Thursday, May 31, 2012

My TOP Health Tips…(This is a GOOD one!!)

In the last few months, I have REALLY made an effort to take control of my health!!!!

I went from THIS right after my Miami marathon

Miami 148gross 015 

{Yes, I know my posture isn’t great…but I’m NOT poking my belly out I that second one… I just took the pic after I ate dinner! Mexican!! ha!}

To THIS….by changing my diet, finding some quality supplements, and increasing the intensity of my workouts.

k 014k 017k 018a 006A 016A 020

No, I wasn’t unhappy with my body before. I ate 90% clean and worked out hard (hello, I trained for 2 full marathons back to back!). But if you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know that I was a little disappointed that I gained weight while training for the marathons….and that I just couldn’t seem to beat my sugar addiction.

I also mentioned a few weeks ago that I am adopted and have been recently learning about some biological family health history. Unfortunately. it’s not good news….particularly with lots of heart disease and conditions. I decided I needed to step my game up a little concerning my health, and I have done just that.

I have always eaten healthy, worked out, and taken vitamins and supplements; however, I have taken it to a whole new level these past few months and I couldn’t be more thrilled with that decision. As a result, I look and feel better than ever!!! And other people are noticing. Although that is rewarding, and I love being 100% confident with my body & having more energy than ever, it is even more rewarding knowing that I am taking care of myself!!! That I am preventing diseases. That I will have a better quality of life in the future (the Lord willing).

I am ALL about disease prevention. In times when cancer, illness, heart disease, diabetes, and infertility are absolutely rampant, I truly believe taking care of yourself (through things like proper nutrition, exercise, enough sleep, lots of water, vitamins & supplements, sunblock, stress reduction, and growing spiritually) is the key to avoiding these issues.

**Please know that I mean no disrespect in that. I am in no way saying people have brought their illnesses on themselves….some things are inevitable. But I DO believe we have an opportunity to make healthy lifestyle choices to help our body fight off and prevent diseases.**

I do not believe God intended for us to be sedentary slobs sitting in front of the tv and computer all day. And I also don’t believe he intended for us to be gluttons and stuff our faces with junk food either. Obviously obesity is a problem in American society, and it leads to multiple health issues. The deal is though, in most cases, simple lifestyle changes/choices can prevent and eliminate the majority of these issues.

I saw two quotes today that I loved….

“Those who think they have no time for exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”

Exercise Now

“You cannot out-supplement poor nutrition just like you can't out-train a bad diet.”

you can't outexercise a bad diet

You would not BELIEVE the people who give me heck about my healthy lifestyle choices. It’s RIDICULOUS!!! I do not judge anyone for their choices….I only strive to encourage people to make better ones for their own health and future. People do not get it.  I am not on a “diet.” I am not depriving myself. Interestingly enough, ‘the definition of diet is: food and drink regularly provided or consumed (Merriam-Webster dictionary). Therefore, everyone has a diet they follow, mine just happens to be healthier than most.’ I know it has helped me to change my perception of that word, and recognize that food is designed to be FUEL for our body.

food is fuel

I LOVE this blog post…This says it all!! (Seriously, READ it!! It’s EXACTLY what I want to say to everyone who says crap to me!)Pinned Image

ALL that being said (are you still reading?? high five!)….Here are some of my TOP TIPS for a healthier lifestyle!! I am constantly learning and researching, so these are just some of my current + old faves.


1. DRINK MORE WATER. The more I learn about water, the more I understand how essential it is to our health. I have written about the importance of WATER & HYDRATION several times. Stop making excuses, and start drinking more. I drink AT LEAST 1 whole gallon a day, and usually more.

2. HIDE THE SCALE. I weigh once a week (same time of day, on the same scale….for accuracy), mostly for accountability. It drives me BONKERS when people obsess about their weight. My “normal” weight is around 140, but I could care less about the number itself. We should be WAY more concerned with our fitness level, overall health, energy levels, how we feel, and how our clothes fit. Muscle weighs more than fat, and I could be much healthier at my 140 than someone else at 110.

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3. Fill up on lean protein & veggies first. Snack on raw, unsalted nuts, apples, boiled egg whites, raw veggies, etc. Watch out for dairy & even wheat (as most people have a slight intolerance to wheat products & dairy disrupts the flora in the gut- not saying avoid altogether, just be aware of how your body responds to both). Skip processed, packaged, junk food, and fast food as often as possible. Research clean eating recipes & try new things…but find some staple clean recipes you love. Be aware of serving sizes. Eat often to keep your metabolism going.

Pinned Image

4. Track your food! I cannot even tell you how huge this is!! Like I said, I’ve been eating healthy for a while, but too many “healthy calories” is still too many calories….and it causes weight gain. Join if you haven’t already (it’s like free Weight Watchers), and use it every day!! It is such a cool, user- friendly tool, and I was amazed to see how much more I was eating than I thought!! It’ll help you make sure you’re getting what you need every day. AND like most women, I wasn’t getting nearly enough protein, but tracking through MFP helped me ensure I was getting enough of the good stuff and not too much of the not-so-good stuff. (FYI: You do need healthy fats & carbs….carbs shouldn’t drop below 100 g/day.)

Pinned ImagePinned Image

5. Make your workout COUNT!! Yes, anything is better than nothing, and it’s most important to just get moving. But you better believe if I’m going to take time out of my day to exercise (MAKE IT A PRIORITY….stop making excuses!), I am going to make it count!!! You can even workout shorter times if you’ll just go more intense! I work out about 5 days a week, about an hour each time. I do mostly body weight exercises (squats, lunges, planks, REAL pushups & chin ups- yes, I feel like a beast-, etc.). You can do all those from home, so there is no excuse! There are TONS of workouts on Pinterest if you’re lacking ideas! Also, when it comes to my cardio, I do HIIT- High intensity interval training. I only do about 20-25 min…..60 sec normal speed, 30 sec as hard as I can go, repeat. I do this on the treadmill, track, elliptical, jumping rope, on the bike, jumping jacks, plyos, etc. I mix and match a lot to get my 20-25 min in so I don’t get bored. I’m always DRIPPING sweat when I’m done, so I know I’ve worked. This will MELT fat!! Also, be sure to do cardio AFTER your workout. I’ve read both ways, but this has worked best for me.

6. CUT OUT SUGAR! Sugar is absolutely toxic. End of story. We need to cut it out, except for special occasions. And no, every day is not a special occasion!! Not even every event! If' you’re like me, I am constantly going to birthday parties, showers, weddings, etc., and if I ‘splurge’ every time (which I used to do), that would really add up. There are healthy alternatives too. My new favorite treat is my morning shakes and my post- workout recovery protein shake made in the blender with ice & water. I feel like I’m getting a milkshake and it has really helped me control my sweet tooth!!!

7. Take vitamins & supplements, and make sure they are good quality. Top 3 I recommend?? A multivitamin, Omegas, and Probiotics. I am writing another post right now about why we need vitamins and supplements. They are SO important!! I really love Advocare's vitamins because they are top quality and made from the highest grade of ingredients.

OmegaPlex®CorePlex®ProBiotic Restore™ ULTRA

8. Don’t be a sun goddess. I just bought a spray tan machine because I love being tan, but I don’t want skin cancer. The tanning solution is organic and I thoroughly researched it- very safe! I bathe in sunblock (lots of hype about sunblock right now with skin cancer on the rise- I need to do some more research on this to make sure I have the right kind!) & try to sit in the shade as often as possible. I wear a hat if I’m going to be in the sun to keep it off my face.

Honeymoon 230Honeymoon 236

{I was SO dark for my wedding/honeymoon….NO MORE of that unless it’s from my spray tan machine!!}

James: Mercy Triumphs - by Beth Moore

9. STOP making excuses. YOU are in control of your health. Your daily decisions and choices can dictate your health and future. Your daily choices are also setting an example for others- friends, siblings, kids, etc. Lifestyle changes are not easy, but they are necessary. CHOOSE to make it happen, and don’t give up. Find someone to join you on your journey to becoming healthier. From my personal experience, the healthier I am, the better I look & feel. I have more energy and I am able to get more accomplished. I’m not saying I never eat a slice of cake or skip a work out, because I do. But I don’t let those become habits. Make a change TODAY!!!


Anonymous said...

What an awesome post Danielle!!! Thank you for being so motivating!!! I look forward to your post... I hope you have a blessed day sister!!!!
- Colette

Nikki said...

Hey Danielle!

Awesome post I am so with you in all of this!

Also, I wanted to talk to you about the Advocare products. If I remember correctly you said you sold them? Can you email me about this?


Kate said...

Great tips! Isn't it amazing how when you stop eating all the refined sugar how much more sweet the natural sugars are. I remember last year at this time (when I was a sugaroholic) that I had to add sugar to my strawberries(just crazy!) and this year after being off sugar for a while they are almost too sweet!

Loved the section on working out. Since becoming a mom I don't make it to the gym or to all the classes, but I still get a great workout! I also get to include my daughter so hopefully she will live an active healthy lifestyle!

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

Wow! What a great post! This is packed with information! I'm going to star it and come back to it later because I'm only about halfway through, but I just wanted to comment. You are so inspiring and I love posts like this! I *need* these constant reminders. I'm pretty healthy, but I know I can be better. I still cheat, and there are many things I can cut out of my diet (diet soda??!!) and these types of posts are a HUGE help!

You look phenomenal! Keep up the amazing work!

Anna Catherine said...

Great post. I love your self-discipline! You are doing awesome! I also need to know about your spray tanning machine. I love spray tans, but they get expensive!

Courtney said...

Thank you so much for your tips and advice! I'm due with our seine child in less than two weeks, and cannot wait to start working out and taking charge of my body again!!! Your blog is very uplifting and inspiring!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Beth Moore!! Thank you for posting the book cover. I hadn't read that one and was looking for a new book!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Beth Moore!! Thank you for posting the book cover. I hadn't read that one and was looking for a new book!

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog...You look amazing! Most of all you look HEALTHY and happy. Would you mind doing a post on your current workout? I'd love to read about arms and shoulders especially, but your abs look fabulous too.

Thanks! ML

Unknown said...

Your tips rock and many of them are the tips I give to people when they ask what my "secrets" are. The one I lack in is vitamins so I'm following you now just so I can read your post on it aha. I just have no idea where to start when it comes to them!

Unknown said...

Hi Stopping by from Kelly's Great Tips!!! Thanks for sharing them. You are a beautiful couple and you look fabulous:)

Unknown said...

Thank you for your awesome tips! Can I ask what tanning machine you use and what organic tanning solution you use.

#mommylife said...

i love that I just stumbled upon this from pinterest and 1) love all this.. and 2) i see nikki's comment from when it all began for her! ;) xoxo ps i need some workout tips now that i'm back in the gym.. i have no idea what to do! Maybe a text sesh soon? :)