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 ❤

Mountain Nesting | A Weekend of Isolation: 5 Things to Do While Isolated in the Mountains

The world has been dealing with the rapidly spreading coronavirus for weeks now. As more testing is made available, the number of those infected continues to rise. Not only America, but the entire would is in panic.

Bread, toilet paper, and water still remain out of stock in many stores. Schools and local libraries are closed. Restaurants have closed their doors to the public. All American’s have been advised to quarantine for 14 days and practice social distancing.

What better way is there to practice social distance other than running to the mountains? There is no better way for us.

Blue Ridge Mountains

Being a Virginia girl myself, home for me lies within the Blue Ridge Mountains. Beginning in Carlisle, Pennsylvania… stretching all the way to Mount Oglethorpe, Georgia, a total of 615 miles. Trailing through the following states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. Mount Mitchell is the highest point along the Blue Ridge, with an elevation of 6,683.

A weekend nestled away in the mountains is exactly what the doctor recommended for social distancing. Being able to wake up to the sounds of birds chirping, a perfect view of the sun rising, and no traffic since you are miles away from the city. It’s just what we needed and the kids love it when we stay in the mountains. It’s our home away from home, aside from the beach.

What to do while in the mountains

There’s no need to utilize the do-not-disturb feature on your phone. Phone service is nonexistent at this elevation. This weekend gave me time to do the things I enjoy and love with no distractions.

Things to do while in the mountains:

  1. Catch up on reading- Setting time aside to read can be so difficult when you are constantly distracted by notifications from social media, and or surrounded by things to do at home. When I am at home there is always something to do, an item to put back, clothes to be washed, and dishes to be put away. When I am in the mountains there is always time to read and the hours of the day seem longer so I honestly am able to get more reading done with limited distractions.
  2. Study your bible- Use this time for quiet time with God. Set aside time in the morning or evening to pray and open your bible. Study the word. I enjoy using my Bible app to follow daily devotionals.
  3. Play Board Games- Confiscate all electronic devices and bring out the board games. Isolation with family, kids specifically calls for board games. As we disconnected ourselves this weekend, it stretched to the kids as well. We replaces electronic devices with board games like Trouble, Pictionary, and Candyland.
  4. Enjoy Nature- Take a walk and simply breathe in the fresh air. My favorite time to enjoy nature and take a walk is in the morning as the sun is rising, when the dew is still in the air. With each breath I inhale and exhale.
  5. Gather Inspiration- I was able to gather inspiration from Liz Marie Galvan book, Cozy White Cottage. Liz’s blog has given me so much inspiration as I redecorate our home to fit a more rustic farmhouse decor. I recently purchased her book and decided to take it along with me this weekend so I can read through her 100 ways to love the feeling of being at home. So, far her book is amazing and is a easy read. She even includes some D.I.Y to get you started. I have mapped out my next project.

I hope each of you are practicing social distancing and isolation during this time. Don’t look at this as a punishment. Use this time to refocus and cleanse your mental. Catching up doing the things you enjoy and love.

This time will soon pass. Until then, continue to take precautions, practice good hand hygiene, and respect the space of others. Be mindful when making purchases and do not over-buy. Be considerate of the elderly or just others who may need what you are purchasing a excess of.

I pray that each of you remain healthy and safe.

Erica ❤

Surviving COVID-19 in America | The Media | Grocery Shopping Horror | American Panic & State of Emergency

The Media

We are now months into the COVID-19 epidemic and with each day we Americans are losing more and more of our common sense. This is all a result of the media’s coverage and scare tactics. I honestly have protested turning on the news in our household. If you turn your television on BEWARE to be absorbed into the COVID-19 scare frenzy.

Yes, COVID-19 is a serious and airborne virus. However, if we all take the necessary precautions (hygiene) we can stop feeding this virus. The problem is we are taking the proper measures. Proper measures include: postponing travel, social distancing, washing your hands, and covering your cough.

People are so stuck on not wanting to postpone travel that we are growing the virus. This is why it has traveled so quickly to so many continents since starting in Wuhan, China. People have done nothing but spread it, and at a fast rate. Those who are traveling should stay in place. If you have traveled, despite having symptoms or not- self quarantine for 14 days as a precaution. Your decision to continue to travel and socialize in public is impacting the public health and safety of yourself and others.

I repeat… even if you do not have symptoms but have traveled- self quarantine for 14 days as a precaution to yourself and others. Take the precaution and practice healthy habits of social distancing. Keep a meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and others. Wash your hands and sanitize often. Refrain from touching your face and mouth. Cover your cough. It’s just that simple. Do everything you would (should) do if you had the common cold, hygiene wise.

From a healthcare standpoint, you are still advised to continue with your 14 day quarantine even if you begin to have symptoms. You are only to contact your doctor if your symptoms severely worsen. It is at that time when arrangements will be made for your to be tested for COVID-19 and arrangements made to receive a higher level of care at a medical facility as deemed necessary.

Right now, people are over reacting and requesting for testing from the onset of the slightest and mild symptoms. This has done nothing but waste resources, as the CDC has been working to obtain more testing kits. People are also running to the hospital, creating more exposure and maxing out resource usage on an even broader range. Hospitals are to capacity. If you can self-manage at home it is highly recommended.

Grocery Shopping Horror

I do not think anyone has a answer to why everyone is buying a year supply of toilet paper and food supplies. This is a virus, not a world disaster. And even if COVID-19 was the end of the world to human existence, all of the supplies Americans are stocking up on will not be able to save them.

I went out last night to do my normally weekly shopping and I shelves were wiped clean. I had planned on meal prepping spaghetti for this week. However, I could not find any tomato sauce, after visiting my local Wegmans, Harris Teeter, Food Lion, Trader Joes, Walmart, and Target. Thanks a lot America.

My husband and I couldn’t even locate a single pack of baby wipes. We were thankfully able to buy our necessities, and we have enough wipes to manage. I feel so sad for any older citizens who may need a gallon of milk, dozens of eggs, and a loaf of bread. All of those items were out of stock. People are really not thinking about what they are doing and the effect their decisions and actions are having on others.

There is absolutely no need to over supply yourselves. In talking to another shopper who was an older gentleman, probably in his late 70’s, he shared that never in his lifetime has he seen a grocery store so ransacked. Not even for hurricanes or any other weather disasters, have people prepared to this extent. For those who are purchasing 30+ gallons of milk I hope you have sufficient plans to use it all and not waste it.

I guess the puzzling part for me about this grocery shopping frenzy is that people are still not self-quarantining. So, what is your purpose?

Even, for those who are quarantining for 14 days if you did run out of food and do not have family or friends who can bring you something to your door there are so many services you can use that offers home delivery of goods.

Or, we should copy the measures Italy is doing…

2020 Italy Coronavirus Lockdown

We should be following after Italy and ordering for quarantine of America if we want to really take back control over COVID-19. Italy is gaining control by limiting public movement. Italian residents are only able to leave their homes for food and medicine. And only one person from each household is able to go the grocery store.

We are more at risk by traveling in large crowds at the grocery store. In Italy those who are working and visiting the grocery store are gloved and masked. Everyone is practicing social distancing. Schools and work has been suspended until further notice. There are multiple checkpoints lined up throughout Italy to ensure everyone is adhering to the lockdown in place.

American Panic and State of Emergency

Mostly, every state has declared a state of emergency. Counties have announced school closures for the duration of two weeks to one month. However, not many jobs have closed. Federal government employees have been authorized max telework, if applicable to your position. But, what about those who do not have that as an option, or non-federal employees? Are these measures really protecting the public health and safety?

As, I am typing, a CNN headline just came across my phone that France’s Prime Minister has just announced new measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus in Paris. It has been declared in France that all restaurants, cinemas, and clubs are to close due the coronavirus. I don’t think this is a bad idea at all. We must stop the spread by limiting movement with the United States. Everything must close down. It’s extremely hard for me to envision this in America.

I am thankful that our President Donald Trump is making decisions to restrict travel in and out of the United States. However, I think it should be a stricter travel ban and this decision should have been made early on from all countries not just Europe, UK, and Ireland. I read earlier this morning that possible domestic travel restrictions are being discussed. I think this is very necessary. Sorry millennials who may be forced to cancel your $100 roundtrip tickets to the Islands. Public health and safety first!

Yet, with these measures in place there are still some issues we are facing. County schools restricting children to stay home is impactful. But, have we considered the number of parents who are essential healthcare workers? Essential healthcare workers who are caring for, diagnosing and treating COVID-19 patients daily. I am not sure what we can do. With each positive case, those who made contact must be quarantined for 14 days.

For those children of essential healthcare workers, the contact is being made and when schools reopen, those children will migrate once again with their fellow classmates. I am not sure if there is a solid solution to prevent the exposure and spread of the virus, despite any of the cautious methods of preparedness we agree to implement.

~

We are facing a challenging epidemic. But, let’s not lose our sanity and common sense. New information is constantly being developed.

Continue to:

  1. HANDS Wash them often
  2. ELBOW Cough into it
  3. FACE Don’t touch it
  4. FEET Stay more than 3 feet apart
  5. FEEL sick? Stay home

Use your resources. If you have any questions seek advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, or your local health department.

Helpful Information

Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus:

The McKinney’s Weekend Adventures: Grocery Shopping, Family Time, and Library Fun

Finally, a weekend filled with beautiful weather! Hubby and I woke up early on Saturday morning and completed all of our grocery shopping for the upcoming week at our two favorite grocers, Wegmans and Lidl. Grocery shopping has been something we now do together but independently since we both are following two very different diets. I plan on writing a post in the near future going in to more detail about our diet differences and how we grocery shop and plan our meals. In brief, Andrew follows a strict no carb diet and I, in contrast follow a low carb diet. I focus primarily on portion control and reducing sugar consumption in order to manage and maintain my weight. I have altered my meals slightly to incorporate more carbs because I am pregnant but in small portions.

After grocery shopping we spent the remainder of Saturday with family and enjoyed a mini pre-summer cookout. As you can see from the picture above crab legs was on the menu. I definitely enjoyed my crab legs. I have been craving seafood lately in my pregnancy and the majority of the meals I prepare have had some sort of seafood in them. Despite, my cravings for having less than 5 weeks left until Jr. arrives I think I am maintaining my weight and figure well. The only place I seem to be growing is right where is should (my belly). Jr. definitely will be packing on more weight in the coming weeks as he prepares for his arrival into the world.

Today is Sunday, and we made our weekly weekend visit to the library (Abby’s favorite place). Together, we are working to complete 100 books before Kindergarten. Our local library actually has a reading list available that we have been following. Abby is doing a great job in checking books off her list. I am positive we will have exceeded reading all 100 books and more before the start of Kindergarten in the Fall.

Once we arrived back home from the library I immediately began my meal prep for the week. Now, everything is packed and ready for the week. Hubby spent a short time searching for my breast pump in storage and to his success was able to find it. That was the last item we needed to locate in order to be prepared for Jr. I refused to have to purchase a new pump. I am so grateful that Andrew was able to locate my breast bump and all of my supplies/equipment.

As Sunday comes to a close, I hope all of my readers have a blessed and successful week ahead. Remember to take some time out before bed to review your calendar for important events and tasks. Be sure to also reflect on your goals- new and current.

FLWE ❤

Date Night with the McKinney’s

Date Night with the McKinney’s

Just making it in after a wonderful night out with Hubby. We had tonight planned in the books for some weeks now and definitely have been looking forward to it. When you are married with children it can be more challenging to set time aside for you and your spouse but it is very necessary and is not impossible. Plan something and make it happen.

I literally woke up so excited this morning about our planned evening ahead of us. It’s funny how after all these years I still get butterflies when it comes to him. It felt great to get off work and meet my husband for a couples massage. I was gifted a prenatal massage from my sister for my birthday earlier this year. For Andrew I purchased a Groupon for a deep tissue massage for our anniversary this year and it was great that we were able to use both of them in conjunction for a couples massage.

My sister had previously shared with me about her prenatal massage experience at Natural Healing Massage Services in Alexandria, VA and highly recommended it for me. I am so grateful for her gift and really enjoyed my experience. Most specially, I am happy I could share this relaxing experience with Hubby right beside me as he received his first professional massage.

Natural Healing Massage Services
Alexandria, VA

Natural Healing Massage Services was local and parking was convenient. Upon our arrival we were greeted with warm welcomes. The facility was clean, and relaxing from the moment we walked in. Soon after arriving and completing our paperwork we both were greeted by our Therapists, Arian and Hope. After a brief introduction we were walked to our room which was set up romantically.

My Therapist, Arian was amazing! Very knowledgeable and skilled. During the beginning of our session she made me feel very comfortable by talking to me and building a relationship. She inquired about my areas of concerned. At 30 weeks pregnant I told her that primarily it’s my lower back and hips that are causing me the most discomfort.

After some small talk she left me to doze off and enjoy my session. As she would move on to another portion of my body I would wake up to adjust as needed but my light nap was much needed and it was all thanks to her touch. Arian made sure she focused on my areas of concern and this session was very successful in relieving tension for me.

Hubby’s Therapist, Hope did an amazing job as well. He left feeling relaxed, as she was able to work out some knots in his upper back and neck area. He had tension in areas that he did not even realize. We definitely will be returning soon in the coming weeks. I highly recommend Natural Healing Massage Services in Alexandria, VA. If you call to schedule please be sure to tell them that Erica sent you.

Carlyle
Arlington, VA

After our couples massage we had reservations at the Carlyle in Arlington, VA for dinner. The food was amazing and did not disappoint. I enjoyed a crab cake platter with a side of cauliflower mash and fries. I really enjoyed that they served shoestring fries because I really dislike fat fries. Hubby ordered a hanger steak with cauliflower mash, and bacon brussel sprouts. We both throughly enjoyed our meals and time together at dinner.

Yogi Castle
Arlington, VA

Of course, what’s dinner without desert? Nothing… absolutely nothing. Hubby convinced me to try frozen yogurt. A few blocks down there was Yogi Castle, a ice-cream and frozen yogurt shop. I didn’t realize how many options they give you when you build your own cup. I am telling you there were too many options to chose from. After a few minutes, I finally decided on strawberry and euro tart yogurt. For toppings: strawberries, pineapples, and chocolate chips. This was a perfect desert option since I have been craving something fruity.

As the night is coming to a end… today was another great date night in the books for us. I am blessed beyond measure to have such an amazing man to call my Husband and he is an even more amazing Dad. If you are reading this Andrew- know that you are loved and appreciated more than any words could ever express. I look forward to spending the rest of forever with you.

FLWE ❤