Life With Erica: Fitness Update

We have made it through another yet another holiday… social distancing. What better way to social distance other than adventuring out into the great outdoors? There’s no better way!

Exercise

This weekend was filled with a lot outdoor adventures and trails, both paved and unpaved. I have set a personal goal to walk/run 3 miles per day. And this past weekend has pushed me off to a great start.

Bull Run Battlefield

Diet

Aside, from incorporating walking and running into my daily exercise routine I have been focused a lot on my diet. Consuming high protein and high fat. My breakfast, lunch, and dinner has remained consistent for the past week. For breakfast I will eat 2 boiled eggs and 2 slices of bacon. Typically, I will eat the same thing for lunch and add in some greens (kale). Finishing up with a Cobb salad for dinner. In the past week I have noticed so much improvement in my overall health and energy levels. The stomach bloat that I was experiencing is gone and I have not had any cravings.

SNAP Supplements

Supplement wise, I have been using SNAP Keto Advanced Weight Loss Aid which is made from 100% pure coconut oil, MCT oils & BHB salts. This aid has really helped suppress my appetite and speed up my metabolism as I reset my body. Along with the Keto Advanced Weight Loss Aid, I also use SNAP Keto Detox which is a advanced cleaning blend that flushes out toxins and improved digestion. These supplements can be purchased together as part of the SNAP Keto & Detox Bundle (FREE Keto Meal Plan) included.

I initially purchased these supplements as a 30 day jump start to get back into the groove a ketogenic lifestyle. Honestly, I think I will be sticking to this supplement combo after 30 days. Anything that can curve my cravings is worth keeping into my regimen. I have been so disciplined and it feels great.

Home Workout Program

With gyms closed you may find yourself making more excuses than ever to not workout. Do not fall into the trap. There are so many programs available to you from home that can really spice up your home workout. I am currently on Day 8 of Total Body 21 (Round 1) 21 Day Program. With this home workout program by Total Body 21 I have gained access to workouts hosted by Leticia Gardner. Total Body 21 Round 1 is geared to train you to use effective fitness methods and diet plans in order to manage your weight and tone muscles. No equipment is necessary for this program. And it is designed to get you moving! With access to a new workout video each day, you have 21 days to break all your bad habits when it comes to your health and fitness. A bonus to this program are the meal plans that are provided to you, and many other resources. This program is tailored to help you develop new healthy habits for eating and incorporating working out into your daily routine.

If you would like to learn more about the Today Body 21 programs available, please be sure to check out their website: https://totalbody21.com/index.php. Trust me when I say that you will find a program that fits your needs and goals.

What is your exercise, diet, and home workout consist of? Please share what is working for you and what is challenging you at this time. We all can learn so much from each other.

Later this week I plan to blog about some of my favorite youtube fitness gurus that have and continue to inspire me. Please like and comment below if this is a topic you would be interested in reading more about.

Thank you for reading.

Erica ❤

Food Relationships & Cravings

Why do you eat food? Is it for satisfaction, nurture, or simply because you want to? The answer that you have for this question completely determines where you are in your health and wellness journey.

I have been in a place where I simply eat because I wanted to. Whether it was something that I loved and was addicted too (candy and soda) or I ate for satisfaction of a craving. Typically when we get cravings for food it is for food items that are high in sugar and fats. Ultimately, this will make maintaining a healthy and balance diet a challenge.

You may be wondering what causes food cravings? There are a few different factors that can cause food cravings such as imbalances hormones (leptin and serotonin). Generally, when you are craving something it your body telling you that something is missing.

Check out this food cravings chart provided by http://www.stepintomygreenworld.com to get a better understanding of your cravings, what you need, and what you need to eat instead.

As I grow in my relationship with food I have become more in tune with my body and the nutrients that it requires. My relationship with food is to eat to nurture. For the last week I have been eating a high fat and protein diet and as a result I feel full longer. This has completely curved my cravings for snacks.

Here is an example of what my daily meal plan consists of:

Breakfast: Egg Whites, Green Tea w/ Heavy Cream

Lunch: Ground Turkey, Sauteed Kale

Dinner: Ground Turkey & Cauliflower Rice or a Cobb Salad

Snack: Strawberries w/ almond butter or sunflower seeds (if needed)

Along with my planned meals I also drink 1 gallon of water a day. If I do want to enjoy something other than water I will drink tea (unsweetened) or green tea (unsweetened) w/ heavy cream. My biggest focus when it comes to health and wellness is to eat REAL FOOD. If you focus on eating real food, you really do not have to worry about consuming too many sugars or carbs. Real food is not processed.

If you are struggling with eliminating or reducing sugars or complex carbs out of your diet I would recommend for you to try to incorporate meals consisting of meats and vegetables. Refrain from any artificial or processed foods. This is the easiest and simplest way to get on the right track when it comes to living a healthier life.

Share with me your relationship with food in the comments below.

Erica ❤

Motivational Monday: Overcoming Distractions

Virginia Beach, VA

Hello Readers,

It has been about two weeks since my last post. I am back off of a hiatus. Have you ever found yourself feeling in a “rut”? Hold up, before you answer that question let me explain to you what it is to be in a “rut”. To be in a “rut”, is to be settled in a habit. Particularly a boring habit. It’s getting off track and growing comfortable in that habit.

An expression used to describe being in a “rut”, is having a wheel stuck in a groove in the road. This phrase is used often to describe a state of being. This phrase accurately describes how I have been feeling. And it’s been for no apparent reason, other than I simply didn’t feel inspired to blog. During the past two weeks I decided to take a slight break from social media.

Social media is a great way to connect with others but too much connectivity can cause a bigger disconnect in other areas of life. Do not allow social media to become a distraction to your life and goals.

Today I want to talk about distractions and how you can overcome distractions in your life. I really believe that distractions are what causes people to fall into a “rut”.

The average person is distracted or interrupted every 40 seconds when working in front of their computer.

Harvard Business Review

This means that basically when connected to social media or working from a computer, you can’t focus for a single minute before becoming distracted with something else. Once your attention derails, it can take up to 20 minutes to regain focus on your initial task.

Why do we cling to distractions? As humans our attention span is attracted to respond to elements that bring us either pleasure or fear.

The main way you can overcome distractions is by incorporating strategies that can assist with mitigating the distractions in your life. It’s all about setting boundaries and expectations for yourself.

Create a distraction free zone/ritual

Living in a world filled with distractions, the first step is to place limits. Create a distraction free zone. There are a few areas within my home that I have designated as my distraction free zone. Those areas include:

  • Bedroom
  • Dining Room
  • Home Office

When I walk into any of the above rooms I do not bring any distractions with me [iPhone]. My iPhone is something that I would consider to be my biggest distraction. From pings or vibrations I immediately get the urge to reach for my phone to check my notifications.

During moments when I really need to focus time to a specific task I will utilize the do not disturb feature on my iPhone and/or simply leave my phone in another room; in order to reduce distractions. If working directly from your computer close out any unnecessary browsing tabs/windows and sign-out of all social media accounts. This will deter you from stumbling off task while working online.

Set daily intentions

Setting daily intentions will allow you to have a clear understand and visual of what you need to focus on each day. Writing out your daily intentions is a great strategy that will encourage you to work with a greater intent, and focus on priority items.

Decide on the best time that works for your schedule in which you can make a list of your daily intentions. I personally choose to set my daily intentions the night before. This allows me to plan for the day ahead, while waking up with a clear understanding of what tasks I need to accomplish by the end of the day.

Tasks on my daily intention lists are only tasks of high priority. Any task that does not have priority should be listed on a separate list. I highly suggest to keep your daily intention list short. Maybe, commit to three daily intentions. You do not want to lose focus on high priority items that can potentially set you back on deadlines. Setting priorities for your daily intentions is crucial to your success in overcoming distractions.

Focus on difficult tasks first

Distractions often occur because we aren’t feeling challenged enough. Based off my daily intentions and task lists I find myself to be more productive focusing on difficult tasks first. Once I get into a groove, I begin seeing results. Results encourages me to keep working even harder.

If you are focused on challenging and difficult tasks you will not have room for distractions. Distractions only fit into your schedule if you make room for them.

The Distraction Equation:

busywork + less challenging work = greater opportunities for distractions

Set deadlines

Sure, you can devote your day to working on a task. For example, looking ahead into your week you can declare Saturday as your day to declutter. Assigning a task to a entire day is a huge MISTAKE. This does not set boundaries or limitations. And often, this approach will cause you a great deal of anxiety to complete a task with no real bar set on the expectations of the desired results.

Instead, set boundaries. Creating deadlines will allow you to set boundaries and limitations. Rather than vaguely stating Saturday will be the day you will commit to declutter, set a timer and give yourself a set time to complete the task you have chosen to complete. For example, on Saturday I will spend 30 minutes decluttering each room in the house. Whatever, is not completed in that time frame will then be done next time. Limiting the time you give yourself will encourage you to really zone in and focus on the task.

My recommendations will not eliminate distractions in your life. But, you can use my recommendations as strategies to overcome the distractions presenting in your life. You have the ability to change and take charge over the distractions in your life. Now is the time to get out of the “rut” you have been in. If one of your wheels is stuck in a groove in the road- NOW is the time to step out and give yourself a push. The path is still set for travel- get your wheels moving- leave that “old” raggedy groove (bump) in the road behind!

Erica ❤

May Goals: Carpe Diem

A friend once told me that time is something you can never get back. So that means we must make every second and moment in our life count. Spend your life doing all of the things you want and enjoy. We cannot get back time missed. We will have enough time to rest and sleep when we die.

Carpe Diem (Translation: Seize the Day!)

Poet Horace

This Latin aphorism is used to expressed the urge to make the most of the present time and give little thought to the future. For we do not know what the future holds. My plans for this month is to fully seize each day. This means being intentional with my time. I will not over consume myself with busyness or daunting tasks. I will focus on 5 things that I would like to incorporate into my daily schedule, in order to bring joy to my daily routine.

Daily Walks

Walking is one of my favorite ways to distress. It’s something about being outside breathing in fresh air, feeling the wind up against your face that is so refreshing. Walking immediately boosts my mood. Particularly, I really enjoy early morning walks when the dew is still in the air. Daily walking is also a great way to maintain a healthy and balanced weight.

Here are some ways to stay motivated when committing to walking daily:

  • Set yourself up for success by setting simple goals. For example, committing to walking 10-30 minutes on your lunch break is a great start.
  • Make walking enjoyable. Listen to music or an audio book to past the time.
  • Vary your routine. Walk outdoors and switch up your routes. Find a local park or trail to walk with different scenery. Invite friends or family to join you on your walk.
  • Don’t stress over missed days. If you miss your daily walk- try again the next day. Remind yourself how much better you feel after walking. This reminder will be sure to motivate you to stay on track.

Commit to Self-Reflection

Self-reflection allows us to gain a better understanding of our emotions, strengths, weaknesses and driving factors. For this month I want to dive a little deeper into myself and I plan on doing this by keeping a gratitude journal for 30 days.

Writing down daily all of the things I am grateful for is important in order to focus my energy on appreciating and giving thanks to others. This is a great way for me to focus daily on the positive things in my life no matter how big or small.

Study a New Language

I really would love to learn French. I am inspired to learn this language as traveling to France is on my bucket list under places to travel. Studying a new language can be a daunting tasks but with practice I believe that it can be a fun new learning experience.

I am not a big fan of learning through reading. So, when I learn about a app called Duolingo I decided that I would set some time aside to focus on learning a new language. For this month I plan to withdraw some of my time from scrolling social media and instead open Duolingo to practice my French.

 I have heard so many good things about Duolingo, which is a fun and interactive way to learn a new language. With Duolingo you have access to personalized learning and receive immediate grading. One thing that I really like about the Duolingo app is how you earn rewards. You earn virtual coins that unlock new levels as you master new words, phrases, and grammar. I am all about making learning fun and this is a great way for me to work on studying a new language for this month.

Pay It Forward

Have you ever had someone pay for your coffee or morning breakfast? This has happened to me on more than one occasion and it’s a great feeling. Paying it forward is when the recipient of an act of kindness does something kind for someone else rather than simply accepting the good deed.

Something as small as paying it forward for the next person in line a great way to brighten someone’s day. To freely give to someone without any expectation of it being repaid back. You never know how your good deed can change or impact someone’s circumstance for the better. This month I am planning to pay it forward for someone else whenever I am in the drive thru during the month of May. I am challenging YOU to do the same!

Morning Meditation

Meditation should be performed on an empty stomach. It is recommended that meditation is performed at least four hours after eating, making morning meditation the best time to practice since you are still fasting. Each day during the month of May I will wake up 10 minutes earlier to stretch and meditate for 10-15 minutes.

My morning meditation will begin with stretching for 2-5 minutes before getting out of bed. Maybe a cup of tea to get me settled and comfortable. I will observe my breath and speak words of affirmation. Acknowledging all thoughts that cross my mind and releasing all negative thinking back into the universe. Ending my mediation with prayer before I step out into the world.

~

I hope reading my May goals have inspired you to work towards accomplishing something great and positive this month. Focus on you, so you can give back to yourself and others through kindness and gratitude.

What are you goals for the month of May? What strategies are you using to help accomplish your goals? Comment below 🙂

Erica ❤

Hubble Contacts Review

After seeing countless ad’s on Instagram for Hubble contacts I decided to take Hubble up on their current offer, first box of Hubble contacts for only $1 [click here to take 30 second FREE quiz]. It’s not too good to be true. I only paid $1, no additional fees for shipping and handling. My order arrived in a little under one week from placing my order.

My contacts arrived nicely packaged. Hubble is known for providing affordable daily contact lenses. What sold me on this brand is that Hubble contacts advertise that they provide both all-day comfort and sharp vision. I have tried multiple contact brands over the years, Acuvue, Air Optix, Bausch & Lomb, and Dailies just to name a few.

They all have been similarly uncomfortable and caused me to have frequent eye dryness. After multiple attempts at wearing contacts I had given up on wearing them, due to the lack of comfort in the brands I previously tried. Yet, Hubble was convincing enough for me to give contacts a try again.

I have been wearing Hubble’s daily contacts since Sunday. Each day I wear them on average between 8-14 hours. Immediately on the first day when I put them on I noticed how they fit so precisely and are so comfortable that it is easy to forget that I even have them on. I really like that these contacts are made out of a hydrogel material, containing 55% water content, UV protection, and a thin edge. These contacts are perfect for anyone who engages in extended screen time.

Hubble was created to offer people high quality and affordable lenses. I am so thankful that I decided to give Hubble a try. Now, I am able to toss my overly worn monthly contact lenses that I shouldn’t be wearing. Did you know that over wearing your contact lenses can cause severe eye damage? But, sometimes over wearing your monthly contact lenses is a reality due to cost. With Hubble, this bad habit does not have to be your reality.

Hubble makes it easy by providing you with a daily contact lens subscription. You never have to worry about anything, just sign up and in a few days your contacts will be delivered right to your door. It’s hassle-free and if you are like me and care about your environment. Rest assured that Hubble packs their contact with 100% recyclable materials.

Share with me in the comments your experience with wearing contact lens. What do you look when comparing different lens brands. Is comfort a concern for you? Have you tried Hubble before? Comment below.

Erica ❤

Motivational Monday: Enjoy the Little Things

Happy Mondayyyy!

Another fresh start to a new week and new goals.

For this week let’s shift our focus and priority on enjoying the little things in life. Although we are still facing chaos within our community as the virus still spreads, we must turn this sad situation into something positive.

Adhering to stay at home orders and guidance from local government can be challenging and simply depressing. I am sure many of you can agree that this season that we are facing is taking a toll on our mental health. Staying inside can derail your everyday activities and turn you into a couch potato.

I highly recommend for you to keep a schedule and pick up a hobby. With cancelled plans and vacations, you have more time to devote to something you enjoy and love. I have decided to buy some indoor plants to liven up my home space and add some greenery to my life. Plants are great and have many benefits. Some benefits include: stress reducer, improve air quality, and helps lower background noise.

Heartleaf Philodendron & Devil’s Ivy

I decided to pick out two tropical foliages for my home. Foliage plants really add a fresh of breath air to your home. They are extremely attractive and are very low maintenance to care for. On the left is a Heartleaf Philodendron and on the right is a Devil’s Ivy.

This past weekend I began doing a lot of research on indoor plants and care recommendations. I came across a very helpful youtube channel, Planterina. Amanda Switzer, is a plant expert and I really enjoy watching her videos on Planterina. I have learned so much about the essentials that plants need to grow from water, nutrients, air, water, light, temperature, space, and time.

In the coming weeks I will be expanding my plant collection and I have also been contemplating whether or not I want to plant a outdoor garden of seasonal fruit and vegetables. Continue following for updates in the coming weeks.

Please share in the comments if this post has inspired you to add a plant to your family. Maybe, even post a picture of your new plant or any other plants you may already have at home. What are your favorite types of plants?

I would also appreciate your help in helping me name my two house plants above. Comment your name recommendations below. Until Wednesday… enjoy the little things (plants) in life.

Erica ❤

Thank You Crocs for Honoring Essential Frontline Workers | Free Pair of Crocs for Healthcare

When I first heard the news that Crocs was giving away a free pair of crocs to healthcare workers I thought it was too good to be true. I achieved this opportunity into the back of mind and went on for a few weeks without logging online to inquire more about it.

Last week one of my coworkers made an announcement that she was preparing to log on to get in line ‘online’ to claim her free pair, as part of the Sharing a Pair for Healthcare campaign. With her reminder… I said well why not? There is nothing you can lose, it doesn’t hurt to log on and give it a try. The first day I logged on and waited in line I was not picked for a pair. A few days later I decided to log on again and give it a try. I was actually successful this time around.

After waiting for about 30 minutes I was thanked for my request and received notification that I made the daily limit, and secured my free pair of Crocs. Followed by this confirmation was a message from Crocs:

Thank you for everything you do, day in and day out, but even more so in these difficult times.

Your Appreciative friends at Crocs

Crocs, a company that receives a lot of business and support from healthcare workers giving back to the healthcare community in a time of need is amazing. I have never seen such a company give back to their largest group of customers in a way that Crocs is doing now. With your free pair, Crocs is even covering shipping cost. You do not have to come out of pocket with not a dime!

I am grateful for Crocs, their shoes are comfortable and are easy to clean. Having easy to clean and disinfect shoes are important during this time. It makes it so much easier to bleach wipe them down at the end of each day before bringing them back into your house.

After placing my order I received my shoes in a few days. There was no delay in shipping despite their massive orders. You do not get to select your color, orders are filled based on availability. Yet, I absolutely love the Classic Clogs Ice Blue [Retail Price: $44.99] Crocs that I received.

If you are a healthcare worker please take advantage of this opportunity and request for a free pair of Crocs as a thank you for your service on the frontline of COVID-19 on behalf of Crocs. To request for your free pair visit Crocs- Sharing a Pair for Healthcare. You can get in line each day at 12 pm ET for your free pair.

Erica ❤