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 ❤

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 ❤

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 ❤

Monthly Planning With Erica | April Goals

Upcoming Plans for the Month of April

April showers bring May’s flowers. But, will we ever be able to enjoy our Spring or Summer this year? With the majority of States in America encouraging all citizens to quarantine at home it’s hard to imagine what the month of April will bring.

As I sit here and plan out my goals for the month of April, I am trying to be optimistic. Hoping that this pandemic will disappear and fade out as quickly as it swept across the nation. With the majority of businesses closed as a result of local shutdowns, I will be taking this time at home to re-focus on some area in my health and lifestyle that I want to improve.

For the month of April– I will be focusing on:

  • Eating fresh
  • Be more intentional in reading food labels
  • Core strength training

Eat Fresh

I have made a change in how I shop over the past few weeks. My focus is on buying fresh fruits and veggies. Not only is this more cost efficient but eating fresh has a lot of benefits.

10 Reasons to Eat Real Food:

  1. Loaded with important nutrients
  2. Provides vitamins and minerals to support your health
  3. Low in sugar
  4. High in fiber
  5. Improve skin
  6. High in healthy fats
  7. Contrains antioxidants
  8. Supports gut health
  9. Improves dental hygiene
  10. Reduce sugar cravings

On Monday I prepared a zucchini spaghetti, substituting noodles for zucchinis. This is a great low carb dish. And did you know that zucchini has a lot of nutritional value? Zucchini has the following vitamins: vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folic acid. Zucchini also contacts antioxidants. Compared to your basic refined pasta noodles, which are higher in calories carbs, lower in fiber, and most other micro-nutrients. Zucchini is a great replacement and a good source for incorporating more vegetable servings in your meals.

Read Food Labels

How many of you actually read the ingredient labels before tossing an item in your cart? Food labels provide imporant information. By reading food labels it can help you make better and more controlled decisions regarding your diet and intake of high sugary foods. It is also imporant to understand what the recommended serving size is for that particular food.

Ingredients are also important to pay attention to when reading food labels. Take a look below and compare the ingredient list for a jar of peanut butter and almond butter.

Since when did peanut butter need all of those additives? This Wegman’s brand of peanut butter is simply NOT peanut butter. It contains: Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Contains Less than 2% of Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (Rapeseed, Cottonseed, Soybean), Salt, Molasses. My goal is to eliminate additional sugar, hydrogenated oils, and soy out of my diet.

While, Targets Good & Gather Creamy Almond Butter contains just almonds. This is definitely a healthier option if you are looking for a nut butter. Almond butter is a great source for vitamin E, magnesium, copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and phosphorous. Also, it is a excellent source of monounsaturated fat, protein, and fiber which supports heart health.

Core Strength Training

For those that have been following my blog you know that I enjoy yoga and pilates. Well, I came across an article on the blog, Lorieb a few days ago titled, Planks Still the Best Exercise. The article highlights the benefits of incorporating planking into your exercise routine.

I read this article after being tagged by my husband on Instagram to participate in a push up challenge. My attempt to do a push up was a epic FAIL. It was at that point when I told myself that I am going to focus more on core strength training.

Forearm planking is definitely a good way to engage and strengthen my core. Planks have been proven to help with and alleviate lower back pain. Back pain is something I suffer from since I sit down at my desk the majority of the day. Aside from assisting with alleviating back pain, planking tones your abdominal muscles. This is something all of us women who have bore children can benefit from. This is a exercise that should be done routinely and often, if not daily.

Plank when you wake up. A few minutes while watching television. Plank before bed. For my morning meditation I am going to wake up and set a timer to plank for at least 5 minutes starting out. When mediating you are already focusing and quieting your mind to align with you body. I truly believe that planking will add great value to my meditation practice. Starting off my day with a good workout, and warming up my muscles for the day ahead.

What are your goals for this month? Please share in the comments and let’s hold each other accountable.

-Erica ❤

Working out at Home while America is Social Isolating

Gyms are closed. How are you coping?

Hydro Jug Promo Code: BLOGLIFEWITHERICA10

Gym is closed? Everyone is social distancing. No worries. You can still work out at home. In a generation where everyone has exclusive gym membership let’s not forget that you can work out from home. Honestly, working out at home is the healthiest and safest thing to do at this time. And for the majority of us working out at home is our ONLY option at this time as states continue to make decisions to shutdown all non-essential businesses with hopes of better managing the spread of COVID-19.

How I am coping through home workouts:

Last night, I started back up with my home workouts which consist of a balanced combination of pilates and yoga. I incorporate strength training- working my core muscles, and meditation. I get the best results out of my workout when I use my resistence bands and light hand weights.

Pilates

Pilates has really helped me through guided movements and strengthened my ability to control precise movements with repetition. The primary focus when doing pilates is all about posture, alignment, and movement. You must focus on each movement, while staying present and intentional. I feel like I have full control when practicing pilates. Since practicing pilates I have improved my posture and strength.

Yoga

Yoga has also helped me in building my strength, as I challenge myself with holding each pose. This type of workout is really good at warming up your muscles and improving flexibility and range of motion. With practicing yoga, comes meditation. The intention is “savasana” to gradually relax one body part at a time. Clearing the mind and fully surrounding to the movement. Through yoga meditation it allows you to focus on your breath breathing in and out. This technique is used to calm the mind and relax your body. Yoga is all about the mind-body and spiritual connection and must be continuously practiced.

Working out at home | Hydrate | My Hyrdo Jug

Working out at home may not seem as intense as going to the gym but it can be just as intense and effective. So do not forget to stay well hydrated. Drink water before, during, and after your workout. I have really committed myself to drinking a minimum of 8 glasses (64 oz) of water per day which is the daily recommended.

I find that I am most successful with meeting my daily water intake when I have the right water bottle. The right water bottle has to be big enough to hold the right amount of water for me to drink in a day. I have had some ‘ok’ water bottles that look cute but simply did not hold enough water. I find this to be a major inconvenience. And lets face it if something that you are trying to be a habit is inconvenient– you are simply going to fail at doing it.

There has been too many days when I would not drink nearly as much water as I should because I chose to leave out the house with the wrong type of water bottle. Ultimately, I set myself up for failure. So, when I researched and found a jug that holds 73 oz it immediately sold me.

Purchasing my Hydro Jug was the best thing I could have possible done. Each day I know that I have to finish my jug and I will have exceeded my daily water goal.

It’s super convenient and doesn’t require me to have to purchase water and refill my bottle throughout my day unless I consume more water than average. Another cool thing about Hydro Jug is the super cool sleeves and carries you can purchase to hold your water jug, making it even easier to tote around throughout your day.

The carriers gives you a neat place to store your phone and keys. This is especially helpful for gym days (in the future). I have even incorporate my Hydro Jug in my home workouts by using a full jug as a weight as I squat, similar to a kettlebell.

Please check out the many different colors available.

If you would like 10% off your purchase, please do not forget to use my promo code:

PROMO CODE: BLOGLIFEWITHERICA10

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:

What is the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)? | The Need to Know | Healthy Hygiene

What is COVID-19?

The novel coronoavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of the coronavirus, which has been newly discovered. Unlike, the coronavirus that has commonly circulated among humans and has resulted in mild cold like symptoms; the novel coronavirus is a severe respiratory illness. This virus is reported to have developed in Wuhan, China, where the first cases have been identified and documented (CDC,2020).

Observations of Transmission:

This particular strain had not been previously identified in humans and is suspected to have been transmitted from a live animal to human, causing a rapid spread of the virus through person-to-person contact. This outbreak has spread so rapidly that it is considered a community spread virus, highly contagious.

COVID-19 is suspected to be spread between people who are in close contact with each other (about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets (cough or sneeze). These droplets if inhaled or lands into the mouth of others nearby can be inhaled into your lungs creating an exposure (CDC, 2020).

Best Practices to Minimize Exposure:

It is best to avoid public and closed in areas until more information is collected and gathered regarding this virus. It is possible that one can become infected by touching surfaces.

The World Health Organization has the following advice for the public regarding protecting yourself and others from getting sick (WHO, 2020):

  • Wash your hands frequently (at least 20 seconds)
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Practice respiratory hygiene: cover your mouth and nose, cough or sneeze in your bent elbow, dispose of tissue promptly
  • Clean and disinfect surface areas frequently
  • Seek medical care early: if you experience fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, or if you have reason to believe you have been exposed through contact or travel

COVID-19 Cases in the United States:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2020)
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2020)
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2020)

Treatment:

Currently, there is no antiviral treatment available or recommended to treat COVID-19. However, if you suspect that you have had exposure or are having any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, or shortness of breath – please be advised to contact your healthcare provider immediately or contact your local health department. Although, there is no antiviral treatment for this virus, it is advised to receive supportive health care treatment in order to support vital organ function (CDC, 2020).

Higher Risk:

Those with underlying health conditions and age which all contribute to a weakened immune system are at an increased risk if exposed. This risk applies to all viruses, and should be noted when comparing and reviewing the data of those who impacted by the coronavirus and seasonal flu.

Recap:

We all must do our part in responding to this emerging health threat by taking the necessary steps to reduce the spread of this virus. With it still being flu season it is recommended that if you are sick to seek medical attention and stay home from work or school.

If it can be avoided do not visit public areas where you place yourself at risk of infecting others or further hindering your illnesses. If you can postpone travel that is also advised. Be mindful that with travel (via airplane), air is being circulated in a closed and confined space and this is a contributing factor to the spread of airborne viruses, further increasing your exposure.

COVID-19 vs Seasonal Flu:

Continue to implement and encourage healthy habits with yourself and family members. We must treat all viruses with high alert and severity. Data shows that we have had a greater impact of hospitalizations and deaths related to the seasonal flu, compared to the coronavirus.

Data reports that the “new coronavirus has led to more than 89,000 illnesses and 3,000 deaths worldwide. But that’s nothing compared with the flu… In the U.S. alone, the flu has caused an estimated 32 million illnesses, 310,000 hospitalizations and 18,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)” (Rettner, 2020). [link to article]

Continue to use precaution and take all the necessary steps to keep yourself well and healthy. As more data is collected I will continue to blog on this issue and source any new information or findings in the coming weeks.

Have a happy Wednesday!

Erica ❤

References:

CDC. (2020, March 1). 2019-nCoV Frequently Asked Questions and Answers. Retrieved March 4, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

Rettner, R. (2020, March 2). How does the new coronavirus compare with the flu? Retrieved March 4, 2020, from https://www.livescience.com/new-coronavirus-compare-with-flu.html

WHO. (2020). Advice for public. Retrieved March 4, 2020, from https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Matcha Green Tea Review |Health Benefits

I am sure many of you have seen matcha green tea pictures flooding your social media feeds. Matcha is so popular that it has made the menu at Starbucks and other local coffee shops. Much of the popularity is due to many health benefits. Notable heath benefits from the consumption of matcha green tea include: high antioxidants, boosts brain function, helps prevent cancer, help protect liver, promotes heart heart, and aids in weight loss.

You may be wondering, “Exactly… what is matcha?”. Matcha, much like green tea comes from the camellia sinensis plant. The process for the harvesting of matcha tea is pretty interesting and involves covering the tea plant for 20-30 days before harvest in order to avoid direct sunlight. This process then increases chlorophyll production which aids in increasing the amino acid produced by the plant. Physically this causes the plant leaf to darken. Once harvested, the leaves are grounded into a fine powder (matcha powder). Despite only the leaves being grounded up into powder, matcha contains all of the nutrients from the entire leaf. This causes for a higher caffeine content, compared to to traditional green tea.

I personally love green tea. Green tea is always refreshing and I definitely would describe matcha green tea as a refreshing beverage, particularly when iced. If you are looking for a morning boost, without coffee- this is the drink for you. I must say that if your taste buds are like mine, it will take a few sips to get adjusted to. The initial taste is very earthy. I ordered a grande iced matcha green tea from Starbucks just to see how I would like it. Ordering a grande was a good idea. Matcha green tea is great but is not meant to be consumed in high quantity. I did sip on my grande all morning and I honestly felt more alert and clear minded.

This drink is like a human power booster. I don’t normally like to try new things but I am satisfied that I did. This year, 2020 I am working on trying new things as I continue to improve my health and well being.

Please share with me in the comment whether or not you have or will try matcha green tea. If you have tired it, tell me your thoughts. Do you like it? Who has the best matcha?

I am also interested in what brand you buy for those who make their matcha green tea at home.

Drop a comment with your favorite or local coffee shop.

BLWE ❤

DAY 6: The “Cutting” Struggle is Real | Starbucks

Sorry, not sorry...

The verdict is in-

I absolutely have to have my iced coffee or vanilla chai tea from Starbucks. One thing that I love about Starbucks is the option to add sugar free flavors to my drink. My favorite sugar free syrups include: SF Vanilla and SF Cinnamon Dolce. Opting for a sugar free sweetener is a better choice for flavor if you are seeking to eliminate excessive sugars and calories from your diet.

I know I made a commitment to refrain from coffee over the next 30 days but I enjoy coffee entirely too much. Plus, hubby has started drinking Starbucks iced coffee again and I absolutely love our weekend coffee dates.

(What have you found to be the hardest item to cut out of your diet over the course of the next 30 days? Is it a specific food, sweet, or beverage? What appeals you about this particular item? Does it make you feel good? Describe the feeling you get when you consume it.)

Iced coffee excites and jolts me with every sip. I honestly feel like after I consume my coffee I am capable of conquering anything ahead of me for that day. I definitely would say that the caffeine makes me feel good. Also, the flavors are delicious!

If you enjoy Starbucks and are looking for a low carb beverage I will list a few of my favorite drink options below that are “keto-friendly”.

Starbucks Keto-Friendly Drinks

Iced Coffee: Iced Coffee, heavy whipping cream, SF vanilla, SF cinnamon dolce

Caffe Mistro: Caffe Mistro, 50/50 heavy cream and water

Low Carb Americano: Americano, heavy cream

Comment below if you would like for me to create a post specifically for low carb Starbucks drink options.

Choosing to live a healthier life does not have to be torture. It all starts with having the discipline to make better choices. I am here to support you as I continue on my journey to health and wellness.

FLWE ❤