Gardening & Flowers

Does anyone out there have a garden at their house?  I dream of the day I can grow all of my own fruits, vegetables and herbs.  I need some ideas and tips from you to help me make it a reality!  I have an idea for how I want it to look and where it can go in my backyard.  However, in the past, most plants I try to water and keep alive on my own...well, they end up dying because I'm terrible at keeping them alive.  I don't know if they are watered too much or too little, too much sun or not enough....so many variables!  So, this year, I started small.  I planted flowers!  They are in the sun, as the package says they should be, they are on a drip system so they are automatically watered (that's exactly what I need)!  They're gorgeous.  With beautiful flowers growing constantly in my backyard, I am always grabbing a handful and keeping fresh flowers in my kitchen.  It is such a great way to brighten up a home and bring some spring color into your life.  It is one the best parts about spring, fresh flowers everywhere.  I would really love to hear some of your ideas and favorite things about gardening and fresh flowers.  Please tag @hbgcommunity and use the hashtags #hbggirls and #hbgblog to share with me.  Let's see if we can all get some great ideas to use.  Then, maybe next year I can get a fruit, vegetable and herb garden going.  Baby steps over here! 

 

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Healthy Snacks

I feel like I have been posting a lot of my go-to snack recipes lately so I wanted to take a minute and post my 10 favorite snacks to grab and go!  This is the easiest way for me to travel around and not end up with something unhealthy.  I try to have these snacks readily available at all times!

Greek Yogurt

Grapes

Nuts

Hummus

Bananas with Almond Butter

Avocado

Honeycrisp Apples

Turkey and Spinach Roll-Up

Bell Peppers

Good Thin Crackers

 

Please go to Instagram and tag @hbgcommunity and use the hashtags #hbggirls and #hbgblog to share your favorite healthy go-to snack!  I'd love to add more to my list.

 

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Spread Love

Along with spring, it's also bathing suit time.  Many of us dread bathing suit season.  Let’s turn that dread you feel into self love.  Embrace yourself, love yourself and your body and share the top 5 things you love about yourself.   I am going to share mine below and I would love it if you took the time to share what you love about yourself.

1.  I love this body that God gave me that has created 2 beautiful babies.

2. I love that I am motivated and it has helped me create a wonderful business that allows me to be at home with my babies.

3. I love that I have worked hard for my body and I feel proud in my own skin.

4. I love my sense of humor.

5. I love my passion and kindness for others.

 

Now, it's your turn.  Head over to Instagram and tag @hbgcommunity and use the hashtags #hbggirls and #hbgblog so I can see what you love about yourself.

 

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Spring Break

It is finally getting warmer and the sun is shining.  Well, maybe not everywhere, but here in Arizona, it is certainly spring time!  It is such a great time to start getting outside and enjoying some outdoor exercise.  Some of you just got an extra hour of sunlight in your day too.  Seems like the perfect time to get outside.  So many people are planning fun vacations, especially if you have a job or kiddos that gives you a spring break.  What is your favorite spring break destination?  My favorite place to go is the beach.  Not any particular beach, but somewhere that I can lay in the sand and sun and hear the waves crashing into the shore.  That sounds perfect.  A lot of times, people work so hard before their vacations and once on vacation, everything goes out the window!  I want to challenge you to keep up all of your hard work even when you travel.  Here are some quick tips to stay on track!

1. Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch.  Splurge for dinner.  Or choose just one meal each day to splurge.  I know part of vacationing is enjoying food and I certainly do, but I don't want to go overboard. 

2. Bring your own snacks.  How easy is it to grab unhealthy snacks on the go when you are out?  So easy!!  I always bring along my favorite protein bar so I have something filling to eat while I'm out instead of stopping for an unhealthy snack.  Plus, I save money bringing my own snacks.

3. Exercise.  When I'm at home, exercise is part of my daily routine so I naturally crave exercise even when I'm on vacation.  Also, one of my favorite places to exercise is right on the beach!  I find it easier to go for a run with that beautiful scenery.  Some destinations have great hiking trails to explore too.  Find somewhere you can enjoy a workout.

I want to know if you have a favorite spring break destination!  Please tag @hbgcommunity and use the hashtags #hbggirls and #hbgblog to tell me where I can find you for spring break!

 

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Running Essentials

Alright, I don't love running, but I do get out there and do it sometimes.  If I am going to run, I prefer to be outside and enjoy the sun and scenery.  Living in Arizona, it is easy to run outside because the weather here is so amazing.  Well, except during the summer.  Then, the weather is miserably hot and there is no way you will see me running.  You don't really see anyone running that time anyways unless it's inside in the air conditioning on a treadmill.  Which is fine too, you can run on the treadmill if you prefer it or live somewhere that you can't run outside easily.  Actually, a lot of people I know prefer to run on a treadmill.  No matter how you like to run, I have a list of essential items that get me through my run.  I figured if you are like me and need a little motivation to get through, here's what you need!

1.  Music!!  A great playlist can get me through any workout.  Put on a fast, upbeat songs and keep going.

2. Running Shoes.  This is probably one of the most important components to enjoying your run.  Find the perfect shoes for you feet.  Have you ever started running only to stop because your feet hurt?  I have!  Until, I took the time to get the right running shoes. It truly makes a world of difference and is so worth it.

3. Water!  I always carry some water with me in a water bottle that has a strap around my hand.  Then, I am not really having to grip anything while I am running but have water readily available.  Plus, I have a bottle that I have to squeeze water out so I am not dumping water all over myself while running.  I've certainly done that before while drinking from a plastic water bottle.

4. Comfortable Clothing.  Cotton gets heavy and wet when you are sweating, try a fabric that evaporates the sweat and leaves you feeling comfortable and cool.

5. Supportive Sports Bra.  Along with all the other essentials I've listed, this one is just as important. 

6. Tracking Device.  I love tracking my run, especially if I am outside.  If you are on a treadmill, this isn't as necessary because you can see your distance and pace on the screen.  I like seeing how far I have gone and what my heart rate is.  I run the same route so I like to see my improvements along the way.  They aren't always easy to see or feel during my run and my watch helps me see how I am getting stronger every time!

Making sure you have all of these essentials is the perfect way to begin your run.  That way, you have no excuse to stop!  You have all the items to a successful run so get out there and go for a run! 

Do you have any other essentials when you run?  Please share them with me by tagging @hbgcommunity and use the hashtags #hbgblog and #hbggirls!  

 

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Workout Playlist

I know when I workout, I have to have some music that gets me motivated.  Music can really drive a workout, so take some time to find a perfect playlist to workout with.  Here are some of my favorite workout songs! 

Rihanna & Calvin Harris - We Found Love

Otto Knows - Million Voices

Swedish House Mafia - Save the World (Radio Mix)

Justin Timberlake - TKO

Katy Perry - Walking on Air

Dillon Francis - Bun Up The Dance

Lady Gaga - Perfect Illusion

One Republic - Counting Stars

Havana Brown (Feat. Pitbull) - We Run the Night

Zedd (Feat. Foxes) - Clairty

I'd love to add to my own playlist, tell me your favorites.  Head over to Instagram and tag @hbgcommunity and use the hashtags #hbggirls and #hbgblog to share your favorites. 

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Benefits of Cauliflower

On Wednesday, I gave you my recipe for roasted cauliflower.  Well, now I want to tell you why eating cauliflower is so good for you. Here are some reasons what you should feel good about making the recipe and why you should continue to find new ways to enjoy this vegetable.

1. Cauliflower has a high amount of antioxidants.  Antioxidants are great for your body's overall health!

2. It can be a great source of dietary fiber.  Fiber is great for better digestion and an essential part of your diet. 

3. Because cauliflower has B vitamins, it is great to add to your diet!

4. There are omega- 3 fatty acids found in cauliflower and they can help with anti-inflammation.

5. Cauliflower can be used in many ways!  You can eat it the traditional way that most people do and like the recipe was on Wednesday.  Additionally, you can change it up and mash the cauliflower as a replacement for potatoes or you can rice the cauliflower and replace it with rice in your meal.

hope that you can enjoy cauliflower and add it to your menu for you and your family!  Please tag @hbgcommunity and use the hashtags #hbggirls and #hbgblog to share your favorite way to eat cauliflower! 

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Tips for a Better 2017

I know on Monday, I talked about goal setting for this new year ahead.  Now, I want to share some tips to starting your year off on the right foot!  If I missed any great tips, please tag @hbgcommunity and use the hashtags #hbggirls and #hbgblog to share how we can all make this our best year yet!

1. Move your alarm clock away from your bed so you are forced to get up and get going on your day.

2. Organize your workspace at the end of each day.  Starting your morning organized is refreshing.

3. Start work early.  You are most productive in the beginning of the day so try to get going first thing in the morning.  If I wait around to get my tasks done until the end of the day, it can be so stressful.

4. Start a journal.  I love looking back on what I was doing, thinking and planning.  Take some time each day to journal.  It can be so relaxing too!  It is a great way to decompress from your day or a great way to start your day.

5. Focus on making memories.  Over the years, I have learned the value of memories.  I want to focus this year on making memories with my kids and family.  For an example, as a family, we decided no birthday gifts this year.  Instead, we let the birthday person plan a day for all of us to go out and make memories doing things we love with each other. 

6. Spend time together, intentionally.  At the end of each month, we are going to sit down and plan family date nights when we all get together for a fun activity.  Then, plan date nights for just the two of us!  If we don't plan ahead, we end up running out of time to do things like this together.

7. Use your best yes!  Work on saying yes to the important things in life and saying no to things you don't have time for.  Don't overwhelm your schedule. 

8. Eat meals at the table.  I imagine we are all guilty of eating dinner on the go, in front of the TV or even at different times.  Let's be mindful of sitting around a table and eating together. 

9. Create a meal plan.  I have to work on planning my meals ahead of time so I can succeed.  Otherwise, I ended up unhealthy food because it can be more convenient to make or grab on the go.

10. Take naps.  Give yourself a break sometimes and take a well-deserved nap.

Well, that's just 10 tips for making 2017 your best year.  I’m sure there are an uncountable number of useful tips as we all head into this year.  Share yours with us! 

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Being Healthy

So many people talk about being healthy.  It's a topic I am sure you have had conversations about.  Well, healthy looks different for everyone.  I want to take today and talk about what healthy means to me and how that might look different for you.  When I talk to be different people about being healthy, everyone seems to think that in order to be healthy, you must fit into the perfect set of guidelines.  I know you can be healthy in many ways, you can be physically healthy, mentally healthy, emotionally healthy and others too!  I want to give you some ways that I continue to be physically healthy in my life and I hope that you can share some with me.  As I said, my healthy and your healthy are going to look different.  However, I love getting new ideas from others!  The path to staying healthy is lifelong and changes as we go.  So, let's give each other some ideas. 

1. Exercise!  Of course, exercising is important to be physically healthy.  I know you aren't going to exercise everyday and really, you shouldn't.  You need rest days too.  Though, if you stick to your regular workout regimen doing the Healthy Body Guide you will naturally feel better each day!

2. Eat healthy!  I try to live eating natural whole foods 80% of the time and allowing myself the other 20% to eat whatever I want without thinking about.  So, when I go out to eat or just want to indulge in greasy pizza I can guilt free.  I need to be able to satisfy cravings. 

3. Sleep!  I already mentioned all of my tips for better sleep last week and that is a huge part of being physically healthy for me.

4. Drink Water!  We did a water challenge already this month and I mentioned that you should set a goal to drink a gallon of water each day.  Ahh...my skin and body feel so good when I drink lots of water. 

5. Relax!  Make time to relax.  Life with two kiddos doesn't always allow for a lot of me time.  However, I try to set aside time for myself.   It doesn't happen every day, but it doesn't have to.  Thouhg, every single time I get some time alone, I come out feeling so refreshed and ready to tackle everything ahead of me.  I know it can be challenging to do this, but it isn't impossible.  Make some time for yourself!

I know these all seem pretty simple and obvious, but they are a lot easier said than done.  So, let's do it!  Go share your healthy ideas by tagging @hbgcommunity and using the hashtags #hbgblog and #hbggirls to tell me how you stay healthy.

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Tips for Better Sleep

Ahh...who doesn't love a perfect nights sleep?  Waking up in the morning feeling perfectly refreshed is so amazing.  I know most of us try to fit more into our day than time tends to allow.  But, you should try to make sure you prioritize a good nights sleep.  Your body is going to love you a lot if you do.  Sometimes it is hard to put yourself first, but sometimes you need to.  Here are some things that I do:

1. I have a bedtime routine and I look forward to it.  Your body will start getting into your routine and crave it!  My routine is simple, but effective for me.  First, I wind down from my day by watching some mindless TV.  Then, I take a shower and brush my teeth.  I sit down and reflect on my day and plan my day ahead.  Say my prayers and get comfy!

2. My bedroom is always cold and dark.  It makes a perfect environment for me to sleep in.

3. I work really hard at going to bed at the same time each night so my body anticipates sleep!  I even have a bedtime alarm to remind myself to get in bed and stop what I am doing. 

4. Exercise.  Exercising during the day helps your body in numerous ways and even when it comes to sleeping.  It helps make your body tired and ready for bed.

5. I avoid caffeine in the evening.  This way, I am not laying awake in bed.

I know these all seem simple, but keeping in the routine of this every single night can be hard.  Try to see if you can get yourself some well deserved sleep!  I hope you can create your own routine and share any tips you have.  Tag @hbgcommunity and use the hashtags #hbgblog and #hbggirls. 

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Importance of Stretching

I think that people often underestimate stretching before and after workouts.  I know it can be easy to skip because, if you are like me, you might be ready to move on to the next thing you have going on.  I mean, I know how important stretching is and I really enjoy stretching my muscles, but sometimes I am ready to be done with my workout and move on.  I try to put on a relaxing song to enjoy while I stretch out my muscles, it makes it a little more enjoyable!  When you warm up before starting your workout, take the time to stretch.  Then, when you complete your workout, don't forget your cool down stretch.  Here are some benefits that your muscles will thank you for:

1. Stretching can reduce your risk of injury and stiffness. 

2. You can improve your flexibility each time you stretch. 

3. You can decrease the muscle fatigue.

4. Once you stretch, you are helping your muscles recover from a tough workout. 

5. It is vital to stretch when your body is warm so you increase blood circulation.

If you want to help your muscles recover even more, you can invest in a foam roller.  Or, win one by entering the challenge this week!  A foam roller is similar to massaging your muscles.  A massage that you don't have to spend a bunch of money on, even better.  Foam rollers help you have much less muscle tension and pain if you use them multiple times a week!     

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Water Challenge

Sometimes getting enough water during the day can be quite challenging.  I love water, but I am guilty of drinking more coffee and tea during the day and choosing those drinks over water.  Even though I know water is best for me, I just can't seem to get enough caffeine!  I am sure some busy moms out there can relate!  Maybe you are like me and need some motivation and some encouragement along the way.  Do you ever feel like you are drinking something else more than you drink water?  If you feel like I do and need to add some more water to your day, try this challenge.  Here are some tips to help commit to drinking what your body needs!

1. Buy a gallon jug of water.  Use a marker to create goals for yourself during the day.  For example, in the middle of the jug, make a line and make sure you get to that point halfway through your day.  Write encouraging messages such as: Almost there!  or You've got this!

2. Think of drinking water as a marathon, not a sprint.  Don't chug a bunch of water at one time, continuously drink it all day long.

3. If you, like me, might forget because you get so busy during the day, set an alarm.  Remind yourself to keep drinking all day long.

4. I admit water can get a little boring sometimes.  Which is why I tend to choose coffee or tea as my drink.  Those aren't nearly as nutritious as a glass of water.  Try adding some fruit to your water.  You may find it is easier to drink!  Speaking of fruit in your water, make sure you entered the contest this week to win a fruit infused water bottle!  If you didn't, go back and read Monday's post for the Ab Challenge! 

5. Find a cup you like and drink from it.  I can drink so much more from a straw so I use a refillable cup everyday. If you buy a gallon jug, keep it in the fridge and refill your from it during the day.

While it's great to do it for one day, see how long you can continue to do it.  Make it a habit.  Your body will love you for it.  Often times we don't even realize we are dehydrated until we properly hydrate our body.  If you can continue to drink water all day for a long an extended period of time, you'll see changes.  Your skin will be more fresh and glowing.  You will naturally flush out toxins from your body and keep your kidneys working the way they are supposed to.  Additionally, it is essential to drink water when you exercising.  I know you are all working so hard completing the Healthy Body Guide and the extra challenges each week so keep drinking water!  I am sure you have some of your own tips and tricks to hydrating your body properly and I would love for you to share them.  Tag @hbgcommunity and use the hashtags #hbgblog and #hbggirls to help all of us continue to be healthy and strong! 

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