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.

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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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Perception vs. Reality

I know that I am not the only one that can get caught up with focusing in on other’s highlight reel and letting that get the best of me, am I? Once I started realizing that I may myself be part of the problem, I made myself accountable of doing better.

Thanks to my amazing photographer Erik Escobedo (give him a follow, book him, and let him change your life) and Juan Carlos Puebla of 52nd Witness I am able to showcase curated images of me doing the things I love the most which include being a mommy to the most amazing two year old ever, growing my mind, challenging my body to do new things, and developing my soul. I can share tips, encouragement, and my truth in each post but I still run into people that are making statements like “you have it all together,” and I am like “umm...that’s what you think and you are wrong on so many levels.” I mean, I am proud of the steps I am making but having it all together? Far from it.

So, with the help of “live” social media I have been able to showcase what is really going on in my life in a more authentic way and the response and thanks that I have gotten from people who sometimes get overwhelmed or tired of seeing people’s perfection all of the time has been such a blessing to my growth. Little did I know that the same insecurities that I suffer from at times - feeling that I am not doing enough based off of what I see via social media - people were having those same thoughts and feelings in response to me and what I was posting. When you know better you do better.

With that, I want to share with you a couple of snaps from a recent workout with the ladies from the Dallas Fitness Ambassadors at Vital Fitness Studio located in Dallas. Now we knew there was a camera in the room, we knew to smile when at all possible, but the truth is that workout was intense, it kicked my butt, and I definitely want to experience it again. I took a spin class immediately followed by a HIIT workout. So here you go.

What you think I look like when working out……..

Image Erik Escobedo

Image Erik Escobedo

What actually goes down……..

Images Dallas Fitness Ambassadors

You can use code FREE2 to get a chance to experience Vital Fitness Studio for yourself.


What are some insecurities that you suffer from and how do you plan on changing the game in 2017? Share in the comments below.

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2017 Goals: Reach One, Teach One

I want to do a post where people can share their top three goals for 2017 and others can come and comment on ways or tips to help that person reach their goals. I really feel that my readers are such a versatile and smart group of people from different walks of life that have different experiences. So, why not come together to encourage and help one another? I mean, that is what motivated me to create this site so I want to get back to doing more of that.

 

So leave 1-3 goals you have for the new year and find at least one other comment and share a word or two of encouragement and any tips you may have.


Here I will break the ice by being the first commenter. Ready? Set? Go.

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