Why I Keep Returning to the Gym Even Though I Am Not Losing The Desired Weight

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(After a recent workout at the gym, starting to see some results)

My body has not bounced back completely from pregnancy. It’s been a year since I had Alessandra. I honestly did not think it would be this hard to get back into shape. During my pregnancy, I Continue reading

Creating Peace From the Inside Out: The Power of Connection 21-Day Meditation Experience – Presented by Oprah & Deepak

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(Graphic from Chopra Center Meditation)

Like other things in life, meditation takes practice. It is one of those things we (I) wish we had more time to do. But, meditation can actually take as little as five minutes a day. In the past two years, I have meditated on and off. In addition to helping me through a tough experience I Continue reading

Easy Way to Cut Calories From Holiday Parties & Everyday

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The holidays are in full swing, we still have New Year’s Eve and Dia de Reyes (Three Wise Men Day) parties coming up. It is fun to indulge in our favorite meals and drinks during the holidays, but after a month of parties and dinners, all those calories can add up. An easy way to cut a few calories from Continue reading

Listening To Your Body: Sometimes We Need to Slow Down & Rest

 

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Luckily, I have had a pretty good pregnancy (thus far)! I didn’t have any morning sickness or nausea, my legs haven’t gotten swollen, I don’t have preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, and I have been able to continue exercising regularly. Even though Continue reading

Healthy Snacks for Summer Days

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Two of my favorite fruits are grapes and cherries. Apart from being tasty and having lots of vitamins, they are convenient to eat because they don’t require chopping or peeling. They are also easy to eat, not requiring utensils and can easily be taken on-the-go as a snack. During summer, I Continue reading

Can’t Sleep, Try Enjoying Rest

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On many nights, when I am finally laying in bed and ready to go to sleep, I  have a challenging time turning off my thoughts. Once I lay down under the covers, I have a sense of relief, an “ah, finally in bed” moment. Then, I find myself tossing and turning, with lots of thoughts crossing my mind. My mind starts to create these Continue reading

Easy Way To Remember To Take Your Vitamins

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Vegetables and fruits are a regular staple of my daily meals, but I still don’t get enough nutrients. They say many of us don’t get enough nutrients everyday. For many years, I have been taking vitamins and as the years pass (and I get older), I have added a few more supplements to my daily dose. Sometimes I am good Continue reading

Manifesting True Success: 21 Day Meditation Experience – Oprah & Deepak, Starts Today


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(Image by chopracentermeditation.com)

During the summer, I started meditating and find it helps me relax, reflect, feel centered, and sleep better. I wrote about how I became interested in meditation and the free 21 Day Meditation Experience – Expanding Your Happiness offered by Oprah Winfrey & Deepak Chopra. I did that guided meditation every night. It also helped me learn how to meditate on my own. I would meditate for ten minutes every morning. It was hard to stay focused at first, but as time passed and I practiced it more often, it became easier.

Well, Oprah & Deepak are offering it again, for FREE! This time it is Manifesting True Success – 21 Day Meditation Experience. I registered on-line, it is easy and did I mention it is free? Well, it is FREE! You can listen to the guided meditation in the comfort of your home or use the APP to listen to it on your mobile device from any location.

I am going to start it tonight. What worked for me last time was to find (make) the time at night, to meditate just before I went to sleep. I used my iPad to sign-in to the site, put on my earphones, an eye mask, turned off the bedroom light, and placed the IPad next to me (I closed the iPad cover to avoid the bright light). It was very relaxing and I am looking forward to getting into meditation zen this time as well! In addition to the meditation time, there is a positive audio messages shared by Oprah & Deepak in the opening of each meditation session. Each session is about 20 minutes and there is a theme for each day. The meditations include relaxing nature music which soothes my mind after a busy day! I feel like I am at a spa….but I am at home, meditating!

You can still sign up – for FREE here! Each meditation theme stays posted in the site for five days. You can sign-in to do the daily meditations at a time in your day that is convenient for you. I have really enjoyed learning how to meditate!

Hope you sign up and enjoy it as much as I do! You deserve to dedicate 20 minutes in your day to your well-being! This meditation practice brings me peace every night and is the best way to end my day in relaxation!

Do you meditate? Are you going to sign up for this free guided meditation?


Namaste friends (& hugs too),

Paola

PS – You can read about the Expanding Your Happiness Meditation Experience I did in August here. Did you know that Deepak has a location here (in Carlsbad)? It is called The Chopra Center, you can find more information here.

Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise: #7

Hi friends,

Finding the motivation to exercise, will help us get active and hopefully keep us healthy – and help us maintain our weight. The main reason I exercise if for well-being (for health, happiness, & to de-stress) and the second to maintain my weight. It is not always easy to motivate myself to exercise, so I’ve been sharing the tricks I use. Here’s trick #7 – Exercise on weekends. Hope you find it motivating!

Do you exercise on weekends? When do you prefer to exercise? Do you have any tricks you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you.

Hugs,

Paola

Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise #7: Exercise on Weekends

Generally, on weekends we have more free time, that is if you work a Monday through Friday schedule, like I do. So, weekends are a good time to get in some exercise! If you like sports, you can play tennis, basketball, go surfing, swimming, or any sport that gets you out there being active and breaking a sweat. My hubby and I were playing racquetball for a few months and it is a great workout, plus it’s fun! You can also go for a bike ride or get out there to throw a ball with your children or friends. If you jog, on the weekends you can jog as far as you want! I prefer to walk and on weekends, I can take more scenic walks and not be as concerned about how long the walk will take.  Or, you could also go for a walk on a beach or a hiking trail. Or, if you have a membership to a gym, you can take a class. I like to go to Zumba classes on weekends, usually in the mid-mornings. Many people like to take a yoga class on weekends, to help them stretch and de-stress from the workweek.

If your children play a sport on the weekend, you could try to go for a walk around the field before or after the game. I used to do that when my hubby was helping coach my nieces’s soccer team. I’d out on my Ipod and walk around the field a few times, then watch her play.  If you have little one’s, you could go for a walk and push them on a stroller. I’ve done that with my nephews and they enjoy getting out of the house and seeing the scenery, plus we all get some fresh air. If the weather is too warm or cold, you can exercise to a DVD. I’ve done that with my sister and we have fun dancing to a Zumba DVD!

I know, on weekends we want to disconnect and relax, but if you exercise, even just a little bit, you will feel better and sleep better! Remember, if you can, try to carve out a little time for yourself to stay active and healthy!

Hugs,

Paola 

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Lola and I recently went for  walk at Balboa Park on a weekend, we chatted, enjoyed the beautiful Park, and had fun while exercising!

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I’ll exercise at the gym on weekends, even a few minutes on a bike can get my heart pumping!

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You could go for a jog.

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Take a walk.

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Go swimming.

lola-paola-exercise-bay-150x150Here is another picture of Lola and me on one of our walks, this one was by the bay in downtown San Diego.

Tricks To Motivate Myself To Exercise: #6

Hi friends – Happy Wednesday! I am continuing the Exercise Motivation Tricks Series. This is trick #6 that I use to motivate myself to exercise! I was out of town last week and that threw me off my exercise routine, so I haven’t been getting many workouts lately. I may use this trick this week to jump start my metabolism this week!

What exercise tricks do you use?

Hugs,

Paola

Tricks to Motivate Myself To Exercise: #6 Use Exercise Videos

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I have a few exercise DVD videos that I use to exercise at home. I also use them when I travel and I know it may not be possible to exercise outside or at the hotel gym. When the weather isn’t nice outside, I have used these videos to exercise at my sister and my friend Lola’s house.

Currently, my favorite exercise videos are the Zumba DVDs. They are fun & the music just gets you  dancing. How can you listen to salsa and bachata, and not start moving your hips and shoulders? It is like a natural reflex for me. Maybe because I am Hispanic, haha. I also like exercise videos because I can do them at any time of the day and on any day of the week. Also, if I only have fifteen  minutes to exercise, then I just do fifteen minutes of the video and simply press stop. Fifteen minutes of exercise is better than not doing any exercise at all. It is good to get our bodies moving! It also helps our mood (gets us in a better mood), and gets the endorphins and metabolism going! When I use DVDs to exercise in the mornings, I simply get up, put the Zumba DVD in and the music starts playing while I change into exercise clothes. I put the volume high, once I hear the music I am ready to Zumba! Even on mornings when I am feeling sluggish, I may  not do the exercises 100% correctly or at full cardio level, but at least I am moving and that alone gets me feeling more energetic, before I know it, I am smiling!

DVDs are a convenient way to exercise, it’s like taking a class at a gym, but in the comfort of your home. In my opinion, they should also be fun. I have  few more intense exercise videos, like toning DVDs, and some hard core abs and boot camp videos. I have used those DVDs a few times, but honestly, they aren’t much fun for me.  Zumba is fun for me because I like to dance and it includes lots of dancing. I also like using my yoga DVDs when I feel a need to relax , stretch, and reflect. Everyone is different though, one of my friends really likes her butt toning videos and she is disciplined about doing them a few times each week, those are quite hard core for me! What matters is that you like the video and the exercises, and that you get the workout.

So, if you don’t have exercise DVDs and you think this is may be a type of exercise you may enjoy, then get some! The videos aren’t expensive, most cost between $10 – $25. You can find them at Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, sporting stores, and you can also buy them on-line. If you aren’t certain which video you may like, you can do a little research on-line and preview some videos beforehand. You can also preview exercise videos on YouTube.

Hope this exercise trick will help motivate you to exercise!

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This is a picture from a charity walk I participated in (I am the person to the farthest right, in the second row). Our team was on stage to kick-off the walk with a warm up and it was Zumba! It was a fun way to get the walk started!

You may also like these:

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Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise: #5

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Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise: #4

 

 

 

Being Appreciative: Caring for a Family Member

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Hi friends,

Appreciation and gratitude are something I am always trying to be aware of. It was taught to me early on by my family, to be thankful for our blessings. Even when things aren’t going well, I try to look at the positive side and to be appreciative for the good things, or think, it could have been worse, or to see the lesson learned from the experience (even unpleasant experiences since these may later be “aha” moments, or as they say “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”).

This past week has been one where I have been truly appreciative. My husband had knee surgery. Being the wise, assertive, and independent man that he is (love him for these qualities), he didn’t seem too overly concerned with the surgery, or at least he didn’t relay it to me. I, on the other hand, being a woman, was trying to plan things beforehand, to read about it, so we would be prepared and know what to expect. I was concerned mostly for his health and well being, but also about trying to adjust my schedule for the surgery date he selected, so I would be available to take care of him. He had already postponed the surgery once due to work commitments. His work schedule is even more demanding than mine, so I adjusted as much as I could once he selected the new surgery date.

I wanted to be prepared, so I set-up the guest room downstairs for him in case he couldn’t go up the stairs to our bedroom, bought his favorite snacks and drinks, some easy to make meals, had some magazines ready and prepared his ice machine (for the knee). He also did some pre-surgery preparations, such as buy the ice machine, crutches, and setting up his mini-office in the bedroom since he had to have bed rest the first day. He had his laptop, iPhone, Blackberry, tablet and iPad mini on his nightstand. He set-up our computer table (looks like the trays used at hospitals, the wheels slide under the bed and the tray fits over your lap) on his side of the bed. He was already working a few hours after we got home from his surgery. By the next day he was on phone conferences and working from home. His home office is just across the hallway from our bedroom, but he did not use his office for three days. I think it is the longest he has gone without using his office. By the fourth day, he went into his office, so I knew he must be feeling better.

Having helped a friend who had knee surgery, I knew the recuperation process can be challenging. My husband’s knee surgery was to fix a torn meniscus and some injuries to the bone. So, it wasn’t as serious as a knee replacement surgery, but it does require care and therapy. The surgery also required general anesthesia, which is always nerve wrecking for me, particularly because I have an uncle who went into a coma and is now handicapped after having complications with anesthesia from a simple, routine surgery. My husband thought he would be driving and back in the office after three days, because the doctor told him he would be up and moving in three days. Which really meant, minimal activity and barely walking on crutches.

I enjoy taking care of my husband, this week has just been a different type of care. I have gone up and down the stairs so many times every day, it is almost funny. I have brought him his meals on trays, ice and more ice, his phone, his clothes, drinks, if he needed something, I got it for him. I started to remember stories my sister and friends – who are moms – have told me about how exhausted they are at the end of the day because they just don’t stop. They joke that they would fall asleep anywhere at the end of the day, they are just that tired. That is how I felt. I have very long days and have been exhausted many times before, but this was different. My sister laughed when I told her about my week and how in a way it reminded me of how tired she tells me she feels at night. I was so tired, I don’t even remember dreaming. The night’s sleep felt like a blink, literally, like I had just closed my eyes and laid down for a few minutes. But, this is just temporary –  on Saturday, I got to sleep in a few hours, my baby (hubby) is an adult after all and managed ok without me for a few hours that morning 🙂

This week, I am thankful for many things – in particular our health, that his surgery went well, we have medical insurance, live in a country with advanced medical procedures and excellent surgeons and hospitals, that my boss and colleagues were understanding and supportive, for the good wishes and prayers from family and friends…that my hubby and I have each other to take care of the other when one of us is in need.

Have you taken care of a family member after surgery or an illness? Have you been taken care of by a loved one when you had surgery or were sick?

Good night….I am starting to reach that point of exhaustion and still have to fill the ice machine one more time and remove my make-up before I can go to sleep tonight.

Hugs,

Paola

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This is the electric ice machine, it is pretty amazing, it circulates the cold water under the pad which wraps around the knee.

Pictured above are my hubby’s crutches.

Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise: #5

Hi friends, it’s hump day…ok, Wednesday, already the middle of the week, just two more workdays to go in this short week 🙂

This is Trick #5 that I use to Motivate Myself to Exercise. Hope you like it! Leave your comments below – let me know what you think and if you like this series.

Hugs,

Paola

Trick #5: Exercise At Lunch Time

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This trick can be an easy way to get in some exercise during your day, particularly if you are rushing in the mornings and/or unable to exercise in the evenings. One of my friends that has an infant tells me that the lunch break during her workday is pretty much the only time she has to exercise. She will walk around the neighborhood close to work for about 30 minutes. She told me this makes her feel like she is getting some exercise in her day and that makes her feel better, not only physically, but also emotionally.

For me, exercising at lunch time is not always possible since I often work through lunch (I know, not good) because I have so much to do, or I’ll have a shoot or meeting scheduled at that time. I have tried it on and off depending on my schedule, and in addition to getting a workout, I find it to be a nice way to get a break in my workday. I’ll go to a gym located close to work, change into workout clothes quickly, and usually do about 20 – 30 minutes on the treadmill or bicycle, followed by stretching. Then, I will change quickly and rush back to work. I don’t have time to take a class because those are an hour long. The treadmill works for me because I don’t jog, I speed walk, so I don’t really break too much of a sweat. I do feel my heart beating and can feel the cardio. The important thing is that I am moving, getting some physical activity.

The television stations where I work are located in a somewhat secluded area (not downtown) and the entire building and parking lot area is gated, plus it is next to a freeway. So, walking around the neighborhood would be kind of hard to do. The parking lot is large, so some of my colleagues walk around the parking lot at lunch time (it circles the building). Some wear casual attire or hats to block the sun. Others just put on tennis shoes and walk in their work attire (business casual attire). I haven’t done this yet, but have been considering it lately. It seems like a good and easy way to get in some walking throughout the day. This week, I took a pair of tennis shoes to work and left them in a cabinet. This way, they are handy if I decide to go for a quick walk around the building. Maybe I will ask one of my colleagues if she wants to join me for a walk, an exercise buddy would make it even better!

If you can, try to exercise at lunch time. Maybe start with a walk around the block, or like me, go to a gym or the YMCA close by. Maybe start with one day per week and work up to more days. If you work from home or are a stay at home mom, you can also try to walk at lunch time. If you make it part of your routine and turn it into a habit, you will look forward to it. And for those of you that can take more than an your for lunch time (lucky), many gyms offer exercise classes at lunch time.

Do you exercise at lunch time? Do you think you could motivate yourself to exercise at lunch time?

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I took this pic recently, as I was leaving the gym after doing some exercise at lunch time. I left feeling great!

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I wish I worked in this building (a resort in Orlando), they have a beautiful walking path 🙂 Do you work close to a walking path?

Pictured above is a walking path located in downtown San Diego, close to many office buildings and homes.

ESPAÑOL: Estrategia Para Motivarte a Hacer Ejercicio #5: Haz Ejercicio a la Hora del Almuerzo

La estrategia de hacer ejercicio durante la hora del almuerzo es una manera practica de añadir actividad física durante el día. Es buena idea para personas que no les es posible hacer ejercicio en las mañanas o al salir del trabajo.

Yo trato de hacerlo, particularmente cuando se que tendré un compromiso en la noche al salir del trabajo. Me pongo unos tenis que guardo en la oficina, una visera, y salgo a caminar alrededor de la televisora. Me sirve como un descanso y distracción durante mi día de trabajo que esta lleno de juntas, grabaciones, y demás. Trato de caminar con una compañera de trabajo, así platicamos y es mas divertido. Me pongo de acuerdo con ella y confirmamos la hora el día anterior o esa misma mañana. Así, tengo un compromiso con ella y me forzó a mi misma a salir a caminar. De otra manera, es fácil seguir trabajando durante la hora del almuerzo y decir, “mas tarde iré a caminar” y ese mas tarde nunca se da. Si no puedo caminar media hora, al menos camino quince minutos. Es mejor hacer un poco de ejercicio que no hacer nada de actividad física.

Si tengo una hora de almuerzo, voy a un gimnasio que queda cerca de mi trabajo y hago treinta minutos de ejercicio ligero. Después, me cambio rápidamente y regreso al trabajo.

Lo importare es moverse e incorporar la actividad física diariamente a nuestras vidas. Mantenernos activos nos ayuda a sentirnos mejor, no solo físicamente, si no también emocionalmente.

¿Tu haces ejercicio durante la hora del almuerzo? ¿Crees que sea algo que puedas incorporar a tu día? ¡Intentalo!

Un abrazo,
Paola

Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise: Trick #2

Hi friends – this is Trick #2 of the series: Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise

Hugs,

Paola

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Trick #2: Change into Exercise Clothes at Work

I always have my gym bag in the car. If I plan to exercise after work, I will take my gym bag out of the car with me when I arrive at the station in the morning. This way, when I am done with work, I’ll change at the restrooms at the television station before I leave work. If I am in exercise clothes, I feel motivated and prepared to exercise (ok, sometimes it is more like forced to go exercise ;)). It is like changing from my “work uniform” (outfit) to my “exercise uniform.” Make sense? A few times, I have said, “oh, I’ll change at the gym or go to the store first, then the gym and change there”….and you know what happens, I don’t go to the gym. Somehow between leaving the station parking lot and getting on the freeway I decide to pass the freeway off ramp for the gym and keep driving straight home (and don’t exercise that day). But, when I am wearing my exercise clothes, I go straight to the gym. Maybe it is a state of mind, but putting on the exercise clothes automatically motivates me to exercise. Then, when I arrive at the gym, I start exercising (usually Zumba), get my endorphins going, and leave feeling happy and wonderful!

Do you have a gym bag? Do you change at work to head straight to exercise after work?

Tip: I have multiple of exercise outfits (pants, tops, and jackets) , a few pairs of tennis shoes, and many socks. This way, I always have exercise clothes and socks available in my drawers, making it easy to pack my gym bag daily. I use one pair of tennis shoes as my “gym bag” tennis shoes, this way I don’t need to be taking them out of the gym bag in the car when I need tennis shoes while at home or if I decide to exercise on the weekends.

If you would like to read the post regarding Tip #1, click here.

ESPAÑOL: Estrategia #2: Cambiarme a Ropa Deportiva en el Trabajo
Siempre tengo mi mochila para el gimnasio en el auto. Si planeo hacer ejercicio después de mi día de trabajo, bajo mi mochila para el gimnasio del auto al llegar a la televisora en la mañana. De esta manera, al terminar mi trabajo, me cambio de ropa en los vestidores de la televisora antes de salir del edificio. ¡Si estoy vestida con ropa deportiva, me siento motivada y preparada para hacer ejercicio! Es como cambiarme de mi “uniforme de trabajo” a mi “uniforme de ejercicio.” ¿Suena lógico? Algunas veces he dicho, “me cambiaré en el gimnasio, o iré a la tienda primero y de ahí al gimnasio donde me podré cambiar de ropa.” ¿Y saben que pasa? No voy al gimnasio. De alguna manera (muy misteriosa por cierto) entre salir del estacionamiento de la televisora y subirme al freeway, decidí pasarme la salida del gimnasio y seguí manejando directamente a mi casa. Como resultado, ese día ya no hice ejercicio. ¡Quizás es la manera como funciona mi mente, pero ponerme ropa deportiva automáticamente me motiva a hacer ejercicio! Y cuando llego al gimnasio, comienzo a escuchar la música, a hacer ejercicio, bailar en la clase de Zumba, comienzan a andar mis endorfinas, y termino sintiéndome contenta y de maravilla!

Tengo varios compañeros de trabajo que usan esta estrategia. Veo que salen de la televisora vestidos con ropa deportiva y listos para hacer ejercicio. ¡A ellos les funciona y a mi también!

Otro Consejo: Tengo varias prendas de ropa deportiva, unos cuantos pares de tenis, y muchas calcetas. De esta manera, siempre tengo ropa deportiva y calcetas en los cajones en casa, y así me es fácil preparar la mochila diario para el gimnasio. Utilizo un par de tenis como el par para “la mochila para el gimnasio” y de esta manera no tengo que estar sacando los tenis del auto cuando estoy en casa y necesito tenis, o si decido hacer ejercicio el fin de semana.

¡Hacer ejercicio no solo es bueno para nuestro cuerpo, también es bueno para nuestro bienestar emocional y nuestra alma!

¿Tienes mochila para el gimnasio? ¿Te cambias en el trabajo para irte directo a hacer ejercicio después de tu jornada laboral?

Tambien los invito a que nos conectemos por medio de Facebook/Paola-Hernandez-Jiao.

Un abrazo,
Paola

Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise : Trick #1

Hi friends,

Hope you had a nice weekend! The New Year has started and one of the most common new year’s resolutions people make is to exercise more and/or lose weight. If you follow my blog, you know I like to exercise, but I have to motivate myself to exercise. I don’t have a huge urge to exercise, but always feel better after I do it. I often wish I was like those people who wake up in the mornings with a huge urge and motivation to go for a jog, but I am just simply not like that. But, if I don’t exercise for  a few days, I do feel the urge and need to exercise, at least go for a long walk! I sometimes have to trick myself into exercising. By trick, I mean I use different techniques to motivate myself to exercise. I exercise mostly to be healthy, it is also a  good stress reliever for me, and of course, helps me stay in shape and fit into my jeans (always a plus)! I also love chocolate and certain snacks, exercising allows me to treat myself every one in a while and not have to deprive myself of my favorite foods.

I am going to write a series of 10 Tricks I Use to Motivate Myself to Exercise. I will list them in the order in which I enjoy them most and do them most often. Hope you enjoy reading about these and how they work for me….and if you need extra motivation to exercise, hopefully these will work for you too!

Do you have any tricks you use to motivate yourself to exercise? What are they?

Was exercising more often one of your New Year’s Resolutions?

Hugs,

Paola

Trick #1: Have an Exercise Buddy 

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My exercise buddy is my bff Lola. One of the first blog posts I wrote was about the positive things related to having an exercise buddy. As we get older and have more responsibilities (such as a full-time job, spouse to spend time with, dinner to make, errands to run, a house to clean, kids, pets, etc., etc.) we have less time to spend with friends. Spending time with friends brings happiness and a sense of belonging to our lives! On the days I exercise with Lola, I look forward to the end of the workday and to seeing her because I know I will enjoy my time with her. We usually exercise after work, we set a date ahead of time and stick to it (but if an urgent matters comes up and we need to change the date the other understands).  Or main form of exercise is going for long speed walks by the bay downtown. We meet at Lola’s home and go for a long walk. During our walks, we talk about everything, we catch up on our lives! We laugh and we confide in each other. I never get bored of walking the same route (even though we do change it up every once in a while), because I am having fun with my friend! We call it our therapy. We laugh, we talk, and we walk! Sometimes, I may be having a very stressful day at work, but once I get to Lola’s home, I immediately de-stress, I can vent with her about my day or not even bring it up because once I get there we have some many other good things to talk about that I am able to leave the stress of my day behind.

Having an exercise buddy is a good way to motivate oneself to exercise!  If you know someone is waiting for you, so you can exercise together, you are more likely to show up and exercise. Plus, if your exercise buddy is a good friend you enjoy spending time with, you know you will have a good time and it will be fun! So, you have so much fun that before you realize it, you have already walked a few miles and gotten a good workout! Exercising with a friend is not only good for your body, it is also good for your soul!

If you would like to read the blog post I wrote about having an Exercise Buddy, click here.

Do you have an exercise buddy?

 

How I Stopped Eating Chips

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Tortilla chips are one of my favorite snacks! Not potato chips, but tortilla chips. It is funny because, even though I am Mexican, I don’t eat tortillas often, nor do I crave them. I’ll take a good handmade tortilla any day, but don’t really buy them for home, nor do I cook with them. Over the years, I have eaten a lots of bags of tortilla chips. I started to compare chips and found that the lowest calorie, fat, & sodium tortilla chips, that I still find tasty, are the one’s from Trader Joe’s. I used to buy them often and because when I was single I lived alone, guess who would eat all the tortilla chips? That’s right – ME! My husband likes potato chips more than tortilla chips, so even after I got married, if I bought a bag of tortilla chips, I would eat the entire bag by myself. I wouldn’t eat it all in one sitting, I would eat a few one day, then a small bowl the next day and the next, until the bag was gone. Sometimes I would prepare a bowl of tortilla chips with lime and chamoy or chile, it was delicious! Some nights, instead of dinner, I’d have a bowl of tortilla chips. I wouldn’t do it every day or every week, but when I did buy a bag, I would eat chips almost every night. I really like pita chips too and for a while was buying these in place of tortilla chips, but these also have lots of calories, fat, & sodium – plus it was hard to only eat a few.

I noticed this was becoming a bad habit and would make me feel bloated from the sodium the next day. So, I decided to break the bad habit and stopped buying both of them. I haven’t bought a bag of tortilla or pita chips in months. I still eat these tasty snacks at parties or restaurants, but just a few.

I am not saying I will never buy a bag of tortilla or pita chips, but for now, I am trying to eat healthier and unprocessed food. So, I have replaced chips with fresh carrot chips and mushrooms. Both these veggies are very low on calories and have zero fat. I also eat plantain chips if I want the crunchiness. So, if I am craving tortilla chips or pita chips, I’ll eat mushrooms or carrot chips. Before I know it, my craving is gone and I have eaten healthy snacks that nourish me.

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Last week, we were in San Francisco and I wanted to stay on my healthy diet – it’s more of a lifestyle. So, we went to the grocery store. Instead of buying the bag of tortilla chips I would usually buy for the weekend in San Fran, I bought fresh veggies, hummus, salad, and fruit. This healthy food kept me feeling full and avoided me eating unhealthy food. It worked! Plus, I do find these veggies to be tasty.

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I love, love hummus, but don’t eat it often because it has lots of calories, fat, and sodium. Yes, yes, I know it is natural, has the healthy type of fat and oils, but still calories are calories. So, I snacked on hummus with mushrooms, carrot chips, and tomatoes. Delicious! At home, I also eat the mushrooms and carrots alone or with a small amount of low fat sour cream. Some friends eat carrots with chili and lime, I may try that.

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There are many pluses to eating healthier, more importantly, I am nourishing my body. These veggies have vitamins, protein, and fiber. The minuses are that natural veggies don’t keep fresh as long as processed foods do. So, I have to eat them within a few days of buying them. Also, they do cost a bit more than buying a simple bag of chips, but it is worth it because in the long run, it is better for me.

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So, next time you are craving chips….try these snacks, they are yummy, low-cal, and more importantly healthy for you! Maybe someday, you’ll actually crave these instead of chips. I am still working on that!

Do you snack on veggies? What is your favorite snack?

Hugs,

Paola

Simple Beauty Tip for Moisturized Lips

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There are some beauty tips that are pretty basic and simple, yet have great results! I have a few beauty items in my night stand, one of them is a small jar of petroleum jelly, I use the Vaseline brand. I have been using this product every night to moisturize my lips for years! I keep this tiny jar of Vaseline in my night stand, this way, it is the last thing I do just before I turn off the light to go to sleep. Since I keep it in my nightstand, it is convenient, at an arms reach & I don’t forget to apply it. Even when I travel, I have a small tube of it in my bag with my facial products & place it on the night stand at the hotel. Due to the weather and in my case, the make-up, lip liners, and lipsticks I use, my lips can get dry. Just a dab of Vaseline at night helps keep my lips moisturized year-round. I don’t use chap sticks throughout the day, and don’t need them because this nightly routine does the trick! Occasionally, I also apply a little on my nail cuticles and hands to moisturize them.This tiny container costs only about $1 and lasts for months. You can find it at most pharmacies, grocery stores, or Target/Wal-Mart. I like using this tiny jar because it does not take up hardy an space in my nightstand.

Petroleum jelly contains a mixture of mineral oils, paraffin, and waxes which will moisturize your skin and help protect and repair it from dryness, according to Livestrong.com. It helps your skin retain more moisture, so it will repair itself.

So, give it a try…put some petroleum jelly or lip moisturizer in your night stand and start a nightly routine to keep your lips moisturized and looking luscious!

What do you use to moisturize your lips? Do you include a lip moisturizing product in your evening routine?

Hugs,

Paola

Note: As with any new product, if you have never used petroleum jelly, test it by applying a small amount on your skin, to ensure you do not have an allergic reaction.


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