Health & wellness have become an extremely hot topic in recent years. We are constantly influenced by them every day whether it’s looking through you IG feed, watching TV,  reading magazines, or even your best friend trying to get you to the gym. Everyone is promoting health & wellness, and I’ve just joined the bandwagon.

I’ve always been kind of  athletic. In high school I played volleyball & ran track, and in college I ate mostly healthy (minus pizza & bloody mary’s every other day), and did cardio sporadically.  Those were the day’s I  had no direction & knew nothing about dieting or workout plans. I felt stuck, like I was somewhere in the middle of the whole “healthy & happy” spectrum.

I wanted a change. More than that, I wanted to stop being the girl who is  inconsistent & makes excuses & just scrolls through her feed looking at other peoples body transformations. Over the past year or so I’ve done a lot more research and have completely improved my mindset. My journey to “healthy & happy” may be different from yours, but I wanted to share with you a few things that helped me get there.

The first step I took was researching different diets. And though I tried many (intermittent fasting, becoming pescitarian, juice fasting, etc.) there is only one that I felt truly worked for me and that is the PALEO diet.

  • EAT: The Paleo Diet is  based on emulating the diet of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.  This means eating a diet of whole, unprocessed foods, & cutting out sugar (this means foods like soft drinks, grains, most dairy products, legumes, & artificial sweeteners).
  • THINK: DON’T OVER THINK IT: The guidelines for Paleo are super simple – if it looks factory made – don’t eat it.
  • SHOP: Tips to shop on Paleo diet are to shop the outer corners of the grocery store. This means fresh fruits & veggies (no canned stuff), fresh meats from the meat, and the designated nut / protein area.
  • CONSISTENCY: Consistency is key, especially when dieting. Right now I am eating the same foods for the next 6 weeks while I try and get my beach body ready.  My diet currently consists of a Protein Shake in the morning,, Salad + Ground Beef & Basmati Rice for lunch, and Salmon & Veggies for dinner. Find a healthy plan & be consistent!
  • SCALE: Don’t count your calories. Count your macros / micros. Buying a scale to weigh your food and properly portion it out your meals. This should help you cut back on portion size!
  • WATER: This is kind of a no brainier here, but drink a lot of water. I’ve always struggled with the “recommended” water intake for my body. I just couldn’t possibly drink that much.  But I recently bought myself a pretty bottle I keep attached to my  hip everyday. Now I drink when I’m hungry, I drink when I’m bored,  & I drink just because my body rewards me. My skin & hair & weight are thankful for this.

The second step was changing up my workout routine. I’ve tried everything from yoga to cross-fit. I used to like only working out in group settings because I felt the need to push myself, whereas if I worked out alone I would give up easily. Now, I’m educated and way more confident in my abilities to work  out under a structured program.  Here are some things I learned:

  • ASK: Do not be afraid to ask for help. See someone in the gym doing a workout you don’t know how to do? ASK! People are always willing to help & support others who are trying to make a lifestyle change.
  • RESEARCH: You don’t necessarily need to pay money for a workout program or a physical trainer. There are plenty of FREE online tutorials to show you the best way to target specific muscle groups. Find the best ones to incorporate into your lifestyle. Be honest with yourself whether you need home workouts or you can push yourself to make it to the gym consistently.
  • PLAN: Plan your workout. Just do it. Watch your videos, go to websites that have free plans, and just write it down. It much easier to have a plan in front of you than to walk into a gym, do a few sets & give up on yourself.

The last step is working on your mental state of mind. Not only should you treat your body right, but you need to treat your brain right. Here are a few tips:

  • SUPPORT: Surround yourself with supportive friends. We’ve heard it all before, but I think some of us forget how important this step is. Get closer with the people that support you, help you, and want to genuinely be there on this journey with you.  Whether that’s finding a gym buddy or going to weekly yoga meet ups – find a the community that’s right for you!
  • READ: As you may know, when you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body. After a workout while I’m still on my endorphin high, I like to take Lavender Epsom Bath and crack open a book about self empowerment, philosophy, or positivity. This helps the mind feel refreshed & nourished with positive energy! Some of my favorite reads I HIGHLY recommend are:- You Are A Badass ( How to stop doubting your greatness & start living an awesome life)- talk about a KICK-ASS women giving you some KICK-ASS courage. If you need a pep talk about how great you are and how the world loves you- this is your book.
    Confucius from the Heart: Ancient Wisdom for Today’s World – this book is a major text of Confucian philosophy that has dominated Chinas’s intellectual and spiritual culture. Yu Dan helps readers attain spiritual happiness and harmony.
    (Confucianism is the system of ethics, education, and statesmanship taught by Confucius and his disciples, stressing love for humanity, ancestor worship, reverence for parents, and harmony in thought and conduct.) I love this read because I can pick it up and read it in small bits. It is about self reflection, looking inwards, and improving mindfulness.
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** : Most of us struggle throughout our lives by giving too many fucks in situations where fucks do not deserve to be given. This book is a little less umm…spiritual, and a little more abrasive. However, who gives a F*** right? This book highlights some great issues in today’s society like being comfortable with being different & caring too much what others think.


That’s all for now!!

Xoxo- Amanda

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26 year old Raleigh local, lifestyle, and travel blogger!

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