My WFH Morning Routine

You know that feeling of waking up before the sun on vacation day to either catch a flight or begin a road trip? The excitement you wake up with to begin an adventure? That’s how I feel most mornings- excited and ready to go. 

I’ve ALWAYS been a morning person, but my friends know i certainly turn into a pumpkin by 9 p.m. I think part of the love of mornings is just my chemical make up and part of it is the routine I wake up looking forward to.

The earliest memory I have of a legit morning routine is when I was 11 and started drinking coffee every morning like my parents did. Since then, I’ve never missed a day lol.

Ive heard a lot of people say they either been slacking on good habits, gained unwanted pounds, and just don’t feel as good being at home as they do when in routine. But there will inevitably be times in your life you aren’t on routine, so how can you maintain good habits with changing seasons?

The first thing I do- continue to wake up early.

What I’ve found working from home is that if I bust my hardest work out first thing in the morning when my focus and concentration are best, I’ll get the most done in the shortest amount of time. I do creative and strategic work in the mornings.

Next, moving my workouts to the afternoon. After morning workouts for a year straight, I got kinda sick of them. I’m a big believer in variety of routine to keep things frsh as if not, you”ll get bored and sick of things pretty quick. Right now, work is the most important for me bc its how I pay my bills, but if work doesn’t require an insane amount of energy, then by all means focus on when you’ll get then best quality workouts and form your schedule around that.

Next, I follow the intermittent fasting style of eating so I don’t have my first meal until about 10 am give or take depending on the day. Usually that’s the first break I’ll take away from my laptop. If you want to hear more about intermittent fasting, go back to episode 13 of this podcast to listen (also, it’s the most popular episode of our show thus far!). 

All in all, my schedule has evolved many times over the past few years. Just even a year ago, I was doing 5:30 am workouts, breakfast, out the door by 7, and coming home exhausted. The schedule that im following now is much more conducive to my natural energy levels and circadian rhythm. Once I stop working around 5 pm, I don’t do much after, mostly watch my friends on live facebook videos or the office. I prioritize rest as much as hard work, so after hours im pretty useless in terms of energy levels. 

How To Deal With Negative People

Straight from the DMs… is this week’s topic of convo! In my opinion, theres never been a more relevant time to address this topic.

You guys have heard me say this multiple times- but negativity is toxic. And when its coming from someone else, you have to arm yourself with the knowledge that you cannot control other people unfortunately. That doesn’t mean you cant do something about it, but you certainly cannot control how someone else acts and lives their life.

Theres no one right answer. But, I think a good place to start would be to develop a strong sense of self. To develop an inner dialogue with yourself that helps you stand strong in your own truth. Ask yourself when something someone says rubs you the wrong way- what is the intention behind this comment, person, situation? Are they telling it to me bc they care about my growth and well-being? Are they looking out for me? Are they just trying to get a response out me? Maybe they are just straight up miserable in their own life? 

Not every piece of information you hear is going to contribute to your growth and well-being. Id like to think most people do mean well- but there are quite a few peeps out there who are just miserable in their own lives. The worst thing you could do is let their misery bring you down to their level, as well. I do this thing unconsciously bc it makes me happy (idk if its an evil happy or a genuine happy) but when someone comes at me from a negative angle, I make sure to be the most positive and optimistic person, almost annoyingly, to them as a follow up. I turn the negative comment into a positive and start talking about something that makes me happy. Partly I do this bc I am generally pretty comfortable the skeleton parts of myself and my insecurities bc I know they exist, and partly because when I acknowledge the insecure parts of me and accept them, no one else can hold power over me. Im sure theres a more eloquent way of explaning this, but ive found that being ok with the parts of yourself you are working to improve prevents other people from poking fun at them in a way that disrupts your peace. Self acceptance is the healthiest way I know to handle negativity. 

The second way I dodge negative bullets is a hold meaning to everything in my life. My relationships, my work, my hobbies, my habits, my thoughts, they all hold deep meaning. And when someone doesn’t understand why I do the things I do, I am rooted in my why. I almost didn’t even want to include this bc I hate the phrase “find your why” bc its too general and overused, but heres an example to bring it to life…

The third way I handle negative people is distance myself whenever possible. I know sometimes negative people are the ones closest to you so it wouldn’t be realistic to remove them from your life, but you can choose what to discuss with them and what not to.

Negative people don’t always mean their words with a nasty intention, but either way its not okay for it to hold more power than your own. Give yourself enough credit for the things that make you happy to be alive, because no one else has to go to bed with the consquences of the decisions you make. Ive learned throughout my life that its okay if not everyone understands you and your decisions- in fact, it probably means you stand for something great if that’s the case.

And if you find yourself in this place of self judgement, imagine me explaining to 70 year olds that I don’t eat meat, I wear ripped jeans on most occasions, my job is to make youtube videos, and that the only way I know how to make healthy choices is to write in a habit tracker…. It doesn’t usually end well. LOL.

Theres no one right way to navigate negativity, but the best thing I believe we can do is talk to ourselves when someone’s opinion makes an uncomfortable entrance into our minds. Its an ongoing battle that we constantly have to coach ourselves through, but the next time a comment flys your way, remind yourself that the person who said the comment probably isn’t as happy as you are, that they are forgetting about your existence after the comment is said and 99% of the time following, and that its truly none of their business.

EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT!

Over the quarantine, I was getting a lot of messages that people are struggling to practice movement and good nutrition while at home. Most people struggle with self control, daily exercise, and stress management / spiraling thoughts from scrolling FB for hours everyday.

How do I answer all of these questions and introduce the people sending me the same questions? Also, the research behind the power of community to keep accountability is astonishing! 

The avenue of content that makes the most sense to answer these questions in a direct, simple, and implementable way was to create a membership group! If you’ve never heard of this before, a membership group is a monthly program, similar to a subscription, where you get tools and community support- called the BUILD HEALTHY HABITS membership program. Build healthy habits will teach you simple, actionable tools to create energizing habits that fit your lifestyle. Aka- If you’re struggling to either set health goals and stick to the work it takes to achieve them- which is like 99% of the problem in people who cant achieve what they want to.

Let me make this as clear as possible- this is not a network marketing opportunity- this is my own thing! This membership site is not to be confused with companies who want to sell you other things.  I asked my community to fill out a survey of what they liked and disliked about membership programs and you guys said…

=Meanining, it’s super simple to implement the tools, I have nothing else to sell you if you sign up, and it costs under $10 per month to join.

Each month, we’re going to dive into a problem most people face in achieiving health goals (such as meal prep, exercise, stress management, sleep, etc), so the topic will vary each month. I’m only taking 10 people in SEPT so spots will fill quickly. What’s included are 4 deliverables-

Want to know what they are and how to sign up? Drop your email in the link here (along with topic suggestions) The link is in my Instagram profile and in the show notes.

A Letter To The Burnt Out Creator

So many of you in this community are strong creatives, so I figured I’d dedicate an episode to share some things I do when feeling exhausted and out of creative energy. This one is for: the side hustler, graphic designer, hair stylist, physical therapist assistant, stay at home mom, videographer, life coach, seamstress, athlete, crafter, personal trainer, makeup blogger, writer, artist, dancer, and everyone that pours their heart into their art.

Creativity is therapy, in its most raw form. And if you’re lucky, your art will touch and heal and improve the lives of others.

Some days I feel like I could conquer the world. Ideas are flowing SO rapidly I can barely keep up and I drive the people around me crazy as that excitement turns to scattered-ness very quickly if I don’t contain it properly. But other days, especially when turbulence happens in my personal life, it’s hard to get into the flow state and appreciate/enjoy what I’m doing. 

So, just how do you get out of this slump? The reason I’m even including an episode about creative energy on a wellness podcast is because they are one in the same. Self-care (aka good habits) is the foundation of self-confidence, but I believe creativity is the foundation of happiness. 

First, I encourage you to take a break. A full break from everything- stop creating and trying to spin your wheels when you’re stuck in a muddy ditch. Put on a facemask, watch a comedy, do yoga, kick your feet up, and chill. 

GET IN NATURE

Youtube Vlogs for inspiration: Study the experts in their craft

Write about your current landscape

Core Value: To go the extra mile of doing your best work for the greatest possible experience for both the company and community.

PLAN for creative burnout

Remember that creativity is like a muscle- the more you flex it, the stronger it gets. The more days in a row you perform your art, the easier it is to get into a flow. And when you feel tired and uninspired, take a break, and allow yourself to gently be pulled back to the center of your being to create from the deepest parts of your soul. You know, the pieces you rewatch or read and think- was that really my work? 

Also remember that creativity is a gift. Hope you enjoyed. 🙂

Easy, Healthy, Plant-Based Meals

I’m a picky eater. Growing up, I survived on hot dogs, chicken nuggets, french fries, Ritz cheese crackers, and PB&J. In fact, on Saturday mornings, my parents would sleep in. I would wake up at 6 a.m. always to watch cartoons. I would sneak an entire sleeve of frosted oatmeal cookies to indulge in thinking they wouldn’t notice… turns out they did, but let me do it anyway. I ate way too much junk food.

Now, many years later, I’m a plant-based vegetarian. Sure, I definitely still indulge on occasion but to keep my energy up, I eat mostly plants.

I figured, I can’t be the only person who works a lot and doesn’t have the want or energy to dedicate to fancy cooking? I’ve spent the past 3 years developing meals and snacks that are easy to grab and actually filling, since many people don’t believe you can get full by eating green things. Oooooh boy are they wrong!

I also know many of you have kids that you want to eat healthier, which led to this episode all about healthy meals. I prefer vegetables in the form of carbs, so I guess that’s a good place to start.

PASTA IS LIFE!

Vegetables in the form of carbs

Creativity in the form of a salad

Fresh cut veggies in the fridge at all times for snacking

Build a bowl

Compromise 🙂

Good Morning: Guided Meditation

Are you sick of spending forever looking for the perfect guided meditation on Youtube to start your day off right? Wellllll look no further… I think this is it. 🙂 Here’s a light and positive way to begin the first 6 ish minutes of your day off right.

I’ve started meditating first thing in the morning and it’s made a world of difference in my mood and stress level for the upcoming day’s events. I feel like I have control over myself instead of spending countless hours consuming pointless content on social media- in other words, it helps me stay productive. It keeps my attitude up, and helps me to react less to stressful encounters.

If you’ve avoided meditation up to this point because you thought it was the stereotypical dark room, racing thoughts, “all of the sudden can’t breathe because you’re thinking about your breath” feeling- you’d be incorrect. I meditate when the sun rises and simply bring awareness and gratitude to the present moment. You can meditate any way that feels best for you at any time of day, but regardless I suggest using headphones as you’ll gather the best acoustics that way!

How to *Actually* Lose Weight

2011 vs 2019

I’ve been meaning to write this for quite awhile since it seems to be such a buzz topic… and the main reason people pursue a healthy lifestyle. I’m going to set the record straight with non-traditional advice that actually worked for me.

Sure, we all know how to do it and why we should do it… but what if it’s more than just movement and vegetables? Spoiler alert: it is. And you may find it either easier or more difficult to attack weight loss (or rather fulfillment and self-confidence) taking this approach than any other you’ve tried thus far.

In this episode, I’m outlining 4 techniques to implement into your daily routine that take a little extra effort for sustainable and long term results. Nothing makes me more discouraged that seeing “fit tea detox” or “liquid liposuction” across my timeline… and yes, both exist to generate results in the short term, the quick hit. But you’re here because you care about how to do it the right way. And I respect you for that.

It’s more difficult to sacrifice short term comfort for the lasting reward, so think of it as the journey of a lifetime rather than a destination. The destination doesn’t even matter when you love the process. And if nothing else, I hope you walk away from this episode understanding that people who are successful in weight loss or really any goal at all is because they identify with their process, the small steps they take each day rather than the long term goal.

*If you loved today’s episode, feel free to subscribe and leave us a review! That’s the most helpful thing you can do to support your favorite content creators (also free). And for those of you who already do all of that, I’d like to extend a warm thank you as I see you and appreciate your help in growing our community. xoxo

Guided Meditation For Positive Energy

Move away from distraction and calm yourself for a few quiet moments. Breathe in for a count of 4 (smell the roses) and out for a count of 8 (blow out the birthday candles).

Allow yourself to close down all of the foggy thoughts in your head for just a few moments. Your to do list, the worries you have, the people in your life, simply let it all fade to the shadows. If you need a visual, picture a dark night sky with stars twinkling. Breathe from the depths of your stomach, allow your ribs to expand and collapse with each breathe.

  1. Think of someone or something you love SO incredibly much. Focus on that and hold it close to your heart.
  2. Focus on the sensory stimuli- what senses can you extract from this being?
  3. Allow this feeling to heighten your thinking. Maybe you feel the chills, a deep sense of warmth, maybe you cant stop smiling.., allow it to bring you closer to unconditional love. Hold yourself there, in that light. Allow yourself to feel good, and full of joy. Extend deep gratitude toward this source of light.
  4. Extend this energy of light into your family and friends, as if it’s covering them like a cozy blanket. Extend it to your physical home, that only good energy can enter. Extend it into your work environment, that it may elevate your quality of work and those you serve.
  5. It’s almost as if all aspects of your life are glowing, radiating like the beams of the sun. may what you do today and going forward, be it an extension, one ray of sunshine to spread light and love to the world around you.
  6. We all crave to be creative in our own way. Allow yourself to sink into the creative, connected energy that elevates our experience every moment of the day.
  7. When you face resistance throughout your day, allow yourself to avoid the temptation to react. Remember that we all crave to be connected, understood, and loved. We all show it in the way it was once shown to us. We’re each on a unique journey of figuring it out, and we are all just walking each other home.

Workout Motivation (When You Hate Working Out)

Maria Fitnezz community feedback: “I think it would be great to have a podcast about working out when you hate working out, and not necessarily from a “lack of motivation” perspective. Usually that’s what people assume the problem is but I think the problem is that I just procrastinate everything. I am the biggest procrastinator I know. I know that I’ll enjoy working out, I know that I should do it and I know why. I just don’t want to take the steps to get from point A to point B!!!!! Why am I like this and how do I force myself to move without making working out just a checkbox on the to do list or something I associate with negative thoughts/forcing myself to get up so I can stick to my meticulously crafted wellness plan??”

Does she sound like you? If so, listen up!

I’ll start with the fact that this problem has nothing to do with some people wanting it more than others, thats never the problem. Women have cried to me about how badly they want to like what they see in the mirror but never actually take the steps to do it- it’s not that you dont want it bad enough, because I know you do. I see it and I see that you’ve tried many times.

But at what point did you think you tried one too many times? Because you’re here aren’t you, looking to make progress but not actually making it?

The piece of advice I’ll give you is that the body achieves what the mind believes.

If You want to achieve anything at all, you first have to believe in your ability to do it. And you might brush this off as, like, duh of course I can do it. You talk the talk but have you actually walked the walk to prove it? Think about how truly satisfying it would feel inside of you to prove to yourself, just this once, that you do have what it takes.

That brings me to tip number two- setting the standard of excellence, of mastery for yourself as the bare minimum. What if you adopted the identity of someone who only produced the best quality of work that they’re physically and mentally capable of?

When I very first started, exercising was incredibly unbearable. Like as in, the first workouts I ever did at 16 years old were various types of planks, I mean I dove into fitness headfirst with the things that sucked the most. And I told myself if I could get through 30 minutes, literally 2% of my day, everything else would get easier.

You’ll be a better mom and wife because of the sense of self-worth that comes from movement. You’ll begin to reverse the cycle of negative emotions associated with movement when you change the neurotransmitter pathway in your brain to associate movement with runners high or a sense of accomplishment. And that’s just a brief summary of the science behind it. And it takes so much more practice than you think.

Nobody loves pushups, they just come easier for some because they practice over and over. There’s this concept called the 10,000 hr rule where in order to become a master, it takes 10,000 hr of intentional effort.

At the end of the day, it comes down to this: are you willing to do the dirty work it takes to achieving the goal? Are you willing to embrace physical pain during a workout to get better at it and hate it less? Or, does that sound like too much work that you’d rather sit on the couch? In the book Atomic Habits, James Clear talks about this idea that if you get 1% better everyday, you will build compounding habits that build on each other.

My only piece of tangible advice for this, is to write down on a piece of paper with a pen everyday is: did I get 1% better today? With a yes and no check box. I know thats the opposite of what you want (aka checking a box off) but it’s a good visual that eliminates the excuse, the “I tried” bc ultimately trying is the same as failing. You either did or you didnt, and the only way you fail is if you didn’t.

How To Overcome Cravings

Does anyone actually know how to do this? KIDDING. But you must know, this formula isn’t a one and done. I come back to this often when I find myself slipping up.

Temptation in terms of food, is a fact of life. It’s not something you can peacefully avoid when theres a voice in your head screaming at you to eat the lemon bluberry cupcake- which happens to be my fave flavor. I also don’t believe life is worth living without indulgences. I take indulgences very seriously and put them as a high priority as something to savor.

So, just how do you stop? How do you stop grazing the cabinets every night to fill a void you’re not even sure food can fill? Well, that’s the first step. Figure out what it is on your mind that you’re looking for in food. Because its probably something you’re missing in your life in some other aspect. This is hard because it requires a level of honesty with yourself most people spend their whole lives running from.

The second tip that I have in overcoming cravings is pretty obvious- don’t keep things you crave at the house. Practice leaving the kitchen after a meal that fills you up, and distract your mind with something else. A good book to look forward to, a puzzle, a game, a movie, fill that space with a healthier guilty pleasure.

A say “guilty pleasure” because I know that you understand what I mean. But actually, I don’t believe any sort of guilt should be present, not even in the same sentence, as indulgence. Indulging in something feels like a gift on your birthday, guilt feels like I’ve done something wrong and need to be punished for it. That’s how majority of us treat our bodies. And so the vicious cycle begins. What if, instead of calling it a “guilt free” or “cheat meal,” you reverted to “treat meal?”

I start by buying fresh produce, planning my meals, and being gentle with myself. This is the time most of us restrict because we’re mad at ourselves. But instead of going extreme, I start slow. I start by showing up to my workout appointments at 6 a.m. in my living room every morning. I start by having a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I keep eating dessert, I keep snacking if that’s the case, but I make good meals.

There’s an ebb and flow that happens about every 3 months where I get off track, usually its around a certain time of the month. I don’t freak out, I don’t get super angry at myself, I just let it be and know that it will pass. If I didn’t allow myself to have fluctuations, I wouldn’t be a healthy, well-rounded person. I love sweets even at the cost of savoring them once in awhile.

The next tip I have to overcome cravings is to figure out what you can’t live without and work around that. Personally, I can live without alcohol. I prefer it. I don’t love the way that I feel when I drink, I don’t need it to have a good time, so I choose to drink socially once or twice a year if that. I also don’t eat meat or fish for moral reasons and fried food gives me bad migraines and doesn’t mix well with my system. Something I absolutely cannot live without is cookies, pastries, and chips. So I make that list, and then I compromise.

Look, there are plenty of people who will tell you to give up sugar because of how bad it is for you and to give up drinking and fried foods, blah blah blah. My thing is, I’ve tried it. I’ve tried living without the small indulgences that I love, and I was not happier than keeping them. The mindset I have around cravings is to give into cravings when they arise in a way that both benefits your treat center and your nutrition center.

I highly, highly don’t believe in suppressing cravings. Think of cravings as emotions, because first of all, it is an emotion. If something horrible happened to you and you pushed it way down without dealing with it, chances are you explode on people around you who don’t deserve it. How about giving into cravings in a way that compromises both your health and your craving- hence the protein biscuit I eat for dessert. 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing, it applies both to craving and both to eating well.

I encourage you to stand back and observe your cravings- when they’re the worst, how long they last, what other habit patterns you follow when they come, and how best you can make space for them to temporarily visit?

Maybe you have kids, a grueling job, or you’re in school- every time you prepare a meal, think about how that’s going to translate in the long run of the goals you want to achieve. You want your kids to grow up and be healthy and strong? Great, they’re watching your every move, make sure your meals are worth mimicking. You’re leading a team of people at work, so how can you muster up the ideas, the confidence, the energy to deliver your best if you aren’t eating things that are green? If you’re in school, it’ll be so much easier for you to focus and work smarter not harder to get assignments done and remember what you need for the test when you’re eating fresh berries that have so much research behind how good they are for memory.

The way you eat defines how well your brain will be able to perform either at it’s best or it’s worst on any given day. Tie your nutrition into how well you’d like to show up for your future self and you may change your mind about that next time you crave something that’ll spike your blood sugar. You can’t live to your fullest potential if you’re coping in a chip bag because life is overwhelming. Figure out the cause, and the effect of taking your stress out on food will likely take care of itself.