Posted in Wellness

Wellness Blogger Lauren Shaber Inspiring You To Choose Healthy

You know I love hitting you guys with positivity & motivation when you need it most so what better way to start off your Tuesday than with just that an inspiring interview with blogger Lauren Shaber of Lauren Lives Healthy.

If you guys have been reading the blog since way back you would already know Lauren from the spinach recipe post that we did together 2 years ago but for those that don’t Lauren is a healthy lifestyle blogger that chronicles her life trying to “choose healthy”. Follow her Instagram if you’re looking for some serious real talk on listening to your body & want to drool over delicious recipes on the daily.

Lauren and I met through social media years ago and I connected with her because I loved her positive attitude and the passion she had behind her fitness journey to live healthy and find balance. Recently Lauren posted a blog article all about being more than a “Tone It Up Girl” and I thought this was so courageous. Lauren had utilized Tone It Up to live her healthiest life for a while but when it started to define her she took a step back and switched her thinking a bit.

If you guys know anything about me you know that I love real genuine people and after Lauren was so honest and open about her experience I knew that I needed to share her mindset & thoughts with you guys on the blog!

Lauren Lives Healthy Interview

BL: Hi Lauren! Please introduce yourself to Blissfully Lively readers.

LLH: Hi! Thanks so much for having me. I currently live near Portland, OR with my boyfriend and pup, though I’m a born-and-raised California girl. I work full-time in marketing and share my healthy living journey on the side at Lauren Lives Healthy.

BL: I know that you have created your blog platform around healthy eating and your weight loss journey. What made you want to begin this blog?

LLH: I first started my journey on July 1, 2013 when I realized I really needed a change. I started by following Tone It Up, which encouraged sharing your meals and workouts on Instagram as a way to “check in.” I quickly realized I wanted to share more than just my meals and workouts, so I started Lauren Lives Healthy. I created a blog with a few other TIU girls, which didn’t last long, but I loved the process and decided to create my own blog to document my health journey and connect with others going through the same thing.

BL: Where do you find your inspiration to “choose healthy” as you would say, daily?

LLH: Right now, I’m all about listening to my body. I believe your body will tell you what it needs, so I do my best to listen. Feeling good is what inspires me to choose healthier meals, fit in a workout, or focus on me time.

BL: What is the number one thing you want people to take away from your blog?

LLH: I want people to realize they’re not alone and that they have a friend going through the healthy living journey with them.

BL: I know you recently posted about being “so much more than a tone it up girl” I adored this post and how brave it was. What made you want to separate yourself from the pack?

LLH: Thank you so much! I realized that I was branded as a “Tone It Up” girl. Coworkers, friends and family would tell me we couldn’t do something or go somewhere to eat because it wasn’t “Tone It Up approved.” It really bothered me because my life is so much more than TIU. I eat all sorts of things, do my own workouts, and enjoy all sorts of things that aren’t necessarily in the TIU plan. I wanted people to start seeing me as Lauren, not just a TIU girl.

BL: Staying on a healthy track and lifestyle can be hard. Any tips that you find helpful?

LLH: Prioritize yourself every day! I’m a morning person so I ease into the day with a homemade latte or drink, a good breakfast and some quiet time before anyone else wakes up. Find your favorite time of day and take some time to yourself, just to do something you love. It’ll give you time to remember why you’re doing this and think about what your goals are. Also, give yourself a break! We can’t do it all, all the time, so it’s okay to take it easy. Just do the best you can (and listen to your body!), and that’s all that matters.

BL: Do you have any inspiration Quotes you live by?

LLH: It’s not so much a quote, but the idea of listening to your body. I love the idea that your body knows you best and will tell you what you need. It’s what inspires me to healthify my meals, fit in a workout, and prioritize me time. I’m still learning to actually live this way but I know that, if I listen to my body, I’ll feel better, healthier and balanced.

BL: Who is your healthy lifestyle guru or inspiration?

LLH: My first instinct is to say women like Lauren Conrad and Lea Michelle, though my main source of inspiration is friends and girls on Instagram who I’ve connected with over the years that are trying to balance everyday life with healthy workouts and meals. It’s inspiring to see real women who are so open and honest about their journey.

I hope you all enjoyed this interview with Lauren. Take a peek at her blog for inspirational ways to “choose healthy”.

Check back tomorrow for a little sneak peek into the brains behind the blog 🙂

xo,

Lauren

Lookin’ for some more inspiration? Check out my post on Instagram maven Gofitjo.


Tips for handling the grocery store like a boss & a PDF just for you

BL Grocery Store List

The grocery store can be a bit of a daunting place when you’re trying to stick to eating healthy. Important (I don’t say diet) because eating healthy is a lifestyle not a fad or a diet that you stick to for a week and fall off because it’s unattainable. This is a change in lifestyle.

Because this change can come with questions, experimenting, and finding new favorite foods I thought why not create a list of my go to grocery store staples for a week of healthy eating and let it be up for grabs for anyone figuring this whole healthy lifestyle thing out. Anyone thinking hold the phone now what do I do with all these ingredients? Don’t worry a weeks worth of healthy recipes will be coming in a PDF soon too!

My grocery store list is in PDF form to make it easier for you to download, check off and carry with you to the store (or pull up on your iPhone will browsing the groc.). I have added all of my refrigerator staples, pantry staples, proteins, fruits/ veggie selections and even condiments to try and help keep those cravings at bay.

My number one grocery store tip that I’m sure you’ve heard before is:

STAY OUT OF THE MIDDLE AISLES!

Work the perimeter of the grocery store to grab all of your healthy eating staples. Now there are a few exceptions to this rule including:

  • Rice/ beans
  • Chicken/ Beef stock
  • Tea
  • Blue corn tortilla chips (sometimes you gotta make a taco bowl)
  • Granola/ wholegrain cereal

Other than that I stay far away from the tempting middle aisles that house the goldfish, chips, sugary drinks, etc! Because they’re salty/ sugary, filled with too many empty carbs with no real nutrients and can ruin any healthy progress made. Fruits, veggies, proteins, and small amounts of grains are where it’s at!

Trust me once you cut out the crap (candy, processed sugar, energy/ sugary drinks, chips, sugary cereal, bagels with heaps of cream cheese etc.) (just to name a few) your body won’t crave it. Stay hydrated and fill up on real food and your body will LOVE YOU.

The items on this grocery list are all included because they’re what I buy the most of, and what I think help create the healthiest meals. As you can see I didn’t add steak to the proteins section because I don’t buy it often. Not to say that it isn’t a good protein, I just personally prefer meats lower in fat such as ground turkey or chicken, but this being said I definitely do eat steak just much more rarely than say chicken.

This is my ideal list. The list that I go in to the grocery store with for a weeks worth of healthy meals, but what I come out with might be different from time to time. Hello I am human and cravings sometimes get the  best of me just like I’m sure sometimes they get the best of you too. This is why I believe in a healthy balanced lifestyle. Not a system that has you drinking crazy shakes for meals and cutting out all carbs. It’s ok to indulge every once in a while it’s bound to happen but it just needs to be under control. You can have a small piece of dark chocolate after dinner even nightly if that helps you keep the cravings at bay. BUT! keep it to one piece a night or don’t buy it at all.

I want to close this post by saying eating healthy is a process and takes time! The hardest part can be taking that first step {out of the middle aisles 🙂 } but you will immediately feel the difference that healthy whole foods makes on your body. It is worth it. Trust me just stick with it.

Slip ups are also bound to happen so be conscious of this put down the donut and start right back where you were before you made the slip!

 It’s just about BALANCE and eating WHOLE FOODS if you stick to this rule you will be golden.

BL Grocery Store PDF list

Blissfully Lively Grocery PDF List (Click this link and it will bring you to the printable PDF)

Keep an eye out for Blissfully Lively Healthy Meals PDF coming to the blog soon! I hope you enjoy this printable and if you end up using it please send me an email or find me through Instagram I love connecting with people that read and utilize the blog! It makes me so happy!

xo,

Lauren


Leisurée & the one piece you need stat

When I say stat I’m not one bit kidding.

The moment I find something I really love that relates to health/ fitness/ over all wellbeing I need to share it with you guys, and this Leisurée piece is no exception.

Blissfully Lively wearing Lively

I recently saw one of my fav. bloggers The Balanced Blonde sporting a super cute thin but stylish LIVELY bralette on her Instagram and I knew I had to try it out. I mean truthfully I could not remember the last time that I saw a bralette that wasn’t completely covered in lace so the patterns and different intricate detail immediately drew me in.

I contacted LIVELY and from there this super awesome partnership emerged. They sent me a bralette to try out and I could not stop wearing it. I took it out of the package and wore it no joke 3 days in a row.

Blissfully Lively wearing Lively

It was so incredibly comfortable it felt like I was wearing a bra made entirely of silk. The thing that I loved most was the subtle details which made it so that you could wear it for a night out with a deep vneck tee & a leather jacket and look like the no fuss cool girl you’ve always wanted to be. Or pair it with leggings and a workout top for your sweaty yoga sesh.

Blissfully Lively wearing Lively

Comfort is key for me. I mean other than my makeup my bra is the first thing to go when I get home from work, a night out, etc. I don’t want to feel constricted and bras/ bralettes can do that because of the thick straps, uncomfortable lace, poking underwire etc. But this one is the exception. I actually wore this bralette all day and slept in it that night, not even realizing because it was so comfortable I forgot I had it on.

Loungin in Lively Leisuree

LIVELY’s mission is to change the point of view on Lingerie into something called Leisurée a mix between Athleisure and Lingerie. Comfort mixed with hints of sexy style to make you feel and look good for any activity from a workout to catching up on your favorite netflix show to even a night out with friends.

Lively Leisuree

LIVELY also makes bikini/ thong underwear and push up bras, I think I’m going to complete the set and grab The All Day Thong to go with my Cross Back Bralette for a super cute matching situation.

Lively Leisuree

This versatile piece has become a staple in my closet or let me say body (because I haven’t taken it off). Because I loved LIVELY so much and they are so darn generous they gave all of you readers a $10 off coupon to buy your own LIVELY piece. Use code “BLISSFULLY” at check out to receive $10 off any order. I mean that’s a fricken steal if I do say so myself when their bralettes are regularly priced at only $35! Snag a few while the discount lasts (Until the end of November).

Happy Loungin’

xo,

Lauren

** This post is in partnership with LIVELY, all opinions are my own.

 


Women & Strength Training…Summing Up My Instastory Rant

If you guys didn’t see, I posted a bit of a rant on my Instagram story last week. I was more than upset about an experience I had with a friend at her local gym. Recently I was asked by said friend to set her up with some workouts because she just didn’t feel like what she was doing was working for her. Obviously I accepted because I love helping people reach their health/ fitness goals and felt super excited that she wanted my input.

Blissfully Lively lifting weights

But let me just tell you this women’s only gym pissed me off. I was quite upset by one specific characteristic. They only offered up to 35lb dumbbells. Nothing heavier.

This upset me for 1 of 2 reasons. For one the idea that women don’t need more than 35 lb. dumbbells and two that there wasn’t even the option to try a heavier weight even if you wanted to…stifling.

blissfully lively womens strength training

Trap bar Deadlift

Side note: don’t get me wrong I understand the want for a women’s only gym, and truthfully I have nothing against this. I understand that working out among men can feel intimidating, and working out around your peers can be a bit easier and even motivating… but here we are again. MOTIVATING, if women feel more comfortable around other women in a gym type environment don’t you think they will be a bit more likely to pick up a little heavier weight to test it out?

I want to put this into a little perspective for people reading.

I would consider myself pretty strong for my frame, but no where near what I am capable of and where I want to be. So lets see what I use for weights

35lbs is the weight that I use when I do dumbbell rows, sets of 8.

150 lbs is the weight that I use to deadlift.

70lbs is the weight that I use to rear-foot elevated split squat.

Blissfully Lively Women & strength training

BL Strong

I don’t throw these numbers up to boast about myself or how fit I am, how much I can lift etc. That is 100% not my point. My point is to empower you! To tell women everywhere that:

YOU ARE CAPABLE.

BL Pull Up

I am a 5 foot tall fit person who has been working out consistently for 2 years. At the beginning of my fitness journey my dumbbell rows were only at 20 lbs. and that’s ok but here I am 2 years later using 35 lbs because that’s what’s called progress. Everyone progresses if they stick with it, and I know the women that attend this gym can too.

It just makes me upset for these women because I feel like they’re shoved into this little square that another person decided was their potential.

Bl Ab roll outs

At least give them the choice of how/ what they want to achieve. Basically those 35 lb weights said you’re only capable of lifting 35 lbs so that’s what we will give you and nothing more.

Like what? stop and think about that. What happens when 35lbs becomes too light? What happens when 70lbs becomes to light? Because trust me it will if you’re working out consistently to lose weight, get back in shape, become your best self! whatever reason, you can and will be able to lift more weight than that at some point in your fitness journey.

BL L Sit

BL strength Training

The bottom line in writing this post is to let women everywhere know that they are capable of more than what female fitness stereotypes perceive us to be. We can lift more than 35 lbs. and do the same workout as the fit man beside us. I want women to feel inspired and educated, to stand up for being a woman and being damn strong…I mean we do carry and push out babies so if that’s not saying something I DONT KNOW WHAT IS!

xo,

Lauren

Feelin’ motivated to get your ass to the gym? Check out my 4 tips to getting yourself there!


5 Ways To Break A Sweat On Your Off Day

Off days can mean 1 of 2 things for me. For 1 it can be a serious chill sess. catching up on shows, and lounging the day away, or 2 it can mean participating in a few of my favorite ways to break a sweat but not necessarily in the gym.

I try to workout 5 days a week 3 of those days I do strength training workouts and the other 2 I like to mix in some cardio/ stretching such as cycling, jump roping, trx, yoga, foam rolling, etc, anything really to break a sweat.

blissfully lively w/ smoothie wearing Lucy Activewear

Blissfully lively stretching in Lucy Activewear top

My “off days” usually consist of 2 days & fall during the weekend which makes it much easier to participate in some fun off day activities that still get me up and moving.

Reminder:  it’s healthy for everyone to have at least one day to chill on the couch, clean the house, regroup etc. So yes I love to stay active every day of the week, but I do have my total rest day as well (normally Sunday).

Here are a few ways to stay active during those off days.

  1. Biking/ Cycling
  2. Hiking (a must if you live in New England in the fall, I mean look at the below picture the changing leaves are 👌)
  3. Yoga/ Group Exercise Classes
  4. Skiing/ Snowboarding/ Any hobby/ sport you love
  5. Walk/ jog w/ Friends (add a smoothie in there and I’m set)

Blissfully lively on a bike wearing lucy activewear

It also doesn’t hurt to look as cute as possible while participating in all your favorite ways to get up & moving. Thank you Lucy Activewear for sponsoring this post and sending me a few activewear options to try out! Their High Impact Workout Bra is so comfortable, stylish and pairs perfectly with any activity i’m up for from a walk with friends to a sweaty cycling class!

Final note breaking a sweat doesn’t have to be terrible, find what works for you and stick with it! oh & no matter what make sure you’re having fun!

Blissfully Lively Off Day Workouts Wearing Lucy Activewear

Blissfully Lively off day ways to break a sweat

xo,

Lauren

Feelin’ hungry? Check out my Pumpkin Protein bars to chow on after that off day sweat sess.

 


Why Foam Rolling Should Be Added Into Your Routine

Foam rolling has become my go to before and after a workout. I don’t think there’s one thing in my life that I do more consistently now (other than drink water, & that’s iffy).

Let me begin by saying I was the biggest skeptic. I would make fun of Chris for bringing his foam roller with him on vacation, weekends away, having one in his office, etc. I was a serious downer on foam rolling until I realized all of its insane benefits and how amazing it made me feel.

I have hopped on the foam rolling bandwagon & i’m never looking back.

roa_4006

 

I have always had tight hamstrings like chronically tight. I injured my hamstring in high school playing sports and it flairs up when I workout and don’t stretch enough.

Chris would constantly tell me that I needed to begin adding stretching and foam rolling into my daily routine and that I would see some serious improvements if I did. & what did I do…tell him he’s being ridiculous and I’m completely fine and I don’t need to be rolling around on some foam cylinder, and he’s just insane 🙈.

Well let me just tell you I ate my own words.

So I began foam rolling before and after each workout and I’m way less sore, can make it through a whole workout without complaining about my legs & can actually bend over and rest my hands on the floor without having to bend my right knee.

I would call that a victory!

So now you’re wondering what in the hell is foam rolling and how does it help, right?

Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release or self massage that breaks up adhesions between your muscles and fascia (or spider web of tissue that wraps around your muscles). These adhesions are microtears that you get from working the muscle.

When you roll the muscles out it increases blood flow to the area. Which increases mobility and range of motion, speeds up recovery and improves the muscles ability to contract. All of these benefits lead to increasing performance.

Foam rolling tutorial

So basically, bottom line it’s a little piece of magic.

I like to roll my muscles before a workout gently to warm up the muscles and after a workout to release the muscles. Before I workout I foam roll gently just loosening my body up so my muscles are activated and after I roll more intensely holding or pushing in to any spots that feel that they need it.

When I roll I normally target my middle and upper back, glutes, hamstrings, quads and calfs.

If i’m rolling my back I stick to my upper and mid back section and focus on relaxing my back muscles and sinking farther into the roller with every breath. Slow and controlled breaths are key as well while I roll over the area for about 20 seconds. If there’s a spot that feels a bit more tender I will very slowly inch over that one spot and give it its own 10 seconds, again making sure I am slowly breathing through each pass. It is ok to feel discomfort but you do NOT want to feel pain. If it hurts take some weight off the roller by readjusting and try again.

Foam Rolling Tips

The foam rolling technique really is different for everyone. The way that I roll my back and target certain muscles might not be exactly the same as you do because everyone feels things in their own way. I personally need to target my hamstrings more because they’re super tight and some might need to spend more time rolling their quads because those are super tight for them.

It takes time to figure out which areas need the most attention and how to roll specific areas. It really is all trial and error. Trust me it can be frustrating but like anything else if you stick with it the benefits are amazing.

Here are also a few tips on what NOT to do when foam rolling:

  • Roll fast
  • Roll for more than 1 min. per area
  • Roll close to joint, especially the knee joint
  • Fight through pain (remember if you feel pain stop & readjust)
  • Roll the lower back
  • Roll your neck

BL Foam Rolling Tips

I know it can seem overwhelming, and I want everyone to reap the benefits of it because it has helped me so much. If you guys want me to create a foam rolling tutorial to show you how I roll and when/ where let me know in the comments section or over on Insta! Also I have linked a few foam rollers below for you to take a look!

xo,

Lauren

 

 

 


4 Tips To Get Your Butt In The Gym

Gym tipsWe all know making it to the gym, or to workout for that matter can be quite a task sometimes. I adore working out, the feeling of getting a good sweat in and de-stressing is seriously my me time, but it quickly can slip off the priorities list if no plan is in place. I have had so many people recently ask me, how do you do so much and still have time to work out. Personally this question seems a bit silly because I don’t have the time, I make the time.

Blissfully lively doing push upThere are many days that I don’t want to work out, or feel too tired, or just want to curl up on the couch and read my favorite blogs and binge on Netflix, but… in the end I get my ass to the gym because it is a priority for me to feel and look good.

I know that it can feel overwhelming if you can’t figure out how to make that time to hit the gym with everything else that’s going on because I was that person.

Blissfully Lively Gym workout tips

I would pick a time in between running from class to waitressing or full time job to home and always without fail skip my workout. Why? because I didn’t have enough time or was too tired. Yes both of those things were probably true but the real truth was that I didn’t make it a priority on my list of to do’s.

I’m here to give you guys a little advice on the ways I stuck to working out while having a full time job, while I was in school and working part time jobs with weird hours (nannying and waitressing), and now while I work from home. All three very different areas of life, but I still use the same tactics.

Blissfully Lively Gym pull up

{So much fun scaling a storage unit to get this photo with @Rayaonassignment}

Let me preface with saying I’m not perfect I sometimes fall off a schedule too {even now when I can make my own schedule} & that these ways may not work for you. I was and never will be a super early morning workout person and that’s ok if you aren’t either, but finding the way that does work for you (& is something you will stick with) is so important.

My Four Tips To Getting Your Butt In The Gym

1: Do it early– I am the queen of wanting to sleep in! If there was one excuse I would ever use to get out of working out it was “Im too tired”, or “I can’t wake up this early”. My number one trick for this set 3 alarms. One 30 minutes before the time you need to wake up one fifteen minutes before and one at the time you want to wake up. Yes that sounds aggressive but you will train yourself to want to wake up even before the first alarm goes off. Also have you clothes already laid out and ready to go the night before, and a quick pre workout snack and you’re ready to go.

2: Put it in the calendar as a meeting– Make a meeting with yourself. Schedule this time into your day make it a part of your morning routine, like brushing your teeth. If it’s in your calendar, or on your to do list it is an appointment with yourself you can’t miss. I know it might sound crazy but what you see is what you do. if you write it down somewhere that you see often you will remember to complete this task!

3: Fill your phone with inspiration to motivate you– This is one that some could find intimidating or upsetting but I use it as motivation. As I scroll through Instagram every once in a while I will take a screenshot of another fitness gal that I love her workout, or a positive quote she has, or even just the way that she looks to motivate myself to achieve that and push myself to be my best. Here are a few ladies I follow if you’re in need of a little more inspiration.

Gofitjo: I also did a blog post on her here which was so damn inspiring!

rrayyme

Healthylivingdreams

4: Have a workout partner– Having someone to hold you accountable is always key even if it’s just you partner or friend checking in on you to make sure you’re getting in the gym. Working out with a partner is even more fun and motivating if you can sync up schedules with a friend or spouse. I love working out with Chris because we push each other to do 1 more set and even just motivate each other to get to the gym.

Blissfully Lively Gym Workout

Falling off track.

Everyone falls off track and if you do that’s ok, but don’t allow that 1 day, or even 1 week to turn into more days and weeks. Everyone has times where they can’t make it to the gym we’re all human and it’s bound to happen because the way I look at fitness is it’s a marathon not a sprint. Take it one day at a time and treat it as a lifestyle. If it is looked at as a fad or a “quick fix” sort of thing you will never start.

It isn’t easy, it’s simple.

Simple movements, simple dates with yourself, & simple motivation to get you to where you want to be. It’s back to basics thinking and hard work that will get you to achieve any goals you set out to. I hope these few steps that I take to get myself to make working out a priority will help you!

Follow along on Instagram for snippets of my daily workouts or check back here for full length videos. I hope to be a source of inspiration & motivation that makes people want to check into the gym and kill it each and every time.

Blissfully Lively Doing a Handstand

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren

 


Inspiring Blogger Joanne Encarnacion (Gofitjo) Talking All Things Creativity & Wellness

Joanne Motivational Interview

How inspiring is Joanne (Gofitjo on Instagram)?!

Not only is she inspiring but super cute, has a kick ass bod and her story makes you want to get your shit together asap. She’s basically a badass empowering gal that wants nothing but the best for herself and her 35.3K community of followers…Ok lets all go friend her on Insta and become besties.

Are you guys starting to see a trend with our interviewees lately?Bad ass positive gals all around!

You guys I was so pumped when Joanne accepted doing the interview for the blog, I had been following her health and fitness journey on Instagram and loved every second of her inspiring realness that I knew I had to have her for the interview segment! She’s so empowering and positive why would you not want to radiate those vibes to everyone?!

You will adore her thoughts on social media, building a positive community, and how to live a healthy life!

Anyway, I loved this interview and i’m now totally inspired to get my ass out of bed earlier and fit in that workout.

Hi Joanne! Introduce yourself to Blissfully Lively readers! |

JE: Hello lovelies. My name is Joanne Encarnacion. I’m a full time career mama hustler working at VSCO and blogger of GOFITJO.

How did you get started in blogging? |

JE: Like most bloggers, blogging started off as my creative outlet. I started my blog as a place to share and document my fitness journey.

I know you have created a social media community around fitness, positivity, self love, etc. How did this start? |

JE: Community starts when you invite people to particpate in something larger than one person. I guess in some ways this invitation was an open invitation for those who were struggling through the same challenges as I was as it relates to fitness and womanhood. The greatest lesson I’ve learned in life is that one person can go at it alone, but it takes an entire community and team to build something amazing. And before you can ask people to join you in any movement you need to be vulnerable enough to say I need you as much as you need me.

Did you always know you wanted to blog about health/ wellness? |

JE: Definitely not. I’ve always had a passion for writing. Back in high school I dreamed of  writing my own book one day. Not sure what it would be about, but I’ve always had this really strong understanding that true healing comes from when we share our stories of hopes and fears with others.

Spending a lot of time on social media can take a toll on some because the comparisons start to set in. How do you try to stray away from that? |

JE: Relationships can foster both healthy growth or negative growth. You have to ask yourself quickly will comparison start to sit in if you spend time scrolling through your IG feeds or will a healthy dose of inspiration stem from it. Just like a fitness journey, the results is a direct effect of the effort and energy you put into it. I don’t mean energy like the inertia or the amount of time spent. The energy I’m referring to is the energy within. I try my hardest to not define someone’s success against my own definitions and I’d like to hope that others do the same.

What does a healthy day look like for you from start to finish? |

JE: My days are crazy! And I say that with the utmost love. I wake up at 5:00AM. I’m out of the house by 5:30AM and start my 40 mile commute to the city I work at so I can get my workout in before my work day. Work begins around 9:30/10AM and I leave the office by about 4/4:30PM to head back home and jump into dinner with the family. My daughters are in bed by 8:00PM which leaves my husband and I an hour or so to hang out before it’s my bedtime to repeat the day all over again.

What would you recommend to someone who wants to get their life on track or “get their life together” as you would say but doesn’t know where do start?|

JE: Dig deep and ask yourself what your purpose and intention are. I know that this may seem like a lofty way to start, but when you drive your life or goals behind a purpose then the smaller goals are a little clearer.

For example you tell yourself that the ultimate goal would be to get healthier and to no longer be overweight. First step is the find out what is technically overweight for your height and body, then you can start to break down the goals from there. Let’s say you’re 50lbs overweight. You know that exercising 4-5 days a week an hour or more a day can help you get to your goals within 6 months. But you haven’t worked out since high school. Start small with 3 days a week for 30 minutes for the first 2 weeks. Once you’ve committed and fully accomplished that, slowly increase the amount you can commit to. And then soon enough you’ll be reaching your goals.

Who is one person you look up to in your field of blogging or self-help or creativity. |

JE: I don’t have one person I look up to in my field of blogging or creativity. In fact there are several women I look up to. Jeanne Grey of @thegreylayers, Michelle Carigma of @_modernfit, Remi Ishizuka of @rrayyme, Brene Brown, and so many others! These women inspire me inspire me in so many different ways. They have hearts of gold, the are genuine, and down to earth. Each of them has found a way to help me in different stages and areas in my life and I can’t thank them enough for molding me into the blogger or creative that I am. I also can’t forget my husband. He pushes and challenges me to be a better person.

What is one thing you hope others take away from your blog, social media, etc.? |

JE: I hope that people can walk away from my blog or social media with a sense of belonging and comfort knowing that you don’t have to be perfect in anything. Perfection is so overrated and I’m learning that the more we can be vulnerable with one another to encourage that then the more we can push one another further to a place of understanding and love for ourselves and others. Most people see a strong person and think that they will never get to be like that person because they have it all figured out. In their minds they’ve built this idea that the person they admire is “perfect”. When you find the courage and bravery to show others that you can pick yourself back up after a setback, that’s when true connection can begin. That’s when we can all begin to push ourselves just a little further than the day before.  

Anything else you would love to tell readers? |

JE: All this in mind it’s really easy to lose the focus in fitness too. But here’s the most important thing to remember in these moments: it’s just fitness. And just like anything in life, we can’t take it too damn seriously.

Photo by: @encarnacionphotography

Want to follow along? Like Joanne’s Fb page for updates. Oh and do your self a favor and watch her kick ass inspiring Muscle Milk video…you will cry and then be overcome with motivation all in one.

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren

 


The whole body workout you need to add into your routine

trx whole body workout

It’s no surprise I love TRX!

I mean I teach it, add it into my own workouts at home & boast about it on the regular to so many people. I talk about it a lot on Instagram even sharing some at home workouts using the straps so I thought I would break down why I love this whole body workout so much.

  1. It works the whole entire body
  2. You can modify every move to meet your skill level
  3. A lot of the exercises are back to basics moves but heightened

TRX whole body mountain climbers

TRX is a strength workout that manipulates your own bodyweight leveraged by straps to create moves that are right for you. Because you are suspended in mid air and a bit less stable then say all fours on the ground in a push up position a lot of these moves require balancing and stabilizing yourself (which means you’re working your whole body (tightening to stay stable) without even really knowing)

TRX whole body burpee

{Please ignore my painful face, these are seriously HARD}

Take a TRX burpee for example you start out with one foot in one strap facing away from the anchor (wall). Now you’re balancing on one foot with the other in the strap. You now bring your hands down to the floor on either side of your leg  in push up position take that balanced leg bring it out straight into a plank, and stand right back on up (include a one legged jump for difficulty). Woah doesn’t seem too hard but when you think about it you’re balancing on one leg the whole entire time putting all your bodyweight on that leg and tightening all your muscles to keep everything stable so you don’t fall over.

If you compare this to a regular burpee yes those are hard but you have two legs to stabilize yourself! & this is why I love the workout, adding a little extra difficulty to simple moves.

whole body bicep curl

I also love how you can manipulate any move in the straps to be at your level. Say you are doing a TRX Bicep Curl facing towards the anchor (the piece that the straps are connected to in the wall). Your arms are fully extended and you’re curling them up to your ears and slowly lowering back down. Now the trick to make it just right for you is feet position.

If you move your feet towards the anchor (wall) you’re putting more of your weight into the straps making it harder, and if you move your feet away from the anchor (taking a small step back) you’re putting less of your weight into the straps making it easier. Little movements are always key.

TRX whole body straps workout

I sometimes have clients that come to my class and think the straps look intimidating but once they understand they can manipulate their feet to create whatever difficulty they would like it makes a world of difference.

The back to basics simple strength moves that become more intense is where it’s at! Don’t even get me started on all the amazing TRX Ab Moves, We’ll save that one for next Wednesday!

I hope this helped explain a bit, and if you’re really intrigued I would love to see you in my class Monday nights 5:30pm Mission Portsmouth.

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren

Looking to be challenged a bit? Check out my at-home workout!


How To Thrive In Your Hustle ( & Love Every Minute Of It)

Book Letdown

Oh my goodness! I have been waiting to post all about this motivational interview for quite some time. Today I bring you Author, Lifestyle Coach, & Podcaster Katie Corcoran. Katie and I met {funny enough} through social media and we instantly connected on our hustling ways. Katie had just put out her {amazing} book all about hustling & I was in the depths of working 2 jobs and going to school full time.

Basically Katie’s book was an uber positive note that struck a cord with me in the best way. While I was struggling working tons, blogging on the side and going to school full time Katie’s book was teaching me how to thrive in those everyday struggles that most women deal with on the reg.

Ok enough about me! without further Ado I give you badass lady hustler Katie Corcoran…

BL: Hi Katie! Introduce yourself to Blissfully Lively readers.

KC: Well hello there Blissfully Lively readers. I am thrilled to say hello to you today. My name is Katie Corcoran and I am a Lifestyle Coach, Podcaster, “Lady Hustler,” Author and work in Influencer Marketing.

BL: How did you get started in Lifestyle Coaching?

KC: I started my coaching journey as a health coach actually and was certified from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2013. Shortly after that I was coaching clients one-on-one through wellness and nutrition, but realized I really neglected to listen to some of my own coaching “guidelines” and found myself over-worked, stressed, partying in NYC {just a bit too frequently}, and was often stuck in a mental state of self-sabotage.  It became quite challenging for me to listen and help others work through the struggles of “finding their way” when I, in fact, felt like a peer. So I paused the coaching and set out to further examine how other inspiring women find and maintain a healthy life balance in the “hustle” of our busy-ness. And I did that by writing my first book She Makes It Work: A DIY Guide to Thrive in Your Hustle.

BL: Your book She Makes It Work: A DIY Guide to Thrive in Your Hustle is amazing, I seriously couldn’t put it down. What made you want to write it? Is there a story behind it?

KC: Thank you, and yes absolutely! After questioning hundreds of friends and people about how they find “balance,” I selected 21 to share some of their tips and tricks in my book and I call them the Lady Hustlers. Being that I couldn’t seem to find a comfortable answer for myself, it became important for me to seek advice and perspective from numerous, trusted sources around me.

BL: You seem to live a super positive lifestyle how do you thrive in your hustle?

KC: First and foremost, I whole-heartedly believe positivity is a choice. I have days and moments where I feel out of sorts and, on the inside, just am the farthest from positive. But I have to remind myself that the thoughts and feelings will pass and I often check in with my basic human needs. Have I put nutritious food in my body? Have I had enough water? Have I fit in some sweat time? Have I slept? If any of those are out of sorts, I really begin to have what I call “adult tantrums,” and just sit feeling sorry for myself. So generally it only takes a day or so to get back in alignment and get myself on track when I address those needs first. Then on to the bigger thoughts!

BL: What does a lady hustlers day look like?

KC: Great question! A Lady Hustler’s day is filled with an acronym I created called the T-H-R-I-V-E concept. She’s thoughtful toward others and herself, she incorporates a bit of hustle to feel productive and accomplished, she commits to residually grow every day through ingesting positive content, she also knows her story is important and she has the power to inspire others, she knows and honors her value and, lastly, she feels empowered to make decisions for herself. But for this Lady Hustler there’s no day I can’t go without a good workout or some movement time, that always seems to snap me back into action {real quick}.

Katie Interview

BL: Do you have any tips for people looking to live a healthier life?

KC: This may sound simple, but put in the work. Don’t think about doing the work. Just do it. I so often hear people believe old truths about themselves–like truly believing they are active–but really just enjoy wearing some cute yoga pants and recalling a time in their lives where they were more active. One step a day equals 30 steps a month and 365 steps a year. It’s remarkable!

BL: What’s the number one take away from your book?

KC: My hope is that readers feel reminded that they are exactly where they need to be today. I had a lovely reader tell me her big “ah ha” from She Makes It Work was that she wanted to read it to find “answers,” but instead discovered all the answers are in her power to choose. And, honestly, that’s what I learned too. We all have our own definition of balance. We are all just making “it” work for us, and have to just be comfortable with trusting the process.

BL: I know you recently started a podcast called Badass & Bare, what do you guys chat about?

KC: Yes! my co-host Andrea Hood and I started Badass & Bare at the beginning of 2016 and concluded Season 1 with 24 episodes and tens of thousands of listens — which was slightly unexpected, but totally awesome! We started the show to help inspire women in flux to feel badass in her own power and to tune into our weekly ear candy. Honestly, for Season 1, we just kind of rolled with it and did what felt right at the moment. But, Season 2 will be more structured and will cover elements of relationships you have with yourself. Think a personal relationship with money, humor, community, and more! We are thrilled and launching in September.

BL: Who is one person you look up to in your field of self help?

KC: Elizabeth Gilbert is big for me right now. Her book Big Magic really helped me better understand how to embrace my creative and I often think about passages and stories in her book when I’m in a place of struggle or growth. I also adore her Oprah Soul Sessions Speech called “Flight of the Hummingbird – The Curiosity Driven Life.” It is out of this world and worth every minute of the 30-minute watch!

BL: What do you hope people take away from your book, podcast, or coaching?

KC: To trust your gut and just own your inner lady hustlin’ badass.

I mean woah! Don’t you feel like from just talking to Katie you want to give yourself a swift kick in the ass to improve you life? I know I do! If you loved the interview and want to connect more with Katie follow her Instagram and check out her website.

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren

 

Looking for a way to kick your ass into Lady Hustlin’ gear? Check out my full body workout.

 

 


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