Rise and Shine

| “I love the the smell of possibility in the morning” |

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Good morning gorgeous!

I adore mornings. I cannot wait to wake up early, wrap myself in my fuzzy blanket and sit up wearing nothing but a gigantic sweatshirt and fuzzy socks. I love peeking outside and seeing a new day whether that morning is rainy and calm or sunny and joyful. I look forward to gripping my hot cup of coffee and stepping outside to the cool and crisp air right after the early sunrise. I am that person who wants to wake everyone up in the house blasting the song Sunday Morning by Maroon 5 through my speakers while dreaming of my favorite and biggest breakfast full of eggs, cinnamon rolls and fruit. My Pinterest board, Cozy Mornings, is full of warm candles, cheesy quotes and giant mugs and those things will continue to make me happy until I am old and gray.

Why am I telling you all this? I believe that finding that stillness in your day is essential to finding balance within your body and life. Yesterday, I came across a blog post on Fit Girls Diary called “15 Fit Girls Morning Rituals – Healthy Habits That Changed My Life” and I wanted to share it with you as I try to add some new routines to my morning that you might like to try as well. With school, work, long nights, and endless amounts of tests, I know it’s hard waking up. I have known people who sleep until late afternoon and have also noticed behavioral changes within those people as well. Don’t wake up wishing for more time in a day because life is already too short. Every day is a new day, your day. This morning I took advice from the Fit Girls Diary and tried some new healthy habits provided from the amazing post mentioned above.

  1. Wake up around the same time every morning- I am always setting alarms, but this morning I decided to have my body tell me when to wake up and my body clock is around 8:00am.
  2. Inhale and exhale, look outside, and clear your mind- Inhaling the new in today and exhaling the old in yesterday brought so much peace the moment I woke up.
  3. Do some stretching/yoga poses in bed before getting up- These stretches wake up all your muscles and release any tensions. For me, I have the worst tension in my neck, so below you will see my go-to stretches:
    • Touch your toes by inhaling then exhaling, reaching past your toes. IMG_3287
    • Then, stretch out your back by doing the cat/dog pose which consists of getting on all fours, then rounding your back when you inhale and arching your back when you exhale. You can finish by putting your gaze to the ceiling.
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    • I ended with child’s pose and then a neutral spine. IMG_3291 IMG_3293
  4. While getting ready, drink a cup of hot water- It is better to add lemon because this will kick start your digestive system- I found it very calming and cleansing!
  5. Avoid your technology for one hour- I only looked at my phone to check the time then I left it in my room as I went outside with my devotional and coffee. Looking at screens constantly can hurt your body in more ways than you think…
  6. Feel the cool air, warm sunshine and go outside early in the morning- I chose to have my one cup of coffee on our back porch area with my favorite devotional. I found so much peace. The campus was still and feeling that Vitamin D on my skin put a smile on my face before speaking one word to another person.
  7. Finally, when eating breakfast, eat with your non-dominant hand- I am right handed so I attempted to eat my bowl of cereal with my left hand. Why is this important? According to Fit Girls Diary, “When we challenge our brains, we force our neurons to make new connections, and that helps us improve the brain’s capacity for attention and memory”. I loved this new fun fact! My left hand was shaky and breakfast was eaten slow but I will continue to practice this every morning.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN! Take deep breaths today, love your body as soon as you rise and shine and feed your body nutrients to kick start this amazing day you are about to have.

| “If you want to be happy, you have to be happy on purpose. When you wake up, you can’t just wait to see what kind of day you will have. You have to decide what kind of day you will have.” | – Joel Osteen

What Makes You Happy?

Happy Monday!

Life is busy. I am a full time student, have a part time job and leadership position within my sorority and at times it is hard to balance all of that plus my new blog so just stay patient as I figure out balancing everything going on in life, but I know at the end of the day it is worth it! With that being said, a part from all of our priorities in life, what do you do to make yourself happy? To find true peace within a day I believe that you need to set aside at least 30 minutes or more to do something you love. I want to share with you certain things that make me smile when life gets crazy and what new things I’m trying! The key for me is to stick to something old and to try something new. I hope you can get a few ideas to try yourself and feel free to share any ideas on how you find enjoyment in your life.

For me, my something old is taking a long walk and listening to music. I started doing this in high school and continue to go on my power walks around campus. Yes, I look like a grandma pumping my arms as I walk around campus but I don’t mind it one bit. I once had someone tell me that I was walking away from my problems. Sadly, I have to agree that at times this is the case, but I want to encourage you to not avoid your problems by walking by yourself every day. Take a friend, have a venting session, grab an ice-cream or just plug in your headphones so you aren’t swarmed with thoughts. When I do this, I can self reflect and just breath. My two mile walk around campus today was full of country music. Check out my favorite playlists on my Spotify account!

My something new is photography! I absolutely love picture taking so I recently have decided to take on part time work with my mom and photograph events. I have done recent shoots for friends and have taken a few classes and absolutely love photographing!

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I have had a lot of people ask me what camera I use and I use a Canon Rebel T3. For events I use this Nikon, provided by the venue. Both are great options! I also purchased this red scarf camera strap on Etsy!

 

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Last week, I took some fun shots of one of my sorority sisters in our town square and had a blast! Finding a hobby that makes you happy is the best stress reliever. I love taking pictures because it is a fun way to look back and see all of your memories, but I also try not to live on my phone screen because then you will miss out on key moments that your camera can’t capture.

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One of my new mindsets is to try new things and next on my list was new exercise classes. Stay tuned on the blog as I plan on writing how I am in the process of learning what exercises are best for my body and what could be amazing for yours! Enjoy this time as you rest and read. I encourage you to make a list of things that make you happy and a new list of new things to try. I can’t wait to see the amazing things you will do!

“I think we like to complicate things when it is really quite simple; find what it is that makes you happy and who it is that makes you happy and you’re set. I promise.”

Every Day is a Challenge

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Why do we always wish for things we don’t have? I have been blessed in my life with friends and family who love me unconditionally but for some reason I have days where I can’t love myself fully. Recently, it was one of those days where I wanted to delete all my social media accounts, take back the ice cream I ate last night and sit and reminisce at old photos. As I have said before, I have a habit of trying to keep myself busy, surround myself with people all the time and act like I have my life together 24/7, but some times that is not the case. We are not perfect. The tendency to compare myself to others does not go away over night and neither does life’s difficulties. I admit that those thoughts consume my mind time to time and I know that I am not the only girl in the world who had those thoughts today either. As I sit here, I want to invite you to rest with me and decompress all the negativity that has filled your day. Light a candle, turn on some chill music (I have James Bay blaring right now), open your journal, and let’s open our eyes to the beauty in today.

The Lord has an amazing way of speaking to us and this morning after waking up bright and early at 7:00am, I read,

“Accept the challenge of something new, say yes to the ways I work in your life. Trust Me and don’t be afraid.”

Every day brings a new challenge. My old habits have been trying to tackle my mind this past week and today the Lord blessed me with a day to self reflect and to realize that I need to depend on Him even more. Today could have been a marvelous day, but while I sipped on my coffee and ate my oatmeal, I tried to make my plans for later instead of living in the moment. School is ending and it can be easy to add stresses to our life that are not necessary. I tried to go on a run (yes I attempted to run) and then go to a barre class right after. I found myself getting really shaky so refueled myself but felt so weak. Emotionally and physically I have felt broken down and it is because I put pressure on myself to do absolutely everything in my calendar, plus some. We are not called to live a life of stress. Today is a new day to a new week and I want you to know that you are not alone when it comes to stressing, over running your body and dealing with imperfections. We are not perfect but He is. I want to change my mindset around. Do you?

 

“You are not alone”.

 

 

 

When You Fall, Get Back Up

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I was never one who enjoyed sitting still. Being active was always a passion of mine and still is, but my journey to finding what my body needed regarding physical activity was a rough one and I am still recovering. Have you every pushed yourself to a point where you are broken down, exhausted and unhappy? Why do we choose to wake up and do that every day? My body was screaming to stop but I fought it every day until my doctor told me to stop. I’m going to share what I have chosen to do with my life for physical activity and it was the best choice I ever made!

|1 Corinthians 6:19 |

“Or do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”

As I have mentioned earlier, as soon as I got to college I started running every day on a treadmill for two miles and walked up and down hills to class to avoid taking the bus. I did this not to enjoy being outside, but to burn more calories so I would not feel bad eating some chips at my sorority event. This mindset consumed me and then I continued to do hot yoga classes to sweat even more. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE hot yoga and still do it, but more for relaxation. Yoga is wonderful for stretching, setting a peaceful mindset and adjusting your body to what it needs that day. I highly recommend it! However, day after day I put stress on my body by looking in the mirror and feeling great about myself, until my knees starting hurting really bad whenever I bent them. I bought a brace and still went to the gym every day. I continued my exercise routine and then my hip flexors started to feel like they were ripping to a point where I couldn’t walk to class. I still tried to hike every hill and step to get those extra physical activities in until one day I was laying on an X-ray table and the doctor told me to stop running because the muscle tissue in my hip flexors were wearing away. My thought was, how am I going to keep weight off if I can’t run? My mindset had to change and the Lord made that clear to me on Wednesday, September 2, 2015.

My doctor told me to take barre classes or water aerobics to heal but I was stubborn and tried to do my midweek run on this Wednesday. This only resulted with me crying alone in my apartment while sitting on an ice pack. I was suppose to be getting ready for church but refused to go. My roommate walked in to my surprise because she was suppose to be somewhere else and told me she had a feeling that I was going to fight going to church that night and insisted I went, so off I went to worship. Ignoring every word of the sermon, I was so upset because I didn’t want to sit there with puffy eyes until all of a sudden, mid-sermon, this man hopped on stage and said,

“We need to stop looking at our physical self and saying we aren’t good enough. We need to minimize ourselves and magnetize Him.”

Mind blown. God clearly was talking to me and from that day forward I was determined to find a physical activity that would heal me, bring me joy and feed me strength in the right way.

Welcome to Barre! 

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I finally decided to listen to my doctor and went back to the sport I loved the most, barre class. I grew up taking ballet classes, but this upbeat workout shakes every muscle, stretches you out and puts no impact on your joints. In class, I am toning my body by doing small movements that engages all muscles. I found my workout home at the local barre studio, Barre Company, where I am encouraged by teachers and am now addicted! I have learned that in order for your body to heal, you have to find something you love. Barre techniques are not like any other exercise class because you are doing multiple reps of small range-in-motion movements. I still love changing classes up and will go to spin and yoga classes, but my body reacts best to a barre workout. What works best for your body? I have learned that I no longer have to run miles to feel amazing. Although there are days where I will take jogs on beautiful days, I don’t have to beat my body to the ground.

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I want to encourage you to take a step away from workout machines and find a workout community full of friends that will keep you on the right track. Below you will see my beautiful friend who inspired me to take barre and is my inspiration in every class. She encourages me in my faith and pumps me up with music before every class. I can lean on her to keep me on the right track, whether that is resting or holding my plank for a few more minutes. Find someone in your life who warms your heart like she warms mine because I no longer run alone in a gym. I wake up and enjoy my coffee, take beautiful long walks before barre, enjoy sweet conversation with people after class, and look at myself as God’s creation. Tomorrow is a new day. How will you spend it?IMG_3127

*Photography by: Danielle Wilson / featuring Hannah Kerr and Danielle Wilson at Barre Company*

What’s Your Love Story?

Happy Sunday!

How have you spent your morning? Mine was filled with more coffee than needed, worship that was unexplainably beautiful and some grocery shopping that was consumed with wanting to buy items not on my list, like these gorgeous sun flowers! IMG_5990Buy yourself some beautiful flowers today or something you love! You deserve it! Rule #1 for starting a new week- always treat yourself by buying or doing something you love. I almost bought way too many flowers but the almond milk came before the flowers on my list today. I’m so happy you are here reading. Welcome!

I have always said love is the most powerful thing in the world. Everyone has their own interpretations of the word love and the thought has consumed my mind all week and after showing up to church this morning as I sat by myself in the back row, I saw clear as ever what God wanted me to hear and share. The sermon’s big idea was love…God clearly knew what I was thinking.

I love the feeling, possibility and power of love. Everyone knows me for being the most lovey dovey, emotional person there is and I have no shame to say it’s true. I have read and watched almost every Nicholas Sparks movie, I have Pinterest boards that consist of couples that make my heart smile, I will ask anyone to tell me their love story, I could watch wedding videos all day long, my Spotify is filled with heart yearning music, and my list goes on. People often tell me that my expectations are too high and that my version of love doesn’t exist but I beg to differ and I will tell you why. I have felt it. I have felt the unconditional love where you would do anything and everything for that one person. I have seen it. All of the most famous love stories on screens might not be 100% true but the idea of that love came from somewhere didn’t it? People often think that love will never find them and let me be the one to tell you that you are mistaken because your beauty, special talents and gifts make you so special and someone deserves to share that with you. I’m not saying that love is easy because it’s not but never stop being a dreamer. The Lord has shown me that powerful love exists, but He has also shaped my outlook on the matter by stripping that power from me in certain areas of my life and turning my focus on loving Him first. I used to tell someone close to me that people, me included, throw the word love around like it has no meaning. I would get so frustrated! It took that person and more friends of mine to show me that love is more than a word and you might not hear the word love from someone every day because actions speak louder than words. God isn’t physically there when we wake up in the morning to tell us He loves us but His glorious actions and rays of sunshine through your window by your bed is Him saying good morning my beautiful daughter!

1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”

How do you define love?88ee780c961cf76a8ca696c845dafc50

Romans 12:9 says, “Let love be genuine”

God places certain people in your life, and whether you love them or not they might come and stay, leave, or return, but at the end of the day the Lord asks us to love one another each and every day. Why waste time dreaming of others ultimate love story when love is everywhere! This is easier said than done because comparing body image isn’t the only struggle of comparison but emotional comparison can be the same battle. Conquering this means to love first your friends, family, pets, and strangers who God has placed in your life because that feeling of doing everything and anything for someone will give you so much joy. However, never let go of your dream to love unendingly because one day a love story of your own will fall in your life and it will be worth every dreaming second. Embrace old and new relationships with everyone around you this week. You are worth and well deserving of every definition of love.

November, 2014 I wrote in my little pink book, “We must always welcome the end of all things, for sometimes, knowing nothing lasts forever is the only way we can learn to FALL IN LOVE WITH ALL THE MOMENTS and all the people that are meant to take our breath away.”

Fall in love each and every day, take someone’s breath away and know you are worth every ounce of love showered upon you.

Loving Where You Are

Happy Friday! When planning my weekends, I have started a new idea where every weekend I want to discover new places to shop, dine and explore! I have realized as college is flying by, I am only in one area for such little time, so I need to make every second of every moment by finding local treasures that make that place special. At this time in my life, God has placed me in Bowling Green, KY. When people ask me why I chose WKU, my honest answer is that it just felt right. My plan was to move far away to a huge school, but every time I went somewhere there was a feeling that this didn’t feel like home. The day I set foot on WKU’s campus, I felt such peace there. I was the only girl from my graduating class to attend there and instead of being scared, I was SO excited to meet new people. I love Bowling Green so much and have found my favorite go-to places for coffee, food, desserts and more!

IMG_5906People have been asking where I go to eat and what I eat when I decide to dine out. I used to tell myself that wherever I went I will always get a salad and if there is a dessert only eat half. That being said, I have had to realize that eating out can be a treat and you can find amazing, healthy options that aren’t just greens. I mentioned earlier that BG doesn’t have a Trader Joe’s; however, tucked away by a small children’s consignment shop is my new favorite place, the Nutrition Center. It is like a miniature Whole Foods with everything from fresh probiotics, vegan and dairy free desserts, foot detoxes and my absolute favorite wall of goodies that consists of natural dried fruits, raw nuts and super grains! They are the perfect quick, on the go snack that always costs me under $6!

When it comes to actual restaurants, I will usually get a salad but now I always order it with grilled chicken because every meal should have at least some form of protein! I have noticed that ever since I started eating more lean meats, my knees do not ache as much. I usually eat grilled chicken or salmon at restaurants, but if someone is grilling for a special occasion or there are only burgers offered I will eat a hamburger with no bun. I used to get made fun of a lot for not eating the bun, but I would rather just eat the meat and have a full side of sweet potato fries! I LOVE those and if there is bread before, have some!! Don’t be afraid to eat the bread on the table like me because you will look back and realize that eating one piece of bread won’t hurt you, especially if you have been walking up and down WKU’s hill! We aren’t called the Hilltoppers for nothing. Where do I find these yummy salads? One of my favorite restaurants in BG is Wheatless! Below you will see my usual. You know it’s sad when you walk in and they already have your order…anyway this salad consists of one full piece of bread, kale, eggs, asparagus, avocado, onions, feta, pecans, cherry tomatoes, and I always add the chicken. I eat it all every time and feel great!

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You can find healthy, filling and yummy options everywhere. Below are common places I go to with friends with a glimpse of wonderful options, even fast food cause I know college doesn’t always allow time for sit down meals-

  • Cheddar’s: Salmon with broccoli, corn, and a side caesar that comes with a croissant
  • Subway: 6′ flat bread with turkey, 1 slice provolone cheese or none at all, toasted with extra spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, oil, vinegar, with a side of apple slices.
  • Wendy’s and Chick-filea offer amazing summer salads with apples, strawberries, nuts, a small amount of cheese, and grilled chicken. I love to sprinkle granola on top for some extra crunch!
  • McDonald’s: They offer a quick and ready oatmeal I’ve picked up on road trips with raisins and brown sugar
  • Mexican restaurants: chips with salsa or guacamole for starters, 2 soft shell tacos with CORN tortillas with grilled chicken, veggies and a small amount of cheese. I never feel bloated or gross after eating Mexican because I try to stick with wholesome products in order to avoid all the processed rice, beans and flour tortillas.

12919695_10209336356992167_3810223508802887238_nDon’t be afraid to eat out. Last night, I was at an event doing some extra photography because I love doing that for a hobby! Afterwards, there was a seated dinner after that offered barbecue, baked beans, macaroni and so much more. Instantly I got nervous and looked around the room noticing my mind drifting to a judgmental place when I saw people eat the mac and cheese, barbecue and pie. I looked up to see everyone enjoying themselves, sharing stories and laughing. That is what going out with people should be like! I was missing moments because my thoughts were drifting to a self-conscious place. So I went through the line and filled my plate with a spinach salad, broccoli salad, green beans and the mac and cheese. I ate every bit. I used to love eating mac and cheese growing up. Why did I stop? I ended up having such an amazing time and continued my night by spontaneously meeting up with a friend for a late night coffee. I never say no to a coffee! Stay tuned for posts about my cozy coffee cup obsession! A night I would have worried about turned into such a fun and memorable evening. Where is your mindset when you go out?

September 18, 2015 I wrote in my little pink journal a devotional on confidence. I was struggling with finding my confidence in others and seeking compliments and reassurance from them. I wrote,

“My circumstances might change dramatically, but the Lord remains the same throughout time and eternity. That is the basis of my confidence.”

At the bottom of my notebook I wrote down Romans 15:13 that I want to leave you all with today. Go out this weekend with no worries, eat, socialize, have fun, and praise God for your health and beauty.

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will over flow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit”

 

 

 

The Pink Journal

Good morning gorgeous!

Let me start out by saying how blessed and thankful I am for all the support I received for opening my blog up to the public. At first, I used it more as an online journal for myself but now I’m excited to share and start an amazing journey with you!

Mornings are my favorite time of day. I am such an early riser and love it! People laugh because my sleeping in is 9:00 or 9:30 on a really good day. I am not like every other college student, which is not a bad thing at all because I wake up, drink my coffee, have my quiet time and eat breakfast without any distractions! Currently, I am living in a sorority house so finding time to myself is essential and that is exactly where I am this morning. I have my bowl of honey nut cheerios with almond milk and half of a banana, one cup of dark roast coffee with vanilla, almond milk creamer and a dash of calorie-free stevia and my journal which is what I wanted to share with you today.

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To the left, you will see this small pink journal that I got at TJ Maxx, shocker, one late night during my first week of college. I have written in and carried this around for two years! When going to college, my fear was being homesick. There is no where I love more than my home that I have lived in for my entire life. I remember my mom, dad and best friend dropped me off and when they were gone I realized I didn’t know what to do on my own. When I was about to graduate high school, I received a Jesus Calling daily devotional that fed me peaceful reminders and scriptures. For some reason I noticed that every single one was saying EXACTLY what I needed to hear that day, like it knew what I was thinking and feeling. This was not a coincidence…I used to call them quotes because the scripture part I just ignored due to the fact that opening the bible scared me and I wanted to avoid my lack of knowledge on the matter, but you have to start somewhere! After looking in my small little devo book every morning, all of the quotes I underlined were starting to overwhelm me so one night I decided to write them all down in my pink journal. The first page I wrote I wanted to share with you below because although I didn’t know it then, this devotional has applied to every single page following this one.

IMG_5904“Thank Me for this time of neediness, when you must depend on me more than usual. Do not waste this opportunity by wishing it away. Trust that I know what I’m doing-that I can bring good out of everything you endure. Don’t let your past or present suffering contaminate your view of the future, and I have good things in store for you. I alone know the things I am planning for you-to give you a future and a hope.”

When writing this down, I really didn’t know what would come next. Luckily, God gave me the women of Alpha Delta Pi who took me to my first bible study. I was terrified and every time someone mentioned it, my palms got sweaty. This I have learned is the sign that God wants me to do something. So, I went and found myself lost as ever but every week I kept wanting to go back and learn more. That one small group that meets every week has changed my life and I can’t wait to tell you about the things that have come from me taking that small step to sit with a bunch of girls, drink coffee and talk vulnerably.

From then on I took my little pink book to bible study every week and wrote down all of my worries, concerns and quotes that inspired me. Remember, I still didn’t go to church, open the bible or really know why I felt so much peace writing a bunch of stuff in a $5 notebook from TJ Maxx, but then again I’ve learned we never know why certain things happen. Everything happens for a reason. Jeremiah 29:11 is a verse that will serve as my backbone because every day and every phase of life has it’s own challenges. I find hope knowing that God has planned out my life and all I have to do is follow. My prayer every day is for the Lord to take my hand and lead me in the right direction because I have realized without Him leading me, I’m lost. Follow your heart today and open a journal of your own.

“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” | Isaiah 41:13

Snacks, Snacks and More Snacks

I LOVE snacking! It is great for your body to snack throughout the day because it keeps your metabolism up; however, snacks do not replace meals. My best friend used to remind me of that and I constantly ignored him because I was so scared to actually eat a large meal…crazy I know. With that being said, below are a few of my favorite go-to snacks that I’ve eaten this week but of course I change it up all the time because where is the fun in living in a routine??

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On the left, my go to protein bar is a Quest bar. They are an amazing source of protein and come in bunches of flavors! They are always on sale at Kroger and they have only 1 gram of sugar and 20 grams of protein. The chocolate chip cookie dough is my absolute favorite because it literally tastes like a dessert. It contains simple ingredients and is great before and after a workout, or in my case just in between meals as a snack!

Now on to my addiction to almond butter…you can never have too much almond butter in your life. On the right is a little to-go pack that I found at TJ Maxx!! Let me say, that is my favorite store ever. If I need retail therapy at the end or even at the beginning of the week I will be there. My roommate found the best kale chips there so why not snack and shop?

 

Healthy Grocery Shopping on a College Budget

I get asked all the time what to buy at the grocery store! I go once or twice every two weeks and never spend more that $50. Trader Joe’s is my go to place! However, Bowling Green does not have one so I go to Kroger and they always have sales on their salmon, quinoa and almond butter! For those who do not know me, fun fact is that I LOVE grocery shopping. When I want to run errands to get away from life I go straight to the grocery store. Below are all of my go to items:

Fruit:You don’t have to buy them organic but those options are available also!

  • apples
  • bananas
  • blueberries
  • grapes
  • grapefruit

Meat: 

  • frozen or pre-made salmon
  • frozen grilled chicken from Simple Truth Organic

Dairy: 

  • 1 dozen carton of Simple Truth Organic, cage free eggs

Carbohydrates: 

  • Ezekiel Bread
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Steel cut or regular oatmeal (add cinnamon, honey/agave and almond milk for extra taste)
  • Brown rice cakes
  • Rice crackers
  • Bear Naked granola (my favorite is banana nut)
  • Seeds of Change quinoa and brown rice mix (all you do is heat the bag for 2 minutes in the microwave and it’s already done and an amazing side item!)

Greens: 

  • spinach for salads or sauté them!
  • veggies
    • broccoli
    • cauliflower
    • corn
    • brussel sprouts

NOW TREAT YOURSELF!

My doctor told me to LIVE life as a college student. Go eat ice cream, grab an extra cookie at the restaurant, craving a Reese’s?? (aka my favorite candy) GRAB A HANDFUL. If you find yourself craving dark chocolate, which is actually good for you, then that means your body needs some sugar. Listen to your body! I have found myself happier now that I actually go out for ice cream with my friends and not feel bad. Life is too short to not live it to the fullest every day.

WHAT DO MY MEALS LOOK LIKE?

Here are some examples of some of my simple go-to meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner that are so quick to make! When I’m hurrying to class, these are easy and so yummy! Remember, I don’t eat like this every day because my favorite breakfast meal is a cinnamon roll 🙂 IMG_7209IMG_5819IMG_5897

My Wake Up Call

IMG_9819I am 5’6 and have always loved being active. Starting my freshman year of college I was already tall, lean and did not need to worry about gaining weight, but I told myself that I was determined not to gain the “freshman 15”. I was a competitive dancer my entire life and grew up around girls who cared a lot about their physical appearance. I was one of them and I remember one day one girl looked at me and told me I lost weight and from that day forward I strove to get more and more compliments like that. When I got to college I began to run instead of dance and ran on a treadmill for 2 miles every day. I never ate a slice of pizza or drank a cup of beer at a party. I would maybe eat ice cream on a splurge day. My mindset grew more narrow when girls started referring to me as one of the healthiest girls they knew and saying, “wow I wish I could eat and look like you”. As time went on I would refuse to eat certain things and when I did eat something bad I would feel awful about myself. Starting my sophomore year not much had changed until I noticed my body slowly weakening. My hip flexors lost muscle tissue and I had to stop running, my wrists became so weak that I had and continue to wear wrist braces when I sleep at night and my knees became so bony, I couldn’t kneel on the floor or get up a flight of stairs without them aching. Yes, I still have to wear braces that look like wrestling mitts and my knees ache every day. I’m a work in progress! Most of my bone aches were caused because I was calcium deficiant and had no protein in my system. After several break downs later, I went to the doctor only a few months ago and was told I had secondary amenorrhea.

 

WHAT IS AMENORRHEA?

Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation in women. There are two forms: primary and secondary. I had secondary, meaning that for six or more months, you stop menstruating. The most common cause to of secondary amenorrhea is hormone imbalance, where one’s estrogen levels are very low, over exercising or low body weight. When I got tested, I was told that my estrogen levels were at the same level as a fifty year old woman after menopause…for a twenty year old this is not what you want to hear. You can be given certain medications, but in my case I was told that medicine was not the answer. Changing my mindset was the answer…aka I needed to learn to gain weight whether I liked it or not. Below are pictures when I thought I looked amazing!! Looking back, I had no healthy fats on my body and realized this is not how God created me to look…

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HOW DO I GAIN WEIGHT IN A HEALTHY WAY?

Well, after crying after eating a piece of pizza I decided to really research how I can eat healthy, feel good and add nutritious fats to my body because FATS ARE GOOD FOR YOU. Yes, I didn’t realize that either. From that day forward I chose to add lean meats, healthy fats and carbs to my diet every day. I HIGHLY recommend these organic, healthy options below:

  • Avocados (ate them with almost every meal!)
  • Grilled chicken
  • Salmon
  • Sautéed veggies in olive oil
  • Ezekiel bread with mashed avocados or almond butter with chia seeds and a banana!
  •  Eggs, eggs, and more eggs 🙂

Read a more extensive grocery list on how to buy all healthy options for over a week under $50!

Moving forward is probably one of the hardest things I’m going to get through because I thought I was doing everything right, but instead found myself beating myself up and hurting my body from the inside out. I was ready for the change and I couldn’t do that without taking a step of faith. Please continue to read other posts as I share how God has and is in the process of shaping my mindset.