How To: Feel (truly) Happy

How do you define happiness? Maybe it’s spending time with loved ones or living a life you’re proud of. We all have different interpretations of happiness, but there is common ground on what makes us feel happy. I’m going to talk about fives areas in your life where you can “happify” (yeah, I went there) your life. You’ll add some bliss in your life knowing that happiness doesn’t have to be a struggle.

Find your bliss:

What do you love to do? This can be in terms of your career or with the hobbies you do everyday. Find what makes you the most happy and spend the rest of your life doing that. Whatever it is (career or not) it should make you want to get up in the morning with a smile on your face. Now go find your bliss!

Cultivate meaningful relationships:

I would rather have five best friends who I can trust my life with rather than have 20 friends who don’t know much about me. I appreciate the people in my life and I’m comfortable with a small friend group. My relationships are meaningful and important, and I wouldn’t change them for the world.

Express gratitude:

Instead of thinking about the bad things in your life (low-paying job and paying high rent) think about what’s good in your life (you have a job and aren’t homeless). It’s easy to lose sight of positivity, but it’s important to keep life in perspective. You have a lot to be thankful for, so express gratitude.

Love unapologetically:

You know the saying: live, laugh, love? Apply this mantra to your everyday life. If you don’t like your job, quit. Have negative people in your life, get rid of them. Don’t like where you live, move! You deserve a life where you love everything: your job, the people in your life, where you live, etc.

Begin the day with a plan:

People who don’t plan are more stressed. Think about it: you wake up with 24 hours and you have no idea how you’re going to spend it. If you want to feel stress-free and have a productive day, take ten minutes of your morning to plan your to-do list. You’ll get things done and feel accomplished.

What makes you truly happy? How do you live a happy life? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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Healthy summer treats!

Summer is a time where I’m looking to make easy treats that aren’t unhealthy. It can be difficult if you want to keep things fresh and satisfying, which is why I’m sharing three healthy summer treats you can make at home.

The “Doughnut” Bagel:

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Yes. I want to eat doughnuts just as much as you do. But for a healthy (and pretty) option, you can make a bagel that looks like a doughnut. Trust me, it’s Instagram worthy.

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You’ll need: 1 bagel thin (110 calories); 2 tablespoons of cream cheese (60 calories); food coloring and sprinkles. Mix one drop of food coloring with the cream cheese, spread onto the bagel and add some sprinkles. Yes, it’s that easy to make a pretty, low-calorie treat.

Banana “Ice Cream” Sandwiches:

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Ice cream sandwiches can be high in calories. Why not try a mini, frozen treat that’s under 350 calories? You can serve these to friends on a hot day by the pool, or keep them in the freezer on hand when you’re craving a sweet treat.

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You’ll need: 1/2 of a banana (55 calories); 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (190 calories) and 2 Hershey chocolate pieces (100 calories). Cut the banana into thin slices and spread the peanut butter on one slice. Top the banana “sandwich” with another slice. Melt Hershey pieces in microwave in three 15-second intervals. Dunk sandwich into chocolate. Freeze for about 15-20 minutes.

Fruit Pops:

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If you’re sick of having the same fruit salad every morning, it’s time to switch it up with a cool treat that is also sweet. With minimal calories, fruit pops are a fun way to spice up how you eat fruit (occasionally). You’ll enjoy this on a hot summer day.

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You’ll need: strawberries (25 calories), pineapple (40 calories) and two Hershey chocolate pieces (100 calories). Cut a few strawberries and pineapple pieces and put them on a toothpick. After you microwave the chocolate (same directions as above) drizzle it over the fruit. Leave them in the fridge for a cold treat with a sweet taste.

What treat do you want to try? Do you have any simple, healthy summer recipes you want to share? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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How to stay motivated {6 easy tips}

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For some people, staying motivated is easy because they set a goal and work to achieve it. For others, it’s not as simple because we might lack will power or motivation altogether to stay healthy. It can also be difficult because you’re tempted by alcohol, desserts and other delicious food in summer. Plus, who wants to spend hours in the gym every week? It’s easy to lose sight of motivation if you’re not committed, so it’s important to set your intentions for your goals and commit to working at them.

Here are six effective tips to stay motivated all summer long, so you can accomplish all of your health and fitness goals. You’ll add a little bliss to your life knowing you can wake up and feel motivated instantly.

Organize and Create a plan:

Think of your schedule: when do you work or have other commitments? When is the best time to workout? Can you prep meals in advanced? How often will you work out/how long? Make sure to answer these questions and organize your plans into your schedule. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Be realistic, but confident:

Are you looking to lose 20 pounds before September? That might be realistic for some, but it might not be for everyone. Or begin with a smaller goal and work your way up. Your goals don’t have to be weight-loss orientated. They can also be related to eating healthier or toning your body.

Get inspired:

Cut out inspirational words and pictures! Put the collage  where you’ll see it every day, so you’re reminded to get your workout in for the day in and eat healthy. This way, you’ll remember that you have goals you want to reach, so you’ll feel motivated from the time you wake up in the morning.

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Change it up:

You won’t feel motivated if you’re going to the gym for an hour and running on the treadmill everyday. Instead, get outside. Go for a hike with friends, bike with your boyfriend or try Pilates. Changing up your routine will confuse your muscles, which means a better workout for you!

Follow the 90/10 rule:

For me, diet is the toughest part of staying motivated because I love dessert. However, it’s not good if you’re looking to be healthy. Eat healthy 90 percent of the time and cheat 10 percent of the time. Here’s a rule of thumb: if you eat five meals a day (35 meals a week) you can cheat 31 of those 35 meals.

Stay positive:

Your attitude will make or break your progress. Keep track of your goals on a weekly basis. It doesn’t have to be your weight. Did you do 10 more squats this week than the previous week? That’s a goal to celebrate. Just remember to smile through the journey and keep going.

How do you stay motivated? Make sure to leave a comment below sharing your favorite tips!

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How to recover [from a bad day of eating]

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We’ve all been there. You have a few days where you eat perfectly: a variety of fruits, vegetables and lean protein with some necessary carbohydrates. No desserts, sugary drinks, or unhealthy snacks.

After a few days or weeks of eating healthy, you cave to temptation. You have a full-on eating binge. You ate three bowls of pasta, a dessert or two, multiple cups of coffee, some chips, and anything else your doctor wouldn’t recommend to eat.

First, it’s okay. Bad days happen. You’re not perfect and you shouldn’t expect perfection all the time. Mistakes are part of life and you can recover from this. Disclaimer: I want you to know it’s okay to give into cravings. Treating yourself with a chocolate bar is not the same as eating dessert for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bad days and treats are two different things.

Although it’s okay to allow yourself cheat days or cheat meals, you don’t want it to ruin your healthy eating or healthy lifestyle altogether. You’ll add some bliss in your life knowing you’ve taken the steps you correct your bad day, and make sure you focus on tomorrow.

Don’t dwell on your mistakes:

As I’ve said before, we all make mistakes and that’s okay. Don’t let your one day of bad eating affect your upcoming days. Think of it as a lesson learned. Move on, and make sure you don’t dwell on it. It will only make you feel guilty and make you feel worse.

Find your bad periods & correct them:

Do you tend to crave carbs in the morning, or do you eat ice cream late at night? We have times of the day where we feel the urge to eat poorly or make bad eating decisions. Find when you’re most likely to give in and fix it. Schedule time to workout in the evening to stop late-night snacking, etc.

Plan for the next three days:

I say three days instead of one day because it’ll take 72 hours for your body to adjust from the bad eating and focus itself on eating healthy again. Once you make it over three days, the desire to eat dessert and salty foods will decrease. Eating healthy will come more natural.

Focus on hydration:

Sometimes, we think we are hungry when we are actually thirsty. That’s because we jump to eating when we are bored, tired, etc. If you struggle to hydrate throughout the day, set a timer or reminder on a post-it note on drinking a certain amount of water. It’ll help reach your suggested intake.

Set a goal and stick to it:

Do you want to eat more vegetables throughout the day, or focus on your workout routine more regularly? Whatever your goal is: set it, stick to it and make it happen. You are capable of anything and you will achieve your goals with determination and discipline.

How do you recover from bad eating days? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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Rejuvenating June: Series Post 4

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In my previous Rejuvenating June post, I talked about juice and tea cleanses and the benefits of cleansing your body. Detoxing isn’t only about what you nourish your body with. It’s all about balance with your mind, body and soul. Here are 10 ways you can detox aside from cleanses.

Revamp your fitness routine:

You don’t need to jog for 30 minutes everyday. If you hate your fitness routine, try different options like kickboxing, Pilates, step class, weight-resistance training or cycling. The more variety, the better. This will help you lose weight quickly and keep your mind on top of its game.

Drink detox water:

Why have plain water when you can mix in up with different fruits and vegetables? Try adding lemons, berries and cucumbers to your water for a clarifying mix that will taste better than a sugary drink. This will help you reach the intake of water for the day without even thinking about it.

Meditate:

Are you always thinking about something? You have so many thoughts, ideas and can’t stop your mind? Meditation helps calm your mind and helps you to focus on breathing and being present in the moment. First meditate for 2 minutes, then 5, 10, etc. You’ll see how much you’ve progressed.

Get outside:

Did you know spending time in nature makes you more happy? Instead of walking on the treadmill or using the elliptical, take your workout outdoors. Hike in the woods, kayak with friends on the lake or bike on a trail. You’ll help your mind and body equally.

Keep a journal:

Detoxing the mind is also important. We have a lot of thoughts in one day, and sometimes we might have problems, stresses and other challenges we are battling. Keep a journal and record down the good, bad, ugly—basically whatever you want. It’ll help clear your mind frequently.

Write five things you’re thankful for everyday:

Expressing gratitude is something we all need to work on. Regardless of out life situations, we all have something to be thankful for. Every morning, write down five different things you’re thankful for, repeat everyday, and watch your happiness grow with ease.

Stretch when you wake up and before bed:

If you haven’t picked up yoga, try some simple poses for 15 minutes every morning and evening. This will get your body ready to take on the day, or prepare you for a night of rest. Either way, you’ll stretch you body and release toxins.

Practice breathing:

This isn’t something we do often. We need to appreciate breathing by taking full, deep breaths. You can practice this at night before bed (it will help you fall asleep faster) and during the day. With proper oxygen, you’ll body can release the bad from your system.

Create a vision board:

What inspires you to be healthy? Find your favorite fitness quotes, photos of healthy recipes and workout ideas and make a collage on a cork board. Keep it in a place where you’ll see it every day like your office space. You’ll be reminded why detoxing is necessary for healthy living.

Surround yourself with positive people:

You’re a product of your environment. When you surround yourself with positive people, you will naturally become more positive. If you have negative people, they will bring you down. You need to actively seek happiness through positive energy and optimism.

How do you detox your mind, body and soul? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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Rejuvenating June: Series Post 3

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A cleanse sounds like an intimidating word, but it’s not. A common misconception is that only celebrities can do cleanses. Another misconception about cleanses is that they’re unhealthy. These are both not true.

What is true about a cleanse? First, it can transform your body in a positive way. My goal is to shed light and bliss on the topic of cleanses; and help you overcome your anxiety about trying one. A two-week cleanse will help rejuvenate your life. Before you decide to begin a cleanse, make sure to check with a doctor to see if doing a cleanse or detox is a good option for your health.

So what is a cleanse?

A cleanse is a period of time where you are trying to get your system (body) in order. If you’re feeling bloated, fatigued, stressed, irritable and have low energy, you need a cleanse. Cleanses can be categorized as a juice cleanse or a tea cleanse. These are most popular. One isn’t necessarily better than the other. It’s all about what your preference is and what you can commit to.

What are the benefits of a cleanse?

For most people who complete a 14-day or 28-day cleanse can see results including: weight lose, increased metabolism, cleansed system, detoxified body, suppressed appetite and increased energy levels. Cleanses are great because they’re not meant to be done all-year long.

How often should you cleanse?

I think once a season (four times a year) is the most you should cleanse. Why? Because you’re giving your body the upkeep it needs without overdoing it. If you compete a cleanse for 28 days, four times a year, that’s 112 days of the year. I promise, you can commit to it. Or, you can complete two 14-day cleanses and two 28-day cleanses each year. There is no magic formula. It’s all about what you’re comfortable with.

How will this help me in the long run?

First, you’re going to clean out any of the bad stuff in your system. Second, when you’re on a cleanse, you’re most likely to pick up additional healthy habits such as exercising more and eating healthier. This will all come naturally when doing a cleanse. Also, you’ll feel less irritable and more energized, which can help increase your overall productivity throughout the year.

So, to cleanse or not to cleanse?

This is entirely up to you, but I can promise that whether you do a juice cleanse or a tea cleanse, you’ll see results in your health overall in addition to your happiness. Why not add a little bliss to your life?

Have you ever done a cleanse? Leave your comments and results below! If you haven’t, would you consider trying it?

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Rejuvenating June: Series Post 2

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When you hear the phrase “clean out your life,” it seems intimidating on the surface. What does that even mean? Why will this help you? How will this make you rejuvenated and blissful?

First, cleaning out your life isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. It can mean something different for everyone. I clearly didn’t coin this term, but I have used it frequently for the past few years, and I’ve noticed people have no idea what I’m talking about when I say this.

Cleaning out your life from my perspective means to: simplify, organize, plan and change different aspects of your life. Similar to a new beginning. When I want to clean out my life, I want to simplify my space, donate items I don’t need anymore, organize everything there is to organize (closets, new planner for blogging and work, etc.) plan my short-term and long-term goals (and check my progress on previous goals) and change anything I feel that needs to be changed. Most people try this in January for the new year or in April/May for spring cleaning. But the point is that you don’t need a specific month to accomplish these things. It should be done when you feel it’s most needed.

That is a basic overview of my version of cleaning out my life. It’s a way for me to go through everything and know that I have clarity in my life. Think about it: you’ll have an organized planner, a list of goals you’re working toward, and a clean, minimal wardrobe and space.

So, why should you clean out your life?

Since it’s a month for rejuvenation, cleaning out your life seems like the perfect opportunity to prepare yourself for the upcoming months and feel stress free. It’s also good to take inventory (of everything). Check your closets, cabinets, cupboards, etc. and weed out old items you don’t need and toss them or donate them. Set aside 20 minutes to lay out your goals for the rest of 2015 and goals for 2016. Create a new diet and fitness routine. You can even make a five-year plan. Give yourself a little time each day for a week to complete all you want to do.

After you’re done simplifying, planning and organizing, it’s time to check in with yourself. How do you feel after? Do you find organizing therapeutic? (I know I do.) Does simplifying ease your stress? This is the important part: reflection. Write down how this time helped you to create a fresh start for yourself.

Have you ever “cleaned out your life?” was it a helpful, positive experience? Make sure to share your comments below!

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Rejuvenating June: Series Post 1

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We all know down time is important; but oftentimes, we neglect this essential component of our daily lives. It’s important to remember we’re worthy of time that is our own to feel blissful. If you’re lacking time for yourself, read on to learn why you deserve it and how you can incorporate it into your schedule.

Why you need and deserve more time for yourself:

We all have obligations in life: work, relationships, health, cleaning and other commitments that take up our time. Sometimes, life can feel overwhelming. These everyday tasks can build up on us, and we begin feeling stressed if we don’t take time to refresh and rejuvenate. That’s why it’s important to forget about day-to-day problems.

This is something I personally struggle with. If I’m stressed out, it’s hard to overcome because it’s all I think about in the moment. Now, I have found activities that help me relax and act as my down time. Whether I’m walking my dog, writing, or working out, my mood is better with more down time.

If you’re slacking at work or chores around the house, it may be because you haven’t had time for yourself. We naturally decrease in productivity when we are stressed, so if you want to stay on track and feel balanced, take time to do something you enjoy.

You’re probably wondering, “How can I relax when I’m constantly on the go?”

I’m here to tell you that you CAN make time. Here are a few tips on how to do it:

Make a date with yourself once a week

Go to a coffee shop and read a book for an hour, treat yourself to dinner or go hiking for a few hours. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s something you’ll appreciate. If you write down on your calendar or to-do list “weekly date,” you’ll be more likely to stick to it.

Do what you love and schedule time for it at least three or four times a week

Maybe you love writing, baking, fishing, running or watching reality television. The point is to find what you love more than anything, and schedule that as part of your down time. It’s great to have a relaxing hobby. It’ll keep you in check of how much you truly appreciate it.

Take a personal day (from life)

Every three months (or every month), plan a day that’s entirely dedicated to you. Don’t make plans and treat yourself. Create your perfect day with activities you love. You’ll feel extra refreshed to keep you on top of your game. This helps if you need to plan ahead.

What will you do to make more down time for yourself? How do you spend your down time now? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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Rejuvenating June: Four-Week Series

BB52915I can’t believe we are a few days away from June. June is one of my favorite months of the year. School is over (or almost over) for most people, more free time is available for family, friends and ourselves. It’s also a time where you can “clean out” your life whether it’s donating old clothes or spring cleaning your house and organizing your space.

Every Friday during the month of June, I’ll be writing a new post on how to make this month rejuvenating and refreshing for you. There will be spring cleaning tips and why you should remove clutter from your space and organize as much as possible. There will also be posts on how to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit with health tips. If you’re looking for a fresh beginning before summer, this series is perfect for you.

Let’s be honest; we all need some bliss in our lives. Why not treat yourself to the new beginning you deserve. Stop by on Fridays to learn more about organization, cleaning, detoxing and creating a happy, healthy life this summer. I’ll be sharing my blog posts with the hasgtag #RejuvenatingJune for you to follow and leave comments as you read my posts.

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Are you looking for some summer bliss? Make sure to check in on Blissfully Brunette for the newest posts on how to make this month about you feeling organized and optimistic.

What are your summer goals for June? Do you want to organize your home more? Or are you looking for a healthy cleanse to feel renewed for summer? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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Feel Good Friday: Happiness is a Choice

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Life can have its peaks and valleys. We have moments where we feel on top of the world, and we have moments where we want to crawl under a rock. When we are in a valley (and want to crawl under a rock) we feel like there’s no hope and we lose our sense of self and happiness. Losing our happiness is something that we have all dealt with. However, it’s important to remember that we are responsible for our own happiness. Allow me to explain.

First, I know there are going to be people who will ask, “Happiness isn’t a choice. Look at people who suffer from depression and anxiety.” I’m in no way trying to say that depression and anxiety aren’t real diseases and should be disregarded. I personally suffer from mild OCD and anxiety, so I understand the problems that come from these disorders.

That being said, I know you might think, “I can’t be helped and I’ll never be happy.” I’m here to tell you that’s not the case. You can and will be happy if you decide to put in the time and effort to make yourself happy. You cannot rely on medication, other people or certain events to make you happy. Here are some ways to create your own happiness.

Seek fulfillment:

Pursuing a goal and working your way to achieving it brings out happiness you won’t be able to deny. If you want to lose weight or take your blog to the next level, keeping a list of goals and working on them regularly will help with your overall happiness.

Find your faith:

Some people rely on a concept more powerful than themselves to feel happiness. Whether you’re looking to find God or pursue a different religion, faith can help bring you inner happiness. Faith gives us something to believe in, which is why it’s powerful and helpful for creating happiness.

Follow your bliss:

What’s the one thing that makes you apologetically happy? Find what sparks your passion for life and do it everyday. Maybe you love to workout or write. Whatever your bliss is, make sure it’s part of your everyday life. “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Make happiness a priority:

Think of small, everyday things like keeping a Pinterest board with inspirational quotes or spend each morning meditating and giving thanks for your all of your blessings. Make an honest attempt to seek happiness everyday and you will find happiness in life.

I hope you learned a little more about happiness and how you can create a happy life for yourself. How do you create your own happiness? Make sure to leave a comment below.

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How to Deal: Toxic Friendships

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We all have been there. And trust me when I say it’s not a fun place to be in. You love and care about your friend, but his or her problems adds stress on your life. Maybe it’s a friend you’ve known for years, but they constantly put you down. Toxic friendships are never easy to handle, but hopefully these tips can add some bliss to your life whether you’re experiencing a toxic friendship or have been through one in the past.

What is a toxic friendship?

A toxic friendship can be different depending on the person. To create a condensed list, a toxic friend is someone who adds negative, unnecessary stress to your life, makes you feel bad about yourself, puts you down, etc. The relationship is most likely one-sided (where you’re constantly supporting or helping them and they don’t return the favor when you need it). You find yourself spending more time ignoring them than wanting to hangout with them.

Can you stay friends with someone who is toxic?

This is another question with unlimited answers. In some cases, yes you can be friends with the person if you decide to talk to them about your friendship and how it’s causing you stress. If you can work past it, that’s the best case scenario. However, it can be difficult for that to happen because oftentimes, a toxic person won’t change. Sometimes, it’s best to distance yourself and remove yourself from the situation. If the friendship is particularly bad, it’s best to cut ties because you don’t need to deal with a bad friend. Your health and happiness should come first, even if it means removing a person from your life.

How do you know when to end the friendship?

Ending a friendship can be extremely difficult, but it can be necessary if your happiness is on the line. You should consider ending a toxic friendship no matter what because you shouldn’t feel stressed from a relationship. However, that’s easier said than done. If you find yourself exhausted from helping them through their daily problems, that’s a sign you should end the friendship. Or, if you feel that the person tears you down more than they build you up, you should also end the friendship. You shouldn’t be friends with someone who constantly brings you down. Be with people who build you up.

Although this topic is very difficult for anyone to handle, remember that you deserve to be with people who make you feel good and lift your spirits. Don’t have a relationship with someone who only adds negative energy. If you surround yourself with positive people, you’ll live a positive life.

Have you ever had a toxic friend? How did you deal with it? What advice do you have for someone who has a toxic friendship? Make sure to leave a comment below!

Ki Signature

 

5 Foods You Need In Your Diet

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If you’re looking to shrink your stomach and blast fat, try incorporating these five foods in your diet. It will help cleanse your system and you’ll see results just before you need to wear a bikini. You’ll add some bliss this summer knowing you’re eating a healthy diet.

Berries:

Packed with rich antioxidants and vitamins, berries are fruits you should be reaching for on a daily basis. Make a homemade berry shake or add them to oatmeal.  Berries are a power food you need to fight fat before summer.

Avocados:

You might be thinking, “Avocados are packed with fat, that can’t be healthy.” Fear not because although there is fat, it’s healthy fat, which your body needs. They’re also loaded with fiber. They’re good for your skin, help digestion and lowers cholesterol.

Oatmeal:

Raw, plain oatmeal (not the packaged ones with different flavors) is healthy for you because it contains fiber. This keeps you feeling full longer, which prevents snacking and overeating. Have one cup in the morning and mix with cinnamon, walnuts and berries for a satisfying breakfast.

Eggs:

Eggs are packed with protein, which you need to stay energized all day. Eggs contain amino acids, which helps repair muscles. This is especially great if you’re working out regularly. Whether you’re eating them hard-boiled or in an omelet, eggs are always a good option.

Quinoa:

Quinoa contains the eight essential amino acids to put protein to good use. Aside from that, it’s a healthy carbohydrate you don’t need to feel guilty about. It’s a versatile food you can incorporate in your lunch and dinner.

What foods do you need to eat more of from this list? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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Why Your Weight Shouldn’t Matter

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I always hear one particular motivation for going to the gym. Most people want to lose weight (i.e. weigh less when they step on a scale). This is the worst motivation for wanting to go to the gym. Hopefully, you’ll gain some insight (and bliss) as to why you shouldn’t care about the number on the scale.

Why weight doesn’t matter:

I know women who are 5’7″ tall and weigh 135 pounds, but are completely out of shape. You would think being the perfect size means that you’re fit and healthy. This is simply not the case. I know women who are 5’3″ and weigh 160 pounds, and are in the best shape of their lives. You can’t associate someone’s weight with their health (in some cases). Of course, if someone is 200 pounds overweight, then it’s a problem. But in the case of people who regularly go to the gym and have a healthy diet, there is no room to judge. All bodies are different.

How do you overcome this misconception:

Don’t go to the gym to lose weight. In fact, don’t weigh yourself on a regular basis. Let’s be honest, the last time I weighed myself was in October, and I have no intentions on stepping on the scale. Why? Because I know that I am fit, healthier and happier than I was in October. For me, that is what matters and not the number on a scale.

What does matter:

It matters how you feel about yourself when working out regularly. It matters how fit and healthy you are. Anyone can lose 25 pounds, but not everyone can lift, train and continuously better their own bodies. It takes time, patience and dedication, but it’s worth it. It also matters how you look. You might lose inches instead of pounds, but inches are more important when trying on clothes. You’ll feel more confident, which matters more than your weight.

I hope this post helped anyone who feels discouraged about their progress. Not everyone’s progress is the same. Don’t focus on weight, focus on how you feel.

Do you struggle with the number on the scale? Share your story and insights below in the comments!

Ki Signature

Fear of the Future

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May is just around the corner, which means that if you’re a senior in high school or college, you know the dreaded G-word is near. If you’re still in college or high school, maybe you’re looking for a summer internship or job to apply for. If you’re out of college, maybe you want to try a new career path. We all fear the unknown. We aren’t sure of what the next step is whether it’s graduate school or to live abroad for a year. I hope to share a little insight and a lot of bliss because fearing the unknown is challenging. But, remember that you’re not alone and you can overcome this.

I’m in a position where I’m not sure what will come next. Yes, I do plan to complete my Master’s by next March, but as far as a job or where I should go after school, I’m lost. Oftentimes, I find myself planning these scenarios about where I should move and what career I should pursue. As you can imagine, it’s exhausting to spend your time worrying about life that’s months away.

First, take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back; whether you’re graduating, moving to a new state, applying for a new job or beginning a new business, you are taking a risk in life. Your bravery and confidence should be celebrated.

Next, remember it’s okay to not have everything figure out. If you’re three weeks away from graduating college and you don’t have a full-time job or you’re unsure of if you should go to grad school, it’s okay. There is no rush. Yes, it’s good to have a plan, but it’s not okay to have a plan that you’re not 100 percent committed to. Don’t apply for a job you’ll hate just because you’ll make $18 an hour. You should take the time to research and find what you’re passionate about before you apply for a job.

If you’re not in college, but you are experiencing a change in your career or beginning your own business, remember that you can do this. Don’t waste time thinking of what could go wrong and focus on everything that could go right. Clearly, you’ve found a career or idea you love and are passionate about, so put all your time and energy into it and do the best you can. With positive energy, you will only succeed.

Finally, remember that you’re not alone. Yes, graduation, new careers and new places are terrifying, but don’t be afraid of the future. Life is about adventure; and you deserve to enjoy every second of it.

Are you experiencing a big change in life? Make sure to leave a comment below with how you deal with the fear of the unknown.

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21 Health Tips I’ve Learned Over 21 Years

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Tomorrow is my 21st birthday. To tie in my birthday with my blog, I decided to share 21 health tips I learned over 21 years. Hopefully, you’ll gained some insight and bliss from what I’ve learned over the last (almost) 21 years.

1. Your worth is NOT determined by the number on a scale. Workout and eat well because you want to be fit, strong, and healthy, not to lose weight.

2. Sleep is your best friend. Don’t skip out on your 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. You need it and you deserve it.

3. Never underestimate strength training. Cardio is great, but strength training is where you see the most results overall.

4. You can’t out work a BAD diet. Eating balanced meals is important. Even more important than working out. Put the fries down.

5. It’s okay to treat yourself. You’ve been eating healthy all week, EAT THE CAKE. It’ll be fine, I promise.

6. Two words: interval training. Learn about. incorporate it into your fitness routine, and be amazed at your results.

7. Read more. It’s good for your brain and it’s an escape if you’re stressed. If you hate reading, learn to love it because it’s important.

8. Remove toxic relationships. Ditch the selfish “friends” who bring you down or who are negative. You deserve better.

9. Positive vibes=positive life. Ditch negative people (see 8) and don’t have negative thoughts. You’re responsible for your own happiness.

10. Explore nature. Go kayaking, hiking, biking, surfing. Whatever activity you can do outside in nature, do it. You won’t regret it.

11. Stretch/Yoga. It’s a relaxing way to end a long, busy day. You can also try meditation to calm your mind.

12. Protein=power. Have protein in each meal and you’ll feel full and energized. You’ll also snack less. What more could you ask for?

13. Workout 3-5 days a week. Whether you believe it or not, you DO have time for the gym. Schedule gym time on your calendar and show up!

14. Don’t skip meals. Ever. You’re only hurting yourself and your body. YES, this includes breakfast. No exceptions.

15. Give thanks. Write down what you’re thankful for every single day. It’ll change your perspective and energy in a positive way.

16. Don’t quit your daydream. Have a goal? GO FOR IT. Don’t do something you hate. Find your passion/bliss and do it every single day.

17. Don’t drink calories. Be mindful of alcohol, Starbucks drinks, juices and smoothies. Hidden calories lurk in these drinks.

18. Walk more. Take 30 minutes a day to walk outside. You’ll feel happier and healthier.

19. Love your veggies. Eat them raw, blend them, cook them, grill them. Just make sure you have a large variety every day.

20. Be kind. To everyone, even your enemies. You don’t know what a stranger is going through. Be the kind person in someone’s day.

21. Be yourself. You’re beautiful and you’re capable of anything. Remember that you deserve to feel happy and healthy.

Make sure to leave a comment below sharing your favorite health tips. Enjoy the weekend!

Ki Signature

5 Fitness Tips You Need In Your Life

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Whether you love it or hate it, working out is an essential component for a healthy lifestyle. But fitness shouldn’t be a miserable experience. You should love your fitness routine; but if you don’t, try these 5 tips to get the most out of your next workout. You’ll easily add the bliss back to your routine with these changes that will improve how you work out.

1. Interval training:

Instead of jogging for 20 minutes, try interval training. Sprint as fast as you can for one minute, then jog lightly or walk for one minute. Repeat this cycle for 10 minutes then rest for five. Repeat the 10-minute cycle a second time, and you will have completed an effective cardio workout.

2. Foam rolling:

Traditional stretching is also necessary before and after a workout. Incorporate foam rolling in your cool down after a workout. It’s like a personal massage for your back and legs. You’ll release any tension in your muscles and relax them naturally.

3. Work out outside instead of the elliptical:

Using the elliptical for an hour five times a day is not how you want to work out. Instead, mix up your routine with different workouts outside like hiking, biking, swimming, rowing, etc. Going to the gym is fine, but variety will help you stay on track with working out regularly.

4. Use free weights instead of machines:

Machines are beneficial for building muscle, but free weights allow for more range in motion, which is more effective. Next time you’re looking to tone your arms, reach for free weights. You’ll see results and you won’t have to compete with guys for the machines.

5. Try planks instead of crunches:

Crunches don’t work out your upper and lower abs in addition to your obliques all at the same time. Try a plank for one minute, rest for 30 seconds, then plank again for one minute. Repeat 3 to 5 times. You target your abs in addition to your back, shoulder and butt!

What are some of your favorite fitness tips? Make sure to leave a comment below, or tweet me @BlissBrunette!

Ki Signature

Feel Good Fridays: Don’t Count Calories

Wheat before harvest (yield's field).Welcome to my newest, health-related post on Blissfully Brunette titled, “Feel Good Fridays.” These posts will be anything related to fitness, food and more. For my first post, I want to talk about whether you should count calories or not. Hopefully, you’ll gain some insight and add the bliss back to your daily diet. Here are my top 3 reasons why you SHOULDN’T count calories:

Obsessiveness:

Counting calories leads to obsessiveness, which can leading to minimal eating, or potential eating disorders. Limiting yourself and banning certain foods doesn’t help you lose weight, it only causes you to feel frustrated. Then, you’ll overeat and feel like a failure.

Inaccuracy:

Counting calories doesn’t mean your accounting for your intake of fat, sodium, sugar or carbohydrates. it’s important to take this into consideration because high sodium or sugar can increase weight or cause you to plateau.

Guilt:

If your overall intake of calories for a day is 2,000, and you go over your limit, you’ll feel guilty. This can lead to overeating or make you want to starve yourself, which are both unhealthy options if you’re looking to lose weight.

So what should you do instead?

Keep track of your meals for the day (not calories). If you’re well-rounded in eating veggies, fruit and protein, you don’t need to count every calorie or gram of fat. This will keep you on track with health goals without overdoing it.

I hope this post helped you learn more about calories and how to keep track of what you eat in a healthy way. Have you ever counted calories? Do you think this is a positive or a negative way to track what you eat? Make sure to leave a comment below.

Ki Signature

 

Make March Your Month: Post 4

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This is the last post in my weekly series “Make March Your Month.” If you haven’t viewed my previous posts in the series, here they are in order:

Post 1: Introduction and Achieving Your Goals

Post 2: Choosing Positivity

Post 3: Forget the Past & Focus on the Future

For my final post, I wanted to talk about something we all need to work on in our lives. We are told that compassion is important because everyone is struggling through something difficult in their lives whether it’s a death, questioning their career, breakup, etc. Life can be hard sometimes and it’s okay to recognize how difficult it is.

However, we don’t always give ourselves the love and compassion we deserve. A quote we all should live by is, “If your compassion does not include yourself it is incomplete.” We are fueled by stereotypes and perceptions of beauty and lifestyles that we pressure ourselves to be the best. There’s nothing wrong with achieving goals and striving to become our happiest, healthiest self. But, there are problems with giving into unnecessary standards of beauty and happiness.

We are subjected to this constantly. Photoshopped images of celebrities, or standards that women should meet in life in general like get married by the time you’re 25, have two children by 30, have a booming career before you;re 30, etc. All of this pressure inflicts negativity and we feel inferior if we don’t meet these standards. Here are tips on how to ignore the hate and focus on love:

Do you:

You don’t need to feel pressured to accomplish anything other than your personal goals. Don’t focus on what other people are doing. Focus on your wants and needs. You’ll find that doing this will allow you to feel naturally happy and healthy.

Stop self hate:

You’re not fat, ugly, stupid or any other negative adjective. You are human and you make mistakes and you are perfectly imperfect. If you don’t reach your goal weight or have six-figure job, it’s okay. You cannot stress and hate yourself for it. Remember to always love yourself.

Don’t compare:

This is similar to the “do you” tip. But, don’t think you’re a failure just because you are in a different place than someone else. You don’t need to get married by 25 (or at all). There isn’t a perfect timeline to complete every life goal. We are all different and that’s okay.

I hope you all enjoyed my weekly series for March! Make sure to like this post if you want to see more weekly series and leave a comment below telling your experiences with this topic.

Ki Signature

 

 

 

Make March Your Month: Post 3

BB32015When I talk to people about goals, there is common element that can negatively affect what they want to accomplish. Sometimes, we are focused on past experiences, and we allow them to affect our future goals.

I think talking about this can help you learn about yourself and help you achieve your goals. It will also help you move past previous experiences and focus on the present and future. You’ll gain some bliss as you continue to work toward your goals and create your happiest, healthiest self.

First, why do we look to the past and ask ourselves “What if I did this instead? Or, “Would I be happier if I didn’t do that?”  I used to be the queen of regret and I contemplated my past regularly. We wonder what would happen if we chose a different company to work for or college to attend. In some cases, we don’t feel regret, but we question our previous choices. It’s important not to regret our decisions or allow our past to affect what lies ahead. This can affect your potential goals and happiness.

How do we overlook this problem and live a happy, healthy, regret-free life. In some cases, it’s not that simple because it’s dependent on your situation. However, there are a few universal ways you can solve any regret or contemplation you have about your past.

Reflect with  logic:

At the time of whatever decision you made, you had specific reasons and intentions behind your decision. Over time, you grow and your values, intentions and reasoning will change. But, that doesn’t mean you should regret your past decisions. You should allow your past to help you grow in the future.

Forgive yourself:

If you made a mistake or a decision you aren’t happy about, forgive yourself. Don’t allow your past decision crush your strength in the present. Remember, it’s important to love yourself and grow from past experiences. Forgiving yourself will allow you to accomplish your goals without remorse of the past.

Move on:

Learning and growing from past experiences shouldn’t give you a negative representation of what it to come for your future. Once you reflect and forgive yourself, it’s important to move on. Don’t allow those experiences to affect what you have in store for your future.

We all have those “what if” moments, or experiences where we wish we could go back and change, but your past should not affect your present and future. If you find that you’re being held back from your goals because of your past, try these tips. And remember, your past does not determine your future.

Have you ever experienced regret from a decision that is affecting a current goal? Make sure to leave a comment below sharing your experience.

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Make March Your Month: Series Post 2

BB31315Welcome back to the second post in my March series! If you missed the first post last Friday, you can find it here. I would definitely recommend reading it first, so you learn about this series and how to benefit from it.

Today I want to talk about a topic I hold close to my heart. The reason it’s important to me because I believe it is the foundation of accomplishing any goal you set out to achieve. With a little time and effort, you can adopt this simple yet effective practice to your life.

Positivity is what I rely every day of my life. I can depend on positive vibes and thinking to help me throughout different situations in my life. Now, you’re probably thinking that I am a girl with tattoos who loves to smoke and listen to indie music to have a good time. First, I would never get a tattoo. Second, I don’t want you to associate positivity with stereotypes. It’s easy for people to make assumptions, but try to keep an open mind.

Positivity isn’t for one type of person. It is for anyone who wants to enhance their life and become the best version of themselves. Positivity is why I think it’s an important lesson if you want to live a happy, healthy life and achieve any current or future goals.

Here are my tips on ow to apply positivity to your everyday life. First, take 15 minutes out of your day to give thanks to everything good in your life. It can be simple things that happened throughout the day, or they can be bigger blessing like family members, friends, a job, etc. I recommend buying a gratitude journal and recording your appreciate in a day-to-day journal. Finding time every day to focus on what you’re thankful for will bring out your positive spirit.

Second, learn the law of attraction. I watched a documentary titled “The Secret,” and it helped me understand more about positivity and how to apply it to achieving your goals. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, don’t waste time saying “I’m fat,” “I can’t eat healthy or workout.” Instead, give yourself positive reinforcement to prove that you are capable of accomplishing your goals. “I am working on my body to become healthier,” “I will be healthy,” etc. The more time to spend saying negative things, the less motivation you have to accomplish your goals.

Finally, remember that setbacks are okay. Don’t expect to adopt on positivity to do the work for you. You need to stay motivated and focused to achieve your goals. They will not be handed to you. If you don’t finish your goal at the exact time, don’t stress. Use a setback as motivation to work harder.

With these tips, you’ll find ease with working toward your goals. How do you stay positive while striving toward a goal? Make sure to leave a comment below or tweet me @BlissBrunette.

Ki Signature

 

Make March Your Month: Post 1

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For the month of March, I am going to write a four-post series titled, “Make March Your Month.” These posts will give insight on how to achieve your goals, and life a happy, healthy month overall (hence the title).

This first post of my series is about how to decide what goals you want to achieve. We all have different goals we want in our lives, and we all want to become the best version of ourselves. The question is, how do we do that without losing track of everyday responsibilities like work, school, relationships and other commitments?

One of the best ways to decide what goals you’re looking to achieve is by taking time to reflect on what is most important to you right now. For the month of March, what main goal are you hoping to accomplish? Whether you’re looking to go to the gym more often or be more organized with work or school, it must be something that is important for you.

One of my favorite quotes is, “If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If it’s not important to you, you’ll find an excuse.” Create a goal that you know you won’t make any excuses for March, and you’ll be one step closer to achieving them.

The next step is to create a plan that won’t affect your life negatively. For example, if you’re looking to begin a new hobby, don’t let the hobby affect your work life or relationships. One of the most important aspects of achieving your goals is to allow your plan to work with your current schedule. Don’t create unnecessary stress. The point is to create bliss in your life for the entire month, so pick a goal that you want to achieve, and create a plan that will help you accomplish your goal (but won’t negatively affect you).

Another tip is to find a system of tracking your progress. Prep healthy meals for the week on Sunday, plan your workout schedule, find time to organize different areas of your home. Whatever your goal entails, find a method that will allow you to plan ahead and reflect on your progress on a daily or weekly basis. You’ll find your goal more achievable if you break down the month on a weekly basis. Then, reflect on how you’re doing regularly to see what you accomplished during the week and what you need to improve on for next week.

Finally, find a support system. Tell your close friends and family that you have a goal for this month and you want support along the way. It’s nice to have positive reinforcement from loved ones. You don’t have to accomplish your goals alone.

What goal(s) are you looking to accomplish for the month of March? Make sure to leave a comment below so we can make March your month!

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10 tips for a weekend detox

Weekend DetoxAfter a week of school, work, internships and other responsibilities, it’s important to take the weekend to relax and refresh. I like to set aside one weekend each month where I take Saturday and Sunday to detox my body, mind and life altogether. If you’re looking to add a little bliss to your weekend, try these 10 tips:

Less coffee, more tea:

After a week of early mornings and multiple cups of coffee, it’s time to take a break from your caffeine overdose. Try to not drink coffee over the weekend. Instead, drink decaffeinated tea. Bonus points if you sip green tea! You’ll still feel energized and you’ll give your body a break from all of the coffee you had.

Laugh:

Take the time to laugh during your detox because it’s good for your soul. Watch cute puppies on YouTube or your favorite comedy. Laughing is one of the best workouts your body can have. You’ll see an immediate change in your mood and feel a little spark of optimism in your weekend.

Regulate your sleep schedule:

On Saturday and Sunday, take the time to get your body in a normal sleep cycle for the upcoming week. Oftentimes, we forget how important sleep is for our bodies. It’s the one thing college students skimp on that they should pay attention to. Missing out on sleep can affect your mood, skin and weight. Try to get to sleep at a normal time (between 11 and 11:30)—trust me, you deserve it.

Meditate:

If you’re looking to try a stress-relieving activity that will help your body, mind and soul, try to meditate. Focusing on your breathing and taking time to forget about your daily troubles can do wonders for your health while detoxing your body. You can look up meditation tips for beginners online if you need a little help.

Get outside:

I know it’s winter, but even if you decide to take a 10-minute walk, it can help your mood and weekend overall. You can see the difference in your health with spending a few extra minutes outside. Bundle up and stay warm as you brave the cold winds. Soon, it’ll be warm enough to spend more time outside.

Spend time with friends:

You’re probably spending time with friends over a drunk conversation at a party you won’t remember. Instead, try to spend quality (sober) moments with your friends over a coffee date. Or, make plans to go to the gym together, you’ll find excitement in spending time with a friend in a productive way.

See food as fuel:

People see the weekend as a time to eat as much pizza as possible. Instead, try to see food as fuel meaning, don’t eat anything unless it’s acting as a purpose to fuel your body. Have a weekend filled with vegetables, protein and fruit instead of pizza, tacos and wine.

Get perspective:

Read a play, volunteer in your community, or watch a documentary. Whatever you decide, make sure you get perspective on life and the world around you. You’d be surprised how gaining perspective can help you grow as a person. You’ll feel refreshed with your newly-acquired knowledge that you can share with loved ones.

Maximize your water intake:

I always stress the importance of water because it’s something that people don’t take into consideration with their health. A good rule of thumb to live by is the eight by eight rule, which is to drink eight ounces of water eight times throughout the day. Proper hydration will restore your skin and help your body flush out any toxins.

Organize:

Take a few hours out of the day to organize. Whether you organize your closet, your room, computer files or work assignments, organization will help you feel productive without adding too much stress during your weekend. Taking the time to organize will give you a sense of accomplishment and add some bliss in your life.

How do you take time for yourself on the weekends? Make sure to leave your tips below, or tweet your tips to @BlissBrunette.

Ki Signature

 

Top 5 post-workout foods

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Even if you’re working out regularly, you might not be aware of what you eat after your workout. It might be breakfast or a late-night snack, but what should you put into your body after a workout? Are some foods better for your body than others post-workout?

It’s important to choose foods that will fuel your body like protein and whole wheat. I’ve listed my top five foods that you need after your workout. You’ll be sure to add the bliss back to your post-workout routine and feel energized.

Eggs

They are high in protein and you can easily make them in the morning after your workout. Protein will repair muscles and fuel your body after exercising. Whether you’re having an omelet or sunny-side up, eggs are a great choice.

Whole wheat toast or bagel with peanut butter

Whole wheat products are a great part of your meal after working out. The peanut butter will give you your healthy source of fat in addition to protein while the whole wheat bread will keep you full from fiber-enriched flour.

Cottage cheese

This is a “holy grail” food product you want to eat post-workout. It’s high in protein and healthy fats along with few calories. You can spread cottage cheese on whole wheat toast, or eat one serving plain with hot sauce. You’ll feel full and satisfied with this option.

Greek yogurt

If you don’t have time to make a meal after your workout, Greek yogurt is a great snack. You’ll have high amounts of protein with this on-the-go snack. Add nuts like almonds and walnuts for extra protein and healthy fats.

Homemade smoothies

If you prefer to customize your snack after a workout, a homemade smoothie is perfect for you. Combine your favorite fruits and veggies for a healthy, filling snack. Add protein powder to your mix before blending to add extra fuel for your body!

What are your favorite post-workout foods? Make sure to leave a comment below, or tweet your suggestions to @BlissBrunette!

Ki Signature

How to: find your bliss

bb21015We all have something that makes us 100 percent blissful whether it’s writing, singing, volunteering, etc. Maybe you’re unsure of what makes you happy, and you’re looking for your bliss in life.

Since the 5th grade, I knew I wanted to write because I loved to tell stories. Growing older, I fell in love with helping people and volunteering. In some way, I wanted to combine my love for helping others and my love for writing. Finally, found a way to do so: by writing tips to help and inspire people to become a better version of themselves.

It took a long time for me to put this altogether, but helping people and writing fuel my bliss, and now I want to help you find your bliss. Here are my five tips:

Be open

If you’re beginning your journey to finding your bliss, be open to all possibilities. If you don’t have a lot of hobbies that you enjoy, try something new. Take a cooking class, writing course or join a book club. Being open to opportunities will put you in the direction toward finding your bliss.

Express your curiosity and willingness

Why does everyone love yoga (or insert other activity here)? Be curious and find out what makes other activities enjoyable. Be willing to express your curiosity to learn. We never stop learning as we grow, and it could be the solution to finding your bliss.

Be proactive

Don’t sit and wait for your bliss to arrive at the front door. Take time out of your normal schedule and find what makes you happy. You deserve to find what fuels your love for life. If you don’t find it right away, don’t give up.

Trust yourself

Trusting yourself and your capabilities will help you find your bliss. Establishing trust with yourself means that you know in your heart you will find happiness and pursue that happiness regularly. Always trust yourself and your instincts, and your bliss will follow.

Trust time

Patience is the key virtue here. Yes, you might find your bliss in one day. However, it could also take months or years to truly find what fuels your inner happiness–and that’s okay! Don’t put a time limit on happiness, no matter how long it takes.

I hope these tips help you begin your journey toward finding your bliss. For those who are reading and have found their bliss, what advice can you offer to those who are still looking?

Ki Signature

5 ways to feel more energized

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We all have those days where we don’t have enough energy to make it through the day, so we add as much caffeine as we can to stay awake during classes, work and other responsibilities. You can be affecting your overall happiness with low energy, which is why I’m sharing five ways to feel more energized.

Dehydration

Most people aren’t sure of how much water they should drink daily. You should drink an average of nine cups (2.2 liters) of water each day. Without enough water, your body begins to feel sluggish and fatigued, which can cause irritability and stress on your body. To make drinking water more appealing, add lemons, cucumbers and berries for antioxidants.

Breakfast

There is a reason why they call it “the most important meal of the day.” If you’re skipping or skimping on your breakfast, it could be the cause of your low energy throughout the day. A good rule of thumb for an energizing breakfast includes: protein, grains and fruit. A hearty breakfast will leave you feeling energized all day.

Stress

Stress is a heavy weight on your energy. Whether you’re feeling stress form work, school or a friend, make sure you take time for yourself. Set aside 20 minutes a day where you do whatever makes you the most happy and stress-free (nap, read, write, sing). Any activity that can get your mind off of your stress will work. Here is an article I wrote on 10 ways to reduce stress.

Exercise

Exercising (also helpful for stress) can help increase your energy. Try to workout for an hour (with a minimum 30 minutes of cardio) three times each week. Running, biking or going on the elliptical can help build your immune system, which helps improve your energy. You’ll also feel good because your body releases endorphins (the happy hormone) when you workout.

Rest

If you want to have proper energy during the day, the most obvious problem could be your sleep schedule. Ideally, you should stay off of all technology (phone, computer and TV) 40 minutes before going to bed. This could be affecting your sleep schedule, which can affect your overall energy. Limit your use of technology and opt for eight hours each night.

What are your tips for feeling more energized? Make sure to leave a comment below or tweet me your tips to @BlissBrunette.

Ki Signature

How to begin your day (the right way)

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I consider myself to be a morning person. I don’t press snooze eight times and I don’t have trouble getting out of bed. If you’re someone who does struggle with waking up or pressing snooze, you might be affecting the rest of your day in a negative way. It’s easy to become a morning person if you effectively plan out your morning. Here are three suggestions to add a little more bliss in your morning routine and the rest of your day:

Drink water

Keep a glass of water by your bed so that it’s the first thing you do when you wake up. Your body is dehydrated when you first wake up, which is why water will help begin your day properly. You’ll feel more awake and you won’t struggle to get out of bed. Opt for 6 to 8 oz. of water once you wake up. Bonus points if you add lemon, which increases your metabolism (making it even easier to get out of bed).

Make your bed

Let’s be real. There are two kinds of people: people who make their beds and people who don’t. What you don’t know is that making your bed can lead to a more productive day. Hear me out. If you make your bed when you wake up, you’ll be less likely to get into bed after it’s made. Stop laziness in its tracks by making your bed. You’ll feel a (small) sense of accomplishment, but hey, any bit will help.

Plan your day

After drinking water and making your bed, it’s time to plan out your day. Think of everything you have planned for the day, including: when you’ll eat, go to the gym, work, or go to class. Writing down your to-do list or schedule will help keep you on track throughout the day. Investing in a planner is helpful if you have trouble with organization.

Are you a morning person? How do you stop yourself from pressing snooze? Make sure to leave a comment below, or tweet me @BlissBrunette.

Ki Signature

 

5 ways to live a more positive life

positive life-BBWe all know someone who seems to have it all together. They are intelligent, ambitious, active, inspiring, caring, and every other adjective in the book. With these qualities comes a secret weapon: positivity.

Positivity will change your life. After two years of actively practicing this lifestyle, I have noticed incredible results in my mood, relationships, ambition, etc. Are you interested in learning tips on how to live this lifestyle? Here are five tips to get you started:

Appreciate what you have. Oftentimes, we have a lot in life that we take for granted like education, clean water, food, health, etc. Appreciating every aspect of your life will better your mood, attitude and outlook. Keep a gratitude journal and write five things you’re grateful for every day. Appreciation is a big step toward living a positive life because you need to focus on what you do have in life rather than think about what you don’t have.

Take action. We all know dreams don’t mean anything without ambition to make your dreams a reality. If you have goals: write them down on a daily basis, and take action toward making those goals happen. Determination to accomplish your goals will lead you toward a positive life.

Be present. Don’t be afraid to spend time alone. You need to be comfortable with yourself enough to be alone. Take time to think, reflect and breathe. Enjoy every present moment you have. A great way to practice “being present” is through yoga or meditation.

Dump the Debbie downers. You will not live a positive, happy life if you’re surround by people who are negative and hateful. If it means losing people you considered “friends,” then it’s worth it. Your happiness means much more than someone who was bringing you down.

Share the love. A good way to reinforce positivity on a daily basis is to share happiness and positivity with others. If you see someone is struggling, take the time to cheer them up. Share your knowledge of positivity and how this outlook is a better choice. Make happiness a choice for yourself and make other people choose happiness.

I hope you find a source of inspiration to make a positive change. Remember to focus on the good, be present, live happy and make others happy. Enjoy the rest of your day.

Ki Signature

Achieve your goals stress free

IMG_2736New year’s resolutions can bring an opportunity for positive change whether it’s living a healthier lifestyle or seeking new adventures. Sometimes, we create resolutions without a clear plan for our goals. If we happen to fall short of our intended goals, we feel down and defeated.

I created a list of five ways to fulfill your goals in 2015 with no stress or complicated plans. All it will take is a little ambition, confidence and organization to achieve your goals for the year.

Limits: We all have limits, and it’s important to know what our limitations are. If you know that you don’t have a lot of time to work out regularly, make sure to think ahead and plan when you can go. Keep a spare of gym clothes in your car, so you can go after work. Make the time and everything will fall into place.

Realistic expectations: If you’re a recent college graduate and you want to plan a month-long trip traveling in Europe,  you’re setting yourself up for failure. Having big dreams is fine, but having a plan for your dreams is what helps make them come true. If you have traveling plans or seeking opportunities for adventure, take your money and work schedule into consideration.

 Divide and conquer: If you have thee big goals you want to accomplish, it’s important to create smaller goals that will help you get there. If you want to lose 50 pounds by summer, create checkpoints by committing to lose 10 pounds each month. 10 pounds a month for five months will have you reach your goal. Apply this method of goal-planning for your job, health and fitness or a different area of your life. You notice results without the stress.

Organize: A way to stay on top of your goals, plans, and bucket-list items for 2015 is to be organized in all areas of your life. You’ll find that living an organized life will make you more capable of achieving your goals because organized people are aware of their goals and how to accomplish them. A great to begin organizing is by writing a daily to-do list. You’ll feel a small sense of accomplishment daily, which will increase your ambition to achieve your goals for 2015.

 Review your progress: Take a time each week or month to reflect and review your progress of your goals by writing everything down. If you’re looking to stop swearing, track yourself daily on how many times you swear. When the month is up, review your daily/weekly progress. If you said 15 bad words a day and dropped to two bad words a day, that’s progress. You’re working toward your goal successfully. Now treat yourself and keep it up.

How do you keep track for your goals? Have any additional tips you’d like to add? Make sure to leave a comment below or tweet your ideas to me @BlissBrunette.

Ki Signature

Weight-loss tip that will guarantee success

3or30Weight loss is always on our minds in one way or another. Whether we are looking to eat healthier or workout more regularly, health and fitness is a part of our lives. However, it can be difficult to make the time and effort for our health.

With 2014 coming to a close, and a beginning of a new year, it’s a great time to begin writing your goals for 2015. Here’s a weight-loss tip that will guarantee success!

Recently, I read an article about a fitness tip titled, “Three miles or 30 minutes.” Essentially, the goal is to work out in some way every day. You have two choices: run, walk, or bike three miles a day, or do a 30-minute workout instead.

This workout tip is from Pilates instructor Kit Rich. Here is the original article I read from popsugar.com, which also includes some suggestions for 30-minute workouts.

The reason this workout tip is effective because it allows you to stay balanced. You don’t need to go to the gym for two hours to have a successful workout. It’s best to incorporate manageable workouts in your routine. This will bring better results to your health and fitness goals.

My first New Year’s resolution is to follow the mantra of the “Three miles or 30 minutes.” Leave a comment below or like this post if you want to follow the challenge, too.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your day, and I will talk to you on Monday!

Ki Signature

Winter exercise methods

Now that winter is around the corner, it’s important to create a cardio-focused routine. Don’t stop weight training two or three times a week, however, include consistent cardio to achieve positive results.

Here are my three favorite methods to exercise in winter:

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training): HIIT is a great way to customize your favorite workout to increase fat-burning results. Some examples include: spinning, running, elliptical, etc. For example, if you’re running, you want to have two distinct periods: your rest period and “race” period. Begin by sprinting for 30 seconds, then jog moderately for 60 seconds. Repeat these two steps for 10 minutes. Your results will be incredible however you decide to incorporate this method in your schedule.

hiit-the-ground-running-2Spinning: One of my favorite methods of cardio is spinning class. Spinning is wonderful for your legs, abs and posture; it’s a full-body workout. Spinning class, similar to HIIT, using interval training. Interval training increases your heart rate so  you can burn more calories in less time. Classes are fun because you feel energized from the instructor and the powerful music. There’s never a dull moment during a class.

My-Class1Kickboxing: Whether you attend a class at the gym or complete a DVD/TV program at home, kickboxing is another method of training you should add to your schedule this winter. Here are some of the benefits of kickboxing: you can burn  up to 750 calories an hour. It provides resistance-training benefits, which means less weightlifting. And, it’s a full-body workout that incorporates cardio training.Kickboxing-Class-300x204What are your favorite exercises to complete in winter? Have you ever tried HIIT, spinning or kickboxing? Make sure to leave your comments below or tweet me @BlissBrunette. I hope you enjoy your weekend and I will talk to you on Monday.

Ki Signature