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natalie

4 Low-Cost Healthy Breakfast Recipes

4 Low-Cost Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Morning meals don't have to be expensive. If you're trying to clean up your diet in an appetizing way, these low-cost healthy breakfast recipes will keep you satisfied and satiated.

Featured:

  • French toast
  • Banana oatmeal pancakes
  • Eggs and toast +their favorite friend
  • Oatmeal

Here's How To Make a Healthy Grocery List on a Budget

Here's How To Make a Healthy Grocery List on a Budget

Society has set up the stereotype that poor people have to eat low quality, cheap food and wealthier people get to eat organic, quality food. You go into a neighborhood with predominantly lower income and see all the fast food chains. In a higher income neighborhood, you might find nice restaurants and high-end grocery stores like Whole Foods. This doesn't mean that lower-income families have to fall into any stereotype. If you want to eat healthy and you're on a strict budget, you can do it. It just takes some thought, research, and planning.

How to Make Healthy Decisions (And Stick to Them)

How to Make Healthy Decisions (And Stick to Them)

Every successful outcome will require hard decisions. You make decisions, then set up your schedule to support those goals. For example, if I have to leave for work at 7 am, I set my alarm for 4:30 am so I have time for a 20-30 minute workout, teaching prep, breakfast, a shower, lunch prep, and a quick study to support my inner, spiritual life. I don't focus on how tired I might be, but how I will feel about myself if I succeed.

3 Meditation Techniques for a Flexible Mind

3 Meditation Techniques for a Flexible Mind

Life is full of unpredictability. We frequently counter the unexpected. This often leads to stress and worry as we try to cope with a curveball from nowhere. How could we possibly make this better? So much can be changed by having a flexible mind. If we decide that we are willing to meet whatever comes, we can begin to, as they say, roll with the punches. It can be challenging to change one's mindset to live in such a way, but it is possible and it leads to a certain flexibility of the mind.

Alternatives for weights (when you don't have any)

Alternatives for weights (when you don't have any)

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I'm sure that I'm not the only one who finds themselves slightly at a loss when bodyweight exercises no longer produce the results that I need, but it isn't affordable to invest in regular gym memberships or various kinds of resistance equipment. I found ways to work with my situation and decided it was time to share a few alternatives for weights. I would also love to hear how others solve this dilemma!
Alternatives to weights (when you don't have any) // The PumpUp Blog

Books! I do not have a TV. But, I derive much of my self entertainment and education from books (and I have many). Sometimes I use my 20-lb. ancient dictionary while I do Russian twists, step ups, lunges, et cetera. Other times I use my two 8-lb. modern dictionaries as dumbbell alternatives. A new idea that came to my attention was to fill tote bags with books and hang them off the ends of a household broom for weighted squats, as well as other leg and booty work.

Inversions! For upper body exercises, I do vertical push ups with my feet against the wall for stability. This is a great arm and shoulder challenge for those of us who have not yet accomplished the handstand.

Alternatives to weights (when you don't have any) // The PumpUp Blog

Logs! My fiancé and I found various sized parts of trees that had been cut and I incorporated them into our routine. One of my favorites was dead lifting a particularly heavy green log. The more wet the wood, the heavier, the better!

Boxes of stuff! You can fill different sized boxes or totes with a variety of heavy objects and hold them in your arms during leg and some ab routines. You just have to see what’s possible.

Alternatives to weights (when you don't have any) // The PumpUp Blog

Pets! One of my favorite methods from social media: seeing fitspirational folks use their pets while they workout. They just pick up their dog for some squats-it just depends on what your furry friend can handle! On a side note, when I was a kid growing up on the farm, I would carry newborn calves up from the pasture to the barn every summer, about half a mile, and would do lunges on the way. Some calves were more cooperative than others: sometimes it was more of an upper body workout just to keep them on my shoulders while they were kicking and wiggling!

Slowly, you can build up your collection of real weight equipment by buying a medicine ball here, and a dumbbell there. Just as you keep improving yourself, you can improve your equipment. And have fun getting creative with your alternatives for weights! Sometimes that’s simply motivation enough to get up and do it!
This post about alternatives for weights was penned by PumpUp member @bodysoulspiritfitness, a teacher and movement artist with a passion for healthy living and adventure. Follow her blog here.

5 Easy Ways to Motivate Yourself

5 Easy Ways to Motivate Yourself

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We each have to find our own way to motivate ourselves towards our goals. Human beings have to struggle with lethargy in general, so no matter how much we want something sometimes, we can still have those days (which sometimes turn into weeks) where we struggle to work towards our intention. In the world of health and fitness, there are easy ways to motivate yourself consistently:

Easy ways to motivate yourself

Document your journey.

5 easy ways to motivate yourself // The PumpUp Blog

 

Do this by taking photos, writing down what you ate, keeping a journal, joining fitness communities (especially the PumpUp app, which can be a huge positive support family) and sharing whatever you’re comfortable sharing with other people.

Watch motivational YouTube videos.

5 easy ways to motivate yourself // The PumpUp Blog

 

As soon as I watch a few videos of Heidi Somers working out, I’m pulling on my workout gear and kicking butt.

Follow amazing people on social media.

5 easy ways to motivate yourself // The PumpUp Blog

 

I found several inspirational beauties on the PumpUp app. I just scroll through my news feed and I’m dying to join them on my journey to getting stronger. Look for @limitlesstyle, @kelliem887, @momma_j, and many others who they follow or are followed by them. I almost guarantee that you’ll find some motivation to go pick up some weights or go for a run.

Go outside, visit a beautiful place in nature and allow it to impress itself upon you.

5 easy ways to motivate yourself // The PumpUp Blog

 

Let go of worries, mistakes, how you feel about yourself, and simply look outside of yourself. It’s soul nourishment. Inspiration. Nature doesn’t look back and say silly things. It’s simply alive and itself. We can learn from that.

Practice confidence.

5 easy ways to motivate yourself // The PumpUp Blog

 

Roll your shoulders back, look straight out ahead of you, keep your butt and stomach tucked properly straight-posture makes a world of difference, for confidence and for health. Say hello to strangers. Learn something new. Be fearless if you can. Enjoy your food-it will go to the right place if you aid your digestion with positivity and hard work. Don’t punish yourself. We’re learning. You are on a path of never ending improvement. Have fun on the journey.

5 easy ways to motivate yourself // The PumpUp Blog

This post was penned by PumpUp member @bodysoulspiritfitness, a teacher and movement artist with a passion for healthy living and adventure. It was originally published on her own blog. Follow her blog here.

How eurythmy changed my life in ways I least expected

How eurythmy changed my life in ways I least expected

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It’s funny how life meets us when we work towards our goals: it doesn’t always take shape in the way that we expected. For most of my life,  I had clear ideas and dreams about what I wanted to do, how I wanted to live, and who I wanted to be. I thought they would unfold in a particular way. When I was a teenager, I had 5 possible career trajectories in mind. I intended to become a singer, an actress, an author, a farmer, or a midwife. Those were the top things. I made plans to head to New York City and work as an extra in the acting field, but when I was 16 years old, I flew to visit my big sister who was based in California. She was involved in eurythmy, a movement that opened my eyes.

Eurythmy, the art of movement, was beyond anything I had ever known (and I was a dancer and an athlete in various sports).  There was a singing element, a dramatic element, an ability to tell stories, practical life elements, and a certain recreating of oneself, like new birth. It may sound weird, but that was seriously my experience. My mind was blown. Somehow, eurythmy changed my life and touched so many of my dreams.

How eurythmy changed my life

The teacher made all the difference: she was an inspiring and beautiful woman who commanded everyone’s respect. Her husband is an amazing thinker and philosopher who I respect more than any human being I have ever met. Two months after my visit, I called the school and asked if I could enrol next year. Despite my young age, I was accepted and graduated from high school during my four-year eurythmy training.

I never ever considered being a teacher. Yes, I considered being a performer (which I am, to this day), but never a teacher. Ironically, part of the requirement of my eurythmy training was to successfully complete a three-week practicum teaching kindergarten through eighth grade. In a surprising turn of events, I embraced both eurythmy and pedagogy and have pretty much been teaching ever since.

It is my experience that, though I may not teach in this way my whole life, I have literally had the opportunity to live all of the dreams that I created for myself so many years ago. If I devoted more time to learning another skill set, who knows where I would be. Thanks to that fateful trip to California, I realize that life was wise to send me in this direction first. Children teach so much just by being who they are. I discovered things about myself that I would never have uncovered without standing before them day after day, pushing the limits within myself out and out.

How eurythmy changed my life

It is important to remember that if you do your work, the world can bring the task. Try not to be fearful of the unknown, but embrace the adventure that it brings and the opportunities you will have, in order to become even greater than you are. I remind myself of these things each day, that each healthy choice that I make, each adventure I embrace, each new person I meet, leads me through new doors towards my ultimate goals and dreams of growing into a human being that can truly love and be free.

This post about how 'eurythmy changed my life' was penned by PumpUp member @bodysoulspiritfitness, a teacher and movement artist with a passion for healthy living and adventure. Follow her blog here.

3 tips to eat healthy on a budget

3 tips to eat healthy on a budget

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How can you eat healthy on a low budget? This is a question I have been exploring for a long time.  I am currently paying off a brand new car and I am paid California minimum wage. I prefer to eat organic food, for both the impact on my health and that of the environment, which is also more expensive. So making the right choices can be a challenge.

Embrace repetition

One thing I've had to get used to is eating the same thing every day for awhile. Also eating leftovers. This used to be really hard for me. I like new things, fresh choices, fresh food. But with a thin wallet oatmeal every day for breakfast for two weeks straight started to sound good. I would break that up with two-ingredient pancakes once or twice a week.
I almost always buy bananas, as they are inexpensive, healthy and filling. I alternate other fruits between blueberries, apples, dates, strawberries, raspberries. For vegetables, I always have a big bag of carrots and a large quantity of spinach or kale (kale is cheaper than many vegetables)-then I alternate between other vegetables to fill in. I try and keep a store of winter squash and sweet potatoes stowed away in the cupboard.
For protein I often buy eggs and chicken. Once in awhile I add a different protein in there for variation.  For me, a dozen eggs goes a long way. I often buy large packages of chicken at Costco or Trader Joes to freeze.

 

Be storage-savvy

Keep your eye out for coupons or sales, and stock up on things when they are on sale. Preserve food that won't last fresh, by freezing, drying, or canning.

Experiment with your staples

If you figure out a staple or two for each meal, you then have some leeway to change things up by getting a few other ingredients. It takes a willingness to explore and be creative in the kitchen, which I personally enjoy. There are so many things you can do with quinoa or with a bag of Pamela's gluten free pancake mix. With vegetables you can sauté, steam, or bake them; mash them, blend them, or eat them raw. Fruit can be eaten fresh as a snack or on yogurt, or blend it into a smoothie with peanut butter to make a filling meal. There are so many options and combinations to try, so don't let your empty fridge or cupboard scare you away from going for a new creation! (My fridge is emptier than most people I know...) If it tastes bad, you try something different. You figure out what works and what doesn't work. If you're really not sure, start by making a small quantity. If you're not good at creating new things with food, download Pinterest or other sites that are full of healthy recipes to give you ideas.

 

Decide that your health comes first, and plan what you will buy with your small budget. You may have to eat out less often, but in the end the reward is being happier and prouder of yourself for taking care of your body the way you have been wanting to.
Eat healthy on a budget
These are some of the things I do to live my ideals of eating organic as well as healthy on a budget. What are some of the things that help you keep a balance?

 

These tips for eating healthy on a budget were compiled by PumpUp member @bodysoulspiritfitness, a teacher and movement artist with a passion for healthy living and adventure. Follow her blog here.

How I learned to shift focus away from the 'ideal' body image

How I learned to shift focus away from the 'ideal' body image

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It starts when we are children. We look around at the world and begin to see ourselves as individuals, separate from everyone else. As a teacher, I see this in the classroom every day when children call on each other about how different they are. Sometimes they are saying it as a positive experience, other times they are trying to get a rise out of their target by tinting it with judgement or disdain. We are constantly trying to find comfort for ourselves by putting judgements out towards others, to see what they think or how they view us. How do we grow up and stand within ourselves, accepting who we are, where we come from, and where we are going?

 

There has always been an image out there in society for people to grasp at as an ideal. This image has changed a bit throughout evolution but now for a long time it has moved around the physical quality of "skinny". Today, to be "skinny" as well as "fit" are popular ideals. Human beings pressure each other and themselves beneath the weight of this. Unfortunately, just like when corsets were the fashion and women wore them even to sleep just so they could achieve the "ideal" shape despite its affect on their organs, this new idea of how people "should be" is also found to be harmful to some people. Almost all of us hold some insecurities about how our physical bodies look, no matter how they look. Some people take this to extreme measures and become ill because of their insecurities.

 

It is up to us to remember that our body is our instrument. We create with itIt does not define who we are, but it is shaped by who we are wanting to become. If we can remember that our happiness is most important; that a balance in life is always healthy; eating enough for whatever it is you do; sleeping and resting your body and mind; doing things to nourish your own personal spiritual life; our body will begin to reflect all of this. And not only that, but when you look in the mirror or stand before another person you will have a bearing that is most beautiful of all: confident and happy.

 

Ideally, which I think many people know, eating healthy and getting fit should be a happy aspect of ones life, supporting your work and dreams. Back in the days when farming was a bigger part of our culture, we had fitness in the form of physical labor. Today with many of us holding office jobs and the like, we have to fight to create a space for physical activity, and especially in the digital age. If we could emphasize the activity, and lower the stress of the image, would things be different at all? I like to think about that, and wonder.

 

Meanwhile, I meet my students each day with as much love and patience as I can muster, and do my best to help them discover how to be together socially in the most healthful and non judgmental ways possible. If we can give each other enough space and encouragement to grow and live our dreams, endless wonders will be possible.

 

This is a post by PumpUp member @bodysoulspiritfitness, a teacher and movement artist with a passion for healthy living and adventure. Follow her blog here.

Growing up without processed food helped me find my passion

This is a post by PumpUp member @bodysoulspiritfitness, a teacher and movement artist with a passion for healthy living and adventure. Follow her blog here.

I grew up in a household and lifestyle where food and health were key. We were extremely poor, especially when I was very young, but my parents had given their lives to their farm and their dairy cows: this was our livelihood. 

My four siblings and I were expected to help, and the amount of help increased as we got older. As a teenager I was throwing around 100 pound square bales each summer and 120 pound bags of grain twice a day, carrying calves up to the barn on my shoulders from the far pastures, pounding fence posts, digging holes, hand hoeing 1/8 acre of garden. We were vegetarian primarily for my first twelve years of life, though I did get to eat Polish sausage from my great grandfather’s meat processing plant, as well as turkeys we raised for thanksgiving. We went trick or treating at maybe eight houses for Halloween, and were allowed the candy for a day or two before my parents upped and burned it in the wood stove. (This happened every year!) Processed foods were not available to me at all as a child unless I was at a friend’s house. 

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As a child you go through the struggles of wishing you could have what you don’t have, and craving foods your parents don’t want you to eat. You hate your chores and wish you could play video games all day on the weekends like your friends (if you even owned any). But then one day you are an adult. 

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I grew up and was living on my own, realizing how much I loved to work hard and be physically fit, and how much I loved the taste of wholesome food. As I pursued my four-year degree in the art of Eurythmy, I more and more experienced how much both these things-food and fitness-mattered even as I worked on changing myself on an inner level. The outer strength gave me courage and confidence, the ability to stand upright for long periods of time, to move on a stage to music for 20 minutes without pause. Nourishing food gave me health, the ability to think and take hold of everything in my life, to have enough energy to do so. And I realize now that all of my parent’s choices have come into fruition in me today, as I take the fitness journey and work towards optimum health. 

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This is only the beginning and the first revelations of a person who sees fitness as an essential part of life. I am completely inspired by others who are on this journey and who show such dedication to health and motivating those who need help. The fitness community on the pumpupapp is a great one to be a part of: it’s positive, fun, confident, supportive and health-oriented. I realize that no matter how poor you are, if you can be a part of such a wonderful group of people, you are truly given wealth a thousandfold~”health is wealth.” Happy journeying.