Stand in your truth

Hi my superheroes!

I feel like I might actually be ready to write this post- and I feel like this might be part of the reason I’ve had trouble writing for a while.

Tonight I want to talk about living in your truth.

There’s a lot to unpack there, isn’t there? Let’s see.

First of all, to be able to live in our own truth means that we have to know ourselves well enough to know what that is. Yikes, that seems convoluted. What I mean by that is, when a situation comes up, you have to know where you stand on it. And you have to stand there for yourself.

A lot of times, when you face a difficult situation, there will be people in your life, people that you care about and who’s opinions you value. And those people will be on opposite sides of your situation. They’ll tell you to turn right, yelling to be louder than the people you value telling you to go left.

You have to make the choice for yourself.

Sometimes, you’ll choose poorly. That’s the risk. Sometimes, you’ll think you were doing everything right and all of a sudden, you’re upside down in a ditch with no idea how you got there. You still have to choose.

So once we know where we stand, then you have to find a way to act on it. You have to. No options. If you’re going to stand up for something, you have to put your money where your mouth is.

And that can be so, so, so scary. I know. But here’s what else I know. You’ll feel better for it.

Say, for example, you see a friend making a risky change. Maybe your best friend is catching feelings for someone new, and after thinking about it, you realize the guy is bad news. Do you tell your friend?

Yes. You speak the truth with great love, but you tell her. And when you do, you’ll feel it. Your chest will loosen up. Your breath will ease. Speaking the truth, even when you’re scared, is a huge, huge part of becoming a superhero.

But it’s more than just having the courage to speak up. Every now and then, we’ll be faced with a situation that will test us. Every now and then, you’ll have to stop in and check in: Does this still feel right? Sometimes you’ll find yourself in a situation that no one else will understand, but for whatever reason, it feels right to you. Follow that instinct. Stay on your own path, no matter how twisty it seems. Find your place, and stand tall.

 

Superhero action of the day: Stop and take a minute today to really determine where you stand on something you’ve been avoiding.

10 products I’m loving for August

Hi, my superheroes!

 

I’m sorry to have gone radio silent on you. To be honest, I felt like a fraud posting about being a superhero… because I just don’t feel like on recently.

But it’s August first, so let’s talk about some products for the end of our summer!

You know the drill- I’m not getting any money from anyone for this! Enjoy!

 

  1. Rhinegeist bubbles. Y’all Rose beer. In a can. Ned I say more?c6vuwrpu4aagqp6
  2. This ELF BB cream: elf-83262-2Super lightweight, natural coverage, and a little bit of SPF. It’s excellent. It’s also about $4. Pretty hard to beat that.
  3. On that note, I’m also loving this Burt’s Bees balm in Plum:     fedd2588-1048-4941-841e-8d79c6ce2ef5_1-4d72991f84233c5e137c7d5ae7423e24                                                                                                                It’s actually a pretty good match for my cover girl almost lipstick that I was loving last month…. but it’s WAY cheaper at about $6.
  4. Sharpie Pens. Seriously, I got hooked on these in college and will hardly use anything else. Perfect for back to school! 1888a890-ba8b-41cf-a7dc-5a44a39a5bf3_1-1b37215d77396202df34169792893553 Bold lines, writes like a marker, doesn’t bleed through, works if you have to label clothes (like me!) How can you go wrong?
  5. my Foam roller! I’m working my way back into weight lifting (post soon!) and I’ve had some pretty sore days! If you don’t have one, I got mine for about $3 at a store called Five Below, but also check secondhand sports stores if you’re trying to find one for cheap! exfmrl_image1
  6. Panera’s Chai Tea Latte. If you know me, you know I don’t do much caffeine anymore. I just can’t! But when I need something, I grab a chai tea latte. Whether hot or cold, it’s creamy and comforting like coffee, but without the mega caffeine burst that makes me a little unstable.  Panera’s are good- but one of my goals is to make my own this month- look for a post soon!original
  7. Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo. Y’all. If you are not dry shampooing, you should be. I was an every day shampoo girl. Well, apparently that’s super bad for your hair. So I got some of this and I’m not going back. Honestly, sometimes I’m on day 4 before I wash with this stuff. It’s amazing. My hair is also pretty fine, so this works great if I need to add some texture to my hair. 41im2mamvel-_sx466_
  8. Secret Outlast deodorant. This stuff is legit. I’m not kidding I can work out hard for an hour and not stink afterwards. The completely clean scent is what I get and it has a very light but pleasant perfume, it doesn’t get white stuff on my clothes, and it doesn’t feel weird in my armpits.         71kxe2b8wrxl-_sy355_
  9. Santa Cruz Organics Lemonade: I love juice. It’s the only calorie filled drink I keep in the house anymore (ok, barring alcohol!) But so much of it has a ton of sugar and other weird stuff in it. So when I can, I stock up on these juices and lemonades. They’re great on their own, but I especially love to put a little in with my seltzer water to make a delicious Summer mocktail. I love the lemonade, strawberry lemonade and mango lemonades. lemonade
  10. Quantico: If you love suspense filled TV, this one is for you. First, Alex Parrish trained to become FBI. Then someone framed her. This excellent ABC show will definitely keep you pressing “Still Watching” on Netflix!2b5866299c49737fe704050b444697d6

 

So there you have it! 10 products I’m loving for August! And I promise I’ll try to post more this month- this is harder than I thought it would be!

 

Superhero Action of the Day: it’s a new month! What are you going to do with it?

50 ways to treat yo self

I’m on a swing of working out again. Does anyone else do this? I can be a little bit obsessive and extremist, so maybe it’s just me, but although I try to workout consistently all the time, I go through periods where I’m super committed to it, and periods where I am just completely uninterested.

Right now, we’re on the upswing, which is great. I firmly believe I’m my best self when I’m working out regularly, so it’s nice when I feel motivated to do so.

In that spirit, I present to you, my superheroes, A List of Non Food Rewards.

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It’s hard, I know! When we do something difficult, we feel like we should be rewarded for that! Sometimes, it’s worth it to treat yo self. But there are better ways, most of the time, than to put food in our bodies that is counter productive to our superhero status (Ninja Turtles notwithstanding!)

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Ready? Here we go.

  1. New nail polish
  2. Mani Pedi
  3. New book
  4. Episode of a TV show or a movie
  5. Reward Jar (put a set amount of money, like $1 in a jar every time you workout)
  6. New workout clothes
  7. New purse
  8. New workout music
  9. Earn your Netflix/Hulu, etc. Set an amount of workouts for a month and cancel your subscription for the next month if you don’t make your goal
  10. A trip to the library
  11. an all out, guilt free Pinterest binge
  12. time with your favorite video game
  13. Take a Nap
  14. Try a new fitness class
  15. invest in a fitness accessory like a smart watch or wireless headphones
  16. Get a massage
  17. Take a morning off to do something you enjoy but don’t have time for (this might be hiking for me)
  18. Buy yourself flowers or a new houseplant
  19. Get the most recent issue of your favorite magazine
  20. Take a class in something you’re interested in (for me this would be some patterning and sewing stuff, but maybe it’s cooking, photography or math. You do you)
  21. Take a day trip and enjoy it!
  22. Watch a favorite sport- in person
  23. Register for a race or competition
  24. A healthy food kitchen gadget
  25. New Tupperware or lunch box
  26. The beginnings of a new hobby- sketchbook, camera, tennis racket, etc.
  27. New coloring book and markers or pencils
  28. new Journal or planner
  29. new mug or travel mug
  30. new water bottle
  31. new outfit
  32. Hair cut or color
  33. new Jewelry piece- you decide how fancy and expensive!
  34. Get your friends together for a night out
  35. Take a weekend away
  36. new candle or diffuser
  37. Plan your dream vacation
  38. …and take it
  39. Get a tattoo or a piercing
  40. a new piece of art for your home
  41. piece of exercise equipment
  42. a tool or tool set (drill, dremel, etc)
  43. new app
  44. your favorite spa treatment
  45. Use a sticker chart! This sounds silly, but I’ve done it, it WORKS
  46. Buy a lottery ticket
  47. Buy expensive socks. They’re ridiculous but worth it.
  48. Have pictures taken
  49. Try out personal training
  50. Get your car professionally detailed

 

Whew! There we are, 50 ideas to treat yo self… without eating your weight in donuts.

 

Superhero Action of The Day: What are your favorite ways to reward yourself?

10 reasons to exercise (that have nothing to do with your weight)

It’s Wednesday! It’s Hump Day! You can do this! Halfway there!

Today at the gym, I hopped on a treadmill and ran/walked a 5k. It’s been a LONG time since I did that- I used to be a regular runner, albeit never a particularly great one. But I ran several times a week and got up to doing three or four miles without a break. And then, as is the way of things sometimes, I got hurt. I developed some pretty gnarly plantars fasciitis, severe pain in my right heel and was forced to stop running.

I’ve talked already about my personal struggles with dieting and exercise. Because of those struggles, I’ve decided that it just isn’t healthy for me to focus my fitness efforts into weight loss and calorie counting. So when I turned again to running as a form of exercise, I found it really easy to train- more miles, faster miles, etc. In the last year, when I haven’t been running as much, I’ve had to work on finding other good exercise goals- and that hasn’t always been easy. So tonight, I thought I would share a few reasons to exercise- that have nothing to do with body shape or size.

Ready? Here we go!

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  1. Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy. I know that can seem counter intuitive, but when you find something you can enjoy doing, you will find happiness in it.
  2. It builds confidence. It’s a lot easier to make hard phone calls, have hard conversations, and in general be a superhero when you feel good about yourself. And one of the things that makes me feel good about myself is seeing slow but steady gym progress.
  3. Exercise builds strong muscles. Stronger muscles have a ton of health benefits- everything from better heart health (Heart disease is the number one killer of women!) to greater ease of movement.
  4. It releases stress. When I started boxing, I thought the best part was going to be a killer upperbody workout. While that is certainly true, the honest to goodness best part is that whaling away on a heavy bag eliminates just about every piece of stress you’ve ever felt. And if you’re angry with someone, my recommendation is to picture his or her face on said heavy bag. Is it the most peaceful mindset in the world? Probably not. But I’m telling you, it’s incredibly effective.
  5. You’ll sleep better. If you’ve ever lain awake at night tossing and turning, you know how torturous it is. The best way I know to fix that is to work out hard- expend enough energy to make your body tired enough for sleep.
  6. You’ll have more energy. Again, it may seem counter intuitive, but regular exercise makes one more energetic- and who doesn’t want that?
  7. You’re less likely to get sick- from everything from the common cold to cancer. No, I’m not exaggerating.
  8. There are a whole host of brain benefits too- everything from memory improvement to boosting creativity and productivity.
  9. Helps you make better food decisions. I don’t know why it works, necessarily, but it seems to be true across the board- once you start working out, more conscientious eating often follows.
  10. Exercise is a (vital) part of self care. The best superheroes take care of themselves AND others. Your workout every day helps you do just that.

How to Grocery Shop like Supergirl

Hi Superheroes! Happy Tuesday!

Today, we’re going to take a spin around my favorite grocery stores and see how we can make this regular task a little less… boring and awful.

To be fair, I don’t mind the grocery store. But I have a system (surprise!) that makes it pretty painless.

So let’s dig in!

First of all, make a plan. We’ve already talked about meal planning. That’s definitely how I make my grocery list. If I’m really on top of my game, I even organize my list by type of item, if not by department of the store. Once you’ve got your list, you can feel confident in what you need to get, and it’s easier to keep interlopers out of your cart!

Choose a time that doesn’t suck. There are times when the grocery store is more crowded. My recommendation is to avoid the store at those times. For me, that means I avoid the store like the plague from 5-7 pm on weekdays and completely on Saturdays. It just isn’t worth it. My favorite times are mid afternoon weekdays, evenings or Sunday afternoons.  Really, the less people in the store, the happier you’ll be. That also means you avoid upcoming holidays if at all possible, in case that wasn’t obvious.

Eat a snack before you go. You ever go to the grocery store hungry? And then you get to the checkout and you’ve spent $50 more than you intended and you get home and you just can’t understand how those donuts, cheetos or beer ended up in your kitchen. This is solved by eating before you go! Grab a kind bar or some beef jerky and get your shop on. On that same note, take a drink with you! I usually have water or club soda, but I’ve been known to pick up a drink at that super handy Starbucks kiosk in the front of my store when I need a pick me up.

Use headphones. My distraction of choice is almost always audiobooks, but good upbeat music works well too! Not so loud that people can’t get your attention if they need it- but enough to put you in a good mood!

Shop the outside of the store. This is an oldie but a goodie: nothing good happens in the inner aisles of the Grocery Store. Stick to the outer edges and avoid the treacherous ice cream and cookie aisles.

And as a bonus tip, find a grocery store you really like, but also one that is convenient for you. For example, I love Trader Joe’s… but the nearest one is a full 20 minute drive in the opposite direction of anything else I do. So I mostly shop at Kroger, which I like better than Meijer, and is more in my price range than Whole Foods.

And there you have it! 6 tips to make grocery store trips less painful! I hope this helps you out there!

Superhero Action of the Day: What’s your favorite Grocery Store? Why?Leave me a comment or let me know by using #Superheroliving on social media!

 

OMP: Super food Tacos

Hi Superheroes! I took the weekend off to unplug a little bit- thank you for that luxury!

But it’s Monday… and YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS: Tomorrow is Taco Tuesday. So, in honor of everyone’s favorite midweek party, here’s a recipe for 5 minute tacos that are even pretty good for you.

No, it is not too good to be true. Fair, you have to either prep the ingredients or have them on hand.

But full disclosure, I bought all of these ingredients at the grocery store. And all I had to do tonight was assemble my tacos and chow down.

The crux of this recipe is my favorite deli find: Superfood salad. I get it by the pound at my local Kroger store, but just in case you can’t find it, I have a couple of links to recipes so you can make your own.

If you just don’t want to make your own, any kind of slaw will taste great on this. Trust me, though, it’s worth it.

Superfood salad options: one two (this second one is Pin, but the recipe is in the caption!

If you’re stuck between those two recipes, my personal preference would be the dressings from the first and the ingredients from the second. I think.

Ok, now that you’ve got your superfoods, we can make some tacos.

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Superfood Tacos:

flour tortillas

carnitas (I got some in the meat department at the store, but I’ve made my own in the crockpot, too)

queso cheese

guacamole

your favorite salsa (I’m really into fruit salsas, but savory would be good too!)

and of course, Superfood Salad!

Instructions:

Arrange flour tortillas on a plate or platter. Add a couple of Tablespoons of carnitas, a couple Tablespoons of Superfood Salad, a spoonful of guacamole, a spoonful of salsa, and a sprinkle of cheese to each tortilla. Fold or roll. Eat and live long and healthy.

Superhero Action of the Day: I want to hear about your weekend! What superhero adventures did you get into? Share them to my page on Facebook or #Superheroliving on Instagram!

 

A few words on spending time with people

Today, I had the unadulterated joy of spending the majority of my day with my (almost) 93 year old grandmother. She is a joy. Smart, funny, self deprecating, kind. We had a lovely afternoon catching up, and then, this evening, I went to a potluck dinner with some of the people from my church. I was the youngest one in the room by a solid twenty years. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

And that made me think about how valuable it is to spend time with people from other generations. Whether it’s spending time with kids, or people older than you, I hope you find time to learn from these people.

There are a million things we can learn from people who are different than us, in general. But people with more life experience are a wealth of… well… experience!

And if I have to explain why that’s valuable… too bad, I can’t.

 

Superhero Action of the Day: Call your parents or grandparents, if you still can. Or think about a way to get to know someone of a different generation than you.

5 ways to fight muscle soreness

Oh, my superheroes. Yesterday was leg and booty day at the gym.

I tried a new workout.

And today, I might be dead. Seriously, my glutes and my quads huuuuuuuuuurt.

We’ve all been there, right? Whether it’s workout recovery, aftermath from a hard day of moving or something else, we’ve all had sore muscles. So today we’re looking at some ways to combat muscle soreness! Ready/? Here we go!

  1. Foam Rolling. If you haven’t tried a foam roller, you definitely should. It hurts like crazy, I won’t lie to you. It’s part of my workout tonight, and I can’t really say I’m looking forward to it. But it helps a LOT. It works by breaking up lactic acid pockets in your muscles. I think. Science was never my strong suit. Anyway, foam rolling. Check it out.
  2. Take a bath. Warm baths are better, although you might see ice baths in the movies. Add some epsom salts for extra soothing power!
  3. MOVE. Take a walk. Integrate some low impact cardio. Do some stretching. I know it will hurt. But you’ll feel better after! I promise!
  4. Make sure you’re hydrated! Drink plenty of water, your muscles will thank you for it!
  5. Drink some caffeine. I know it seems counter intuitive, but caffeine helps your muscles recover!

 

So there you have it, friends! Some ways to fight soreness for my superheroes!

 

Superhero Action of the Day: What are your favorite ways to get rid of soreness. Let me know!

www.superheroliving.blog Baby Steps

Baby Steps

If you’ve been reading along, you know I haven’t had the easiest Summer. It’s been hard to figure out this full time freelancing thing!

So today, I went to work at one of the schools where I have some Summer work and worked for several hours. I went to the gym and lifted. I came home and took a shower.

And then I gave myself a reward.

And Penelope and I went and got ice cream.

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Because here’s the thing. Sometimes, you have to take baby steps. Sometimes, you have to acknowledge where you are and appreciate that spot. Sometimes, even if you’re not where you want to be, you have to appreciate that you made steps.

Sometimes,  that’s what it takes to get you moving tomorrow.

So! If you’re struggling this Summer too, first of all, know that that’s absolutely ok. Struggling is fine. Struggling is good. Struggling only becomes a problem when you don’t do anything about it. You have to keep moving forward. It’s very important!

But if you’re struggling, you just take one step today. Just one. You even get to decide what the step is! Maybe it’s taking a shower. Maybe it’s making a tough phone call. Maybe it’s going to work, or the grocery, or just leaving the house. Maybe it’s going for a walk.

Whatever you choose, do that today. Do it again tomorrow. And you continue to make those steps until you can add another step.

 

You got this. We got this. I promise.

4 ingredient pineapple smoothie- www.superheroliving.blog

OMP: 4 ingredient pineapple smoothie

Happy Sunday, superheroes! I hope you’ve had amazing, refreshing, restful, adventurous, SUPER weekends.

And now it’s Sunday! If you’re back to the grind tomorrow, YOU CAN DO IT! If you’re less scheduled right now, like me, let’s try to do some productive, healthy stuff this week! Ok? OK! Go team!

This afternoon, Penelope and I went for a long walk. It’s a route we do fairly regularly, but usually first thing in the morning, not at 5 pm. Anyway, when we got about 2/3 of the way home, I started dreaming of something cool and refreshing to drink when I got home. Milkshake…nah. Ice cream run? I really don’t need to do that… Water? Let’s be real, only as a last resort. (I’m not a good water drinker, unfortunately!)

But! I had frozen pineapple, and I just new I could do something with that.  And sure enough, it worked out exactly right for a cold refreshing drink. I started with a cup of water in my blender, and added about 2 cups of frozen pineapple. I started blending that together and then added about 1/2 cup of milk. I’m out of almond milk currently, but I think if I were going to recreate it, I would use 1 1/2 cups of almond milk instead of water and dairy milk. Once I got it all blended together, I added about 2 tsp. of honey, and about a TB of lemon juice. I blended that in a little bit, poured it in a glass and drank up.

It’s sweet, a little tangy, bursting with pineapple flavor, and best of all, really pretty healthy and low calorie! Enjoy!

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4 ingredient pineapple smoothie:

1 1/2 cups of almond milk (or milk of your choice!)

2 cups frozen pineapple chunks

2 tsp. honey

1 TB lemon juice (to taste)

 

Blend together all ingredients until smooth. Pour into tall glass and enjoy! Makes about 24 ounces.

 

Superhero Action of the Day: What’s your favorite summer beverage? Let me know so I can try it out!