health · Life · Seasonal

Your Resolutions: How to Rock 2017!

The year is coming to a close. Amidst the holiday celebrations, gift giving and cheer, we begin to think about what we want from the new year. The new year is a new beginning, an opportunity for change. 45% of American make New Years Resolutions, however only 8% achieve their goals (1). We start the year off with so much gusto but we don’t follow through. Let’s make this year different! With these simple steps you can rock 2017.

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  Evaluate

What do you want most out of life. Do you want to lose weight? Get control of your finances? Revamp the house? Consider what you could improve on. Take some time, sit down and think about what you would like most out of the new year. Pick one main resolution and you can pick one or two smaller resolutions.

Start Small

Instead of setting big lofty goals, start small. If you want to lose weight, start by promising to stop drinking soda for a month and go from there. Start taking walks at night. These goals are more attainable. By implementing small changes slowly, we are more likely to achieve the goals we set then if we try and make a big change over night.

Post It

Literally, post it! You can write your resolution on a post it and keep it somewhere visible like your mirror so you can see it everyday or go for gold and post your goal on a social media site so everyone knows what your doing. This will keep you accountable.

Make Time

Put some time aside everyday to work on your new goal. If you want to lose weight, put time aside everyday to workout or meal plan. If you want to work on your finances set time aside to work on your books. even if you have to give up watching your favorite show to give yourself that extra hour, it’s worth it, make the time!

Focus

Focus on the small achievements you are making while working on your goal. Every small step adds up to one big accomplishment. Remind yourself of these little achievements during times of doubt to get you through it.

Lastly, Don’t Give Up!

Everyone slips up, if you are trying to shed a few pounds and you find yourself enjoy one to many cookies, don’t beat yourself up and call it quits all together. Recognize that everyone has weak moments and refocus. The worst thing you can do is stop working towards your goal all together. Don’t let a slip up derail you.

I hope your holidays season and New Year is everything you hoped and dreamed of! What will you be resolving to change this year? What do you want out of 2017?

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1: http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/

health · Life · Seasonal · Weightloss

Tips to Stay on Track This Holiday Season.

The holidays are a difficult time if your trying to stay healthy. With all the temptations of holiday treats and dense meals, it can be hard to stay on track. I have a few tips that can make the holidays a little less overwhelming.

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A great info-graphic by The Daily Star.

Make a routine and stick to it.

A routine is the key to success when it comes to health goals. I personally live and die by a scheduled routine. Take some time to write yourself a daily routine to better schedule your time. This will help you stick to healthy habits. If you schedule in time in your routine everyday for a workout you’re more likely to do it.

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Healthy Replacements.

This time of year is filled with cookies, hot cocoa, and chocolate. Instead of over indulging in all of these treats, replace them! Instead of putting out a tray of cookies this year at your holiday party, put out a tray of veggies.

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Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Staying hydrated is so important, especially when your taking in salty or sugary foods. Water helps flush all that out of your system. Instead of eggnog, cocoa or soda, grab a glass of H2O. Make sure you are getting at least eight 8 oz glasses a day!

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Be Prepared

If you know you are going to be at a party or event filled with treats galore, eat something healthy before you leave or pack something healthy to bring with you. You are less likely to go overboard at your event if you are prepared.

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Be realistic

This time of year is about celebrating with the ones we love.  it’s okay to enjoy a treat or two without feeling guilty if you are keeping up with healthy habits. Having a Christmas cookie can prevent a binge later on. Health is all about moderation.

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But most of all, enjoy the holidays with your loved ones!

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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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Life · Monthly Health Check In · Uncategorized · Weightloss

September, That’s a Wrap!

I’m not going to lie, September was a difficult month for me. I lost a drastic amount of weight in the beginning of the month, seven pounds in just over a week. Then I started to feel sluggish and my weight started going back up and continued to yo-yo for the rest of the month. I later realized that a new protein powder I had started using was causing some nasty side effects after a few weeks. I dumped the new powder just in time for my New Hampshire vacation. I left weighing 228 pounds. I tried my best to stay on track while I was away and was able to stay vegan and drink my Shakeology every morning. However, I didn’t stick to my allotted portions and gained 2 pounds, ending the month at 230 and losing a total of 5 pounds. Even though it’s not what I had hoped for, it’s a start!

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My planner, showing my dramatic weight loss in the beginning of the month.

Progress:

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Milestones:

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This month I hit 30 pounds lost!

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Goals:

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September Goals –

I tried my best with the goals I set at the beginning of the month, but I didn’t do as much as I intended. As far as eating more fruits and veggies go, I really stepped it up to incorporate them into at least one meal a day. Moving forward I hope to take further strides in accomplishing more.

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October Goals-

For October I plan to work out more. I’m going to focus more on Beachbody On-Demand workouts because as the weather gets colder I will work on transitioning into a winter workout routine. I’m going to make more of an effort to stick to my dinner plan with my family as there have been a lot of nights in September where I haven’t eaten at home or I just casually threw something together. This month I really want to stay on track with healthy family meals. Lastly, I really need to drink more water! It’s my worst habit, but from now on I will drink 8 glasses a day.

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A New Addition to the LaManna Family-

My boyfriend’s family has been fostering dogs for a while now, and they recently brought home a loving Aussie named Blaze. He was heavily matted and in some serious need of TLC, but everyone pitched in and quickly fell in love. Their family has been searching for a new furry friend since the passing of their beloved Rocky. Blaze has gone above and beyond everyone’s expectations and was officially adopted before the end of the month, and was given a more fitting name, Beau. Welcome to the family Beau!

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My niece Millie’s 2nd Birthday-

I love my boyfriend’s family and how they have accepted me as one of their own. Especially his nieces and nephews! September 19th was his youngest niece, Camille’s , 2nd birthday. We celebrated with a small brunch over the weekend before her big birthday party back home in Massachusetts. Millie’s mom, Chel, has a great blog over at A is for Adelaide , please go check it out!

Meeting my new baby cousin-

My cousin, Tobias Connor Goodenough, was born on September 5th at 10:54 pm to my Aunt Pam and Uncle Dan! I finally got to go meet him and spend some time with his adorable sisters on the 21st! We are so blessed to have this new addition to the family, congratulations Dan and Pam!

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And finally, my trip to New Hampshire-

My family has had a Colon Cancer fundraising team, called Pooper for Pat, since 2011. My family and I attend a big event in Philadelphia in March and a smaller one in New Hampshire every September. It’s a great reason to get together with family and go sight seeing in a beautiful state. Of course, always in the loving memory of my late Uncle Pat, who our team is named for, our Pooper. You can go online and register for our team or donate at Get Your Rear in Gear. I really hope to see some of you there, someday!

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Depression · Grief · Life · Mental Health · Vegan · Weightloss

My Story

   My story is a long one, it spans over eight years of my still young life. It deals with loss,  disappointment, and ultimately triumph. So bear with me as I sift through the mess that has been my life for nearly a decade.

   It started out when I was 15 with headaches, but not your everyday typical headaches. I went to my local doctor and was put through every scan, procedure, and medication in the book. Nothing worked. I was poked and prodded until the doctor finally shrugged and said “I don’t know what else to do”. I walked out of that office and never went back.

  I started my 16th year with a new doctor, and new symptoms. The headaches that once plagued me had transformed into searing debilitating pain coursing through me. On my first visit with my new doctor I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. It is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain throughout the body, amongst other symptoms. I almost always was in pain and unable to gather my strength to make it to school most days. The people in my life didn’t understand, and neither did I. As the stressors in my life gradually got worse so did my symptoms.

  As my symptoms worsened into the next year, it affected my attendance so bad that my High School forced me to drop out. I had to attend online school. I rarely got out of bed, everyday activities were almost impossible. I had hit rock bottom.

   One day while watching TV I heard about a new vegan cookbook coming out. I bought it immediately and started a strict vegan diet. I lost 60 pounds in a short amount of time. My pain was alleviated and I felt amazing. I finally had something to be proud of. I returned to high school for my senior year and over the course lost an additional 30 pounds. Everything seemed perfect. I went to prom, graduated, and was heading off to college.

    All of my dreams were coming true.

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I graduate at 145 pounds.

       Unfortunately things didn’t stay that way for long. Shortly after graduating High School I decided to stop my vegan diet. My symptoms slowly became apparent again. I started college, but after one semester I had to take a break. I began to feel unmotivated and my pain came back. In 2013 when I was 20, everything got worse when I lost two family members, who I loved dearly, within a few months of each other. I started gaining weight rapidly.

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The summer of 2015, at my heaviest, 261 pounds.

 In 2015  I was tired of feeling sick all of the time, so I decided to get help. I finally found a doctor  who I was comfortable with and she recommended that I should see a psychiatrist. I was later diagnosed with Bipolar Depression. The most painful part of the process was learning I never had Fibromyalgia. For eight years I mistook the physical pains and symptoms I experienced as Fibromyalgia, I was convinced that I would live with that diagnosis for the rest of my life. But I know now that depression can cause physical side effects. Now I had to learn how  to treat this new diagnosis that I had no experience with.

   In 2016, after a year of trial and error, I finally found the right treatment that worked for me. I am able to be my true self. I am back to being vegan again. Before, I was stuck in bed, but now, I hike every morning and I’m as active as I’ve ever been. I just started and I’m down 26 pounds. I couldn’t be happier.

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Now, at 249 pounds.

    This is not a road I have walked alone, though many days and weeks and months have felt that way. I have been isolated from emotions and the physical comfort of youth, stripped of these things by depression on a long road full of twists and turns. But, always remember this: It has been so worth it to get to where I am now.

    Some days it feels like I have lost so much… people in my life, opportunities I was too incapacitated to take advantage of, a typical high school and college experience… It’s made me a minority in my age group, but I am not willing to play victim. Now it’s my time to play catch up. I’ve spent the last 8 years healing myself, now it is time to move forward and get on a new path. A road with less rocky twists and turns, but more adventure, experience and enjoyment. I am thrilled to be starting my journey to me and I hope you’ll take it with me!

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