Kiss

Love. Something so simple yet so complicated. One day you are taking on life on your own and the next you cannot imagine how you went about life without the other person. What I have learned is you just have to accept that life has a funny way of working itself out.

My love story started like so many of these stories do. You go out with your friends for a casual night out into town to have a drink and dance. Then the next thing you know you have taken one too many tequila shots and your casual night turns into a lit night. Beside the point, little did I know that this night was going to change my life for the better. I had gone through a pretty bad breakup prior, so I was not looking for anything serious. But like I said, life has a funny way of working itself out. Julian (my current boyfriend) and I had been friends for two years but I secretly knew he always had a crush on me. I however never saw him more than a friend. (sorry hunny!) He was saying goodbye because he was going home from the bar but I had pulled him onto the dance floor instead. Although I can’t remember the song that was playing I do remember how I felt.

Our bodies close together, dancing to whatever song was on and the next thing I knew he had kissed me. Normally I would have pulled away but that kiss was something like I have never felt before and have not forgotten. You know when someone says the saw fireworks and a rush goes throughout their body after someone kissed them? Well, those people are not exaggerating because it felt exactly like that. From that night on I could not stop thinking about how I felt. It was a kiss that changed my life and still have not forgotten about. We went on our first date a few days later and have been together for eight months. Now I cannot imagine my life without him in it.

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Ab Season: Quick 8 Minute Workout

Can you believe it is already May and summer is just around the corner? I bet all of you are rushing to the gym, trying to get a jump-start on that bikini bod, am I right? But what about those who want those abs but don’t have the time to dedicate towards working on them? Don’t  you worry, I completely understand because I am in the same boat. Plus, if you are anything like me, abs are not my favorite go to exercise. But I realized over time that I didn’t have to spend a whole lot of dedication towards working on my abs in order to see results. Everyone has 8 minutes to spare during their busy day right? By doing these 8 exercises everyday I not only started to notice a difference in my core but in my overall strength as well. Just for reference, I am not in any way a professional but I incorporate these exercises into my daily gym routine and they work for me. Keep in mind these are for beginner and intermidete level exercises.

Each exercise is done for 30 seconds and is repeated twice to total up to 8 minutes

Alternating Heel Touches - 30 seconds (x2)

For this exercise you should be laying flat on your back with your knees bent. Use your obliques to reach towards the side of your shoe and repeat the same process. In order to avoid a strain neck, try looking up towards the ceiling.

Bicycle Crunches - 30 seconds (x2)

For this exercise you should be on your back with your one knee bent towards you while the other one is out straight. Use the opposite elbow to crunch towards your knee and repeat the process for both sides. One leg should always be bent towards you and the other one out straight. To avoid neck strain, keep your chin tucked towards your chest.

Reach Throughs - 30 seconds (x2)

This is the point where I start to feel the burn in my belly. You will be in the same position as the alternating heel touches. Put your hand on top of each other like you are making a triangle with your arms. Use your lower abdominal to reach as far as you can through your legs and crunch when you come back to the start position. It is important to breath through this and to tuck your head into your chest.

Wide Toe Touches - 30 seconds (x2)

This exercise is a bit different than the others because you will raise both your legs up into the air with your hands holding your head. Then using your lower abdominals again, you will try to reach your toes by reaching up towards them. If you can’t reach your toes, just try to reach up as high as you can. Over time you will be able to get further until you can. When you come down remember to crunch and return to start position with your hands holding your head.

Starfish Crunches - 30 seconds (x2)

By this point my abs are always burning! For this exercise, lay flat on your back with your arms up like you are about to do the Y in the YMCA, and your legs making a V shape. Bring one arm straight up and diagonally across as you lift the opposing straight leg. Finish crunch by lightly touching shin or just come as close as your flexibility allows to your toe. Alternate back and forth each rep.

Windshield Wipers - 30 seconds (x2)

I always look forward to these at the end because they aren’t as challenging as the others. To begin, lay on your back with your legs bent at a 90 degree angle with your arms out to the side for support. Engaging your obligues, tilt both your legs as far to the floor as you can go. Bring your legs back up and repeat the process back and forth like a windshield wiper. Try not to use anything but your oblique muscles.

Plank & Side Planks - 1 minute & 30 seconds each (x1)

These have grown to be my absolute favorite at the gym because they not only work your abs but your arms as well. Start by getting into a press up position. Bend your elbows and rest your weight ono your forearms and not on your hands. You may cuff your hands together while doing this exercise. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles. If your butt is in the air then you need to straighten out. Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine. Hold this position and feel the burn.

For side planks, you will repeat the same process except on your side. Prop yourself up on your side using whichever forearm. Your body should form a diaganol line. I like to cross my legs to have them both be on the floor because I find this to be more comfortable. There are different ways to make this exercise more challenging. For those who want to keep it at beginners level, leave your hand on your hip. If you want more of a challenge raise your hand up towards the ceiling with an option to add a weight as well. Hold this position and alternate the process.

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I hope you all enjoy these exercises as much as I do. Be sure to follow and keep a look out for a blog update coming soon! But until then, let me know how these exercises work out for you!

 

Tropical Protein Smoothie

The tropical protein smoothie has been my current obsession for the past month! In my recent post,Tips How to Stay Motivated at the Gym, I mentioned how bikini season was around the corner. Well, this baby has been the perfect partner in crime for me to stay on track with my healthy diet. I typically make this smoothie for lunch and use it as a meal replacement. It is perfect because it is simple and quick to make, portable and most importantly, it taste pretty BOMB! So if you are looking to get a jump start on your bikini bod then I suggest you try whipping up a batch of this.

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Ingredients:

  • 5 organic frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 cup of crushed ice chips
  • 4 spoonfuls of plain greek yogurt
  • 2/3 cup of almond milk or orange juice
  • 1/4 cup of frozen pineapple
  • Spoonful of chi seeds
  • 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder
  • Handful of blueberries (optional)
  • 1 banana

Just throw in your favorite ingredients into your NutriBullet or blender. I prefer to have my protein smoothie more creamy than liquid. Usually I blend it for 30 seconds – 1 minute. Blend until you are satisfied with the content and enjoy! I promise you this will have you coming back for more each day. Let me know how it works out for you in the comments below!

Tips to Stay Motivated at the Gym

Hey guys, hope you all are having an awesome week! Lately I have been feeling the pressure of bikini season around the corner. I mean, cmon, you are basically half naked the entire summer and no matter what body type you have, we all have something we wish we could improve on. With finals week coming up, the gym has not been my number 1 priority. I barely have time to eat a decent meal let alone workout for an hour! But as I walked into the gym today, at 1 this afternoon (hey, at least I went) I realized that it only takes a day to start up your routine again. There is no competition with anyone else but yourself and if you can only squeeze in a workout once a week, then at least you are doing something. Kudos to you! But what exactly is the key to staying motivated? Let me give you a few very simple suggestions that may help you to get going with your workout everyday.

 Get a workout partner

To me I think this is one aspect of the gym that motivates me to go more often. When I go to the gym with a friend it not only pushes me to work harder but it makes going more fun. What? Did I just say the gym is fun? Yup! Plus you get the added benefit of having your own free personal trainer who can introduce you to different routines. And believe me, I need a push every once in awhile, especially when it comes to doing thinks like the elliptical machine.

 Keep varying your exercises

Speaking of different routines, it is important for those who want to add a little more muscle and lean out to switch up their routines. I am talking to you cardio ladies. Trust me, I used to never want to leave the treadmill because running was the only thing I was good at. But I also noticed that I wasn’t getting the results that I wanted. Don’t be afraid to pick up a pair of weights or use a machine. You will see more results if you add more weighted sessions into your workouts.

 Listen to your favorite music

Whether you like hip hop, rock, country, edm or whatever, music is your best friend at the gym. Find something that you zone out into and pushes you to do that extra set or run that extra half a mile. My go to station on Pandora is Britney Spears. You can judge me all you want but when Gimme More or Work B*tch comes on then there is no stopping me!

 Think positive

I cannot stress this enough! I know how hard it is to feel like you are working so hard but you aren’t getting the results that you want. Remember, you are doing this for yourself and not for anyone else. A positive attitude can help you stay motivated and committed to your fitness goals on days when you feel like you just can’t find the motivation to stick to your routine. Results take time (sometimes years) but don’t give up. YOU CAN DO IT!

 Realize the importance of exercise

I used to hate going to the gym but after getting into a routine I began to fall in love with excising. There is just something that makes it so addicting! However, sometimes we take our bodies for granted. Admit it, we all rather go eat a hamburger than go run a mile on the treadmill. But once you realize the importance of exercise it will not longer feel like a burden but more of a priority. Yes, exercising helps you lose weight but it also helps you grow as a person. You begin to focus on yourself and self growth, and that is what I think is the most important thing to keep in mind.

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So guys, I hope this helps you get yourself back into the gym. Remember, exercising is not a competition but it is a long learning process. Can’t wait to see you all rocking those bikinis! Good luck and be sure to check out more of my fitness blogging tips in the future!

 

Trying New Things in Paradise

Saturday was one for the books for me. My friend came down to visit for the weekend and we decided to go on a spontaneous hike to Paradise Falls. Although I have been on this hike before, I was super excited to be able to show my love the beautiful waterfall. Well funny thing, as we got there my excitement quickly turned into freaking out! When we  were walking we began to hear noises on both sides of us in the grassland. At first, we thought it was the wind but then it kept getting louder as we walked further into the canyon. It turned out that the rattlesnakes were out to join us on our nice hike to the waterfall. It was pretty obvious that I began to have a little panic attack inside my head because uhh, snakes! Not to mention rattlesnakes! It gives me chills just to think about it again. Luckily the hike to the waterfall is only about a mile and a half long so we weren’t surrounded by them for too long after realizing what the noises were. As we got to the waterfall we noticed it was a bit crowded with people. My friend had the crazy idea to climb the waterfall to get to the top where there is a little cave. As a 5’2 girl who has never gone rock climbing in her life, I was obviously against it. But he pushed me to go outside my comfort zone and I somehow managed to climb to the top. I felt so accomplished and happy that I let go of the fear and was able to reach the top. Getting down was a whole different story though. Remember guys, whether it is something big or small, if you push yourself past your capabilities, you can achieve great things!

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Leave me a comment below of something you felt accomplished at!

 

Oatmeal Mini Muffins

Craving something sweet but don’t want all those calories to go along with it? Oatmeal muffins are an amazing substitute for that sweet tooth. It is a versatile snack that you can eat throughout your day and you’ll never seem to want to stop. If you pair it with a cup of coffee or tub of frosting, the tasty treat gets even better! This is my mom’s go to recipe for anytime she needs to prepare a quick treat. Personally, I love to have these in the morning as a quick breakfast. I mean, if they even last until the morning. Trust me, if your house is anything like mine, these will not last long. So I dare you to whip up a batch of these babies. I promise you will not be disappointed by this simple and quick recipe.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of old fashion oats
  • 1 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 stick butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

*You can also add nuts, dry fruit, or chocolate chips!

Recipe:

-Before preparing your batter, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tins with a nonstick spray. I like to use the mini muffin tray, which makes about 2 dozen muffins.

-Use a large mixing bowl. Pour boiling hot water over oatmeal and butter. Let oatmeal, butter and water set for a few minutes until butter is melted and oatmeal has swelled.

-Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

-Lastly, pour the batter into muffin tins. I like to use a scooper to do this. Fill the tins halfway with the batter because it will rise.

-Bake for 20 minutes until they are golden brown.

 

5 Minute Breakfast

I am often asked about what I eat in order to maintain my shape. Honestly, eating healthy just comes natural to me because that is how my mom cooked while I was growing up. Over time I have naturally gravitated to eating healthy, but like most of you I do not always have the time to prepare such lavish meals. Below I posted my every day breakfast that takes less than 5 minutes to prepare and is packed with yummy goodies that will leave you feeling full for your morning! Pair it with a cup of strong coffee and you are ready to go!

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Ingredients you will need:

-1 egg

– Whole wheat English muffin or bagel

– Handful of spinach

-Turkey slice

-Fresh salmon

How to prepare:

I first like to start by putting the English muffin in the toaster oven so by the time everything else is ready so will the muffin. You do not want to start it too late or else everything will be cold! Yuck.

You can cook your eggs however style you like, eg. scrambled, pouched, sunny side up, over easy. I prefer over easy because I can cook the egg into a patty shape but still have the benefit of the yolk inside. I find this to be super delicious and the yolk is a great substitute for a condiment item. Or you could always add a little ketchup too.

Once I have flipped the egg onto the other side I start to cook the salmon. Preferably I like to use a bigger pan so I can cook multiple things at once. It saves you time and from cleaning to many dishes. I usually pan fry the salmon for a minute on both sides but you can do whatever you feel is preferable.

By this time your English muffin should be ready or close to being ready. Since the turkey slices are a bit bigger than the average English muffin I split it in half and put one slice of turkey on both halves of the bread. Then you start building your breakfast sandwich by adding your egg patty and salmon.

The last step is to grab a handful (or more) of spinach and set the stove top to low. Do not leave your spinach on the pan too long or else it will start to get crusty and brown. I suggest leaving it on the pan for 30 seconds and just stir it around until you get a nice cooked green. Trust me, as easy as this sounds it took trial and error to master this.Top the remainder of your sandwich with the spinach and you have yourself a yummy and healthy breakfast.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do every morning. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below letting me know how it worked out for you!