How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Being healthy is probably one of the most important things we can do to better our mind, body, and soul. The food you put into your body has such an effect on your physical and mental health and the way you begin to view the world. The largest misconception about eating healthy is that it is very expensive and the food does not taste good. My friends, this is a total lie. Not only is the food delicious, but it costs just around the same amount or even less as the unhealthy food.

A lot of people hear the word healthy and automatically think that the food you are consuming needs to be “organic”. This is false. “Organic” does not mean healthy, organic only means that there are pesticides or antibiotics in the product. If you think about it, why would you spend $3 more dollars just for an organic product when the majority of the time you are not consuming the part that was exposed to the pesticides. For example, you are not eating the skin of an avocado which has been deemed “organic”, you are eating the inside part. Tip of advice on “organic” products, the product is only manufactured from 100% organic products if it is labeled “100$ organic”. Otherwise, the product can be less than 70% organic.

Wegmans is my go to place for finding delicious food that is inexpensive. I somewhat have an advantage because my mom loves shopping there and she cooks for me occasionally. On the other hand, I do enjoy cooking healthy and delicious meals for myself and feeling good about the food I am consuming. Wegmans always has coupons and amazing deals that you can use and receive bonus points to get dollars off! Wegmans offers consistent low prices and continues to lower their prices.

On the nutrition side, Wegmans has healthy recipes on their website that are easy to follow and taste delicious. Their recipes tell you all of the nutrition information along with the ingredients and products you will need which are available right in their store. Wegmans also has what is called “EZ Meals”  that are fresh prepared meals that are ready to cook without any prep work  or cleanup. Another favorite thing of mine that Wegmans offers veggie noodles. The veggie noodles are made from your choice of  zucchini, butternut squash, or sweet potatoes! They are a great substitute for regular pasta and taste even better in my opinion.

P.S. I hope that you guys are now more informed on just how easy it is to eat heathy while still on a budget! Get cooking.

Balancing friends, family, & a love life

In a world where our lives are determined by the people we surround ourselves with, the people you spend your time with are very important. The majority of us are trying to balance the time we split between the people in our lives. For most of us, theses people include friends, family, and your significant other. With work and school taking up the most of the time in our daily lives, it’s hard to figure out who you are going to spend your leftover time with.

This is a struggle that I too often deal with in my life. I am always questioning if should have a girl’s night with my friends, go to a movie with my family, or have a date night with my boyfriend. This decision may seem like a no brainer to some of you, but for me, I am always trying to be a people pleaser. I want everyone to be happy and I want everyone to get the time and attention they deserve. I want to spend time with everyone because all three of these types are people mean everything to me.

Instead of thinking to yourself, “what can I can do to make other people happy?”, think “what can I do to make myself happy?” This may seem selfish but in all reality you are living your life for yourself, not for anyone else. You are given one life, and the goal of that life is happiness, not pleasing everyone else but yourself.

My advice to all of you is that if you feel like ditching that girl’s night to hangout with your mom/dad do it. If you don’t feel like spending time your significant other than tell them you need a day for yourself. If you don’t wanna do a family night this week than go do something that makes you happy. Life is all about balance. Balancing your time between the people you care about. Not everyday or every week is going to be the same and that’s the whole point. One day your gonna want to spend the whole day with your significant other and some days you just wanna lay in bed and watch movies with your mom. Either choice is fine and either choice is yours.

The take away today is to not let people dictate your happiness. You life is dynamic and unique and that is what makes it fun. If you are ever struggling with balancing your time between loved ones just ask yourself, “who is going to make me happiest today, who is going to bring out the best in me today?  Everyday is different and everyday you are given the opportunity to go out and decide who is going to make you laugh and make you smile.

P.S. Switch it up every now and then, if you hung out with your friends last weekend, plan a date night with your significant other this weekend. It’s all about balance and all about your happiness.

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Smoothie Recipe for Busy Mornings

Hi there! I want to thank everyone who has been reading my blogs and keeping up with the content I am posting on Tuesday’s and Friday’s. I am happy that my tips and personal experiences are positively impacting your everyday busy, but balanced lifestyles!

So many of us are rushing in the mornings and trying to get out of the house on time. This leads to many of us being inclined to either skip breakfast or just grab a bagel at the local coffee shop. I would not advise doing either of these two things. Skipping breakfast in the morning actually lowers your metabolism and can actually make you hungrier and sleepier throughout the day. Even though a bagel toasted with butter sounds like a good idea, it is pointless carbs that are not filled with any fiber and doesn’t have nay nutritional value.

Today I want to talk about this super easy smoothie recipe that you can make it under five minutes. It is perfect for those mornings when you are in a rush to get to school or work. It is also a great alternative to skipping breakfast or just grabbing something that does not provide any nutritional value. My go-to smoothie in the morning consists of: spinach, pineapples, mangos, strawberries, bananas, low-fat yogurt, a splash of apple juice, and your choice of protein if you want! I like to call this smoothie the “green morning machine”.

Here’s what you what you will need for the smoothie:

  • 1 cup of spinach
  • ¾ cup frozen or fresh mangos
  • ¾ cup frozen or fresh pineapples
  • ¾ cup frozen or fresh green apples
  • ½ of ripe banana
  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt (sub protein power if you would like)
  • ¾ apple juice (sub water if you would like)

And wa-lah. You have a green smoothie that is made is under five minuets that tastes amazing! Your smoothie new smoothie recipe is made from healthy ingredients that will give you energy and help you feeling full throughout the rest of the morning.

P.S. You can’t even taste the spinach!!!

Finding Time for Working Out

For many busy people like myself, finding time to squeeze in a workout is very difficult. Most of the time we are running to school and then to work or from work to home to our families. It never seems like there is enough hours in the day to get in all the homework/paperwork and also exercise. I find myself having to choose to write a paper or go to the gym. I feel as if I am having to compromise doing something that makes men feel good and happy for something that I am forced to do, such as going to work or studying.

After a long day, it can be hard to find motivation or time to squeeze in a workout. What I have come to realize, is it doesn’t always have to be that way. When most people think of the term “working out” they think of something that has to be two plus hours long. This is not the case. Working out for me is all about doing what your body needs. For some people this might be a long weight lifting session at the gym but for others it is only a quick run/walk around your town.

The whole point of exercising is doing it because you want to feel good, not because you feel as if it is something forced. Whenever someone makes something forced in your life, it is going to make you not want to do it. Think of it as studying for a test, because you know you have to do it, you are NOT wanna do it. But then in the other direction, you can think of it as going shopping, because it is not forced, you are then more inclined and want to do it. When I think about the term “working out” I think of it as something I look forward to because of the happy feeling I get afterwards from endorphins being released.

It is important that you are not working out because you feel forced from the pressures of society. It is something that is meant to bring more joy and happiness to your life than stress. The more you begin to focus on yourself and your own personal health/fitness goals, the more you feel good and motivated. It may be a slow process at first, but don’t give up. Find 10, 20, 30 minutes in the day that you can dedicate to better yourself and your soul. Do it because you want to, not because you have to.

p.s. taking the time to better yourself each and every day will greatly improve not only the body, but also the mind.

 

 

Making Workout Clothes Fashionable

As a lover of both the fashion and exercise worlds, I used to always think that the two were completely separate. Fashion was for cute shoes and dresses and exercise was for ugly gym  clothes that became drenched in sweat. I would dress fashionable during the day but when I went to go workout,  I put  on a  raggedy  t-shirt and a pair of old running shorts. What I have now discovered is that you can also look cute while working out!

Finally, there is an end to my dilemma. So many different companies are coming out with activewear that is not only affordable but also cute and fashionable. There are so many websites out there now where you can get cute workout clothes. So, why not take advantages of the two things I love and put them together. Say goodbye to the plain black leggings and white tank top while exercising.

Say hello to the bright colored tops, floral printed sports bras, and mesh splattered print leggings. I have found that with the newly discovered workout clothes I am more excited to go to the gym, yoga, or running. Going back to my tip from my previous blog post, “look good, feel good, do good”. This could not be more true in regards to exercising. When you put on a cute workout outfit and add the pair of matching sneakers, you are more motivated to get out there and achieve your personal workout goals.

Some of the places where I like to buy my workout clothes from are: Fabletics, Marshall’s, Old Navy, and even Target! All of these places offer cute and super affordable workout clothes. Fabletics usually runs a promotion where you can either get your first outfit for $25 or two pairs of leggings for $24. Marshall’s has tons of cute name brand active wear on sale ranging between $10-$16 a piece. Old Navy even has workout tops on sale for as low as $10. I have also recently discovered the active wear section of Target that is now expanding  where they are now selling all different brands of activewear. Their prices arn’t as inexpensive as the other companies but still super cute!

I hope that you all can go re-vamp your workout clothes to make you feel more motivated while looking  fashionable.

P.S. My favorite place is Fabletics!

Taking the Stress out of Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

I broke this post up into two parts depending on the characteristics of the reader!

Advice for those who are sad/depressed they do not have a significant other on Valentine’s Day and think they are going to cry all day watching rom-coms:

Valentine’s Day is a very favorite holiday of mine because it is all centered around the one thing we need most in our busy and hectic lives – love. Valentine’s day is not all about the chocolates, the flowers ( flowers are always nice though), and sappy love letters, but more along the lines of taking a few extra steps to show that special person in you life how much you appreciate them. That special person does not have to be a romantic partner, but maybe just your mom/dad, brother/sister, grandma/grandpa/, or even a friend.

No matter who the person is, my advice to you all is to do something nice for that person (whoever it may be) that you do not normally do. Put down the Ben and Jerry’s, turn off the Nicholas Spark’s movie and do something for someone you love. Whether it is brining home their favorite dinner, offering to get their coffee in the morning, or even something as simple as helping out around the house. All it takes is a tiny bit of effort to make it known to the person you love that they are appreciated and valued.

Even if you do decide that you don’t want to do anything nice for someone else, do it for you! Go out and get your hair done, get a mani/pedi, or buy a new outfit. Do something that emphasizes the love you have for yourself. Nothing is better than being able to reflect on how beautiful and how much your presence on this Earth is appreciated. Remember to always love yourself and treat yourself every once in a while.

Advice for all my millennial girls who are stressing about wanting to make it that “perfect night”:

My special someone for the past two years Valentine’s Day years has been my loving, handsome, amazing boyfriend. Since I fit into the category of a female millennial, the past two years my Valentine’s Day has been very stressful for myself as many of yours has probably been too. Like myself, know most of you girls are stressing out about trying to find that perfect red dress and hoping that your boyfriend takes you to the most expensive or fanciest restaurant in the area. But lets take a minute to think… Do we honestly think our boyfriends are even going to notice the time and effort we put into picking out our outfit, probably not. They think we look beautiful in jeans and a white tee-shirt. Is how much your boyfriend loves you based on the restaurant he picks to take you out to dinner, definitely not. His love is based on the way he treats and appreciates you.

I know society these days puts a lot of emphasis of having everything to be perfect, planned, and orchestrated. But instead, put the expectations and pressures of society to the side for a day. Instead, try and focus on feeling good and feeling pretty in whatever you decide to wear. Be thankful that you have someone special that you love to go out to dinner to celebrate with. Don’t waste the day being stressed out about an outfit or the restaurant or how the night is going to end. Think about the ways you are going to communicate and demonstrate  the reasons why you love your special person and why they are important in your life. This day is suppose to be filled with love and happiness, not stress and anxiety.

P.S. I hope you all get flowers and do something nice for someone else 🙂

 

 

Relaxing ways to End the Day

We all have those days that we feel are never ending. Whether it was a hard day at work, you bombed a test, or just finished a super hard workout; at some point in the day we are all looking forward to laying down in our beds. Sometimes, we need some relaxing ways to destress, clear our minds, and get ready for the glorious sleep that is about to come. Instead of just having a quick shower and jumping right into bed, I have come up with a few different relaxing ways to end the day.

The one thing I would NOT suggest doing is playing on your phone while you are trying to get ready for bed. I know this can be hard for a lot of people but no good will come out of it. Instead of getting into a relaxing mood, you will feel anxious, worried, and maybe even develop FOMO (fear of missing out). The whole point in trying to relax your mind and body before bed is to focus on yourself and your needs, not what everyone else in the world is doing. If you must keep your mind busy before bed, pick up a book, magazine, or even a cross word puzzle to help tire out the mind and eyes.

The idea that I think is a super relaxing way to end the day is a bubble bath. Yes, I mean the full blown bubbles, candles (surf wax flavored), glass of an alcoholic beverage or whatever you enjoy, and some Lana Del Ray playing in the background. Now of course you can alter any of these components to fit your own needs, but those are my favorite things regarding a bubble bath that help me mellow down and destress. Lay there in the warm bubbly water, put you head back, close your eyes, and just listen to the music playing in the background. Don’t think about anything that is due tomorrow or next week, think about yourself. Think about washing away all of the tensions and anxieties that day brought. Relax your soul. P.S. lock the door to make sure there are no interruptions!

My next suggestion and probably one of my favorite things to do at night,is snuggling up with my dogs (depending if all three will stay put in my tiny twin size bed). This is so relaxing and allows you and your furry friends to get all warm and cozy in bed. Especially during the winter months, your pets are basically a super warm blanket that keeps you warm but also loves you. As you pet them and as they give you some goodnight licks (kisses), all the stress from that day will slowly melt away. Not only is it a relaxing tactic for you but it is also good for your pet. It is nice to show them just how much they mean to you and how much you love them! Unfortunately, one of my pups is an extremely loud snorer, so once she is asleep I have to relocate her to another room so I can sleep.

I hope that these ideas can help all of you to end your stressful and busy lives in a relaxing way.

 

 

Morning Routine for a Productive Day

No matter what your age, occupation, or lifestyle is, we all have to wake up at some point to start our day. Whether you know it or not, each one of us has a certain routine they follow when waking up. But, does our regular morning routine help us to be productive throughout the day? My guess would be no. It wasn’t until after I tried a few different ways that I found a morning routine that not only helped clear my mind, but also helped make my day more productive.

Not one person is going to have the same routine or steps they take when waking up in the morning and that is perfectly okay. We are all unique individuals who have different needs. My advice for you guys is to take bits and pieces from the tips I am going to give you,  in order to morph it into your ideal morning routine that works for you.

When I first started thinking about the different ways you can start the day to be productive, I was basing it on whether I had school or work or a day off from both. But then I thought to myself, should it really matter what type of day you have planned if the main objective for all of them is productivity? The answer I came up with is no, It should not matter.

Before I actually put some thought into considering the different ways I could make my day more productive, I alway grabbed my phone and looked through my social media accounts. Looking back, this was probably one of the worst things I could do. The bright screen made my eyes more tired and itchy and I felt inclined to keep checking my phone throughout the day.  Definitely not a good way to start the day.

Some better tactics that I found were while you are just waking up and laying in bed, plan out your day. Now, I don’t mean lay there for an extra thirty minutes and fall back asleep, but actually take the time to think about all the things that are important in your life and that you wish to accomplish. This sets your day up for success. By planning your day out, your brain knows the things it now needs to get done and you are more inclined to be productive.

My favorite way to start the day is with a workout. Working out in the morning keeps me feeling energized and  good throughout the entire day. When I am energized and feeling good, I get more things done. Whether its a quick walk around the block with your dog(s), a long morning run, or even a group fitness class, all that matters is getting out of bed and moving those muscles!  I know this is not possible for everyone because many of us are on a tight time constraint, but try to add it in at least once a week! Trust me on this one

Another way that I find helps make my day productive is getting fully dressed. I know this can be hard for us college students who are just used to throwing on a pair of sweats and running to class. But, when you pick out a super cute outfit that you feel good in, you will want to be productive throughout the day. When you have actual clothes on and your hair is brushed, you are more inclined to not sit on your laptop watching Netlfix, but get some homework done or run errands or maybe actually go to class and pay attention. Its as simples as when you look good you feel good. Look good, feel good, do good.

P.S. Don’t forget that morning cup of coffee to help get you ready for the day!

Hot Yoga/Hot Barre For Newbies

I have recently gotten into the hot yoga trend, in particular core power yoga and hot barre  that everyone has been wondering about. The type of yoga and barre I do is NOT just stretching or in any way, shape, or form, easy. Let’s just set that straight from the beginning of my post. Both hot yoga and barre are very vigorous classes that challenge your body and mind to push yourself to new lengths.

The hot yoga classes I attend are mixtures between of Birkram yoga, which is a form of yoga practiced in a heated room ranging between 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit and Core Power Yoga, which focuses on strengthening your upper and lower body, back, core muscles, along with improving your cardiovascular endurance . The class focuses on using your own resistance and body weight with the use of planks, push-ups, and many more to create an all around sculpted  mind, body, and soul.

Hot barre is similar to hot yoga in the sense that the rooms are both heated between the same Fahrenheit degrees. What makes hot barre different is that you use a ballet barre, bands, and light weights, and a ball throughout the duration of the class. Hot barre targets the upper body, abs, thighs, and glutes. The small movements of your body is focused on three to four inches in order to stay in the contraction of the muscle. The short and intense sets of body movements help to tire the muscle out quickly, followed by a quick stretch, and sip of water to create toned muscles.

Since starting the hot yoga and hot barre classes, not only have I lost weight, but I have also become more in tune with my body. I have started to create a sort of mind and body connection to help nourish my soul. I have noticed that after the class have I produced buckets of sweat, but my entire body feels cleansed from all the the toxins that day brought. In the 60 or 75 minutes, I dedicate that time for eliminating all the stress in my life and instead use that time to focus on myself and the things my body needs to stay healthy.

I would highly recommend taking hot yoga or hot barre classes for anyone who is interested. I would suggest doing some beginner yoga classes in a heated environment in order to get your body used to exercising in the heat. The particular studio I go to is called Hot and Soul Yoga located in Middletown, NJ and the instructors are amazing. I hope that from reading this post you guys have become more informed and even influenced to go and try out a class for yourself!

Please feel free to check out my Instagram for more info and pictures!

Balance

So, what does it mean to be balanced or have balance? Here is some background. As you guys can see my blog title is Balanced and Busy. This concept derives from me wanting to keep balance in my busy life. The question then remains,  what does a person need or have to do in order to have balance in their own lives.

The Google definition of balance is “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.” My definition differs slightly. In my opinion, balance means equal or in another sense, moderation. Its about giving and then taking or taking and then giving.

In terms of balancing your own life, it is about not only exercising all the time, or not constantly working. Its figuring out how to equally distribute the little amount time you are given on this Earth. Do you spend time with your family or go hangout with your friends? Do you go to the gym or stay late at work to finish paperwork? These are the questions that we ask ourselves throughout our day. In order create balance, you need to be able to do things in moderation and make time for what’s truly meaningful in your life. It is important to not only do the same thing over and over again because you will be missing out on all the other things that have the ability to make you happy.

By equally distributing your time between all the things that bring value and happiness in your life, you create balance. A balance within your soul and your life. It is not always easy to find this kind of balance but with time and effort you will not regret your decision.

The past few months I have been working so hard to create balance in my life. A life that is a balance between college, two jobs, relationships, fitness, and time for myself. What I have discovered is that its achievable. Time can always be made for the things or people you value. Maybe that means skipping the movies with your friends in order to spend time with your family, or skipping the opportunity to work late in order to squeeze in some gym time and then the next day you do the opposite. You give and then you get or you get and then you give. All it takes are little sacrifices and moderation in order to create balance.