Healthy Tips For The Holidays: Watching The Waistline

battle-the-bulge-iliketotalkblogUsually right around the beginning of October, I get a flash of all the food that’s ahead in the upcoming months. Halloween brings candy into the house, Thanksgiving is a day of being surrounded by a feast, and Christmas tends to be a day of food as well. For someone who hasn’t been watching their waistline, or is currently trying to avoid temptation this can be a really difficult couple of months. I wanted to share some things that have been working for me that might be able to help you as well!

It’s been two years since I had my daughter and have struggled to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I would lose the weight, but gain it back and then some. I finally was able to make some lifestyle changes that have helped me drop around 12 pounds and 6% body fat over the last two months. While I don’t expect anyone to do exactly what I do, I know it helps me to listen to what works for others, and take what I can — even if it’s just one little thing out of several they are doing.

  1. Get Moving. I enrolled myself back into bootcamp classes and give my 100%. And when I say 100%, I mean, grunting, sweating, ugly face 100%. I am not pretty when I work out and I don’t really care who hears me grunting when I give it my all. When I couldn’t go to class, I would go for a walk or run in my neighborhood. Basically, I will find SOMETHING I can do for 45-60 minutes five to six days a week. But, I wasn’t always able to do that. It started with three days a week and I worked up the days. Now I’m challenging myself to take a double class on different days just to see how well I can do! I should also add that you should pick something that you actually enjoy doing or it won’t stick. So walk, run, dance in your living room, get in a gym or out in a park — just get moving!
  1. Find someone to be accountable with. It’s easy to make promises to yourself in the beginning of the day, and then go “NAH” later on. But would you do that if you promised someone you would meet them at class? I know that when I tell someone that I wanna attempt double classes I better do it because they may ask me about it later! LOL. I have a friend that we would text each other every day after we finished our workout. I have someone in my classes that we both want to be fast and strong at the things we do, so we try to workout near each other so we motivate each other. I signed up for a fitness challenge after a nutrition challenge so that I could be surrounded by people who had the same goals. It really helps when you find an accountability partner if you find that you make healthy promises to yourself that you don’t keep – whether they be face to face or just a text away.battle-the-bulge-iliketotalkblog-2
  1. Check what you’re eating. I did a nutrition challenge with my bootcamp and realized by day two that I was mindlessly eating all the leftovers on my daughter’s plate. That sh*t adds up real quick day after day and I didn’t even realize I was doing it. Talk about a total face palm. I decided to go back to counting macronutrients which truly helps with body recomposition. In my case, losing weight and building muscle. By keeping track of how much fats, carbs, and protein I eat on a daily basis I was able to drop excess fat and build muscle at the same time. I should note that I have tried tracking macros before but fell off track around my daughter’s first birthday. I was really upset with myself for it, but you know what? You just gotta start and try again. And this time around it’s been SO much easier to follow through with. If you’re interested in trying it, google IIFYM or macro calculator to find out what fits your age, weight and currently activity levels. I use My Fitness Pal app on my phone to log all the food I eat on a daily basis  — there is a paid and a free version within the same app.food diary iliketotalkblog
  1. Plan ahead for meals. I used to think that I had no time to plan for my own meals. I cook for my daughter every day and felt like there was no time for me so I certainly wasn’t going to have time to cook meals for myself for the whole week —WRONG! Cooking and preparing healthy, balanced meals on the weekend and storing in plastic containers has saved me so many headaches of trying to figure out what I could eat on the fly. I usually prepare 3-4 different meals that I can rotate through the week that have all been premeasured and packaged to fit my macro count. This is one of the biggest points that has helped me in battling the bulge. When I eat on the fly, I end up eating WAY too much because I’m standing in front of a pantry picking random things. If you have a REALLY hard time planning and cooking for the week, there are services out there that can help you. Google local meal prep and you will find tons to choose from.meal-prep-iliketotalkblog
  1. Realistic Expectations. Do realize that it IS the holidays and you should enjoy yourself. I try to eat healthy 90% of the time so that once a week I can indulge in that pint of Halo Top at the end of the night.  Don’t be afraid thinking you can’t enjoy Thanksgiving or Holiday meals. Eat! And get back on track the next day. Granted, you can’t be like this every week or things will go in the opposite direction, but just be mindful if you can. If you know you’re going to want all the desserts, maybe skip the mashed potatoes. Fill up on the veggies and lean protein (even if they have butter and oil on them :). If you’ve gone overboard and ate everything in site, just know that tomorrow you can start over. It happens. Just don’t make it a habit!

I am by no means any type of health expert, but I do know the struggle of losing weight, gaining it, and feeling like it’s hopeless and I’ll be in stretchy pants the rest of my life. But as I continue to stick to my goals, and stay motivated by working with other motivated people I get better and better at it each time. I’m not quite at my end goal just yet, but I can see the light at the end of tunnel and know that even though there will be some bumps in the road (I’m talking to you, Thanksgiving dinner!) I will keep at it and eventually get there.

Want more tips or a different perspective on battling the bulge? Some of my fellow beauty bloggers rounded up their tips on staying healthy during the holidays:

 



Correxiko : For A Healthier You

correxiko review by iliketotalkblogiliketotalkalot iliketotalkblog review

As someone who enjoys looking for ways to improve my health, I am constantly on the hunt for products that will help me hit my goals and make me feel good. I love working out, yes, really, and with that, means making sure I have the proper nutrition to keep my wheels greased and ready to go.  Lately, Correxiko has been a go to brand that I’ve been using for my postpartum getting in shape journey and I’m here to tell you about the two products that have made way into my daily routine for the past couple weeks.

Correxiko specializes in overall wellness products ranging from superfoods, vitamins, supplements and protein powders that are utilizes clean ingredients, minus non-nutritious binders, fillers and preservatives.  Basically, you’re getting the good stuff in one of it’s cleanest and convenient forms possible.  You can often find a lot of the vitamins, minerals and macro-nutrients you need in fresh foods we eat, but sometimes we look for a little added boost and that’s where Correxiko can help.

correxiko the one review by iliketotalkblog

One product I decided to try was “The One” Protein Powder. It’s a plant-based protein powder that offers 24g of protein per serving, which is comparable to the other whey based protein powders I have at home. It’s also gluten, soy, and GMO free in case those are things you are trying to avoid. Because of it’s high level of BCAA’s, it’s great for muscle recovery and repair. One bonus benefit of this powder is it’s lack of added ingredients to bulk the product up, is that it comes unsweetened making it a versatile ingredient for shakes, protein pancakes, power balls, and mug cakes. I chose to try different protein shakes with this powder and made a couple of delicious options you see below.  My favorite was the frozen dark chocolate banana one, but my pina colada shake was pretty delicious as well!  These were a great treat post-workout or when I wanted to have a healthy treat.

correxiko the one review by iliketotalkblog

correxiko the one review by iliketotalkblog
I’ve also been using
Correxiko’s Flaxseed Powder in my shakes and morning bowls of oatmeal.  Flaxseed has a multitude of benefits, like being a good source of fiber, works as an anti-inflammatory by serving as a source of two vital essential fatty acids, EPA and DPA. Flaxseed is also thought to promote a healthy milk supply for breastfeeding mamas. It also is a source of LNA which helps produce DHA, a crucial component found in breastmilk that promotes healthy brain function of your feeding babe. I usually add a teaspoon to my oatmeal and you don’t even notice it.  It does add some texture to a shake but nothing bad or intolerable. It doesn’t change the taste of anything at all, and is a really healthful addition to the foods you eat.

correxiko flaxseed powder review by iliketotalkblog

I’ve really enjoyed the products I’ve sampled from Correxiko and could see myself using a few more like the Kale powder and Spirulina. I’d also like to use the lightening supplement but will wait to try anything else until after I’m done breastfeeding.

To find out more about Correxiko you can visit their site and check out all their different things they have to offer. You can also follow them on Facebook, twitter and Instagram.

Bridal Prep : Preparing For Your Wedding

bridal beauty prep iliketotalkblog

After just celebrating one of the biggest events of my life, I thought it would be a great time to share some beauty tips that helped me prepare for my big day.  While most brides prepare for their wedding over the course of almost a year, I managed to organize my entire wedding in just about two and half months which is very little time when you think about it.  I didn’t want to wait long for my special day so I got to work right away!

bridal skincare iliketotalkalot iliketotalkblog

Skincare:  My skin is acne prone and instead of blasting it with a ton of acne products, I went another route. Keeping my routine for the most part gentle, with weekly exfoliating treatments.  Dried out pimples do NOT look good with makeup on them so I did my best to use gentle washes like DermOrganic Soapless Cleanser and used Michael Todd Pumpkin Enzyme AHA Exfoliating mask to purge pores and refresh my skin. The cleanser kept my skin from drying out while the mask lessened breakouts and allowed my serums to penetrate the skin better.  I always followed with one of two serums:  Dennis Gross Hydration Serum or Michael Todd Knu You Anti Aging Face Lift serum.  Combined, my skin had less breakouts, more even tone and was going to make makeup ready if I had anything to do with it!

Hair & Grooming: Do not, I repeat DO NOT plan to color, cut or change your hairstyle the week of your wedding. If something goes wrong…too late, you’re stuck with it. But do plan to get whatever you need waxed the week of, spray tans (even a trial run weeks before if you’ve never done it before), and a manicure one to two days before the wedding. I don’t like the idea of gel manicures, but I got one because I knew I would be chip free and could get it done 4 days before and not have to worry about it getting messed up.

bridal body scrub iliketotalkalot iliketotalkblog

image from makeupalley.com. This is exactly what mine looked like

Body Skincare: Do some extra sloughing in the weeks before your wedding and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!  I like a variety of scrubs so find one that works for you.  One of the cheapest and best ones I tried was a DIY mixture of olive oil, lemon juice and sugar.  I used it from head to toe in the shower and felt my skin was soft, smooth and moisturized.

bridal fitness planning iliketotalkalot iliketotalkblog

Fitness: If you are planning on doing any body transformation be prepared to put in some serious work. Last year when I wanted to lose some weight I gave myself 4 months. I had 2.5 months to get my butt into gear and make the changes I wanted. That meant being very dedicated to my fitness and diet routine. It meant skipping desserts, no soda, and allowing myself one cheat day a week so I didn’t go mad.  It meant working out EVERY DAY and sometimes two times a day. Yes, two times a day. I put in some serious work because I had zero time to mess around. I enrolled in a boot camp class (Check out fit body boot camp they have several locations), hit the gym for additional cardio and made sure I was eating the correct proportions with the help of the my fitness pal app. That app REALLY helps you realize how much you may be over (or under) eating.  And trust me, I ate! I had to with all my workouts, but I watched what I ate. And in the end, I lost the 10 pounds I needed, leaned out and gained muscle. I felt like a million bucks by the time my wedding rolled around.

bridal beauty plan iliketotalkalot iliketotalkblog

Diet: Seriously, just download the My Fitness Pal app onto your phone or tablet. It makes tracking what you eat SO eeeeeaaasy. And drink water whenever possible. I’m a big crystal light kinda gal because I need some flavor at times, but I have a gigantic water bottle I fill everyday with a goal to finish by the time I go to bed. It will help keep your skin looking great, and keep you filled up instead of filling up on unhealthy snacks. If you went into diet mode like me, you will get cravings. Save those cravings for your cheat day. Because those extra calories add up quick over a weeks time and you’ll be mad at yourself. Load up on protein and vegetables and less on the fruit. Fruit tastes great, but still lots of sugar sadly. Sometimes I would eat an entire bag of frozen broccoli and cauliflower with dinner (the equivalent of 4 servings) to keep me filled up and away from the ice cream.

google sheets are your friend...and free to use!

google sheets are your friend…and free to use!

Stress: This may be the hardest tip to stick to. After all, there are SO many details that go into planning a wedding but do your best. Your human. You deserve to not feel crazy and get the wedding of your dreams at the same time. So make a plan of action. Get your pinterest boards ready to get your ideas.  Create a google spreadsheet to keep track of your budget and who you’ve paid and what’s left over (don’t forget to factor in tips), and FOLLOW UP on all vendors. Better to be safe than sorry. I purchased one of those wedding planning books and ended up setting it aside after looking it over once. Waste of money. Everything you need is online! Trust me! If you end up feeling overwhelmed, enlist your bridesmaids to help you do research, or take care of other details you can’t handle at the moment. Do as much planning ahead as you can so the days before the wedding you can relax a little bit. As someone who prides themselves on planning WAY ahead, I found myself pretty exhausted just days before the wedding printing out escort cards and sorting tip money out. Plan. Plan. Plan! It will pay off.  Oh yea, use The Knot. It also helps keep you organized and allows you to create a wedding website to help your guests stay informed of the festivities.

bridal prep photos for makeup artist iliketotalkalot iliketotalkblog

Hair & Makeup Planning: I hired a makeup and hair artist for my entire bridal party and I chose one I had previously worked with. Because I was on a tight budget, I opted to not do a trial run with my look and sent her a picture of what I was looking for.  It totally worked! Give them an idea beforehand of what you are looking for and discuss if its possible.

aspirin mask for acne iliketotalkalot iliketotalkblog

image from Walmart.com

The Inevitable Zit or Pimple: My skin looked great the week of my wedding….except for the mountain that grew on my cheek randomly two days before the big day.  If you can swing it, get a cortizone shot at a dermatologist office and it will shrink that sucker in 24-48 hours flat. I couldn’t book my appointment in time and was left to worry if that pimple was going to be the main feature on all our photos. My makeup artist took one look at the pimple and pulled a bottle of aspirin out of her bag. It was the cheap, uncoated kind you find at discount stores and took a handful of the pills and mashed it with some water into a paste. I slathered it onto my face and left it on for about 15 minutes right before my makeup was put on.  It was a miracle worker!  All the dry flaky skin around the pimple sloughed right off, the pimple flattened some more and she was able to cover it 100%. I couldn’t see it at all! The miracle workers of professionals! Woot! Sheila from Painted Ladies even did a blog post about it too!

I hope these tips helped at least one bride to be out there! And because I couldn’t write a post without sharing a few of my own wedding photos, here they are!

bridal beauty prep casa del mar iliketotalkblog

bridal beauty prep iliketotalkalot iliketotalkblog