Every year we run into two distinct points in time where conversations and news feeds are flooded with diets, workouts, and beauty routines. Now as we land in the pre-summer countdown I thought I’d share a few things I’ve picked up along the way from more of a holistic point of view. No panic or rush to get summer ready, just life and lifestyle change for a happier and healthier you.
I’d like to state first that I am not a dieter (at all), not the size 2 I once was, nor am I hardcore about fitness (I aspire to be a runner but never really get far). I’ve never believed in dieting or unrealistic schedules or ideals. My lifestyle has always focused on being truthful to who I am and making changes that are not only healthy but that fit in with my life long term. With that said I am happy, feel great, and energetic even with two chronic health conditions. It’s all about maintaining and changing as life changes and loving yourself through it all.
We tend to abuse our bodies by giving them time constraints based on what we think they should be doing and pumping them full of “foods” that contain little to no actual, well food! Then the frustration sets in when we don’t see the results expected. A little love goes a long way! Enjoy who you are while introducing new ways to improve your life.
Summer Self Re-Vamp:
- Baking Soda- There are so many uses for baking soda both for beauty and home care! Try adding some to your toothpaste for extra clean and white teeth. Just don’t over scrub or overuse. Also use baking soda as to exfoliate before shaving for an extra close and smooth shave.
- Vinegar toner- Try swiping a cotton ball with diluted apple cider vinegar across your face daily (avoid eye area) as a healthy chemical free toner.
- White liner- Right now I’m really into Chella’s Ivory liner. Use on the water line of your eyes for instant brightness and pop! Best way to look awake and alert without all that caffiene and layers of makeup.
- SPF- Can not be forgotten in this day and age. We all have heard the health risks and know the aging effect the sun can have on our bodies. I’ll go more into depth on sun protection in a separate post but please don’t ever spend a day out without it.
- Egg Whites Mask- Watch those pores shrink and tighten with a simple egg white mask. Take one or 2 egg whites and spread it on your face, then wash off after about 10 minutes. This is a great trick I liked to share before photo shoots as well because healthy looking skin always photographs better.
- UV protection for hair too- As a redhead I go from dark red hair in the winter to fire in the summer. While I enjoy this change of pace I don’t enjoy the damage the sun deals out to my hair. Try a spray like Loreal Ever Pure UV Spray before spending extended time outdoors.
- Vaseline- Two things I gave up years ago were chapstick ( I was addicted!) and harsh eye makeup cleansers. Chapstick was a go-to for me but after researching and finding they only harmed the health of my lips I switched to pure Vaseline and haven’t looked back. You can even add natural tints to it for a fun. Vaseline is also the BEST way to remove eye makeup safely without harming your delicate skin. Rub some on your eyes as you would other cleansers then with a wet wash cloth wipe away. Even leave a little on your lashes overnight to promote growth.
- Honey & Sugar- Mix the two for a mosturizing exfoliant scrub that will leave your lips soft and healthy.
- Keep your face clean- For those between washing times I like to use witch hazel (found with the peroxide in your local stores) on cotton to clear my face of excess oils, dirt, and makeup. It’s not harsh and drying like many cleansers and much cheaper too.
Body- Outer Works:
- Be active in every day life- Have a dog or kids? You’re halfway there! Family is the perfect reason to sneak a workout into every day life. Run with your pup, play ball with your spouse, chase the kids in a high paced game of tag. Be creative and get that heart rate up. Not only will you burn calories but you’ll also strengthen your connections with those you love. Win win!
- Start small- Some people can handle going all in and stay all in for the duration of their workouts. Others may find the motivation fades over time. If this speaks to you try starting small. Add in small workouts for just a few days a week then increase as your energy increases.
- Set goals- Determine up front what you want from this realistically and write it down. Even better share it! Hold yourself accountable and get it done!
- Find what works for you- Every person is different. Some work well in a gym, some at home only, some in groups, and some set their own routines. You won’t know what works for you until you try so in the words of my grandfather, “Don’t knock it until you try it.”
- Get those chores done first- Another quick calorie burn idea and mood booster is simply doing chores! Yard work, scrubbing the tub, and dancing around the house while cleaning will all add to your daily fitness goals. Turn up the music, sweat, and then feel good about yourself and freshly clean environment when you’re finished.
Body- Inside where is starts:
- Work for your food- Do I mean go hunt or fish for it? Well if you can perfect! What I do mean more specifically is (when you can) grow it, chop it, prepare it, marinade it, saute it, stir it, and enjoy it. Processed foods have become such a huge part of our daily intake it’s scary. We need to consider what our bodies need to function and know that life was designed in perfect harmony with the fuel we need readily available, not manufactured. If you have to put some work into it chances are a good part of what you’re eating is healthy whole foods. Not only is it better for you but you’ll get the satisfaction of enjoying something you created with your own hands.
- Choose water- I’ve always been a huge water drinker and rarely touch a soda (unless there’s whiskey involved). Living in a tropical area this has become even more important to us. Buy a few nice, sturdy, and functional bottles to keep on hand. Fill them and keep readily available for grabbing on the go. Some outings we leave with several of these and they all come back empty each time.
- Fruits and Veggies- We’ve all grown up hearing eat your fruits and veggies but how many of us say this to our little ones as much as it was said to us? There was a reason this was one of the most nagged about issues in childhood, let’s not break the tradition!
- Tea, ginger, organic honey, lemon, and mint, my fix-alls- My go-tos for aliments in a pinch. Headaches, stomach troubles, colds, stress, and sleep trouble. Different teas and combinations of these ingredients are safer and work better (in most cases) than drug store options.
- Curb the alcohol intake- Yes after mentioning whiskey above I say cut back! Alcohol drys us out and can throw our moods off balance. Heavy alcohol intake can be a contributing factor if you’re not seeing results in a new lifestyle or fitness change.
Mind & Spirit:
- Self Esteem- You may think if you fix this or change that the view on yourself will change. Bluntly put, wrong idea! Your self esteem needs to change first before anything else. You are not an amazing person because you ___ (fill in the blank). Get used to who you are, get to know yourself. You can do anything if you want it bad enough but you need to love the person doing the work.
- Fix it or find another way- We all have things in our lives that are troublesome or cause stress. In our home there’s a plan of action for moments like this. Can you fix it? How? Let’s work on it!. If the answer was No- then let’s find another option or a way to move past it. Almost all of life’s problems can be corrected this way. You’ll find much less time will be spent on stress if you work diligently on ending your problems where they begin.
- Do what you love- What makes you happy? Is it running, reading, spending time with others, crafting of some sort? Spending time each week doing what you love will change every aspect of your life. This is because when we take time to do happy things we get excited, energized, and look forward to what’s to come. Treat yourself by creating happiness.
- Cancel anything negative from your life- This includes people too. If you leave a moment, outing, or person feeling down and miserable it’s not healthy and needs cut. No explanations required when it comes to your well being.
- Learn something new- I love to learn! I will study and research on anything that excites me or strikes my interest. Learning keeps our minds healthy and active and also in my case has taught me new ways to do things I already love and introduced me to other cultures and activities. Pick up a new language, take a class, read, or search the net for something you’ve been wanting to know more about.
- Make a decision to be happy and healthy– Nothing in your life will change unless you are ready. Decide why you want to be healthy and happy, know you deserve it, then work for it.
- Love those around you more- When we give to others we also give to ourselves. Strengthen those bonds and feel good about doing for someone else. Spend time with loved ones, volunteer, or send hand written cards to friends. Share the positive vibe and love.
- Take the downtime- Every one and every body will need rest. You may wake feeling like crap some days and that’s ok. Push yourself when you can but also know a day here or there spent resting, even on a TV binge is OK.
- Forgive Quickly- Not easy in all cases but allowing forgiveness doesn’t mean excusing the behavior that caused the problem, it means it’s not yours to carry anymore. So drop it off and move forward, life is heavy enough as it is. This includes self forgiveness as well.
- Stay organized- Change of any sort can be difficult which is why staying organized is even more important. Work on organization of your home, financials, car, and mind.
As a photographer I’ve met so many people from different walks of life but one thing almost every single person had in common was that they didn’t like things about themselves. Every photo shoot contained conversations about hiding or adjusting something. This ranged from the mild concerns to down right self hate. I always tried to leave my clients with an image from my eyes, my point of view about the beauty I saw in them. We don’t look the same in the eyes of others because in our eyes something just isn’t right, always.
Beauty is everywhere and if you are able to look at others and find it, do the same when looking in the mirror. And guess what? That’s all it really takes to be beach ready this year!
Thank you for reading and I only hope that some of my enormous list above can help those who stopped by.
Mandy- Wild Red
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