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Being healthy and physically active is something I take great pride in. It’s not necessarily all about appearance, even though looking good is great, but it’s a lot about how I feel on the inside. For me, there is nothing like an amazing workout, a good night’s rest, and a healthy, delicious meal. Those three things make me feel like a content human being. I want to share my easy tips on how to look and feel great!

Sometimes I feel like a walking contradiction. I love being healthy and feeling healthy, but I have my vices just like anyone else. I definitely know how to throw a few back and when I’m doing that I tend to smoke an occasional cigarette. What can I say… I’m from the South. I know, it’s horrible, but I’m being completely honest. Nonetheless, I know when enough is enough and when it is time to get healthy again. We have all heard that working out is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety, and it couldn’t be more true. I love the feeling of accomplishing a strenuous workout, especially when the last thing I feel like doing is working out. I encourage you to try to squeeze in a workout even after a super long day at work. You will feel so much better- mentally, emotionally, and physically. Depending on my mood, my go-to workouts are either super strenuous like a cardio, kickboxing class or more calming like yoga. Both have their amazing benefits and help me feel so much better afterwards. If you need a little extra motivation to get off the couch and get your running shoes on, follow some of the hottest celebs on Instagram. One look of envy and you will be out the door. Some of my favorites to follow for inspiration are J-Lo, Natasha Oakley, Kim K, and Beyonce. The point is, just do what you gotta do to relieve stress in a positive way and get some physical activity into your daily routine.

Sleep is my best friend. I love and appreciate a good night’s rest, but unfortunately, I don’t get one every, single night. The recommendation is 7-8 hours of sleep but many people only get about 5-6 hours- including myself. Β I use to make sure I would get at least 7 hours but lately it has been hard with work. The thought of not getting enough sleep makes me want to cry. Sleep is so important when it comes to our mental and physical health. Did you know that people tend to gain more weight if they are sleep deprived? It’s true. Think about it, when you are tired and in need of sleep, you most likely reach for extra cups of coffee, soda, a donut or two, or maybe a bag of chips, right? Our bodies are craving energy so we use food to supply us with the energy it needs. Refined sugar and carbs are the automatic go-to. Plus, you are less likely to work out when you’re super tired, so your body will slowly begin to gain weight. What if you don’t gain weight easily because you have a “thin as a rail” body type? You will still look tired and have ugly bags under your eyes. Sometimes when I’m feeling tired I will look in the mirror and it’s as if fine lines and wrinkles have already taken over. If 6 hours of sleep is the best you can do, give your skin some tlc and apply a good moisturizer morning and night along with hydrating eye cream. My two faves are Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Water Gel and the Hydro Boost Gel-Cream Eye. Both of these products will perk up your skin on days when you haven’t gotten enough sleep, you are hungover, or just dragging ass. I look at my facial products like botox in a bottle.

Lastly, a delicious, healthy meal is something I enjoy so very much. For me, there is nothing like cooking a home-cooked meal with fresh ingredients to create something special. Eating is one of life’s pleasures so why not eat good? So many people settle for crap food because they are either too lazy to cook something for themselves, don’t know enough about nutrition and eating smart, or simply just don’t care. If you fall into one of those three categories and you are a happy person eating that way, then more power to you. However, we truly are what we eat. The food we put into our bodies plays a huge role on how we perform every day. This is why it’s so important for kids to have proper nutrition because their little growing brains need it. The difference between American school lunches and school lunches in other parts of the world is tremendous. It’s ridiculous and astonishing what is given to young kids in this country. If we start teaching young children the importance of proper nutrition now, diabetes and obesity statistics would decline. Fortunately, new standards regarding kids and their school lunches have been put into place. Now, it is simply about putting those new standards and guidelines to good use. Above all, I encourage everyone to get into their kitchens and create a good meal. A good meal doesn’t have to be fancy or time consuming; just use fresh ingredients and be creative. If you have kids, encourage them to get in the kitchen and cook with you.

Everyone has their “thing” or “things” that make them feel good inside. It’s the simple things that make me feel like a happy person and I feel as if I can be a better person if I do what I need to do to feel good. We have to take care of ourselves before we can take care of anyone else. I’m genuinely a people-pleaser, but I can’t please anyone if I’m feeling unhappy. If you need a little self-renovating, pick up a new hobby, take a yoga class, get some natural sunlight, drink more water, eat a big salad, do whatever you must do to be happy. Smiling and laughing is the best medicine.

 

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