Favorite Friday Finds 20.0 & Updates

Lake Placid | Living Minnaly

It's already 1 week into the New Year, and things are off to a running start!

You guys will have noticed that I haven't yet posted this week, and there are a few reasons for this:

Firstly: Cough, cough. I was sick and feeling rather useless all week, as my brain seemed to not be capable of finishing a string of thought without thoughts of my cozy bed and hot tea. After a week full of smoothies packed with produce and every vitamin-filled seed and liquid I could get my hands on, I'm starting to feel back to myself again.

Secondly: Life Happenings. A lot happened in my life in 2015, but it's no match for what's to come in 2016. Already the first half of the year has several huge changes mapped out for me, in my personal life as well as work. So, I've promised to allot myself enough "me" time- to embrace my inner introvert to allow me to reflect inwards, recharge, and be able to give that much more when I am ready to tackle these new and exciting endeavors. Should take my own advice here, to embrace and respect what it is that feeds your soul. Which brings me to...

Thirdly: Le Blog. At the end of the year, I sat down to regroup and think about what I wanted to accomplish in this next year with this blog and my training business. A sort of self-engineered "end of year review," if you will. I want to spend some time refocusing on my message for the blog here and produce the best content I can, without feeling like I am simply posting for the sake of posting. I am also working on updating some key parts of this blog here, along with some design details-- so keep your eyes peeled!

So now! A brief roundup of my favorite finds of the interwebs this week. 

1. How I feel about my blankets when waking up at 5am for work during these dark winter days:

Okay, normally I end with the cute animal videos, but...

2. New Year, New Me-- Meal Plans

I tend to see a lot of people wanting to jump on a meal plan or juice cleanse in the New Year because it "helps them get back on track" or "jump-start" things. This fantastic Girls Gone Strong article gives us a little food for thought when it comes to why we can feel this urge and why it is likely not a way to set up long-term success.

I know, I've thought this idea of, "Well, as soon as I get back on track, it'll be easy to keep progress up from there!" It doesn't. Not once have I seen that work-- for myself, for any training client.  I love what they say about this:

"Because they haven’t laid the foundation of healthful eating, and instead, merely focused on following their plan to a “t,” as soon as they stop following the plan, they revert to old eating habits and find themselves right back where they started, or worse, even further behind because they start eating everything in sight now that they’re not on the strict plan. Not to mention, what a number this experience does to the person’s state of mind!

3. Numbers, Numbers, Numbers. More Harm Than Good?

As a trainer, educating my clients on steps to take to healthier lives and being more fit, I am a fan of gathering all the information I can. We live in a society where the majority of people do not understand the basic building blocks of nutrition, what foods we are putting in our mouths, and minimum activity levels for a healthy life. So, I am usually a vocal fan of education and accruing knowledge for oneself, so you can be your best advocate.

But I am not a fan of fitness trackers. Never have been a fan of the scale. Sure, I take circumference and body fat measurements for my clients, but I encourage them to not fixate on the numbers only. I have yet to see a person maintain a healthy relationship with a fitness tracker, and it's easy to understand why- this study does a fantastic job of explaining it. My favorite:

“Enjoyable activities can become almost like a job, by focusing on the outcomes of things that used to be fun... We're curious creatures and tracking information is very seductive, even for enjoyable activities... Simply making it available made them [the walkers with the pedometers] want to look at it, but the very people who self-select into measurement are the ones who are hurt by it.” 

4. 6 Phrases More Important Than I Love You

I am a big fan of making sure that my loved ones know how much I care about them and love them. I loved this article though, pointing out how simple "I love yous," while fulfilling and exciting to hear, can actually not be the most important of all. While all 6 are incredibly important to me, #2 and #3 sing out to me most- which ones sing out to you?

5. Learning to Love the Process of Cooking = Better Health, Naturally

Only when I first really started to venture into the experimental world of cooking and learning about funny produce I had never touched before, did my eyes open to the vast world of options and opportunity. There is something to be said about the innate, indescribable connection between loving and caring about your food from the first step of preparation that makes a meal that much more satisfying to you. And the more you learn about your ingredients and nutrients, and pay attention to the way your body feels, the more you are inclined to treat your body even more nicely. 

I can't describe how much I love this initiative of bringing kids into the kitchen, to start understanding the natural connection we humans have to food and food preparation. All these formerly unhealthily heavy kids lost weight naturally- not through diet and horrible "diet camps," but through learning how to engage with their food in an exciting, natural way. When I have kids one day, I know I will always be encouraging them to get their hands messy and taking an interest in cooking. 

6. Channing Tatum = Beyonce

If you haven't yet seen this, please do yourself a favor to take a few minutes to watch this. My face looked like Jenna Dewan's below the entire time: