As Hurricane Florence continues to near my home, I realized just how hard it will be to stick with a weight loss program, special diet, or mental health-building should disaster strike. I myself remember how long I was out of commission after Hurricane Matthew hit my area in 2016, and I can see this hurricane hitting harder and keeping us in the dark longer.
BEFORE THE STORM HITS
Here are a few things you can do before the storm hits to maintain your health and wellness routine when disaster strikes.
GET FLAVOR PACKETS FOR YOUR WATER
Water is always important to have in your emergency stock pile, but some may decide not to stay hydrated and rather drink sodas or alcohol during a storm. However, this can cause you to become sick with issues like nausea, which can make surviving indoors with no AC nearly impossible.
Instead, buy some flavor packets for your water. It will help give your water variety while still keeping you hydrated. There are low-carb, low-calorie options, and there are flavors that everyone will love!
IF THE STORE IS OUT OF WATER, DON'T COMPROMISE
I actually ran into this problem when I was out shopping for storm supplies when I was at my mom's house. I thought I wouldn't have to fight against the crazy storm preppers since I heard the storm wouldn't cause as many problems in her area, which is nearly three hours away from my home.
I was wrong!
By the time I got into the store, there was very little water left. I actually had to pay nearly $2 for a 12 pack of those small waters you generally give to your children. But, it was better than nothing. Before I saw those, however, I didn't see any affordable water choices!
While the diet Dr. Pepper looked tempting, I decided to stock up on these as well as my baby water bottles. Later, when I visited another store, I decided I would also get some Powerade, which contains electrolytes to help keep us hydrated should we run out of water or want a little bit of variety.
MAKE THE BEST DECISIONS POSSIBLE
Some ideas for hurricane snacks include jerky, pepperoni, nuts and seeds, cheddar chips, fruits, and veggies.
TAKE SOME TIME TO PLAN AND ORGANIZE YOUR THOUGHTS
For me, I am testing the waters. I was actually farther from the storm, but decided to come back to my house because I have my husband and cat here along with several electronics I want to save.
WHEN THE STORM HITS
Here are a few tips to follow when the storm has hit. This could mean that you're trapped due to flooding, your power is out, or you have no water to bathe in.
GET MOVING TO PREVENT WEIGHT GAIN
This will keep your heart pumping and facilitate calorie burning to help you maintain your weight loss, even when you're stuck in the house during the storm.
SERIOUSLY, DO ANYTHING
you're stuck with! You can learn a new language, how to knit or crochet, or how to write a poem. The possibilities are endless, and you've got a lot of time!
CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS
Aside from your diet, you need to be sure you are staying clean, dry, and safe when you are without power and water.
Instead of wasting water on baths, do what they do in hospitals: take a bath with some baby wipes. They are good enough to keep your baby's bum fresh, so they're good enough to keep you fresh! Invest in some and use them during the storm to keep clean and conserve water.
STAY MENTALLY HEALTHY WITH A DAILY JOURNAL
I may not use them on my YouTube channel. Often, I delete videos a few days after I take them. If you don't want to do a video, you can just journal your day or feelings to help you organize your thoughts and keep the scary thoughts away.
So, staying fit and healthy during a storm isn't impossible, but it isn't easy either. It will take dedication to stay away from sugary and carb-loaded foods, and it will take motivation to get up and move when you're stuck in one place. But, you will thank yourself when you continue to see the results you were hoping for!
LEGAL: All photos are my own or taken from Pixabay, a creative commons website that requires no attribution for photo use.
As someone who struggles with bouts of anxiety, I can tell you that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. That's why I wanted to blog about a few ways you can reduce stress in your life for today's Wellness Wednesday post.
1. TURN OFF THE MUSIC
down or even off can help me take some time to meditate on my day or just let my brain relax. If I don't want to turn my music completely off, I like to listen to slower songs. It helps to calm the frantic energy that comes along with stress.
2. USE SMELL TO CALM YOUR NERVES
recommend trying different things until something works out for you! Be sure, also, that you purchase essential oils and not burning oils! Aside from stress, essential oils can help you sleep better, get over colds and flus, and much more!
3. FIND A MANTRA OR MOTTO
This helps me remember that God is always there and that he has equipped me with everything I need to be powerful and strong, I just have to trust in Him and work hard toward my goals.
For many, your mantra may not be spiritual in nature. It may be something like "keep calm and carry on" or "don't slap Sue from accounting today." Your mantra or motto will help ground you and keep you from going off your rocker in the most delicate times.
4. VENT OR KEEP A JOURNAL
advice, and get over it or address the cause of the stress. You also need to be careful who you vent to. I vividly remember being in middle school and venting to a "friend" about how I really liked this boy but he had this awful girlfriend. The next day, I was humiliated in the hallway when the boy's girlfriend confronted me about what I said to my supposed "friend."
So, be careful who you share with. If you don't feel comfortable sharing with another human, you can always talk to your animals or write down your feelings in a journal. No matter what, relieving the stress by telling someone or something else can make you feel a lot better.
5. MAKE HEALTHIER CHOICES
alleviate your stress and make you feel much better in no time! You can also kick back with a healthy snack like fruit or veggies. These have tons of vitamins and aren't empty calories like your cookies and chips.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are tons of things you can put into practice to help alleviate or reduce stress in your life. Do you have any tips? Leave them down below so others can learn what worked for you!
I remember when I was growing up that I often heard the word diet. Friends would be offered something unhealthy to eat and they would respond with "no thanks, I'm on a diet."
WHAT IS DIETING?
Dieting is defined as "restricting oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight."
These types of diets are dangerous because they rob your body of the nutrition it needs. However, because of the restrictive nature of the diet, people do tend to see a lot of weight loss from it.
Experts, however, say that diets aren't a great long-term way to lose weight unless the diet is sustainable. Could you imagine eating only five bites of food at each meal for the rest of your life? What about sleeping through every weekend for the rest of your life?
“If a diet cuts out an entire food group or pushes anything in an extreme way, [like] no fat, no carbs, super low calorie, only eat these five things, etc.—chances are it’s not healthy."
Experts also believe that, once you decide you can't take any more of the diet, you will likely gain back all the weight you lost. That's why it is important to make LIFE CHANGES rather than go on a DIET.
WHAT IS A LIFESTYLE CHANGE?
While it is tougher, lifestyle changes are the best way to lose weight long term. A lifestyle change involves identifying a bad eating habit or bad health/wellness habit that you struggle with and finding a solution to solving it, thus making a lifestyle change.
1. IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM
The problem was identified for me when I went to the doctor and got some not-so-great blood work results. My A1C level was in the pre-diabetic stage by a tenth of a point, but I knew I didn't want it to keep climbing.
Of course, I knew I was gaining weight by the way that I felt and what I could see in the mirror.
I'll do a second example. Say you are not cleaning your house enough and you want to make the choice to live healthier and cleaner. A messy house or a comment from a visitor may help you identify this problem.
2. DO SOME RESEARCH
Next, you need to research the problem you're having. If you have any health conditions, search to see if your health conditions or medication can cause weight gain or other health or wellness issues.
For me, I knew that sugar was the problem, and I wanted to do more research into why that is. My interest was first sparked when I saw an episode of "Adam Ruins Everything,"
So, if you watched the video, you now know that sugar is the biggest culprit for weight gain. Unused carbs in your body are turned into fat, and I was eating far too many carbs for my activity level.
As for the second example, you may want to learn how to manage your time so you have time to clean your house. You can also use sites like Pinterest to find cleaning plans that break down chores by the day, making house cleaning a bit more manageable.
3. COME TO A SOLUTION
For me, the solution was to eat fewer sweets and fewer calories. However, that wasn't enough. I also came to a conclusion that I would need to eat more carbs on days where I was more active. This became apparent one day when I started feeling sick because I hadn't had enough to eat.
If you want to keep your house cleaner, you can decide on a schedule or a list of chores that will help you accomplish your goal!
4. PUT IT INTO ACTION
5. CHANGE THE PLAN WHEN NECESSARY
A lot of troubleshooting comes along with lifestyle changes. Maybe you tried something and decided that it wouldn't work to help you with your goals. For me, it comes in "replacement" foods. A lot of people praise cauliflower and say it is a good substitute for rice. I beg to differ! Instead, I've had to think out of the box when it comes to changing some of the foods I eat.
For someone who wants to keep their house more tidy, this step could mean changing a chore or schedule date around to assigning it to someone else to help things run more smoothly.
6. STICK WITH IT, BUT EVERYONE HAS BAD DAYS
messes up sometimes. It is just important that more days than not, you're following the steps to meet the health and wellness goals you've set.
If you're trying to keep your house clean, stick to the schedule. But, there will be days when you're sick or you just feel too tired to shuffle through your chores, and that's OK. Just try to stick to the plan most of the time!
I hope that this information and this 6-step plan will help you make the lifestyle changes you need to help you grow! Feel free to leave a comment about what works best for you.
Since I've started this health journey, I've found that I like to watch "what I eat in a day" vlogs from some of my favorite YouTubers. So, I figured that, since these videos give me some ideas on what I can eat to lose weight, I thought I should share what seems to be working for me!
If you are new to my blog, you won't know that I owe my weight loss largely to a low-carb and water-only diet. A lot of people think that fat is the biggest contributor to weight gain. While too much of the wrong fat can be terrible for you, most weight gain is caused by excess carb intake. That's because carbs that go unused as energy will be converted to fat and stored in your body.
So, without further ado, here is my "What I Eat in a Day" blog!
Before I started this journey, I often stopped at fast food joints for a breakfast biscuit. However, biscuits are loaded with carbs. When I wanted to be more health conscious, I started eating yogurt and granola. However, when I was told my A1C levels were too high, I knew I couldn't keep having yogurt for breakfast.
Each morning, I start my day with a glass of ice water and an egg scramble. I actually don't love eggs, but I've learned that I need to embrace them to help aid in my weight loss.
In this egg scramble, I have one egg, two slices of honey ham, and a bit of shredded cheese. My favorite meat to put in this scramble is actually turkey, but I ran out of it before I made this blog!
Lunch for me is different than lunch for most people. If you've visited my blog before, you know that I blogged about my experience drinking weight loss shakes for lunch each day for a week.
At that time, I still wasn't making the best choices when I was eating my other meals. I was still drinking a ton of soda and eating lots of pastas and breads, so it wasn't helping me much.
I have tried the french vanilla, chocolate, and strawberries and cream flavors of this shake, and they are pretty good. Surprisingly, I don't find myself being hungry until around 3:30 p.m. when I clock out and head home for the day.
I didn't have a snack this day, but I would normally have a stick of jerky and a string cheese stick for a snack, but only if I'm hungry. That, or I will enjoy a bag of Skinny Pop popcorn, which is pretty great!
Dinner is a lot different than the other meals I have. I don't eat too much, but I definitely eat more for that meal than any other meal during the day. My dinners typically consist of a meat and a vegetable.
This night, I had a cheese-stuffed chicken breast, roasted red potatoes, and cheesy broccoli.
I get a lot of my low-carb food ideas from Pinterest, so I highly recommend searching there for the best ideas. I'm always excited to try newer things, but I love chicken and I'm obsessed with broccoli.
Ultimately, I recommend that people change their diet to something they are comfortable with and something that reflects their activity level. For someone like me who isn't super active, I don't need many carbs to get by. However, if you're super sporty, adjust your calorie and carb intake!
LEGAL: All photos are my own or taken from Pixabay, a creative commons website that requires no attribution for photo use.
I started my weightless journey only about a month ago, but I've already experienced great results. For wellness Wednesday this week, I wanted to share this little life update/victory with my blog readers!
MY WEIGHTLOSS REWARD | 15 LBS
This time around, I decided that giving myself non-food rewards when I reached my goal would probably make me work harder and try harder when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet and drinking water rather than other, more sugary drinks.
For meeting my 15 lb weight loss goal, I decided to purchase myself a new workout outfit to inspire me to hit the gym, or at least to head out for a walk each day.
So, as you'll see in the short video I've linked above, I purchased some leggings, which I absolutely love, and a v-neck shirt. I say in the video that the shirt is black, but it's actually dark blue. I clicked on the wrong shirt, so that kind of bummed me out when I picked it up from the store.
I wore the leggings this past weekend. They fit great and so does the shirt. They have an element of comfy compression, which keeps everything in it's place. That's perfect because I want to use them for working out. I wish I would have gotten a sports bra because I really only have one and it isn't worn for workouts, but I wear it around the house a lot.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video and I hope you'll subscribe to follow me on my fitness journey. You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter @gemusiclover. Let me know if you're interested in following me on Snapchat and I will open it up for you to add me!
Thanks for checking in with me on this Wellness Wednesday. Hoping you stay fit until next time!
I think it finally clicked for me that I needed to make a change when a new doctor at a specialist office who was about the size of a pole, told me I needed to get gastric bypass surgery.
The thing that I think hit home the most was the fact that this person, who had just met me, suggested surgery without even asking if I was trying to lose weight or wanted to try to do it the natural way. It felt demeaning that someone would assume that I just couldn’t manage to try hard and lose weight myself.
I also had a bit of a high sugar count, which put me in the category of pre-diabetes. That also scared me because I know that so many people struggle with diabetes and there are so many side effects and other diseases and complications that can come with a diabetes diagnosis.
So, I decided then and there that I would challenge myself to lose weight and lower my sugar levels. To do so, I cut out carbs like potatoes, rice, and pasta. I do have a little bit of these on occasion, but for the most part, I started eating mostly veggies and protein.
Although I haven’t been more active, I have certainly been super disciplined with my eating habits. I try to only eat something when I know I am hungry. If I don’t feel hungry, I just say no. Eating for boredom, I’m sure, was a big calorie hit for me.
I’ve also cut out sweets. I’ve tried my hand at making two low-carb options. Both incorporate the use of cream cheese, but I only liked one of them, a peanut butter pie with sugar-free whipped cream and low-fat cream cheese. It was really good and satisfied my craving for something sweet.
Nevertheless, I think it is about time that I become more physically active than I am now. To me, it doesn’t matter if I go to the gym I have access to or if I go home and clean my house and work up a sweat. I just know that I will see results sooner if I move more.
So, because I want to better my body for once in my life, and I’ve actually proven to myself that I can be disciplined, I’ve decided to put some fitness goal rewards into play. Whenever I reach my fitness goals, I think I will blog or vlog about my reward. I’ve put in place big and small rewards ranging from buying a new fitness outfit to going on a vacation with my hubby.
I’m honestly really excited to keep going and see how much better my body and health can be. I hope you’ll come along with me on my journey!
Now I love Pintereset, but it often tells lies. If you are busy, like truly, 100 percent busy, meal prepping can prove to be expensive and difficult.
Don't get me wrong, I can pack up a PB&J with the best of them, but that isn't exactly a meal teeming with vitamins and nutrients. So, I decided that I would try my hand at replacing my lunch with a meal replacement shake.
I drank the creamy milk chocolate Equate meal replacement shake. While I am naming this company and product by name, this is not a paid review and I purchased the product on my own. All of the opinions in this blog are my own and are to be used as a review.
The idea to do this sort of sprung itself on me when I was on my way to work. I am trying to lose weight and I know that I don't have $10 a day laying in my bank account to buy lunch this week.
This morning, I had a 100-calorie yogurt for breakfast. I also enjoyed a nice cup of Hazelnut coffee with some cream and two packs of sugar when I got into the office.
The taste of the shake is pretty good, although I do worry I might tire of it as the week goes on. I specifically chose the chocolate flavor because I thought it would be less boring than the vanilla flavor. Although, I wish I did get a variety pack with more than one flavor option.
I am surprised that this shake wasn't thicker, but that might be due to the fact it is an off-brand meal replacement shake. I haven't tried others, so I wouldn't know.
I had another cup of coffee to get me through the day. I needed the caffeine boost!
As I was cooking dinner, I started to feel really hungry. My stomach was growling pretty intensely. Tonight, we are having chicken, green beans, and garlic-roasted potatoes. It was so bad that I asked Jonathan to finish the cooking for me. I actually felt pretty void of energy and ended up taking a very short nap.
I managed not to eat the house down. I only had one chicken breast, green beans, and a good bit of potatoes. I didn't even have a snack after dinner! I think that at some point this week, I may need to find a healthy snack to have between lunch and dinner, just so I have a bit more energy.
So, I managed to get through the day yesterday with only the shake and a cup of coffee to tie me over until dinner. Unfortunately, I didn't bring anything with me to work to have after lunch, but I may be able to have something when I get home.
I'll write an update around 3-ish.
I'm actually feeling pretty good. I don't think I had a cup of coffee this morning, and I don't think I'll need one this afternoon! That's so crazy. Anyway, I just passed Taco Bell and I am craving it for dinner, so that is probably what we will have.
I had a lot more energy today than I did on Monday. I definitely ate way to much Taco Bell, but I think it is OK to give in to cravings sometimes. I do think that the coffee may have done something crazy on Monday. My theory is that the coffee provided my body with caffeine and a bit of energy. When my cells went to grab the nutrients from the coffee, I think it may have realized there wasn't much there and used some of my store energy (fat).
Hence why I was so tired. I didn't have any energy left after eating only about 300 calories so far. Anyway, I think I will test my coffee theory tomorrow by having a cup in the afternoon.
I am not feeling hungry or anything, but I decided to have a cup of Raspberry tea today. This tea is supposed to be great for your health, which is why I bought it in the first place.
Tonight we had steak, fries, and green beans for dinner. I also had a personal bag of popcorn, but it was one of those really low-calorie ones. The bad thing I did today was drink a can and a half of soda with dinner.
Also, I have been having a weird pain in my tongue. It feels like my tongue is swollen a bit. I don't think it has anything to do with the shakes, though. I may have burned my tongue on something earlier. I can't quite remember.
I stopped by the store yesterday and managed to stock up on yogurt for breakfast. It's just so convenient and easy. If I'm ever running late, I can grab one and eat it in the car.
My tongue was still hurting this morning, so I had a yogurt without any granola. Dairy has a soothing effect on burns, so I think it helped a lot.
We are almost done with this experiment and I'm excited to say that I haven't had any issues with my health related to drinking these! Who knows, this might become a regular part of my summer.
I had a really crazy day today, and I had to drink my shake really quickly. This actually made me super hungry later on and I felt like I needed to eat some of those cheese and peanut butter crackers in the afternoon.
That didn't really help!
I totally gave up on eating better tonight and we got pizza. It was really good and filled me up, but it was pizza, which is nothing but carbs (sugar) and grease.
Based on what happened yesterday, I am determined to take my time drinking this last shake. Today is a lot less busy and it's Friday!
I will say that this was pretty painless and I could see myself continuing to replace my lunches with meal replacement shakes. I didn't get tired of the taste, but I will probably try to find ones in different flavors to keep lunch time interesting in the future!
I am driving 3 hours today after work with Jonathan to head to my childhood home for the weekend. I am kind of worried that I will get really hungry because I won't make it home until around 7, which is an hour after we have been eating this week. We will see what happens!
Mom greeted us with mashed potatoes, meatballs, green beans, and Hawaiian rolls. The food was delicious and I actually was able to make it home. I did have a Reese's cup when we got closer because Jonathan grabbed me one when he went into the store before we got home. It was sweet (and so is he) so I didn't want to turn it down. I only had one, if that makes it any better.
When I checked my Fitbit profile, I was really shocked to see that drinking these shakes for my meals actually seemed to lower my average heart rate by a little. I didn't do anything else that deviated from my normal life like to go the gym or work out (which I hope will be something I can add in soon).
Here are some screenshots:
As you can see, my resting heart rate was 82 bpm on the day I started, and it fell to 81 bpm by the time I ended. But, my bpm rose by two when I went back to eating lunch when I visited my hometown and family.
This seems to be a pretty clear indication that fewer calories and less fast food had a positive impact on my bpm.
I unfortunately don't think I lost weight because I really didn't watch my food too much at dinner time. That may be another blog in the future! At any rate, it helped me with my heart rate and also saved me from eating fast food take out every day!