It's Ok To Start Over

Photo by Ariel Lustre 

Photo by Ariel Lustre 

It seems like with the changing seasons comes an opportunity to start anew. Now, that does not have mean an entire reinvention of yourself but, taking small actions like readjusting your goals, creating a new action plan, realigning the energy in your living space, or just changing your look can be a great way to kick start a new chapter of your life or just find a fresh perspective on things.

When we think about actually creating change in our lives, sometimes it can seem overwhelming and as if it is a distant dream. Sometimes, we think that it may be ‘too late” to do things differently but, guess what? Whether you are looking to boost your career, finances, fitness routine, image, or overall outlook on life; it is NEVER too late!

Instead of limiting yourself to the same old routine, it is time that you realize that you CAN change your life in ways that can make you happier and more productive, starting now. It is up to you! You can reinvent your life - yup, I said it. The only thing stopping you is YOU.

Resisting change will only hurt us and interrupt the flow of abundance into our personal space. We have to be open to allowing new energies and influences to create shifts in our lives so that we can continue to evolve and grow.

Here are my 3 go-to ways to redirect yourself and embrace the new season and start fresh!

Reconnect With Your Vision and Set New Goals

Photo by Estée Janssens 

Photo by Estée Janssens 

What are things that you truly value? What is your purpose in life? When you look at your future what do you see? Using your internal compass to help redirect your steps is essential to the growth you desire. Once you have equipped yourself with this new level of “self” knowledge it would probably be the perfect time to write down your goals. This is the most exciting part because once you put your vision to paper, it gives it purpose, it makes it real, and it is now a tangible goal that you have no choice but to crush like the boss you are. You want to know what the best part is? You now have some extra ammunition because you are fully equipped with the wisdom and lessons from your past experiences. You know what they say, “there is a blessing in every lesson,” and I for one really believe it!

Enhance Your Look

Image Aquatic Ambiance

Image Aquatic Ambiance

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT throw away all of your clothes when you are in an emotional tizzy. Only to wake up and realize you still have the same job you did the day before with no pay raise in the near future (this actually happened to me). Instead take inventory of your clothes and invest in 5-10 staple pieces that can easily mix and match with other pieces and can enhance your look. Sometimes a new look creates a confidence boost - you know what I mean? Have you checked out Prana’s new fall collection? I recently received their Jenna Pant and these black pants have been EVERYTHING. I can dress them up or down and they kinda got your girl’s booty lookin’ pretty nice, if I do say so myself.

Use code "FABG15" until 11/22/17for 15% off

Accept Responsibility For Your Own Failure

Photo by Nik Shuliahin 

Photo by Nik Shuliahin 

When it relates to failing, our egos are our own worst enemies and really limit us if not nipped in the bud. If you've made a mistake, admit it and grow from it. But, do not - and I mean this - do not allow it to take over your life. None of us are perfect, we all have faults, we are all trying to get better and as long as you are being intentional with your actions, that’s all we can really ask. Welcome to the human race! Don't blame others or circumstances.


We can sit around and have a pity party or we can dominate this thing called life. It really is up to you.

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Two Types of Forgiveness

Photo by Toa Heftiba 

Photo by Toa Heftiba 

For decades, counselors, therapists, ministers and more have been telling us about the importance and the power of forgiveness.

It doesn't matter if someone hurt you 2 months or over 20 years ago, forgiving them is a gift that you give yourself… More than one you give to them.

But forgiveness isn't easy. You just don't turn the other cheek; we all wish it were that easy.

True forgiveness begins by working with a counselor, therapist, or minister and going into your anger, rage, resentments at the hurt that was bestowed upon you by someone you wanted to trust. But what many people don't understand is that there are actually two forms of forgiveness.

As a #1 best-selling author, counselor I’ve been educating clients for 27 years now on the importance of understanding these two totally different types of forgiveness.

In the past we are told to forgive someone because it's the right thing to do, and welcome them back into your life. But that can be the absolute worst thing someone could ever do. In my number one best-selling books on positive thinking, I recall the story of a married couple that I worked with where an affair had just happened.

Over 12 months of working together I had to bring them into the existence of forgiving each other, and then making a decision to either stay together or walk away.

I made it quite clear that forgiveness was crucial for their own mind, body and spirit, but that if they needed to separate and end the relationship, that they could actually use a fairly uncommon form of forgiveness called forgiveness and release.

Photo by Ben White 

Photo by Ben White 

What this simply means is, you forgive the person for hurting you, and you let them go, without the need or desire to communicate with them ever again. This couple decided to forgive and stay together, but just the fact that they knew they had an option of forgiving and letting that person go, gave them a sense of inner peace.

The pressure that many people feel is that we are supposed to forgive someone who hurt us… And keep them in our lives. That is not the best option for many.

I have worked with other clients where the exact opposite has happened. A mother who abused her daughter from the age of 6 to 18, needed to be forgiven, but through the exercises that I gave to the now adult daughter. The daughter decided to take her mom out of her life, never to communicate with her again.

While to some people this might seem harsh, but depending on the damage, and the lack of willingness of one party to apologize for the damage they inflicted, the best move might be just to let them go and never communicate with them again.

The decision may not be an easy one, but working with the right counselor or minister or coach can help the person then decide if they should forgive someone, for their own emotional and physical health and keep them in their lives… Or if they should forgive them, release them, and let them go forever.

Forgiveness is powerful. It's free spirit. It releases anxiety. Resentment. Anger. Guilt. Shame. Forgiveness, as an action step, is the key to being able to live a healthy, productive and passionate life.

ABOUT DAVID ESSEL:

David Essel, M. S., Is a number one best-selling author, counselor, master life coach, and international speaker whose mission is to positively affect 2 million people or more every day, regardless of their current circumstances. David's work is also highly endorsed by the late Wayne Dyer, chicken soup for the soul's Mark Victor Hansen, as well as many other celebrities and radio and television networks from around the United States of America. Celebrity Jenny McCarthy says "David Essel is the new leader of the positive thinking movement". 

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I Think I Found What I Have been Searching For: 4 Places I Felt God at MegaFest

MegaFest is home to Manpower, Girl Talk, The International Film Festival and the world-famous Woman Though Art Loosed. There were people at MegaFest that represented over 26 countries across the world. Prior to attending MegaFest I was walking through ending a never-ending relationship. I was looking for value in invaluable places. I was looking for God under my bed. I was searching for clarity of life through social media memes. But when I left MegaFest it was confirmed I found was I had been searching for.

Love and Dating Rebecca Lynn Pope

Image RebeccaLynnPope via Instagram

Image RebeccaLynnPope via Instagram

While searching the MegaFest empowerment schedule I came across a session entitled: Love and Dating by Rebecca Lynn Pope. Perfect. What single women in her thirties does not want to hear someone speak at MegaFest about Love and Dating. While waiting for the session to begin I thought to myself “God, please don’t let this beautiful MARRIED woman tell me to wait on my Boaz”. To my surprise Rebecca Lynn Pope blew my mind. Mrs. Pope was the first speaker I have ever heard that acknowledged the struggle between wanting to live as a Godly woman while dating in the 21th century. Mrs. Pope walked the audience through the 4 stages of dating:

Dating, Courting Exclusively, Engagement and Marriage.
Rebecca reminded us that if you are looking for healing in a man it is in relationships where God will reveal what is wrong with us. “We do not get what we want in life, we get what we are ready to receive”. In this session, we were dared to surrender our desires (blessing blockers) which were typically rooted in fear and to DITCH THE LIST. We were invited to make ourselves available to love through four steps: Surrendering to God. Healing our heart and Mind. Being Authentic. Opening our hearts to receive. Remember 9 out of 10 men are not ready but you only need 1.

Believe it or not I felt God in the conversations about love and dating. Rebecca made a statement that will stay with me forever: “God uses your desire for love to draw you into a closer relationship with him”. I felt God telling me that he has not forgotten my desire to become a wife. I felt God telling me I needed to trust him with my relationships moving forward. Honestly, why wouldn’t I, I have tried it on my own and have failed miserably. I will dare to say many of you reading this have failed as well so why not give our relationship desires to the true match maker, God. Every success requires a sacrifice!

Surrendering is the only shortcut to the life of your dreams.
— Rebecca Lynn Pope

Rebecca Lynn Pope is the founder of the Godly Girls Club and the author of Love and Dating in the 21th century. 

John Gray (Press) Interview

Image TheRealJohnGray via  Instagram

Image TheRealJohnGray via  Instagram

MegaFest allowed the opportunity for journalist to attend interview sessions with the various speakers through the conference. John Gray was the speaker that I was most intrigued to hear. If you are unfamiliar with John Gray you are missing out on a blessing. John Gray is the associate pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, he has a reality show along with his amazing and beautiful wife, Aventer Gray, on OWN The Book of John Gray, he is the author of a book entitled I am number 8. Through television I knew all the things I previously listed about Pastor John Gray but after the interview session I knew for myself he was a life giver who believed in people. When John entered the interview room there was a line of journalist waiting for the opportunity to interview him.

Through my time in the interview session two moments stuck out to me, the first was when a new journalist was having technology issues and the moderator asked her to move to the side so that the next person could begin and how John was adamant about assisting her to rectify her issue so that she would be able to document her interview. I believe in that moment John silently (through his actions) spoke life into that young journalist life, he reaffirmed the value in the work that she did that day and in the future. The second moment with John was when he was asked about his book: I am number 8. John talked about how he is overlooked as a child in school, with friends, with women and most importantly by the lack of relationship with his father. Through his venerability John showed me and continues to show the world that God keeps his promises. John is now a voice for the unseen, an advocate for the lonely and a product of God’s promise coming to pass.

I felt God when John stopped his interview to help this new journalist fix the glitches in her technology. I felt God saying come to me with what you have and I will fill the gaps, come to me and I am never too busy to help you, to hear, and to support you. I felt God when John Gray gave life instead of taking it from that journalist.

What I learned was that the more you commit to the process and the more you trust God for increase in every area of your life, the more God allows the scales to tip in your favor until one day the momentum is so tremendous that there is no going back to the life you knew.
— John W. Gray III

The Perfect You Dr. Caroline Leaf

Image DrCarolineLeaf via Instagram

Image DrCarolineLeaf via Instagram

Dr. Caroline Leaf is a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology and a BSc in Logopedics and Audiology, specializing in metacognitive and cognitive neuropsychology. I know, what that means is Dr. Leaf researches and observes the various encounters with the brain. Prior to this session I was semi-familiar with the concept of mindfulness but was not sure how it applied to my life. I was too busy using my mind to remember how hurt and broken I was to be mindful. My mind as a reminder of all the ways my life was invaluable. But, Dr. Leaf challenged me to rethink how I used my brain. Through her session I learned that I am my thoughts and luckily, I was in control of what I think. Through several pictorial diagrams Dr. Leaf showed us how every single one of the 75-100 trillion cells of your brain and body are responding to your thoughts instantaneously. If that was not enough grab our attention she created several connections between what we eat and how it affects our brain—you can find out more about impact of the foods you eat in her book: Think and Eat Yourself Smart. In conclusion, she reminded us that “You cannot control the events and circumstances of your life but you can control your reactions to those events and circumstances.”

In this session, I felt God telling me it is time to unlearn so many things about myself and relearn who I am in God’s eyes. I felt God telling me to surrender my thoughts, desires and ways of thinking and get in his word to hear the truth about his love. I will be honest this session's application has been the most difficult for my life because I am having to retrain my brain though my thoughts. I would invite you to join me on this 21-day detox of the mind through Dr. Leaf’s book Switch your Brain. I would also challenge you to ponder on these questions: Who is in control of your thoughts? What are you telling yourself every day? Are you willing to take the power of your mind back? What will you change today? Remember, If the brain gets worse by constantly focusing on the problem. Then the brain can get better by constantly focusing on the solution.

Don’t react. Learn to respond.
— Dr. Caroline Leaf

Before it’s All Over TD Jakes

image BishopJakes via Instagram

image BishopJakes via Instagram

As MegaFest was drawing to a close it was time for Woman Through Art Loosed! This particular morning drew thousands of women (and hundreds of men as well). Bishop Jakes used the biblical point of reference of Lazarus. Jakes reminded us of how Mary and Marta came to Jesus to let him know that their brother Lazarus was dying and they wanted him to save him. As the story continues Lazarus ended up dying, Mary and Marta were so angry with Jesus for “letting” their brother die. As Bishop Jakes begins his sermon he tells us that Lazarus’s life purpose was to DIE. Lazarus needed to die for a bigger purpose than himself; but what Mary and Marta needed to trust was that with God death does not mean the end. Jesus said to Lazarus I am going to get you out of it and when is over, we’re going to switch places. I just need you to SET IT OFF. If we are going to follow Christ, we must take up our cross and die to ourselves. God is not going to come into a situation until we are willing to let it DIE. God will pick up where we give up (control). You can fast, pray, get hands laid on you but until it is dead nothing will happen.

I felt God reminding me this is just the beginning. What you lost needed to die. I heard him so clearly say that God has been using all my broken moments to be a gap filler. God needed me to be so low that he was my only option for up. I felt God freeing me from the embarrassment of my past, pain from my plans, and promises me that he created me for this moment. Remember until you drop off, God will not pick up. What won’t you let die so that God can handle it? Bishop Jakes reminded us that every relationship that we go through is a test. Are you passing your test? Leaving out of the Kay Baylee Hutchinson auditorium I was a woman that was LOOSED.

You want it but don’t ask how much it cost
— Bishop T.D. Jakes

The thing about MegaFest, like many other conferences is that there are so many opportunities for knowledge and growth that you may not feel the value of the information you have received until the experience is over. I did not know while walking through these 4 very different experiences that I would see God in so many different forms and fashions. MegaFest taught me that I can read as many books as my heart desires, I can tell as many people as will listen about how I have received the short end of the love and life stick and I can fast for 100 hundred days but, to receive the love my heart craves, the peace my soul longs for, and the purpose my mind desires I must find the God in me. The God that is strong when I am weak, the God that forgives no matter how many times I fall short, the God that calms my worries, the God who waits patiently for me. Ester 4:14 says “Perhaps this is the moment in which you were created for” MegaFest was the place where I came alive to the call God has put on my life, the place where I promised God I was starting over for the last time.

 

Where will you come alive? Join me and FitXBrit next year at MegaFest 2018 and dare to come alive.

My Top 3 Snack Nation Picks

Last month, I told you guys all about how I was making attempts to introduce my students to some healthy alternatives with the help of Snack Nation. Well, this month, I am keeping all the snacks to myself but, I am going to share my top three favorites from this month’s box and I am going to give you guys the chance to try out one free box for yourself! Sound like a plan?

Now, I know we touched on this gem last month and I told you guys that you needed to get a little seaweed in your life but, I have to emphasize how excited I was to see it included in the box again this month! This snack is filling, low in calories, gluten free, and just all around tasty! It’s a change of pace from the traditional Korean seaweed. I found that they sell this particular brand at Whole Foods as well as Target and Peyton has been going through these like candy, which is not a problem for me because seaweed is a great source of iron!

These energy bars are the perfect snack on-the-go and are full of an assortment of nuts, seeds, and fruits. In all honesty, this is the first snack that my mini Peyton is not a fan of but. I am not upset at all because that just means more for me! Healthy and delicious can sometimes be considered an oxymoron but in this case they pair so well together and are the perfect description for the products that I have tried from this brand!

I was a little skeptical at first glance because the packaging was so small but that age old adage is true: don’t let the size fool you. Chocolate-covered cherry anything is already a win in my book but then, I headed to the ingredients and guess what? I could pronounce them all, there was a minimal amount of items that went into creating the bar, and it literally melted in my mouth! I kid you not! With seven other flavors to choose from, I am super excited to give this brand a try!

The reality is, I would have never experienced any of these brands had it not been for Snack Nation ! I love the fact that each month I am introduced to new things that are curated by the team at Snack Nation and that they can be tailored to meet the needs of almost any dietary restrictions or goals that you may have in mind.

Want to try out a FREE box for yourself? Let me know what you think!

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Please Note: The products mentioned in this post were sponsored. 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. 

Spring Forward

This time change has been one heck of a roller coaster leaving most of the people I have encountered begging for that hour back. What a difference an hour makes! Despite the fact that we know that it is coming, it doesn’t make it any easier year after year to “lose” that hour in our day. The day seems longer and the nights seem so much shorter but, the reality is that it is all in our heads. We still have the same 24 hours that we had before and, ultimately, it is up to us how we decide to take advantage of them.

Which had me thinking and reflecting (you guys know I am ALWAYS reflecting, so this is nothing new) why not use this shift to do exactly what it indicates. Why not just freaking SPRING FORWARD?! Originally, I was approaching 2017 by setting quarterly goals (that I have been smashing by the way) with reassessment as needed, which is still the approach that I am taking as it relates to my business and my brand. However, as it relates to my mind, body, and soul I am learning to listen to God first and foremost but also being aware of what my body is needing and what my mind is needing to “let go” of. Sometimes, those things can’t be restricted to quarterly checkups. In fact, I have been making it a daily practice to check in with myself and open myself up to new ways of thinking and focusing on self-care,

Part of that included a major detox that was prompted by the time change and when I say major I mean MAJOR. I deep cleaned my entire house, like getting on your hands and knees cleaning baseboards and all that good stuff! I cleansed my aura and my space by smudging sage in every doorway and corner of my space and the hardest thing was going through everything in my closet and literally throwing away everything that I have not worn in the last 365 days and by everything I mean EVERYTHING. This helped me to realize that a majority of my clothes were BP (Before Peyton) and that I really needed a fashion facelift because not only am I no where near the same size I was before or during my pregnancy but, even more so, I am NOT in any way, shape, or form the same person.

Fitness clothes are my norm and last year I got an amazing Elixir Jumpsuit from Prana and basically fell in love with the brand that is known for their amazing yoga gear and accessories. But, their spring line is offering a little bit more and I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to try out a couple of items. Since I would describe my look (if I had one) as athleisure or minimalist (mostly because I am not a fan of being all covered up. Lol.) I was super impressed with the Annexi pants and Liana sweater that is debuting in the spring line and is available in so many different colors, which is why I will be purchasing it in all the colors. Not only are the clothes super cute, but they are also really comfortable and they pretty much have something for everyone regardless of your personal style. I definitely think that you guys should check it out and if you find some things you like( which I know you will) you can use code S4P17FXB to get 15% off of all of your purchases through March 28, 2017.

IMG_3655.jpg


What do you guys do to “spring forward” when you are feeling like you need a fresh start or perspective? Hopefully everyone doesn’t throw out all of their clothes like me because that can get a little pricey! Lol

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Solving My Problems with Solv Health

Let me paint a picture for you guys. It’s Saturday afternoon and my busy mini-me is complaining of a tummy ache, which I dismiss because sometimes Peyton just likes to hear herself talk, if I am being honest. But, later that evening she is still not feeling well and now has a slight temperature. So, what do I do? Stress over waiting for a call back from her primary care physician, Google after hour and urgent care facilities and inquire about wait times and operation hours and, finally, hold my breath that the bill that I will get in the mail (on top of my co-pay) isn’t going to cost me a mortgage payment.

Waiting at urgent care is definitely not something that I look forward to and it’s a relief to know that I no longer have to! Recently I was introduced to Solv Health, which is a convenient and fast way to find health care options. You guys know that “convenient” is my middle name especially with trying to juggle a household, Miss Peyton, all things FitXBrit, and a full-time job as a high school teacher.

With Solv , I can just hop online using any device and get access to the closest physicians and fastest available time slot to meet my health care needs. The process helps to eliminate possible wait time and gets you in quickly no matter the day or time so that you can get the care you need without spending an arm and a leg. The site is equipped with camera technology that will allow you to capture an image of your insurance card to avoid any monetary surprises later, which is something that can definitely be appreciated. How many times have you received medical care only to find out that the provider was not in your network but you were still responsible for some outrageous fee?! Sucks, huh?

Another added bonus is the text message updates that not only help you arrive to your destination on time but also keep you updated with any changes or information that the doctor may need for your appointment. When you are in a rush or just not feeling like yourself, you want to be able to receive affordable care without a lot of hassle and Solv Health can definitely assist you with that.

As a mom, I know that parents do not hesitate to make moves as it relates to their child’s health but what about you? How often do we just wait it out, take a bunch of over the counter medicines and just hope that the symptoms will go away? raises hand On that same note, how many times do the symptoms not go away and we end up passing on the sickness to the other members of our household and, ultimately, waste a day or two that we could have actually been recovering? raises hand again In the spirit of self-care, we are no good to anyone else if we are not taking care of ourselves.

Regular exercise and creating a lifestyle that involves a healthy diet is essential to maintaining good health so, we have partnered with Solv Health to give one winner a $200 gift card to Snap Kitchen and will also be providing 10 runner ups with the chance to try out Snap Kitchen with a $10 gift card. All you have to do is enter your email address to be entered. If you share the love with your family and friends it will definitely increase your chances of winning! What do you have to lose?!

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Please Note: This post is Sponsored by Solv Health.  All comments about the services provided by Solv Health are my own and I have and will always remain transparent about my opinions. I will not endorse any products or services that I would not and do not use in my own household.

Center Yourself and Grow Spiritually with These Three Apps

In an era that is centered on technology, everything can be easily found on your cellphone. There is literally an app for most everything, to the extent that when I attend church most Sunday mornings it is not unlikely to see people scrolling through their phones to read along with the preacher using their Bible apps. I am usually someone who prefers the old school feel of the pages between my fingers and the joy that fills me when I get to open up a new pack of colored pens or highlighters to really get deep into my studies, but hey that’s just me. I have been labeled an old soul a time or two.

But, in an attempt to be well-rounded and to utilize some of the features in my new car I have been investigating ways to get those positive vibes even when I am on-the-go and have come across these three apps that are definitely feeding my mind and fueling my soul.

Abide

Abide: This app is freakin awesomesauce and can be customized depending on your mood, struggle, or experience of the day. You hear the prayer and meditate on the things that you need to hear on your time and based on what your heart and soul is needing at that particular moment. There are specific guides, separated by subject type that include an audio prayer, exercises and tasks to help you go deeper. Because I am not a seasoned meditator, this app has definitely served as a much needed guide.

YouVersion

YouVersion: Remember when we talked about those people who love digital bibles and I said I was not one of them? Well I am not but, in the case that I leave my bible at home or need to quickly cross reference something, I am all about the You Version App mostly because of the highlighting capabilities and the different levels of customization that it offers. They have hundreds of devotional programs that are categorized by subject, which is really what I need at this time in my life. There is a devotional for everything! I find myself reading 3 to 4 simultaneously throughout the day.I am all about anything that allows me to make it my own.

Calm

Calm: Mindfulness is the current theme and this app allows me to explore and grow in that on a level that I had previously failed to achieve. It is centered around an initial seven day program that will draw you in so you do not feel like a failure when trying to meditate for the first time. The only downside of this one is that they draw you in with the free seven day program and if you want to dig deeper and are ready to venture further you would have to pay for a subscription to advance to the 21-day program. If you make the financial investment is does yield results and has allowed me to achieve a level of zen that I had not expereienced previously. Normally, meditation is me staring in a quiet space trying to get my mind to just stop! However, with this guided app my focus has shifted and seconds turn into minutes and the result being I am actually freaking meditating!


What apps are you guys currently using to elevate your mind, body, and soul? Not the ones that are taking up space but the ones you can’t go a day without digging into. Share some with me in the comment area below?

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Feeding The Next Generation with Snack Nation

The reality is that we are a society that is geared towards things of convenience. In some cases that is a good thing and in other circumstances it can be not so good, but more on that another day. Today, we focus on the positive! Subscription box services have become all the rave, allowing people to be introduced to new things in an easy and convenient way, with all types of goodies being delivered directly to your doorstep or to your business.

Imagine my excitement when I was presented with the opportunity to try out Snack Nation a subscription service that provides healthy snack alternatives at a reasonable cost and in a convenient way. Although the services are geared toward businesses and offices of any size, they also offer plans that focus on home delivery as well.

After sharing a couple snacks with Peyton, I knew exactly who could benefit from my amazing mail day…..my kiddos. For those of you new to FitXBrit, I am a full time government and student leadership teacher at a local high school and I often times find myself preaching the values and methods that I instill to my blog audience to my kids. Working in a urban school district, most of my students are not exposed to healthy nutritional values and by the time they get to me as seniors, most would think it is too late. But not me.

With growing childhood obesity rates, I think that it is essential that kids are introduced at a young age of the benefits of food and how we can utilize food as medicine. However, the reality is that fresh fruits and veggies may not always be their go-to options so, label reading and creating alternative choices to meet the needs of the next generation is definitely a goal of mine. Contrary to popular belief, everything SHOULD NOT be bigger in Texas.

Texas ranks sixth among states in rates of childhood obesity. ... Nationwide, nearly 33 percent of children and adolescents are overweight or obese, 16.3 percent (one in six) of children and adolescents are obese, and 11.3 percent are very obese.
— NCBL

With a bit of hesitancy (but overall acceptance) I had my first period try out some of the snacks sent in this month’s box. The most unique option that ended up being a hit was the Teriyaki Seaweed. I’m personally a regular seaweed eater and Peyton loves it too but, it definitely took some coaxing on my part. The result? “Hey this isn’t so bad, Miss.” Now, do I think they would go out and buy it on their own? Probably not. But, there were some other options included that will definitely replace the normal candy bars that they usually bring into class and for that I say, “THANK YOU Snacknation!” We absolutely can not wait to see the options for next month!

Want to enjoy your first SnackNation box  and get it delivered straight to your  home for FREE?!

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Please Note: The products mentioned in this post were sponsored. 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. 

Going Places with Bartaile

I have never been a purse girl. To me they lack a real function and most are too small and just act as a space for me to store more junk with no real purpose. This year has brought me into a space where I am seeking to rid myself of mess, in all forms and aspects. Not so much a minimalist but, heading in the direction that focuses more on planning, purpose, and peace.

So, you can only imagine my excitement when I was presented with the opportunity to experience all things Bartaile. They are a company that prides themselves in girl power and creating super dope bags and a lifestyle brand for people that are going places (check out the #GoingPlaces section via their site to get a better look at the 25 millennial women they have featured and how they incorporate Bartaile into their daily life) and, I mean that both figuratively and literally. But, I think that these bags are/can be tailored for women at any phase in their life.

You see, I wear many hats. I am a full time educator, blogger, fitness and nutrition enthusiast, and mom to the most amazingly active two-year old and I have found purpose in my C12 bag in each of those distinct aspects of my life. I officially have retired the diaper bag because of the many perks associated with the C12 bag by Bartaile.

Compartments

I live by the motto “everything has it’s place” and I may or may not have a tidge of OCD. The C12 bag by Bartaile was love at first sight because it came in my absolute favorite color, heather gray, and more importantly it has pockets, nooks, crannies, and a little something for everything that I deem “essential” in my daily travels. A pocket for your laptop, microsuede lined pocket for your glasses, key ring, charger pocket, phone pocket, and a little extra something for the things you hold close to your heart.

Versatility

The C12 can be worn as a backpack(my go-to approach), messenger bag,or a tote, so ultimately it transitions with you to whatever adventures the day may bring. The straps are detachable which allows for a smooth and easy transition. So, whether it’s a stroll through the hallways of the high school I teach at, a mommy and mini date at the park or a business meeting to discuss FitXBrit, this bag has me covered. With the many hats that I wear I am glad that Bartaile has me covered with a one-stop shop for keeping myself organized.

Power

I am a believer that when you look good, you feel good and that goodness radiates and others can feel the positive energy that you bring. I use my bag daily and I feel like I have it all together when I walk into any room rocking my C12. Maybe it’s the 100% genuine Nappa leather handles, straps and trims, or the water resistant light weight durability that makes me feel all kinds of awesomeness. Who am I to question it? All I know is that I have seen the light and I am never looking back! I have no desire to be a “purse” girl, I’ll just stick to rocking high quality, bags with a purpose.

Check out Bartaile and the many options that they have in terms of the styling of the C12 bag and invest in your own. I can promise you it will be worth it!

Shop The Look

Dress: Target

Denim Jacket: Express

Boots: Shoe Dazzle

Please Note: This post is Sponsored by Bartaile. All comments about this 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 daily routine. 

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It's Tea Time

For personal reasons I made the decision to take a break from caffeine but I just can’t start or end my day without a warm beverage of some kind. Even in the warm weather, it’s just part of my routine. The transition was made a heck of alot easier when I shifted my focus to herbal teas. Finding a blend of herbs, flowers, and spices that do not contain caffeine, pair well together, and can give you some health boost all at the same time isn’t really as hard as I expected it to be.

A small amount of caffeine a day has been noted to be beneficial to your health, but still there are some people who choose to eliminate it from their diets or who have been advised let it go for health reasons. Caffeine is a stimulant, that is just a fact and too much of it can cause shakes or jitters, irregular heartbeat, anxiety and adrenal fatigue. Plus, if you love a nice cup of tea before bed, who wants to take the risk of having issues getting that good sleep because you had caffeine too late?

Benefits of Herbal Teas (With or Without Caffeine)

Herbal teas are known for fighting illnesses and have been said to prevent degenerative disease depending on the specific herbs, flowers, or spices present in each particular tea, Antioxidants are a benefit of most herbs, and all have some kind of medicinal benefit. For example, Chamomile is mostly known to aid in the calming the nerves and ginger helps with digestion. Certain herbs are known for their ability to improve mood in the short term and, with regular consumption, can have some pretty dope long term benefits.


A Few Of My Faves

Without saying, I am sure those of you that have been following the blog for awhile now know that ginger and chamomile are my top faves, but today I wanted to shed light on a couple of other good ones!

Rooibos Tea is a new top pick in my household, it is super photo-worthy due to the pretty color but it is also jam packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can really help you to relax, get a really good deep sleep, and can help you with any tummy problems you may be experiencing.

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Hibiscus tea is more tart than the other teas I have tried but is full specifically of vitamin C and has components that can really help lower blood pressure and can help with maintaining your weight.

In terms of brands I am a sucker for YOGI TEA! Why? Because I am in love with the little sayings that are put on each individual bag, most of the times they are super relevant and are a cute added bonus. The tea is good too! LOL. Bigelow Tea is always a go-to because it was the tea that I grew up with in my household. Very inexpensive but still packs a very strong flavor that will make an impact in your day.

What are some of your favorite brands and flavors of tea? Is tea a part of your daily routine?

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Why We Love Ginger

So, I pretty much fell in love with ginger root when I was pregnant, experiencing all kinds of nausea and looking for any natural remedy that would help ease my pain.  You see, ginger is a great digestive aid and works wonders with nausea.  Whether you are pregnant or not, keeping some form of ginger handy will save you both time and money in the long run.


I normally enjoy my ginger in the tea form but recently have been making attempts to include it in pretty much any and everything since I found out how many health benefits this little gem holds.  So, of course, I wanted to make sure that you guys were fully equipped with the truth about ginger.

Bacterial Infections

 

I was checking out a study done in 2011 by the Journal of Microbiology and Antimicrobials that compared the effects of ginger on enhancing immune function versus that of the normal drugs used in hospitals and it is reported that ginger won every single time, in terms of healing abilities and antibacterial abilities. So, now what do I do? Carry ginger essential oil in my car because adding a few drops in your water can fight off infections and speed up the healing process after any impromptu hospital stays. Stay prepared so you don’t have to get prepared.

Note: I also keep it in my car because just smelling the oil or adding a few drops to a diffuser can help with the nausea we talked about earlier. Fun fact.

 

Weight Loss

Consuming ginger can help you feel full, which will reduce the likelihood of you overeating. Before eating you can chew on a thin slice of ginger regularly. This helps to stimulate digestion and can improve your metabolism. I personally make a ginger water mix which consists of boiling hot water, steeping ginger slices for 5-10 minutes, and adding the juice of two lemons as a morning treat to start my day. I definitely do this before I do my morning shot of ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar), for obvious reasons. More on that coming soon.

 

Forms of Ginger

 

Raw Ginger: use pieces the size of a thumb( not any larger, this stuff is potent) and add it to your favorite smoothie recipe.

Ginger Essential Oil: This is known to be the most potent form and two or three drops goes a long way. I would definitely mix it with a carrier oil (Coconut oil, vitamin E, etc) if you are going to apply it to your skin directly but, I enjoy adding it to my diffuser.

 

Ginger Powder: I have not perfected the art of cooking with ginger. So far, I just add it to my stir fry and other asian cuisine but I know it would pair well with so much more!

 

Ginger Tea: I absolutely love the Yogi Tea brand of ginger tea. Mixing it with some raw honey and a little lemon juice is perfection.



How do you use ginger in your household? If you normally don’t did I convince you to give it a try?

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