My 5 Tips to Get Healthy + Happy

Hello Beautiful,

Getting healthy means more than just eating a salad or going for a run. Getting healthy includes having a healthy mental state and healthy relationships. Being healthy also means being happy. When you restrict yourself to a diet or counting calories, you can damage your perception of what being healthy really means.

When you begin to research ways to be healthy and happy, you have to accommodate yourself. It’s easy to look at someone super fit and healthy and say I am going to do that. But, you have to be aware that everybody is different. Literally, every “body” functions differently and must be nourished in various ways.

Disclaimer: I’m not a health expert and I’m not perfect. These things I am sharing are things I continue to work on everyday. I’m not a pro, but that’s the point of working on yourself. You don’t ever stop, it’s a continuous exercise until it becomes a habit. Nobody is perfect. We are all working towards becoming the best versions of ourselves.

With that being said, I just want to share the top 5 things that helped me get inspired to live a more healthy lifestyle. Once again, I am still working on these things daily until they become a habit.

Eat Yummy Food!
Wait! What? Yes, I said eat yummy food. Yummy food that will nourish your body and give you energy. Food is a key factor to becoming healthy, what you put into your body determines your overall health. You want to eat foods that energize you and are filled with good nutrients. Foods that are fresh and not processed. I know how difficult it can be to eat clean on a college budget, but it is possible. (grocery shopping haul to come!)

The key to eating fresh and clean is finding recipes you like, and finding meals that work for you. Everyone has different tastes and learning to eat healthy takes some trial and error. Do research, try new things and repeat.

Progress is still Progress
Something I have learned in my healthy living journey is that no matter the progress you make, it is still progress. Every baby step will eventually add up to big leaps. The little victories should still be celebrated because when you put any journey into perspective, you realize that every piece counts. It all adds up to equal the final product.

Celebrate your small wins, and never lose faith because you aren’t “making progress” because you are!

Listen to your Body
Learn what your body wants and how it reacts to different foods and exercises. I sort of explained this in the first point, but this practice is the best way to achieve a healthy lifestyle. I’ve mentioned the YouTuber, Sarah’s Day before on my blog because she was part of my inspiration to get back to working on myself. Listen to your body is her motto. She lives by this method and I believe it is an effective method too. I think this because our body tells us how it feels in different cues, think about when you’ve ate a really sugary donut or something, how did you feel? I know when I eat too much sugar in a day, my tummy hurts. That’s when you listen to your body. How is it functioning? Are you properly digesting your food? How do you feel?

All of these things describe what it means to listen to your body. You don’t have to count calories to be healthy, you can simply buy good food and see how you feel. Same goes for working out, you don’t have to follow a plan; just do what feels best and works for your body. If you need a day to rest, relax and enjoy some tea…do it. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!

Do What You Want
In regards to exercise, do what you want. What I mean by this is you do not have to follow everyone else. Sure, there are millions of workout plans on the internet and videos to buy. But, just do what feels right for you and works for you. Everyone is different and our bodies can react differently to certain workouts. Of course, you can still do your research and try out new methods but don’t hold yourself to one regimen. I personally enjoy high-intensity exercises! I’m not much for lifting weights, but sometimes I do it to change up my routine.

When it comes to being healthy and exercising, just know that your lifestyle is completely up to you. You do not have to be or do anything you don’t want to.

Love Yourself + Your Beauty
Trust me, I know what a battle it can be to wake up everyday and just be obsessed with yourself. It’s not possible. We all have insecurities we struggle with and we must face them everyday. The trick is to realize the everyone has them, even the most perfect people. You may think it’s just you, but there are thousands of people who probably struggle with similar things.

I’ve explained this in recent post, but you have to realize that beauty is different in everyone’s eyes. Flowers are pretty, but so are sunsets. Flowers don’t take any beauty away from the sunset. Same goes for you. Just because you don’t look like the models you see on social media, doesn’t mean you’re less beautiful.

In order to truly live a healthy + happy life, you must love yourself and work on becoming comfortable with who you are. You are so unique and beautiful. Embrace your flaws, know that they make you who you are. Fall in love with the process of getting healthy and being happy. Find new ways to make yourself happy everyday. Never stop learning more about yourself.

I hope from this post you can takeaway a few things. One being to get to know yourself and learn what is best for your body. Do your research, try new things and keep working hard. Another takeaway is loving yourself through the process. Every day throws something new at us, learn to go with the flow of things and trust the process. Some days will be quiet days spent in a cafe and other days will be spent smashing a workout in the gym. It’s about balance.

Lastly, remember that part of being healthy and happy includes taking care of your mind too. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a strict schedule or crazy diets. Take time to journal, drink tea and read a good book. It also means finding time to spend with people you love, people who inspire you. That may not be a point above, but it’s equally important. Your health goes beyond muscle tone.

Looking for more posts like this? Check out 20 Things to a Happy + Healthy Life, Farm Fresh Salad Recipe or I’m not Perfect, I Know.

Thank you for reading PYM today. I know some of this may have been slightly repetitive but these are the things that have helped me understand what it meant to be “healthy”, and hopefully thy can help you too.

xo, Lyss

Farm Fresh Salad Recipe

Hello Darlings,

This past Saturday I spent the morning at the local farmers market in Grand Rapids. I picked up lots of fresh + local goodies. It was such a quaint and quiet morning spent alone, I really enjoyed it.

I thought I would share what I got with you and give you my current favorite salad recipe, made from some of the things I picked up at the market.

First, I picked up a coffee from a local coffee shop that I love (Madcap Coffee for the local readers). I adore the setting and vibes of the shop, and the lattes are always perfect. Then, I headed to the massive Fulton Street farmers market. There were a bunch of farmers and vendors to look through, I was overwhelmed with my options. So, I did a walk through first before purchasing any goodies.

Here’s what I got:

  • 3 zucchini for $1
  • 2 [huge] cucumbers for $1
  • Bouquet of sunflowers for $5
  • A little succulent for $2.50
  • Bag of mixed greens for $5

All adding up to just $14.50 – Talk about a steal!

There were lots of other affordable and fresh items that I chose not to buy this time because I am about leave for a trip. If you would be interested in a full Farmers Market haul, let me know in the comments. For this time around, the salad is made up of a mix of farm fresh and grocery store bought.

My Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Mixed Greens (my fave includes spinach, arugula + romaine)
  • Tuna (or chicken)
  • Half of an avocado
  • Diced cucumbers
  • Baby tomatoes
  • Shredded carrot
  • Diced onion
  • Herb + Garlic for taste (salt-free)
  • Apple cider vinegar for dressing

First, I washed the salad mix I picked up from the market. Then I chopped up all the goodies for the toppings. I added all the veggies to the top, then added tuna. Once that was done, I added seasoning (garlic + herb) and dressing (apple cider vinegar). Voila! Yummy + fresh salad to fill you tummy!

*The green shows which items were bought at the market. Though there are only two in this recipe, carrots, avocado, tomatoes, onion, fresh herbs and even chicken were available at this market. once again, I did not purchase these items this time due to an upcoming vacation.

This salad mix has been one of my go-to’s lately. It’s very filling and tasty.

After eating my salad, I re-potted the little succulent I bought and named it “Hazel”. How cute is she?!

I’m looking forward to my next trip to the market and I plan to buy lots more. Do you like visiting the local market? What’s your favorite recipe to make from it? Share below!

Thank you for reading today + I wish you a week of happiness. Smash your goals and be kind to everyone.

xo, Lyss

 

“Easy for You to Say, You’re Skinny”

Hello Beautiful Babes,

I’ve heard this line many many times in my life. When I start to get healthy and work out more consistently, people tell me it’s easy for me because I’m skinny. I can see where they are coming from, and I understand their reasoning behind it. But, it’s not easy for me because I’m skinny.

I have been working on my health and fitness over the past few months, which you can probably tell if you’ve been following me.

First off, I am not doing this to lose weight or be “skinny”. I am doing this to feel healthy. When I am strong and my body is healthy I feel more confident and happy.

When people start their fitness journey, they usually begin because they are inspired by something. For some it may be weight lose, for others it may just be to build muscle tone. Everyone starts for different reasons; therefore we cannot judge people’s lifestyle based on their size.

Yes, you’re correct. In today’s society, I am skinny. I won the gene pool lottery…?

Not true! 

My background

My family health history is quite lengthy actually. From diabetes and arthritis to even cancer, I am not “lucky”. Everyone has a choice in life though, and how you treat your body has a big impact on your health and future.

For most of my childhood, I did dance and gymnastics. I was also a very active child; always playing outside, riding my bike and running around with my pets. This background set me up for a healthy body. I also never ate a bunch of candy or drank sugary drinks, I wasn’t raised in that environment. My mom didn’t deprive me of candy, I just never was the kid that drank soda and ate candy on the reg. I loved water! (lame, I know)

I began focusing on my health more over the past few months because I was feeling sick after almost every meal. I couldn’t figure out the problem and why I was feeling this way. Then, I did some research and realized my diet could have a big impact on that. Working out has also helped me keep everything moving smooth through my digestive system. Growing up, I was always active and my body still thrives on that activity to function properly.

The eating habits and lifestyle you are raised with can impact how you take care of yourself now. Not everyone has the same background as me, nor does anyone have the same as you. That’s why you can’t look at someone who is skinny and assume they have it easy. The good news is you can always change your current lifestyle. You are not tied to your habits.

Being skinny doesn’t make building muscle and eating healthy any easier for me. I still have to be conscious about my food choices and listen to my body’s needs.

If you are struggling to find peace with your body and don’t know where to start, do your research. Learn about what works for you and what feels good. Keep a journal about how you feel not only externally but internally. Don’t force a lifestyle, just find one that you can find peace and happiness with. Feel free to contact me as well. I’m not an expert but I have battled with some of my own self-image issues, including body shaming.

Women of all sizes deal with these types of issues, you’re not alone. Skinny, “fat”, large or small; we are all just trying to be the best version of ourselves.

Thank you for reading PYM!

xo, Lyss

3 Intense Sweaty Workouts

Hello Fit Babes:

Sticking to a workout routine can really show results and push you in your fitness journey, but that can potentially get boring at times. That’s why it’s important to add in some intense, body shocking workouts. These will break your normal routine and work new muscle groups, which will hopefully show more results. I thought I could share a couple of my favorite intense workouts that I do when I really want to sweat. I also do these workouts when I feel bloated or sluggish, it really kicks my body back into gear. These are great to add to your routine, but they aren’t meant to be done everyday.

Intense Workout #1 | Hey Miss New Booty

You’ll need a gym with a stair master!

StairMaster: 15-20 minutes

3 to 5 minute warm up |  Level: 8-10

3 to 5 sprints for 30 second each | Level: 20 or your personal max

*Break for 30 seconds to 1 minute between each. The sprints truly burn but you have to push through at least 3 to really reap the benefits of this exercise.

3 sets of kickbacks for 30 seconds | Level: 8

*This is a booty burner, simply kick each leg back and step on every other step.

3 sets of 30 second side climb | Level: 13

*Walking sideways on each side counts as one set.

You may also take breaks in between the other exercises, but I usually do a set of kickbacks combined with the sideways walking then take a small break. Do what’s best for your fitness level. I usually complete a few intense ab exercises after too!

Intense Workout #2 | The Girl Next Door

Utilize your neighborhood or local park for this one!

8-10 hill climbs | Try to do this pretty continuous

1 to  2 mile run/walk | Try to run for the whole 1st mile

10-15 stair sprints | Do five then take a 1 minute break, repeat until you reach 10 or 15

Workout #3 | Sweaty Yogi

Attend a hot yoga class!

Hot yoga is actually such a sweaty, intense workout, especially if you partake in a vinyasa session. Vinyasa is a constant movement through different yoga poses. I remember when I first did one of these classes, I left dripping sweat and I was sore for the next two days. It literally shocked my body. I LOVED IT!

Thank you for checking out Pretty, Young & Motivated today. I hope you are able to try some of these workouts and see some serious results. Share your favorite intense workouts with me in the comments! I’d love to try some of yours too. Happy Monday!

Let’s get sweaty!

xo, Lyss