Who doesn't want healthy, clear skin? Not a single person I know... I've been struggling with acne for a while now and I feel like I've tried every product and acne line on the market, minus a few. I was getting so frustrated with how bad my skin was looking. I wash my face before bed, when I wake up, after working out, I clean my makeup brushes... you name it, I do it. But nothing seemed to be making it better. I finally got to the point where I made an appointment to see my dermatologist. I've been several times before and it usually ends with me leaving with an expensive face wash or cream that works okay, but still doesn't give me the results I'm looking for.
About a week before my appointment, my mom told me some ladies she works with actually use oils to cleanse their face and that maybe I should look into it. I'm not going to lie... I was extremely skeptical, although I had heard of this before and I never gave it a second thought. Not only was my acne really bad, but I naturally have very oily skin and the thought of adding more oil to that was making me want to not even consider it, but I thought about it a little and decided to do a little research before completely tossing the idea. That night I was at Whole Foods buying oils...
I learned that all of those harsh chemicals we are smearing into our pores aren't actually as effective as we think they are. All the dirt and sweat and gross stuff sitting on our faces can actually get pushed further into our pores, making acne even worse. The oils used to clean your face help bring up the bad oils and dirt and stop them from soaking deeper into your pores, and the cleaning oils help moisturize your skin... unlike most acne products which dry your skin out, and in turn your body overcompensates and produces even more oil. The oils used to cleanse your face also help prevent your skin from making so much oil during the day, so it's less oily!
Depending on your skin type and the results you are trying to achieve, there are different types of oils to use. I use a mixture of avocado oil and hazel nut oil. I have the two mixed in a jar and I use that at night time, followed by applying apple cider vinegar as a toner. After that dries, I apply tea tree oil on red spots... It helps with inflammation and redness. If I don't apply tea tree oil, I apply coco butter as a moisturizer.
In the morning, I cleanse my face with raw honey. It's antibacterial properties help prevent breakouts, and I follow that with the apple cider vinegar as well. I still noticed that I had some bumps that were still bothering me and I needed to get rid of them, so I used a homemade oatmeal mask... So much better than a store-bought jar of chemicals! Not to mention is was super easy to make.. I just cooked a half cup of oatmeal, let it cool, mixed in a tablespoon of raw honey, and applied to my face for 20 minutes. I seriously don't remember the last time my skin looked this healthy!!
My skin is still not exactly where I want to it to be, but I've only been doing this for about a month. Things like this take a little time, but I've already seen major improvements. Another thing I've been doing is drinking Kombucha a couple times a week. It helps keep my gut clean and balanced... Along with eating clean and healthy, of course! This just goes to show that food is medicine! There is absolutely no need to fill our bodies with harsh chemicals that aren't even doing anything for us.
So I'm approaching my 3rd Half Marathon at the end of October, which I'm getting really excited about! Although, I'll be even more excited when the weather gets cooler! It's a "running" joke that people who run half-marathons are only "half-crazy" well guess I'm "fully-crazy" now because I registered for the Louisiana Full Marathon this upcoming January! Got my new shoes and I'm currently working on a training schedule and, of course, a new playlist... I'm going to need lots of music to keep me going for 26.2 miles!
This is something I've been wanting to do since I did the Louisiana Half Marathon almost 2 years ago. It's going to take a lot of time, dedication, and discipline. And whether I'm ready for it or not, I made the impulsive decision last night to just sign up! That's the only way I was going to actually do this... I could sit around and wait another year and contemplate if I was ready for it or not, but I'm not getting any younger! I usually have to think about something for a while before I make a decision, and I've thought about it a lot, but I never could commit to signing up. This has been a goal of mine for a while now, and I'm so excited that I'm finally doing this!
Now to prepare myself for the long runs, meal prep, and ice packs #geauxrunla
I am very excited to announce that I'm now an ACE Certified Health Coach! I've been studying for several months, especially the last few weeks - that's why my posts haven't been as frequent! But now I can focus more time on here - creating new recipes, sharing my latest workouts, and posting healthy living tips! My passion for health and nutrition is what drives me everyday and I love sharing that with people. I'm sure in these upcoming weeks I'll be writing lots about running.... only 7 weeks out from the Jazz Half Marathon!
Yep. You read that right. Birthday cake protein cookies! I'm not exactly what you would call a "baker," and I thought these were super easy to make and took hardly any time at all! I came across this recipe and really wanted to try it, but didn't realize until after I started making it that the yield for the recipe was ONE cookie. But it's HUGE, and there was no way I could eat it all! I like it because it's not super sweet (but you could adjust that if you wanted to), and it can be used as a pre-workout/post-workout snack! Not to mention it's gluten free, paleo, vegan, dairy free, and refined sugar free!
This will probably be my new favorite snack while I'm training... maybe I can experiment and make some new flavors?!
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used GNC's Amplify)
3 T coconut powder
Pinch Sea Salt
2 T cashew butter
1 T pure maple syrup (can omit or use sugar-free, but may not bind as well)
Pinch vanilla extract
Pinch natural butter extract (optional)
1-2 T dairy-free milk of choice (I used unsweetened Almond milk)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with greasy proof paper and set aside.
In a small mixing bowl combine, coconut flour, protein powder, and salt. Mix until no clumps.
In a small microwave safe bowl, melt cashew butter with maple syrup until combined. Stir in vanilla extract and butter extract. Pour the wet mixture in with the dry mixture and mix until a crumbly texture remains. Using a tablespoon at a time, add dairy free milk until a thick batter is formed.
Form the batter into a ball and transfer to the lined cookie sheet. Press firmly and spread out into a cookie shape. Top with optional sprinkles and bake for 8-12 minutes - 8 minutes for extra soft and chewy or 12 or so for a firmer cookie.
Remove from oven and allow to cool!
Two weeks and counting until I start training for my next half! I'm so excited! It's been since January 2015 since I ran my last half marathon. Lately, I've been focusing on strength training and doing some interval training to help build my endurance because I'm determined to run this race under 2 hours... I'm kinda slow, and I'm okay with that, but I'm always looking to improve! I completed my last race in 2 hours and 16 minutes, so I'm hoping to shave off at least 16 minutes... which won't be easy, but I have no doubt I can do it! Although this heat has been brutal to run in...
This is the first time I'm actually sticking to a training program for running. Before, I just kind of ran and did whatever I felt like doing, but I'm trying to make this race a PR and train for a full marathon in January. I've done a lot of research and I know my own body's capabilities and what I need to do to perform my best. I've looked at several training plans, but I ended up creating my own... and of course I will be keeping track of everything using my fitbook!!
More to come on how I fuel my body, my gear/equipment, and my motivation! But, here is a preview of my training schedule:
Let me start by saying that I love breakfast for dinner and that I also used to not like eggs... I always felt sick after eating them, but now I love them! My boyfriend and I tried this new recipe and it's unbelievably easy and delicious! Plus it's a little more exciting than just regular eggs and hash-browns, not to mention healthier too!
I think the thing I love most about this recipe, besides it being super easy and tasting amazing, is that it's not exact. You can add whatever you want and cook as much, or as little as you want, so don't think you have to follow it exactly as written here. You can cook 2 eggs or a dozen... And it makes for a great dinner or breakfast!
1 sweet potato
2 tsp coconut oil
eggs - however many you are going to eat
1 small onion
2 links chicken sausage - I used chicken and apple
salt and pepper to taste
Cheddar cheese - to sprinkle on top
Cut sausage into bite-sized pieces and brown.
Dice onion and Julienne sweet potato.
In a cast-iron skillet, on medium-high heat, melt 2 tsp coconut oil. Add onion to sauté until soft. Add sweet potato and cook for 8-12 minutes (or when you think it's ready). When sweet potatoes are done, add the sausage and mix well.
Flatten out mixture and make enough wells for the number of eggs you are making. Crack one egg in each well and let sit until the egg whites start turning opaque (about 2 minutes). Sprinkle the cheese on top and place in broiler set on high for 2-4 minutes or until eggs are cooked to your liking. Remove and add salt and pepper to taste.
Best if eaten immediately!
We all know Mondays can be pretty dreadful sometimes... Which is the exact reason why it should be your priority to get to the gym on Mondays! It helps start your week off on the right foot. It helps energize you, not to mention, relive some of the stress from your busy workday. When you skip Mondays, you are less likely to stay motivated for the rest of the week... and how are you going to reach your goals if you are skipping or making excuses?! The answer is you're not...
No matter how tired you may feel or how much you just don't want to go (like last Monday for me) - don't make an excuse! It's not going to get you anywhere. And really, who goes to the gym and says they regret working out afterwards?! Certainly not me! By getting to the gym, going for a run, or doing whatever activity you like doing - make it a priority on Mondays!
With the first day of summer officially here, I think it's appropriate to say it's freaking HOT! I started sweating just walking to my car and it's only June. What's going to happen when August gets here?! The heat down south can be brutal, so I'm sharing some healthy tips on staying cool this summer!
1. Drink LOTS of water - Yeah, I know... this is pretty obvious, but there can be some serious consequences if you become dehydrated. Especially with a heat index of 106 in June... Drink AT LEAST half your body weight in ounces each day! But if you are working/exercising outside, you may need more. I'm not really one to drink sports drinks, but when it's this hot and I'm sweating so much, I do. I like the Gatorade G2 because it has less sugar than regular Gatorade.
2. Workout early - I'm NOT a morning person by any means, so getting up early can be a challenge sometimes. But since I'm about 6 weeks out from the start of my half marathon training, there is absolutely NO WAY I can run in the afternoons after work with this heat - so that means it's time to start running early in the mornings. Not only will it be a little cooler, but I will feel super energized the rest of the day!
3. Wear dry-fit clothing - Seriously, it's so much cooler when wearing a dry-fit shirt when I run compared to a cotton shirt. It's light-weight and breathable!
4. Snack on fruits and vegetables - Fruits and vegetables have a very high water content - not to mention packed with vitamins and minerals that are used to help keep you hydrated! Frozen fruit makes refreshing snack - my favorite is frozen grapes!
5. Don't forget the sunscreen - I burn pretty easily, so anytime I know I'm going to be in the sun for more than 20-30 minutes, I always apply! No one wants wrinkles or anything worse...
6. Enjoy the summer! - Mine will be filled with a beach trip, lots of snowballs, and maybe some paddle boarding - really making me wish I were going back to the Keys and Sanibel this summer!
Exciting news for Mackie Shilstone GNC - Their new location is now open on Tchoupitoulas and they are having a Grand Opening Sale Memorial Day Weekend!! The sale starts on Friday, May 27 and runs through the weekend! The entire store will be 40% off with select BOGO half off specials! Time to stock up on products!
Not to mention that Mackie Shilstone, Eat Fit NOLA, and MYSLEF will be in the store May 28 to answer health and nutrition questions!
The new store is located at 5300 Tchoupitoulas St.
*Don't forget to mention Taylor'd Nutrition when you shop at the Magazine location (and now the Tchoupitoulas location) to receive a discount (not applicable with other discounts)!
Summer is quickly approaching, which means flip flops, tan lines, and snowballs... Not to mention the brutal heat! Participating in any sort of outdoor activity is going to be challenging... for me, that would be running. Once I get on that runner's high, I feel like I could go forever, but the heat certainly puts a damper on that. Finding the motivation to exercise (or participate in any outdoor activity) in the summer can be tough. Here are my 5 tips for keeping yourself motivated to run during those summer months!
1. Stay hydrated - for those longer runs, invest in a water belt or CamelBak. Or try running in a new place that has easy access to water fountains where you can refill your water bottle. And don't forget proper nutrition - you will be sweating a lot, so make sure to replenish electrolytes too!
2. Get up earlier - run before the sun comes up. It's still humid and hot, but the sun isn't beating on your back and slowing you down. Not to mention that you will feel more energized throughout the day!!
3. Take it inside - as much as I can't stand running on a treadmill, sometimes I breakdown and have to do it. It's nothing like running outside (which I clearly prefer) but sometimes I need to get that run in and it's much better than running in the heat of the day!
4. Cross Train - this is the perfect time to try a new class or new routine at the gym! Running everyday during the summer is not exactly realistic living in New Orleans... so you have to be flexible with changing your workout plans at the last minute. Who knows, a mini-hurricane may blow through one afternoon, preventing you from hitting the pavement...
5. Wear cool, breathable clothing - you are going to be sweating. A lot. So wearing dry-fit shirts and tanks will make you a little more comfortable, as opposed to wearing super tight, non-breathable materials. And don't forget the sunscreen too!!
6. Wear a good pair of running shoes - getting fitted for running shoes is a must!! Having a proper-fitting pair of running shoes helps prevent injuries, takes some pressure off your joints, and overall makes your run a lot more comfortable! This tip isn't just for summer either - a good pair of running shoes is one of the most important things a runner can have. Yes, they can be expensive, but would you rather increase your risk for injury by running in shoes that aren't supportive or could potentially by hurting you? Didn't think so... When I first got fitted, and after my first run in my new shoes, I promised myself I would never run in a pair of Nike's again!! I personally love Mizunos - not to mention the color I currently have is my favorite color!
It's crazy for me to think that a year ago I was stressing about taking my last set of finals and getting ready for graduation! It's been an interesting and exciting year to say the least, and unfortunately it came with it's disappointments too. Recently, I've come to the realization (even though I've heard this a million times...) that it doesn't really matter how long it takes you to do something. What matters is that you complete it. Just because it takes you a little longer to achieve your goal than someone else, doesn't mean you failed; it just means that that was your path you were meant to be on. And it may take a little time to figure out exactly what we are supposed to be doing and where we are supposed to be. I believe everything happens for a reason and I've sort of started down a new path, which will be revealed at a later date... But I'm SUPER excited about it!
Not going to lie... I'm pretty nervous for this new adventure because what if it doesn't work out like I plan? I've thought about this question non-stop for the last week. I've finally convinced myself that it doesn't matter what happens... All that matters is that I'm doing everything I can to reach my goal!
What good is it going to do for me to just sit around and hope that the right opportunity presents itself? That's right. No good at all. So that's why I've decided it's time for me to take the next steps to get to where I want to be and it's taking me down a slightly different path than I thought I would be on, and I'm okay with that because it's making me happy! And that's the important thing here, right?
While most of our protein should be coming from lean meats and plant sources, sometimes our busy schedules don't always allow that, so sometimes we rely on protein bars and shakes for an extra boost of protein! I'm really picky when it comes to protein powders and bars, so If it's chalky, you can forget it! I typically choose a protein bar (usually Quest or Think Thin) over a shake. I'm not much of a protein shake person because I usually take bars with me on-the-go and it's just easier for me so I don't have to worry about keeping milk cold (I don't really like protein powder with water - just a personal preference!), but lately I've been using Amplify from GNC and I actually really like it! It can be used for more than just a shake too, which is perfect for me because if I am going to use protein powder, you can bet that 95% of the time it's going to be in my overnight oats (which I eat pretty often).... the Sweet Cinnamon Roll flavor in the oats is amazing by the way!
And I really like the vanilla Amplify protein with fat-free Fairlife milk... Seriously, tastes like a milkshake! I had that and a banana for breakfast one day last week and I was nervous that I was going to get hungry soon after. I was really only nervous because that particular day of the week at work it's sometimes difficult to get a snack in before lunch with the way that day flows. But I was happy to say it kept me full until lunch! This is definitely now my "go-to" on busy mornings!
Here's my recipe for Sweet Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oats:
1/2 cup steel cut oats
1 scoop Sweet Cinnamon Roll Protein Powder
1 cup Fairlife Milk
1 Tbsp Chia seeds
Extra cinnamon to taste (optional)
Don't forget to mention "Taylor'd Nutrition" at the GNC located at 2901 Magazine St. to receive your discount on Amplify Protein and other products!!
The past few weeks I've been SUPER stressed! It's been tough to find the motivation to go to the gym... Although, I'm proud to say I went everyday last week like I said I would (and I've been running/walking everyday this week so far!)... Seriously, telling people what your goals are and writing down them really helps and hold you accountable! One day last week I went to the gym, got very frustrated just driving around the parking lot looking for a spot (and not to mention the rude people), so I left before stepping foot inside. I was supposed to be going to my boyfriend's house that night after I left the gym and when I got there he told me to go change my clothes and he was taking me back... He was making sure I reached my goals! So he dropped me off and told me he would be there whenever I was ready!
Sometimes we all need a little extra push and that's exactly what I needed that day! I felt so much better after... I mean really, who goes to the gym and regrets a workout?!
The past 12 weeks I've been participating in a fitbook challenge at work... and I was one of the few people who completed the challenge!! I got a little extra cash in my pocket and a fitlosophy food scale, which I can't wait to use! That sense of accomplishment made me week so much better! It reminded of my goals and why I do what I do! To help people live healthier and feel better is a huge accomplishment and I wouldn't want to do anything else! Plus this was the perfect way to set an example and practice what I preach!
We all experience times when we are under a lot of stress and pressure, especially when it comes to achieving things we want. With that, we sometimes lose a little motivation because we are so focused on achieving that one thing that we sort of get off track and don't take care of ourselves or push ourselves like we usually do... Well, I've been going through that lately. I normally wouldn't post this sort of thing, but this is part of my journey to becoming a registered dietitian. I'm still anxiously waiting to hear if I've gotten matched to a dietetic internship. Let me just say, my stress and anxiety levels are through the roof - I've felt like my stomach has been in my throat for the past 2 weeks! I found out last Sunday that I didn't get matched during first round matching, again. I was pretty beat up about it, but I couldn't just sit around and dwell on it - I had to do something.
The list of programs that still have spots available was released last Thursday, so I applied for just about every program I possibly could!! I'm so determined to get matched - if I don't, I'm going to be incredibly disappointed, but I will not let that deter me from achieving my goals - I knew going into this field how competitive it was. Needless to say, I've been feeling a little discouraged, but after applying to so many schools, I have to get matched somewhere, right?! I even lit some candles in the St. Louis Cathedral yesterday while at French Quarter Fest!
My family and friends have been so supportive throughout this whole process and I couldn't do it without them! Everyone has been so encouraging and it makes me strive even more to accomplish this!
I need to get my motivation back up and get back to my usual routine so I made a list (which my boyfriend constantly teases me about because I make a list for literally EVERYTHING - but it works for me!) of my goals for this week. It's proven that when you write down your goals and share with others, you are more likely to actually do it - so I'm sharing my goals for the week:
1. Workout everyday this week- even if I don't want to (I know I will feel better - I mean really, have you ever left the gym regretting a workout?! Didn't think so!)
2. Check my email no more than once an hour - not every 5 minutes! I'm probably giving myself more anxiety and adding more stress by checking it so frequently - Can you blame me though?! - I'm trying to be patient, but I just want to hear some sort of news!
3. Think positively - No matter the outcome! Everything happens for a reason!
This has been a tough journey, and I know everything happens for a reason, so I'm not giving up! I'm going to keep on doing whatever I have to do to achieve my goals - I've made it this far!