Friday, June 7, 2019

Father's Day Gift Ideas


Father's Day will be here before you know it!  This is such a special time to celebrate the dads, husbands, or father figures in your life.  We will probably spend time on the lake during the day because that it my hubby's fave place to be!  In past years we've also done a family round of golf and even done a canoe trip as well.  There are some great places to go canoeing around Nashville- we highly reccomend Foggy Botton Canoes in Kingston Springs for rentals! We usually do a dinner with my dad in the evening to celebrate him.  I'm a self-admitted daddy's girl so I love to take the time to be with him on this special day!

I put together some top items that the special men would love + actually use! Dad's tend to be a tad more practical than ourselves so I came up with everyday items that serve a purpose!

My Top Picks for Father's Day:


Like I mentioned above, we spend a lot of time at the lake so a good comfy + stylish pair of swim trunks always make for a great present.  These Patagonia pull-on trunks have a quick-drying outer surface + sun protection.  These come in 6 solid colors and 2 patterns.  I personally love the 'spiced coral' color for a preppy look.  My hubby's last pair of Patagonia trunks literally lasted 15 years- I had to make him throw them out!


These sporty + functional slides are perfect for summer.  These are by an Italian designer and give an on-trend sporty vibe to any dad. They come in 3 colors as well as a camo print.  I love the navy color for an all-American look.

My hubby loves a classic bourbon cocktail like an Old Fashioned.  This set of two large ice molds allow different shapes for different cocktails.  These are great for entertaining!  Check out a great recipe for an Old Fashioned drink here.
This portable fold up grill is perfect for any dad that loves to tailgate or camp out! The slim and easy design makes it unique compared to other grills on the market.  It's also a great price point at only $61.

Shop More Ideas Below!




Always a Daddy's Girl!
Happy Shopping!  As always let me know if you have any questions or need me to search for something more specific.

XOXO,
Amanda

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Intermittent Fasting - Initial Thoughts

Pants + Top


I’ll be completely honest, I never thought intermittent fasting (IF) would be for me. I really had no reason to research it, or try it, because the truth is I love to exercise and love to eat healthy. But my curiosity got the best of me, and I really wanted to know more about IF, and I love learning about anything involving health and nutrition. 

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that rotates through eating and fasting. There are several options for your timeframe for fasting, but most commonly, a 16 hour fast in a 24 hour period is a popular option. This means you are only eating within an 8 hour period and fast in the 16 hours in between that timeframe. Besides weight loss, some studies show that this eating pattern can have positive benefits for your energy and focus.

After listening to a  lot of podcasts, and a lot of reading, I decided the 16 hours fasting, 8 hours eating fasting method is what would work best for me. I mean Hugh Jackman does it, so it’s gotta be good right?! My typical day is a window of eating from 9-5, 10-6, 11-7, just depending on my day.  As you may know, I got to bed in the 8’s, so stopping eating earlier is easier for me. I like a longer window for me, because I have a very active lifestyle and do some type of exercise daily. I’ve tried my IF window for 5 days a week with a looser schedule on the weekends.  
Research shows that women do well with a shorter 14-15 hour fasting frame, so I make mine a little shorter sometimes. There are sooo many different ways to do IF.  Here is a great Link that details 6 different ways you can do IF.

I have been trying IF for about 4 weeks. I had a vacation during that time, which I didn't stay on the plan and have skipped some days here and there.  I have been staying on track for about the past 2 weeks.

Initial Thoughts

The Bad

I haven't reached the points where I am not having hunger pains, and the non-eating window is super easy for me.  I think that will take another week or so to work itself out.  I am definitely ready to eat when it is time.  I wouldn't say I am miserable by any means, I just am ready to eat.

The black coffee.  I mean I live for a good coffee. I have even done a blog post on all the goodness I love to put in there.  It is tough.  Some theories say zero anything or you break your fast.  Some think that if you keep your coffee intake under 50 calories, you stay fasted.  I will tend to stay in the middle and only use a tiny splash of Nutpods to break the black coffee taste.

Overthinking eating time frames can be tough.  I have found myself staring a the clock a few times waiting to eat.  It mainly happens on the weekend if we are not go, go, go, or if I am driving on the road in the car.  I also have to really listen to my body if I'm not hungry, when my window is almost over to stop myself from over eating.  A few times I have probably stuffed my face because I knew I wasn't going to be eating again for a while.  It has made me be more aware of my hunger cues and try to only eat when I am truly hungry.

The Good

My energy levels have been amazing.  It kinda snuck up on me that it was happening.  I always love my weekend naps.  At least one day during the weekend, I try to take a good nap with the family.  It was Sunday evening and I said to my husband, "I haven't even napped or thought about napping."  It was great!  I can for sure say that I have felt better and have more energy which is the best part for me.

One of the main reasons I didn't want to try IF was that my workouts are so intense sometimes, I didn't want to be weak or not have energy to do them.  I will say the first few early morning harder workouts (Yoga Sculpt or Barry's)  were a tiny bit challenging, but that ended quickly.  I now feel totally fine for my early morning workout, and feel just as strong even during my fasting period.  I still take my Advocare Catalyst before my workouts, but that is it.

I am really liking a stopping time especially at night.  It is so easy to snack after dinner, even when my snacks were super healthy.  This gives me an end time and goal to not eat anything til my next eating window.

Less bloating!  I definitely feel like you keep that "morning skinny" stomach longer.

You technically can eat what you like during your eating window.  I still stick to my lower carb, higher fiber diet, because that is what I believe in, know, and love.  If you don't like counting carbs, calories, fat, this could be a perfect option for you because its all about your time window not what you eat.  Obviously if weight loss if your goal the healthier you eat, the quicker you can achieve those goals.

Neither good or bad information, but I have not lost any pounds.  I didn't go into this to necessarily lose weight.  One of the benefits to IF is muscle toning and people lose inches.  I do feel some clothes are a tad looser.  I will be better about taking measurements, so I can report back better on this.

The podcast that I have been listening to is IFpodcast.  I don't do my IF exactly like these ladies, but they have great information, and break it down in a way I can understand.  Check them out!

I have lots to write about and so much information that I have gathered.  These are just my initial thoughts.  I will keep you updated on my progress and share with you what I learn as I go.

XOXO,
Crystal 


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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Swim Cover Ups

As a busy #boymom (or any mom) cute + comfy cover ups are a necessity! Whether I'm throwing a football with them on the beach or getting them 1,000 snacks (summer snacking is out of control in my house) at the pool- cover ups are key! I'm sharing my faves styles to help you this summer.



I love the caftan style- it super easy to throw and and gives a little more coverage. This pom pom trimmed one I'm wearing above is a steal at 22 bucks! It also comes in a fun floral + citrus print. I love pairing a basic black swimsuit with a colorful caftan. 



I also love the easy look + feel of a classic kimono style cover up. It's about the easiest thing to throw on over a swimsuit in a rush. I usually pair them with denim shorts for extra coverage but I love them without shorts as well. I've been living in these high-waisted white shorts with an exposed button fly this summer. This animal print kimono that I'm wearing above is under $20 and here is a similar option that is also under $20.




And last but not least sarongs are classic and always work! If you want your lower half a little more covered up then this is a great option. The print I'm wearing is currently sold out but here it is in different pattern. I'm crushing on this tropical print tassel one too!

Happy sunning!

XOXO,
Amanda

Check out some more of my fave swim cover ups below (all are under $100)!

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Get up and get going! Morning Workout Tips



People ask me when, and how I have time to workout...the truth is I really don't, ha.  It's so important to me to take some time out for myself and get some type of sweat on.  As I have gotten older, and had kids in the picture, the after work nighttime workouts are just not an option for me.  So, I have made a commitment to make myself get up in the mornings before the day starts.  Would I rather keep lying in bed most days?  Of course.  But, I can promise you that you will feel better throughout the day and have an early sense of accomplishment if you get up and get a workout in.

The good news is, it does get easier.  Your body can be trained and will start to adapt to your schedule.  I automatically wake up in the 5's now without even setting an alarm.

Here are some of my tips for getting up and working out
• Set out all clothes, maybe in another room,  so you get out of your room to get dressed
• Make an energy drink the night before ( I love Advocare Products) and drink right when you get up
MCT Oil Powder is a great energy booster that you can put in your coffee and supports fat loss 🙌🏻
• Workout buddy is crucial.  Get somebody that can hold you accountable
• Start slow! I am not the best at running first thing. I love yoga in the morning, or you can do a quick 15 min workout at your house to start
• Go to bed early! Like when your kids go down, you go down. I go to bed around 8:30 pm
• Have you heard of the Clocky Alarm?!  This thing cracks me up
• I don’t encourage sleeping away from your hubby, but maybe sleeping in another room for the first week. It’s harder to get out of bed when someone else is snoozing
• It will get easier! I love my morning routine, and feel so much better and energized throughout the day

Get your day started right, and get that morning workout on!

XOXO,
Crystal 
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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Tips for Staying Healthy on Vacation



There is nothing I love more than some time away with the family on vacation!  I am definitely a beach bunny as opposed to a snow bunny.   Our favorite getaway is a trip down to the Florida Panhandle in the 30A or Sandestin area.  We just got back from a great trip so I thought I would share some of my tricks to staying healthy.....for most of the trip anyways.

1.  Prepare!  Setting yourself up for success is important.  I always pack some of my healthy go-to snacks with me.
List:
Nutpods
GG Crackers
Fiber One Cereal
Ole Low Carb Wraps

2.  Switch out the bread for the Low Carb Wraps.  These wraps are full of fiber to help keep you fuller and are a much better option than bread.

3.  Use low calorie mixers.  Let's be honest, what is a good vacation with out some drinks?!  I always mix my cocktails with low sugar options to help save my calories where I can.  Currently crushing on these Bai Sparkling Water that even has some caffeine in them.  Soda or La Croix is always a great go to option as well.  I am also a fan of infused Vodkas.  My fave one is the Kettle One Cucumber Botanical.

4. Break a sweat.  I love waking up and going on a slow steady jog.  If you do something active it helps your mindset stay more motivated throughout the day.   I also always look for classes to try around town.   Class Pass is a great option if you are traveling in a city that offers it too.

5.  Rent some bikes.  I love riding around on a bike for fun and exercise.  We rented a Burley bike trailer to pull the kids on and that was a hard workout in itself.

6.  Start out healthy.  No matter what I do, I try and get a good healthy breakfast to start.  If I start out with a doughnut the rest of the day is a disaster.  At least if I have a nice healthy, high fiber breakfast I can sustain saying no to treats a little longer.  My go-to this trip was Fiber One Cereal with no sugar Almond Milk or GG Crackers with Low Fat Cottage Cheese and Salsa.

7. Pick a fun day!  I always have a day a vacation I eat/drink whatever I want.  It usually is the last day and I look forward to it during the week.  I saved up for my Pina Colada and my Chicken Nachos... as well as some other things, and it was well worth the wait!  Having something to look forward to can keep you on track to get there.

Most importantly, it's vacation, so try not to be too hard on yourself, and surely don't weigh up on your return.

Hope everyone has a great summer!!

Crystal
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Monday, May 6, 2019

GG Crackers





I get lots of questions from you guys about my GG fiber crackers. Some of you have a love/hate relationship with them, ha!  I know they can be hard to get used to, but give these Scandinavian crackers a chance to get your daily fiber in! I always pack my GG crackers with me when I am traveling.  It makes it so much easier to get in my daily fiber goal of 35 grams.  I have also been known to take them with me to Mexican restaurants to help keep me away from the chips on the table.  Chips and dip are my biggest downfall, so I'll do anything I can to keep myself away from them.

Here is the skinny on the GG’s:

I use them in place of bread, a wrap or chips. I don’t eat them by themselves. They give an extra crunch to my food to keep me fuller for longer. You can also use them as croutons for your salad, or as the breading on chicken. These crackers are also F-Factor approved, which is the lifestyle diet I live by.

Each cracker gives you 4 grams of fiber and only 2 net carbs. I always order the original, but I will say the Pumpkin Seed ones are a little tastier and easier eat on their own. Hey 

Some of my fave ways to "dress" a GG:

Eggs
Tuna fish
Swiss cheese with turkey pepperoni (just like a pizza ;)
Deli meat with mustard 
Babybel cheese with everything but the bagel seasoning 
Dipped in salsa and hummus 
Avocado
Cream Cheese + tomato
Peanut butter 
Smoked salmon + cream cheese + capers

Follow @ggfiber for some fabulous recipes and ideas.

Also remember I have all my healthy finds on our Shop Amazon page too!  I update it regularly so check it out!

XOXO,
Crystal
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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Shop these items in the links below!


Happy first official day of May! Spring is a busy time of year with school ending and endless activities so I'm here to help with all your Mother's Day gift ideas. Don't wait to order gifts for the special mother, grandmother, or wife because this holiday can easily sneak up on you (especially the husbands!). I personally don't want to receive an extravagant gift on this holiday from my hubby and boys. A little something (maybe with a hand-written note) goes a long way in my book. All of the items in this post are budget-friendly. The above items are all under $100!


 
Grateful to be a mom to my two love bugs!




Gift Ideas for the "Fashion is Everything" Mom

You can't go wrong with a cute "date night" top! This off the shoulder blouse comes in 5 different colors and is seriously flattering on every size. 

I'm seriously drooling over this hexagon shaped handle bag. Geometric mini bags are all the rage and this one is a steal at under $50!

Resin jewelry pieces are also having a big moment. These clear linked drop earrings are true stunners!






Gift Ideas for the "Cozy but Cute" Mom

This super soft luxe UGG robe would be on any mom's wishlist. The shorter length is perfect for spring/summer temps.

I have this rainbow print sweatshirt and seriously wear it every weekend! The print is fun + the comfort is even better. 

This printed short-sleeve pajama set is number #1 on my wish list! The prints are adorable with a beachy feel.





Gift Ideas for the "Sporty Spice" Mom

These high waist leggings always get top reviews for having sculpting abilities + a non-slip waistband.  They come in 4 different colors- my personal fave is the black sun bleach print!

Crystal posted about the metallic Nike's and I'm truly obsessed!  These are excellent for running or cross training.  Be sure to size up at least half a size.

This workout tank has a great loose silhouette that pairs perfectly with leggings.  It comes in 4 different colors.








Throwback pic to me and my sweet momma- gotta love the 80's!

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful moms out there!
XOXO,
Amanda

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