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    Wellness – The Everygirl

    Wellness – The Everygirl10 Things to Do Before + After to Maximize a WorkoutI’m Organization-Obsessed—Here Are 5 Everyday Hacks I Swear By10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Relationship by the End of the Day10 Habits of Women Who Are Always in ShapeWhat to Do If You’re Not Happy With Your Sex Life in a RelationshipThe Amazon Workout Top I Can’t Stop WearingI’m a Nutrition Coach and These Are My 12 Favorite RecipesThe One Habit I’m Adding to My Routine in 2021I Finally Hit My Monthly Fitness Goal—Here’s How I Tricked Myself Into Working Out Again6 Energizing Rituals I Tried to Upgrade My Morning RoutineThe Ultimate Valentine’s Day Self-Love RoutineWant to Try Intuitive Eating? Here’s How to Tune in to What Your Body Really Needs
    https://theeverygirl.com The life map for Everygirls everywhere Thu, 25 Feb 2021 16:26:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://theeverygirl.com/what-to-do-before-after-workout/ https://theeverygirl.com/what-to-do-before-after-workout/#respond Thu, 25 Feb 2021 16:00:28 +0000


    Exercise: love it or hate it, we can all agree that if you’re going to spend the time to do
    The post 10 Things to Do Before + After to Maximize a Workout appeared first on The Everygirl.
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    Exercise: love it or hate it, we can all agree that if you’re going to spend the time to do it, you better get the most from it. We’re all busy, hustling, and exhausted, so when we designate time to work out (on the days we actually can), you best believe we’re going to want to get the most out of it. The 30-minute sculpt class or the time spent sweating it out on a run gets all the credit, but the steps you take before and after exercise matter just as much. The right pre- and post-workout rituals can help you recover, get stronger, and crush every workout. Ready to optimize your bicep curls and high-intensity intervals? Make these 10 steps an important part of your workout routine:

    1. Get enough sleep
    If you’ve ever had a sluggish workout (or general lack of energy) after a night of not-so-great sleep, you know why this one is key. When you get enough quality sleep (around 7-9 hours), you have better focus, energy levels, and stamina, meaning you can likely get better results from the same workout. Bonus: exercising can help you sleep better, so it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Prioritize sleep the night before to make the most of your workout the next day. Also, if you have to choose between getting seven hours of sleep and waking up for a morning workout? Either go to bed earlier or fit in exercise later in the day. 
     
    2. Plan it out
    While it may be tempting to show up at the gym and figure out what to do on the spot or to Google a yoga flow whenever you have time during the day, making a plan in advance ensures you’re making the most of your designated workout time. “Having a specified and well-thought plan can make a huge difference in your workout routine,” suggested Bianca Grover, an exercise physiologist, personal trainer, and owner of Bianca Grover Fitness. “A planned workout can also help keep you accountable. You may be tired after your second set of squats, but that number will help you push yourself to complete your goals.” If you go to a gym, put together a routine ahead of time. If you’re more of a class girl, sign up for online workout classes in advance and write them in your calendar.

    3. Warm up
    It’s true for new relationships, and it’s true for exercise: when you go from 0-100 way too quickly, it can cause some damage. “Never skip your warmup, which helps reduce injury and improves recovery,” said Barbara Brosnan, NBC-HWC, NASM-CPT, CNC, and a personal trainer and owner of Project Fitness. “Your pre-workout warmup should consist of dynamic stretches (moving stretches rather than holding stretches) that target the muscles you will be focusing on during the workout.” The goal is to warm up the body to ensure your muscles have enough oxygen and increase flexibility to reduce injury. Fit in at least five minutes for a warmup. Try active stretching and low-heart rate cardio like walking on the treadmill. 

    4. Get in your liquids
    What can’t water do? The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking two to three cups of water a few hours before you plan to work out, which can maximize hydration levels during exercise. Without proper hydration, your body can’t perform at its best. Curious about other types of pre-workout fuel? Good news for our Starbucks addiction: “Caffeine is an ergogenic aid; which means it can aid in performance by increasing energy, focus, and endurance,” explained Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RD, LD/N to Byrdie. No matter how you prefer to fuel your body before a workout, make sure it feels best for you. If coffee makes you feel jittery (or if you work out in the evenings), stick to water—and get lots of it. Bottom line: make sure you’re properly hydrated and fuel your body with whatever makes you feel your best.

    5. Listen to the right playlist
    Because what could be more motivating than the chorus of Run the World (Girls) or make you pick up the intensity quite like the first 45 seconds of Lose Yourself? Getting in the right mindset is just as important as getting in the right physical space, so while prepping your body for a spin class or yoga flow, don’t forget to prepare the mind, too. You shouldn’t feel dreadful, apprehensive, or irritated going into a workout. If you do, you haven’t found the workout that’s best for you. Try listening to your favorite pump-up playlist (I’m biased, but this one slaps) to boost energy and excitement, visualize how good you’ll feel moving your body, and pick a type of workout that will make you feel good for the rest of the day.

    1. Stretch
    Yes, stretching gets a point before and after a workout because it’s just that beneficial (and crucial). “Post-workout, focus on isolated stretches: stretch and hold for 20-30 seconds to target the muscle groups that you used during your workout,” Brosnan recommended. Stretching after your workout also has benefits of injury prevention and improved recovery, but the difference is that you should hold each stretch to go deeper. Make sure to target the muscles you worked on, as well as the areas we often forget about, like inner thighs or upper back. Oh, and if you dim the lights, play some relaxing music, and light a candle or two? You just might feel transported into a fancy yoga studio.

    2. Eat nourishing food
    There’s a reason spin class and brunch go together like PB&J: refueling post-workout is crucial for your health and achieving fitness goals (although I’m guessing bottomless mimosas don’t count toward that). After using up its available energy, the body needs to refuel (especially with carbs and protein) to get more energy and repair muscles. If your goal is more strength, endurance, or stamina (or just to be overall healthy), don’t ignore that stomach growl. Think about it: your body is like a car (a Rolls Royce, might I add), and food is gasoline. To keep going fast—and get even faster—you need to continually replenish the gas. A fruit smoothie with protein powder and chia seeds, eggs with avocado toast, or a grain bowl make for ideal post-workout meals since they combine protein, carbs, and fats.

    3. Try a foam roller
    Remember the importance of stretching? Similar benefits apply when getting a massage (as if we needed another reason) by releasing tension in the muscles and helping the body recover from workouts and strain. But since getting a massage is not always feasible (or good for our wallets), enter the foam roller. “Foam rolling seems to make muscles more receptive to stretching and moving. It’s the best thing I’ve found to make people feel better immediately,” explained Michael Bento, a personal trainer at Massachusetts General Hospital, to Harvard Medical School. If you’re new to foam rolling, try out these moves to help with muscle soreness and tension. 

    4. Take a rest day
    If you’ve had a particularly tough workout, taking a rest day might actually help you maximize the work you did the day before. “Your muscles need time to recover after an intense workout,” explained Ashlee Van Buskirk, a registered nurse, personal trainer, and founder of Whole Intent. “However, if you’re itching to get active and you want to maximize the impact of yesterday’s workout, consider some light exercise. Walking, swimming, or doing yoga are great ways to stay active while letting muscles recover.” The key to health is tuning in to your body to find out what it needs. If you’re feeling too sore or exhausted, take a rest day. Listening to your body will help you get stronger.

    5. Indulge in some self-care
    “Recovery is the missing piece of self-care, and designing a post-workout recovery ritual is key to repairing, rebuilding, and strengthening our bodies from the inside out,” said Dr. Sharif Tabbah, a physical therapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist based in Miami. In other words, how much you care for yourself after a workout is just as important as how much you push yourself during a workout. Whether that means taking a warm bath to soothe sore muscles or a work break to destress, self-care deserves to be a part of your fitness routine. Going back to the car analogy: if food is gasoline, self-care is the “check engine” light. You have to care for the engine if you’re going to want the car to go faster. Self-care replenishes and nourishes the body so that you’ll be more motivated, ready, and energized for the next workout. 

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    What habits have improved your workouts?
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    https://theeverygirl.com/what-to-do-before-after-workout/feed/ 0 https://theeverygirl.com/organization-hacks/ https://theeverygirl.com/organization-hacks/#respond Tue, 23 Feb 2021 16:00:34 +0000

    https://theeverygirl.com/?p=178013
    The way I see it, there are three types of people in the world: the ones who couldn’t care less
    The post I’m Organization-Obsessed—Here Are 5 Everyday Hacks I Swear By appeared first on The Everygirl.
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    The way I see it, there are three types of people in the world: the ones who couldn’t care less about organization, the ones who like organization but can’t commit to it for one reason or another, and the ones who are downright obsessed. 

    I’m firmly the latter.
    As that weirdo in college with an obsessive habit of cleaning my apartment every weekend, something which my housemates were not always on board with, I admit that my passion for organization tends to fall on the extreme side of the spectrum. (Hey, is it my fault I want my house to look like a scene from Architectural Digest?). Yet as a 26-year-old with a full-time job and a side hustle to boot, I’m the first to ‘fess up to the fact that sometimes my love of organization falls to the wayside amid jam-packed schedules and ever-expanding to-do lists.
    Since I know that nonstop days are inevitable, I’ve come up with a few tricks. Call them life hacks if you will, these habits make it possible for me to keep my home organized even when life threatens to overwhelm order. By committing to these five daily habits, I keep my clutter under control—and you can too.

    1. Unpack your bag after work
    This is a holy grail step for me, and for good reason. See, I’m a schlepper. I am absolutely that person who totes a massive purse with her to work every day. Why? It’s my carryall, with the contents of my life tucked firmly within its wide, open cavity. While I love the convenience of one oversized bag (it’s a lunchbox! It’s a backpack! It’s literally everything I need to survive at work!), I don’t love fishing around for my headphones when I want to watch a Youtube video at night.
    To ease the burden of searching through the behemoth that is my work purse, I’ve taken to unpacking it first-thing when I get home. As soon as I roll through the door, I set my purse firmly on my dining room chair and pull things out of it à la Mary Poppins. Out goes the lunch containers, the heels I rocked at the office, the agenda I live by, the lipstick I wore that day. By the time I’m done, my purse is back to its streamlined self and filled only with the essential mints, tissues, and wallet combo. With the contents of the day in sight, I put every item where it belongs (lunch container on the kitchen counter, shoes on the shelf, lipstick in the organizer) right then and there. That way, not only do I have an empty purse that’s ready to roll in the a.m., but I also have zero knickknacks cluttering my dining room. 

    2. Clean the kitchen while the coffee brews
    I don’t know about you, but I am a zombie before my morning cup of coffee. After brushing my face and washing my teeth (oh wait, the other way around? Maybe I need another cuppa), I stumble bleary-eyed into the kitchen to scoop three hefty spoonfuls of grinds into my beloved coffee machine. 
    Then comes the wait. By my calculation (or, you know, the kitchen clock), it takes eight minutes for the java to brew. That means I have eight minutes to tidy up before I can take that perfect first sip.
    Once I return the bag of grinds back to its drawer, I spend the next few minutes cleaning off the counter so everything is ready to go when it’s time for dinner later that day. Whether that means loading the dishwasher or giving my thermos a quick scrub, I make sure that everything on the counter is washed and put away before I pour a single drop of joe into my favorite mug. Not only does this save me the hassle of having to straighten up after work when all I want to do is throw on sweatpants, but it’s also a way for me to make the most of those precious few morning minutes before it’s time to rush out the door.

    3. Put the book back on the shelf
    Sounds like common sense, right? Try telling yourself that when it’s 10pm and you’re cozy in bed with your pajamas on and a cup of tea in hand. Even then—and, I’d argue, especially then—it’s important to suck it up and put the book you’ve been flipping through back on your bookshelf. Of course, the book is just one example. Depending on the night, the item of clutter in question could be your laptop, a magazine, or your phone. The point is that when you’re done with whatever it is, put it back where it belongs. Don’t leave it precariously at the end of the bed, don’t let it take up extra square footage on the couch, and don’t relegate it to a pile of “stuff” on the coffee table. Doing so just creates a visual eyesore, and one that’s more time-consuming to put away in the long run as item upon item stacks up.
    So, yes, that does mean leaving the comfort of your plush couch or your warm comforter to take the one minute you need to put the item in question away. I promise it’s not so bad and, besides, you probably have to get up to brush your teeth before bed or something like that, right?

    4. Wash the pots and pans right after dinner
    OK, hear me out. I know washing up after you’ve gone all MasterChef and prepared a showstopper of a dinner is probably the last thing you want to do at night. If we’re being honest though, it’s also the best time to do just that. Because food doesn’t have enough time to meld itself to pots and pans in a way that not even a Scrub Daddy can tackle, the post-dinner period is actually the easiest time to get the washing done. True, it might not be the most enjoyable time to do so, especially when your Netflix queue is calling, but it’s definitely the wisest time to accomplish the chore.
    Because I’m the type of person who literally always needs dessert, whether it be a square of chocolate or a slice of pie, I’ve incorporated cleaning up into part of my dinnertime routine. After making and enjoying a *hopefully* scrumptious meal prepared by yours truly, I return to the kitchen to wash whichever pots and pans I used that night. While I’m washing, I multitask by turning on the kettle for tea. By the time I’ve scrubbed my last pot, the water is ready for my cup of chamomile. It’s then, and only then, that I pour a mug of tea, plate my dessert for the night, and hit the couch with whatever page-turner I’m reading at the moment (I swear I put it back on the shelf!).

    5. Pick out your outfits on Sunday
    A few months into working my current job, I noticed it was taking me longer and longer to get ready in the morning. I’m one of those people who needs to be on time, all the time, so this whole lateness thing was not going to work for me. When I stopped to ponder why the minutes were ticking by faster and faster, I realized it all came down to my outfits. I do my makeup while I savor my coffee, so I have this segment down to a relative science. When it comes time to select what to wear for the day, however, I’m a mess. I’ll put on a shirt, then realize it doesn’t work with my skirt. So I’ll swap it out for a sweater, only to decide it’s too bulky for the skirt. Then I replace the skirt for trousers and, wow, 15 minutes just on my outfit? I didn’t even pick out accessories yet.
    Knowing I needed to nip this in the bud, I began carving out half an hour on Sunday mornings to pick out my outfits for the week. By doing it in advance, I have time to check the weekly forecast and review my calendar for events and meetings. That way, I can tailor my looks to the day and the temperature. On top of that, picking out everything in advance helps me visualize the outfits as separate looks and ensures I’m not repeating items or color schemes too much. As an added bonus, it’s an ideal time for me to challenge myself to incorporate pieces that haven’t gotten as much love as they deserve. Whether it’s a cardigan that’s been sitting at the back of my shelf or a bold-hued blouse, I love finding ways to work them into my lookbook for the week.

    What organization hacks do you use to stay tidy on the daily?
    The post I’m Organization-Obsessed—Here Are 5 Everyday Hacks I Swear By appeared first on The Everygirl.
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    https://theeverygirl.com/organization-hacks/feed/ 0 https://theeverygirl.com/7-simple-ways-to-improve-your-relationship-by-the-end-of-the-day/ https://theeverygirl.com/7-simple-ways-to-improve-your-relationship-by-the-end-of-the-day/#comments Sun, 21 Feb 2021 14:00:46 +0000

    https://theeverygirl.com/?p=79985
    Grand romantic gestures often get all the credit, but it’s usually the minor, daily ways in which we express love
    The post 10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Relationship by the End of the Day appeared first on The Everygirl.
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    Grand romantic gestures often get all the credit, but it’s usually the minor, daily ways in which we express love and connect with each other that set the tone for a healthy and happy relationship. Even the best relationships can still find new ways to connect. All relationships take work, but to quote the movie One Day (you know you love it), “Affection is when you see someone’s strengths; love is when you accept someone’s flaws.” Here are 10 things you can do to improve your relationship, today. 

    1. Make them a cup of coffee.
    Small acts of kindness can mean all the difference in a relationship where people, especially in long term relationships, can feel unappreciated or unattended to. Small acts that show you going out of your way to do something nice for your partner will make them feel cared for and thought of. Try making them a cup of coffee in the morning before they get out of bed. It will set the tone for the rest of the day of being thoughtful to one another.

    Source: The Creative Exchange | Unsplash

    2. Say “thank you”
    Especially in relationships that have gone on for years and fall into routines, we get so comfortable in our relationships that we expect our partner to meet all of our needs, whether it’s in how they treat us or the daily chores they do. Saying a simple “thank you” for cleaning the dishes after dinner or giving you a compliment enforces their good behavior and makes them feel appreciated, as well as making you remember why you love them. It’s also important to express appreciation and gratitude for them being in your life and how much they mean to your life, not just what they do for you.

    3. Work out together
    I know, I know: your hot yoga flow or spin class is typically your escape from all of the people in your life. But try heading over to your partner’s gym with them or bringing them along to your barre class. Activities that get your heart rate up release endorphins, which are like feel-good chemicals in your brain, making you both feel happy, energized, and excited. It’s also a new way to bond!

    Source: The Creative Exchange | Unsplash

    4. Give them a hug
    It may seem like the most basic and simplest of acts, but physical touch goes a long way in keeping romance and connection alive in long term relationships. Try to avoid physical touch routines, meaning the only physical touch in your daily life is a kiss goodbye or a hug hello (though these are also important gestures). In addition to your hellos and goodbyes, hug them unexpectedly, hold their hand in the car or while watching TV, or even just pat them on the arm to feel close. Physical closeness can translate to emotional closeness.

    5. Send them an unexpected text message
    If you are apart from morning until dinnertime, sending a text in the middle of the day that feels a little out of the blue will surprise your partner and make them feel some of the excitement that comes from a new relationship. Try sending them a message to tell them something you love about them, something you’re thankful for, or a romantic/funny memory you share.

    6. …But put away your phone!
    Try to have at least some quality time together every day where you put away your phones — trust me, Instagrams and emails can wait for you to be done with dinner. While this may feel like a hard goal in our busy lives, it is an extremely important aspect of a happy relationship. Many studies have found a direct correlation with heavy-phone-usage and relationship wellness. And if you’re angry, try to limit texting. It might be easier for you to resort to texting when you’re angry about something, but try to always talk through issues in person, or at least over a phone call. Texting fights only create distance.

    Source: Mathilde Langevin | Unsplash

    7. Go to bed at the same time
    While this may seem like an impossible feat for the couples whose schedules or preferences require different sleeping time, bedtime is a crucial time for a relationship. It’s a way of reconnecting from a busy day, a moment of quietness, and alone time before the busyness of the next day. For many couples, it’s the only moment of alone time all day. Even if you’re a night owl and your partner gets to bed by 8pm, at least try to stay in bed until they fall asleep. It’s an important and easy way to reconnect and feel close.

    8. Schedule a check-in
    Scheduling might not seem very sexy and spontaneous, but making sure you’re regularly checking in with each other will keep your relationship strong. It can be easy to let annoyance after annoyance build up until it gets to a full-blown fight, so checking in means fewer fights, more communication, and better connection. After all, a relationship is just two people trying to get their needs met. Use a check-in to discuss any recent triggers, problems, and even all the good things (which deserve recognition too!). Try monthly, weekly, or even daily (like at the end of the day), and put it on your calendars so you don’t forget or skip.

    Source: Tallie Robinson | Unsplash

    9. Laugh together
    Relationships are just friendships with exclusivity; while loving each other is crucial, liking each other is important too. While the life-partner stuff (like dividing chores) or the romantic stuff (like holding hands) might be top priorities to improve your relationship, remember that the friendship stuff is just as important. Laugh together at least once every day, whether it’s sharing a funny story that happened to you at the grocery store, bringing up an inside joke, or watching the show that makes you both LOL. Laughing not only bonds us, but helps us remember that the point of being in a relationship is to enjoy the person we love. 

    10. Make time for yourself
    While me-time might sound counterintuitive when the goal is we-time, how you feel about yourself is how you’ll act in a relationship. If you depend on your partner for fulfillment, you’ll expect too much from the relationship, and if you don’t love yourself, you’re probably worried your partner doesn’t truly love you either. Spending time alone not only ensures you’re living the most fulfilling life possible, whether that means indulging in self-care or pursuing your own interests, but it also means you’ll be able to show up as your best, truest self when you spend time together. And just as an added bonus, there’s nothing more attractive than confidence.

    What daily things do you do for your partner or relationship? Which of these ways would you try today?
    The post 10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Relationship by the End of the Day appeared first on The Everygirl.
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    https://theeverygirl.com/?p=225184
    You know those annoying AF women who are always in shape? The women who work out every day (even on
    The post 10 Habits of Women Who Are Always in Shape appeared first on The Everygirl.
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    You know those annoying AF women who are always in shape? The women who work out every day (even on vacation) and always seem in control of what they eat, as if they’ve never binged an entire sleeve of Oreos during one commercial break. Come winter or summer, they always have a lit-from-within glow and way too much energy (yes, even on Monday mornings before the second cup of coffee). You might even have a coworker, friend, or roommate so consistently healthy and motivated that you’ve wondered if she’s taking a magic pill, or maybe she’s just born with it (major groan). 

    But here’s the good news for us mere mortals: there is no genetic trait or magic pill that keeps you in shape. Instead, it’s a series of simple habits. This means that lit-from-within glow and unwavering motivation is not only possible, but achievable. First, let’s define what being “in shape” means. Regardless of what it used to mean, I’d like to rebrand it to be your healthiest self, which looks and feels different to everyone. Being in shape is not a number on a scale or even a six-pack of abs. After all, a certain pants size could never be powerful enough to give you that lit-from-within glow and limitless energy (duh!). But these habits will. Here are 10 habits that women who are always in shape have in common:

    1. They look for enjoyment in exercise
    Maybe you think that always-in-shape women are the rare breed that came out of the womb loving to go on long jogs, but that just isn’t true. Instead of innately enjoying intense exercise, they find joy in exercise. Maybe they have a go-to workout like barre or ballet that they love, maybe they go on runs to clear their mind and feel centered, or maybe they’ve found peace and stability in the daily ritual of exercise. No matter how they do it, they find joy in exercising and work out because they want to, not because they have to. 

    Source: @sassyredlipstick

    2. They think about what to eat instead of what not to eat
    I first stumbled across this wisdom while reading French Women Don’t Get Fat years ago, but it’s a principle that shows up in my diet philosophy in so many ways (like the adding instead of subtracting ideology). Diet culture has taught us to focus on what not to eat: no-fat products, low-carb diets, or “no added sugar” labels. Instead of worrying about what they shouldn’t be eating, women who are always fit get excited about the foods they do eat: fresh salads, warming stews, tasty veggie dishes, and refreshing smoothies. When it does come to indulging in ice cream, cheese, or Fettucine Alfredo, they enjoy the real thing instead of restricting or bingeing on artificial alternatives.

    3. They stay active outside of the gym or designated workout time
    Women who always stay fit don’t limit activity to a 60-minute workout session or time at the gym. Instead, they live a more active lifestyle overall. Oh, and they’re not pacing around their living rooms before bed to get in the last of their 10,000 steps either. They move more and sit less because it’s natural for them. Try adding more non-exercise movement to your life. Even if you have a typical desk job, there are many ways to fit more movement into your day. For example, walk your dog more often, stand while working, try gardening if you have a yard, clean your house more, walk everywhere you can, dance while cooking or getting ready, stretch while watching TV, and get outside to take conference calls.

    4. They rest
    If you think staying fit is only about how much you work out, think again. That’s right–women who are always in shape know that the key to health is balance, not perfection. Your body needs recovery just as much as it needs movement, so take advantage of your rest days like you would any workout day. Think gentle stretching if you’re feeling tight or taking a luxurious bath to soothe muscles and relax the mind. Also, prioritizing sleep is one of the most important things you could do for your body. Detox your sleep routine by sticking to a schedule, having a relaxing nighttime routine, and perfecting your sleep environment.

    Source: @kayla_seah

    5. They never get too hungry or too full
    While damaging diet culture has made us think eating less is always a good thing, in-shape women know that our bodies should never feel deprived or hungry to the point where we feel weak or “starved.” Feeling overly hungry stops us from being intuitive about what the body wants and making choices based on what we would really enjoy. Also, food is not the enemy; it’s energy. And the body needs a lot of energy just to exist, much less to work out, chase after kids, or have back-to-back meetings all day. If you find yourself getting hungry soon after meals, try adding more fiber with veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Carry around nourishing snacks with you at all times in case hunger strikes, and consider a mid-afternoon tossed salad or snack on some veggies if the gap between lunch and dinner feels too long.
    On the other hand, overeating to the point of feeling “stuffed” can make us feel lethargic, sick, and hinder digestion. Try eating more mindfully and chewing slower, so you’re aware when you’re no longer enjoying your food and just eating because it’s in front of you. Also, be conscious about eating when you’re not even hungry. It might be out of boredom, emotions, or stress, so feed yourself in other ways if you find cravings coming on that have nothing to do with hunger cues.

    6. They listen to their bodies instead of doing fad diets
    Fad diets are never sustainable. If a diet does help you get in shape, it won’t help you stay in shape. In fact, fad diets don’t exist for women who are always healthy. Instead, their method of eating is a lifestyle, not a diet. They know which foods make their bodies feel good and which ones make them feel lethargic or sick. The secret to being healthy comes from within, not from external sources like trendy diets or meal plans. Your body already knows what it needs to be healthy; you just have to listen to it.

    7. They drink lots of water
    No surprise, the most basic nutrient has a wide range of health benefits. But more important than how it can boost health is that it’s crucial for health; water is the body’s life force, and staying hydrated is critical for every organ, cell, and system in it to be healthy. Up to 60 percent of the human body is made of water, so we can help over half the body function by simply staying hydrated. It’s no wonder that women who are always in shape are constantly sipping on water. Not sure if you’re drinking enough? Here are seven signs you’re not. And if you get bored with regular ol’ H2O, try adding these ingredients to your glass for more nutrients and flavor. 

    Source: @theyusufs

    8. They keep a routine
    You know that staying in shape is a series of simple habits, which means that women who are always in shape know how to create habits, and then turn those habits into routines. Habits are helpful because you don’t have to debate whether or not to follow through with each healthy habit; you just do it. Routines are also helpful because they provide consistency, even on the busiest days.
    For example, if a daily yoga flow is a part of your routine, you won’t have to think about if you should or shouldn’t fit it in on a busy day; you’ll prioritize it because it’s a non-negotiable. To build healthy habits, start with something even easier than you think. Two push-ups a day can turn into 60-minute workouts while easily turning exercise into a daily habit. Designated morning and nighttime routines are also crucial for an overall healthy life because they set your entire day up for success.

    9. They keep their lives interesting
    Perhaps the most underrated health habit of all is consistently trying new things. The healthiest people know that the secret to a long life is staying interested and challenged. Yes, this means trying new workouts and experimenting with new recipes, but it also means trying new things outside of a health and fitness routine, as well. As cheesy as it sounds, having a zest for life not only keeps you happy, but keeps you motivated. When you’re feeling fatigued or tired during the day, it’s probably a sign that you haven’t done enough that lights a fire in you. Stay curious, try new things, and spend more time chasing interests, hobbies, and causes that you’re passionate about. Whether they’re “health-focused” or not doesn’t matter; they’ll make you healthier, and more importantly, make you happier.

    10. They know what they deserve
    We often struggle with eating healthy, taking care of ourselves, or working out because we don’t see ourselves the kind of person who would. A vicious cycle, no? Confidence is a state of mind, not a circumstance. Confident people have a better chance of staying in shape (not the other way around) because confidence is really just a matter of keeping promises to yourself. You build confidence when you consistently show up for the things you want to show up for (yes, it is that simple!). And when you love yourself, you eat, move, and live in ways that nourish and care for the body, and not out of punishment, self-consciousness, or resentment. Being “in shape” is not a size or number on the scale; it’s about giving your body the tools to feel its best because you deserve it.

    What habits keep you healthy?
    The post 10 Habits of Women Who Are Always in Shape appeared first on The Everygirl.
    ]] >
    https://theeverygirl.com/habits-of-women-in-shape/feed/ 0 https://theeverygirl.com/what-to-do-if-youre-not-happy-with-your-sex-life-in-a-relationship/ https://theeverygirl.com/what-to-do-if-youre-not-happy-with-your-sex-life-in-a-relationship/#comments Sat, 20 Feb 2021 12:00:08 +0000

    https://theeverygirl.com/?p=140972
    Whether it’s the honeymoon phase or you’ve been together for five years, people expect us to all have our sex
    The post What to Do If You’re Not Happy With Your Sex Life in a Relationship appeared first on The Everygirl.
    ]] >

    Whether it’s the honeymoon phase or you’ve been together for five years, people expect us to all have our sex lives on lock. We’re all having sex every other night, and our partner always satisfies us. No problems, no questions — everything is peachy keen.

    Wrong.
    Being unhappy with your sex life is an issue many of us face, regardless of where you are in your relationship. It’s hard enough to talk about sex in general, but how do we deal with it when we’re not happy? Sex is such a personal part of our lives, but it can help us bond and better understand our partners. (Not to mention, it’s a real blast, huh?) When sex isn’t the booming, exciting part of our relationship everyone says it’s supposed to be, what do we do? We’re here to help with that! We’re going over everything you can try to make sexy time better than ever, from what to try in the bedroom to how you can talk to your partner about it.

    Talk to each other
    They’re not making stuff up when they say communication is key! You and your partner might be having issues not talking to each other in your day-to-day (when was the last time you really asked each other how your day was?), or you might not be discussing what exactly you need from them sexually.
    If the relationship itself is struggling beyond your sex life, this might call for a little different conversation. Understand your own needs and what is working for you and what isn’t before talking with them about what is going on.

    Ask for what you want
    Simply put, they won’t know that something is wrong if you don’t tell them. If you want more foreplay, more dirty talk, more touching (or less of something!), let your partner know. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for what you want. Sex is a two-way street, so always remember your pleasure is 50 percent of the fun too.

    Keep finances and family out of the bedroom
    When there’s something weighing on our minds (money and family or friend issues especially), it can be difficult to get in the mood, let alone to have sex and not worry about those other things. Do your best to leave those thoughts out of the bedroom. This can be done by not doing work in your bed or using your phone in bed. You can also try to talk to your partner about these issues, so they’re not taking up so much space in your head.

    Don’t focus on the length of time
    You can have great sex in as little as 10 minutes, but sometimes, worrying about going too quickly isn’t helping you get anywhere. Take things slowly or let them come as they go (no pun intended!). It’s okay to take your time.

    Stop focusing so much on routine
    When sex gets routine (having sex on the same day every month/week, only doing the same positions, focusing on the end goal too much, etc.), it’s hard to get excited for the same thing over and over. Instead of trying to keep up with what you normally do, change things up a little bit. Have sex in a different location of your house (or go full nostalgia and get freaky in your car!), change up the time (in the morning, perhaps?!), or try a new position you’ve never done before.

    Try sex toys
    I’ll say it when I’m in my grave: sex toys aren’t just meant for alone time! Bringing a sex toy in the bedroom might be able to help you explain to your partner more easily what it is you like or help you learn what that is. It can also be an easy way to spice things up from your norm. Whether it’s a vibe, handcuffs, or something with a remote, there are so many options.

    Keep flirting
    Couples sometimes think that once they’re together, the flirtation doesn’t need to continue. Flirt with your partner just like you did on your first date or even kick it up a notch from the norm. Of course, you’re still attracted to your partner, but pretending you’re not totally dating bumps up the attraction just a little bit.
    The post What to Do If You’re Not Happy With Your Sex Life in a Relationship appeared first on The Everygirl.
    ]] >
    https://theeverygirl.com/what-to-do-if-youre-not-happy-with-your-sex-life-in-a-relationship/feed/ 1 https://theeverygirl.com/amazon-workout-top/ https://theeverygirl.com/amazon-workout-top/#respond Fri, 19 Feb 2021 18:00:39 +0000

    https://theeverygirl.com/?p=229268
    Taking a peek into someone’s Amazon wishlist is nothing short of getting a glimpse into their soul. One flash of
    The post The Amazon Workout Top I Can’t Stop Wearing appeared first on The Everygirl.
    ]] >

    Taking a peek into someone’s Amazon wishlist is nothing short of getting a glimpse into their soul. One flash of my wishlist and you’ll quickly find my deepest, darkest desires: home decor items that Joanna Gaines would envy, fashion finds seemingly plucked out of Hailey Bieber’s closet, self-help books I want to (but will never find the time to) read, and an ample amount of items that the TikTok community convinced me that I needed.

    Among those TikTok must-haves, one item taunted me more than the rest. I first saw it brandished on a TikTok account in the summertime. It wasn’t long until I found it appearing just about everywhere else. I saw it again and again on my For You Page, on the streets of Chicago, at the gym, and presented in the form of an ad on my daily IG scroll. The universe wanted me to pull the trigger on this affordable Amazon workout tank, but, I persisted and played hard to get.

    Behold, one of my biggest internal battles in life. Do I invest in more expensive items that will fit perfectly and last me forever? Or do I jump at the affordable option, assuming the risk that the cheaper options will be just that—cheap. It is with this contemplation that I decided on investing in the Lululemon Align Tank instead of giving the Amazon tank a try. 
    I wanted a top that could withstand a light treadmill workout/weight-lifting session but still be comfortable enough to lounge in. If I’m spending over $60 on a top, it needs to be multipurpose. When I saw my best friend rock her brand-spanking-new Lululemon Align Tank, she encouraged me that she was able to work out and watch Netflix in it, so I near sprinted to Lululemon to pick one up for myself. 
    Typically, I’m a size small in tops, but when there’s a built-in-bra situation, I am continuously dumbfounded for sizing. I’m a 32D so when I tried on Lululemon’s size four, my tatas nearly brushed the tip of my chin. One deadlift hinge forward and those babies were going to slip out and graze my worn, Adidas tennis shoes. I moved on to a size six. Still, my boobs slid out the sides covering more horizontal ground than I ever thought possible. My left breast took an exhilarating road trip west; my right flew coach, hit a fair amount of turbulence, and visited an old friend in D.C. So, I opted for a size eight. It expanded slightly to make room for my bust but the v-cut still left me feeling exposed and uncomfortable—there was no way I could make this work at the gym. Alas, I tried the size 10 at which point the top socially distanced itself from my ribcage and waist and I lost all hope.
    I walk-of-shamed home only to remember the workout tank that sat patiently in my Amazon wishlist. With lingering rage from my wasted, too-well-lit fitting room experience, I added the tank to my cart. For a size 32D, the brand recommended either a size medium or a size large. I said a prayer, opted for a medium in the color black (to no one’s surprise), and let the Amazon gods fulfill my order. 
    When I got hit with that “your order has been delivered” email, I sprung from my couch with gusto, slapped on an upside-down face mask, and triple tapped my floor’s elevator button because obviously, that would summon it faster. When I got down to the lobby, my package was there, waiting for me in all of its $24 glory.
    If you think that I didn’t rip open that package on my commute back up the elevator then, honey, you simply don’t know me. By the time I made it into my apartment, I was already slipping off my Budweiser tee, ready to see if this cult-favorite workout tank was worth the hype. And, boy, did I hope that it was. Still scarred by my Align Tank encounter (we’ll call it Boobgate 2021), I knew better than to be excited.  If it doesn’t fit, it’s OK! We can just return it. No big deal. 

    And before I could even finish my thought, the tank slipped and fell onto my body and I was at a loss for words. It? Fits? I started jogging in place, doing cartwheels, and performing bodyweight Romanian deadlifts in front of my mirror. After about five minutes of pushing my bust to the limits, I exhaled. It. Fits.
    And now, a glimpse at my happily ever after. I wear this thing everywhere. I’ve gone to the gym in it, I’ve worked from home in it, I’ve napped in it, and I’ve worn it under a puffer on my last two grocery runs. It’s lightweight, breathable, and functional AF. When I go to the gym to do an incline walk, a weight-lifting session, low-impact HIIT, or yoga, I leave the pads in. When I’m lounging at home, I simply slip them out. If I’m going to be doing what I deem as intense cardio (moderate running or sprinting), I opt for a more supportive, higher neck sports bra but, in all reality, I’m only doing that a mere once or twice a week. 
    While I’d say that the material is nice, you miss out on the buttery softness that comes with the Lululemon Align Tank. Amazon’s version is 87 percent nylon and 13 percent spandex while the Align Tank is 81 percent nylon 19 percent Lycra elastane. So while the Amazon one is definitely comfortable, it’s not a direct comparison on that front. At the end of the day, while then Align material would be a nice luxury, it’s most definitely not my priority.
    If I buy again, I’ll probably try out a large just out of sheer curiosity. If it’s not snug enough for workouts, I’ll still keep it for lounging purposes. If I like it better overall, I’ll be sure to let you know. For now, I’m beyond happy with my size medium sports bra tank that costs just a bit less than a Tao vodka soda and less than half of the price of a Lululemon Align Tank. With that, I can confidently say that in this episode of high-end or dupe, the dupe wins my heart.

    As far as I’m concerned, this tank could hit me with a car and I would say, “thank you.” This tank could leave me on read and I would fully, wholeheartedly understand. This tank could put an empty milk carton back in the fridge and I would apologize for assuming it’s full. Thankfully, this tank has shown me nothing but love and it is for this reason (amongst a million others) that I will no longer be wearing anything else. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

    The post The Amazon Workout Top I Can’t Stop Wearing appeared first on The Everygirl.
    ]] >
    https://theeverygirl.com/amazon-workout-top/feed/ 0 https://theeverygirl.com/nutrition-coach-favorite-recipes/ https://theeverygirl.com/nutrition-coach-favorite-recipes/#respond Fri, 19 Feb 2021 02:00:56 +0000

    https://theeverygirl.com/?p=229940
    In 2020, I craved more comfort foods, needed extra nourishment for energy that I lacked more than ever, and got
    The post I’m a Nutrition Coach and These Are My 12 Favorite Recipes appeared first on The Everygirl.
    ]] >

    In 2020, I craved more comfort foods, needed extra nourishment for energy that I lacked more than ever, and got bored cooking every meal (I miss you, restaurants!). Being a nutrition coach doesn’t protect me from cravings (or needing a really big plate of pasta after a stressful day at work), and 2020 brought a variety of at-home cooking challenges, like the lack of motivation that comes with stress or the cravings that come with needing comfort. Since I don’t believe in depriving or restricting, my answer was to try out nourishing, hearty, and delicious recipes that also happened to sneak in some extra veggies to help my body feel its best.

    Of all the recipes I tried, some have particularly become personal favorites, regular staples, and absolute game-changers for me. BTW, I’m vegetarian and gluten-free, so most of these recipes don’t have meat or gluten. However, that doesn’t mean that the way I eat should be the way you eat. The purpose of these recipes—and every recipe—is to make them work for you. Add your favorite animal protein or leave out a vegetable if you don’t like it. Find some inspiration from these 12 meals that have become my go-tos, but don’t forget to make them your own.

    Source: Love and Lemons

    Source: Eating Bird Food

    Source: Two Peas & Their Pod

    Source: Cotter Crunch

    Source: Ambitious Kitchen

    Source: Jessica in the Kitchen

     

    Source: Pinch of Yum

    Source: Love & Lemons

    Source: Minimalist Baker

    Source: Sakara

    Source: Nutrition Happens

    Source: Love and Lemons

    What are your go-to healthy meals?

    The post I’m a Nutrition Coach and These Are My 12 Favorite Recipes appeared first on The Everygirl.
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    https://theeverygirl.com/nutrition-coach-favorite-recipes/feed/ 0 https://theeverygirl.com/ritual-vitamins/ https://theeverygirl.com/ritual-vitamins/#respond Thu, 18 Feb 2021 17:30:01 +0000

    https://theeverygirl.com/?p=226164
    If anything, 2021 is the year of the anti-resolution. Gone are the days of writing down lists of everything you
    The post The One Habit I’m Adding to My Routine in 2021 appeared first on The Everygirl.
    ]] >

    If anything, 2021 is the year of the anti-resolution. Gone are the days of writing down lists of everything you want to accomplish in the next 12 months—this year, most are just trying to survive. 

    But this newfound start-of-the-year mentality doesn’t mean we can’t use the momentum of the start of the year to make some small, meaningful changes to our habits. No, “run a marathon” isn’t on the top of our to-do lists, but finding small things to add into our routines to better ourselves day to day is a resolution in itself, and in the long-run, can benefit us just as much as the big things. And something that falls into that category? Taking a multivitamin.
    Even if we consistently eat healthy, balanced meals chock-full of greens and colorful veggies, we may not be getting enough of some key nutrients the body needs—and that’s where a multivitamin can come in handy. But not all multivitamins are created equal; some are made with sugars, synthetic fillers, or artificial colors.
    Our favorite multivitamin? Ritual. Not only is their vegan-friendly formula formulated without shady ingredients, but it’s formulated with key nutrients to help fill gaps in the diet, like vitamin D3 and Omega 3 DHA.*

    My biggest problem when it came to taking multivitamins was always consistency. I’d get in the habit of taking one, but once I ran out, would forget to pick a new bottle up, and then would inadvertently take a month-long break from taking them until I remembered again. With Ritual, that problem is one of the past: your multivitamins are delivered to your door each month (with free shipping!) so you never have the “I forgot to add them to my shopping list” dilemma again.
    Taking vitamins can be a chalky-tasting, mediocre experience, but one that I thought simply came with the territory—but Ritual has shown me that that isn’t the case. Their capsules are minty-tasting in the most refreshing way, and even though it sounds small, has added in me wanting to take them every morning. It also doesn’t hurt that their delayed-release capsules are designed to dissolve later, in less sensitive areas of the stomach, so they can be taken with or without food. (Which means I don’t have to fear the vitamin-related upset stomach that used to hit me on my morning commute if I took my vitamins without eating enough—you know what I’m talking about!).

    This year, one of my resolutions is to be easier on myself—which for me, means no long lists of goals, and instead, finding pressure-free ways to support myself both physically and mentally. Not only does taking a daily multivitamin make me feel like I’m doing something good (since I know that even on the days that I didn’t eat anything green and “balanced” meant pizza for lunch and dinner, I’m doing something to help support my nutrient needs), but it helps my body get key nutrients. Health goals don’t need to be life-altering accomplishments or all-consuming goals; sometimes, all it takes to support your health is to prioritize the little things that matter most.*

    *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

    This post is sponsored by Ritual, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.

    The post The One Habit I’m Adding to My Routine in 2021 appeared first on The Everygirl.
    ]] >
    https://theeverygirl.com/ritual-vitamins/feed/ 0 https://theeverygirl.com/how-i-tricked-myself-into-working-out-again/ https://theeverygirl.com/how-i-tricked-myself-into-working-out-again/#respond Wed, 17 Feb 2021 17:00:33 +0000

    https://theeverygirl.com/?p=229460
    Over the past few years, one of my greatest, most dreaded challenges has been getting myself to the gym. Here’s
    The post I Finally Hit My Monthly Fitness Goal—Here’s How I Tricked Myself Into Working Out Again appeared first on The Everygirl.
    ]] >

    Over the past few years, one of my greatest, most dreaded challenges has been getting myself to the gym. Here’s the thing: once I’m moving my body, I don’t hate it, and afterward I typically feel pretty darn good. But getting there—oof—that’s a different story.

    I’ve struggled with yo-yo working out for as long as I can remember. I would do this thing where, after a long hiatus from the gym, I would work up a plethora of guilt-fueled motivation, hit the extreme of working out past my limits for a few days, and poop out, only to fall off the boat and do nothing at all for a week or two or three. No matter how many fitness gurus I followed on IG that preached consistency over intensity, I just couldn’t seem to get myself out of the bad habit of binge-working out, which led to prolonged periods of doing nothing at all.
    One of my goals for 2021 was to change my relationship with working out. I knew that if I approached working out with a new mindset, I had the potential to fall back in love with fitness. And for the first time in my adult life, I can finally say it’s actually happening. Here are the seven ways that I tricked myself into loving working out again: 

    1. I merged fitness and friends
    Finding accountability partners in my fitness journey has been an absolute game-changer for me. At the start of 2021, my friends and I vowed that we’d have each other’s backs on the days where we were feeling less than motivated to get to the gym. We don’t work out together (differing schedules and, you know, pandemic and all) but we have a stream of communication that is uplifting and motivating AF.
    We celebrate small wins, hold each other accountable, and lean on each other on the days where we need a little push to get out of bed or motivation to forego the temptations of the couch. Having a supportive community to lift me up, remind me of how much of a badass I am, and assure me that I’m not alone has helped me more than I can put into words.

    2. I listened to my body (but didn’t use it as an excuse)
    I’ll admit, before 2021, “listening to my body” was my favorite excuse in the world for doing absolutely nothing. The number of times I’ve said, “I’m listening to my body,” whilst withering away on my couch on my 19th consecutive hour of Netflix is simply too high to count.
    In my 2021, listening to my body has taken on a new meaning. Rather than use it as an excuse to be horizontal, if I’m feeling sore or am feeling tired I do a leisurely incline walk, stretch, or light yoga flow to get my body warm and moving instead of skipping my daily movement altogether. Time and time again, I find that doing something instead of nothing makes me feel infinitely better.

    3. I made a plan—and stuck to it
    For me, working movement into my schedule ahead of time has helped me to prioritize my workouts during the week. If I don’t plan ahead of time, life happens, and working out tends to be the first thing I sacrifice. I find that when I manage my weekly schedule and label specific blocks of time to include movement, I’m much more likely to make it happen. 6:30 p.m., workout with me—I can’t cancel that again!

    4. I placed an emphasis on consistency
    As I previously mentioned, I used to be the worst when it came to consistency in my workouts. Part of my problem was that when I’d finally work up the guilt-fueled courage of hitting the gym for the first time in weeks, I’d go way too hard for two whole hours, then I’d be exhausted, sore, and down for the count for at least a few days.
    This year, I’ve adopted the mindset that consistency is more valuable than intensity, especially when it comes to gaining confidence and getting back into the workout game. The positive reinforcement of the endorphin rush that comes from even a short, light workout has made me actually associate enjoyment with working out, which has made me—dare I say it—excited for my next workout.

    5. I made a playlist that makes me want to have a one-woman dance party
    In my eyes, no workout is complete without a pre-workout dance party. Despite popular belief, the star of said dance party isn’t my lame dance moves. It’s the playlist that gets me in the mood to groove, move, and get my blood flowing. No matter what kind of funk I’m in, a spontaneous dance party to my favorite songs can almost always cure it, which puts me in a positive mindset before I even leave my apartment.

    6. I spend less time doing things I hate (i.e., distance running)
    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I hate running. I can name a million things I’d rather do than run and, tellingly, that list even includes walking barefoot on a runway of Legos just because. I’ve tried every trick in the book to get myself to like running but, despite multiple attempts, I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s just not for me. And that’s OK!
    So, instead of forcing myself to do an activity I despise with everything inside of me, I’ve been opting for 10-minute warmups and cardio sessions that—wait for it—don’t include distance running! And let me tell you, it has been glorious. Instead, I’ll do incline walks, sprints, or bodyweight HIIT workouts to get my heart rate up before my lift. I know it isn’t groundbreaking, but choosing a workout plan that I actually enjoy makes me so much more likely to hit the gym. 

    7. I focused on how I felt rather than what I looked like
    At the end of the day, one of the biggest factors in changing my relationship with the gym is focusing on how I feel during and after my workout as opposed to expecting physical results. I think it’s great to have functional and physique goals but, right now, I’m focusing on the short-term benefits of working out. My mood is improved after I work out. On days that I move, I tend to have more energy that carries me through the rest of my day. I sleep more soundly at night. I make commitments to myself and I keep them. As I get stronger and my endurance improves, I gain confidence and I prove to myself that I can do hard things. And, let me tell you, team—I’ve never felt better.

    The post I Finally Hit My Monthly Fitness Goal—Here’s How I Tricked Myself Into Working Out Again appeared first on The Everygirl.
    ]] >
    https://theeverygirl.com/how-i-tricked-myself-into-working-out-again/feed/ 0 https://theeverygirl.com/energizing-morning-routine/ https://theeverygirl.com/energizing-morning-routine/#respond Mon, 15 Feb 2021 11:00:04 +0000

    https://theeverygirl.com/?p=228298
    My morning routine has always been one of my favorite times of the day. An easy, breezy, care-free time to
    The post 6 Energizing Rituals I Tried to Upgrade My Morning Routine appeared first on The Everygirl.
    ]] >

    My morning routine has always been one of my favorite times of the day. An easy, breezy, care-free time to sip on a cup of joe, listen to St. Lucia, and primp for the day. Although, with lots of big changes in the past year, it made me think: what changes can I make to my morning routine that could bring more balance to my beauty goals? Essentially, I wanted to add a side of healing health habits that I could easily do at home.

    With radical self-care being the talk of the town, there are no shortage of articles to do my research. Whilst looking into healing habits that might fit my morning routine, I happened upon a little quote that pointed me in the right direction: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence; it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare,” said Audre Lorde, writer, civil rights activist, and inventor of self-care. The word “self-preservation” echoed in my head, and I again asked myself these questions. What am I doing other than my skincare routine and a K-beauty facial mask here and there to preserve not only my skin, but body, mind, and spirit?
    My new motto: this morning is the perfect morning to take on some habits that I am able to keep up with. Below are some habits that I chose for myself and tried for two weeks:

    1. Drinking hot lemon water
    This is a simple morning step that, if nothing else, aids in hydration. This was an extra step in my routine, so I definitely had to allot for it timewise, but it was worth it. This simple morning ritual set my mind in motion for a day of good habits, and I got to use my oh-so coveted Bodum Bistro Gooseneck Water Kettle. This new ritual was fresher than coffee, warmed me up, and felt like a less acidic base for my tummy than coffee. 

     

    2. Practicing intermittent fasting
    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day… or so I thought. I know you have heard of intermittent fasting. I wasn’t sure about it, but the more I looked into this, the more I was convinced that it would help me in my beauty goals, inside and out.
    Reading further into it, I learned that snacking all day long could be taxing my digestive system and not allowing me to absorb our food and its nutrients well. Fewer nutrients could mean essential vitamins not getting to our organs but also missing our hair, nails, and skin. Trying this for a few weeks was an adjustment to say the least, especially when Netflix and binge-eating came into play. I had to be super intentional about what and when I was eating. I substituted random late-night snacks with tea and water, which you are able to drink during the fasting period. Let’s just say you will be the most hydrated person you know, which will make your skin uber happy.

    Source: Rawpixel

    3. Drinking juice and smoothies
    This was top of the list for me in the new year, so much so that I asked for a Breville Cold Pressed Juicer for the holidays. I have always been an avid smoothie drinker and was looking for natural ways to boost my immunity daily. Let me just tell you: my energy levels were through the roof, my thinking was clearer, and might I say, my stress levels were a little lower. I was drinking 32 oz. of juice every day around 11 a.m. My go-to juice concoction included cucumber, celery, lemon, ginger, and apple.

     

    4. Taking cool showers
    This, by far, was the most difficult one to do, especially in chilly Chicago this time of year. The potential was very motivating though: decreased inflammation, increased circulation, strengthened immunity, increased energy, and more hydrated skin. I definitely felt more energized, and my skin was less inflamed in areas where I suffer from the most dryness. I felt as if I was breathing a little deeper too, which helped my body process the cooler water. I used The Nues Forest Lungs for aromatherapy in the shower. It is inspired by the art of forest bathing, and it offers aromatherapeutic benefits to promote calm. 

     

    5. Doing a gentle workout
    I have never felt energized or less stressed coming out of a rigorous workout. (I even read in my horoscope once that my spirit does not like lofty workouts!) I spent much of my life as a yogi, dabbling in pilates and meditation. Then, I found Melissa Wood Health. Her method is to provide a series of precise, low-impact movements that create long, lean lines. MWH focuses on building a stronger relationship with yourself through workout videos that are about 20 minutes long. She also provides a stretch series at the end of most of her videos. Many of her videos include meditation and the option for strength training via ankle and arm weights (I own the Bala one-pound weights) and resistance bands. Virtual workouts are not going anywhere, and I suggest that if you are like me and want low-intensity workouts that leave you feeling more connected to yourself and ready to take on the day, try MWH. 

     

    Source: Colorjoy Stock

    6. Writing down ideas
    To make it easy on myself, I limited this to 3-5 ideas a day that I jotted down in my yearly agenda. Some of my thoughts I wrote down ranged from creative ideas, small changes I would like to make, and even things I was grateful for. What I noticed in myself once I started writing these little tidbits down provided a little stress relief. It boosted my creativity and made me more aware of what is going on in my brain. Overall, this is a sweet little something that is easy to keep up with and put me at ease, knowing that the ideas were down on paper and not swirling around in my head.

     

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    Remember February 14th as a child? It was a joyous holiday where you got to express your creativity through crafting
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    Remember February 14th as a child? It was a joyous holiday where you got to express your creativity through crafting a cool box and picking out themed cards from your favorite television show or movie. This was a day where you celebrated love: love for your friends, love for your teachers, and love for your family. There was something about giving love (passing out your Valentines) and receiving love (dumping out your box and reading each one) that made you feel warm and fuzzy inside. You always looked forward to it (and all the candy that came along with it). 

    At some point, the meaning of this date changed. It transitioned from pure platonic love and bliss to fragile romantic love. To be honest, as we’ve got older, we’ve made the concept of this day much more complicated than it needs to be. 
    Valentine’s Day is still the same beautiful holiday it was when you were a child, and its meaning is chosen by you. You can choose to have this holiday represent loneliness, or you can reclaim this as a day of gratitude for all the love you have in your life. Regardless of if you have a romantic love interest, you have people in your life that you can show love to: family, friends, coworkers, and yes, yourself. After all, there is no one in this world who will ever love you more than you love yourself. 
    What better way to spend Valentine’s Day in quarantine other than indulging in an easy, budget-friendly yet gratifying self-care routine?   

    Light a candle (or two)
    Candles bring a feeling of closeness and warmth into your home. Try floral notes like rose or jasmine, or go more sweet and sultry with notes of vanilla and amber. 

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    Diffuse some essential oils 
    Aromatherapy is essential to setting the right mood for any pamper day. Lavender, bergamot, and rose are associated with feelings of relaxation, balance, and harmony. If you’re in the mood for something more sensual, try a mix of sandalwood, patchouli, and ylang ylang. 

    Play some background noise 
    To make the day special, find a new playlist with sing-a-longs from your favorite era. If you’re not in the mood for songs, check out Spotify’s “Love Stories” section for podcasts filled with heartwarming stories about love and friendship. 

    Take a long bath or shower
    Show your body lots of love with a bath bomb infused luxurious bath or taking an extra-long steamy shower. Exfoliate with a dry brush before stepping in or use a body scrub once you’re in the water. After you’re done, lather up with a softly scented body oil for extreme softness. 

    Do an extensive skincare routine
    Use this day as an excuse to give your face all the tender love and care it deserves. After cleansing and exfoliating, apply your favorite nourishing serums followed by a hydrating mask. Start with a gel or cream mask and then use a sheet mask afterward. Need something to do while your masks work their magic? Why not take time to unplug by reading a book instead of mindlessly scrolling your phone. When you’re done, finish off with a beloved moisturizer and facial oil for a quick little facial massage.
    P.S. Don’t forget to give your lips some attention too.  

    Put on comfortable clothes or PJs
    Once you’re done pampering yourself, get dressed in a special comfy matching set or satin nightie. No outfit is complete without a spritz of perfume and a pair of fuzzy socks or slippers; these are essential for the occasion.   

    Order or cook something special
    Valentine’s Day is absolutely an excuse to step away from your regimented meal plan. Order in from your favorite restaurant (make sure you arrange this early as takeout demand will probably be high) or cook a really nice dinner. Brush up on your quarantine baking skills by making a fun Valentine’s Day dessert too. Don’t forget to crack open a nice bottle of wine. You have overcome a lot since last Valentine’s Day, and that is something worth celebrating!

    Paint your nails and watch a movie
    No self-care routine is complete without a mani-pedi in front of a movie. Fortunately, the romance genre is full of many different approaches, so you can always find a flick that’s right for every mood. If you’re craving passion and drama, try Netflix’s new Malcolm & Marie. Feel like crying? That’s OK too, A Walk to Remember and The Fault in Our Stars usually get the job done. For stories of love and friendship that will keep you laughing watch Sex and the City: The Movie. And if you’re just looking for a series that is both modern and relatable, try To All the Boys. 

    Get to bed early
    When you are ready to wind down, it’s time to choose the mindfulness practice of your choice. Whether that is meditation, journaling, or prayer, chose something that helps center your thoughts and inner emotions. Give gratitude for all your loved ones and think of little ways you can improve on showing love to others. Finally reflect on how you can continue to cultivate a loving, healthy, long-lasting relationship with yourself. Because no matter where life takes you, you’ll need it. 

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    It’s Thursday night after a busy day (nay, week), and you’re exhausted, stressed, and craving comfort. You open up the
    The post Want to Try Intuitive Eating? Here’s How to Tune in to What Your Body Really Needs appeared first on The Everygirl.
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    It’s Thursday night after a busy day (nay, week), and you’re exhausted, stressed, and craving comfort. You open up the UberEats app (it is not the night to cook that complicated recipe you had planned) and narrow it down to two options: you know you should order the kale quinoa bowl, but you want to order a Domino’s pizza, breadsticks, and an extra order of lava cakes (just in case). Of course, there are a couple of different outcomes to this scenario. Maybe you order the Domino’s and feel guilty after eating until you’re way too stuffed, or you get the kale bowl and feel unsatisfied, so you eat the entire carton of ice cream in the freezer. Sound familiar?

    But there is another possibility that has nothing to do with what you should or shouldn’t eat (and it doesn’t result in dissatisfaction or guilt). Intuitive eating is basically the anti-diet, but it can yield similar results of healthier choices and improved health. I’ve written a lot of wellness articles in my day, but the topic of intuitive eating is my bread and butter. In my humble opinion, there is nothing as freeing, effective, and universal as eating intuitively. So what is it, and how do you achieve it? Forget calorie counting, restrictive eating, and yo-yo dieting–here’s your comprehensive guide to tune in to what your body really needs. 

    What is “Intuitive Eating?”
    Following your body’s hunger cues and listening to cravings should not be revolutionary, but alas, it’s pretty counterintuitive to what diet culture has taught us for decades. While human beings have been unintentionally eating this way for centuries, the phrase was originally coined by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD, and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN, in the ’90s. Intuitive eating offers a framework that makes nutrition behavior-focused and personalized, instead of restrictive or rule-focused. Just a reminder: we are born intuitive eaters. As infants, we cry to signal we’re hungry, eat as much as we need, and then stop eating when we’ve had enough. Intuitive eating is less of a diet and more about unlearning the food rules that have made us lose our intuition (instead of weight). How do we unlearn? Follow these core principles of healthy eating:

     
    1. Identify engrained food rules
    The honest truth is that you are not the problem; your lack of willpower, intense cravings, or past failures are not the problem. The problem is diet culture and the engrained food rules that come with it. To start the process of listening to your body, notice where food rules show up for you. Do you still think some foods are good and some foods are bad? Do you believe carbs are unhealthy, or fats make you fat? Do you think the serving size on a box knows what’s better for you than your hunger cues? And do you think there are only certain times that you can eat (like three meals a day)? Get curious about what toxic food rules you’ve believed to be fact, and start challenging them. 

    2. Realize hunger is a good thing
    How many articles or “health tips” have you seen like “Foods That Suppress Your Appetite” or “How to Reduce Hunger so You Can Finally Lose Weight?” Maybe you’ve thought to yourself, “I’m still hungry, but I already ate a full meal,” or “I’m hungry, but I shouldn’t eat this late at night.” You might have even depended on a serving size to tell you how much to eat and felt mad at yourself when you were still hungry, or relied on trendy fasting rules over your own hunger cues. It’s no surprise we’ve lost our ability to be intuitive; we’re taught to believe that the language in which our body communicates is not to be trusted. Bottom line: physical hunger is your body’s way of telling you it needs nourishment. If you’re feeling hungry, allow yourself to eat. Hunger is one of the key tools we can use to keep our bodies healthy.

    3. Give yourself permission to eat what you want
    In a healthy diet, there is room for all foods. That’s right: I said “all.” Give yourself unconditional permission to eat anything you want: whether you worked out or ate healthy previously does not affect what you can and cannot eat. When you categorize foods as “good” or “bad,” restrict certain foods, or feel guilty about what you’re eating, you’re sending the signal to your mind that you won’t be eating this food again. Your mind then  translates that restriction as a need to get that food now, since you won’t get it in the future. Think about it: an increased appetite and cravings for the restricted foods would save your life in a famine, so it makes sense biologically. Therefore, any deprivation can lead to uncontrollable cravings and overeating. Trust me: when food is no longer off-limits, it’s immediately less enticing.

    4. Learn the difference between “full” and “satisfied”
    PSA: “full” and “satisfied” are two different things. It’s possible for you to feel full, but not satisfied. You might feel “stuffed” and still keep picking on the food in front of you, or go to the kitchen for dessert because you’re not yet satisfied. Fullness is the physical feeling of eating enough, and satisfaction is the mental or emotional feeling of eating enough. The way you get your physical fullness and mental satisfaction to line up is to eat food that both tastes good and makes your body feel good. Your meals should be delicious, nutrient-dense, and based on what you’re craving. If you’re still finding yourself snacking when you’re not hungry, your body is likely craving nourishment in other ways, whether it’s in the form of comfort or to fix boredom or stress. Identify that emotion to satisfy the craving in ways that will actually fix it long-term.

    5. Feel when you’re full
    One tidbit that diet culture has gotten right is that we often overeat. But what it did not get right is the way to fix it. Overeating does not stop with under-eating, restriction, or serving sizes (that’s what causes it in the first place). Every body needs different serving sizes and nutrients, so listen to what you need. To start, feel OK if you’re not in the clean plate club. Limit food waste by saving leftovers for later (even if it’s just a little bit), and make every meal or snack an opportunity to get to know your body better. Pause partway through every meal to check in with how you feel. How is the food making you feel? What’s going on in the body? How does the food taste? Chew thoroughly and eat mindfully to give your stomach a chance to signal that it’s had enough, and stop when you’re no longer hungry, but before you start feeling too full or “stuffed.” 

    6. Respect your body
    Eating intuitively means you listen to your body and trust that your body knows what’s best. But it’s kind of hard to trust or listen to your body if you don’t love it, right? Even if you don’t love everything about your body or feel as body-confident as Lizzo, you can still acknowledge your worthiness and understand that your body is not the enemy. Besides, loving your body doesn’t have to start with loving the way it looks. Instead, self-love and body acceptance starts when you realize its wisdom and your inherent worth as a human being.
    That means treating yourself with kindness, first and foremost. Approach cravings, feelings, and symptoms from a place of curiosity and compassion, instead of judgment and resentment. It’s OK (and normal!) to struggle with this part of intuitive eating, but focus on turning attention away from comparison or how your body is “wrong” and instead, focus on all it does right. Know that your body is not trying to sabotage you; everything from cravings to low energy to symptoms is how your body communicates its needs so you can be as healthy as possible.

    7. Practice intuitive movement too
    While exercise does not typically correlate with nutrition, intuitive eating is a lifestyle, not a diet. That means changing every area that might not be serving your body. Working out is another manifestation of diet culture; we know what we need to be healthy (moving our bodies and eating fruits and vegetables), but rules and restrictions make it hard. Just like healthy eating, exercise has become something we dread, avoid, or force ourselves to do.
    To heal your body holistically, apply intuitive eating principles to exercise. Forget about calorie burn or what trends say is the best workout for weight loss. Instead, focus on how you feel during workouts. Are you having fun? Do you feel less stressed? Do you feel more energized? Exercise can be challenging, but it should always be enjoyable. Listen to your body to decide what kind of exercise feels best for you, and you’ll start craving movement instead of resisting it.

    8. Think of food as self-care
    Nutrition should not be all-or-nothing, and being “perfect” does not mean healthy. Instead of seeing food as an enemy or a reward, think of food as self-care. Most of the time, caring for yourself will mean giving the body foods that you know make you feel energized, nourished, and happy. Sometimes, caring for yourself will also mean eating a delicious dessert or enjoying a glass of wine. And that’s OK: there’s not only room for both definitions of self-care, but it wouldn’t be self-care without the balance between the two. When you listen to what your body wants and get rid of restrictions, you’ll realize you’re no longer craving chicken nuggets or ice cream sundaes all the time. Instead, you’ll crave leafy greens, a variety of whole foods (no, really), and yes, the occasional rich meal or delicious dessert that you deserve to enjoy, guilt-free.

    Have you ever tried intuitive eating?

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    10 Things to Do Before + After to Maximize a Workout

    Exercise: love it or hate it, we can all agree that if you’re going to spend the time to do it, you better get the most from it. We’re all busy, hustling, and exhausted, so when we designate time to work out (on the days we actually can), you best believe we’re going to want to get the most out of it. The 30-minute sculpt class or the time spent sweating it out on a run gets all the credit, but the steps you take before and after exercise matter just as much. The right pre- and post-workout rituals can help you recover, get stronger, and crush every workout. Ready to optimize your bicep curls and high-intensity intervals? Make these 10 steps an important part of your workout routine:

    1. Get enough sleep
    If you’ve ever had a sluggish workout (or general lack of energy) after a night of not-so-great sleep, you know why this one is key. When you get enough quality sleep (around 7-9 hours), you have better focus, energy levels, and stamina, meaning you can likely get better results from the same workout. Bonus: exercising can help you sleep better, so it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Prioritize sleep the night before to make the most of your workout the next day. Also, if you have to choose between getting seven hours of sleep and waking up for a morning workout? Either go to bed earlier or fit in exercise later in the day. 
     
    2. Plan it out
    While it may be tempting to show up at the gym and figure out what to do on the spot or to Google a yoga flow whenever you have time during the day, making a plan in advance ensures you’re making the most of your designated workout time. “Having a specified and well-thought plan can make a huge difference in your workout routine,” suggested Bianca Grover, an exercise physiologist, personal trainer, and owner of Bianca Grover Fitness. “A planned workout can also help keep you accountable. You may be tired after your second set of squats, but that number will help you push yourself to complete your goals.” If you go to a gym, put together a routine ahead of time. If you’re more of a class girl, sign up for online workout classes in advance and write them in your calendar.

    3. Warm up
    It’s true for new relationships, and it’s true for exercise: when you go from 0-100 way too quickly, it can cause some damage. “Never skip your warmup, which helps reduce injury and improves recovery,” said Barbara Brosnan, NBC-HWC, NASM-CPT, CNC, and a personal trainer and owner of Project Fitness. “Your pre-workout warmup should consist of dynamic stretches (moving stretches rather than holding stretches) that target the muscles you will be focusing on during the workout.” The goal is to warm up the body to ensure your muscles have enough oxygen and increase flexibility to reduce injury. Fit in at least five minutes for a warmup. Try active stretching and low-heart rate cardio like walking on the treadmill. 

    4. Get in your liquids
    What can’t water do? The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking two to three cups of water a few hours before you plan to work out, which can maximize hydration levels during exercise. Without proper hydration, your body can’t perform at its best. Curious about other types of pre-workout fuel? Good news for our Starbucks addiction: “Caffeine is an ergogenic aid; which means it can aid in performance by increasing energy, focus, and endurance,” explained Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RD, LD/N to Byrdie. No matter how you prefer to fuel your body before a workout, make sure it feels best for you. If coffee makes you feel jittery (or if you work out in the evenings), stick to water—and get lots of it. Bottom line: make sure you’re properly hydrated and fuel your body with whatever makes you feel your best.

    5. Listen to the right playlist
    Because what could be more motivating than the chorus of Run the World (Girls) or make you pick up the intensity quite like the first 45 seconds of Lose Yourself? Getting in the right mindset is just as important as getting in the right physical space, so while prepping your body for a spin class or yoga flow, don’t forget to prepare the mind, too. You shouldn’t feel dreadful, apprehensive, or irritated going into a workout. If you do, you haven’t found the workout that’s best for you. Try listening to your favorite pump-up playlist (I’m biased, but this one slaps) to boost energy and excitement, visualize how good you’ll feel moving your body, and pick a type of workout that will make you feel good for the rest of the day.

    1. Stretch
    Yes, stretching gets a point before and after a workout because it’s just that beneficial (and crucial). “Post-workout, focus on isolated stretches: stretch and hold for 20-30 seconds to target the muscle groups that you used during your workout,” Brosnan recommended. Stretching after your workout also has benefits of injury prevention and improved recovery, but the difference is that you should hold each stretch to go deeper. Make sure to target the muscles you worked on, as well as the areas we often forget about, like inner thighs or upper back. Oh, and if you dim the lights, play some relaxing music, and light a candle or two? You just might feel transported into a fancy yoga studio.

    2. Eat nourishing food
    There’s a reason spin class and brunch go together like PB&J: refueling post-workout is crucial for your health and achieving fitness goals (although I’m guessing bottomless mimosas don’t count toward that). After using up its available energy, the body needs to refuel (especially with carbs and protein) to get more energy and repair muscles. If your goal is more strength, endurance, or stamina (or just to be overall healthy), don’t ignore that stomach growl. Think about it: your body is like a car (a Rolls Royce, might I add), and food is gasoline. To keep going fast—and get even faster—you need to continually replenish the gas. A fruit smoothie with protein powder and chia seeds, eggs with avocado toast, or a grain bowl make for ideal post-workout meals since they combine protein, carbs, and fats.

    3. Try a foam roller
    Remember the importance of stretching? Similar benefits apply when getting a massage (as if we needed another reason) by releasing tension in the muscles and helping the body recover from workouts and strain. But since getting a massage is not always feasible (or good for our wallets), enter the foam roller. “Foam rolling seems to make muscles more receptive to stretching and moving. It’s the best thing I’ve found to make people feel better immediately,” explained Michael Bento, a personal trainer at Massachusetts General Hospital, to Harvard Medical School. If you’re new to foam rolling, try out these moves to help with muscle soreness and tension. 

    4. Take a rest day
    If you’ve had a particularly tough workout, taking a rest day might actually help you maximize the work you did the day before. “Your muscles need time to recover after an intense workout,” explained Ashlee Van Buskirk, a registered nurse, personal trainer, and founder of Whole Intent. “However, if you’re itching to get active and you want to maximize the impact of yesterday’s workout, consider some light exercise. Walking, swimming, or doing yoga are great ways to stay active while letting muscles recover.” The key to health is tuning in to your body to find out what it needs. If you’re feeling too sore or exhausted, take a rest day. Listening to your body will help you get stronger.

    5. Indulge in some self-care
    “Recovery is the missing piece of self-care, and designing a post-workout recovery ritual is key to repairing, rebuilding, and strengthening our bodies from the inside out,” said Dr. Sharif Tabbah, a physical therapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist based in Miami. In other words, how much you care for yourself after a workout is just as important as how much you push yourself during a workout. Whether that means taking a warm bath to soothe sore muscles or a work break to destress, self-care deserves to be a part of your fitness routine. Going back to the car analogy: if food is gasoline, self-care is the “check engine” light. You have to care for the engine if you’re going to want the car to go faster. Self-care replenishes and nourishes the body so that you’ll be more motivated, ready, and energized for the next workout. 

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