Gift Guide: For the Fitness Lover

I’m so excited about this post because a) I’ve worked extremely hard on it, and b) all of these products are items that are items I own and use ALL the time/are items on my own wish list! If there’s a fitness fanatic in your life, or even if you’re just shopping for yourself, I promise you/they will love anything this list! I’ve included a couple of items that are on the more expensive side, but I also tried to give you tons of affordable options! I will also say that anything more expensive on this list something that is totally worth the investment!

Please message me or comment if you have questions on anything, I’d be glad to help! The guide is broken down into different sections, so if you’re not in the market for anything in one of the specific sections, keep scrolling to the next heading! If you’d like to shop any of these items directly, just click the underlined links and they’ll take you to where you can purchase!

Gym Accessories

Resistance Bands $8.99
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I’ve been using these resistance bands since June and I love them! They’re so cheap, and the quality is great! I’ve had no issues with them. They come in a little drawstring bag that makes them super convenient to throw in your gym bag, and it makes them ideal for traveling! I brought them to Mexico with me and they were the perfect way to get in a quick workout when I couldn’t get to the gym!

Sliders $9.99
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These are an at home workout must for me. You can use these sliders in so many ways! These are also super travel friendly and are such a great addition to a workout when you don’t have access to your normal gym equipment.

True Wireless Earbuds – $42.99

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My brother asked for these earbuds for Christmas and when I read more about them I decided to buy some for myself too! I’ve never used anything other than the IPhone earbuds but I’m really excited to use these! They come in a box that charges the earbuds, which is so convenient! All the reviews say they hold a charge really well, the sound is great, and many people talked about how well they stay put in your ear even during high intensity workouts. These are a great option if you’re not ready to spend $200 on Beats!

Beats by Dr. Dre $199.95

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I included these because I know so many people who have these and absolutely love them. I have not pulled the trigger on them yet but they’re definitely a wish list item for me. This is an item that I think is definitely worth the investment if this is something you’re in the market for!

Jump Rope – $9.95

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This is the jump rope I use when I do at home workouts. It’s really durable and I love the grips on the handles. Jump rope is a great way to get cardio in in between sets or even just for a quick at home workout when you’re in a pinch!

Clothing/Accessories

Adidas Swift Run White – $85.99

Taylor, if you’re reading, these are on my wish list! 😏 I have wanted these shoes for forever. I do not need another pair of tennis shoes but these are SO cute and I feel like they go with everything! I’ve tried them on and they’re extremely comfortable too! If you prefer Adidas over Nike, this is your shoe!

Nike FlyKnit – ON SALE! $109.99

These are the tennis shoes I wear daily, and I think I get asked about them every day! They’re the most comfortable tennis shoe I own and there is not one workout outfit they don’t look perfect with! They’re a little spendy (but on sale which never happens!) but good shoes are 100% worth the investment. I’ve had these for over a year now and I know I’ll get at least another two years out of them! Highly, highly, highly recommend.

Black 38mm Apple Watch – $249.99

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My Apple Watch is like my lifeline. I feel lost without it. I got mine last year for Christmas and I can’t believe I went 24 years without one. It’s such a great tool for workouts. It tracks your heart rate, calories, steps, everything! This is the water “resistant” option, not water “proof”, but I take mine off when I shower, so unless you’re a swimmer, this is a great option. It’s way cheaper than the water proof one too!

Apple Watch Replacement Band – $10.90

I love having a couple of different options to switch out my Apple Watch band with. These are SO cheap compared to what Apple sells them for, so Amazon is definitely the way to go! These would make the perfect stocking stuffer!

Short Socks – $12.99 for 9 pairs

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These are the greatest socks of all time and they’re SO cheap. I’ve bought more expensive brands and these are still my favorites. You can’t see them with any tennis shoes and they’re really thin which I love! I sometimes find that these types of socks tend to wear out pretty quickly but mine have been washed hundreds of times and they’re still like new!

Nike Sports Bra – $22.50

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I own this sports bra in every color it’s ever been made in. I love this bra because it’s thin, but it holds the goods in place if you know what I mean. It’s comfortable, breathable, and I’ve had some of mine for over two years. For the price, the quality is amazing too! This bra would work for all cup sizes! I’m a D cup and wear a medium for reference.

Zella Live In High Waisted Leggings – $54.00

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I bought these leggings during the Nordstrom anniversary sale and I have been kicking myself ever since for not buying two more pairs. I wear them ALL the time. They material isn’t sweat wicking or anything so I don’t work out in them, but as far as athleisure goes, these are everything. They’re SO soft, so comfortable, and I can definitely tell the quality is good enough to last a couple of years. These would be the best gift!

Old Navy Crops – $29

If you’re not ready to spend $70+ on Lulu crops, these are hands down my favorite crops. They keep everything in place, they’re super flattering, and they’re extremely good quality for the price. I think I have them in every color!

Hair, Skin, & Nail Must Haves

Free People Hair Coils – $5.99

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I mentioned these hair ties in my post gym hair care post back in October! They are my absolute favorites for wearing to the gym because they don’t leave a crease in your hair! They’re my secret weapon as far as being able to salvage clean hair after the gym!

Batiste Dry Shampoo – $8.99
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This is my all time favorite dry shampoo. I use it every day after I leave the gym! It gives it body and a little grit which is 100% necessary on day two and three hair! It’s cheap and it lasts forever.

Tula Cleanser – $28.00

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I just started using Tula products but I have fallen in love. I use this cleanser on my face morning and night, but I included it in this guide because I also use it right when I get home from the gym! It’s extremely gentle and leaves my face squeaky clean and free of sweat and dirt!

Supplements

Cellucor C4 – $28.99

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This is my favorite pre workout of all time! It’s pretty strong so I sometimes only have to take a half scoop which makes it cheaper than it already is. It is a total necessity for my early morning workouts!

Dr. Axe Collagen – $34

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Collagen is what I use in my coffee EVERY single day. It contains 7 grams of protein and it’s tasteless so it’s the perfect way to start your day with a little extra protein! It’s also worked WONDERS on my hair, skin, and nails! Think of it as Biotin on steroids. You can use “kalekouture” for 20% off your purchase making this only $34!

BioHealth Nutrition Protein Powder – $40

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I’ve been using BioHealth Nutrition protein powders for almost two months now and I love them more than any other powdered protein I’ve had before. This protein is pasturefed blend so it’s really natural and it’s not hard on my stomach like many other proteins usually are. There are tons of great flavors but chocolate milk is my favorite right now! Use “BIOKALE” at checkout for a discount on any of the products on their site!

Miscellaneous

City Shape Membership – $50

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City Shape is like Class Pass for all the local KC gyms! Being a member of City Shape has exposed me to so many new gyms and classes I would never have known about, or had the opportunity to try without my membership. For $50, you get four classes. You can schedule them wherever and whenever you want! Your membership also gives you a discount at some of my favorite places around KC, including Enjoy Pure Food, Unbakery, Simple Sciences Juices, etc. This would make an awesome gift to start the new year with!

Healthy Human Cruiser Tumbler – $22.99

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This is the Healthy Human bottle you’ve probably seen on my Instagram story a thousand times. It keeps my coffee hot for hours! I recommend this to every one I know! The purple one is on my wish list this year! Use “kalekouture” at checkout for a discount on your purchase!

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Why I’m Not Sharing Ways to “Stay On Track” This Thanksgiving

I was not planning on writing a blog post on this, but after seeing SO many people this week posting their “tips and tricks” on ways to stay healthy on Thanksgiving, I felt compelled to share my own two cents, and it may not be what you think it is. Let me preface first by saying, I’m not dogging on anyone who has written one of these posts. Everyone is 100% entitled to their own way of thinking and that’s what I truly love about blogging – reading about someone else’s perspective!

You knew there had to be a “however”, right?! However. Thanksgiving is one dang day a year. One day. One out of 365 days of the year.

I’ve seen so many people say “limit your desserts”, “load up on veggies”, “drink tons of water so you’re not super hungry when it’s time to eat”, “get an early morning workout in”, “limit your alcohol intake”, “walk off your food after dinner”, etc. I promise I’ve seen it all. All of those things are great, and if doing that makes you feel better, you do you! But I also think it’s okay to spend your holiday NOT conscientiously thinking about these things.

Am I going to limit my desserts? Let me tell you the last time I ate a full fat, full sugar dessert. Besides a donut on Halloween, it’s been months. So no, probably not limiting myself there. Am I going to load up on veggies? If sweet potato casserole counts, yes! Am I going to get an early morning workout in? Does lifting my wine glass from the table to my mouth count? Am I going to walk off my food after dinner? Well realistically that would take days to do, and we go to a movie as a family after dinner, so no. Limit my alcohol intake? No to that too.

I would say for about 350/365 days a year, I count macros, eat nutrient dense foods, make sure to eat enough protein, limit processed foods, limit my sugar intake, work out, limit my alcohol intake, etc. The 15, give or take a few, days a year I let myself completely indulge (like turkey day), account for 4% of the year. Do you think that 4% of the year has any affect on my overall health, or the way I look? No. The only thing it affects is my sanity. I am able to have a healthy relationship with food because of that 4%. I’m able to do all of those things I listed above, the other 96% of the time, because of that 4%.

I am so proud of the way I live my life and the changes I’ve made over the past 5-6 years, but I am also so proud of the fact that I can celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, and not feel the need to modify every recipe I’m bringing, or feel the need to say no to trying an additional dessert because I’ve already had one, or worry about what hours Planet Fitness is open on Thanksgiving day. And you know what? Even if I did worry about those things, I wouldn’t be a pound lighter once it’s all said and done. Because one day, makes ZERO difference in the scheme of life.

There was absolutely a point in my life where I did worry about all of these things, as recent as last year. I had a moment the other day when my mom texted me and said “Can you dig the unhealthy stuff off the sweet potato casserole or do you want just a plain sweet potato for Thanksgiving?” While a part of me knows that she was being so thoughtful, the other part of me kind of hated that she had to ask me that. If you were wondering, I responded without hesitation “I can eat the unhealthy stuff!”. And I will, with zero guilt.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, fitness and health are parts of my life, they are not my whole life. On Friday, I will go right back to eating like I do 90% of the time, and working out 6 days a week. But if you can’t indulge a couple of days a year, then when can you? Balance is a part of health. Indulging every once in awhile is a part of health. Not working out every once in a while is a part of health.

This subject is something I’m so passionate about, and it weighed heavily on my heart this week. I never want to make anyone feel like the way they’re living their life is wrong, so if you read this post and feel differently, that’s perfectly fine! And if you’re one of the people I referred to earlier, I still love you! I just felt compelled to share because for years, I felt like if I didn’t do things the “healthy” way on Thanksgiving, other holidays, etc., I wasn’t a “healthy person”, I was losing progress, I was going to gain a bunch of weight, etc. And that’s why I restricted myself in so many ways. But in fact, I now feel the opposite.

I hope if you take nothing else away from this post, it’s to give yourself some grace tomorrow. Eat the pie, drink the wine, lay on the couch, BE HUMAN. Be thankful for the people you share your day with, for all the amazing food you’ll eat, the people who prepared it, and for the time you get to spend with them.

I hope you all have the best day tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving.

Reflecting On October’s Fitness Goal

At the beginning of October, I posted a picture on Instagram stating that my October fitness goal would be to run two miles, for 25 days of October. I never imagined how many people would be encouraging me on this month long October journey of mine! Each day I posted about my two miles, and every single day I got words of encouragement, pictures of people running their own two miles, or even people asking if I had done my two miles on the five days I took off. Talk about being held accountable!

A couple of people asked me to post about my thoughts on my goal and how it affected me. I was gathering these thoughts along the way myself, so this was the perfect excuse to blog about them to share my pros and cons with you!

Pros
  • Accountability.
    • I was held accountable by my friends and followers throughout every day of this month. I loved knowing that my goal was public, aka: people would notice if I ran or not! I also loved the fact that someone else seeing my 2.0 mile Insta stories, encouraged them to run their own 2.0 for the day. This encouraged me to get my butt to the gym to get my miles in, even when I wasn’t feeling it.
  • No excuses.
    • It’s a well known fact that I don’t love cardio. I never have and I never will, and that’s okay. If you love cardio, you’re either lying or there might be something wrong with you. Just kidding. Kind of. That being said, before this month, I had no problem skipping cardio here and there, just because I always have a hard time deciding what I should/want to do as far as cardio goes. Knowing I had to do my two miles gave me no choice but to hop on the treadmill the minute I got to the gym. It completely took the guess work out of cardio, which sometimes is half the battle.
  • Goal Driven.
    • I’ve worked out consistently for over 5 years, so going to the gym pure habit for me. I don’t have to muster up a lot of motivation most days because I know that it’s just part of my day; there’s no “if”, it’s just “when”. However after a while, I find myself going through the motions without necessarily having a passion for what I’m doing. This month was different. I was so motivated by having a specific goal that I actually felt like I was accomplishing something every time I stepped in the gym. I wasn’t just going through the motions; I had something to work for and it was and it was the best feeling!
  • It pushed me.
    • Like I mentioned before, I am not a runner, by any stretch. I trained for a half marathon a couple of years ago but was forced to quit because of a hairline fracture in my tibia. Since then, I have not run anywhere close to 9 miles. While 2 miles a day isn’t close to 9, it’s closer than 0! At the beginning of October, I couldn’t finish a mile without stopping. On the last day of October, I ran two miles with no breaks – progress!
  • Bigger Goals.
    • My two miles a day made me want to set bigger running goals for myself in the future. Maybe 3 miles a day for a month, maybe a half marathon, who knows?! It definitely lit somewhat of a fire under me as far as running is concerned and I haven’t had that sort of running motivation in forever.
Cons
  • No physical change.
    • When working towards a goal, especially a fitness centered goal, it’s easy to want to see a physical change. That’s typically why most people work out, right? I totally get that, and while I’d love to say I saw a huge physical difference in my appearance after this month, I didn’t. Two miles a day equated to about 20-25 minutes of cardio before my strength training workouts each day, which is exactly what I had been doing before I started this month’s goal. So because it wasn’t an increase in cardio, there was no change to my physical appearance. Which is a great lesson learned for me. Do I see a physical difference in my body? No. But I do know that my heart is in better physical shape just based on the progress I made in my times and in my ability to run without stopping. Heart health is a whole lot more important to me than anything I could’ve seen on the outside!
  • I missed other cardio machines!
    • Having to run every day as my cardio made me miss some of my old cardio routines! It will be a little while before I step back on the treadmill as my cardio for the day. Not because I didn’t enjoy this month on the treadmill, but I actually started missing the Stairmaster! Something I never thought I’d say! But on a real note, doing something for a month straight does start to get mundane after a while. I have a newfound love for the Stairmaster and that’s exciting to me! A negative turned positive.
  • Two A Days
    • Because I became an ambassador for CityShape this month, that meant I was attending more fitness classes than usual. So because I was away from Planet Fitness at least once a week, I had to go and do my two miles before my classes, which meant I was technically working out twice in one day. I never considered my two miles my entire workout, it was more of a warm up, but it definitely wasn’t the most convenient goal during a month when I was away from my home gym quite a few times!
November Goal

While this month’s goal might not seem nearly as challenging as October’s, I’m trying not to set myself up for failure! There is something to be said for setting your sights high with a lofty goal, however I’m also trying to be realistic. I know for a fact I will be traveling this month, celebrating the holidays with my family, taking 5 more CityShape classes, and I know my workout routine won’t be nearly as rigid as it is in other months. Which is 100% okay with me. However, I wanted a goal that would push me, but it would be something I could do, regardless of where I am! That being said, I decided to do a month long plank challenge.

As cheesy as I used to think these were, it’s actually something I’ve wanted to do for a while now! I will post the plank challenge below, so feel free to join me! It’s something that obviously doesn’t have to be done at a gym, so anyone can do it! The other part of my reasoning behind this goal, was because my core area is the last thing I ever focus on. I tend to rely on strength training and hitting my macros to do most of my core work for me, so I’m hoping to see a little bit of change with the extra attention!

30 Day Plank Challenge

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I hope you had a great Halloween, indulged in some candy, and are now ready to hit your November goals! Comment and let me know what your goals are!

XO, A

Sweating It Out With Barre3 Kansas City

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I typically do my own workouts. I work out at a gym with free weights, squat racks, weight machines, and cardio equipment. The typical gym scene. As much as I love my new gym and everything it offers, it is SO good to get out of my normal routine. Trying something new and switching things up can do wonders for your mind, body, and motivation level.

I was invited to a Barre3 workout class in Brookside this weekend, and I cannot say enough about how much I loved it. I don’t usually love classes, but not having to come up with my own workout, but rather someone else telling me exactly what to do, was so nice!

I went with a friend of mine, Alexa, who is my workout class sidekick. We started going to workout classes together in college and I still to this day love going to classes with her whenever we can! I will say that for me, it is always easier and more fun to do classes when she’s with me. It can be intimidating to walk into a new class by yourself, so if this something that holds you back from a new gym, a new class, a new studio, etc., bring a friend! It makes things so much more comfortable when you have someone with you experiencing the class for their first time as well.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Barre3, here is a quick outline per their websiste:

Barre3 delivers a full body workout using only low-impact movements. With our team of experts—doctors, physical therapists, and anatomy specialists—we developed our signature 3-step sequence to produce a strong and balanced body.”

  • STEP 1 | HOLD Align the body, build mind-body connection, and engage your muscles.
  • STEP 2 | MOVE SMALL Work deep in the muscle without compromising your form to push through plateaus, and build strength.

  • STEP 3 | MOVE BIG Build functional strength for everyday activities, tone your muscles, and energize your entire body.

Our instructor at Barre3 was Caroline and she made us both feel so welcomed. She knew that we were both there for the very first time so she made sure to help us out from the moment we walked in.

The class was an hour long and my heart rate was up from the minute the class started. I turned on my Apple watch and glanced at it every ten minutes or so, and my heart rate was above 150 bpm the entire time. It was the perfect mix of strength, core, stretching, and cardio. It was definitely intense and I was sweating (& shaking for that matter) like crazy. For this class we used the barre ball, and 1lb or 2lb weights. Never underestimate the power of 1lb and 2lb weights! My muscles were BURNING the entire class.

The class was incredibly upbeat, the music was great, and I was never bored. The hour flew by before I knew it! Even for someone who works out every day, this class was incredibly challenging for me. It’s completely different that my every day workout at my gym and it pushed me in ways I don’t usually push myself. The holds and squeezes killed me, and this is something I plan on incorporating into my own workouts at the gym. I was definitely outside of my fitness comfort zone and that’s what made it so much fun!

I loved this class and I would highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t tried it before. This style of workout is doable for all fitness levels and that’s part of the reason I loved it so much. Our instructor Caroline was extremely helpful and offered assistance when needed, as well as provided modifications for every single movement we did.

Click here to find a Barre3 in your area! And thank you again to Caroline for having us this weekend. I can’t wait to come back soon! If you’re in the KC area – go check out Barre3 Kansas City, you will not be disappointed!

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Weekly Workout Roundup

It’s been a minute since I’ve blogged a weekly workout roundup for you guys, and I’ll be completely honest – it’s because my workouts this summer have been far from perfect. Being that part of my platform with KaleKouture is fitness, it can be hard to motivate and encourage others when you’re not on top of the workout game yourself. It’s kind of like encouraging someone to be on a diet while you’re eating Cheesecake Factory in front of them!

Even though part of my job as a fitness blogger is to tell you about my workouts and how I’m staying active, and how you can do those things too, I am not afraid to admit that just like anyone else, “life” has taken precedence over a lot of my workouts this summer. This summer has been full of weekend lake trips, going on vacation, moving, looking for/buying a new house, working two summer jobs, getting everything ready to go back to school, and in the midst of all of that, trying to seamlessly transition into running this blog on my own. I started the summer with every intent of working out six days a week, trying new classes, tracking macros perfectly, etc. I mean teachers don’t “work” in the summer right, I should have all the time in the world! I’m here to tell you that’s not true, and that has not happened. But that’s okay!

While summer is obviously not the most ideal time for workouts to be lagging, truthfully I have not stressed or lost any sleep over it like I might have in years past. I know that summer is temporary, and the life events, vacation, and time with friends that have prevented me from working out like I normally do, are far more important than a few missed workouts. Memories with people you love are worth more than one missed hour- long-500-calorie-burn, I promise.

This summer has been one of the best summers I’ve ever had, and I can tell you without a doubt that my body looks no different today than it would had I not missed those workouts. Fitness is a lifestyle. So cliché, I know, but it’s true. It’s not a certain number of workouts, it’s not a certain number of days hitting your macros – it’s about the big picture. Did I miss some workouts? Yeah, more than I probably anticipated. Was I active this summer and did I try to workout as often as I could? Yes I did. That’s what it’s all about.

All that to say, I’m back and I’m running full steam ahead starting this week! And if you’re in the same boat and your workouts have been lacking this summer, know that I’m right there with you! Don’t worry about the workouts that didn’t happen, be encouraged and give your all to the workouts that you’re going to make happen this week! Screen shot the workouts below, and commit to working out with me this week!

I wrote up a weekly workout roundup below, not only for you guys to follow along with, but to motivate myself as well! It’s a proven fact that if I write out my workouts, and schedule them in my planner like any other commitment or appointment I have, I’m 100 times more likely to make it happen. Let me know if you have any questions!

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‘Keep It Cool’ Crop Leggings | ‘Ebb To Street Tank’ | Nike Free RN Flyknit 

Weekly Workout Roundup 

  • Sunday: Cardio + Legs
    • 15 minute stairmaster warm up
      • smith machine squats (3 sets of 12)
      • bench step ups w/dumbbells (12 each leg, 3 sets)
      • walking lunges w/barbell (3 sets of 24)
      • plie pulse squats w/dumbbell (3 sets of 24)
      • leg extension, single leg (12 each leg, 3 sets)
      • hamstring extension, single leg (12 each leg, 3 sets)
      • jump squats (3 sets of 12)
  • Monday: Cardio + Triceps
    • 15 minute stairmaster warm up
      • tricep pushdowns w/rope attachment (3 sets of 12)
      • overhead tricep extension w/plate (3 sets of 12)
      • single arm pushdown w/cable – overhand (12 each am, 3 sets)
      • single arm pushdown w/cable – underhand (12 each arm, 3 sets)
      • overhead tricep extension w/cable (3 sets of 12)
      • tricep exentsion machine (3 sets of 12)
      • single arm kickback with dumbell (12 each arm, 3 sets)
  • Tuesday: Cardio + Biceps/Back
    • 20 minute incline walk on treadmill (incline: 12, speed: 3.5)
      • bicep curl w/ barbell (3 sets of 12)
      • seated cable row (3 sets of 12)
      • hammer curls w/ dumbbells  (12 each arm, sets of 3)
      • lat pulldown (3 sets of 12)
      • bicep curl w/rope attachment (12 each arm, 3 sets)
      • single arm bicep curl w/cables (12 each arm, 3 sets)
      • bicep curl w/ 25lb plate (until failure – this is a burnout, go as long as you can!)
  • Wednesday: Cardio + Legs
    • 15 minute elliptical warm up (incline: 20, resistance: 30)
      • smith machine split squats (12 each leg, 3 sets)
      • glute kickback machine (12 each leg, 3 sets)
      • curtsy lunge w/barbell (12 each leg, 3 sets)
      • smith machine squats (3 sets of 12)
      • reverse lunge with barbell (12 each leg, 3 sets)
      • straight leg deadlifts w/barbell (3 sets of 12)
      • body weight lunges until failure
  • Thursday: Cardio + Shoulders
    • 15 minute stairmaster warm up
      • front raise with barbell (3 sets of 12)
      • upright row w/ barbell (3 sets of 12)
      • lateral raise w/ dumbbells (3 sets of 12)
      • shoulder press w/ dumbells (3 sets of 12)
      • upright row w/ rope attachment (3 sets of 12)
      • shoulder press machine (3 sets of 12)
      • plank shoulder taps until failure
  • Friday: Corepower Yoga
  • Saturday: Cardio + Abs
    • 3 mile run
      • 24 leg lifts
      • 24 bicycle crunches
      • 40 russian twists
      • 30 second plank
        • Repeat 4 times!

24 Things …

Since the blog has changed a little bit over the past couple of weeks, I wanted to do a fun blog post to share a little bit about me for those of you who are new around here! And even if you’re not new, these are probably still things you don’t know. Here goes nothing … 24 random things about me!

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  1. I went to the University of Arkansas for my undergrad. I’m a Kansas girl at heart, but Arkansas is my home away from home. I loved every minute of it and would give anything to go back! Go Hogs!
  2. I can’t stand steak or seafood, at all. I’m a cheap date!
  3. I drink coffee in some form, every single day without fail. I like it hot, cold, made at home, from Starbucks, with cream, without cream, pretty much anything! I love it.
  4. I’ve lived in Kansas almost my whole life. Kansas gets a bad rap but I wouldn’t trade living here for the world!
  5. I have three pets that I love so so much. I have Butter and Jelli, who are both cats, and Peaches who is our lab/pointer mix who you’ve probably seen make an appearance on the @KaleKouture Instagram story a time or two!
  6. If I could go anywhere in the world, it would be Greece. Santorini and Mykonos have been on my bucket list forever.
  7. I have eczema pretty badly. I started having flare ups fairly regularly starting my freshman year of college and have had them ever since. It’s on my face and arms which can be embarrassing and kind of disheartening to deal with because I have little control over it. It’s usually due to my efforts in trying to find different products to keep it under control.
  8. I worked as a lifeguard for five summers while I was in high school and college.
  9. Running a half marathon is on my bucket list. I trained up to 9 miles my junior year of college and had to quit because of pretty severe shin splints.
  10. I was never big into sports which some people think is weird considering my love of being active. I threw javelin in high school but that was the extent of my sports days. My brother plays college baseball so it’s pretty safe to say he got the athletic gene.
  11. I’m a Kindergarten teacher. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do and I love every second of it! My dream is to be a teacher in a hospital for children in need of long term care.
  12. The lake is by far my most favorite place to be – any time of year. If I could spend every single weekend there, I would.
  13. I have the biggest fear of public speaking. I sweat, turn red, the whole nine yards. I’m not a shy person whatsoever but speaking in front of people is my worst fear.
  14. I have a huge passion for travel – I’ve traveled more in the two years I’ve been out of college than I have my whole life and it has been the most rewarding experience.
  15. I am not exaggerating when I say I could not live without Chick-Fil-A. It has been and always will be my all time favorite. My favorite things on the menu are: diet lemonade, nuggets with Chick-Fil-A sauce, and the cookies & cream milkshake with extra Oreos.
  16. I do not like water, at all. I don’t crave the taste of plain water, and I will be the first to admit that I am the worst when it comes to drinking water. If there’s Mio mixed in it, I can guzzle it, but without, it’s just not happening.
  17. South Carolina is my favorite place I’ve been, within the U.S. If you haven’t been, it’s a must. Charleston especially. It’s serene, the living is so laid back, and it’s so charming! I can’t see myself moving from Kansas anytime soon but if I could pick anywhere that would be number one on my list!
  18. Becoming a NASM CPT is a long term goal for me. Fitness is a huge passion of mine so I would love to be able to work closely with clients and do it as a part time job one day. I have a lot on my plate right now so hopefully within the next couple of years!
  19. I met my boyfriend Taylor my sophomore year of high school and we’ve been dating for close to 9 years now. I never really talk about him on the blog, but he’s my best friend and has been a huge supporter in this whole blogging process.
  20. Having my nails done is a guilty pleasure of mine and is the one thing I  will spend money on regularly. I’ve been doing the dipping powder for the last 6 months and I will never go back to shellac or anything else. I would definitely recommend it if you’ve never tried it.
  21. I have a serious addiction to activewear and tennis shoes. I’m sure you’ve noticed. But would spend money on workout clothes and tennis shoes over regular clothes any day of the week.
  22. If I weren’t a teacher I would want to be a labor and delivery nurse. I am obsessed with babies and am fascinated with the thought of being a part of the process of bringing them into the world every day!
  23. I cannot leave my house without making my bed. No matter how late I’m running, I take 20 seconds to make my bed. I feel like my room is 20x messier if the bed isn’t made!
  24. I’m fulfilling a fitness bucket list item this fall, as I’m planning to participate in a Tough Mudder in October! It’s extremely outside my “fitness comfort zone” and unlike anything I’ve ever done before, but I am excited to be working towards a new goal.

me2

UPDATED Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Activewear Picks!

I posted this earlier last week at the beginning of the presale, but now that the sale is open to non cardholders, and now that many things have sold out, I’ve updated my post with some new items in place of the old! Many of these items were also just shipped to me a few days ago so I didn’t want to add them until I had tried them on and decided to keep them!

I will wholeheartedly admit I am 100% not the queen of fashion, and that is the whole reason that up to this point, I didn’t do the fashion side of this account. I spend 90% of my time in workout clothes and if you know me, you know that is not one bit exaggerated. So much so that my mom says she wouldn’t recognize me in anything else. The other 10% of the time, I’m in “teacher wear”, and it’s kind of hard to be super trendy when I spend half my day on the floor with 5 year olds. However, I refuse to be left out of all this Nordstrom madness, and while most of you are probably shopping for your new fall wardrobe, I am shopping for both that and my new fall workout wardrobe! I decided to dedicate a post to everything I just got from the presale so that you’d have an easier time sifting through the hundreds of amazing items on sale right now!

For those of you who don’t know, Nordstrom does an anniversary sale each year in July. Most stores do their sales at the end of the season, however Nordstrom actually does their major sale on fall and winter clothes at the end of summer! Meaning you can save tons of money on fall and winter clothes by shopping early.

Side note – many people talk about how quickly these items sell out during the sale, and while many do, they’re ALWAYS restocking. So don’t worry if something sells out – just keep checking back!

As you may or may not know, our posts are now shopable through the “LikeToKnowIt” app, which you can download from the app store. This app allows you to screenshot or “like” our Instagram posts, and have the direct links sent to you email inbox, making shopping so much more convenient and quick! So be sure to download it if you haven’t already, that way you can shop straight from our Instagram, eliminating the extra step of having to come to the blog!

However, because you’re reading this, you’re obviously already on the blog, meaning all you have to do is click each linked title to shop the item! Many of these items will sell out quickly, so if you see something you like, definitely go ahead and get it! Nordstrom always does free shipping and free returns, so err on the side of caution, and grab it before it’s sold out, then return it later if you need to! I’ve included pictures of all the items I picked up and tried on in store, the rest of my order is being shipped to my house as we speak, so I’ll update with pictures as I get them!

Bottoms

 

Zella Live In High Waist Leggings

These are the perfect leggings for fall/winter. I don’t typically wear full length leggings in the summer, but when it gets chillier, these will for sure be my go-to’s! I love the high waist, they’re SO soft, and they’re tight enough to keep everything in place without suffocating you. I already own a pair of these, but they’re close to half of what I originally paid! These are $35 – they’re a little long, but they run true to size!

Zella ‘Hatha’ High Waist Crop Leggings

Again, LOVE the high waist on these crops, and I die for the mesh detailing on the back! I own far too much black, so I’m excited to add a little bit of grey to my workout uniform (they only had black in store – but I ordered the grey)! Trying to refrain from ordering the blush color too … For only $33, this is a total steal! They also come in black if that’s more your style. These run true to size!

 

Zella ‘Keep it Cool’ Crop Leggings

These are a staple in my closet. I wear these both in and out of the gym because they’re SO comfy. They’re soft, stretchy, and so breathable. These are the ones I linked on Instagram last week in the teal color! This is the perfect non-high waisted crop, and who doesn’t need a perfect pair of plain black crops?! These are $31 and come in both red and blue in addition to the black! These run true to size!

 

crops 6

Zella Live In Slim Fit Leggings

For those of you who don’t love the high waist trend, these are perfect for fall/winter and they’re the exact same price as the crops, $33! They’re a slim fit though, so if you’re in between sizes, or you don’t like things super tight, I would size up!

crops 7

Zella Knock Out High Waist Leggings

These are perfect for the gym, but the mesh detailing gives them more of an athleisure look, meaning I can wear them everywhere and people aren’t judging me for wearing workout clothes … right? These also come in the cutest pink color! Definitely a steal for $42 and they run true to size. These are only left in a large – HURRY!

midi

Zella Moonlight High Waist Midi Leggings

What I love about these leggings is that they’re a “midi” style, which means they should hit you mid calf instead of closer to the knee like a crop, or closer to your ankle like a full length legging. I am a huge fan of the longer fit because it helps give the allusion that my legs aren’t two feet long like my long long long torso sometimes makes them feel! Another steal at $38! These crops run true to size.

Tanks

top 6

Zella Pace Tank

This top is one of those go-with-anything workout tanks. It’s simple, basic, and it comes in 4 colors, so you’re sure to find something to match any pair of crops, shorts, leggings, you name it. I love a more relaxed and flowy fit in the summer when it’s so hot, which makes this the perfect top for only $24! This tank runs true to size.

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Adidas Originals Trefoil Logo Relaxed Fit Tank

I love this tank with all my heart! It’s the perfect workout tank, but it also double as the perfect athleisure staple! It’s so soft, it’s black (my favorite), and can be worn as shown, or knotted in the front/back if you size up! And, its only $21 – doesn’t get much better than that!

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Climawear Perf Perfection Singlet

I have not seen this on one other roundup of sale items, and I am so surprised! I loved this top from the moment I tried it on. It’s so stretchy, it’s breathable, and it feels like you’re wearing your softest jammie shirt to the gym. It’s only $24 and I would compare the quality of the fabric to some of my Lulu tanks. This is a steal! Runs true to size.

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Nike Breath Training TankNike Breath Training Tank

I am SO shocked this is not sold out yet. This tank is one of my absolute favorites. For those of you who tend to be like me when it comes to tank tops, and love a loose and breathable fit, this is the tank for you! The material is extremely thin which is perfect for the summer and warmer fall days and I love the burnout detail. Definitely worth every penny for only $33!

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Nike Pro Cooling Sports Bra

Okay – here’s the deal with the sports bra. I was totally hoping to find a sports bra I loved this year, and while I found this one and loved it, there’s a caveat. My only issue with this sports bra is that I would not recommend it for anyone bigger than a C cup. I am a D, and the large was suffocating me, so I would definitely say to size up regardless of your cup size. While it didn’t fit me right, I highly recommend it and have seen it recommended by many other smaller chested bloggers. The material is great, the quality is obviously great because it’s Nike, and the thin straps make it perfect for any workout top! It’s a steal for $33!

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Zella Constellation Crop

These crops are extremely similar to the ‘Hatha’ high waist crop leggings I posted above. They’re the same fit and the same style, so if you love those, you’ll love these! I love the high waist, as well as the mesh in the back, but above all else … this pattern! I love any pop of color or pattern a crop adds to an otherwise boring athleisure look.

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Zella Autumn High Waist Moto Ankle Leggings

I think these leggings are the cutest leggings ever. I love the fact that they can be worn with anything gym wise, but even more so that they can transition into a casual/athleisure look with a quick top change! I love the olive green color, but these come in black as well. These fit true to size!

Zella Mesh Inset Training Tee

Maybe I’m weird, but I am always on the hunt for a good workout tee. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood for a tight fitting tank! I honestly did not expect to love the fit of this top as much as I did! It has such a feminine and flattering fit, and the mesh makes it so airy and breathable. Only $31 and it comes in two other colors! This ran a little small for me so I sized up!

 

Zella Power Racerback Tank

Again, I told y’all I am not usually one for super tight fitting tanks. They’re not always the most comfortable, and for nights when I’m running outside or just doing light cardio at the gym, this kind of tank is perfection because of how lightweight it is. And for only $24, I may or may not have gotten it in two colors. This tank runs true to size.

Sweatshirts/Jackets

sweatshirt

Zella Outta Town Hoodie

Truthfully, I’ve been looking for a sweatshirt to be able to throw on over a tank or a tee when I go to the gym in the chillier months, for YEARS now. I always just a jacket or something light, but I’ve never had a cute and comfy hoodie that could go over anything. This will without a doubt be my go-to if this Kansas heat ever goes away! It’s one of the more expensive items in this post, but for something you can wear all the time, I definitely think it’s worth $49! This runs true to size.

Free Focus Flyknit 2 Training Shoe

I need not one more pair of tennis shoes, and my mom is going to kill me when she reads this, but I couldn’t say no to this color combo. I am a sucker for aqua and grey. Grey goes with everything and aqua is the perfect pop of color to add to any workout look! They come in black too! Aside form the color, I’ve also tried these on and they feel like you’re walking on clouds. I can’t think of a workout they wouldn’t be great for! Get them quick, they’re only $89 and they’ve already been sold out and restocked once! These ran a little big for me so I ordered a half size down.

 

Nike Juvenate SE Sneaker

You guys are probably sick of seeing these shoes by now, seeing as though I wear them in 75% of my Insta stories and pictures! But they go with EVERYTHING and they were worth every penny I spent on them (which was a lot more than $70!). I have had mine since Christmas and for as much as I’ve worn them, they still look brand new. Wish they came in more colors because they’re one of my favorites! These run true to size.

That wraps it up for all of my favorite active wear items this year! I’m working on a post with all of the non-active wear items I picked up in case any of you are actually interested in what I wear when I’m not at the gym! Check back early this week for the post! Happy shopping girls! Please message me or leave comments if you have questions on sizing or anything regarding the sale!

XO, A

 

Nordstrom Anniversary Activewear Picks!

I will wholeheartedly admit I am 100% not the queen of fashion, and that is the whole reason that up to this point, I didn’t do the fashion side of this account. I spend 90% of my time in workout clothes and if you know me, you know that is not one bit exaggerated. So much so that my mom says she wouldn’t recognize me in anything else. The other 10% of the time, I’m in “teacher wear”, and it’s kind of hard to be super trendy when I spend half my day on the floor with 5 year olds. However, I refuse to be left out of all this Nordstrom madness, and while most of you are probably shopping for your new fall wardrobe, I am shopping for both that and my new fall workout wardrobe! I decided to dedicate a post to everything I just got from the presale so that you’d have an easier time sifting through the hundreds of amazing items on sale right now!

For those of you who don’t know, Nordstrom does an anniversary sale each year in July. Most stores do their sales at the end of the season, however Nordstrom actually does their major sale on fall and winter clothes at the end of summer! Meaning you can save tons of money on fall and winter clothes by shopping early. 

*Sidenote – many people talk about how quickly these items sell out during the presale, and while many do, they’re ALWAYS restocking. So don’t worry if something sells out – just keep checking back!

As you may or may not know, our posts are now shopable through the “LikeToKnowIt” app, which you can download from the app store. This app allows you to screenshot or “like” our Instagram posts, and have the direct links sent to you email inbox, making shopping so much more convenient and quick! So be sure to download it if you haven’t already, that way you can shop straight from our Instagram, eliminating the extra step of having to come to the blog!

However, because you’re reading this, you’re obviously already on the blog, meaning all you have to do is click each linked title to shop the item! Many of these items will sell out quickly, so if you see something you like, definitely go ahead and get it! Nordstrom always does free shipping and free returns, so err on the side of caution, and grab it before it’s sold out, then return it later if you need to! I’ve included pictures of all the items I picked up and tried on in store, the rest of my order is being shipped to my house as we speak, so I’ll update with pictures as I get them!

Bottoms

Zella Live In High Waist Leggings

These are the perfect leggings for fall/winter. I don’t typically wear full length leggings in the summer, but when it gets chillier, these will for sure be my go-to’s! I love the high waist, they’re SO soft, and they’re tight enough to keep everything in place without suffocating you. I already own a pair of these, but they’re close to half of what I originally paid! These are $35 – they’re a little long, but they run true to size!

Zella ‘Hatha’ High Waist Crop Leggings

Again, LOVE the high waist on these crops, and I die for the mesh detailing on the back! I own far too much black, so I’m excited to add a little bit of grey to my workout uniform (they only had black in store – but I ordered the grey)! Trying to refrain from ordering the blush color too … For only $33, this is a total steal! They also come in black if that’s more your style. These run true to size!

Zella ‘Keep it Cool’ Crop Leggings

These are a staple in my closet. I wear these both in and out of the gym because they’re SO comfy. They’re soft, stretchy, and so breathable. These are the ones I linked on Instagram last week in the teal color! This is the perfect non-high waisted crop, and who doesn’t need a perfect pair of plain black crops?! These are $31 and come in both red and blue in addition to the black! These run true to size!

Zella Turning Point High Waist Crop Leggings

This is without a doubt my favorite item I got from this sale! I love any kind of color blocked legging but these are the cutest! Annnnd again with the high waist … anyone noticing a trend?! These are $42 and worth every single penny. I ordered my regular size in these!

crops 8

Zella Turning Point High Waist Crop Leggings

These are the exact same as the color blocked pair above them, but they’re black, AND they’re cheaper, so … I needed them! In all reality, I will probably make myself choose between the two, but I had to get both for right now because they’re so cheap! These are only $35 and run true to size!

crops 6

Zella Live In Slim Fit Leggings

For those of you who don’t love the high waist trend, these are perfect for fall/winter and they’re the exact same price as the crops, $33! They’re a slim fit though, so if you’re in between sizes, or you don’t like things super tight, I would size up!

crops 7

Zella Knock Out High Waist Leggings

These are perfect for the gym, but the mesh detailing gives them more of an athleisure look, meaning I can wear them everywhere and people aren’t judging me for wearing workout clothes … right? These also come in the cutest pink color! Definitely a steal for $42 and they run true to size.

midi

Zella Moonlight High Waist Midi Leggings

What I love about these leggings is that they’re a “midi” style, which means they should hit you mid calf instead of closer to the knee like a crop, or closer to your ankle like a full length legging. I am a huge fan of the longer fit because it helps give the allusion that my legs aren’t two feet long like my long long long torso sometimes makes them feel! Another steal at $38! These crops run true to size.

Tanks

top 6

Zella Pace Tank

This top is one of those go-with-anything workout tanks. It’s simple, basic, and it comes in 4 colors, so you’re sure to find something to match any pair of crops, shorts, leggings, you name it. I love a more relaxed and flowy fit in the summer when it’s so hot, which makes this the perfect top for only $24! This tank runs true to size.

Zella Mesh Inset Training Tee

Maybe I’m weird, but I am always on the hunt for a good workout tee. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood for a tight fitting tank! I honestly did not expect to love the fit of this top as much as I did! It has such a feminine and flattering fit, and the mesh makes it so airy and breathable. Only $31 and it comes in two other colors! This ran a little small for me so I sized up!

Zella Power Racerback Tank

Again, I told y’all I am not usually one for super tight fitting tanks. They’re not always the most comfortable, and for nights when I’m running outside or just doing light cardio at the gym, this kind of tank is perfection because of how lightweight it is. And for only $24, I may or may not have gotten it in two colors. This tank runs true to size.

top 1

Zella Cut Both Ways Performance Tank

I love love LOVE the more feminine cut and fit of this tank. It’s a great mix of relaxed yet fitted, and the cutout in the back is to die for. It also comes in a burgundy color that’s perfect for fall! Only $29 and runs true to size.

Sweatshirts/Jackets

sweatshirt

Zella Outta Town Hoodie

Truthfully, I’ve been looking for a sweatshirt to be able to throw on over a tank or a tee when I go to the gym in the chillier months, for YEARS now. I always just a jacket or something light, but I’ve never had a cute and comfy hoodie that could go over anything. This will without a doubt be my go-to if this Kansas heat ever goes away! It’s one of the more expensive items in this post, but for something you can wear all the time, I definitely think it’s worth $49! This runs true to size.

Zella Don’t Sweat It Sweater

This is another item I kind of bought on a whim, and I didn’t expect to love it so much! It’s so soft and comfy and it’s super flattering for a variety of body types. To me this is probably not something I would wear to the gym, but rather something I might throw on over a tank if I’m going somewhere after the gym when it gets a little cooler. I love the thumb holes and I’m a sucker for anything that can double as “real” clothes, and workout wear! This top is $38 and I sized up for a looser fit!

sweat

Adidas Original Trefoil Crewneck Sweatshirt

I can already tell you I will live in this this fall/winter. I have tried this on before and it is the softest sweatshirt of all time. Definitely something you could throw on before the gym, but also be comfy casual with jeans! Love love love it, and only $40! I sized up on this for a slouchier fit.

shoes

Free Focus Flyknit 2 Training Shoe

I need not one more pair of tennis shoes, and my mom is going to kill me when she reads this, but I couldn’t say no to this color combo. I am a sucker for aqua and grey. Grey goes with everything and aqua is the perfect pop of color to add to any workout look! They come in black too! Aside form the color, I’ve also tried these on and they feel like you’re walking on clouds. I can’t think of a workout they wouldn’t be great for! Get them quick, they’re only $89 and they’ve already been sold out and restocked once! These ran a little big for me so I ordered a half size down.

Nike Juvenate SE Sneaker

You guys are probably sick of seeing these shoes by now, seeing as though I wear them in 75% of my Insta stories and pictures! But they go with EVERYTHING and they were worth every penny I spent on them (which was a lot more than $70!). I have had mine since Christmas and for as much as I’ve worn them, they still look brand new. Wish they came in more colors because they’re one of my favorites! These run true to size.

That wraps it up for all of my favorite active wear items this year! I’m working on a post with all of the non-active wear items I picked up in case any of you are actually interested in what I wear when I’m not at the gym! Check back early this week for the post! Happy shopping girls! Please message me or leave comments if you have questions on sizing or anything regarding the sale!

XO, A

 

Hitting The “Reset” Button

After a week on vacation, an extended weekend trip, a holiday, or just a weekend “off track”, it can be so hard to get back to a normal diet. Learning how to jump back on the wagon after falling off for a few days, a week, or even a month, is critical to maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the long term.

I have many, many, many Mondays where I have to hit the “reset” button and get back to the world of fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc. Not to mention finding my way back to the gym. We all do, but learning how to say it’s a new week, and a new opportunity for me to give it 100%, instead of, I’ve lost all progress, I’m back at square one, I might as well forget it and give up, is the most important advice I could give anyone. Mindset is everything when it comes to making a change, and if you practice the above phrase enough times, I promise you’ll get there. 

Today I’m sharing my tips and tricks that help me get back on track after a period of “falling off” for a little bit. It’s hard for me to even call it “falling off” , because I feel like that carries such a negative connotation. To me, they’re better named “grace periods”. Periods of time when you eat and drink things you normally wouldn’t, and you’re not as active as you should be or usually are – those are also called times of balance and flexibility. Or even better known as, life! Your body needs a couple of days here and there to reset; these periods of time are also crucial for your mental sanity!

If you think you’re going to be able to go through life without having periods of time when you can eat whatever the heck you want and not set foot in a gym, you will not be successful for very long, and here’s a secret – those are the people who are unsuccessful the quickest. Always having to say no to things you enjoy is not a lifestyle, it’s a death sentence when it comes to learning how to change your eating habits. Am I saying you should have a week long grace period every single month? No, I wish it were that simple. But a weekend here and there, that’s health – mental and physical.

On to the good stuff, my tips on how to “reset” and start your week on a good note.

  • Do. Not. Be. Hard. On. Yourself.
    • If you’re going to throw in the towel after one weekend, vacation, holiday, whatever it is, DON’T. If I did that, I wouldn’t be here today writing this blog, and I surely would’ve been done with this lifestyle one thousand times over again. No one is perfect, so don’t waste energy on beating yourself up, use that energy to get back to on track.
  • Short term goals are key
    • If you hit the reset button on Monday and tell yourself you’re going to be perfect with your diet and exercise for the rest of the month, year, your life, whatever crazy long term promise you’re making to yourself, stop right there. Short term goals are key to success. Instead of telling yourself you’re going to be perfect for the rest of the month, tell yourself you’re going to give it all you have for today. Sounds crazy right, just today? Yes, one day at a time.
  • It should be automatic, like clockwork.
    • When  you wake up on Monday morning, there are no lingering ifs, ands, or buts about it. It’s a new week and you’re starting over. You’re going back to eating how you should, and you’re getting back to your normal workout routine. Monday isn’t a transition-from-the-weekend day, it’s the first day back on track.
  • Hydration, Hydration, Hydration
    • If you’ve just had a “grace period”, I’m going to assume you weren’t on your hydration game. You may have been drinking, but I doubt it was water and I doubt it was enough! When you hit the reset button, that means committing to 64 oz of water, at least. Make it your goal for the week to drink at least 64 oz of water or more per day. Water is vital in flushing out excess toxins and salt, and it also helps with fatigue, digestion, etc. I could go on and on about the benefits of water. You’ll look and feel so much better if you’re drinking tons of water, so go for 64 oz or more!
  • Eat your veggies!
    • During a grace period, veggies fall to the very bottom of my list of things I’m making sure to get enough of. I’m allllllll about the carbs. That means, when Monday rolls around, I make it a priority to eat my 5 daily servings of veggies -one at every meal, and two for snacks. They’re full of fiber so you’re going to be full, and they’re going to help you get rid of all the not-so-great stuff you ate, if you know what I mean.
  • Grocery Shop + Meal Prep
    • Sunday evening, or the night before your “reset”, grocery shop. Fill your fridge and your pantry with healthy options so that you can wake up on Monday and be encouraged by what you see, not weighed down by looking at an empty fridge, or one full of things you shouldn’t have. Buy the things you need to meal prep, and do it! Spend two hours prepping your entire week’s worth of food so you don’t have to put one ounce of thought into what you’re going to be eating for all your meals.
  • Plan your workouts for the week
    • I don’t just mean tell yourself what days you’re going to go, I mean write them down. I use a daily planner and I schedule my workouts in my planner just like anything else I schedule during my day. I write down the time, and exactly what I’m doing. That way, I can schedule other things around it and I know without a doubt I’m going to have time for it. Writing down what exactly I’m going to do also helps with the excuse I can’t think of anything to do today, I’m not going to go. Here’s what my planner might look like:
      • Monday @ 5:00am – Cardio + Back/Biceps
      • Tuesday @ 6:30pm – Cardio + Shoulders
      • Wednesday @ 6:00pm – Cardio + Legs
      • Thursday @ 6:30pm – Cardio + Triceps
      • Friday @ 5:00 am – Cardio + Shoulders/Chest
      • Saturday @ 10:00am – Cardio + Legs
      • Sunday: Rest day!
  • Make sure you get your protein in
    • During my grace periods, I focus on eating the good stuff, and the good stuff tends to have a lot of carbs, a lot of fat, and very little protein. When I’m hitting the reset button, I’m committing myself to being back on my protein game for the day. Your body needs protein for so many reasons, but besides everything it does for you, most importantly it keeps you full and your cravings in check! Make sure you’re getting protein in some way, with all of your meals.

As always, thank you for reading! If you’re someone that’s hitting the reset button today, know that I’m right there with you! I had a week of vacation last week, and a weekend full of a whole lotta celebratin’ this past weekend – which included a lot of dips, alcohol, cheese, dessert, you name it! Remember, don’t think of it as “falling off the wagon” – you let yourself live a little bit, and now it’s time to refuel your tank with the good stuff! Have a great rest of your week!

XO, A

Healthy Habits on Vacation

I can hardly fathom the fact that July is already here. Holy cow. I feel like this year is flying! I swear it will be Christmas before we know it. Now that summer is well under way, many of us have vacations planned and maybe even a fun holiday weekend trip coming up. I’ve also just returned from my week in paradise so I figured this would be the perfect time to share my tips and tricks on enjoying your time on vacation, while maintaining just a few healthy habits!

As most of you probably noticed from my Instagram story spamming, I spent last week in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico! Full disclosure, I spent the entire week doing a whole lot of nothing but eating and drinking. Yep, me, the health and fitness blogger, eating and drinking almost anything and everything I wanted for a whole seven days. And guess what? It was the best week ever.

Isn’t every vacation the best week ever? For me, yes and no. In all honesty this was probably the very first vacation I’ve been on in the past 6 or 7 years that I wholeheartedly let myself enjoy my vacation, in every sense of the word. I didn’t track a single calorie in MFP, I didn’t freak out if I didn’t make it to the gym for the day or do a normal workout, and I didn’t pass things up left and right because I was concerned about the macros. While some of you might be thinking, I never worry about those things on vacation, it’s vacation! I did, for a long time. Needless to say, I’m thankful to have finally made it to a place in my journey where I can be flexible and enjoy every moment of weeks like these. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, #memoriesovermacros!

I feel like many people are often times one of two ways on vacation. Either you feel like you have to stay on track, be healthy, track your foods, hit your macros, pass up all the good stuff in fear of losing all your “progress” etc., OR you take a “three sheets to the wind” kind of approach and have no regard for anything but the good stuff. I’m not saying either way is wrong, vacation is vacation, however you want to define it! However, for me, it was important to learn to find a balance so that I could learn to enjoy vacation in a healthy way and not have anxiety over what I was eating. It might sound silly, but I know I am not the only one who struggles with that.

While I enjoyed every moment of this vacation, in true Aubrey form, I did try to keep myself somewhat in check while I was gone. Not because I felt like I had to, but because health and fitness is a lifestyle for me. Some of the habits I’ve formed along this journey are things I will carry with me forever, regardless of being on vacation or not. Today I’m sharing with you a couple of tips to help you keep yourself just a tiny bit on track, while enjoying your vacation at the same time, so that you too can learn to have a healthy vacation balance!

  • Pick a few days and spend 20 minutes being active – full on workouts are not necessary!
    • I truly did not spend one day on vacation doing a full on gym workout like I normally would at home. After doing about half a normal workout in the resort gym, I realized how silly that was when the beach was just steps away. I spent almost every morning either walking on the beach, and a few mornings doing a quick 15 minute circuit workout with what I had around me (ie: stairs, resistance bands, patio furniture, etc.). Just being active for a few minutes each day will leave you feeling refreshed and energized!

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  • Walk when you can!
    • I stayed at a resort that provided golf carts to get from place to place on the resort property, but after realizing how long it took for golf carts to get to our room, we decided to take that as a sign that we should enjoy the beautiful scenery and weather, and walk wherever we could. I wore my Apple watch most  days, and I was so amazed that I surpassed 10k steps almost every single day! This is especially easy to do when you’re staying somewhere warm and with beautiful scenery, take advantage of it!
  • Take advantage of what’s fresh and in season where you are
    • This doesn’t always apply to every vacation you might be taking, but if it’s possible try to eat what’s in season and fresh in your area! If you’re going somewhere tropical, try all of the local fruits, vegetables, the fish, whatever you can find! I ate more fruit in 7 days than I probably have in all of 2017. The fresher you can find, the healthier it is!

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  • Eat as much protein as you can – especially early in the day!
    • Although I spent the week eating so many “fun” foods, I still tried to eat a lot of protein. This is one of those habits I was referring to. I’m used to eating a lot of protein, so much so that even when I’m not eating at home or eating my normal foods, I know my body is going to function better if it has some protein fueling it. Protein keeps you full, so it’s important to include a little protein at every meal if you can. In my case, I ate a ton of protein at breakfast so that if I wanted pasta at night, or something not so protein heavy, I didn’t feel bad about not choosing something with a lot of protein.

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  • Go for the buffets
    • This probably sounds kind of funny, but something I found so helpful on vacation. We opted for the breakfast buffet almost every single morning because it allowed us to get as much or as little of all the different things we wanted. We weren’t confined to what was on a menu, and we got to control exactly what went on our plates. Eating at a buffet also allowed me to eat a lot of protein, more so than I probably could have by eating off of a restaurant menu. It also allowed us to try every baked good that was served, which was a huge plus. By morning #3, we had down to a science which donuts were made with sugar, and which weren’t … if you’ve been to Mexico, you know what I’m talking about.

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  • When drinking alcohol, stick to the clear stuff!
    • I did my fair share of drinking last week, but I did my best to stick to my rule of thumb I shared in a previous post, which is to stick to clear liquors – not all the sugary stuff. While I did enjoy a few lime daquiris and a couple frozen margaritas (it’s Mexico, I had to) for the most part I tried to stick to vodka sodas and vodka Sprite Zeroes. For me personally, the frozen cocktails are too sweet and they really upsets my stomach, so it wasn’t hard to say no for the most part. But for those of you who love them, stick to a couple and balance it out with a couple clear drinks in between!

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  • Stay hydrated!
    • Staying hydrated is important regardless of whether you’re on vacation or not. However, on vacation it’s even more critical. Your body needs a ton of water, especially when you’re drinking more alcohol than usual, eating more sugar and salt than you normally would, etc. For a lot of us, vacation also means spending excessive time in the sun, which causes us to sweat, which causes our bodies to need even more water than normal. A good rule of thumb for me is to always bring my own water bottle when I’m traveling. That way it’s always with me; on the plane, in my hotel room, at the beach, at the pool, etc. That also means there’s never an excuse for me to not be drinking water!

Whether you’re going to be traveling this summer, or any time of year, I hope some of these tips are helpful to you! As always, thanks for reading! Check back this weekend for a quick and easy healthy side dish perfect for a Fourth of July cookout!

XO, A