Tag Archives: monday

Drop That Stuffing! 10 Steps to Get Back On Track After Holiday Eating …

26 Nov

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving break and that you were able to catch up with family and friends while enjoying some amazing food and fun times. I had a really great time with my family and even got to catch up with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. Some highlights of my holiday: Motorcycle ride with my dad, Black Friday shopping with my little sister, a couple Skype sessions with my sister in Ghana, great conversations with my mom and spending lots of quality time with my hubby.

And now … it’s Monday. The holiday is over and we’re back to the real world (at least until Christmas.) This time between holidays is crucial. It’s essential that we don’t lose the momentum we’ve built toward being healthy. You may have a ton of catching up to do from your days off and things can get crazy fast. To help us all get back on track, I want to share a plan for getting back to being healthy after the holidays. Because, let’s face it: Christmas is less than a month away and they’ll be a whole new batch of cookies to conquer.

Since I took some “relax time” from my normal healthy eating and fitness habits, I want to ensure I avoid old, bad habits (See my 5 Tips to Avoid the Cravings Monster post.) It’s completely possible that the Cravings Monster will have something to say about this plan but I don’t care. I’m going to get back on track right away because I LOVE how I feel when I’m eating healthy and investing in my health.

I hope you’ll join me in getting right back to being healthy. You can do it!!

Here’s what I’m doing and please share any additional ideas/strategies you have in the comments below …

  1. Set Goals and tell someone about them. Yesterday I decided on some goals for this week: I will not have any sweets except fruit. I will make a focused effort to eat at home and spend time in the kitchen to get my cooking habits back in place without the temptation to compromise because healthy food isn’t on the restaurant menu.
  2. Be strict until you’re back on track. Not much needs said here. You’ve made your plan. You are stronger than you give yourself credit and you can do this. It’s worth it!
  3. Wake up early. This is an important step because it gives you enough time to prepare for your day. If you’re rushed, you’ll most likely make a less-than-healthy food choice.
  4. Plan your meals (even loosely). Think through what you’re going to be eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner. What are some easy, healthy options you can make that keep you full and taste great? Visualize your meals and write them down so that you at least have a base and idea of where you’re heading this week.
  5. Get groceries. This requires time, I know, but you simply have to get out there and stock up on healthy options. When I’m getting back on track, I stock up on convenient healthy options (like fruit and LaraBars) so that I have something quick/rewarding when I need it.
  6. Avoid eating out. I mentioned this earlier and the reason it’s so important to do this is because when you eat out you are way more likely to compromise your healthy habits. There’s bread before you eat, sugary drinks, sauces and even the potential of desserts. AVOID.
  7. Drink lots of water. Flush the sugar and unhealthy stuff from your system by drinking lots of H2O. Chances are you’re dehydrated from less than healthy food or drinks and water can help you reset that. Read about some benefits of drinking water.
  8. Keep fruit handy. I’m completely eliminating added sugars (including honey and maple syrup) in order to get my mind and body back to where I need it to be. I’m allowing myself as much fruit as I crave in the interim. Once my body and mind adjust, I’ll naturally go back to my 1-2 fruits a day.
  9. Work out. Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day, you will feel so much better if you do this. Get those good vibes that working out provides and you’ll be less likely to want the sugary high from unhealthy foods.
  10. Getting inspired. Read, join and engage in an online community, “pin” inspirational quotes on Pinterest. Surround yourself with positive reinforcement and inspiration to get help you gain momentum.

What tips would you add to this list?

~ Kate

Five Tips to a Successful Blog (So You Want a Blog? Pt. 1)

19 Nov

Lately, I’ve had people ask for tips and advice on starting a blog so I thought I’d share some key concepts that have helped me. This is the first of a series I’m calling, “So You Want a Blog?” Before I go and share the tools I use or step-by-step directions, I wanted to share 5 keys that I consider essential to successful blogging. It’s my hope that these keys will help you whether you’re thinking of starting a blog or you want to build on the blog you already have.

Enjoy and please let me know your thoughts/questions/opinions in the comments below.

#1 Consistency

  • Decide how many times a week you can commit to sharing posts (daily, M-F, every other day, etc.) and stick to it. Not only does this help your Google ranking (which makes it easier to find you online) but it gives your readers a reason to regularly visit your blog and share your content.
  • This step took me a while to get comfortable with but I think I’m starting to find my groove. Initially I felt a little overwhelmed by the thought of how many times I “should” be blogging but then I decided to relax and to just have fun with it.
  • Yes, it’s a time commitment. Blogging is a time commitment. It’s also super fun and rewarding. It takes work but the payoff is worth it. Who knows what amazing things will result from your blog? Start dreaming now.

# 2 Community

  • This breaks down into two groups: Your readers and other bloggers. You want to make your blog a place that is comfortable for your readers to share their comments, share the content with others and encourages interaction. That’s the easier part of community in my opinion.
  • The harder part (solely based on the time that it takes) is to start developing relationships with other bloggers. Don’t be afraid. Bloggers are really friendly for the most part. Show interest in them and they’ll gladly return the favor. I will share some tools that can help you with this but for now, just know that building your blogger friendships takes time and research. You’ll spend time finding bloggers with similar interests, reading and sharing their content and finding blogger groups online.
  • Again, there is a time commitment involved but this aspect is honestly one of the most rewarding parts of blogging for me. I’m meeting so many neat people and learning tons every day from those relationships and the content shared. Which brings us to #3 …

#3 Content

  • Want to know my secret to writing content that gets people reading, following, commenting and liking my blog? Here it is: Ask yourself, what would I want to read? That’s it. It’s tempting to look at other blogs and begin wondering if you should write a certain way or about topics that aren’t as natural to you because it seems “popular” but resist it.
  • My best advice on content is that you share based on experiences you are having or share trending topics that are interesting to you. If you like to write about it, people will like to read about it. Not everyone will read your blog of course but your blog isn’t for everyone. It’s for people who align with your interests and passions. You have a target audience and we’ll get to how to determine that later but for now, know that your blog content doesn’t have to please everyone. That’s a relief, right?
  • Write about what you love and you will love what you write.

#4 Commitment

  • OK just like anything that’s truly worth doing (being healthy, fit and achieving your career goals, etc.) sometimes you just need to roll up your sleeves, put on your running shoes and DO IT. Honestly, there are times that you just don’t feel like blogging. That’s OK and perfectly normal.
  • Push through and just write. When this happens to me, I take a good ole’ fashioned pen and paper and map out some ideas in clusters (I’ll show you how I do that later too). That process usually sparks something that makes me want to write. Or, you can always share an image or quote that you think your readers would really like.

#5 Creativity

  • You can be as creative, artistic, silly, zany or even serious as you want to be. It’s YOUR blog. You get to decide what the look, feel and overall vibe is. I’ve read that one of the key elements to a successful blog is being passionate. So share what you like and what really gets you going and you’ll naturally acquire followers. You’ll also enjoy blogging a heck of a lot more if you allow your personality to shine through.

Stay tuned for more tips to help your blog soar.

~ Kate

P.S. Follow me on Twitter so you can see the craziness that ensues for Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Fitness Challenge RESULTS, Stand-Up Desk + NaNoWriMo

2 Nov

Happy Friday!

30 Days of Fitness Update

Soo. It’s November 2nd and my 30 Days of Fitness Challenge has come to a close. Did you participate? Did you work out for the full 30 days? Did you work out more than you normally do? Answer yes to either and I’m happy for you! This challenge was much more difficult than the Whole30 for me. No, I didn’t cry like I did during the Whole30 but man was it hard for me to motivate myself to work out every day. And, sadly, I didn’t do every day BUT I did do a TON more than I usually do and I really think I’ve made working out on a consistent basis, habitual.

RESULTS:

  • I lost inches: 5.25!!! WOW I was not expecting that. That’s: 3/4 from my arms, 2 from my waist, 1.5 from my hips and 1 from each of my thighs.
  • I lost weight: 3lbs – this didn’t make me too happy at first but just another testament that the scale doesn’t define you, the inches lost absolutely surprised and thrilled me!
  • I can run farther: I increased my distance by 1.5 miles! I’m running 3 miles without stopping now :)
  • My endurance has skyrocketed!
  • I feel still feel amazing. As long as I eat clean and workout I’m happy. If I start getting dirty in my eating then my mood is NOT ok. Poor Daniel …

What’s the plan now? I’m going to alternate strength training and running/swimming M-F.

Stand-Up Desk Update

SO! I am super pumped about how this experiment has been going. To read my initial observations, click here. I’ve been standing every day since October 25th, which makes this day #7. The hardest challenge has been to mentally say that I’m not sitting, I’m STANDING. And to keep it that way. Secondly, I’ve had to add comfort inserts for my shoes, where my tennis shoes sometimes and of course I have my trusty mat. Overall, I feel more energy and less lethargic (no afternoon bog down) and I’m actually more productive.

Oh! And I was talking to my boss this morning and he asked if I wanted a stand-up desk since this seemed like it was a long-term thing. Ha! So, I’ll be researching options and let you know what I think.

No Tube Update + NaNoWriMo

Yesterday was my first full day without TV. Daniel did so I took time to do other stuff around the house. Not too bad but a little weird to not plop down in front of the tube while doing other tasks having it playing in the background.

The timing of this challenge is kind of ironic because it also happens to be National Novel Writing Month. My friend, Gini, brought this to my attention as she is writing a novel of her own during this crazy month via nanowrimo.org. Well, the idea of writing a novel, period, terrifies me quite honestly. I love writing but a novel?! That’s 50,000+ words!! What the heck could I write about to that extent?

I’m in the middle of buying a house (cross your fingers everyone) … eating Paleo … working out consistently … working … networking … blogging … wife-ing … And I’m going to write a novel?? That’s crazy talk.

This challenge was definitely short notice  too (since I found out about it yesterday) and I didn’t have a solid story line or even a firmed up idea in mind. So, I did what any reasonable person would do:

I disregarded all those reasons and I decided to do it!

I think I might barf.

Well, I’m signed up and off and writing already. What have I gotten myself into this time? The goal is to write 1660ish words a day, no editing, just keep writing, and have your novel submitted by midnight 11/30/12. As of yesterday, the first day, I have 1778 words written and I’m getting kind of excited. This is going to be quite the challenge.

It never too late to do something that scares you, knowing that you’ll be better, stronger and happier for it.

Happy Weekend!

~ Kate