Mindful Monday's

Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training.

Mindfulness is a trend that has been sweeping the western world for a couple of years now. Everyone is realizing that it is just as important, if not more, than maintaining your physique. Thanks to Sprouts , I traded in an after work happy hour for a Mindful Happy Hour on the rooftop of the Alexan Luxury Apartment Homes located in Dallas, Texas with my favorite fitness friends that just so happen to be my Dallas Fitness Ambassador Babes.

We were greeted with a healthy spread courtesy of Sprouts filled with a ton of my go-to lunch box snacks for Peyton! My favorite part about shopping at Sprouts is the in-store nuts, trail mixes, and spice bins. I have never been to a location that doesn’t have them and it is usually where I stock up on our granola, green bean chips, and whatever else Peyton is inclined to try for the week. Fruit and vegetable trays, cheese spreads and crackers paired perfectly with my new favorite adult beverage, jalapeno margaritas, made possible by Dulce Vida. I am not a huge drinker anymore but this drink was AMAZING and so smooth that I had to indulge.

After catching up with the other boss babes we unplugged (like literally, we were instructed to put up our phones and everything, definitely a no-no for a room full of bloggers) and took in some guided meditation from Ana Jones. Now, meditation is tricky because sometimes it is really hard to zone out and connect. Maybe it was the jalapeno margs or maybe it was the awesomeness that is Ana but I achieved a level of zen that I can honestly say I have never experienced before. In all transparency I have had a rough couple of months on a personal level and this was just the escape I needed. I am literally counting down the days till summer break so I can schedule a class to experience Ana again!

To top that off I immediately took in a chair massage from Spa Kneads which was like a little piece of heaven! I love the mobile massage concept and will definitely be giving them a call for girls night in. BP (Before Peyton and child related expenses) I used to have a Massage Envy membership and what I can definitely guarantee you is that this experience superseded anything i had experienced before. Knowing that you can book services at your home, work, or as a gift to someone else is a really cool concept.

Restore Simply presented chai spice tea blends and educated myself and the other ambassadors on the different wellness teas they offered and their simple and modern approach to ancient healing science using different blends, it was such an experience. The entire evening was really geared toward teaching us how to take care of ourselves for ourselves. Instead of introducing a whole bunch of products that would make us seem more “fit” we were equipped with tools, knowledge, and resources to really Live YOUR Fit, and you guys know how I feel about that. I also made my own personally curated body scrubs and body mist using Aura Cacia essential oils, which is an affordable essential oil brand that finds it’s way into our home rotation quite frequently due to the great quality, and price. Sprouts carries this brand as well as others. Don’t know where to start when it comes to essential oils? Well, when you go to any Sprouts I can guarantee you will be greeted by a team member that can guide you through the basics and help you determine what oils are right for you. How cool is that?!

So, what do you guys think about a mindful happy hour? Is this something you would be down for? Trade in a noisy lounge or restaurant for a peaceful date with the outdoors and friends?!

All Images: Dallas Fitness Ambassadors

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Life On The Go: Mind, Body, and Family Balance

All Images Juan Carlos Puebla for FitXBrit

All Images Juan Carlos Puebla for FitXBrit

At the beginning of the year when everyone was picking their word that would help represent what they were pouring into the new year I jumped on the bandwagon. The first one being “intention,” meaning that I no longer wanted to just do things just to be doing them. There needed to be a plan, a purpose, and end goal, with every move that I made. My second word was “balance.” I chose balance because I have an addictive personality and tend to put all of my focus on one thing at a time, no longer was that OK. I realized in order to achieve the stability that I continuously crave in my life that it would require me to evenly distribute my time and efforts towards the things that I hold close to my heart: my family time, finding my own personal peace, and maintaining a lifestyle rich with healthy choices minus the dread.

Balance does not mean completely filling your day with every activity possible, while ensuring that they serve all of the vital areas of your life. What it does mean is that you examine your priorities, decide what is most important to focus on for that day, then set boundaries as it relates to everything else. As the saying goes, "do not bite off more than you can chew."

To achieve this it has required a little bit of cross promotion. Things like going for hikes at our “secret place” allows me to tackle all three priorities, but more than anything it has forced me to get organized and plan ahead. I have to take time at the beginning of each day to to assess what needs to be done. This consists of me making a list of the things I want to accomplish and the resources I may need to get things done. Outdoor time is great in that it allows me to be physical, enjoy time with my mini Peyton, and relax my mind. Connecting in all three of these areas definitely helps me to recharge which makes me more efficient throughout the week.

However, the reality still remains that with a toddler you have to expect the unexpected which goes back to the whole stay prepared and have a plan thing I touched on earlier. Keeping my car stocked with healthy snack options, Peyton's Nuby 360 Wonder Cup-3D Grip (coming this May to Babies R Us), change of clothes, books, toys, and my new obsession Shower Pills has really saved me.

You never know when you may have to transition from an outdoor activity to an impromptu “play date,” or last-minute catch up dinner with a friend. The Shower Pill is so clutch for these circumstances.

What is Shower Pill? It is an anti-bacterial wipe for your whole body that leaves you feeling refreshed and “unsweaty.”

-Extra thick like a washcloth

-Kills 99.99% of germs including Staph

-Aloe Vera & Vitamin E

-Quick dry solution, no sticky residue

-Light fresh scent

-Hypoallergenic & Gentle on Sensitive Skin

-Paraben & Alcohol FREE

From 5/1 to 6/15/17, you guys will receive 20% off your ShowerPill orders with code BRITTANY.


What are some of your “must-have” items for a busy life on the go? How do you achieve balance in your day to day life?

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5 Foods To Boost Your Immune System

About a month ago I got really sick! Turns out, I had strep throat for the second time this year and it was no better than my first go-round. I am going to have a moment of transparency here. Being a single-mother is hard guys. I have lucked up in so many other scenarios with my parents really stepping up and taking Peyton when I get super sick so that she doesn’t get it but, last week my mom was on a cruise and I was watching her pup so, it was just me, my terrific two-year old, and two rambunctious dogs. But, guess what? I handled it and it was actually a good experience because it allowed me to get to the point where I stopped putting limitations on myself and my creator (more on that another day).

Because I definitely see food as medicine and know that there are specific foods that we need to incorporate into our diets to boost our immune system, I sought the advice of Sara Siskind, Certified Nutritional Health Counselor and founder of Hands on Healthy.  Sara has come up with 5 of her favorite immune boosting foods you can add into your diet to help you feel your best!

Eat colorful fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals.  Reach for red and pink grapefruits, oranges, kiwis, and berries. Choose cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. These fruits and veggies are not only loaded with essential vitamins and phytonutrients, but they are also rich in antioxidants which give your immune system a boot and help build up your digestive track.

Add in pistachios as a heart healthy, protein rich snack. Pistachios are also rich in antioxidants and the heart healthy fats to help your body absorb vitamin E.  Vitamin E is needed by the immune system to fight off invading bacteria. Pistachios are also rich in vitamin B6 which also helps prevent infection and create healthy red blood cells your body needs. Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites are an easy way to eat pistachios on the go or simply adding to your lunch bag.   

 Look for omega 3 fatty acids and selenium which are found in shellfish, salmon, mackerel, and herring.  These foods help white blood cells produce a protein which helps clear flu viruses out of the body. Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in the body by clearing the lungs pathways. This can help protect from colds and respiratory infections.

Make yogurt your go-to breakfast or snack. Yogurt contains probiotics; “healthy bacteria” that your body needs to keep your immune system strong and keeps your digestive free of disease causing germs.  Yogurt is also filled with protein that keeps your body energized and strong.

Image Akhil Chandran

Image Akhil Chandran

Spice up your food with turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon.  These spices are especially known to contain antioxidants that help to protect your cells and keep inflammation in the body down.  I add turmeric to soups, eggs, rice, and poultry. Fresh grated ginger brings warmth to any beverage. Cinnamon can be sprinkled on oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, and easily added to anything you bake.


I truly believe that by adding these foods into my diet, I can aid myself in warding off yucky germs. What do you think? What are some foods that you use as medicine?

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Let Fear Be Your Teacher

We all have fear. It’s a driving force behind many of our actions, and non-actions. When we can learn to utilize fear as a tool, we can experience great fulfillment and peace in our lives. In particular, we can feel empowered and not cower to the very things we want to accomplish such as positive relationships, self-confidence and at large, living our purpose.

To learn from fear, we have to first identify the root issue – the underlying symptom or experience that is hiding behind fear. Most all anxiety is a result of unresolved emotions.  Understanding the limitations of the mind helps us transform negative thought patterns into positive, transformative healing. Here’s the 3 step process:

Realize You Are Not Your Mind

Your mind is here to do important functions. To think. To analyze. To rationalize. It will also give warnings of pain, danger or concerns. Fears of the mind are signals that something is out of balance inside (or outside if we are in actual danger!). We heed the warning and recognize that although this moment feels scary in our mind, we need to address the real issues at hand, which is often deeper than we want to admit. You are much bigger than your mind. The emotional, spiritual and physical bodies are equally part of your experience, with each having a mind of sorts and it is these areas where we need to give more attention. The mind will always alert you of danger and warn you of pain, but it also can be deceptive and create false illusions from the limitations of its thinking.

Feel, Don’t Think

One of the quickest ways to get into healing from mental stress or fear is to bring your awareness to your emotions. When making decisions or any time your mind is reeling, simply ask yourself “What do I feel?” We often forget to check into our gut and emotions as we depend so much on our rational mind to make decisions. When the mind signals “danger!” or fear, know that your mind is often reacting out of limitations or false illusions to the world, or that there is certainly something inside that is out of balance or integrity. Perhaps fear rears its head when you start a new job. That’s likely self-worth issues from old shame speaking. Knowing that fear shouldn’t stop you, you have the opportunity to go deeper into your awareness and pay attention to the real emotion in need of attention.

Be Present

Once you are aware of your feelings, the best thing to do is be present with them. Practicing meditation or simple acts of conscious mindfulness can bring a stressful or scary situation down to a manageable one that may not be nearly as threatening as the mind was suggests. Getting control of the mind and being willing to accept your emotions allows you to be present to life, not distracted and worried but plugged into your authentic experience. This is when you experience freedom to feel, act and make choices for yourself that are positive and healing.



Leah Guy is author of the new book The Fearless Path: A Radical Awakening to Emotional Healing and Inner Peace. She is also a transpersonal healer, survivor and media personality. For more info visit www.LeahGuy.com/book

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It's Deeper Than Dieting

The 4 Building Blocks of Functional Nutrition

Functional Nutrition is the basic philosophy that the human body is designed with the ability to regulate, repair and defend itself when given natural whole food nutrition.  

The 4 Building Blocks of Functional Nutrition health model helps you understand the basic nutrient needs of your physical body. The building blocks are four specific nutrient groups that each offer essential, specific benefits for your body's cells and systems.  

Each building block ties into and supports the others, working together to support the cellular foundation of your life. This strong cellular foundation provides the benefits we experience as energy, vitality and radiant health.

BUILDING BLOCK 1: SUPERFOODS

A superfood is a whole food which acts as a powerhouse of concentrated nutrients, offering a lot of micronutrients for comparatively few calories.

As most Western diets lack micronutrients, adding superfoods to your diet is extremely beneficial. A great superfood will contain micronutrients such as minerals, vitamins and amino acids. Try these easy upgrades:

• Sprouted and organic multigrain breads and cereals. These are preferable to processed white or wheat.

• Organic nut butter. Try almond butter on your toast instead of any type of margarine spread.

• Organic rice, nut or grain milk.  Pasteurized dairy is not digestible and soy is hard to digest.


• Locally grown produce. You may even find local organically raised meats.  Local farmers and your body will thank you!

BUILDING BLOCK 2: DIGESTIVE NUTRIENTS

Digestive nutrients help your body to correctly break down foods into usable elements. This means that food is more effectively absorbed into your blood, where it becomes the fuel for all the cells in our body. Friendly bacteria and food enzymes help to efficiently and completely turn food into energy for life.

Most traditional cultures around the world have fermented or cultured foods that provide powerful health benefits, including immune function support and optimized digestion.  However, in industrialized nations, most fermented foods are heated, sterilized and processed or pasteurized and offer zero digestive benefits. Some simple changes to ensure better digestive nutrients include:

• Lots of fresh raw vegetables and fruits.  If fresh enough, they are filled with natural food enzymes.

• Add organic, non-GMO miso to your meals.  This is a healthful fermented soy paste you can use to flavor salad dressings and other dishes. Be sure not to over-heat or you will destroy the beneficial bacteria and enzymes.

• Eat live culture fermented foods. Kombucha, live-culture yogurt and raw sauerkraut are examples you might find locally made.

• Get a good water filter for drinking and cooking.  This helps preserve the good bacteria in your gut.

BUILDING BLOCK 3: ANTIOXIDANTS  

Antioxidants are molecules that safely neutralize free radicals and help protect your cells from premature aging due to the wear and tear of metabolism and daily life. Because of pollution, toxins and stress, we have a greater need today than ever before for antioxidant nutrition.

When your body is low on antioxidant protection, your immune system spends tremendous energy in assessing cellular damage, trying to repair damage or in removing damaged cells.  At this point, the damage begins to cause chronic inflammatory diseases in one area or another.

  • Eat at least five servings of fresh fruits and colored vegetables daily. The old adage, ‘An apple a day’ was right!  Just add in blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes, carrots…any food with natural color.
  • Find time to play!  We all need time to relax…and not in front of the TV!

  • Find and use a whole food based antioxidant supplement daily.

Not all supplements are created equal.  Use only natural whole food complexes, enzymes, and extracts.

BUILDING BLOCK 4: REGENERATIVE NUTRITION

Regenerative nutrients are foods scientifically proven to enhance and support healthy genetic expression and adult stem cell production. Your environment, lifestyle and dietary choices interact with your genes and can in fact, help you have the strongest genetics possible.

With the right nutrients, and depending on your age, your body will produce adult stem cells to replace older or dying cells, keeping your body in a state of vital health. Some lifestyle and food options to consider when thinking of regenerative nutrition include:

REMOVE these habits and foods:

  • Smoking

  • Excess alcohol (more than two drinks a day)

  • Processed meats

  • Baked, processed carbohydrates

  • Hydrogenated or trans fats

ADD in these habits and foods:

  • Exercise

  • Adequate sleep

  • Nutrient dense foods which are low in calories, i.e., superfoods.

  • Fiber rich foods

  • Antioxidant rich foods

  • Omega-3 fatty acids found in foods such as cold-water fish, nuts and seeds

The 4 Building Blocks enlighten you about foods that are essential for good health.  With this information, you are empowered to make the best food and supplement choices for your desired outcome.

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Author Bio:For nearly 20 years, Barbara Swanson has researched functional nutrition and how it affects the body. Swanson has taken her findings across the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom, teaching and lecturing her field of study for over a decade. Today, she works out of Ashland, Oregon where she is the owner of a nutritional marketing and consultant company. She has recently published her nutritional handbook Beyond Foods. You can find more information on Swanson and her book at www.thefunctionalnutritionhandbook.com.

 

How to Change Your Environment to Improve Your Health

The number of serious and chronic health issues facing children, individuals, and families continues to increase year after year. Some of these health concerns include an increase in diabetes, cancer, heart disease related diagnosis, mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, digestive disorders, obesity, and asthma, These health concerns affect not only our physical health, but just as importantly, our emotional and spiritual health. Important steps to better daily health includes advocacy, education, empowerment, and action. Taking control of your health is one of the greatest gift you can give yourself. By creating a healthy environment, you are creating the opportunity for overall wellness on many different levels.

Tips For Creating A Healthy Environment

  • What concerns do you have about your health or what goals have you set for yourself in terms of overall wellness? Keep a journal and make this a priority in your life. If you suffer from a medical condition, get your medical records and become your own advocate.
  • Look at the food you eat daily. Most people consume the Standard American Diet (SAD) that is composed of chemicals, preservatives, added sugar, “white” flour, unhealthy oils, GMOs, pesticide and antibiotic residue, artificial coloring and flavors, and more. The SAD is typically void of the proper nutrients our bodies require to sustain maximum health. Can you begin to make small changes each week to transition to a Green, Living, and Alkalizing Diet (GLAD)? Including whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, pasture raised meats, wild caught seafood, and healthier oils in your daily diet is important. Read labels and know where your food comes from. This also includes your beauty products and cleaning supplies. For example, the average women is exposed to 168 chemicals daily from her beauty products and most of these have never been tested for human safety.
  • Get the proper amount of sleep each night:

    School age children (6-13 yrs.) 9-11 hours per day

    Teenagers: (14-17 yrs.) 8-10 hours per day

    Younger adults: (18-25 yrs.) 7- 9 hours per day

    Adults: (26-64 yrs.) 7-9 hours per day

    Older adults: (65+) 7-8 hours per day

Image Nomao Saeki

Image Nomao Saeki

Due to stress and increased daily demands, we are living in the sympathetic nervous system or the fight, flight, or freeze mode. In this state, our body is constantly releasing hormones to compensate. The parasympathetic nervous system, or rest and digest, is where we want to reside. Sleep is a very important process that assists our body in recovery and rejuvenation from the inside out.

  • Proper hydration is important. Drinking adequate water daily is essential for normal bodily function. Water intake can also include incorporating juicing, smoothies, teas, broths, and soups.
  • Get the body moving! Exercise is important for the lymphatic system and removal of toxins from the body. Develop a daily routine of getting some form of exercise.
  • Mediation/prayer is a great way to center and balance yourself in this fast- paced and stressful world.

So what role does your environment play on your health? Which of these tips do you plan on incorporating into your daily routine?

From Elizabeth DeRosa of Finding The Way Integrative Nutrition Health Coach & Author

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Tips to Help You Navigate the Grocery Store

Trying to choose healthy foods while navigating the grocery store can be confusing and overwhelming. Here are my top 10 tips for a successful trip. Eating healthier “whole” foods increases your intake of necessary vitamins, minerals, and other disease-fighting antioxidants.

  1. Shop in the outer perimeter of the store. This is where you will find the fresh and perishable food choices.
  2. Read labels and know where your food comes from. Watch out for sneaky ingredients and beware of fortified foods. The shorter the ingredient list the better.
  3. Reduce packaged and processed foods that contain added sugars and many synthetic chemicals. Avoid the center aisles of the store.
  4. Download the Environmental Group's phone App that highlights the yearly list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen produce to buy and stay away from.
  5. Try one or two new veggies a week.
  6. Purchase organic and/or pastured raised meats.
  7. Purchase wild caught fish instead of farm raised fish.
  8. Reduce products that contain “white” flour (breads, cereals, pastas, bagels, etc.)
  9. Increase the purchasing of healthier foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and healthy oils.
  10. Be suspicious of the labeling of food as “natural”. You often see this label on many food items. There is no legal regulation or oversight for companies to mislead consumers.
  11. Purchase organic milk which is free from synthetic hormones, antibiotic residue, a grain-fed diet, and overall more humane treatment of the animal. Organic milk is lower in Omega 6’s and higher in Omega 3’s.

How many of these things were you already doing? What are some areas that you could use a little work on? The key thing to remember is that you can not out train a bad diet and that you only get one body, so it is really important to take care of the one you have and know that it is never too late to start. 

From Elizabeth DeRosa of Finding The Way Integrative Nutrition Health Coach & Author

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How Gratitude and Family Mealtime Help Fend Off Food Triggers

Image Dan Gold

Image Dan Gold

What you probably don’t know is that you are fighting off food triggers all day long. We no longer live in a culture where we only eat at meal times and only at the family table. You may eat breakfast in your car, lunch at your desk, snacks at the movies, game, PTA meeting or book club, and dinner on the couch. Nearly every situation has become a cue to eat… for you and your kids.

And that doesn’t even include the green mermaid, purple bell, yellow arches, and dozens of other logos lining our highways. As a brain and cognitive scientist, specializing in the Psychology of Eating I can tell you, all the cues are triggering you subliminally all the time.

So what can we do about it? Enter family mealtime and gratitude!

When incorporated into the scaffolding of your life, giving thanks before EVERY meal has immeasurable health and weight control benefits, for the following reasons:

It reinforces the routine of eating meals with family on a regular schedule

Eating regular meals at consistent times is crucial in that it lengthens the body’s fasting window, which increases fat loss and strengthens the process by which cells recycle and repair. It also improves insulin sensitivity and lowers cholesterol.

It takes the burden off willpower

Willpower depletion is a very real phenomenon. In fact, research shows we may have as little as 15 minutes of willpower at our disposal before it runs dry. However, research also shows that something as simple as making a gratitude list can replenish its stores. Hence, practicing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the best ways to harness the brain’s ability to resist unwanted and unneeded extra food.


Turning thoughts toward gratitude eases temptations themselves.

No matter where you are in the world, no matter what party or occasion, no matter what restaurant, you can always turn your mind toward gratitude. Doing so shifts the focus from what you want, or crave, to what you have. It also supports mindfulness, helping sharpen awareness of your actions and lead to better choices.

And what better way to give thanks than at the dinner table with family. Eating only three meals a day at the dining table with my family, I have three kids, retrained by brain from seeing every situation as a cue to eat and I lost 60 pounds and have kept it off for 15 years.

Gradually you will take control back from the food marketers and you will be the only one deciding when and what you eat… and be a good example for your family at the same time.

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Make Your Morning Routine Work For You

I am a creature of a habit, which sometimes works in my favor and other times not so much. But, when you are wearing so many hats, you genuinely want to ensure that you are creating quality days, rich with positive interactions, productivity, and intention. This is why I swear by my morning routine. Getting myself centered and ready to take on my terrific (insert smirk) two-year old Peyton, and make it through the day with my 150+ moody high school seniors, run my site, social media, and remembering to breathe is a process. But I make it happen each and every day because I have a bullet proof routine. So, what exactly are the ingredients in this recipe of awesomeness?!

Time

I set my alarm for 4:45 a.m Monday-Friday. Why? Because I know that waking up for me is a process. I am a morning person but I do not jump out of the bed with a smile on my face just ready to start the day. So, I hit the snooze button a couple of times and really get the day started by 5 a.m at the latest. Allow your mind and body time to adjust to the day. That is part of self-care and taking care of your body. No one likes to be rushed, so make waking up a soothing process.

Prayer and Meditation

Morning time is also the best time to connect with whoever your higher power is and center your thoughts and focus on creating a space for your soul to thrive for the day. I personally indulge in reading 1-3 chapters of the New Testament using My Creative Bible that I recently purchased. The large margins allow for me to fully reflect and chart what I am hearing and feeling at the moment, the coloring aspect is therapeutic, and I love the fact that it will be something amazing to pass down to my daughter one day. I also do one devotional using one of the many plans that are available for free on my You Version Bible App. I close this time with meditating over my vision board and reminding myself all that will manifest in my life this year not only for myself but for those that I hold close to my heart.

Quick WorkOut or Yoga Session

I usually really sweat it out in the afternoon but I like to do a quick yoga series or a couple of my favorite fitness moves to get the day started and to get my blood pumping. Bigger than looking good, I workout for mental clarity and stress. For a period of time I suffered from postpartum depression and I managed that by focusing on consistent exercise and being really intentional about the things that I put into my body. Food is medicine. I wouldn’t say that I am completely free from this mental illness but my good days outweigh my bad these days and although I did not find support from the people I thought I would (more on that another time) using exercise as a method of coping has literally been my saving grace.

Fuel Your Body

I know as we get older more and more we skip breakfast and go straight for the coffee. I am personally a fan of grazing and make sure to eat every 3-4 hours to keep my metabolism pushing and my body fueled. My first meal/snack of the day tends to be in the liquid form. I love smoothies to start my day and have recently fell in love with ital Proteins Vanilla and Coconut Water Collagen Peptides. For those who follow me on Instagram you have seen me mixing up my morning doses by adding a variety of frozen fruits to make each day a new taste and a new adventure. We talked about the benefits of Collagen when I introduced you guys to the Vital Proteins Challenge, but at that time this flavor hadn’t been released. Can we say game changer?! Adding flavor to an already darn near perfect recipe really enhances the taste and I am super excited to try it out with some baking as well! Not only will this product help to increase hair and nail growth, but it also helps with joint, bone, and cartilage support to make you the best version of yourself.

This routine is important to me because with everything going on in life and in the world I love being able to wake up Peyton in a positive space, sing our “good morning” song, not having to rush her, sit down and enjoy a hot breakfast with her, and make sure that she knows how important she is to me so that she is prepared to take on her day. It means a lot to me. What do you do in the morning to guarantee an awesome day?

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Please Note: This post is Sponsored by Vital Proteins. All comments about these product are my own and I have and will always remain transparent about my opinions. I will not endorse any products that I would not and do not use in my own household.

What A Difference The Shoe Makes: A Lifter's Guide

As we enter the new year with our new goals and focus, one thing that I am really determined to do is to be really intentional about my workouts. I am by no means a “body builder” but over the last couple of weeks I have been doing extensive research on what shoes I am needing to invest in to really take my time in the gym to the next level. Specifically in dealing with weight lifting.

Now, my normal gym checklist involves a cute social media worthy outfit, matching water bottle, fitness belt, and of course the latest and cutest kicks that serve as the cherry on top to my ensemble. But as my focus is shifting (you guys are still going to get these insta-stories)  and ultimately my goal being to perfect my form and really tone my body I know that some things are going to have to change, starting with my footwear.

From my research, I have come to the conclusion that if you want to activate more muscle and recruit more fiber the RIGHT shoes are a must! So how do you determine the right shoes for lifting weights? For one you must have a shoe that will help you in driving through your heels, which is why a running shoe and even a cross trainer normally will not do the trick because of the sole of these types of shoes do not support that. Don’t let the softness of your kicks limit your efficiency or alter your technique.  

If you are like me and on a budget, invest in a good pair of Converse as your lifting shoe, especially if you do not have any prior ankle injuries. Not only are they cost efficient but, they allow you to create a substantial amount of force that will transfer from your feet directly to the floor.

I can’t wait to take these out for a test run at Core Fitness! Keep in mind that your lifting shoes should be for just that - lifting. Don’t use them for cardio or on the machines because you won’t be getting the support you need and that may result in an injury that could have been avoided.

What are some lifting essentials that you recommend for this newbie? If they are cute that would be an added bonus!

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