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lifestyle

5 Tips to Battle Pregnancy Cravings

5 Tips to Battle Pregnancy Cravings

When I got pregnant, I started getting intense cravings all the time— and it wasn't only for sweets. I had to find ways to keep this under control because I wanted to remain healthy for both my baby and for myself. There was no way I was letting myself gain 80 pounds! It’s a myth to think that you eat for two. Yes, your baby does need nutrients to be healthy.  But that isn't an excuse to eat 2 servings per meal.

How Anna Lost 10 Kg In One Year and Kept It Off

How Anna Lost 10 Kg In One Year and Kept It Off

After Anna joined the PumpUp community in January 2015, she made a complete lifestyle transition. "PumpUp was an amazing source of motivation," she shared. "I have accomplished so many things thanks to PumpUp. Now, I hit the gym 5 times a week. It's something I would have never done before. I am also more self-confident." 

Nathan traded weekly partying for healthier habits and here's what happened

Nathan traded weekly partying for healthier habits and here's what happened

It wasn't easy for Nathan to ease into a routine filled with regular exercise and healthy eating habits. "I wasn't in the greatest shape, but I had good people around me at home," he explained. "[They] encouraged me. Of course, when I joined PumpUp, I quickly got a lot of support, [even though I was only] on there for a short period of time. My confidence has also grown, which is something that I lacked while I was growing up. I owe a lot of people for their support during my fitness journey. I wouldn't be where I am without them and PumpUp." 

Where do raw vegans get their protein from?

Where do raw vegans get their protein from?

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As soon as you tell someone you’re raw, vegan, or some category of a vegetarian, everybody around you suddenly becomes a qualified nutritionist. They will become very concerned about where raw vegans get their protein from! Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds sneakily have a lot of protein and it’s substantial when consumed in large quantities. Vegetables contain 20% protein, fruit has 5% protein, and nuts and seeds have 15% protein.

When adopting this lifestyle, you are expected to eat in an abundance in order to nourish yourself properly.

With that said, if you are eating a well balanced diet with these three components, you will be getting just the right amount of protein! Fruit does not only contain some of the protein we need, but it also has all nine essential amino acids. Green vegetables such as kale, spinach or any other dark leafy green can contain as much as 14-20 grams of protein if you eat two bunches a day! That may sound like a lot to some of you, so the best way to get in all of your greens on a daily basis is to blend them up in a smoothie or have them in a big salad! Nuts and seeds are full of protein in small amounts, such as an ounce of cashews with 5g, 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds with 7.3g, and a tablespoon of flax seeds with 2g.

Where do raw vegans get their protein from? If you're curious about the raw vegan lifestyle, this post is definitely worth checking out if you're concerned about where raw vegans get their protein.

In today’s world, the notion of how much protein we should be consuming on a daily basis is misconstrued.  From protein bars to protein powders, most people are on a protein overload. For those of you concerned about losing muscle mass—if you are consuming the adequate amount of minerals, protein, and vitamins for your body—muscle building will be the same regardless of where your protein comes from (not animal products, in this case). Following a raw vegan diet with the proper balance of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds will undoubtedly meet the protein recommendations of the United States Department of Agriculture and the World Health Organization. Through a raw vegan diet, the body receives all of the essential amino acids that it needs in addition to consuming an abundance of minerals, chlorophyll and fiber. So that is where raw vegans get their protein from (myself included).

Did this post help you to understand where raw vegans get their protein from? Learn more about the author, Ashley Hampton (PumpUp:@rawincollege). She is a college student looking to spread the power of the raw vegan lifestyle through her positive posts and vibrant photos. Check out her blog.

5 things that you should expect as a raw vegan

5 things that you should expect as a raw vegan

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I know that changing your lifestyle is not an easy feat! So today, I want to address some challenges that you may face or expect as a raw vegan and provide solutions to those problems!1. Being scared of change! Everyone goes through different things when they start eating healthier– fear of gaining weight, breaking out, not being able to ‘stay on track’.  Some people like to change their diet overnight (like me) and some people like to take baby steps (most people). I think it is so important to find what method works best for you. Transitioning into a raw vegan diet can be easy if you slowly omit processed foods and add in more fruits and veggies on a daily basis!

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2. Feeling too hungry or too full! You have to LISTEN to your own body. Eat until you are SATISFIED! These foods are high in water content and nutrient dense. Your body has to adjust to eating a larger quantity because most fruits and veggies are low in calories! In order to thrive on this lifestyle, you need to EAT ENOUGH! When you eat enough, you will make those cravings for processed foods go away.

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3. Detox symptoms! You have to think about how long you have been eating food that upsets your body– I had 18 years of processed food in my body. My detox symptoms were relatively mild and lasted only about 2 weeks–I was also coming from a vegetarian, highly plant based diet so I was not completely overhauling my diet. Detox symptoms can range from slight headaches to breakouts in your skin, but this is your body’s way of getting rid of all of those built up toxins! It’s OKAY and the symptoms will subside! :)

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4. Feeling isolated! As long as you believe in what you are doing, you shouldn’t base your decisions off of what other people think or what other people are telling you to do. It’s easier than you think! Embrace other lifestyles just as you hope they embrace yours :)

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5. Feeling short on time! If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! When you are eating raw, you need to surround yourself with an abundance of food so you are always feeling satisfied. A lot of people ask me, especially as a college student, how do you have time to prepare your food? It’s truly so simple for me–think about it, blending up a smoothie and rinsing out the blender takes WAY less time then cooking up a pot of food! The raw lifestyle is convenient even if you are on the go! You just have to plan AHEAD.

5 things to expect as a raw vegan - there will be

Did this post help you to understand what to expect as a raw vegan? Learn more about the author, Ashley Hampton (PumpUp:@rawincollege). She is a college student looking to spread the power of the raw vegan lifestyle through her positive posts and vibrant photos. Check out her blog.

After beating 3 injuries, Donna found her purpose as a role model - PumpUp Success Stories

After beating 3 injuries, Donna found her purpose as a role model - PumpUp Success Stories

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Donna has been tirelessly dedicated to a lifestyle of regular exercise and healthy eating for many years. "I wanted to look better before I turned 40, and to be healthy and happy on the inside as well," she confirmed. "Once I started to notice positive changes, that just fuelled me keep working even harder."  When she first joined the PumpUp community, she was looking for a group of like-minded individuals who shared in her passion for health and fitness. "The app seemed to be the perfect fit for me because I love sharing what I've learned over the years and inspiring others to do the same," she insisted. "Since being involved on PumpUp, my eyes have been opened and my perspective broadened to people’s needs and interests.  I have a wonderful camaraderie with likeminded individuals and I have seen a level of respect, love & support like no other."  One photo of Donna's lunch changed the landscape of her future in ways that she could never have imagined. "My daughter suggested that I post it, before I had any idea about what PumpUp even was," she admitted. "I thought PumpUp was a more suitable platform to share my workouts and meals than other apps— as well as a potential opportunity to share some of my learning experiences & to help inspire others in their health & fitness journey."  Little did she know that she'd become a role model to thousands of others.

Donna is a role model on PumpUp

Though Donna suffered from three devastating athletic injuries over the past year, these setbacks gave her the strength and experience to meaningfully help other PumpUp members who are struggling. "I'm learning to listen to my body and to know the difference in being persistent and being stubborn," she confided. "Last year, I pulled a back muscle due to improper form while deadlifting, and then I had two separate toe injuries while training for a Savage Race.  Each time, I rested when necessary, adjusted, adapted, learned & persevered." As Donna recovered from her injuries, she professed that her biggest obstacle was more mental than physical. "I had completely changed my training routines for months in preparation for the race," she recounted. "Getting injured the night before was a crushing blow." Despite having to deal with the disappointment of dropping out of her race on the morning of her event, Donna moved forward. "I had to get in my mind that this was just not meant to be at this time and move on," she offered. "I have learned that setbacks are a part of this journey.  They need not get you down or hold you back.  They are opportunities to learn about yourself, and result in chances to grow stronger."

It's safe to say that Donna found her true calling as a PumpUp motivator and role model. You'd be hard-pressed to find a day when she isn't sharing a healthy recipe or giving encouragement to other PumpUp members. "Through this journey, I hope to help people find their inner strength to love themselves unconditionally," she insisted. "I love being supportive of others' goals and accomplishments, as well as helping them through setbacks. By using PumpUp, I have been given a glimpse of what people are searching for.  This has definitely helped me realize that my purpose is to encourage, inspire and inform these individuals how to reach their goals." The PumpUp community wouldn't have it any other way.

Donna basically creates the tastiest food

Donna's Best Advice

Several things come to mind. My first advice would be to always set goals for yourself (however small they may be), as they help you and your confidence grow. Also, never stop learning - whether it be about foods or exercises. There’s an endless array of healthy food combinations and exercises so it should be next to impossible to get bored. Find people you respect as role models (and learn from them) but always be yourself.  Next, don’t be afraid to try new things. Learn to stay positive and adapt while in a setback. Last and most importantly - never, ever quit!
Motivational Mantras
I have two favorites:  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Phillippians 4:13
and “God is within her, she will not fall”  Psalm 46:5

Donna's biggest source of motivation

I started this journey for myself and that has always been enough motivation for me.   Also, my workouts are therapy for me. When I am stressed a good workout helps balance me back out.  My children are also motivation for me.  I want to be the best example I can for them.  I want to stay fit and healthy so I am able to continue to have the strength & energy to be active with them.  I also want them to learn about good, wholesome, clean foods and how they make a major difference in their overall health and well being.
Donna is a role model on PumpUp, and she's amazing
More about Donna
I truly am passionate about my lifestyle of clean/ healthy eating, fitness and encouraging & uplifting others to recognize their personal potential.  It brings me great joy to see others succeed and overcome obstacles.  I want to set a good example and be a role model especially for young girls so they can grow up learning to love & take care of themselves in a healthy manner and respect their bodies accordingly.   I am currently in the process of making a long-time dream of mine a reality - launching my health & fitness blog. A very dear writer/ author friend of mine suggested I do this a year ago, but I suppose I wasn’t ready then. Well here it is: www.Balancingforlife.com is under construction and I couldn’t be more excited for it to launch!
Keep Donna pumped on the app @designsbuydonna and stay tuned for updates from her blog: balancingforlife.com

6 lifestyle tips that improved my confidence and my health

6 lifestyle tips that improved my confidence and my health

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The weeks are flying by and summer is just around the corner. We all associate summer with the beach, summer clothes, no school, road trips, etc. For many years I used to feel a sense of dread, as I was overweight and felt so down about the prospect of baring so much skin in the summer sun. It affected my confidence and I felt so angry for letting myself get this way. I would browse through fashion websites and would look at all the beautiful clothes that I couldn’t buy. I would feel jealous of the models in the pictures. I was getting frustrated thinking about how I had let myself go. I had lost all interest in my appearance and didn’t even care whether I brushed my hair or not. On top of all of this, I wore extremely baggy clothes that would make me look even heavier than I was. I lost interest in life. DEBBIES CERT In 2014, I decided to do something about it by eating healthy and working out. It's been a year since I began my journey and I recently received my certificate for Gym and Fitness instruction. I'm also getting married next year to my best friend Darren and have never been happier. All of this happened because I changed the way I thought about food. Now, I eat to fuel my body instead of eating everything in sight. I work out 6 days a week and have one day off for rest. Life has become easier, and I am much more organized and calmer because of working out. I can concentrate better and can deal with every situation that comes my way.

When I was mistreating my body, the smallest of things would tip me over the edge. I was extremely irritable and was a nightmare to be around. Ultimately, I became so disorganized with how I handled my life and negligent of my friends and family. I just wanted to be left alone.

WATER I cannot even begin to describe the benefits of transitioning to a healthy lifestyle and working out. It changed my life so thoroughly: I am a completely different person on the inside as well as the outside. If you really want to change and get healthy, you can. I don’t believe in ‘diets’ as they are only a short term solution. Once you start to eat normal food again, you will pile the weight on. I have attempted so many diets and they do not work: they make you feel deprived and hungry. A lifestyle change is for life. I have never felt deprived or hungry at all since I resolved to maintain to a healthy lifestyle in 2014. I lost 3 stone (42 lbs) in 10 months and so can you!

Here are my best lifestyle tips that'll help you stay healthy for good

6 lifestyle tips to help you stay healthy for good - via the PumpUp Blog

  • Clear your home of all rubbish food: white bread, white rice, processed foods.
  • Go shopping and only buy food that you like and will nourish you
  • Have one treat day in the week, but make sure to go straight back to healthy eating and working out the following day.
  • If there is a special occasion coming up, enjoy it, but don’t go to mad that you will feel mad at yourself the following day.
  • If you feel unmotivated to work out when you come home from school/work /college turn on your favourite music and it will motivate you to workout (I swear by this one).
  • Drink hot water and lemon every morning before breakfast; it is amazing for your skin and helping promote weight loss.
  • When you are eating your dinner, turn off the TV because it can distract you and you won’t know if you are full or not.

Keep up the good work guys!

These lifestyle tips are by PumpUp’s @DebbieMC1232. Through her weight loss journey, she has been able to motivate and inspire others both on PumpUp and through her own personal fitness page Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram

Alexandra committed to a lifestyle change for good, and so can you | PumpUp Success Stories

Alexandra committed to a lifestyle change for good, and so can you | PumpUp Success Stories

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You know the drill. You're familiar with 'Day 1' scenarios. Time and time again, you commit to maintaining a lifestyle change until life gets in the way and derails you from your goals.  Like you, PumpUp member @thenewalexandra revisited her starting point more than once. "I tried to live a healthier lifestyle many times, but always gave up on myself," admitted Alexandra. "I began to use PumpUp almost a year and a half ago because I wanted to be more healthy, with the support of a great community." Prior to PumpUp, the state of Alexandra's health habits hit an all-time low. "I was less healthy than I've ever been," she conceded. "My friends and I frequented McDonald's more than twice a week. I drank Ice Cappucinos from Tim Hortons every single day. I did absolutely no exercise, which made me feel sluggish and tired all the time." A three-minute run would easily leave her gasping for air. Alexandra's erratic sleeping patterns weren't helping her energy levels either. "I wasn't treating my body the way it deserved to be treated," she lamented.

Paradoxically, a trip to the movies sent Alexandra on the wellness journey of a lifetime after she found out about PumpUp from a preview on Mark Saltzman's Gear Guide. "I instantly fell in love with the whole community of people," she recounts. "The number one thing I love about this app is that there is not an ounce of negativity anywhere. PumpUp is a safe place for all people to document their fitness journey's."

Alexandra's lifestyle change

As a student, it was tough for Alexandra to make healthy and convenient eating choices. Since she joined PumpUp, Alexandra taught herself how to make basic healthy meals: everything from quinoa, to soups, to salads. "PumpUp has inspired me to make healthier decisions each and every day," she confirmed. "I always keep cut of fruit and vegetables in my fridge so that I have no reason to snack on anything unhealthy. Beyond that, I rid my cabinets of any junk and replaced it with healthier snacks." Alexandra now exercises at least 4 times a week, regularly attending yoga classes and walking to and from school on a daily basis.  Over the summer, she plans to take up Zumba and pole dancing and will continue to incorporate physical activity into her routine. "Whenever I have free time, I get an extra workout in," she explained. "It clears my mind and makes me feel amazing."

When Alexandra really began to engage with PumpUp's different features, she taught herself more than she expected. "PumpUp workouts taught me a lot about fitness [and opened my eyes up to] different workouts," she professed. "My little muscles are starting to show more in my abdominals, arms and legs." Beyond healthier habits, PumpUp has helped Alexandra to considerably improve her self-esteem. "There are days when I'm feeling down about myself, whether it be because of my eating habits, or other reasons , and all I have to do is think about PumpUp community members and I'm instantly much more happy," she mused.  "This app really helped me to realize that every single person in this world is absolutely beautiful, and the members of this community aren't just beautiful on the outside, but they have amazing, kind, warm, hearts as well."

Alexandra PumpUp

Alexandra has fresh and realistic advice for those who hope to make a lifestyle change with the help of PumpUp. "Just do it," she counselled. "There have been days where I sit for hours on the couch just staring at my yoga mat, or thinking of excuses as to why I shouldn't go for a run, but I know that when I just do it I feel much better. Start slowly, and work your way up to a more healthy lifestyle, so when you go to eat healthy or exercise you dread it just a little bit less." She reminds that it isn't realistic to expect immediate results from changes in your lifestyle habits. "I want things to happen right now (I'm not very patient), but [remember that] they happen gradually," she said. "One weekend, my mom and dad both told me that I lost some weight. I hadn't really known if I had or not. That validation is amazing, you just have to wait for it (and do a lot of hard work). Fitness is a life long journey, and we all must accept that in order to be the best we can be."

As Alexandra progresses with her journey, she hopes to be as active as she can be this summer. "With my newfound love for hiking, I plan to travel all over Ontario to view Webster Falls at Dundas, and the cool rock formations in Caledon," she enthused. "I [also] plan on taking every single step to the top of the CN tower by the end of this summer. Without PumpUp I would never have thought to be this active, and when I have my doubts I know I'll be able to turn to the PumpUp community through the next steps in my fitness journey."

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Biggest Motivation

My biggest motivation is my mother. My family has had a though time over the last few years, and we wouldn't have been able to survive without her. No matter what the situation is, she manages to put a smile on her face  and be the best mother in the world. She constantly puts my brother and my health in front of her own, in order to ensure that were happy. For example, when I didn't have enough money for a prom dress, she took on extra shifts at work in order to help me. When I didn't have enough money to pay my tuition, she did the same once more.

My mom is the most selfless, caring, considerate person that I have ever met. She believes spending her money on herself isn't worth it if she can spend it on her children instead. It's because of everything she has done for me, that I want to succeed for her, whether that be through school, or my own health. After a rough patch, my mom started to take care of herself once again. She began to shop for herself, do her hair, grow her nails, take Pilates, and cut out all the coffee from her diet (and trust me six triple triples a day are not healthy at all!). Seeing her live her own healthy lifestyle is absolutely inspiring. 

Fun Fact About Alexandra

I absolutely adore cats and have owned over 20 in my life time (taking care of and finding homes for kittens). I'm also studying psychology in university. 

Cheer Alexandra along her journey on PumpUp @thenewalexandra and let us know what you thought about her story in the comments below!

 

Why I'm actually getting fit for real this time, and so can you

Why I'm actually getting fit for real this time, and so can you

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I was not born with the athletic/sporty gene at all. All my life, I’ve been pretty average when it comes to athletics. When I was younger, I did tap and ballet dancing which was a bit of a work out each week. The most I’ve ever been active was in high school, when I did color guard and winter guard. Both of these activities were intense and gave me mad muscles, yo. Nevertheless, when I graduated high school, I was not inclined to work out. I would get little itches to be fit after looking at myself in the mirror every once in a while but I wasn’t serious. My mind wasn’t ready for what it actually took in order to get the body I wanted and to maintain it. Needless to say, I slacked off quite a bit in the fitness department up until 2013 when I was a junior in college. I had a fear of being the chubby girl, so I started working out. But the workouts I was doing were not up to snuff. I started that journey by walking on the treadmill at a fast pace because I felt like I wasn’t good enough to run yet. I slowly started to get up to jogging and, to my surprise, I was able to jog a 5k on the treadmill. I was doing well.

 

I don’t remember what happened but I got complacent and started working out less and less. I think it was the fact that every time I looked in the mirror, I saw no difference in my body. I was looking in the mirror expecting to see an ab or a bicep or something and I saw nothing. I gave in and stopped working out altogether. I kept on this track for a while. Sure, I’d work out from time to time but it wouldn’t be anything intense. During Christmas time last year, I started researching exercises, foods to eat, and running techniques. I wanted to get in shape, for realsies. Finally, on January 5th, 2015, I went to my school’s gym and just started working out with HIIT on the treadmill. The rest, as they say, is history.

 

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I tell this story because I feel like all those times I “worked out” and “wanted to get fit for real” led to this time in my life. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been since leaving high school and I’ve been doing this not to just look better but to feel better. There have been two things that have helped me out so far during this journey:

  1. Taking weekly progress photos instead of judging my progress by what’s on the scale. If I went by what the scale says (which is between 180-185 pounds for 3 months now), I’d be severely disappointed in myself right now. I do go by what I can see and I see that I’m gaining a butt, losing back fat, and my stomach is shrinking slowly. The body is an amazing thing and watching myself change each week brings me joy and motivates me to keep going.
  2. Giving my mind the strength to move me in a positive direction. Whenever I’d start these fitness journeys in the past, I’d give my mind strength to lead me down a negative path. I’d listen to the excuses I made up for myself and I’d give up so easy. This go round, I’m harder on myself to keep going with the workouts and it works out for me (no pun intended ;)).

I say all this to say getting into a healthier lifestyle should not be done for the short term goal of looking good because that implies that once you reach that point, you’re going to stop. Getting fit for real is a long term lifestyle choice. It's an ongoing thing. You may fall off from time to time but get back up. You’ll be happy you did.

This is a post by PumpUp member @ohmyitschels. Check out Chelsie’s YouTube page here

I don't fit into an 'eating clique', and I'm okay with that

I don't fit into an 'eating clique', and I'm okay with that

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I don’t know anyone who likes labels. Except maybe 50% off labels? That’s about it. What’s worse than labels? I’d have to say cliques. I have recently noticed a huge trend of people labelling and judging different eating cliques.

eating cliques mean girls

You’ve got your macro-counters, calorie-counters, clean eaters, vegans, gluten-free peeps, paleo dieters and so on.

My friend Tianna recently asked me what I do. What style am I? It took me a minute to even realize what she was asking. And it took me even longer to give her an answer.

I don’t fit into any of these categories. Sometimes I go without meat for a day or two because I want to but I’m no vegetarian. I look at the nutrition information on everything I eat but I don’t count calories or macros. Sometimes my food is gluten free, but I’m not anti-gluten!

I like to eat according to my body’s current state in combination with my current goals. Most recently I have been trying to add more greens into my nutrition. This means trying new green juices and the random vegetables the cafeteria puts out. I have also been trying to consume more protein to increase my muscle mass. I eat a ton of eggs, protein shakes, chicken, turkey and beans.

So I don’t fit into any of the categories above, but I do feel comfortable and confident with my current eating regimen.

I am so happy that people feel comfortable enough to say, “Hey, I’m going to become a vegetarian!” or “I think that gluten upsets my body, I should look into going gluten free.”

All that I am advocating for is that everyone do their own thing! Just because someone isn’t doing what you are doing that doesn’t mean either of you are “wrong” in some way. Food is good, nutrition is important and we are all working toward the goal of living a healthier happier lifestyle.

This is a post by PumpUp member Emily DiNuzzo. Follow her on PumpUp @emilyrosedinuzzo. Check out her content portfolio and blog for more of her musings!

5 reasons you should believe the hype about lemon water

5 reasons you should believe the hype about lemon water

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Let me just start off by saying that lemon water is the bomb dot com, I have been drinking it in some way, shape or form for the past 6 months and I couldn’t be happier with the benefits I have received from this small change in my morning routine. I drink a lot of tea, it doesn’t matter if it is -15 or 105 degrees outside, I just can’t get enough. So for me, taking a minute to boil or heat up some water and adding honey with a fresh lemon couldn’t be easier, in fact it’s something I look forward to doing! For me to say I drink it every morning would be false. However I do alternate between lemon, honey or green tea and lemon water frequently and here is why. It’s good for your face

If you just google some of the benefits of lemon water you’ll see that the most popular search result will say that lemons are a great source of vitamin C (more on this in a moment), dig a little further and you will find that lemons balance the Ph levels in the body as well. So what does that mean for you? Well pH stands for potential hydrogen, a pH number measures from 0-14 of how acidic or alkaline a liquid is, high school chemistry ya’ll. We see this a lot in the health and beauty industry, mostly on serums, cleansers, toners and moisturizers. Reason being is  because a balanced pH level means better healthier skin, healthy skin can be generalized as having a 5.5 pH average. Dry skin is high in alkaline or categorized as being too high in pH. So if you have oily skin *silently raises hand, then you (ahem we) have skin that is categorized as being too acidic or low in pH.

Healthy skin can in fact be achieved by eating a proper diet as well as having a proper skin care routine.

It helps with your digestive system and spreads feel goodies from the inside out 

Lemons strengthen the liver, if you follow me on twitter pretty much every other tweet is about wine so you know my liver loves me. Lemons have strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting properties. They are often used as a weight loss aid because lemon juice is a digestive cleanser and aids in flushing out unwanted materials from the body. It helps to purify the liver by liquefying bile. It’s great for detoxing, and if you’re looking for more ways to detox your life, check out my YouTube video and listen to the 5 simple ways you can start!

TRY THIS!

DIY Lemon Toner

Mix 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice with a ½ cup of water Apply to your skin with a cotton ball to help balance out your skin and kill that pesky bacteria

Keeps you happy and feeling energized

No need to take a chill pill when you can just have a glass of lemon water instead. Or you can lick one, I mean whatever floats your boat. Lemons are full of Vitamin C. Vitamin C reduces the production of stress hormones and have been proven beneficial to those who have a weakened immune system due to stress.

Great for staying hydrated!

The second your body needs water it tells you in some way or another. Whether you think to yourself, “Hey! I’m thirsty” or not, your body will tell you in other ways in the form of feeling, sluggish, lack of energy or just simply put lack of clarity. Water (with lemons)  supports your immune system  swell as aids in replacing fluids you lost throughout the day.

Keeps you healthy

I could probably go on and on about some of the benefits I have noticed since I started drinking lemon water, but try it for about 2 weeks and I promise you will notice a difference in your skin and just how you feel overall. It’s just cleansing and has a positive effect on your health. I use both fresh cut lemons and lemon juice from the little lemon shaped bottle. When I make poor food choices, let’s be honest don’t we all, and my stomach hurts this also helps to soothe my stomach and almost acts as a detox when I’m trying to get back on track for eating clean.

Lemon water

My favorite Detox water recipe (as shown above) contains: 2 slices of lemon 2 slices of lime 2 slices of cucumber A few fresh mint leaves

Try adding oranges or grapefruit as well to help rid your liver of toxic sludge. Don’t forget about strawberries and raspberries! If making a large serving, I recommend replacing the mint leaves everyday, however the fruit is good for 2-3 days. Keep refrigerated!

detox lemon water

I prefer to drink out of a clear glass container, it motivates me to keep drinking water all day, I also scored this one from target, it is free of BPA which is a chemical found in most plastics, but check out a few of these fun colored glass water bottles from amazon here.

Happy lemon drinking!

This is a post by fashion and fitness blogger Jodi-Kay Edwards. Follow her on PumpUp @jodikayedwards and on her blog,lifestylefinesse.com.

Why you should slow down and listen to your body

Why you should slow down and listen to your body

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As a college student, I spend most of my time running from class to class, trying to get things done in the fastest way possible, and often missing out on things that I may have noticed if I learned to slow down a little bit. I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and I have come to the conclusion that we live in a world that is stuck in fast-forward. We are obsessed with speed, cramming more and more into less and less time. We fail to notice the toll it takes on our everyday lives—our health, our work, and our relationships. Sometimes it takes a wake up call to realize that we are living our lives in a hurry.

Is it possible or even desirable to slow down?

Is it possible to slow down?

(Source: giphy)

There is the common notion that with time, you either use it or lose it—our days are a ticking clock and we are racing to beat it by accomplishing so much in such a short period of time. I have come to find that slowing down at the right moments results in a higher quality of life and a deeper connection with the mind and body. We can all get more pleasure from slowness if we give ourselves the chance to recognize its importance in our daily lives.

Everyone is looking for a “quick fix” for their health, their diet, and their exercise. You should not feel the need to find a quick fix for your life! This time crunch affects everyone—from young children to adults. LESS can be MORE. I believe that we will get more out of our days if we put the brakes on in life to enjoy and savor our daily activities—to give ourselves the ability to slow down and “smell the roses” as my dad taught me many years ago.

Why is it so hard to slow down?

Why is it so hard to slow down?

(Source: genius.com)

Well, speed is exciting and it is often the distraction many of us are looking for in order to avoid dealing with things that take more time or issues that would otherwise force us to dig deeper and solve personal problems.

Since 9 months ago (when I began this lifestyle), my outlook on life has completely reinvented itself. In relation to my passion for health and wellness, my main focus here is allowing yourself to eat slowly and mindfully. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Eating slowly undeniably gives you better digestion and prevents you from over-eating. Most people over-eat because they are too caught up in everything else going on around them or they are thinking of everything they have to accomplish by the end of the day. This is why fast food is so popular—grab and go, on the run food does not have the chance to be properly chewed in your mouth, which cuts off the satiation signals to the brain, causing you to over-eat or consume things that you know aren’t nutritious for your body!

What can I do about it?

The next time you’re running around, take a minute to think about what you are doing and if it is possible to slow down just a little bit and enjoy life that much more (and mindfully chew on your food and think about what you are putting into your body)!

Slowing down is a CHOICE that you can make and a gift that you can give yourself!

This is a post by Ashley Hampton (PumpUp:@rawincollege), a college student looking to spread the power of the raw vegan lifestyle through her positive posts and vibrant photos. Check out her blog.

Spotlight Series: Caitlyn H.

Today on the #PumpUpBlog we have one determined and super positive PumpUp member, @cait1ynmarie. She has taken her weight loss tactics to the next level! Caitlyn and her Dad have started a 90-day weight loss challenge to start living a better, healthier life. We’re going to tell you all you need to know about Caitlyn and her journey! 

Caitlyn joined PumpUp at the end of May on recommendation from YouTuber, Melissa Raymond.  She tells us, “Melissa made a video about her weekly favourites & PumpUp was the first thing that she mentioned. She was absolutely raving about it. So before the video could even end, I signed up, made a profile, and here we are!”

Before PumpUp, Caitlyn wasn’t living the healthiest of lives. She proclaims herself as a full on, “Coach Potato.” Caitlyn shares with us, “I am a very bad binge eater, and not so quick to admit it. I was eating 2-3 times more than I should have been every day. But only if I was alone where no one could see me, that is when I would stuff my face.”

Food used to be a major part of Caitlyn’s life that was often holding her back from doing more and being more. She says, “food has been my support system and my escape for the past 17 years.” As for Caitlyn’s exercise it was Non-existent. “There have been times if I got up too fast to go to the bathroom or to the kitchen, I could get winded. My day consisted of food, food, and more food. I would wake up with half of the day gone already, and just start to eat, pretty much until my dad got home. Then when he went to bed, I would start eating again usually until I went to bed. I would tell myself it was okay because it wasn’t grease covered food.”

Caitlyn’s battle with food and exercise took a turn for the better once she became a part of the PumpUp Family.  Caitlyn tells us, “after making a PumpUp account I have started a raw food diet, which I am actually doing very well on and have already lost a bit of weight! My exercise is still not where I would like it to be but better than what it used to be and I love to take my dog for walks around the neighbourhood.” Caitlyn’s mantra is taking it one day at a time, and so far it has been working great!

Need some motivation? While Caitlyn’s got you covered! She says, “my best advice to anyone is to just go for it. If you doubt yourself you might not try because you have the mentality that you can’t do it. But YOU can. Everyone can. I’m not going to say that everything is going to be super easy with no worries and no stress. Every hour of every day is hard. Nothing gets easier, but you get stronger. If you mess up one day, don’t let that stop yourself from moving forward. Everyone has a slip, but the thing you have to remember is to get back up, brush off your shoulders and start again. I would love to say that there is always a tomorrow, but that’s not true. Tomorrow is never promised and it never will be. So if there is something in your life that you don’t like change it. Stop waiting around and get up and do it!” WOW. Wise words, Caitlyn – everyone needs to live this way!

This is a pic of the 90-Day Challenge Caitlyn and her Dad decided to embark on. Although according to Caitlyn the challenge got off to a bit of a rough start it is going much better now that they are totally serious about losing weight and being healthier. She says,  “my dad and I are very much alike in our personalities and sadly, our health. So I figured it couldn’t hurt us to try! Plus, who doesn’t love a little friendly competition?” Wondering what the prize will be for the winner of this weight loss challenge? “We have yet to figure out a prize for the winner, but I think in the end we’d both be getting the Grand Prize. That being the satisfaction of accomplishing something that we have both have put off for so long, & being able to say that, ‘Yes, I did it.’” 

Caitlyn’s Favourites:

Fave Food: “I just love food! My absolute favorite kind of food is Chinese. I am a sucker for anything Chinese, Japanese, Asian, Thai & sushi related, which most of the time can mean not the healthiest thing to eat. I also love anything with beef or chicken – I am definitely a meat and potatoes type of girl, but I do LOVE my salads.”

“If we are talking semi healthy, my favorite snacks would be probably like guacamole & pico de gallo. I also really like fruits & veggies and love cottage cheese!”

Caitlyn has an awesome “Italian Chicken Sandwich” recipe creation with potato bites and green beans. Sounds awesome right? Ask her on PumpUp on how to make it!

Favourite Drink: “Has got to be water. It’s easy, no calories and very refreshing. Iced tea is another one of my faves, and & my mom raised me to be a milk lovin’ girl!”

Favourite Motivational Saying: “Do it for the “Holy shit, you got hot!” Not the most deep or thoughtful saying but it’s one that I honestly love! It is the wallpaper on my phone and I can’t wait to hear it.”

Fave Exercises: “I like to lift weights and love running around with my dog! My work also keeps me on my feet all day!”

Favourite Part of PumpUp: “The Community, by far. The other members have been so inspirational and motivating towards me, which is something that I have never really been used to. Obviously my family has supported me but there is something different about hundreds; even thousands of people rooting for you, giving you that motivation & helping you reach your goals. It is so fulfilling. We are working to be better versions of ourselves. We want to become something that maybe people have said we couldn’t become, or couldn’t do. Maybe we are the ones who have engraved these thoughts into our heads and we want to prove them wrong. We can all do this together.”

Want to Know More About Caitlyn?

“I love being outside at the lake or on the water and I love driving boats. I actually got my boating license before my driving one! I would live on the lake if it were an option! I also love to cook and try out new recipes, which I think got me in a little bit of trouble but I can laugh about it now! :) I honestly love being with family. To me, family is definitely the most important and comes before anything else!”

What motivates Caitlyn is her brother! She shares, “my biggest motivation is definitely my brother, and I don’t think he even knows that. He’s always been the one that I’ve looked up to, no matter what. I think the one thing that I look forward to the most is just hearing him say that he’s proud of me and proud of what I have accomplished. He’s the reason that I want to prove every thought, every comment, and every hurtful person wrong. He’s the reason why I refuse to give up this time, no matter how rough it gets.”

Making a change isn’t easy and Caitlyn tells us that the biggest thing she has had to overcome on her journey is actually herself! “I have given up on myself numerous times, telling myself that I wasn’t good enough or it’ll never happen; that I should just quit because I’m not going to finish anyway so what’s one more cookie or one more piece of pizza? I have always been my toughest critic and a very harsh one at that. Finally I realized that I needed to find the motivation to get up off my butt and fix myself. I realized that I was killing myself with all of the crap that I have been putting into my body.” Caitlyn isn’t even exaggerating about the food killing herself as she let us know, “I’m borderline diabetic at 17. That is a very tough thing to hear. What is even worse was that night when I found out I stuffed my face with food while everyone was asleep. Food was my comfort. I just had to tell myself that enough was enough and I needed to change. Going on the same route I was going on wasn’t an option for me; it isn’t an option for me.”

Caitlyn’s goals with this health journey? She tells us, “I want to get to that point in my life where I am happy. To look in the mirror and like what I see.” PumpUp is here to help you accomplish this Caitlyn, and the rest of the community is 100% behind you. Caitlyn is already on her way; since the challenge started she has lost 12 pounds. She says, “Without PumpUp I probably wouldn’t have because I probably would have broke. But I haven’t and I don’t plan to as long as this app and the supportive people are around me.”

Caitlyn, we want to tell you that you are such a great motivator yourself! Keep up the hard work; we want to see you healthy and happy, and we are rooting for you to kick butt in your 90-day challenge! You got this girl! Follow @cait1ynmarie to be inspired and check out how she is doing with her challenge to get fit!