Progress Is Perfection

A blog to inspire, motivate, and unleash the awesome in everyone


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Monday Motivation!

Happy Monday all you beautiful people! It’s going to be a gorgeous week, so soak up that sun (with sunscreen on), sweat it out outside, and enjoy the summer! Have a fantastic week 🙂

 

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❤ N&V


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Kale Cheese Sauce

Oh hello interwebs! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything! Life keeps getting the better of me, I’m sorry!

My son and I went for an awesome walk through some local trails today, and were really hungry by the time we got home! He wanted grilled cheese, but I was thinking more along the lines of Mac&Cheese. Neither of them are super healthy, so I figured it would be easier to sneak some veggies into the cheese sauce. My experiment turned into a success! All we have on hand is spaghetti noodles, but it’ll work with any kind of noodle!

1014459_564224623692624_8067686958202275256_nMy son posing in front of a tree

Kale Cheese Sauce
(2-3 servings)

3 stalks of kale (I used black kale)
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2-3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2-1 tbls flour (I used brown rice flour)
S&P to taste

Wash and cut off the ends of your kale and throw it in a blender with almond milk. Blend until smooth. Add kale/almond milk to a warm pot and let it heat up slightly. Add cheese in handfuls, stirring until it all melts. Add flour as needed to thicken the sauce and season to taste! Mix with pasta and top with extra cheese.

10250080_564238353691251_1116830503774060022_nI added some leftover chicken for extra protein 🙂

I’m so happy this turned out yummy, my son was a little sceptical at first (he doesn’t generally like green food), but I added a little more grated cheese and he ate it all!

Let me know if you try it and how it turns out!

Much love,
Nicole


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Monday Motivation

Time changes always leave me feeling exhausted and unmotivated. So the only logical thing for me to do is get myself dressed and head to the gym for a pick me up!! Do something active today for a quick energy reboost and you’ll feel like yourself in no time! Here’s some motivation to get you off the computer and out doing an activity that you love!

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N&V


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Self Pity Parties SUCK.

So, for the last week or so I’ve been throwing myself a little pity-party. Actually, I think it’s been going on longer than that, I’ve just finally clued in to what I’ve been doing to myself.

Starting off 2014 I was stoked. I had seriously slacked during November and December, using the typical excuses; Christmas is just around the corner, busy with work, busy with family and shopping and cleaning and planning, blah blah blah. Excuses stopping me from reaching ANY of my goals.

Maybe I’ve set myself up with too many goals, maybe I’m just being lazy and waiting for life to happen. Whatever it is, I’m sick of it. I’m done feeling sorry for myself because I know it’s counter productive. I know this mindset will get me nowhere in life, so it’s time to reassess and get back on the motivation train!

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I’ve been ready to take on my goals since January 1st,  yet I don’t feel like I’ve come very far since then. Sure, I know, we’re only a month into the New Year, but this time last year I was determined to be the best I could be; getting up early to run a couple times a week, keeping up with my 3-4 hits a week, eating right, and having a healthy relationship with my life. This year has been trending along the lines of sitting on my ass and waiting for my determined self to come back. I’ve been making excuses for everything. It’s either I don’t have time, I just want to sit down for a couple minutes, or whatever else comes to mind.

I’m DONE with excuses.

Which is why I’m writing this post. I had a little chat with myself yesterday. I’m frustrated with my (lack of) actions lately. This isn’t who I am; I don’t sit around and wait for things to happen and I’m definitely not comfortable with mediocre. I am better than this person.

By the way; I’ve written about 3 or 4 of these posts but never published any of them because I couldn’t find the courage to admit my lack of motivation to you guys. I’ve been telling myself I’m ready to change for about 3 months now (basically since I fell off the wagon way back in November); well damnit, I’m READY!

So here’s my slap in the face. Get off your ass Nicole and do something great. Be the BEST you can be and do it NOW.

I came up with a little mantra to help me push past these excuses:

“I do not make excuses, I make progress
I am not weak, I am human and it is okay to feel less than 100%, accept it and move on
I don’t need to do everything myself, it’s OK to ask for help
I can and will do everything I set my mind to.”

So here goes nothing. I’m taking my life back, one step at a time. The first step is going to be cleaning and organizing my house (which has fallen to shambles because of my pity-party). I know it’s okay to let myself feel bad sometimes, but those feelings need to be accepted and moved away from, they are counter productive and will in turn eat your soul.

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Happy thoughts, good music and sunshine.

❤ Nicole


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Workout Nutrition Infographic

Have some questions about pre and post workout nutrition? Here is a handy infographic with some helpful tips and ideas to prep you for your workouts, and help you recover afterwards.

Get health and fitness tips at Greatist.com


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How to Keep Up With Healthy Habits During the Holidays

We all know that the holidays are notorious for being the time of the year where we are prone to packing on the pounds. In fact, its common for many of us to gain between 1-6 pounds during the holiday season! Family and work gatherings filled with delicious treats, busy schedules, financial stress, and a lack of motivation to workout, often factor into the ever-so-common New Years resolution to “get in shape”. Here are some tips we hope will help you through the next month and a half of craziness 🙂

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Even Santa has to step up his game come holiday time!

Holiday Parties & Gatherings

  1. If you are attending a potluck or an event where you can bring your own dish, consider it the perfect opportunity to make something healthy. Not only can others try a delicious healthy dish, but it can be your go-to to nibble on if the other options are a little less healthy.
  2. Don’t be afraid of baking! This is the time of year when baked goodies make their debut. Instead of forgoing the whole baking fun, find new and healthy recipes to try out and share with friends! Check out The Whole Pantry app on your iPhone or Android, we hear she’s coming out with a special Holiday update!
  3. Try to be mindful of your snacking and try your best not to hang around the snack bowls all night. Chatting around bowls of chips and cookie platters can often lead to impulsive and involuntary eating as you socialize.
  4. Don’t feel guilty about imbibing and enjoying some wine or other alcoholic beverages, but keep in mind that a lot of cocktails can pack a huge calorie punch. For example, eggnog is often upwards of 200 calories a cup…and sometimes its hard to stop at just one!
  5. Consider having a small meal before attending a party to avoid the need to overload on appetizers and finger foods. Often when we know a big dinner or party is coming up, many of us forgo meals for the day in order to “prepare” for an evening of fine dining and stuffing our faces. If we break this habit though, we will find that we have more self-control to make healthy choices.
  6. Remember that one or two nights of unhealthy food and drinks will not undo all the work you have done over the last year. Just try to not let it become a habit for the whole month of December!

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Maintaining Your Exercise Routine

  1. There’s no reason to wait until the New Year to start or continue healthy workout habits. Additionally, its the perfect way to blow off the holiday-induced steam from the over-crowded malls and shopping anxiety.
  2. If you need an extra kick in the rear, try to make workout dates with your friends and keep each other accountable.
  3. If time is not on your side, try something like a high intensity interval workout such as the 30 Minute Hit. In just 30 minutes you can burn up to 500 calories. And let’s face it – we all have 30 minutes to spare in a day no matter how busy we are!
  4. Plan plan plan. Those that fail to plan, plan to fail! So schedule your workouts ahead of time and make sure you commit to them as much your other appointments.

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General Health & Well-being Tips

  1. Remember amidst all the holiday chaos to keep eating balanced meals throughout the day. Don’t skip meals!
  2. Make sure to get your 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Not only will you have more energy for potentially crazy schedules, but it’ll help keep cold and flu bugs at bay.
  3. Take a few moments to yourself each day to reflect on what you are grateful for, it’ll keep the holiday spirit alive amongst the chaos of presents and parties.

 

Keep in mind that the holidays are meant to be enjoyed, so don’t beat yourself up if you splurge a bit on food, or falter a little with your exercise routine! Just remember that if you have been making health a priority all year, its not worth it to throw all the progress away at the end of the year by falling off the wagon the last 6 weeks. Moderation is the key! 🙂

– Veronica & Nicole


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The 80/20 Rule of Healthy Eating – Leave the Guilt Behind!

As I took a look through our blog and Facebook posts over the last few months, I wondered what our readers’ perception of us may be in terms of health and fitness. For some browsing through our various recipes, fitness, and health posts it might seem like Nicole and I have it all figured out. We eat right, cut out bad foods, exercise numerous times a week, keep ourselves motivated, and so on.

The truth is we are all human and therefore prone to errors in judgement, even on our journey to perceived perfection.  As much as our blog posts may have you believe, Nicole and I are not at all perfect when it comes to our eating and workout habits. When you really sit back and think about it, it’s unrealistic to think that we can all eat perfectly 100% of the time, and forcing that on our psyche is essentially only setting us up for failure.

What may be healthier, and what Nicole and I try our best to follow, is something known as the 80/20 rule. This means, eating healthy 80% of the time, and allowing oneself to indulge or choose a less than healthy option 20% of the time.

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Why is this important? Because although health and fitness are factors that should be addressed on a daily basis, we need to have fun and enjoy our lives as well! In my opinion, it’s not fun to completely deprive yourself of treats you like because they may not be the healthiest choice. For a lot of us, food is one of those things we really enjoy; trying new recipes, eating out at fancy restaurants, trying different cultural cuisines.

Additionally, sometimes when we don’t allow ourselves certain indulgences we fall into the trap of binging when we DO treat ourselves. Because we haven’t had that cupcake in a month, suddenly and quickly we have consumed 4 of them in one sitting. And really, what is the point of eating perfectly for a whole month just to throw it away in a day of binging? Food is not something that should be leaving us guilt-ridden for a day if we have eaten a candy bar or God forbid peanut butter with added sugar (gasp!). Guilt often leads to stress, which leads us to things that make us feel better. Unfortunately this is often the very thing that made us feel bad in the first place – unhealthy food. It becomes a vicious cycle.

Instead, if you have eaten healthy all week, don’t feel guilty about having a bowl of ice cream after dinner. Or if you are at a wedding and there is not a healthy plate of food in sight, who cares! Enjoy yourself, eat the delicious food, and maybe throw in an extra workout that week if you feel the need. In the end it’s all about achieving a healthy balance that both your body and your mind are happy with.  Leave the stress and guilt behind and remember that even on your journey to health and fitness where food is meant to nourish, it’s also meant to be ENJOYED! 🙂

– Veronica