***Disclosure: This is a sponsored post/review. However, all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
Here in NE Ohio, the snow is finally starting to melt. Old Man Winter seems to finally be releasing his chokehold on my area, and we've been experiencing nice, balmy temps in the 40's. (Hey, after NEGATIVE 40 wind chills, this feels like a sauna.) On Monday, we're supposed to be pushing 70. Hallelujah! Spring is really, finally here! I'm sorry, but I don't think I will ever get used to brutal Ohio winters. I spent too many years away, and now I am always freezing. I am bundled up like an Eskimo while everyone else is wearing shorts. I love my hometown, though, and wouldn't ever want to live anywhere else.
Since we have a very nice forecast in store, it reminded me that there aren't too many months before it's officially swimsuit season. For me, at least. This doesn't apply to my peeps in gloriously warm places like Hawaii, California, Texas, and Florida. Here in Ohio, swimsuit season is from late May or even early June through hopefully Labor Day. After that, it starts getting cooler, and FAST.
I have to confess, I do not look forward to swimsuit season. At all. I am in my early 30's, and have had 3 pregnancies, which all resulted in cesareans. I don't live in Hollywood, and my last name isn't Kardashian, so my body shows some evidence of wear and tear. Sadly, I am not built like a super-model, and I have to put some effort into keeping my figure even remotely ready for the pool or beach. And if even at my best I don't look like a Hollywood glamour girl? Well, that's okay, too. As long as I am the best ME I can be, I will wear my imperfections with pride.
This year, I am keeping it simple. I have put together a plan to lose that stubborn 10lbs that seems to creep on during the winter, all while keeping things fun and interesting. Really, all it takes to become healthier are some simple lifestyle changes that don't necessarily require a gym membership.
Here are 5 easy, painless ways that you can work your way to a swimsuit ready body by summer :
Now that it's finally getting nicer out, I know a lot of parents are taking the kiddos to the park so they can burn off all that excess energy that cabin fever causes. I know we have been LOVING the sun and fresh air, even if the temps are still a bit chilly.
Next time you go to the park, get off of that bench and play with the kids! Climb, swing, slide, play tag....Have fun with it! Not only is this a great way to burn tons of calories and get cardio, your little people will think you're pretty awesome, too. Plus, what fun is having kids if you never take the time to act like a kid with them?
Does your town have a lot to do and see? You might be surprised what you may find if you put on those walking shoes and head outside to explore your area!
My town has a wide variety of things to check out. Some, like our 26 parks, are absolutely breathtaking during the springtime. We also have the riverfront and boardwalk a couple blocks from my house, as well as our "downtown" area that features fountains, little restaurants, antique shops, and even an art school and gallery.
Not much right in your immediate area? Take day trips to larger cities. That charming photo above? That is taken in downtown Cleveland, not far from the historic Playhouse Square Theater District. Isn't it a great little neighborhood? This is right near Michael Simon's famous restaurant Lola, and it's in a very eclectic part of town. So much to explore, and not too far from my own front door. (See what I did there?)
Again, getting outside and walking, jogging, or biking is a great way to stay active, and you might even discover hidden locally owned gems right in your own backyard.
Sleep. Ahh, sleep. One of my favorite things in the world to do. Of course I don't get nearly enough of it, since I have a teenager and 2 preschool-aged kids to care for all the time. It seems my work is never done for the day, and the amount and quality of sleep I get can sometimes suffer.
I have been making a better effort to make sure I get an appropriate amount of rest each day. I have been staying away from caffeinated beverages in the evening, and I have been trying to do things that are calming, like reading a book or watching a documentary. Usually, this lulls me off to sleep. When that doesn't work? Well, I have some 10mg Melatonin to help me out, if need be.
Getting enough sleep is very important for a person's overall well-being. Your body needs sleep to recharge and regenerate, in the long run keeping you healthier, in general. Getting a good night's sleep is essential for a healthy immune system, and it also helps for healthy energy levels, too. And how are we going to swing on monkeybars and explore our cities if we're too lethargic and sleepy?
Obviously, having a good, well-balanced diet is essential to maintaining a healthy weight. Sadly, this means that things like cheesecake and fried chicken don't have their own special food groups. Everything is alright in moderation, though. I just save those comfort-food favorites that are laden with fat and calories for special treats, once in awhile.
Eating healthy foods doesn't have to be dull, bland, or boring, though. In fact, it can be a flavor explosion...A satisfying party in your mouth. Eating healthy foods can be absolutely awesome. You just have to know how to cook in a way that packs a flavorful yet nutritional punch.
There are so many amazing meals that can be made without heavy fats, salt, or other not-so-healthy ingredients. If you have some spices and herbs, vinegar or lemon juice, and olive oil, you can make one heck of an amazing dinner that won't hinder your diet. Even if you're on a low carb, protein rich diet.
See that meal above? It's a lemon and herb grilled chicken breast, and a roasted cauliflower and chickpea casserole on the side. SUPER healthy. Low carb. Low fat. Low calorie. High in protein. But absolutely, mouthwateringly delicious. Easy to make, too! (You can snag the chicken recipe HERE.)
Okay, so we all know that it's really easy to make dietary slip-ups while running errands, etc. It's easy to be lured to drive-thrus and convenience foods when hunger strikes away from home. When your tummy is grumbling and you have some shiny signs beckoning you to come sink your teeth into some crispy fries or sip on a nice, creamy milkshake, it can be hard to resist the urge to splurge.
This season, I am avoiding this problem by carrying a stash of B-UP Bars in my purse. B-UP Bars come in decadent flavors like Cinnamon Roll, Sugar Cookie, Chocolate Mint, and Peanut Butter, just to name a few. While B-UP Bars taste sinful, these bars are the perfect, guilt-free snack.
B-UP Bars are high in protein, gluten-free, low in carbs and sugars, AND low in sodium. This is a pretty big deal, since most similar bars are loaded with sodium. They are also free of any artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. That's right. The folks at Yup Brands are offering guilt-free bars that are made from the highest quality nutrients and natural ingredients like monk fruit, stevia, and whey and milk protein isolates.
I have tried all 6 flavors that B-UP Bars are offered in, and I have to admit, I like these a LOT more than I expected to. Normally, when I see similar bars on the store shelves, I always think dense....dry....flavorless....rabbit food....You know what I mean. Sure, they may have some beneficial ingredients, but if they don't taste good, I am not sold.
These bars are very unique, too. They have kind of a nougat-ey, marshmallow-ey type consistency. It's a bit unexpected, but definitely very pleasant. These bars remind me of candy bars. But of course they are a LOT better for you than sugar-laden, preservative-rich candy bars. This is having the flavor experience of a candy bar but without the junk that's in the candy bar. This is nutrition that simply tastes sinful. Compared to similar bars I have tried, these bars taste better, and are made from quality ingredients. In one word, these bars can be described as AMAZING. B-UP Bars are definitely a wonderful way to keep on track and curb mindless snacking throughout the busy day!
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How do YOU get your body swimsuit ready? Do you have any tips or tricks you'd like to share with the rest of us panicking ladies who need all the help we can get? Wait....Or is that just ME?
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud Mom of 3 amazing kids. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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