I’ve Got Sunshine: 5 Ways to Break Out of That Rut & Add More Sunshine Into Your Life

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Do you ever feel like you’re lacking that glow? In a funk? Tired of the plain old mundane routine? Need some extra spark? Want to shake things up? Like you’re living in a giant cloud, and it seems like you’ve been waiting for the weather to clear for too darn long?

Well, do not fear my lovely lady. I’m here to tell you that first of all, you are 100% utterly & completely normal. In fact you are more than normal. I’ve been there, and I can guarantee any girl you talk to has been there too. And secondly, this little rut you’re going through is reversible; you can transform your life (more importantly your mindset) after all! Perhaps you don’t need anything spectacular, shiny or crazy expensive. Perhaps all you need is a little extra sunshine. Start now with these 5 simple tips and you’ll be feeling rejuvenated, hot and maybe even a little sun-kissed in no time!

1. Take a Special Someone Out On a Date (and Treat Them): I know, I know, you’re the one that’s in a funk, so shouldn’t you be the one who’s getting treated like a Princess? While it’s always nice to get pampered, it’s even nicer to do the pampering. Not only will you feel good about planning a fun extravaganza (like a picnic in the park, a tea party or a full-fledged sushi fest), but you can show someone you care about just how special you are. When we give the love, we feel the love right back. It’s just how it works! This special someone can be your significant other, your best friend, your mom or best of all – yourself. Yes, you heard that right. Go ahead, I dare you: plan a dream date for yourself!

2. Dance: Dance anywhere and everywhere. Throw on a flowy skirt and grab your girlfriends for a night out on the town, dance around the house in your undies, or sign up for a Zumba class a local studio! Getting into the groove will kick-start those endorphins and help you feel more alive and confident in your beautiful body!

3. Make a Sunshine Playlist: To go along with your dancing, why not make a sunshine playlist to set the scene? I love using Spotify because you can create as many playlists as you’d like for all scenarios. I have a Chill Out Playlist, a Beatles Playlist, a Writing Playlist…you get the picture! Make your feel-good playlist today with your favorite tunes. All I gotta say is you can’t go wrong with Oldies! In fact, I’m currently loving the “My Girl Radio” station on Pandora right now. Yes, it exists. “I’ve got sunshineeee on a cloudy dayyyyy…” I like to sing…loudly and proudly (and so not in tune). Belt it out, girl!

4. Stay Outside…For Most of the Day: You can’t get much closer to adding more sunshine into your life than by literally soaking up those rays outside. Dedicate a day – or at least a few hours – where you can play outside and bring out your inner-child!

This past weekend, I attended Ultimate Bootcamp’s Ultimate Spring Workout which included outdoor yoga, Zumba, bootcamp classes, healthy snacks and more all on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Then on Sunday, I met up with two lovely friends for a girls’ day in the city. We hit up the Boston Harbor area for a free sailboat ride, boxed wine on a boat, strolling around, life chats, and evening apps. The best part? We were outside for the entire day. And yes, sunshine makes us happy (if I haven’t made that clear by now). Plan your very own outdoor girls’ day, throw on your best spring-y outfit and flops and soak up that Vitamin D!

[Girls' Day Out...all smiles here!]

5. Be “Bad”: We are so obsessed with being perfect, looking the part and keeping our composure…doing everything “right.” Well sometimes that just becomes downright exhausting! I’m telling you to be a little bad today. Break the rules. Say “no.” Say “yes.” Skip out on that event you really didn’t want to go to but you felt like you HAD to go to, and do something for yourself instead. Indulge in your favorite dark chocolate with a glass of red. Skip the gym and book a massage appointment that you’ve been putting off for months. Force yourself into breaking your scripted routine. Ask someone out on a date…even if you might get turned down. Make a mistake and laugh it off. Embrace your “slip-ups.” You see, being bad can be quite fun when you think about it!

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut? How could you add more sunshine into your life starting today? What would your perfect outside girls’ day consist of?

Guest Blog Post: Rules of Dating By Relationship Expert Jenny Jen

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Happy Hump Day fellow Healthy Chicks! Today I am proud to entertain you with a guest post from one of my favorite readers/fellow blogger Jenny Jen. She is one Blonde Bronzed Twenty Something who knows the ins and outs of relationships, dating and men (something I am totally clueless about). Alas, let me give the floor (er, blog) over to her! Jen, you may take it from here…

Healthy as we might be with other aspects in our life, we’re not so much with men.  We are told to go for the good guy, yet fall for the bad.  We are meant to walk away from a relationship without looking back, not wanting the ass hole even more.  We are supposed to take the oh-so-obvious hints that he’s just not that into us, but instead we focus on the signs that show us he is.  We my friends are twentysomething women who – although healthy and in control in other areas of our life – lack the same nutrients and wholesome diet in our dating life.

Well consider me your relationship trainer.  I’m going to give you the core tips to energize your love life.  So are we ready girls?  Time to swap those Nike runner’s for a pair of Manolo thigh-high boots and start walking:

1)     Keep a ‘dating diary’:  The same way you would record the calories and eating items you intake to notice patterns and how each food makes you feel after consumption, do the same with men.  We often forget the bad and overwrite it with rosy stories that are far from accurate.  Keep this journal to understand your patterns, in hopes to prevent making the same mistakes again.

2)     Everything in moderation:  We are always told that too much of something is never a good thing.  If he uses excuses such as work, studying, moving, etc., realize that someone who wants to see you will fit you into his schedule, no matter what.  I’ve dated people in high demand jobs such (think doctors and hockey players), yet they still managed to make time for me.  Got it?  Alternately, be aware of spending too much time with the man of your affection.   If you’re together 24/7, you likely don’t have room for other aspects of your life and wellbeing since he has become it.  Neither of the two choices are a healthy alternative.  Instead, indulge in him but make sure to make time for yourself and your friends, because at the end of the day, if Casa Nova and you break it off, you and your friends are the only one who can pick up the pieces. 

3)     Work it:  You’re not going to burn calories, release endorphins and start noticing changes on your waistline unless you start working out.  Wish as we might, sitting at home playing on our Macbooks won’t get us into shape.  Same with dating.  Though we can try to peruse the net for potential suitors, it’s going out, meeting people and putting ourselves in a social environment that will get us to reach our goal.  So put on a hot little number, head out and make it happen.

4)     Avoid Toxins:  You wouldn’t dare ruin your diet with something that was unhealthy or distructive to it, so why would you do that you with your men?  You know that hung over feeling you experience the morning (and day, and evening) after drinking?  Those are the effects of toxins in your body.  Toxic relationships are destructive to your well being.  Not only do they halt motivation and make you less productive, but they also deter others from you (no one wants to get toxins).  And deny as you will that the boy is toxic, listen to those around you who refer to him (and who you become with him) as such.  No one should be bringing your fabulous, foxy-self down.  A partner is meant to bring out the best in you, not worst.

We wouldn’t settle for a bad gym, we wouldn’t feel good from a half-assed work out, and we certainly wouldn’t feel clear headed and airy if we ate a meal full of junk.  If you put in the same thought and awareness as you do with your health, I can assure you you will find that grade A relationship you so desire. 

-Jenny Jen

Thanks for such a wonderful, fun post Jen! You may contact Jen on Twitter @BlondeBronzed, read her hilarious, informative relationship blog here and email her at blondebronzedtwentysomething@hotmail.com. 

The Healthy, No Fuss Guide to a First Date

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So, I’m going on a date tonight and I have to say I’m quite excited. Hey, dates are fun. While some of my friends (whose names I won’t mention) get nervous, sweaty and, well, gassy, before a first date (HA), I think about other things. “What do I eat? What will I wear? What do I order? How much do I drink? I’m a “light weight” these days…what if I get too drunk? Will I look OK? He’s older then me…what will he think of me?” Seriously, that’s what is going through my mind right now and it’s not even 9 a.m. OK, I’m exaggerating a tad, but really these are things you need to think about ladies. Alas, here is my quick-fix Healthy Chicks guide to a first date. Hope you enjoy!

What to eat the day of the big date:
Yes, what you eat the day of a date really does affect the way you look and feel that evening. Let’s just put it this way: today is definitely not the day to try out that sugary coffee you’ve been eying, or order the burger at lunch. No, no, no. Today you must be cautious so you feel like a complete babe later on. This means cut back on sugar, sugar substitutes, refined starchy carbs, extra salt, sodas or other fizzy drinks, hefty meals, and even sugar-free gum. These are all things that make you feel BLOATED and no one wants to feel bloated right before a night out in the city. I packed my bag for work accordingly so that I can feel extra-good tonight.

Breakfast=2 pieces Ezekiel toast with 1 TB smart balance butter; 1 egg mixed with 1 egg white, cup of black coffee (I wanted my breakfast to be filling, so I went with 2 pieces of sprouted grain toast served with an egg+ egg white for ultimate protein, then obviously coffee for my caffeine fix)

Snack=ANOTHER iced coffee+ banana (The first coffee didn’t quite do it for me so I picked another one up at Dunkin’ on my way to work for an extra kick (iced with a little skim, no sugar)…and gotta love fresh fruit in the morning, but this would be even better topped with all natural peanut butter or almond butter!)

Lunch=Lemon Zest Luna bar with Clementine (I chose a light lunch today because I know I’ll be drinking and probably eating appetizers later, plus the Luna bar is great for protein. Not to mention, it’s packed with calcium, folic acid, vitamin D, and iron, all super good nutrients for women.)

Afternoon snack=large bowl of pineapple topped with Greek yogurt and cinnamon (for a sweet ‘n’ fresh afternoon pick-me-up)

Dinner*=large salad with fresh spinach, feta cheese and lots of fresh veggies drizzled in olive oil and lemon (skipping the salt this time in my salad so I can feel bloat-free) *If you are going out to dinner, order what you want and eat until you’re full. If you loooove salads and grilled chicken, get one. If you’re a steak girl, go for it baby! Just take into account how it’s going to make your body feel later on, and if you’re having lots of cocktails cut down on the high-cal dinner options. For me, I usually get a fresh salad, grilled chicken or a seafood entree and skip the fried or carby entrees because they upset my stomach due to my gluten intolerance. So, eat what you know your body can handle…do your body good.

How to Make Sure You Have Enough Time:

If you’re like me, I like to get in a kick-butt sweaty workout session the day of a date. It not only makes me feel fabulous, but it also works wonders on your confidence. Since I knew I wouldn’t have time nor want to exercise after work, I decided to get it over with in the morning. Yes, I woke up at 6 a.m. and forced my butt to the gym. While getting out of bed was a little bit of a struggle, I couldn’t have felt better once I was there. I went for a quick yet sweaty workout since I knew I only had 45 minutes, an hour at most. I started with 25 minutes of intervals on the elliptical, alternating 30 second full-out sprints with a minute of steady paced jogging. Once I was dripping in sweat, I knew I did something right. After all, that’s the goal. After I spend the next 20 minutes or so doing weighted lunges and squats, mixed with shoulder exercises (overhead press, shoulder presses, etc). I then jogged home to end my workout the right way!

Also, if you have time in the morning, pick out your outfit ahead of time. Yes, I know it sounds a little Elementary school-ish, but no one likes to be running around last minute like a chicken with their head cut off. I mentally decided what I’m going to wear tonight so it’s in my mind. That way, when I get home from work, I can eat dinner and get ready without all the last minute hustle bustle.

What to wear:

It’s always good to be aware of what kind of place you are going to before your date. Luckily this time I know exactly where I’m going, so I’m going to dress accordingly. The place is nice and on the waterfront, so I’m planning on wearing a bright-colored dress with nice flip-flops. Classy yet not over the top (i.e. no high heels). However, sometimes you have to make a judgment call when you’re not exactly sure where the date will be held. I always say go classy over tight and skanky and wear something YOU’LL feel comfortable in. That’s the most important thing for me.

One time, I was completely UNDERDRESSED on a date and couldn’t have felt more awkward. I was under the impression that we were doing something low-key and chill (i.e. going out for ice cream) so when the guy I was going out with told me to meet him at Eastern Standard last minute and I rolled up in jeans and a tee, I couldn’t feel more of an outsider. He was in a collared button down and nice pants, women were dressed to the nines in jewelry and cocktail dresses, there were white tablecloths and candles on the table, and there I was in my girl-next-door t-shirt. YIKES. Never again…never again. I guess I learned my lesson to always dress a little bit above average at least.

What to Drink:

Typically, I go for a glass (or two) of red wine or a vodka seltzer with a splash of pineapple or cranberry juice. These are great choices, especially during a hot summer night by the waterfront☺ However, use your best judgment and drink what you want…just know your limits…don’t want to get sloppy!

When I want something more indulgent, I usually go for a margarita on the rocks or a vodka pineapple…mmm!

To Kiss or Not to Kiss…
Well, this one’s up to you!

Well, that’s all for now. Enjoy your date!

XoXo,

The Healthy Chick

 
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