DIY · health · Weightloss

D.I.Y Your Own Home Gym!

January is all about lifestyle changes and healthy choices. We make promises to ourselves that this year will be different and we start out strong. If you made a health resolution, it can be difficult to follow through. One thing that can help is having your own personal space to get in a workout! Working out is such an important part of leading a healthy life, why not put the effort into customizing a space to do it, just for you.

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The first thing you will need is a little bit of space! It can be the garage, basement or just a corner of a room, whatever works best for you. Clear it of any clutter and lets get started!

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I Heart Organizing

Secondly, arrange whatever workout equipment you have in the space. For example, a treadmill, weights, and resistance bands. Get some cute storage containers to keep smaller equipment organized.

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Next, you will want to think about the floor. If you are working with a carpeted area, just laying down a yoga mat will work fine. However, if you are working with hard floors and want to go the extra mile, think about purchasing foam gym floor mats. This will give your space a serious workout vibe and give you enough padding to do your workouts.

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Make sure you have a TV in your workout space. This will come in handy to stream workouts from Beachbody on Demand or just to keep you entertained while you workout. Catch up on your favorite shows while you sweat!

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Lastly, you will want to personalize your space. You can add some motivational quotes to the wall or do like I did and add some Chalkboard Decals so you can keep track of things like your weight loss, your workout schedule, or to keep track of where you are in the program you might be using. I’m using The 21 Day Fix.

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Making your own home gym does not have to be hard! With these simple steps you can make your own in an afternoon with things you probably already have. I love how my gym came out. What will you do to make your own workout space? Get creative and comment with your ideas, I would love to hear them!

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Here are some more home gym ideas from Pinterest!

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Life · Monthly Health Check In · Seasonal

2016, That’s a Wrap!

Today we celebrate and ring in the New Year. Today is also a time of reflect on the year that has passed and what it has brought us. The ups and the downs, the good and the bad. My 2016 was filled with both. I laughed a lot and cried a lot. I tried new things and had new experiences. Today, I want to share some highlights from my year.

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This year I got to spend a large amount of time with family. I am so grateful for that. I got the opportunity to travel to visit my “sister-in-law” in Massachusetts and my aunt in New Hampshire. Along with many other fun visits with other members of my family, I’m so grateful for all the time this year I got to spend bonding with the people that mean so much to me.

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This year, in March, Geoffrey had the final surgery on his left ankle, trying to fix complications from previous surgeries due to the original diagnosis of Osteochondritis dissecans. After a long overnight stay in the hospital, post op, we returned home where he needed constant care, requiring me to stay with him for eight weeks through his recovery.

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Also, this year, Geoffrey’s family adopted a new dog named Beau! I went with them to pick him up and he was mats and dirt, but we could already tell that he was a sweetheart. On the long ride home from the pick up spot, he nuzzled both Geoffrey and I and actually crawled up into Geoffrey’s lap! We got him home and immediately brushed him to get out as many knots as we could and the amount of hair that came off could have made a whole other dog. After that he was ready to come inside and was instantly at home. We are so happy to welcome this big furry ball of love into the family and so happy that Mr. and Mrs.L have finally found the dog for them!

 

We added another member to the family this year. My Aunt Pam and Uncle Dan welcomed baby Tobias Connor Goodenough on September 5th at 10:54pm, at 6.77lb, 49cm. He is a beautiful baby boy and is getting so big so fast! I’m so excited to have baby cousins in the family and to get to be a big cousin. I so grateful to have Toby and his sisters in my life.

 

As I mentioned before, this year I got the amazing opportunity to do some traveling! I wrote about it previously here and here. It was a wonderful trip and the first time I’ve gotton to travel with my boyfriend, Geoffrey. We had so much fun!

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This year also held a lot of personal opportunities for me. In September, I started this blog to chronicle my weight loss and the ups and downs of that and my battle with mental health. I also became vegan this year around August. In late November, I became a Beachbody Coach. Beachbody has helped me lose 30 plus pounds and becoming a coach grants me the opportunity to help others achieve their own health goals and dreams. I am so excited to get out there and help others!

 

I also started a new hobby this year. Hiking the Pennypack Trail! I love being outside and getting some alone time to think on the trails. I get to take beautiful pictures and see amazing things all while getting in some great exercise!

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2016 wasn’t all wonderful, however. This year we lost a dear family friend, Sharon Lyew. This February, she succumbed to complications of diabetes and heart disease. Sharon was someone who was always a part of my life. She taught me to love crafting at a young age when she would come over and teach me how to make jewelry and other things. She babysat me when I was a baby and we have so many funny stories to tell of her. We think of her often and hold her close in our hearts.

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Sharon and I.

 

So much has come together to make up 2016. So much joy, sadness and triumph. 2016 was a jam packed year. I worked hard, accomplished much, and grew as a person. I hope 2017 holds just as much opportunity for growth and change as 2016, just as much joy, and if it brings sadness, that I may learn from it.

 

What are your favorite memories from 2016? What are your hopes for 2017?

 

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Depression · health · Life · Mental Health · Monthly Health Check In · Vegan · Weightloss

November, That’s A Wrap!

I know I’m late posting this but the past few weeks have been hectic for me. The last several months have been difficult for me, you can read more about that here and here. This month, unfortunately, was just as difficult. I’m getting pretty tired of writing about how hard of a time I have been having lately but I feel like it is important to be honest. Battling depression and weight issues is not a straight path, as I’ve been learning, it has many ups and downs.

This month I was lucky enough to go on an amazing eleven day vacation with my boyfriend to visit his sister and then my aunt, in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I managed to lose 9 pounds, even though I was on vacation! You can read more about my vacation here and here!

However, once I got home I plateaued, and didn’t lose any weight the rest of the month.

It’s not all about weight, however. I’m a bit disappointed in myself. I definitely didn’t live my best life for most of November. I have been having such a difficult time with other aspects of my health that I never anticipated when I started this blog. When I started writing this blog I felt on top of the world, it is amazing how quickly you can fall back to the bottom.

I try everyday to make the best decisions that I can but because of the adversity I have been facing, it has been very difficult. I’m not giving up though. I’m determined to get back on my feet and get my health under control, in all aspects.

I have so many goals I want to reach. I’m working towards so much. I just need to get a hold on my depression again before I can step forward.

There are some positive things to report this month!

On November 23rd I officially became a Beachbody coach! You might be wondering what that is. A Beachbody coach is someone who helps people reach their own health and fitness goals. I’m so excited to start this new chapter in my life. I am so passionate about my own health, I can’t wait to share that passion with others. The thought of making a positive impact on other people’s lives fills me with so much joy!

I also had an amazing Thanksgiving with my family in Mechanicsburg, PA! My cousin Elizabeth cooked a beautiful dinner and provided lots of yummy vegan options for me! I really appreciated the thought that went into making sure I had something to eat as well.

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How was your November? What do you have planned for December?

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health · Life · Monthly Health Check In · Uncategorized · Vegan · Weightloss

October, That’s A Wrap!

I’m not going to lie, my October has been one big setback. It all started when I got back from a trip at the end of September and ran out of one of my medications, I briefly addressed that issue here. I was without it for three days and became physically ill. I was racked with chills, nausea, throbbing headaches, and more. It was excruciating. After those horrible three days my prescription was filled, but unfortunately the damage had been done. I believe, and so does my doctor, that being without my prescription caused a relapse in my depression. To counteract my symptoms, he put me on a new drug and when it didn’t produce the results we expected, he quickly swapped me to another drug. The second medication made me so physically ill that I had to go to the hospital and quickly stop taking it. As of today I’m still figuring out how to manage. I’ve been frustrated with this whole process, but I’m not giving up. I’m confident that I can get back to where I was in September. I’m not done with my journey to be healthy. This month has just been a small bump, not a complete derailment!

This monthly check-in will not be like the others. There are no accomplishments to post because my biggest accomplishment everyday this month was getting myself out of bed. There is no weight loss to report because I haven’t had the energy or drive to work out or cook healthy meals. My only goal for the next month is to get back to where I was, to put myself on a healthy schedule and stick to it. I look forward to my November check-in, full of improvements and goals met.

I’m feeling a bit better now and currently enjoying spending my time with family in Massachusetts for Halloween, it’s much more fun to celebrate with the nieces! I am having so much fun with them, they are the perfect motivators. This was definitely the break I  desperately needed, to get out of my environment and clear my mind. Today is Halloween, my absolute favorite holiday! I hope you have a fun and spooky Halloween too, and keep the fun going into November! Be safe, and stay healthy!

 

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My nieces Addie and Millie. Read more about them on their mom’s blog at aisforadelaide.com

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Cooking · health · Recipe · Uncategorized

Pumpkin Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie bowls are becoming increasingly popular. It’s no wonder, they are easy to make, beautiful to look at, nutritious, and super tasty! I have a smoothie every morning for breakfast and I wanted to create a recipe that put the spotlight on this trend and was seasonal at the same time. So, I created a Pumpkin Smoothie Bowl. It’s really easy to put together and perfectly captures Fall flavors.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Canned Pumpkin
  • 1 Frozen Banana (Freeze outside of the peel)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Pumpkin spice
  • 1 Tablespoon of Honey
  • 1/2 Cup of Coconut Milk or Almond Milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • A Handful of Ice Cubes
  • Pick your choice of toppings like Almonds, Chia Seeds, Banana, Pumpkin Seeds, Coconut, or Walnuts!

Materials:

  • Blender
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife

Step One:

The night before you make your smoothie, peel and chop a banana and put it in a Ziploc bag and place it in the freezer.

Step Two:

The next morning, remove your banana from the freezer.

Place your banana and all other ingredients in your blender.

Blend until smooth.

Step Three:

Place smoothie into a bowl and cover with your choice of toppings!

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Enjoy!

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Cooking · Recipe · Seasonal · Uncategorized · Vegan

Cleansing Squash Soup

Autumn is a time of hearty foods such as pumpkin pies, stews, and heavy breads. Our systems can get overwhelmed with the indulgence of it all. This soup is a great meal to take a break from those heavy foods while still enjoying an Autumn themed meal. It is cleansing and boosts immunity to prep you for when those bugs make their rounds this winter. Add some quinoa or rice to bulk up this soup and make it a nice family dinner!

Ingredients:

  • 4 Cups of Vegetable Broth
  • 2 teaspoons of Minced Garlic
  • 1 Apple, peeled, chopped
  • 1 Butternut Squash, peeled, chopped
  • Carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1/2 Cup of Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon Pumpkin Spice
  • 1 teaspoon of Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut or Almond Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • Garnish with fresh greens
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

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Step One-

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Peel your vegetables and apple. Remove the seeds from your squash and apple. Chop everything into quarter sized chunks, put your apple aside for later. Fill pot with water and place in squash and carrots. Bring your pot to a rolling boil and let your vegetables boil for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes drain your vegetables from your water and put aside.

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Step Two-

In a crock pot, add your vegetable broth, garlic, carrots, apple, squash, salt, turmeric, brown sugar, cinnamon, coconut oil, and pumpkin spice. Put crock pot on high and let cook for 1 hour.

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Step Three-

Take everything in your crock pot and place it into a food processor, or a blender, and puree until smooth. Place your soup back into your crock pot and let steep on high for an additional 2 hours until creamy.

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After your soup has cooked, add the milk and maple syrup. Whisk well.

Add  garnish, salt, and pepper to taste.

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Enjoy!

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Cooking · Recipe · Vegan

Amazing Apple Cookies

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September, to me, is a time of change. The leaves change their color marking the start of Autumn, a new school year, and the harvest season. So what food do I think of most, this time of year? Apples! They are a staple of Fall cooking. For my first recipe I wanted to make a heavenly cookie to put a spotlight on this autumnal fruit. They are versatile to work with and delicious, making them the best ingredient for a vegan cookie.

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For this recipe you will need…

  • 3/4 Cups Vegan Butter
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup Applesauce
  • 1 and 3/4 Cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Cups Oats
  • 1 Medium Apple, peeled, shredded = 1 Cup total

For Icing…

  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon Coconut Milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/4 Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Honey

Add more Powdered Sugar to thicken or more milk to thin.

First, heat your oven to 375. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper and put aside for later. In a large bowl, mix vegan butter, sugar, and brown sugar.

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Vegan Butter, Brown Sugar and Sugar.

Next, add vanilla and applesauce.

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Vanilla and Applesauce

Beat with your mixer until you get a smooth consistency.

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Now, in a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients with a whisk. They are flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Then pour it into your batter. Beat the two together with your mixer.

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Next, take your apple and wash it, peel it, and then shred it with a grater.

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Add the Apple and Oats into batter and mix.

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Your dough should turn out looking like this!

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Pro Tip: Pop your batter into the fridge for an hour or so before baking your cookies. This helps the batter absorb all of the flavors and improves the texture.

While you’re waiting, now is the perfect time to make your icing!

In a medium bowl beat together powdered sugar, coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and honey.

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Once your icing is nice and smooth it’s time to transfer it to an icing bag. If you don’t actually have one, just use a Ziploc bag and rubber band the top. When you’re ready to use your icing, just snip off the corner of the bag. Remember to make a small cut or else the hole will be to big. Pop in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

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Now it’s time to make those cookies!

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Pro Tip: Use a melon baller/ ice cream scoop to get perfectly round cookies. The scoop I used makes roughly 1 and a 1/4 inch balls.

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Put your balls of dough on your prepped cookie sheets. You should be able to make around 36 cookies. I flattened my cookies with a fork and sprinkled a bit of flour on top to keep them from rising too much. Place cookies in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

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When your cookies are done baking just slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheets to let them cool.

Once they’re cool get your icing from the fridge and drizzle over the cookies. Make sure to let the cookies completely cool before icing!

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Enjoy!

 

Printable Recipes: Just save photos below and print! (Servings may vary)

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