Habits for a Healthier Lifestyle

1. THINK POSITIVE

Before you roll your eyes at this first tip, just hear me out. If you want to make a change in order to achieve a healthier lifestyle, no matter how big or small that change may be, you have to begin the process with the right mindset. Your motivation to change unhealthy habits and “get fit” cannot come from a place of hatred for your own body. In order to make a lasting and healthy change, it has to come from a positive place; you should be motivated by wanting the best for your body and, even more importantly, wanting to feel your absolute best.

Along with a positive mindset comes the belief that you can be successful. I cannot stress the importance of this enough! Making positive changes to improve your health is something every single person can do, but if you begin the process doubting yourself, chances are you won’t be motivated to reach your goals and you may end up back-tracking. A change that lasts happens from the inside out, so train your brain to THINK POSITIVE when it comes to your journey to a healthier lifestyle!

2. WATER WATER WATER

I know what you’re thinking, “Duh”. Drinking water consistently throughout the day is something so simple that most people know is great for you, but honestly, not that many people actually do it. Long story short, your body needs water to function properly because your body is made mostly of water. Drinking water throughout the day can help control your appetite and help your body burn fat. It helps to flush out toxins and keep you feeling your very best. Try drinking a glass of water before each meal- I’ve found that I get full more quickly when I do! If you really want to go the extra mile, make yourself a glass of warm lemon water first thing in the morning. This improves digestion and can help to regulate your metabolism throughout the day.

It sounds a bit silly, but investing in a water bottle that I loved really motivated me to drink water all day long. Now that I’ve had it for a while, I take my Hydro Flask water bottle absolutely everywhere with me- it’s become second nature. My Hydro Flask has by far been my favorite water bottle I’ve owned, but I’d also recommend brands like CamelBak and Nalgene. Find the one that best suits you and get to sippin!

3. SMALL GOALS

This may seem counterproductive, but setting small, attainable goals is the best way to set yourself up for success on your health journey. Trying to cut all carbs, sugar, and processed foods out of your diet and workout every single day is unrealistic and will lead to a feeling of failure when you cave. Instead, take it slow and set small goals for yourself. These could be things like walking every night, making water your main beverage, and limiting portions of certain foods. As you gain confidence, you can build on those goals and take it to the next level.

4. GET MOVIN’

Setting aside time to exercise a few days a week is super important, but you can also incorporate exercise into your daily routine! Do some squats as you brush your teeth in the morning, start your day with some jumping jacks or pushups, get in some lunges or sit-ups during your evening T.V. time; heck, you can plank as you’re waiting for your food to heat up in the microwave! The more you can get your body moving, the better.

Another tip for this is to get involved in something active that you enjoy, such as biking, walking with friends, hiking, kayaking, or joining a recreational sports team. Exercise really doesn’t have to be a chore, and the more you do it, the more your body will thank you for it!

 

5. FOOD PREP

Last but most certainly not least! Making healthy eating choices is so much easier when you have nutritious options readily available. Choose a day to “food prep” (my day is Sunday) and cook up a bunch of yummy and wholesome foods. I love to cook crockpot chicken, a big batch of quinoa or brown rice, roasted vegetables and a big fruit salad. By doing this I can pair my foods differently each day, and season them differently each day if I choose! This keeps me from feeling like I’m eating the exact same meal every single day.

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Going Icy Blonde: My Experience

I just want to start off this post by saying that dying your hair a platinum/silver blonde is definitely a process. I have naturally blonde hair, but getting my hair to the shade and tone of blonde I wanted was still time consuming and expensive. Just know that if this is something you are wanting to do, you have to be willing to spend the money and take the preventative steps in order to maintain the integrity of your hair.

Like I said, I have naturally blonde hair, but my hair definitely has more of a yellow tone and I wanted to lift it to be more of a white/silver color. The very first thing I did, and what I suggest as a first step, is consult with my hairdresser. I showed her pictures of what I was hoping to achieve, and she talked me through what it would take to get my hair to that point. Make sure you have a hairdresser that you trust, and someone who has done your hair before. I have heard too many horror stories about color-gone-bad, but if your hairdresser has experience with your hair and your taste, you have a better chance of avoiding that.

Courtney, my hairdresser whose website I will link below because she’s amazing, told me that this would be a process and that, in order to maintain the healthy condition of my hair, we would have to take it slow. We started out with full highlights, and she took me as light as she felt comfortable with for my first session. After the color was done and my hair was washed, Courtney recommended we do an Olaplex treatment to help keep my hair healthy and strong. I agreed because it seemed like the right measure to take, but I never imagined that the Olaplex would be the best thing I have EVER done for my hair. In a nutshell, Olaplex is a hair treatment with an active ingredient that actually seeks out “broken bonds in the hair that are caused by chemical, thermal, and mechanical damage”. Olaplex can be used to restore damaged hair and to prevent damage altogether. LADIES. This product is a game changer. Despite all the color that was put in my hair during that session, I left that day with my hair feeling healthier than it ever has in my life- all because of Olaplex. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone, whether you color your hair or not. After the Olaplex treatment, we added a toner to my hair to cut some of the “yellowness” out and leave it with more of an ashy tone.

These are the results after my very first session. You can tell it is still a little darker towards the roots and underneath, but definitely going in the right direction. IMG_2751

I went back to Courtney a couple more times and basically repeated the same process, just adding a little more color each time. We continued with the toner and the Olaplex as well.

After several sessions with Courtney, I scheduled an appointment with another amazing stylist to see if she thought I could go blonder. She was able to lighten up my color a bit more and the toner cut a lot of the brassiness out of my hair. I ended up loving the final product and didn’t feel the need to go any blonder.

This was my end result:IMG_3190

The journey to icy blonde was definitely not simple, and I wanted to maintain my results as long as possible. I invested in the Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights Shampoo, which helps to cut the yellowness out of your hair and keep the tone icy and cool. It definitely did the job! After some time, I could tell the shampoo was a bit drying to my hair so I started alternating it with my all-time favorite, the L’Oreal EverPure Repair & Defend Shampoo and Conditioner. This shampoo is sulfate-free, color safe, and the best part- it is a drug store price! I also bought the L’Oreal Repair Remedy Balm to give my ends an extra boost of hydration every now and then. The maintenance of the end result is quite possibly the most important part of the process. Taking the right steps and using the right products will make your color last longer and give you more bang for your buck!

All in all, my experience going icy blonde was very positive, but it definitely required some planning and saving. Anything worth doing is worth doing right, especially when it comes to hair, so make sure you take the appropriate steps to keep your hair healthy no matter what style or color you choose to try!

 

Courtney’s Website: www.courtneywhitestyle.com

 

How This Got Started

I am not a writer. I am a teacher. Which probably means I should be a good writer. But I teach Kindergarten, so maybe I’m off the hook? In all seriousness, I do enjoy writing, and putting pen to paper has always been a sort of coping method for me; a way to express myself that I find therapeutic.

I love being a teacher. I love getting to know my students, watching them grow and seeing their personalities develop. I love to celebrate the small victories and the big ones right alongside them. It is a job, but it’s more like a privilege. This blog, however, is not about teaching. Being a teacher is part of my life, but it is not my life. Hence, I needed another outlet. Another way of expressing myself and connecting with people who enjoy sharing ideas and inspirations.

The word abide, in Old English, means to dwell, remain, or endure; most simply, to live. The place in which we choose to dwell physically, emotionally, and spiritually has a tremendous impact on the people we become. Although the word abide is not specifically a Christian word, it does take on a Christian meaning for me.

No matter what you believe, I want this blog to be a reminder for us all to abide in what we’re passionate about; a reminder that each day is precious and so is each person and each individual journey.  This blog will be filled with things that inspire me, whether that be things related to my faith, fashion, beauty, fitness, photography, interior design, music, books or people. It will truly be a little bit of everything.

Where we abide, with whom we abide, and by what we abide is surely where we find our purpose.