What I ate on a two day Road trip: Dairy free & Gluten free

As you might know, last month was my sister’s wedding in Connecticut! My husband and I decided the best way to travel was by car so we had to drive from Florida to Connecticut on a two-day journey.


To make the trip even more interesting, Daniel ended up having to go up early and I was left to drive by myself. Of course, I wanted to take on the challenge but also dreaded the thought of being by myself for two days. I was able to persuade myself with the ideas of figuring out what snack to bring, where to stop, and how much coffee I would be able to drink!


To accomplish eating healthy while on a road trip you have to do a lot of pre-packing because when your only option is a gas station, you won’t find many dairy and gluten-free options that won’t upset your stomach.

So for me, it was like a fun game of how many snacks could I find on sale to stockpile before the trip!

My criteria.

  1. They had to be easy to eat in case I wanted to just snack without pulling over.

  2. They had to contain a variety of nutrient wise because I wanted to feel satisfied

  3. They had to be FUN so I wasn’t tempted to indulge, making me feel sick...

So I put my head together and here is what I came up with!

BREAKFAST

  • Collagen coffee made the morning of click here for the recipe!

  • I threw together some chocolate overnight oatmeal the day before and packed it for when I stopped for breakfast.

  • Spoon (This is important)

LUNCH

  • Packaged tuna

  • Simple Mills crackers (I got these for free on a thrive promotion)

  • On the go packs of mustard and ketchup (like what you get free from McDonald's)

  • Baby carrots

  • Fork (this is also important)

SNACKS

  • Hu Chocolate gems and mixed nuts: I was given the chocolate, but you can buy chocolate chips to save some money!

  • Kombucha, two for one special!

  • RX Bars (The best price I found for these is buying a box at Walmart!)

DINNER

· For dinner, I stopped at a friend’s house to sleep overnight, and just ate there. This worked out perfectly because I left early enough to make it each place in time for dinner!  

Stopping for coffee was the only time I ended up spending money and it was a very good choice. I decided to plan out where I would stop for coffee to make it more of an experience than just a shell station cup of coffee. 

 I picked a little place in Savannah the first day and it allowed me to get out and stretch my legs while also picking up a delicious almond milk latte!

The second day of my trip I settled for Starbucks, but only because I didn’t have the time to stop for anything more. I stopped the second day in Washington D.C. and had the opportunity to visit the holocaust museum. I wandered around for almost 2 hours before realizing it was probably time to go.

Overall the trip offered deliciously cheap food, a free museum, high-quality coffee, and maybe a few unexpected tolls...

*Note to self! Always choose no toll options for going through New England… 

Let me know your favorite travel snacks, or how you would switch up the menu!  

Thank you again for stopping by! 


Love always, 

Sonya 

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How to Make a Workout Routine and Stick to it!

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I don’t know about you guys, but when it comes to fitness I can kind of be all over the place. Creating a schedule is hard and sticking to it is even harder.

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I always wonder why there seem to be certain people who can hit the gym like a beast, train for a marathon, accelerate in sports, etc. while others have a hard time even imagining an activity that doesn’t involve sitting down…I used to believe that it was ONE thing that physically active people did differently and I tried extremely hard to figure it out. I figured that if I could understand the one thing everything else fitness wise would fall into place. As you can probably guess, I have come to realize that there is no single element that can do this.

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After all this digging and searching, I finally figured out fitness was all about a combination of choices working together to create the best results. Basically what you are doing is setting yourself up for success. For example, if you want to work out in the morning you could just set your alarm to wake up early, but neglect to go to bed early choosing instead to have dessert number three. The outcome of these three choices are obvious, so why is it so hard to see these on a bigger scale?

When it comes to working out and staying in a routine what matters are the choices you make outside of working out. It depends on the people you surround yourself with, what you believe you can do, how you fuel your body, the boundaries you set, and the food you use for fuel. Since these things are so important and I have found an interest in figuring myself and how I am motivated here’s a little example of how to figure out what works for you!

THINGS TO KNOW

• Early Riser or Night owl?

I have most of my energy in the morning therefore if I make sure to get to bed on time and set my alarm early enough I can smash out a workout, do my meal prepping and get ready for my day all before 9am. If you’re not an early riser then go for a schedule where you’ll be most energetic and excited to workout. Exercising should feel like a treat, not a punishment so work with whatever internal clock you have!

• What drives your motivation?

I tend to be more self-motivated, but a large part of what motivates me is other people. I can easily do my workouts no problem, but there’s not the intensity or drive to finish what I started unless I know someone is counting on me. I know that if I start a program I am more likely to finish if I do it with another person. Because of this blog, I make a conscious effort to make my workouts happen because I know it can be a source of motivation for someone else. I don’t want someone to feel less, to do less, to believe in less all because I helped them put a cap on what is achievable.

• What food makes you feel your best?

We all know about the trending low carb-high fat diets out there and I am not knocking them, but what I am saying is that each body is different. I have seen people who thrive off of carbs, who eat a perfectly balanced diet, who don’t incorporate many vegetables, who rely on proteins like sardines, etc. You don’t have to eat what everyone else is eating to feel your best. It’s great to observe, obtain new ideas and try new things with some inspiration from other people, but you are you! Try testing out different things and record how you are feeling throughout a workout, or even if you had the energy to even start the workout. I always know something is off when I wake up in the morning groggy and without any energy to work out because I know that’s now what my body is used to doing.

• What workouts haven’t you tried?

For a long time, I focused on running, running and more running. Running is an excellent workout, but it’s like only ever eating chicken, or only wearing the color blue. None of these things are bad, but you end up missing out on a lot that can really add so much value. Instead of investing all your time into one workout, try switching things up. You might feel great after a run, but what about a HIIT workout? You might hate weights, but why not try resistance bands! If you have a hard time getting yourself in a gym, why not try a dance class? Working out is kind of like taste testing. Not everything will be for you but if you find a favorite that helps you incorporate every part of your body!

Let me know how these tips shape your workout routine!

Thank you again for stopping by!

-Sonya

Money Saving Tips on Buying Name Brand Health Foods

How to Buy Name brand foods on a Budget!

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to buying healthy name brand food on a budget can be a tad bit difficult without a strategy. Luckily I have worked the last few years as a new wife working on figuring out how to do it!

So here are some of my top tips for buying name brand foods on a budget for you and your family!

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1. Figure out what your buying options in the area are.

For Daniel and me we don’t live near any of the cheaper health food stored like Trader Joes or Whole Foods so we have to rely on the more expensive grocery Stores. If this is you figure out when they run their specials and make a plan to go in and get out as soon as possible so you don’t get distracted and overspend.

For us, Fresh Market has 2.99 Tuesday where Ground Beef and Chicken Breast is 2.99lb! When this happens we stock up on about a months’ worth of meat so we cut down on the number of times were in the store.

2. Buy your Organic Vegetables Locally!

You can do this for signing up for your local CSA or find your nearest farm stand. This was you are only buying what’s in season so everything is higher quality, it’s usually a lot cheaper then what’s in stores and you're supporting a local small business!

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3. Buy your Pantry Items Online!

I am sure you have heard of THRIVE Market and Amazon. Both places to find your convenience items, but both can really rob you of your money. This is why I am always careful in choosing what I buy from these stores and always have the mindset of only going on to buy essentials.

THRIVE market has similar prices to Trader Joe’s when it comes to Pasta, anything Tinned, collagen, etc. I try to stock up once a month since shipping is only free after $50 and I find it easy to overspend on unnecessary things. The nice thing about thrive is you always get a free gift worth about $20.

AMAZON, on the other hand, carries one of my favorite brand Anthony’s Goods, and don’t have to spend a certain amount to get free shipping. I also have compared prices and we have signed up for subscriptions for personal care items such as toothpaste and toilette paper.

4. Always Check the Price per ounce!

This is a trick my Dad taught me and it is one of the biggest money savers! There are usually a few different name brands of our favorite products like Almond Butter. Conveniently there all usually a different size with a different price, but don’t just grab the cheapest one possible! The Price per ounce shows you how much you’re actually paying per item. I have seen it where the packaging looks exactly the same size and the price is similar but one will be 30 cents more per ounce! This doesn’t seem like a lot, but it adds up and makes a big difference in the end!

So now that you have all your tools to make buying Healthy Name brand foods possible for your family, it’s your turn to show the grocery stores what you’re made of! And use that extra cash to put towards something meaningful and fun!

Thanks for stopping by!

-Sonya Peacocke

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New Year New You

New Year New You. 

So I know this is coming a little late in the season, and all of you probably are killing your new year’s resolutions but I wanted to just take a minute to write about the whole New Year new you.

New Year new you, is something I have seen all over social media and it got me to think about what New Year new you actually means. For me, I tend to fantasize January 1st seeing a perfect version of myself. Waking up before the sun to smash out a workout, reading my bible, blending THE PERFECT chocolate smoothie, etc. 

When in reality, I might accomplish this the second or third day because January 1st means waking up late, reaching for the leftover chips and chocolate, and chilling. This lasts for a few days and then I get serious and start to attempt to work towards what I want to happen for the next year. As you might have guessed this also lasts for maybe longer than a week and then I am back to plain old me.

Now I don’t know about you guys but this whole New Year new me doesn’t seem like the most productive plan. Therefore; this year I decided to nix the New Year new me and stick to plain old Sonya Peacocke, the aspiring wellness blogger, and awkward situation maker. I know that In order to accomplish my bigger goals in life I have to stay focused on living a life that is honoring and pleasing to God. In Colossians 3:23 it says “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”.

We are created perfectly by God and there’s no need for a “new you”, but there’s always room for growth. For now, I will simply look at goals like they are a continuation of my whole life and morals. I don’t need to lose 15lb this year, but I want to continue being active and eat well to honor the body God gave me. I don’t want to earn a certain amount of money, but I want to continue encouraging others because of my desire to share Gods love.

I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t want to feel like every January I have failed just because the world is telling me I need to be or do something better. I want to always feel the desire to grow and change so that I am ready for whatever God has in store for me.

Missed you all and hope you had a wonderful Christmas/Thanksgiving!   

Thanks again for stopping by,

-Sonya

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How to Enjoy the Small Victories

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I don’t know about you guys, but when it comes to accomplishing goals I go 110%, up until about the half way point. For example, I started an eight week fitness program and the first four weeks were fantastic, but the last four have been a struggle. It’s not that my body can’t do it, but it’s my mind that tells me to stop. I haven’t seen or felt the drastic change so I try to tell myself it’s not working or I decide to neglect a workout because I convince myself I have too much to do. Of course this is all while I lay on the floor watching IG stories on how to make Halloween cakes…It is a good trait to think big, but when I don’t see the big change immediately I give up, thankfully I have my husband to keep me grounded when it comes to these things.

He constantly reminds me that in order to get where you want to be, your confidence is going to drop and spike and you have to push through. What you’re passionate about will drive you to learn more so you can overcome the down slopes and keep moving forward. And in order to see the big results I have to give it time, effort and consistency without letting the fear of failure or inability getting in the way.  

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A big part of what gets in the way of doing these things is not recognizing all the little victories along the way. Think about having a clean house. You don’t just pull out the dust pan and brush, stand there for an hour and poof your house is clean. You have to individually approach each part of the house. When the floors are cleaned you move on to the windows, and from there the messy drawer, and so on.  You would not have a clean house with all the small victories of different areas of the house. It is the same for our lives, weather your looking to get healthy, change your habits, improve relationships, etc. It’s not going to happen overnight, but when you take time to appreciate the little victories you will come to see the value in what you are doing.

If you feel unmotivated to finish or even star working towards a goal, take some time to journal some of the little victories that have helped get you this far. You might be surprised at how many victories you have accomplished that have helped you reach that point.

After you write down your accomplishments take some time to make a list of small victories you would like to accomplish to help you work towards your goal. This will help you get excited and help you to see as you go along just how much ability to accomplish what you set your mind on! 

Give it a go and let me know what you guys think!

Thanks again for stopping by!

-Sonya Peacocke

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Healthy Tips of the Week

I don’t know about you guys but I have my fair share of struggles when it comes to eating in a way that helps my body thrive. Thankfully I have some wins in there as well and since this is a page where you guys can come to find encouragement and helpful tips I figured why not dive into some of the ways I am working to better myself and work through my struggles.

SO here we go, a little look into the day to day life of someone looking to improve and facing the #strugglebus just like you!

First of all let’s check out a positive change

·         Sipping vs. Gulping

Recently I have become aware of the fact that even though I drink enough water its usually because I guzzle down half or even all of my 32oz tumbler of water after not touching it for hours. This makes me feel bloated and sick to my stomach like I just ate a whole thanksgiving spread. It’s one of those aha moments where you think that even though you’re getting a bad result from a habit, you’re still technically doing what you’re supposed to do. In this situation it’s getting enough water, but in reality flooding your system isn’t much better than getting less than what you’re supposed to.

In order to stop the bad habit I am working on consuming as much water as needed, but through sipping my water throughout the entirety of the day. This helps your body absorb what it needs without the constant urge to pee everything out…   

For me I haven’t done anything too fancy to change the habit except for make myself accountable by telling you guys about it here. Since accountability is how I work this for me is perfect, but if you’re looking for something more tangible think about getting a water bottle with ounce markers to tell you how much you have been drinking. Soma fancy ones have time slots as well to help you along your way!

Here’s a negative shift

·         Sugar vs too much Sugar

Okay, so my body is extremely sensitive to things like sugar, caffeine, medicine, smells, etc. My mom was an angel as the smell of bug spray made me burst into tears, sugar made me a crazed hyper thing and medicine usually made me feel like crap.

It only makes sense that in my older age of 23 that nothing has changed except for the fact that I can control myself a little better. That being said I have recently lost the will to keep my sugar & caffeine addiction at bay, especially late at night. 

One of my problems is that I have filled the house with more sugary treats than low sugar treats. For example I have had a healthy supply vegan chocolate, fudgsicle, ice cream and cake…yeah not a good environment for the one who does not have much will power. SO this week I am making sure to have on have treats on hand that are filled with nutrients, low in sugar, and still super tasty!  

 

Here’s a sneaky recipe for one of my favorite treats that fit the criteria!

 

Sugar free Vegan Chocolate Parfait 

Ingredients

·         1 serving coconut or almond milk yogurt. 

·         1Tbsp. cocoa powder

·         ½ tsp. unrefined stevia powder 

·         ¼ cup frozen raspberries

·         1tbsp. chia seeds 

·         Pinch of salt

·         Gluten free granola (find the recipe here! https://www.sonyasopencupboard.com/recipes-1/3/4/2018/5-ingredient-gluten-free-granola)

Mix everything together in a mason jar for that authentic hipster look and top it off with my 5 ingredient gluten free granola if you really want to get fancy.  

So without further adu here’s to a week of sipping water and keeping the sugar at bay!  

Thanks for reading!

-Sonya Peacocke

How to Stop Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating

I don’t know about you guys, but when it comes to how I snack it all comes down to emotions. I say snack because eating three balanced meals a day is easy. I look forward to my smoothie breakfast, my salad for lunch and my hot meal for dinner. This is all good and well until I look in-between the lines, where I see the secret snacking and quick bites of food here and there. Then there is the “I AM SO STRESSED THAT I NEED THIS CHOCOLATE ANYTHING TO RELAX AT NIGHT”….Yeah so maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but maybe it’s not…?   

I find that I eat when I am disappointed or proud of myself, I eat when I am bored, when I feel happy or sad and for any other occasion in between. This is not to say that all is lost and I have no way of changing the way I eat. The real situation is that I have the power to change my habits and rituals, but that it takes time effort and a willingness to do what it takes despite how scary it feels.  

Eating in general is an extremely emotional experience that is often tied with memories and feeling of guilt, pleasure, pain, etc. This emotional experienced paired with a life that encourages mindless eating can wreak havoc on personal goals health wise. We don’t only have to deal with the emotional aspect, but that food is at the ready for us 24/7 and opens the opportunity to easily eat on the run  or while we are preoccupied. I don’t know about you, but the opportunity to sit for half hour to enjoy a meal is a rarity and the busy lives we lead don’t exactly encourage creating homemade nutrient dense meals.

The problem we face here is the loss of connection with food as well as with our emotions, we can however work towards improvement. Here is a good starting point to become a more intuitive eater in order to stop the emotional roller coaster of eating in-between.

·         Start a Journal.

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Yes I understand you might have heard this before, and it is daunting thinking about tracking the food you consume, but let’s take a step back and look at this tool a little differently.

If you feel like it is too overwhelming, start out with journaling 2-4 days per week. With your journal entries don’t just focus on food, but focus mainly on how you were feeling, whether or not you were actually hungry, and in what setting you were eating in. If this is confusing here’s an example from my own personal journal.

“…Today I entered the kitchen tired and slightly dehydrated. It was an hour past when I normally ate lunch and had worked out that morning. I felt happy and confident from my accomplishments that day. Once I opened the fridge I grabbed ingredients for a salad and then proceeded to instead toast some bread and ate an egg sandwich, two slices of cheese and half of my salad. In between I snacked on random bits and pieces from the meal as well…”

This might seem like a lot of detail, but it helps you to determine the situation you put yourself in around food and how easy it was to go off track. I could have gone for lunch an hour early to prepare a well-rounded meal and focus more on taking the time to sit down and eat.

This tool helps your brain to connect the dots and realize when you are choosing to eat based on emotion or hunger.

Now Emotional eating is not something to be ashamed of or worth giving up over, it is a struggle that even though it is small, still causes harm. Instead of giving into the temptation of something familiar, work on becoming uncomfortable. Start a journal and make a plan to stop the bad habits and create new ones. The more you take the time to understand why you are turning to food the more power you have.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want food to be my safety net, rather I want it to be a tool. A tool to help me stay healthy and active with my children and family. I want to put aside my obsession with food and instead God with worshiping him rather than food and allowing Him to have the control rather than passing it over to myself. I want a life that is simple and pleasing to God, where I don’t have the overwhelming focus of food to distract me from the life He has lead me to lead.  

This week I was reading in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and found it an encouragement to remember the importance of the process…

 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear down, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”

Hope you all have a lovely week! 

-Sonya

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Hot to Eat Healthy While Traveling

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Traveling
Recently I jetted off to Cali for a fantastic getaway with my sisters, the trip in itself was wonderful but one thing I struggled with was my digestion. I attempted to eat healthy the whole time, but found that some of the key habits in my day to day life I didn’t uphold and that made all the difference.

My first mistake was not drinking enough water. I lost my water bottle due to an attempt at going through security with it filled with water (whoops). Since I didn’t have my water bottle I didn’t drink half as much as I needed.

I also am a big fan of coffee but don’t drink it that often, but of course this was vacation so I decided to enjoy a few cups a day. Now some people drink it to help their uh…digestion, but let me tell you I did nothing but throw things off. That being said I enjoyed every 1st 2nd & 3rd coffee run of the day because it was quality time with my sisters, and something that I would have regretted to miss out on.  

Besides the lack of water and increase of coffee I found that I began to eat a lot more things I normally avoid. Things like corn, processed sugar, soy, coffee, etc. these foods can be okay for some people, but for people with extremely sensitive tummies such as myself, they can really wreak havoc.

Overall it took me about a week to not feel like my stomach was going crazy and to recover from the jet lag. This trip was a tester for myself as I have another upcoming trip where I will be traveling for much longer and in a place where all the food is completely different (any guesses?).

My plan for keeping everything good is to first stick to SIMPLE foods a few days before traveling and afterwards. Things that I know are simple and good for me such as probiotic rich foods, steamed vegetables, low amounts of sugar etc.

I will also be investing in another water bottle that is easy to carry around and MAKE SURE not to lose it…Along with this I will try to keep focused on drinking more as it is easy to forget while traveling.

On the plane I will attempt to fast for the length of the flight. Flying in itself can mess with your digestive system, and to add in the complimentary “roast beef” dinner just doesn’t equal a good time.  

This has all been a type of experiment and though it wasn’t that much fun dealing with the aftermath, I am excited to put what I have learned to the test and update you after the next attempt at traveling!

Until next time,

Sonya

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How to Balance a Social Life & Healthy Eating

I don’t know about you guys, but for me I have had a hard time balancing a social life and healthy eating. Back in the days where I was counting calories I would simply order seltzer water and lime because it was free and low calorie! A win-win for sure, or so I thought. Now don’t get me wrong, seltzer water and lime tastes great, but not ideal for a meal replacement which is exactly what I was using it for.

After ending my days of calorie counting I found myself overloading on all the food that I wasn’t able to have beforehand and grew accustomed to over eating. This led to a different reason to be stressed, because I couldn’t stop myself from eating until I was almost sick. This meant that the whole time leading up to eating and afterwards I would be consumed with the thoughts of food rather than enjoying the time spent with the people I love.  

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After a few years of trial and error I have come to a point where I have a better understanding of how much I need to eat and how I should be eating. I know that I’m not facing my last real meal for a few days, or that I am eating a food I have put in the “don’t touch” category. I can stop at one plate of food, but I also feel free to go for seconds without guilt. I know now that if my friends want to go out for a treat I won’t shut them down. I am okay if there’s nothing on the menu for me because I will plan ahead with snacks and order a seltzer with lime because it’s delicious.  

This being said, I still have many struggles when it comes to food, but because I have put my faith in God he has strengthened me to keep moving forward. Lately I have been reading a devotional created by Cambria Joy and two verses have really captured my attention. In Matthew 11:28 it says “come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” and Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Even though I still fight it, I have decided to let God be in control of my life. It has taken quite a bit of time, effort, and tears, but through it all God has been my strength.

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If you find yourself stuck in an unhealthy mindset when it comes to food, take it to the Lord and read through Philippians 4:4-13. Search the bible for encouragement and pray for strength, it is only through God and his grace that you will find complete healing!

Now go enjoy an evening out at a restaurant with friends or a date night in with your favorite treats and I will do the same!

Sincerely,

Sonya

Building a Healthier Relationship with Food

Eating food is better than starving.

I don’t know about you guys, but I have struggled with the idea that starving is better than eating food. This is a viewpoint that came to life as a young adult and is something I still struggle with today.  

It started in high school when I began to be conscious of what I was eating. This was in a sense great because I had a good relationship with food and a simple mindset to become a healthier person. Unfortunately, it morphed into something much bigger than I thought possible without even realizing. During high school, I maintained a healthy weight, but once I graduated and the stress of holding down a job and paying for school I lost both weight and understanding of what healthy looks like. Originally it was the feeling of losing control of my life and the desperate search for what I could still hold on to. Instead of looking for the Lord for Guidance and stability, I tried to fix things myself. I began to control the one thing I knew I could and that was what I put in my body. I began to cut out foods, restrict calories, exercised obsessively, took water pills, and binge-watch dieting shows in my free time. In the midst of it all, I actually developed a fascination for anorexia because I thought I was better than them. It also gave me confidence knowing I had some "cracked the code", and therefore validated my behavior.

After a year of going hungry, I found myself unhappy in several areas of life. I was losing weight and acing my classes, but I had begun to look sickly, my temper and stress were out of control, my relationships began to strain and I struggles to find Joy in life. 

In order to combat the pain I was feeling, I began to treat myself to eating exactly what I wanted and however much I wanted. Now going from eating minimal amounts of food to excessive amounts can take its toll. As I began to gain weight I felt like a failure, I was more anxious and full of fear. The only way I was able to get through this time in my life was to look to God for forgiveness and His grace in my life. I knew what I was doing was wrong and in order to change the direction of my life I needed to rely 100% on God. In no way was this transition easy, and I still struggle today, but I thankfully have the Lord to guide me and lift me up in my time of weakness. 

Though I still struggle with thoughts of whether or not to eat, downloading and deleting fitness apps, and feeling the urge to work out every single day and assuring myself at meal time that I don’t have to gorge myself. I know that I am free to eat whenever I please and whatever I please. I now know that

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·         Food is not the enemy

·         The feeling of fullness should not cause guilt

·         & it’s better to build a foundation on the Lord rather than a scale.

Matthew 24-27

 

Pst* Shout out to Cambria Joy who inspired me to write this blog post!

How to Simplify your Workouts

I don’t know about you but when it comes to fitness I don’t like to live by the rules. Not that the rules are bad, they just aren’t for me. Let me explain…

For me working out is something that I want to fit into my day to day life without a second thought. I want it to be something that brings me joy and appreciation for what my body is able to do. This was my hope from the beginning of my fitness journey, but when I began to look into “getting fit” everyone seemed to be selling me something. If it wasn’t a gym membership it was a workout program, energy drinks, etc. An endless amount of consumer products to “help” me reach my goal.

Thankfully I was stingy with my money and not willing to fork over $300 for a Mr. Muscle body sculpting class and had to become a little more resourceful. I found out that I was more willing to work out if it meant the chance to get outside and hated the idea of working out in a building full of the bodies of sweaty strangers.

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For me, it is motivating to know that when I wake up in the morning I can choose to go for a walk or smash out a HIIT routine, not because I am being told to do it, but because I want to do it. The idea that fitness is something that can be tailored to you as an individual is so satisfying in that you get the choice in how you work out.  

That is not to say that workout routines are bad, or that gyms should never be entered, it’s about learning how to make fitness something that works for you. It is important to learn about how you are motivated, what energizes you, and what brings you the most joy. When you discover what works for you, integrating it into your daily life will become a breeze.

 For me, it was the simple act of saving money and spending time outside that helped me to shape what works for me. No matter what your personal style of working out is, or how you get yourself motivated, do it because you are enjoying it, not because someone is telling you that it has to be done a certain way.

Make sure that fitness is one of your favorite hobbies and not your favorite chore.

 

Thanks again for stopping by!

 

Sincerely,

Sonya  

How to Become a Morning Person

6 Steps to a Better Morning!

I don’t know about you guys but for me, mornings are a crucial part of my day. Since I am a morning person, if my attempt at morning is rolling out of bed late I will probably crash and burn in about 2 hours. I Love having a schedule where I wake up early enough to read my bible, get a good workout in, and prepare a healthy breakfast and lunch. This way, I am prepared for what craziness lies ahead in my day.

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Though I love to wake up early, it is not the easiest thing to get a handle on. Thankfully I have come to learn a few tips that help me to wake up and get going.

So here’s the low down on the 6:00...6:30am start to your day!

Tip #1: Set ONE alarm

It’s good to do this because when you hit the snooze button you are dozing off in between or on your phone which actually makes it harder to get out of bed and feel alert.

Tip#2: Keep Water right next to your bed

Drinking water immediately after waking up helps you to feel alert and more awake. This is just a small benefit though, when you take into consideration the fact that drinking water first thing in the morning helps to boost metabolism, detoxifies the body, and strengthens the immune system!

Tip#3: Start your day without your phone

 Personally I use my phone for my workouts, but I try to first read my Bible or journal and also try to step outside to get fresh air before my workout.

Tip#4: Get Moving!

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Some people like myself thrive off of morning workouts, because by the time it gets to 5pm the most movement I want to accomplish is a walk or bike ride. If you are not like me and find you have more effective workouts in the evening then instead take the time to go on a leisurely walk or do some yoga. This helps to get your blood pumping, aids in digestion, and adds a little boost to your metabolism.

Tip#5: Apple Cider Vinegar.

I have found that starting my day with breakfast doesn’t sit well, so instead I chose to drink apple cider vinegar before my normal meal. Apple Cider Vinegar is great way to get in some healthy probiotics while reducing sugar cravings, detoxes the body, and aids in digestion.

There are several ways you can enjoy ACV, I recently have discovered adding drops of grapefruit essential oil as well as lemon to sweeten things up!

Tip#6: Skip the Caffeine.

If you don’t have any problems with caffeine than go for some matcha, but for me I have found that as long as I keep my breakfast full of nutrient dense foods and I stay hydrated I don’t have a need for caffeine. The benefit of this is not relying on stimulants to keep you going, and avoiding that mid-day slump caffeine introduces us to.

BONUS TIP* Find a music playlist you love and play it every morning, and pretty soon your brain will associate the music with waking up. SO keep the Jams going and you might find yourself feeling a little bit cheerier.

Now that you guys are equipped and ready to start your morning with these hacks, give them a go and let me know which one is your favorite!

Quitting Coffee For Balanced Hormones

Quitting Coffee

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I don’t know about you guys, but my longest relationship has been with coffee. Even before I met Daniel my dad would give me a petite cup filled with just enough coffee to dip my cinnamon toast in. Over the years coffee has brought a lot of energy and delight, but last year I began to realize that what it started to put my body through was not worth it.

It all started once Daniel moved to America and we began married life together. Stress was high as we were trying to figure out how to maneuver through life together. Though I would try to get the day going on a high note I would continuously be met with an over sensitive & emotional me that felt like the world was crashing to an end every day around 1 pm.

 Now I know you might be thinking that is seems normal when it comes to stressful situations, but the problem was that it wasn’t getting any better. This is when I started to question the root cause and discovered to amazing qualities of hormones. After some research I found that coffee was one of the main culprits behind it all.  

What I came to discover is that coffee can take a toll on the female body through its effects on blood sugar, stress hormones, and your gut!  One of the best articles I could have read is Alissa Vitti’s blog post, 3 Secret Reasons Why Women Should Not Drink Coffee. She explains exactly what goes on in the FEMALE body when it comes to caffeine.  

I know what you may be thinking, how can you possibly give up the sweet nectar of life that you get to experience each morning? Well what worked for me was going cold turkey for about two months and then enjoying it solely on the weekends. I also try to stick to a few Rules I have made for myself that have made the experience much more joyful

·         Rule #1: Make sure the days I do drink coffee involves a lot of movement.

I know from experience that being highly caffeinated while sitting in a church pew for a few hours is enough to drive anyone crazy. 

·         Rule #2: Make sure you actually WANT a cup of coffee.

If it’s the day you normally have coffee and you are not feeling it than don’t force it! There have been days where I drink it just for the fact that today is my only chance, but that tends to lead to me feeling not so great. Respect and listen to what your body is telling you, if you’re not feeling it than don’t drink it.

·         Rule #3: Don’t skimp out!

I am spoiled in this category because Daniel actually makes me coffee, meaning he roasts, grinds and creates the perfect Chemex drip coffee for me. I know you might not have a Daniel in your life, but you do have amazon where you can pick up green beans if you want to attempt roasting, a Chemex coffee maker, a coffee grinder and you’re good to go. By doing this you can avoid drinking stale coffee which means you don’t miss out on the awesome antioxidants coffee has to offer. Drinking fresh coffee has less acidity than stale coffee and is a lot easier on your tummy!

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Now that I stick to these “Rules” I feel like I can take on any day life decides to throw at me without the need for coffee. There’s no 1pm crash, anxiety, mood swings (from coffee at least), and I find myself enjoying coffee even more than I did before!

Always remember that it’s never about deprivation, it is only about caring for the body that God has entrusted to you!  

Pssst** Here are some sneaky Ideas to replace that everyday cup of coffee!

·         Matcha Tea

·         Turmeric Latte

·         Healthy Hot Chocolate

·         Lemon Water

·         Rooibos tea

Allisa VItti’s 3 Reasons Why Women Shouldn’t Drink Coffee

https://www.floliving.com/3-reasons-why-women-cant-drink-coffee/

 

 

 

How to Meal Prep

Meal Prep because you’re Awesome

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Ever see those pictures with the perfectly portioned weeks’ worth of food? The ones where everything is so perfect you convince yourself that if you can accomplish the same your life will be complete? Well If you haven’t I can tell you that I have definitely gone through this only to fail and realize that this type of meal prep is definitely not for everyone.

Personally I found that portioning out the same meals for every day was not worth the effort. I also found the meals to be less satisfying since I felt I was obliged to eat the same thing most days. Now for me this is probably because I don’t like being told I have to eat a certain way. Hand me a meal plan and even if it’s everything I love, I will probably completely avoid it.

That being said I don’t ignore meal prep all together, I simply have figured out a way to put my own spin on things making meal prep easier and more enjoyable!

For me meal prep involves cooking up staple item that can be pieced together according to that day. Usually I focus on quinoa, roasted vegetables, bake a sweet potatoes, chopped lettuce, frozen fruit, homemade tahini dressing, and a crock pot meal such as curry or soup. This was I have the option to make a variety of meals from the ingredients I have already prepped!

As well as these foods I make sure to have plenty of my favorite fruits and vegetables for snacking on in between meals. If I am feeling extra fancy I might whip up some homemade chocolates or protein balls for treats!

Here’s a list of meals you can make from my normal routine, showed here!

·         Fried quinoa with roasted veg

·         Soup and Salad

·         Curry with quinoa avocado & Lime

·         Chocolate protein smoothie

·         Sweet potato over greens with sliced Avocado and tahini dressing.

These are just a few ideas, but get a little adventurous and see what healthy meals you can create from your favorite foods!

Pssst* Check out my Crock pot chicken curry recipe for some inspiration! https://www.sonyasopencupboard.com/recipes/