Tag Archives: march

The Happiness Project: Aim Higher

Hello all! So as some of you know, I’ve been reading my way through The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Time for the March goals!

This month Gretchen wants to focus on aiming higher in your career to help achieve ultimate happiness. Her main points are to:

  • launch a blog (fancy that!)
  • enjoy the fun of failure
  • ask for help
  • work smart
  • enjoy now

I agree. You go Gretchen. Especially “enjoy now.” That’s definitely what I struggle with the most. Typically I am not afraid to fail. My issue is that I am just sometimes too lazy to even try. I have NO problem whatsoever asking for help, and I’m usually good at managing my time and working smart. But enjoying the present? That is an area where I could use some serious help.

Here’s some lines I really enjoyed from this chapter:

“Happiness is a critical factor for work, and work is a critical factor for happiness.”

“People who love their work bring an intensity and enthusiasm that’s impossible to match through sheer diligence.”

“Enthusiasm is more important to mastery than innate ability, it turns out, because the single most important element in developing an expertise is your willingness to practice.”

“The chief happiness for a man is to be what he is.”

“The brain is stimulated by surprise, and successfully dealing with an unexpected situation gives a powerful sense of satisfaction.”

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

“People don’t notice your mistakes as much as you think.”

“One reason that challenge brings happiness is that it allows you to expand your self-definition. Research shows that the more elements make up your self-identity, the less threatening it is when any one element is threatened.”

“The challenge, therefore, is to take pleasure in the “atmosphere of growth” in the gradual progress made toward a goal, in the present.”

Wow, Some heavy stuff right there. Here’s what I took away from all that:

  • Love what you do, and life will be grand.
  • It’s better to be passionate about what you do than good at it. However, if you’re good at something and enjoy doing it, you should probably be passionate about it. Life will be easier.
  • In the words of Pauly D, “You do you.”

  • Conflict is okay. It will make you a better person.
  • If you’re ever doubting yourself, the right solution will always find a way to appear.
  • Don’t stress about being perfect. You see yourself completely differently than everyone else does.
  • Be into a lot of things. Love your life and everything you do.
  • Stop waiting around for a life-changing moment to happen. That moment is now.

My March goals?

  1. Do what I want to do and stop worrying what other people will think about it.
  2. Have some me-time to focus on little things I love that no one else may understand, like blogging, exercising, reading, and organizing.
  3. Start working on my health coaching business that I’ve wanted to start for forever and a day.
  4. Stop just letting the days fly by and actually appreciate and enjoy each moment. I’m applying this one to food, too. I want to enjoy what I eat rather than just eating to put something in my mouth.

The end Smile

Kale Chips and Guacamole

HAPPY MARCH! Open-mouthed smile

I don’t know about you, but I am beyond excited for the start of a new month. February wasn’t the greatest for me, but I’m ready to turn it around in March and enjoy life. It already started off on a good note at my doctors appointment yesterday, when my doctor grabbed my arm and said, “Whoa, someone’s got some muscle.” THANK YOU SIR. Way to make my day. I wanted to hug him, but then felt that might be inappropriate and creepy since we were in an enclosed room alone. Good choice not to Allison. Nice work.

I also have to say that I’m on this motivation high right now. I had an amazing, amazing, amazing workout x 1,000 yesterday which included:

  • 1 hour jazzercise class
  • 20 minute Tone It Up HIIT routine
  • 10 minutes stretching
  • 15 minutes strength training/toning

I split that up into two parts, jazzercise and HIIT in the morning and stretching and toning in the evening. I feel awesome today. I knew that I wouldn’t have time to exercise today and since I had the energy to get it all done yesterday, why not?

Also motivated by Jillian Michaels and Michelle Obama on The Dr. Oz Show yesterday. Michelle is starting a new campaign to get children more active, especially in schools, which I think is absolutely fantastic. She said only 10% of public schools have a physical education program, and children spend an average of 7 hours in front of some kind of screen (tv, ipad, laptop, ipod, etc.) EVERY SINGLE FREAKING DAY. That is insane. It’s one thing if you’re an adult and your career requires that, but there is absolutely no need for a kid to not be outside playing and climbing trees like they should be. Like we did when we were younger! Jillian preached about her own weight loss struggle, which really touched my heart and only made me love her more. Did I tell you guys that I’m going to see her tour this spring when it comes to Detroit?!

Dr. Oz and Jillian Michaels exercise.

Anyway, moving onto the point of this post: a new recipe! Wooo! And a good one at that. I adapted this from the Tone It Up girls. It is beyond delicious. You will get addicted.

Kale Chips and Guacamole

  • kale (as much as you want depending on how many people this is serving!)
  • sea salt
  • olive oil
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • any other seasonings you wish
  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  2. If kale is not already in bite-size pieces, rip it up so it is. Spread it out on a cookie sheet, lightly drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and any other seasonings you wish, and lightly toss with tongs.
  3. Bake for 40 minutes (or until crunchy), flipping halfway through.
  4. Mash avocado and stir in tomato and onion. Squeeze in lime juice, sprinkle in sea salt and any other seasonings you wish, and give a good stir!

Now my kale “chips” have never gotten crunchy enough to have a chip-like consistency. When I make this recipe, I usually just put the kale on a plate, spoon guacamole on top, and eat with a fork. The guacamole will make enough to serve two, so double it if you’re cooking for more!

DSCN1622

This is a great recipe for entertaining friends or even to make for yourself for lunch. I’m definitely guilty of eating all the guacamole in one sitting. Sorry I’m not sorry.

I’ll be back later with a review of The Happiness Project March chapter. You can catch my February review, too Smile

Did you catch Jillian on Dr. Oz yesterday? What do you think of her?

My Favorite Foods

How is everyone doing on this lovely Thursday morning? I am totally obsessed with the fact that there’s only 2 days until the weekend and that March is starting tomorrow. February wasn’t the best month for me, but I’m determined to turn it around in March and make it rock. I have a lot of fun stuff going on in March:

  • new families to babysit for
  • a 5th birthday party for a sweetheart I babysit
  • tons of personal training sessions already scheduled
  • running a St. Patty’s Day 5K
  • house sitting for a lady I workout with
  • not too many weekend plans yet, so lots of time to relax (fingers crossed!)

I also got a call from The Ellen DeGeneres Show yesterday letting me know that our show taping has been moved up a day. WOO! One day less to wait. So for anyone that cares, the episode I’ll be in the audience for is going to be airing on April 11th. No worries, I’m sure I’ll remind you a million and one times before then anyway.

This is going to drive me nuts. Yesterday on someone’s blog they did a WIAW, but a “What I WOULD Eat Wednesday.” I cannot remember for the life of me who’s blog it was! So if this was you, please let me know so I can give you proper credit. Anyway, they wrote about what foods they would eat if they knew nothing about nutrition, calories, protein, added sugars, etc. I thought this was a super fun idea, so here’s what I would eat if I had no knowledge or care for taking care of my body. Here are the foods that I would totally be indulging in on a regular basis.

  • Costco chocolate chunk muffins

  • Olive Garden white chocolate raspberry cheesecake

  • Margaritas x 1,000

  • Tostitos scoops, guacamole, and salsa x 1,000,000

  • Vegetable lo mein

  • Peach rings

  • Ben & Jerry’s cinnamon buns ice cream

  • Caesar salad

  • Trix cereal (but the kind with the fruit shapes, not those boring circles they use now)

  • Fruit salad

There’s probably more, but that’s what first came to mind. Are you kidding me? Apparently I would be 3,000 pounds if I didn’t care about health and fitness!

Since we’re already on the food topic, can I please just share with you my breakfast from yesterday? I had a bit of an unusual schedule yesterday, so Luke and I had time to sit down to a real breakfast together for the first time in probably like, ever. I got my Perfect Fit Protein packets in the mail a few days ago and decided to try out the protein pancake.

pfp 

The recipe is super simple:

  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 tbs. almond milk
  • 1 packet perfect fit protein
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

pancake

YUM. I topped mine with some cookie butter, the other half of my banana, and a sprinkle of Back to Nature granola with dark chocolate chunks. It’s rare for me to not finish my food, but I still had a couple bites left. It was SO filling.

mimosa

Black coffee and a mimosa (or 3) may or may not have been enjoyed on the side as well.

I also got an awesome workout in yesterday. I didn’t quite follow along with the Wednesday schedule for the 5 Day Warm-Up, since I was feeling like mixing it up.

  • 2 Tone It Up ab routines, 3x through each (took me about 45 minutes)
  • 15 minutes stretching

Since I completed an hour of cardio at the gym yesterday, I wasn’t feeling any more additional treadmill work today. I’ll hit it today!

Here’s the schedule for today (wow, this post is getting bullet-point crazy!):

  • leg/butt circuits at the gym + jazzercise class
  • training 2 clients
  • doctors appointment (boo……)
  • afternoon off to do some seriously needed work on the computer!

Not sure what the plans are for tonight, but hopefully spending some time with my little sister, since she was absolutely devastated she didn’t have a snow day yesterday. Poor kid.

What’s a food you would eat if you had no knowledge of nutrition?