Let me list my favorite things in order of importance:
3. Working Out
Now I will totally admit that I do #3 so that I can do #1 & do it A LOT!
But I do genuinely love working out, not only for the body benefits, but also for stretching the mind muscle. The endorphins get me going & feeling great, I release stress while I burn calories & I leave behind the weight of the world while building muscle.
In addition to eating clean & being Vegan, I feel working out is one of the most important things you can do for your health & well-being. Just one hour a day reaps such massive benefits & provides rewards even after you've left the gym.
I usually work out 5 days a week for just 1 hour a day - 5 hours out of a possible 168! Come on - anybody can handle that! No way can you say that you can't find just a mere 4% of the entire week to squeeze in a handful of workouts!
But I will say I am addicted to exercise!
The way it makes me feel strong & powerful, the natural energy it gives me & the way I can eat guilt-free after the workout is OVER!
And my latest obsession is BodyTek Fitness! I have found my dream workout! Ok here's the deal: I used to spend an hour doing cardio (spin, treadmill, elliptical, boot camp, etc...) & then I would spend an hour lifting weights. The reason being is that I wanted to burn calories & tone up. But I wasted so much valuable time! The beauty of this little gem of a gym that I have discovered (thanks to my BFF Giselle who dragged me there on a Saturday after I had already worked out for 2 hours!) is that you weave cardio with weights & you hit it HARD for an hour straight! But that's it... When you are done with your hour, you are done with your workout for the day! No More, No Less.
I'm one of those people that will tell you, the hardest part of my workout routine is just actually getting me to the gym! But once I'm there, I am ALL in! Now I might complain & pout a tiny bit, but there is no denying that the results are well worth the effort.
But let's remember that even if you are an exercise-freak, like I am, working out is only about 30% of the equation! 70% is the actual food you put in that body of yours that you are working so hard to train!
So it's even more important that you eat clean & make healthy choices. Choose organic whenever you can & fill your diet with colorful veggies & dark green leafy greens, like kale, spinach, parsley & chard. I said a long time ago that I will never push people to be Vegan because that is a deeply personal choice & it is not a commitment that can be taken lightly.
But I will say EVERYBODY should be eating some of these every single day! Who is going to take me to task & argue that vegetables are NOT great for you! Come on! Eat as many of these babies as you want everyday, steamed, of course!
And if you'd rather gulp your veggies down quickly, then just whip your greens up in a blender with some fruit, for a natural sweetness, that will make those vegetables taste amazing & fill your tummy up with natural goodness!
(But remember with leafy greens, organic is very important since they are so porous & will take pesticides in like a sponge.)
Food planning & preparation is extremely important when it comes to eating smart. I always make my green breakfast shakes & Vegan lunches ahead of time, because I know that if I don't, I won't make the same choices when it comes to what I fuel my body with. It takes a little time to plan ahead & make food for a few days, but I love it when it's ready & waiting, when I am starving!
Even in a pinch, when you are forced to eat fast food, you can make smart choices for your mind & body. This is what I ordered at Panera for lunch when I was stuck the other day:
Veggie Sandwich with hummus on grain bread with vegetable soup & apple slices. You can always eat healthy even when you're on the go & in a rush. It's just as easy to make the right choices, as it is to eat the junk.
Always Remember: you are what you eat!
Even my 3 year old nephew is learning about eating healthy & cooking at home with fresh veggies & super foods filled with vitamins, minerals & antioxidants.
His Mom & Dad just planted an organic kale & broccoli garden in the backyard. And I'm so jealous that this little yard oasis has inspired me to do the same in my backyard! Stay tuned as I bring my Vegan Garden to Life!!
That is for a future blog for sure...
Until then, it's time to rest & relax after all that exercising & eating!!