing, you can find lots of recipes on Pinterest for other fruit infused waters.  The possibilities are endless.

Source: Pinterest

5. Make water bottles/cups ahead of time and keep them in the fridge ready to go

If you choose to make fruit infused water or lemon water ahead of time, I suggest making some cups ahead of time and put them in the fridge.  Then, you can just grab one and you are ready to go.

5. Add a drop of lemon oil to your water bottle

If you like lemon water but are short on time or out of lemons, you can add a drop of lemon oil to your water bottle.  I like water with lemon slices over ice, but I like adding a drop of lemon oil to my water bottle I carry with me throughout the day.  Lemon oil is a nice addition to your room temperature water bottle and still very detoxifying.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Knockoff Starbucks Passion Shaken Iced Tea Lemonade (Made Healthy)

People always said when I got to college I would learn to love coffee.

I made it through an undergraduate degree and I never liked coffee.

I made it through my Masters and I never liked coffee.

I am working on my PhD and I still don't like coffee.

I do LOVE tea though.  Tea is happy. I love hot tea and iced tea.  I love green tea, herbal tea, black tea, and sweet tea.

When I was 12, I got to go spend about two weeks with my grandparents in West Virginia for the summer. In the evenings, Grandmommy would make a cup of hot tea and we would work on a puzzle. At the time, I had to have milk and sweetener to like black tea.  Tea represents simple pleasures and stolen moments of bliss.

Now, I love a cup (or giant mug) of black tea.

But sometimes it is hot outside...like 100 degrees in Texas.  I spend a lot of time at Starbucks.  I am a graduate student.  Sometimes I can't study at home.  It is just too quiet.  So I go to Starbucks so it is loud and I have something to tune out. I love to get a Starbucks Shaken Passion Iced Tea Lemonade.  It is so refreshing.  I like it sweetened or unsweetened.

Source: Pinterest

The thing is it is Starbucks, so it is expensive. I decided to make my own version of this refreshing goodness at home.

Hence, we have:

 Knockoff Passion Shaken Iced Tea Lemonade

Just brew a kettle of hot water. Use 2 tea bags and let steep. Add to a pitcher.  Add some more water to the pitcher.  Let it cool in the fridge.  Then add lemon slices.  It is tasty as it, but you can add some stevia to sweeten it.

Make up some travel cups ahead of time and grab it on the go before you leave the house.