A few summers ago I decided to try to look a little better in my bathing suit and pay more attention to my overall health. That meant that what I was eating was the primary focus of every minute of my day. It felt like a full time job just to make sure I had healthy options around that were prepped and ready for when I was hungry. The results were awesome. But I couldn’t sustain that level of attention on my diet. I’m still on a quest to live a more healthy lifestyle but I’m choosing to not let it take over my life. I’m guessing you also don’t want to give up your life and only pay attention to how clean you are eating so today I’m sharing 5 quick tips to make your day healthier. While these aren’t going to get you bikini ready, they are easy ways to start rethinking your daily routine and how you can make even more, bigger changes in the future.
I’m partnering with Aveeno® to share how to promote healthy skin, from the inside out, as part of a sponsored post with Socialstars. #AveenoTurns out you get more health benefits from a smoothie than from toaster pastries! I’ve spent my life trying to ignore that fact, but the truth is, eating natural foods, really does help promote a healthier body. The right diet, paired with the right skin care products, can get you beautiful, healthy skin. This blackberry smoothie recipe is delicious and will help your skin, from the inside out.
So, I guess I’m really going for it this summer with all these posts about myself. I mean, I showed you my big old face last week, wrinkles and all. I’ve shared my scars with you. Well today I’m sharing my cellulite, stretch marks and body image issues with you. If you are a regular reader, you know I like to keep it real. But I also think it is really healthy for me to share this stuff with you. For years I wouldn’t leave the house without blow drying and straightening my hair. But I am WAY past that now and it has been very freeing. Ok, well I still always have makeup but my hair is air dried. But I have another goal for myself. One that I think many other people also have. So let’s encourage each other and see if we can all free one of our body image phobias. It has been YEARS since I’ve worn shorts. Yes, I wore them once last summer in Palm Springs. And guess what, I wore them a few Saturdays ago to the grocery store. But I’d really like to get to a place where I feel confidant enough to through them on whenever it’s hot out. When was the last time you wore shorts? Are you afraid of them like I am?
I bought this CUTE black shorts romper from Old Navy while on a vacation in May. I have not worn it yet except to take these pictures in the safety of Lauren’s back yard. I didn’t even wear it home. I changed back in to my other clothes before I left. Why does it have to be this way? For me, I think my image issues are two-fold. Half of it is man-made (ie my cellulite from my love affair with Pop Tarts and my love handles from all those desserts) and the stretch marks I had no control over from growing very fast. The chalk-white skin doesn’t help anything but since worshipping the sun is out for me, I can only rely on creams to give them color (if I want a nice orangey hue). I see all kinds of people wearing shorts and it is encouraging to me that one day I’ll be able to wear them too without a second thought. And since I had a trip to Mexico coming up, where it is like a trillion degrees, I knew that I would HAVE to wear shorts.
It took all my effort to play it cool standing still for Lauren to take these photos. Sitting is a whole other problem. I was so uncomfortable sitting in these shorts! I know that we always see our flaws in a much more pronounced way than others. I’m choosing to share these photos on here in an effort to help myself overcome my fear of people judging my flaws, which most people wouldn’t do unless they are total a-holes. Since the beginning of June, I have really changed my diet and have started seeing some crazy improvements. It really is true, diet and exercise works. I haven’t put too much emphasis on the exercise portion yet, but the diet has helped me start to improve my body from the inside out. As well as how I view my body. I don’t have a scale so I can only go by how my clothes are fitting and the fact that my muffin top is almost gone! Huzzah! So the other day when it was super hot and I had to run out to the store, I felt like I could finally reach for a pair of shorts. I texted 3 different people to let them know I was outside in shorts and I climbed in my car to do my grocery shopping. Guess what? No one laughed at me or my legs. Liberating. I felt proud that I had really made a difference with my lifestyle for the better and was able to change some of my problem areas just with making better choices. And there are things that I can do for the stretch marks as well. I can’t wait to try out this body scrub from Frank which targets cellulite, stretch marks, eczema and more. I get that it will take more than just a scrub to completely erase my trouble areas, but it is nice to know there are things, especially made from natural ingredients, that might help them out.
Before I left for Mexico I got a spray tan since I knew it would help me feel more confidant in my shorts and DEFINITELY in my swimsuit. Our first full day there, I wore shorts. And I didn’t hate it! I made Lauren take a picture as proof. This is my best Giselle pose. Because I am sure she throws herself in to a corner to get THE shot. We walked around town all day and I ended up loving wearing the shorts. I felt like a huge hurdle was cleared. I wore shorts the next day as well. And when I got home, I didn’t hesitate to put on shorts. As my tan is gone at this point, I do feel a little more self conscious about wearing them. But it is WAY less than it was at the start of summer. I’m going to keep up with my healthy eating and perhaps add in a little more exercise. Perhaps. But I have some bad news to report. I wore those adorable ruffled black shorts one time and since they got ocean water on them I washed them when I got home. I hand washed them and hung them to dry. They totally shrunk! Such a bummer! I think I can still wear them but only to the pool. I would NEVER go to the store in them now as I think they may frown on actually seeing that much of a woman’s bum.
I mean, a girl should be able to drink out of a punchbowl and not feel like she is in a Seinfeld episode. I was going to share this image last year on Instagram but didn’t because my man hand was just too much to share. So here it is. Although diet is not going to change my opinion or size of my hands, I’m going to let my insecurities about them go. What are the insecurities you need to let go of? Will you pledge to wear shorts with me this summer and beyond?
I decided to sit my kids down the other day to see if I could figure out some healthier snacking options for them. I started off by asking them what their favorite junk foods are. My oldest said, “the middle of those chocolate sandwich cookies, chocolate caramel pretzel granola bars, lattes (He’s joking, he’s never had a latte. That I am aware of.) and ice cream. My youngest said, “ice cream, any kind of chocolate, pretty much all candy and gummy fruit snacks.” I wasn’t surprised by their answers. And that was a good starting point for trying to give them better options while still getting a little bit of what they want. What do you think your kids would say?
Studies show that dark chocolate has good properties, right? And moderation is the key. So I am fine including chocolate in their snacking. But I make sure that it isn’t the entire snack and that I pair it with fruit or pretzels, both of which go AMAZING with dark chocolate. This way, they aren’t eating an entire chocolate bar, or a bunch of chocolate candy, but getting a little to satisfy their cravings.
My youngest would happily survive on gummy snacks if I let him. So I decided to try swapping them with straight up dried fruit. While there is still a lot of sugar in dried fruit, there isn’t all the other funky chemicals like in those crazy-colored, super chewy fruit gummies. At least I am pretty sure there isn’t all that other stuff in there…
Sometimes they ask for chips or sugar cereals for a snack. Due to food allergies, we can’t give them nuts, but salted sunflower seeds are a great substitute. They are crunchy and salty with good fats which their little bodies need. I, on the other hand, need to be careful with these in the house because I want to eat them by the spoonful. So yummy.
When they get home from school I like to give them a snack that is a little bit more hearty. If I don’t, I find they ask for more food several times leading up to dinner. For this snack I make Sunbutter and banana “quesadillas”. There is no cheese in these, they just look like a quesadilla. The Sunbutter is a great substitute for peanut butter (dumb allergies) and the banana is a nice sweet touch. You can make it even a little bit more decadent by spraying a non-stick pan with a little bit of spray oil and then grilling it up. Oh man. Try this.