What’s in your cart? $30 of Healthy Groceries

Happy Monday! I’m finally recovering from the whirlwind week last week, and getting back on schedule! It was great to spend time with my family, and celebrate my mom’s birthday. We went shopping, seriously, and one of our favorite places to shop is this retail chain in NC and SC called “Hamrick’s”. It’s amazing. Their merchandise selection keeps getting better and better, and this weekend, I’m proud to say that this bargain hunter walked away with a badly needed new pair of ballet flats, a date-night top, a pair of Marika leggings…and a really adorable spring top for (drumroll) $32ish! And the best part: the leggings were only $5!!!!! Micah just got a job closer to home (only 2 miles!) and we’ve been doing 21 Day Fix which is Ah-mazing. I’ve had tummy troubles like IBS my entire life, and the symptoms were GONE by the 3rd day. This is a program we’ll be doing again and again! But you can check all that out on my blog’s 21 Day Fix page. 🙂
This post has been long in coming, but it was inspired by the plethora of people in my life who love to say: “I can’t afford to eat a healthy diet.” Well, good news, you can. I went to the grocery store today, just for you and picked out some amazing foods that are staples of a healthy diet. The best part, I only spent $30.09 for the food pictured below. Through the years, I’ve encountered a lot of people who have heard how important it is to follow a healthy diet, but don’t have any idea of what that means. Let me explain this to you. You need a variety.

What you’re looking at is: 12oz. fresh broccoli
                                            7 bananas
                                            2c. mozzarella cheese
                                            1lb. ground chicken
                                            2 cans no salt added corn
                                            4 cans reduced sodium black beans
                                            2 cans dark red kidney beans
                                            roasted, unsalted peanuts (Make sure there are no added ingredients.)
                                            roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds (I usually buy raw, but they were out.)
                                            1 bag of radishes
                                            2 giant heads of romaine lettuce
                                            1 lg. tub of greek yogurt
                                            1 ginger root
                                            2 bulbs of fresh garlic
I can hear some of you saying where’s the fudge rounds…? Let me explain this: treats are treats…I’ve seen buggies in the store that have about 70% junk food 30% real food. This is where their money is going. They complain about being addicted but have junk food all over their house. Don’t get me wrong, a treat is ok, but if you’re eating a treat everyday, then it’s no longer a treat, it’s part of your diet.

Now to debunk some common misconceptions about healthy eating:

Myth 1: It costs a fortune. You do not need to buy everything organic! I know people that use the cost of organic as an excuse…really? The only ones to be careful about are the dirty dozen, according to my husband, who has a biotechnology degree, and studied what pesticides actually do. Buy in season, and locally, if possible, there’s a reason that this is really popular right now…because it’s cheaper. Buy in bulk. Get another family to go in on the cost of a crate of a particular food. you’ll both benefit from making a healthier choice. Grow your own herbs, instead of paying $3 every time you need fresh rosemary.

Myth 2: I don’t have time. If you’ve never heard of a crockpot, then I suggest that you acquaint yourself with it. This is how I worked 5 jobs and still ate healthily. All is takes is 15 minutes. You actually will spend more time driving somewhere to a drive-thru to eat a much less healthy meal.

Myth 3: Healthy food tastes bad. Trust me, we make some delicious stuff at our house, chili, protein cookies, etc. I had PF Chang’s-inspired clean chicken lettuce wraps for lunch….nom, nom. We don’t eat cardboard. You don’t need all that added junk. I looked at the label for corn meal the other day and 9 out of 10 brands had added wheat flour. We’ve duped ourselves into thinking we need all those fillers, like MSG, bleached flour, modified food starch, but we’re wrong.

Myth 4: I’ll still be hungry all the time. If you’re eating the right portions, the right calories for your activity level and getting enough protein and fiber, that won’t be the case.

Do some research? How healthy is your daily food intake, really?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Julie

This week’s Post: Friday Five

This week: it’s been a little crazy…ok, maybe very crazy, but I have to say, I’ve finished the week stronger than I was when I started. Micah’s grandmother fell and broke her shoulder Sunday night, and then fell again Wednesday, so I’ve been a little preoccupied. I’ll be posting the strength training tutorial of the week this weekend. Since it’s fitness Friday. I thought I’d take a moment share 5 reasons that I exercise, and maintain healthy habits. Sometimes, it’s good to take a step back and reflect on why we do what we do.
1. To gain discipline that I never had before. If you learn to master your health, and your spiritual health, you can become displined in every other area of your life.
2. To feel healthy. I really don’t ever care to look like a runway model. Starvation is not the key, proper nutrition is. When you feel healthy, your outside will show it.
3. To be a better wife, aunt, friend, and daughter and employee. I’ve struggled with anemia, and hypothyroidism for awhile now, and if I didn’t take the time and resources to invest in myself, I would never be able to keep up with all that goes on. I have the energy to do my job, take care of others and serve. People can hate on Maria Kang all they want, but if she’s anything like me she works out to take care of her three sons. It doesn’t take hours in the gym, just 30 minutes. My butt got kicked today in a 30 minute workout.
4. To manage stress. Ladies, I’m talking to you…take all that energy and time you waste thinking about what will never happen and take time for you. It can be one minute of jumping jacks at a time. But seriously, your hormones and your mind will be more balanced.
5. To be able to say, I can

 …what’s holding you back?

See you soon!
Julie

Friday 5, Giveaway Winner, and Strength move of the week!

Hi Everyone!
It’s been a fun week, and trust me, I’ve been enjoying the snow holidays for all their worth, because the last time I saw snow like this in the Carolinas was in 1992! Micah and I  and our adorable German Shepherd, Orion, played in the snow for quite awhile, and the best thing was watching Orion trying to “fetch” snowballs. HAHAHA My dog loves to entertain! I thought it would be appropriate to list 5 things I did in the snow, well, here they are. My brave husband has over a 30 minute drive, and he gave me a scare, when it took him 2 hours to get home driving through the snow, but when he got home, he had a red rose for me! What an awesome man I have!

For my Friday Five, I thought it would be appropriate to list 5 things I did in the snow, well, here they are.

1. Snowballs! Our dog thinks it’s fun to “fetch” back a piece, so, we’d toss them up in the air, and he’d go for it!
2. Fixed a really yummy Santa Fe soup recipe
3. Planned my first fit club for 21 Day Fix! (It’s going to be so much fun!)
4. Lots of workouts!
5. Clutter removing…I’m doing the 40 Days = 40 Bags of Clutter challenge

I’m changing subject rapidly, but I feel like I have a lot of ground to cover.  Last Friday, I hosted a giveaway for a Mash Up Conditioning Tempo Dvd….is (drumroll please) Courtney Fields! Congrats Courtney! Thanks for visiting the blog, and I hope that you’ll continue to do so in the future!

Now, onto the strength training move of the week: the squat. This is an essential move, and it’s super important that you start out with the correct form, because trust me, it’s tough to correct improper form on a squat, I’ve had to do this with many clients. The good news is, it’s doable. Today’s challenge is to do 1 minute of the squats described in this video. Pick a squat style, then go for it. Think quality, not quantity. Some extra pointers: 1. Keep your abs engaged throughout the entire movement, and exhale as you stand. 2. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement and pause for 2 counts. This will help prevent squats from hurting your knees.
Squats are important for your metabolism in general, think large muscle groups burn more calories, and it’s a functional movement. SO without further ado, here it is. The squat!

This is my first video tutorial, and I’d love your feedback!

Have a wonderful Friday! Stay Warm!

-Julie

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Fired Up and Ready to Go!

Here I am writing to you now…Micah and I have really gotten fired up this weekend! My heart is full! There’s a lot of reasons, but a very big one is that our band, These City Walls, and Micah’s dad’s band are joining together to form a canned food drive for CUOC, Christians United Outreach Center, a local ministry that has fallen on tough times. Because 33% of children in Randolph County are food insecure, we felt led to do something. This post is not to make us or our band, These City Walls, hyper-spiritual sounding, but the more people that help, the better, and trust me, we can’t do this by ourselves!   James 2:15-16 says, “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” The concert proceed, non-perishables will go toward feeding the hungry in our community! It’s not about the money, honey! Please spread the word as we prepare for this event. Times are tough, but that doesn’t mean we can’t spread hope for the broken. 
Okay, So that’s my Monday morning soapbox.  

It was great to have such a refreshing weekend, and to get to spend time with my husband, I must confess, I’ve had a few problems, with dreaming big the past couple of years, but not anymore. I don’t want to waste my life wondering what I could’ve done with it. We went swing dancing Saturday night in Winston Salem and I got to dance more last on Saturday than I have in years! So much fun! I even got to dance with one of the teachers, and he said I did great! Man, was I on cloud nine! My sweet husband knew that going swing dancing would be just the thing for us to get away and just let our hair down. I’ve got a full writing docket the next couple of weeks, but I’m super excited that I get to use this gift so much, because that’s what it is, a gift. Just like our bodies are a gift. Why waste time, tearing them down, when we can build them up? When I was dancing, I was so glad that I strength train, because we were doing Lindyhop, and let me tell you Lindyhop is no joke! So, don’t waste time procrastinating with your fitness goals!!!! Now, I love fitness, but I don’t live for fitness. I stay fit so that I can live a healthy life, and serve God and minister to others. Oh and here’s a vid of the “Shim Sham”. It’s the Cupid Shuffle of swing dance. lol!
Happy Monday!


Oh, and By the way, today is my first link-up, so share the love and help our your fellow bloggers!Oh and you can still enter to win the Mash-Up Conditioning dvd today!

Friday Five and MashUp Conditioning dvd giveaway!

Hi everyone well, today is Friday 5! This week, I’m sharing 5 new awesome opportunities, I’ve been provided with this week! Find 5 good things that have happened to you this week and comment below. There’s so many crazy things going on in the world that sometimes we need to detox our minds. Philippians 4:8 “If there is anything praiseworthy or of good report, think about such things.” So take a break from all the drama, and count your blessings!

1. I was chosen to take part in a study regarding audiobooks and exercise. 🙂
2. I just found out Monday that Kidstunes (my real job) wants to begin working on community classes in order to bring movement and music to more children! 🙂
3. I’m a Beachbody coach!
4. I’m going to be sharing my story on website, and will be guest posting on 2 blogs in the upcoming weeks!
5. My husband and I sing and play in a band that will be doing a canned good drive for CUOC (Christians United Outreach Center) in Asheboro in a couple of months! I love giving back and helping people

If you deal with a lot of stress or depression, as I have in the past. A great way to move past it is to give back to someone else!

Oh and here’s the giveaway you’ve all been waiting for! Girls Gone Sporty provided me with this opportunity to review a fitness dvd from Mash-Up Conditioning. I loved working out with the Tempo dvd! Each of the 7 workouts contains 5 minute of strength, 5 minutes HIIT, and 5 minutes of mind/body exercise…Micah and I were huffing and puffing after the 1st 5 minutes! I teach hour long tabata classes that are intense, but this was intense and showed modifications for all fitness levels. Stacey and Jamie have some pretty impressive credentials, and the workouts are fun easy to follow, and best of all, you’ll be breaking a sweat in no time! I love the exercises they used, there are fresh and challenging exercise combos, and for those of you plyo people, this is a great dvd for you! The more advanced modifications include plyo, but the beginner variations are suitable for healthy pregnant women! There’s something for everyone!

Here’s the giveaway information!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a wonderful Weekend!  

Workout Wednesday: Pilates Core Tightener

 Ok, so you’ve been hearing about this announcement that I’m making…Well, I’ve decided to become a beach body coach! This was a big decision for me, and it will allow me to maintain my clients from other facilities that I’ve worked for in the past. I’ve been really blessed with the opportunity to participate and lead a challenge group for 21 Day Fix, beachbody’s newest program, and I have to tell you that as a personal trainer, this is legit. It deals with portion control, and daily habits. I’m very excited and can’t wait to take part in this!!!! Beachbody also has an online meal planner that you can use with any program, not just their programs, with lots of healthy recipes. This will free me up to do more motivational things with clients and classes! But this blog is not going to turn into just a plug for Beachbody. It’s about my journey, and while I love following programs. I want to share my story. There will be a separate page on the blog for 21 Day Fix (Along with before and after pics of me!) But I will still post my own material and recipes and thoughts to share with you about fitness in general. The purpose of this blog is to educate and inspire you, whatever fitness path you choose! 

Oh, and there’s going to be a blog giveaway on Friday! It’s a fitness dvd by Mash-Up Conditioning. Girls Gone Sporty provided the opportunity for me to work with the owners of this brand! They’re super cool and sent me a dvd to review, and let me tell you, it’s good stuff! 15 minute workouts…I mean come on! who doesn’t have time for a 15 minute workout, with minimal equipment involved? The workouts are beastly to, but also shown with modifications for every fitness level! This will be happening on Friday so keep your eyes peeled on the Facebook page! 
Here’s a sneak peek! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2uuDyVKQxU

Today, I’d like to provide a relaxing, yet challenging pilates routine, that will improve your flexibility in your hips and core. The point of this workout is not to be sweaty…It is to reconnect your mind with your muscles and aquaint you with how your body works. Your mind is very important to your workouts, and a study from the University of South Carolina Upstate (in my hometown!) states that participants experienced up to 26 % more muscle growth when they thought about the muscle they were using in a given strength exercise. These are some of my favorite pilates exercises, and you will definitely feel this workout. Remember to exhale forcefully on the exhertion of each repetition!

Curl-Ups: Pull your navel to your spine as you lie faceup with feet flat on the floor. Slowly roll one vertebrae at a time until just your shoulders are lifted. Hands are behind head with tension between your hands and head to support your neck. Roll backward slowly. Repeat.

Bridges:Lie face up with feet on the floor, navel towards spine. Squeeze glutes and press into heels to lift hips off of the floor. Hold for 5 counts at the top then slowly lower. For Leg touch downs: Keep hips lifted extend leg and lift into the air with leg extended lower down towards floor and lift. Repeat. Do this exercise slowly, and avoid if you have a weak back. 

Tabletop: Sitting on the mat, place hands on the floor just behind you and feet on the floor just in front of you.
Press through hands and feet and lift hips toward the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds. 

Mod. Side Plank with leg lifts: Prop onto your elbow, or a Swiss ball for more challenge. Keep your knee below your bottom hip, like a camera tripod. Maintaining this position, lift and lower top leg slowly.

Swimming: Lie on your stomach, navel drawn in. Arms in front of you, legs behind you. Exhale, and lift arms and legs, then inhale as you slowly lower arms and legs. Look below, not in front.  To make it easier, only lift arms, and prop a pillow under your hips. DO not hyperextend.

I love workouts like this to give my muscles and my mind a break, so put on some relaxing music, and go for it! The graphic’s below! have a wonderful Wednesday! 🙂