5 Tips to Feeling Good This 4th of July

To me, the 4th of July marks the height of Summer. A chance to spend time on the lake, soak up the sun and be surrounded by family and friends. It also means lots of day drinking, BBQing and treats. It is easy to fall off your normal schedule and throw caution to the wind. There is nothing wrong with that! But, if you want to try and have a balanced weekend where you have fun, enjoy some treats and cocktails but don’t totally sabotage all the hard work you’ve done, below are 5 tips to feeling good this 4th of July.

Five Tips For Feeling Good This 4th Of July

1. Drink water.
On the 4th, typically you are out in the sun, lounging by the water which makes is easy to get dehydrated so it’s extra important to drink water. My dad always says, “One drink. One water.” That’s how you can last all night, and feel good in the morning. I try to stick to this as much as I can, especially on weekends were we are drinking and celebrating a lot. Staying hydrated also helps to keep you feeling full, debloated and looking bikini ready.

2. Eat a good breakfast with lots of protein and fat.
The food you eat first thing in the morning typically sets the ton for the day. I find if I have a bagel, I want sugar and carbs all day. If I just eat fruit, I am hungry in an hour. Since there will be a lot of process foods, sugar and BBQ treats around all day, try to start your day with a good breakfast that is high in protein and fats. I love having scrambled eggs and avocado with a side of strawberry or watermelon.

3. Make sure to eat a meal.
Don’t snack through meals. Often times, especially on long weekends or holiday’s I find myself snacking a ton and then I’m like, “I just ate so many chips and cookies, I don’t need lunch.” So I skip it. But then 2 hours later, I am hungry and start snacking again and end up eating way more calories, way worse food, and feeling shitty. Whereas, if I just sat down and made myself a big salad or light sandwich with healthy fats, protein and carbs I would be so much more satisfied.

4. Move your body.
Don’t stress too much about getting a killer workout in, but try to move your body at least for 30 minutes (preferably in the morning). I find that when you move, you feel better about yourself, you feel lighter and it helps you make better decisions through out the day.

5. Don’t over think it.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in “staying on track” that it is all we can think about but that makes it so much worse. Not only does it make it hard to enjoy yourself, it makes you feel guilty every time you have something “you shouldn’t”. And then you just say “F* IT” and dig into the treats making you feel more guilty, bloated and discouraged. Try to avoid this cycle. Enjoy yourself, let go of all the pressure you put on yourself and spend time with family and friends (preferably on the water, and not around the snack table!!)

I hope this helps! Remember to have a fun 4th of July and enjoy yourself.

What are some tips you are going to try to practice this 4th of July?

4 Things to do under $25 in Boston

Today, I am writing a guest post over on Stacie’s blog, Simply Southern Stacie. While Stacie is traveling she asked me to write a post. Since she is actually visiting Boston, I thought it would be would be fun to share 4 things to do in under $25 in Boston during the cold winter months.

Boston Views

Please click over to Stacie’s blog and read my guest post!

Goal Setting for 2015

Happy New Year

It’s that time of year again! Time for New Year resolutions and new goals. A lot of times, I find myself considering unrealistic goals like lose 20 pounds (even though, I haven’t lost a pound in the last year)… or do Crossfit, and yoga, and a run a marathon, and a Half Ironman (that’s not humanly possible while working a 9-5, blogging and having a life!)… or stop drinking (… ya, ok!).

When thinking about setting your 2015 resolutions, we need to be realistic and reflect on the previous year to help guide our goals. Set challenging goals, but not ones aimed so daunting that you’ll feel overwhelmed & defeated before you can even see results/improvements. A person’s motivation for change lasts about 2 weeks, so we need to make goals that will allow us to push past that barrier and continue to improve.

Goal Setting Tips

Here are a few ways to set challenging but achievable goals for 2015:

Be Realistic: I touched on it above, but if you’ve never worked out before, setting a goal to run a marathon is probably not the best place to start. Not to say such things can’t be done, but lofty goals often fall to the wayside for other more achievable ones. Set challenging goals, but not so daunting that you’ll feel overwhelmed & defeated before you can even see results/improvements.

Visualize: Visualization is essential in reaching your goals! Start now by seeing yourself exactly where you want to be: happy, healthy, vibrant, comfortable, confident and achieving your goals! Create a mental picture of what your best year will look like and visualize it every morning, throughout the day and every night.

Create a Pinterest Board: One of the best ways to help with visualization is to create a vision board. This helps keep you focused, motivated and accountable. Find inspirational quotes or motivational images that resonate with what you desire to do and pin them to a Pinterest Board – mine is called Get Lean & Fit Motivation! I am sure you can be more creative than that! {you can always make a secret board and have it private if you don’t want to share your vision board. 

Write Down your Goals: Putting your goals down on paper helps make it feel real! Read your list often, and don’t be reluctant to change, alter or add to it whenever the mood strikes!

Relax: Everyone is their own worst critic and don’t fall into that trap. Be easy on yourself! No one changes overnight. Goals are set because they take time & effort.

Ford Truck with a Sunset

With that, here are a few of my goals for 2015:

  1. Practice more yoga – I love yoga but I always struggle getting to class. I am a happier, healthier and  more balanced person when I do yoga so I want to make an effort to incorporate yoga into my weekly routine.
  2. Run more races – Running is my go-to form of fitness. It instantly boosts my mood and clears my mind. In 2015, I want to run more races (I am thinking a half marathon, and a few short distances too) and work to improve my speed and endurance.
  3. Volunteer – I would love to give back and help others in whatever way possible.
  4. Take a trip (on a plane) – Vinnie and I drive all around New England but I would like to go on a plane, take a trip and really experience another part of the country (or world!) with him
  5. Grow the blog – I have high hopes for Comfy & Confident in 2015. I want to connect with more people in the blogging community, grow my readership and continue to enjoy sharing my journey!
  6. Cook more – I love to eat healthy and try new foods, but I find myself eating the same thing over and over again. I would like to challenge myself to try new recipes and explore new and different foods in 2015.

What are your goals for 2015?? I would love to hear them!
Sharing always helps to hold me accountable!

 

 

 

Pizza Party

My brother, Willie, flew into town last night for the Holiday and we had an impromtu pizza party! Vinnie is a pro pizza maker and with the help of Nicole, my sister-in-law, and Willie we made some really fun concoctions.

Pizza Party Ingredients

Pizza Party ingredients and mess

rolling out pizza dough

Chicken, Green Pepper, Apple Pizza

We started with a basic cheese pizza and worked our way up to an apple, sausage, green pepper pizza to a buffalo chicken pizza and the grand finale was a chili calzone.

Pizza and Calzone cooking

Chili Clazone

Chili Calzone

The best part about all the different pizza’s and calzone was that they were with leftovers and now my fridge is pretty empty going into the weekend which is great because we never end up eating at home on Saturday or Sunday night especially this time of year. There is too many family members around – which is a good thing, of course! 🙂

Recently I have found a few articles, posts and videos I am loving and I thought I would share!! Its always fun to find new things i on the world-wide-web!

Things I am loving:

73 Questions on Vogue.com – They ask celebrities 73 random questions and they have to answer as quickly as they can. It’s really fun to see them ‘be real’.They have interviews with SJP, Reese Witherspoon, Amy Adams, Daniel Radcliffe and Olivia Munn. But, my favorite one is with Blake Lively. I want to be her friend!

22 Times Jennifer Lawrence Just Did Not Care what Anyone thought. – She can do no wrong in my book.

Radius Fitness- A website to customize your workouts. They have world-class trainers, personalized fitness programs, unlimited workout options, and more. It reminds me of Nike Training Club which I already love

Last minute gift ideas – I have the hardest time coming up with gifts and there are some great ideas here.

4 Simple Remedies for Burnout – Fast Company

From around the Blog world:
Candy Cane Monster Cookies – via The Yooper Girl
Quinoa Gingersnap Cookies – via Eating Bird Food
12 Tips For Holiday Baking Success – via Sweet Cayenne
What’s The Best Workout When I’m Short On Time via Fit Knit Chick
Best Workouts When Short on Time – via Happy Healthy Mama
24 Minute Total Body Workout
20 Minute Energizing Detox Power Yoga via Tina Reale Yoga
5 Reasons Why Runners Should Do Yoga via Love Life Surf
Gift Inspiration for the Kitchen – via Peanut Butter Runner
The One Thing Top Nutritionist Do To Stay Healthy During The Holidays via Greatist

 

 

5 Ways to Get Out and Run in Cold Weather

My sisters were in town this weekend. It was so fun to have them around and get into the Christmas spirit. We got our Christmas tree, decorated it and made a Gingerbread House.

We were not that creative in our Christmas tree shopping…We crammed into my little Subaru and drove to Home Depot to get the tree. There really weren’t a ton of options, but we found a diamond in the rough.

Home Depot Christmas Tree

We decorated the tree and my sister, Julia, dressed up as Santa!

2014 Christmas Tree with Santa

Group shot!

Group Shot after Decorating the Tree

Gingerbread House and Christmas Tree

The weather has been so touch and go lately. Sometimes it’s freezing cold and other times it’s manageable. I have been staying inside a lot lately, but I finally got outside for a run on Friday and I am so glad I did. It was cold and a little slippery but so worth it. I had gotten into a bad routine of staying inside to workout, but I was determined to change it up. To be honest, the impetus to get outside was the other day at the gym, this girl came in from a tempo run outside, wearing shorts and 6 months pregnant! Granted she is an incredible runner and competed in track and road races her who life but regardless, I was like “ok if she is running outside, I can run outside!” So I did. Sometimes it just takes a little extra push and competition.

Garmin Watch 5 Mile Run

Today I went for another run outside and thoroughly enjoyed it. The biggest thing preventing me from getting outside to run was the cold weather. I hate being cold and sometimes would rather go to the gym than freeze on a run outside. Some things I do to motivate to get outside are below:

5 Ways to get out and run in cold weather

  1. Warm up at home – The hardest part about running in cold weather is the temperature and initial shock when you step outside. Before you go out for your run, spend 5 minutes doing active stretching so you get your heart rate up and your body warmed up. If you are warm before you start your run, you will stay warm for the entire run.
  2. Dress warm – Nothing can ruin a cold weather run more than being cold (go figure!) so bundle up! You never know how the wind chill or snowy weather can affect your run. I like to wear more to ensure I am warm. I can always shed layers if I have to.
  3. Do loops around your house. Because I am so worried about being cold, I always were a lot of layers. By picking a short loop near my house, I can shed layers at my apartment when I get hot and then continue running. Do figure eights around the house so you don’t get bored doing the same 1 mile loop.
  4. Sign up for a race – Being on a training program and having a plan that you need to stick to always helps motivate
  5. Just Do It – the first 5 minutes might suck, but just get out and run.

Do you run outside in the winter?

What do you do to get outside and workout in cold weather?

 

 

 

Little Victories Are Important Too

Today I have a special treat! My sister, Julia, wrote a guest post. She is a professional ski racer who as had many accomplishments through out her career including racing at Sochi on the US Olympic Ski Team. However, every journey has it’s ups and downs and this year she is taking a new outlook on her career and goals. Tomorrow she kicks off her season with the first World Cup Downhill of the season at Lake Louise in Canada. Below she talks about her journey, game plan and goals.
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I feel the excitement stirring in the depths of my stomach again. I haven’t felt it for a while, maybe years now. My vision was tunneled by one thing: win, win, win. With a singular focus I lost sight of why I was ski racing and where the joy actually lies. You may wonder, “Where is the joy, if it’s not in winning?”. Well, hang on to your hats ladies and gentlemen because I am about to blow your mind.

You Can Fly

First things first. Something you should know is I am one of the most competitive people on the planet. Whether you know me or not, believe me when I say, if someone says challenge or competition, my ears perk up like a hound who has caught the scent and I’m ready for the chase. It is a part of me. I have tried to tone it down but it is a monster that can’t be tamed, so now I openly embrace it. Actually, I have not so much embraced it as I have learned how to use it in a productive manner. And when I say I have learned, I mean I am learning. Everything is a process and some days are better than others which brings me back to my binoculars with ‘win’ written on the end.

In my competitive manner, I have had the outcome so pinpointed in my mind, I lost focus on the process. I wanted to be the fastest and the best right NOW! Which, ok, don’t we all? The problem with that is I didn’t buy into the process to get there. I would become so outraged, resentful, frustrated, or worse self pitying that my emotions controlled me. It took me away from what I could control like improving my skiing, staying focused on what I need to work on to get faster and NOT just going through the motions. So when things started to go array, which, it’s a long season, at some point they will, I couldn’t grasp how to make it stop. My mind was so weighted down by the fear of losing, of not qualifying, of failing, I couldn’t think clearly. I was Atlas holding the world on my shoulders. See what I mean…. the joy was gone.

Julia in her Timberlands

Worse, I was gone. Not literally but in the sense where I was becoming someone I didn’t want to be. I am a happy person! I enjoy competition for the game, the challenge, the fun of showing what I got. I forgot about that uncontrolled, all consuming excitement that we have when we are kids playing games. And isn’t that what skiing is, just a game? Yes, it is my career and the stakes are higher, but if we look at the chalk board and erase the rest of the math, aren’t we are left with x? When we do the same with all the bullshit that surrounds ski racing, we are left with the same; the simple fact is that ski racing is a game to be enjoyed.

So I come to this, if ski racing is not just about being focused on winning, then what it is the point? Winning is the goal but it is really just an outcome; a combination of one’s hard work, dedication, and defeating adversity. It is not the only thing we should strive for. What we should seek is improvement, overcoming obstacles, and putting your whole heart into something to see what you are truly capable of. I feel no greater joy than when I have fresh air in my face, and I make the perfect turn resulting in a a sudden rush of acceleration and adrenaline… Ah, it makes me giddy thinking about it! Those things are the markings of true success. The little victories need to be celebrated just as much because they are what help get you to the end goal.

In The Start Gate Copper Mtn

Please, don’t be misunderstood, I want to win. My goal is to kick everyone’s ass. I am just saying that this year I am choosing to focus on a the little victories along the way. Mainly, the fight to improve, the people on my team who believe in me, and the reason I pursued skiing to begin with, the unadulterated bliss and fire it lights in me. When I am so willing to put (literally) my blood, sweat, and tears into being the best possible athlete and version of myself I can be, that is victory. When I stand at the end of my season, my career, my life, winning will be standing tall and being able to say ‘I gave it everything I had.’  And no matter what ‘everything I have’ entails I will have used all the talent and work ethic I possess and that is all I can do.

Create Your Own Path In The Snow

I remember my first trip to Chile with the World Cup team. My body felt as though it was carbonated. I sat on the plane and bubbled over with excitement. Somewhere along the way, through the roller coaster of success, failure, injury, and management, I lost sight of that kid who sat on that airplane so thrilled to ski with the best in the world, to learn, to go fast, and to just ski. I have said many times, ‘I just want to ski.’ And this year, that is what I will do. Win or lose, I am going to ski my heart out!

Speed Racing

Want more? Follow Julia all winter long:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/juliawford
Facebook: Julia Ford
Twitter: https://twitter.com/juliawford

I will also be having her post updates here on my blog so check back frequently.