Winter Healthy Comfort Tips

This is Part 2 in my series of Winter Health and Fitness Tips!

(Here is Part 1: “Winter Fitness Tips” if you want to check it out!)

Here are some warm comfort foods that are healthy, or at least lower calorie:

  • Hot cocoa, add in some mini marshmallows which are low calorie and you’ve got yourself a treat!
  • Coffee, just be sure what you’re adding to it is low in calories and not high sugar/fat. Some ideas are nut milks, cinnamon, and honey.
  • Hot tea (same goes for what you add as above).
  • Warm milk
  • Oatmeal or cream of wheat
  • Toast or English muffin: as long as you don’t put a ton of butter or something else on your them, whole grain/wheat toast is a healthy warm food. English muffins are also somewhat lower in calories than some other breakfast foods and if you toast them can also make a nice comforting, warm food.
  • Soups (make sure to check the nutrition label for sodium though!)
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches with whole grain/wheat bread and minimal butter.
  • Chili: ground turkey chili, chicken chili, meatless chili.
  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • Healthy lasagna (the opportunities are endless with this, look for some recipes).
  • Meatloaf made healthily, again there are many recipes for this online.
  • Crockpot meals: there are so many recipes out there for this as well.
  • Popcorn (yes, popcorn is a healthier snack choice than some snacks, just be careful of all the additives such as butter or salt).

It’s good to spend some time just chilling too: curling up with a good book and a hot cup of your choice beverage. That is an ultimate comfort for a lot of us. So cozy! Time spent putting your own wellbeing first is time well spent, and very healthy. You can also cuddle with pets, your kids, or other loved ones. I love snuggling with my nephews on a cold morning, it helps warm me warm up faster and also keeps them warm which is true of pets and other loved ones as well. It’s a mutually beneficial activity!

The more you move, the warmer you’ll feel. Of course this is only temporary, but at least you’re killing two birds with one stone: getting warmer and burning calories! Plus you also get things done as well, which means you’re multitasking, such as cleaning or other housework or even getting your exercise in!

Imagine popping in a good movie to watch, with a bowl of popcorn (portioned out so you know how much you’re eating)… maybe even some hot tea or coffee to drink… curled up with loved ones or even by yourself. So comfortable and cozy!

What is your favorite way to stay warm and feel cozy during the winter? Mine is curling up with a book and just letting the story take me away. It helps me to not think of the freezing weather outside!

 

~Bonnie~

P.S. If you want to make 2016 your best year yet, check out my New Year’s product: Best Year for the Best You 2016 Package. It’s up for pre-order right now for a limited time price of $259! It will be going up to full price once it’s released on December 17th, but if you order it now, you’re saving sixty dollars and you will receive the full package on the release date! If you purchase from this link, your card won’t be charged until the day it’s released!

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8 Tips to Manage Thanksgiving Stress

Thanksgiving, well any holiday really, can just get so chaotic and crazy that we forget that we still need to take care of ourselves and keep ourselves as sane as possible. I have put together some tips that I have found helpful in times of chaos in my life and hope they help you during the holidays!

Some of these are geared towards weight loss and healthy living:

  1. Find time for yourself. Put yourself first, first, so that you are better equipped to handle the rest of the holiday. So get up early and decompress before the day even starts if you feel you might need to! Do it before you need it so badly that you end up exploding later.
  2. Run away. If at all possible, find a place to hide in the middle of the chaos. A quiet room, outside, even the bathroom might do the trick. Take the time to just take a deep breath and think, or just exist for a moment! We all need a breather once in a while.
  3. Pace yourself. Realize that you don’t have to do all or be all to have a good holiday. Just focus on doing your best.
  4. Plan ahead. Prepare food ahead of time if you can. Think ahead today and figure out what you can make the day or two before Thanksgiving so that you don’t have to cook it all at once. That way it isn’t as frantic when the time comes.
  5. While you’re at it, make a game plan for your meal. Stick with veggies or fruit for 1/3-1/2 of your plate. Then turkey or other meat 1/4-1/3 of your plate. Then a little bit of each of the foods you really want to have such as mashed potatoes, a roll, and/or a small piece of dessert.
  6. Estimate calories. Make educated guesses on anything you don’t know the exact calorie content of. Google how many calories in whatever Thanksgiving dish it is. Do your best to stick to that. This way you can plan the rest of your meals and snacks around it for that day.
  7. Don’t expect to be in your calorie range. You almost definitely won’t be in your calorie range… and that’s totally okay! Do your best to minimize the damage but just enjoy the holiday and time with family without worrying about it too much.
  8. Do not deprive yourself! I repeat, do not deprive yourself of your favorite Thanksgiving foods. That is almost a sure fire way to sabotage yourself. Pick the things you really want to eat, for example what Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without, and have a small helping of it!

If you’re not already, sign up for the weekly newsletter: Be the Best You: The Insider for more stress/emotional eating tips. Click here to subscribe: Be the Best You Newsletter. This time of year can be really hard. Why not arm yourself with action steps to use when you really need them! Subscribe to the newsletter and you will automatically be emailed download information for The Blast Emotional Eating Guide (#TheBEEGuide)! It’s completely free and lists nine great ways to combat stress and other emotions that may make you feel like you want to eat everything in sight!

~Bonnie~

Helping Your Children Stay Active

When it comes to getting your children active, sometimes that can be a challenge. I’ve put together a list of tips to help your children stay active and most of these will work for all ages:

  • They need something that CLICKS for them. Just like us, they need something that clicks for them. Something they find fun or that at least isn’t torture for them. What is your child interested in? How could you use that to get them motivated?
    • Let’s say your child is interested in a certain show, how could you use that show to create activities that give your child an opportunity to exercise?
  • Make it a game. Make a game out of housework, see who can get done first. Make a game out of yard work such as rewards or fun activities afterwards. Scavenger hunts are also a great way to have fun while being active.
  • Be involved. Sometimes just doing something active with an adult loved one can thrill them- play a sport, play catch with a baseball or Frisbee, take a walk, race them, go on a hike together, take them to the playground and actually play with them, or anything else you can think of. The opportunities are endless. I know I loved taking walks with my mom and playing games with other family members.
  • Involve them in your exercise. Bring them on a walk with you when you’re already heading out, invite them to join you in the  races you want to do or the training itself. Invite them to do an exercise video with you.
  • Exercise as a family. This goes along with involving them or being involved, but making exercise a family bonding experience is another good way to help them build healthy exercise habits. Kids may act like they hate family time, and some may indeed hate it, but they will grow up to cherish those moments.
    • Some other family exercise ideas besides the ones mentioned above, is a squirtgun fight, swimming at a local pool if you have one, bike rides, collecting fall leaves for projects, searching for certain animals or nature items, etc.
  • Take them to the gym if you can. Kids fitness classes, or if they’re old enough according to your gym’s rules, you can ask about them exercising on the main floor. Going to the gym can be fun as a kid and seems like a huge privilege for them.

Most of all, just make it as fun as you can and be involved. Don’t make them exercise unless it’s a family outing and they need to be with you. You want to create a positive mental image of exercise for them so they don’t grow up dreading it.

When you explain exercise, do your best to sound excited and happy about it. It’s catching and they will see that you like it. At the very least, being happy about it yourself communicates to them that exercise is a good thing that their parents enjoy.

~Bonnie~

How to Beat the Winter Blahs

Yes, I’m aware it’s not even winter yet, but it has been getting colder this month for many of us. Some areas of the country (and world) are colder than others, but temperatures have been dropping all over the place.

When it gets cold, sometimes our first instinct is to stay inside and curl up in bed. Sometimes it is so pronounced that we actually get the “winter blahs.” Seeing gloomy, cloudy, and windy weather makes me personally want to curl up under some blankets and cuddle with my cat… or sit and read nonstop while sipping my coffee. I don’t want to do anything!

I know I’m not alone in this. What is it that causes so many of us to have such a drastic reaction to cold weather? Maybe some kind of survival mechanism or our bodies instinctual reaction to cold… who knows? I’m sure there is some kind of scientific theory for this, but I don’t care to find it because either way, my purpose here is to share some tips with you all about how to beat these winter blahs.

Plan some active projects for yourself. Start cleaning and organizing the house. Shovel snow, if necessary. Prepare your yard/garden for winter: put things in your shed or indoors, cover what you can’t put away, transfer plants indoors, etc. Motivate yourself to get out for walks or runs before it gets too cold to be enjoyable. Anything active that gives you purpose.

Listen to upbeat music. This is sometimes my favorite way to get motivated to workout, and works really well when it’s cold. Nothing gets you excited like your favorite, upbeat music. It makes you want to dance or simply move! So turn it up and dance for your workout or just use it to get you inspired to do another workout!

Read some books about weight loss such as health, nutrition, or fitness topics. These types of books will help you learn more about weight loss while also getting you pumped to do what you need to do in order to lose weight and improve your health. Valuable information + inspiration, you can’t beat that!

On the book topic, read a book about characters that are active in some form. This could mean fighting an apocalypse type scenario, a sporty character, crime fighting, etc. Believe it or not, I found reading the Divergent series motivational with all the physical training the characters went through, as well as the fighting for their lives part. Those kinds of books aren’t for everyone but it was interesting while I read it.

Any books about a character pursuing their dreams. You want to pursue your dream of weight loss and improved health, which means a book about someone pursuing their dreams (especially against all odds) may inspire you to chase your own dream.

Read some weight loss related magazines or blogs. There are some really inspiring and motivational magazines, as well as blogs, out there. Peruse them when you’re in a slump or just in the mood to read. They will inspire you to do what you need to do to lose weight and improve your health. They might also give you some ideas and information you didn’t have before!

Simply get moving. Walk around your house and clean things up a bit. Look for lost items. Do anything remotely active that gets the blood and mental juices flowing in the right direction.

Remind yourself that moving helps you get and stay warm. It’s true, moving around helps you get and stay warm, with all the blood pumping through your veins while you’re being active. It helps a ton!

Use the time to write. Journal, blog, just write. It’s not only therapeutic, but writing out your thoughts and feelings can actually motivate you to act! It helps you process everything and convince yourself to get moving!

Bundle up. If all else fails, bundle up and force yourself out the door… into the cold! Once you get moving and are out there for a little while, you will warm up and you may even have fun getting your fitness in. Not to mention the sheer feeling of triumph once you’ve completed a workout you didn’t feel like doing in the first place!

What is your game plan for cold weather or winter? Do you have one? Planning ahead really helps because then you know what you need to do in each situation. Sometimes the I don’t want to do anything in the cold feeling will win, but if you have a plan then YOU will win more often than not!


If you find it difficult to make and pursue your goals, or you get discouraged easily, then my Goals to Become the Best You $30 e-course is for you! You can find it here: goals e-course or purchase the goals workbook + guide for $15 by itself here: workbook + guide. Both will allow you to work at your own pace with the workbook + guide, a step-by-step process to make and pursue your goals in a way that works for you! The e-course has an added bonus of a Community where you can ask for individual help as needed. The workbook + guide is an independent product.

If you need personalized help to keep you motivated through the winter months, I also offer Personalized Coaching. You can learn more about it and get started with a free email coaching consultation after reading my blog post about it here: Now Open for Personalized Coaching. It is like having a coach to motivate you and an accountability partner all rolled into one, someone who has been there and done that and can help you find a way to make it all work for you!

~Bonnie~

How to Change Your Perception of Yourself

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall.”

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

What is it that you see in the mirror each morning? Do you see the beauty that is within you? Do you see all that you have to offer yourself, others, the world? Believe me, you have plenty to offer.

I see your reflection, you’re unsure and maybe even scared to follow your dreams… to believe that you are truly beautiful, inside and out. However, I ask you to trust me. Trust me when I say that you are beautiful.

You have valuable and helpful things to offer to others. You do them every day. To you they might seem small, but they are big to those watching from the outside. Try looking at yourself as others might see you. See your actions how others would see them.

___

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

How does one change the perception of themselves?

  • First of all, when you look in the mirror, push out all negative thoughts. Anytime a negative thought about yourself enters your mind, cast it aside and replace it with something positive. What physical features do you like about yourself…? Your hair, your smile, your eyes, your body shape, anything at all!
  • Look at all you do for others, your family and friends or even total strangers. You have so much to offer others. Some things you do on a daily basis can be considered valuable and beautiful!
  • Approach the mirror mentally prepared… ready to search for all the beautiful things about yourself. Start with something you already know you like about your appearance. Then let your mind naturally wander to another thing you like about your appearance. Going in with a blank mind ready for positivity will allow you to think of all those things that are good instead of automatically focusing on things that you don’t like so much.
  • Even without the mirror, you can spend a few minutes a day thinking about all you accomplished recently, and all the good works you do on a daily basis. This doesn’t make you conceited. Boosting your self-esteem actually makes you more efficient and productive. You can be more helpful to others if you believe yourself to be just that.
  • Every time you take a peek in the mirror, allow yourself to be proud and happy with your appearance and all you have accomplished outside of what the mirror can tell you. Mirrors don’t tell the whole story, obviously. They can only show you what you can physically see at any one given moment. What about all of those other moments accumulated throughout the day that happen that are positive?

So what do you think of your reflection…? Physical reflection, the reflection of yourself that you see in others, and the reflection in your mind based on your thoughts of yourself. It is a process in itself to change these thought processes to be more positive and not put yourself down every time you think of it. It takes hard work and consistent practice, but you are very much capable of that!

So often we think of ourselves as failures just because we don’t accomplish everything we set out to accomplish or everything we “need” to do in a day. We are so much more than that! We need to focus on all of the things we do accomplish, all we do for ourselves and others that is good.

Tell me a bit about you and what you want to accomplish this week. Are you going to be kinder to yourself if you don’t accomplish everything? Are you going to try to alter your mental reflection of yourself?

~Bonnie~

How to Set Effective Goals

Goal setting can be one of the best tools at your disposal, but also one of the hardest to accomplish:

Where do you start? How do you know you’re making goals that are right for you? How can you follow through and keep moving forward when the going gets tough?

My first tip: Think about what is realistic for you!

What someone else is doing won’t necessarily work for you. Your goal has to be something you want and something you can realistically do if you push yourself just past your comfort zone. So first, think about what you CAN do and what you can accomplish and then raise the bar just ever so slightly.

My second tip: Make a plan and stick to it as best you can.

Will you be perfect? No. However, setting a plan that will enable you to reach your goal is essential. If you stray or lose motivation, you can use the plan as a reference point to get back on track. Realize that you are just doing your best and you won’t be completely on your game all the time. It also helps in making things seem doable instead of overwhelming. So break down what you need to do in smaller timeframes, such as by weeks or days.

My third tip: Focus on WHY you want to accomplish this goal.

Never lose sight of the reason why you want to pursue this goal, why you are trying so hard to achieve it. If you remind yourself each day of the why, you will find it a lot easier to feel motivated when things get hard.

My fourth tip: Believe in your ability to reach (or even surpass) your goal.

You sow what you reap, as the saying goes. So a simple belief in yourself to make this happen will actually help you make it happen! Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Whenever you feel doubt sinking in, say to yourself, “I am strong, I am capable, and I CAN do this!” Trust me, it really does help!

My fifth and final tip: Don’t give up.

While you may need to adjust your goals here and there if you begin to realize they are unrealistic for you right now, you must not give up. Adjust the goal and proceed. Change it entirely if you must, but keep moving forward no matter what! Always having a goal to move forward will help give you structure.

This obviously isn’t the whole picture but will definitely help you get off to a good start with your goals. These are some of the ones I have found to be the most important in setting goals myself.

If you would like more help setting goals that work for you, check out my Goals to Become the Best You $30 e-course here: https://coursecraft.net/courses/z9Qbd. You will get a workbook + guide to lead you through a step-by-step formula for setting and pursuing your goals, and also a community forum for individualized help and guidance from me personally. You will work through it at your own pace, completing it as you go along. If you have a hard time sticking to your goals or get discouraged easily, this is the course for you! For a limited time, there is a 30% off sale by using the code BESTYOU30. This code is only valid until Sunday so grab the e-course at this discounted price before it ends!

Or you could also checkout the workbook + guide by itself here: https://my.digitalgoodsstore.com/product/fcvu8. If you use the same code mentioned above (BESTYOU30), you will receive 30% off of the $15 original price of the workbook + guide!

~Bonnie~

Weight Loss May be Hard

Weight loss is hard. I think we can all agree that on some level, or at some point, weight loss is quite difficult. Not only does it take a lot of hard work and determination, but it can also be trying at times. So trying that we may feel like giving up many times in our journeys.

So let me tell you a secret… a secret that this quote states so eloquently:

Your dream of weight loss and a healthier life does not become a reality by magic, or a wish. It takes hard work and discipline, sweat (and sometimes even tears), as well as determination to make it happen.

Don’t let that stop you though, because you have all of those things within you. Sometimes you have to dig deep to find them but they are there. Remember that you are strong and powerful! Your dreams are within your reach if you only put in the work to achieve them! Weight loss may be hard but it’s not impossible and you will always hold the power to make it happen.

You are worth the hard work it takes. You are worth living a life that is healthier and higher quality. Just think of all the things you can do in the future that you aren’t able to now. The opportunities are endless. All you have to do is make healthier living a priority and never give up!

One way to do this is to simply believe in yourself. Believing in yourself is not to be underestimated in your weight loss journey. Believe the power is within you, believe that you will achieve your goals, believe that it’s possible! It will power you forward more than you can possibly understand until you are actually doing it!

If for some reason all of this isn’t within you, or you can’t tap into it at any given moment, a good support system can help boost you up. Whether it be family, friends, a group of some sort, or even online… they can support you through hard times. Your support system can act as a bridge to get you over the hurdles and keep you strong when you’re feeling weak. We all have times of weakness so lean on them when you need to, but also realize that you have what you need within yourself as well.

What do you feel is the hardest part of weight loss? For me personally it has always been the food. I love food. I love exercise and staying active once I start but food will always be my weakness. So that has been the toughest part for me and sometimes continues to be, but I push to overcome it every day and I will not quit. Some of it becomes more habit and natural over time and that is so rewarding!

~Bonnie~

How to Beat the Motivation Slump

Everyone deals with that motivation slump from time to time. I know I personally deal with it at least once a week. It’s those days where nothing sounds appealing and you just can’t get motivated. It is especially tough when your bed is more appealing than going about your day. This type of day can be frustrating beyond words as you know that you have many things to do, and some of them are even desirable, but you can’t get yourself started with any of it.

motivation slump

Here are some ways I have found to beat that all compelling motivation slump:

  • Take a moment to drink coffee: Use your morning coffee as a chance to wake up and get motivated. Drink it a little slower to enjoy the moment and revive your mind after a night’s slumber. Read something you find motivational while you drink, such as a magazine, part of a book, uplifting news stories or articles, etc.
  • Fake it till you make it: Have you heard of this saying? Sometimes simply going through the motions of the day helps you find motivation to move forward again. Eventually something clicks and you feel better again, rejuvenated even!
  • Do something simple that brings you joy: A way to baby step your way into your day… find something simple and easy to do that also helps you move toward your goals. You can’t find the motivation to workout? Go on Pinterest and look at all the healthy living pins or read some blogs on the specific topic. You can’t find the motivation to work? Make a list of something related to your work that makes you happy.
  • Blog/Journal: Sometimes blogging or journaling helps as well, just working through your thoughts and emotions can help you process whatever has put up a “motivational roadblock” in your mind. Other times it brings to light a spark of interest in doing something you need to do because you thought of something completely new!
  • Listen to upbeat music: Listening to upbeat music, or simply your favorite music, is uplifting and inspirational! Try it sometime when your motivation is down the drain.
  • Go for a walk or exercise: Take a walk outside. The fresh air and sunshine will do you tons of good. All other types of exercise as well can help revitalize your body and mind at the same time.
  • Let loose: Act like a kid again, or simply let yourself be carefree. The release is amazing and can remind you why it’s worthwhile to just take action and live life!
  • Post on social media: The moment you post on social media that you don’t feel like doing something, you either get feedback that helps motivate you… or you feel motivated because you feel relieved, taking the pressure off. Sometimes even finding something positive to post on social media can help ignite a fire within you.

What do you personally do to get yourself motivated on a day where nothing seems appealing? I’m sure we could all use a whole arsenal of ideas to spur us to action on those days!

~Bonnie~

3 Day Quote Challenge

Day 3 of the 3 day quote challenge, nominated by It’s Good to be Crazy Sometimes. Check out her blog, I find it incredibly interesting and enjoyable!

Thank you for the nomination, I am truly honored!

Rules for Three-Day Quote Challenge

Thank the blogger, who nominated you.
Publish 3 quotes on 3 consecutive days in your blog. It can be your own, or from a book, movie or from anyone who inspires you.
Nominate 3 more bloggers to carry on this endeavor.

My 3 quotes today are some I find inspiring when things are tough:

  1. I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord. -Isaiah 66:9
  2. “The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.” -unknown
  3. “In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.” -Quotesforlife101.net

These are the things I try to remind myself when things are hard, that I’m learning a valuable lesson and I will come out stronger than ever, so I hope you find the same value in them.

And for my nominations:

http://www.simpleighorganized.com/

https://stepstomovement.wordpress.com/

https://tlynn95.wordpress.com/

3 Day Quote Challenge

Day 2 of the 3 day quote challenge, nominated by It’s Good to be Crazy Sometimes. Check out her blog, I find it incredibly interesting and enjoyable!

Thank you for the nomination, I am truly honored!

Rules for Three-Day Quote Challenge

Thank the blogger, who nominated you.
Publish 3 quotes on 3 consecutive days in your blog. It can be your own, or from a book, movie or from anyone who inspires you.
Nominate 3 more bloggers to carry on this endeavor.

My 3 quotes today are some I have stumbled upon recently on Pinterest and found motivational:

  1. wake up and be awesome
  2. you haven't quit
  3. awesome and negative Quote by Karen Salmansohn via notsalmon.com

And for my nominations:

http://www.bandedcarolinagirl.wordpress.com

http://www.bulgingbuttons.wordpress.com

http://www.devyncox.wordpress.com