Health

If not now, when?: Nourish to Flourish

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Mary Ann Addis

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I always thought that I made Nourish to Flourish Planner myself a priority, but what I actually made a priority was my weaknesses. We human beings have a weak, selfish nature that spurs us to give up, take it easy, follow the path of least resistance, and satisfy our desires for pleasure. However, giving into our human nature is not natural. We must strive to improve ourselves, including in the area of health, but we must do it intelligently with strength and persistence. 

 

In the past, when I tried to improve my health, I made the mistake of following the wrong path that led me to misery and poor health. Many factors contributed to my unsuccessful health journey: past relationships, insecurities in front of the camera, age, low energy levels, and the size of my clothing. And I say these are contributing factors because my decision to allow these to be important factors caused my failure. 

 

 

During my misguided efforts to become healthier, I adhered to strict meal plans and engaged in vigorous cardio, but I was left with a heavier constitution with soreness that lingered for days and a heavier heart that ached with failure. I was under the illusion that the path towards weight loss consisted of running 5 days a week, while only eating chicken and veggies. By no means does this program inflame the inner drive to work out, eat healthier, and lose weight. I wanted to be healthy but simply couldn’t follow through because it was so hard and resulted in failure. So-called experts persuaded me to follow neatly packed diet plans geared toward a quick result, but these resulted in failure too. My frustration eventually drained me of my desire to make health my priority. I had to realize that weight loss is certainly not glamorous and simple. Like all achievements, it culminates from a wise, consistent plan followed over a long period of time. 

 

How did I come to this realization? 

 

One day out of the blue, I said to myself, “I’ve had enough!” and yearned to live more vibrantly. In the midst of the pandemic when health became the number one prevailing topic, I overcame my temptation to surrender and strengthened my will to fight for a healthier life.

I said to myself, “Who are the best sources of advice on health?” The answer was: “People like me with the same struggles and frustrations.” Therefore, instead of paying hard earned money to health trainers who have perfect bodies, I turned to a gratuitous source where I could hear what others like me learned from their health struggles- TikTok! 

 

Aside from the choreographed dancing and pranks, people on TikTik post workout plans, what to eat in a day, basic guidelines to be healthier, and so many more useful videos. From people on TikTik, I quickly learned that lifting weights is the most effective way of losing weight and improving our bodies. 

 

 

Previously, when I entered the gym, I avoided the weight section entirely, afraid of appearing like a fool who did not know how to properly lift weights, and I certainly feared bulking into a female version of Rocky. I distinctly remember the first time I climbed upstairs past the circuit machines into the free weights section: I saw 3 bad ace women entirely focused on breathing and lifting. I parked next to one of them, hoping her energy and courage would flow into me.

 

Did people look at me? Perhaps, but it didn’t matter because I was doing the lifting for me, and me alone. Once I gave it a shot, I realized it was going to be a game-changer because I soon saw successful results: I felt more energized, accomplished, and motivated. Most of all I felt that I was being proactive in my life, truly working towards a change, and it is working–for I have consistently lost weight. 

 

 

The sore muscles from lifting weights are only temporary, but the achievements will last forever. My success with weightlifting has carried over to cardio exercises and diet. Good results are very motivating, especially when our inner voice spurs us with pep talks, reminding us of our successes and pushing us closer and closer to the finish line. 

 

I’m sharing what has worked for me so that it will work for you. If you’re feeling stuck in your life, whether it is in a relationship that is not serving you, an unpleasant job, or a body that doesn’t feel truly yours, know that you can always rewrite your story. We’re never lifeless. You can always make a change. Don’t wish for it, work for it! 

 

Creating a Healthy Lifestyle

 

Morning Routines
  1. Drink 500mL of water before touching your coffee
  2. Take a 15 min walk before sitting down at your desk
  3. Do 15 min of light yoga or stretching to help set the tone for the rest of the day

 

Establishing Non-negotiables (choose 3 from the 5)

Three things that you do every single day that nobody, not even you could talk yourself out of:

  1. Sleep 7 to 8 hours each night
  2. Drink 2.2 to 3 Liters of water a day
  3. Get a protein source at every meal
  4. Prioritize vegetables at least for one meal
  5. Get 7 to 10 K steps a day

 

TikTok Health Video Influencers To Love (FYI, they all have IG too!)
  • Robyn Marie Shaw: an art teacher turned nutritionist with the best motivation one can find and use!
  • Eric Roberts: The guru of fitness and healthy living, Eric is brutally honest so you don’t make avoidable pitfalls.
  • The Athlete Coach: Think of him as your personal trainer who knows the ins and outs of well-balanced fitness.
  • Morgan Rose: Talk about a badass woman who will get you toned in the weight section of the gym. I plan my workouts based on her videos, and they have been nothing short of GREAT!
  • Carli Ann: Another leader of the pack when it comes to utilizing weight training to feel on top of the world.
  • Kaylee: Especially when I just want to use one machine, Kaylee has you covered ith variations to target certain areas when weight lifting.
  • Madi Ditler: Offering at-home and gym workouts that are manageable and invigorating.
  • Alena Cassisi: I love how she provides visualizations of poor lifting forms that are counterintuitive.

 

Healthy Meals From The Kitchen

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Bacon Vinaigrette

  A hearty breakfast that keeps you starting the day with the essentials: veggies, fiber, fruit, citrus, and bacon! Yum Follow  

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Chicken Tomatillo Soup

I’m a big fan of homemade chicken soup. Add some depth and spice, and I’m swoon! Serve with crusty bread or corn tortillas!   A staple and well-beloved soup with a kick fitting for any cold and windy days. With a fresh batch of stock, this is an inexpensive meal to love. Yum Follow

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Almond Espresso Chocolate Oranges

The phrase “vegan dessert” doesn’t initially stir enthusiasm from within. Removing the vegan jargon, desserts made with few, whole ingredients can be enticing if paired correctly: fruity, bitter, and sweet. Add nuttiness and that natural sweetness from the fruit, you forget the dessert is both vegan and healthy, making it acceptable to have several in […]

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Almond Granola

It’s astounding to see the marked prices of granolas in the grocery stores. Sure, they are fine, perhaps organic, but geez, $8 for a store-bought medium-size bag is a bit ridiculous. Collecting whole ingredients will create abundant amounts of fresh, homemade granolas right at home. Places like Costco with their bulk inventories are perfect to […]

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Morning Green Juice

Is the juice worth the squeeze? Absolutely! Juice from nature’s finest veggies and fruits does the body good. Not only do they deliver an abundance of nutrients and vitamins, but also detox your system giving it a needed reboot. We are creatures of habits, and once we’ve settled into a morning routine, “squeezing” in some […]

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Roasted Cauliflower and Cherry Tomatoes with Tahini Sauce

Plant-Based meals don’t need to lack in flavor or texture. Nor does it need to leave you feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled. These roasted cauliflower steaks, however, are simply divine! Smothered in a garlicky, herby tahini sauce, cauliflower can be enjoyed beyond being smashed like potatoes. I get it, craving a steak is irreplaceable by any […]

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Watermelon Blossom

Detoxing does the body good, and this drink does and tastes good. Hot yoga, also referred to as Bikram yoga, strengthens, lengthens, and detoxifies through its various positions in very humid and warm environments. When packed in a studio room with 30 plus bodies along with a heat index of 110°, you find yourself in […]

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Meloness Juice

Finding the right balance of veggies and fruits to make tasty juices is not overly complicated. When wanting a simple green juice, the obvious course of action is leafy greens mixed with some green fruits. I think you know where I’m headin’! COLORS! Unless you’re a juicing aficionado, the color and appearance need to be […]

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Minty Oat Latte

Vegan lattes have become a new favorite of mine to whip up in the mornings. Oat milk stands out with its nutty flavors, and its thickness turns any latte into a creamy concoction. Pair it with condensed coconut milk, which is easily found in any grocery store, for an extra punch of sweetness. The mint […]

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Hummus

Pronounced “HOOM-uhs”, this is a Lebanese staple made weekly for my healthy snack cravings. Growing up in a Lebanese household, hummus was whipped into perfection on a weekly basis, served along with our meals. Contrary to the store-bought ones, it’s simply and deliciously made. With just a few ingredients, you’re definitely getting more for your […]

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Matcha Mint Latte

I was definitely late in jumping on the matcha bandwagon! I didn’t understand the hype and figured green tea bags immersed in hot water were sufficient. Oh boy was I completely wrong! Matcha not only has various health benefits, but it also has a robust flavor that comes close to consuming a cup of coffee. […]

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Tabbouli

With so many variations of Tabbouli (Tabbouleh – Tabouli) in name and flavors, this is the one my Lebanese grandmother made. So simple to make, and most of all so incredibly fresh. It’s easy to forget that this salad is vegan and healthy. For Tabbouli, curly parsley is a must. Flat parsley doesn’t provide the […]

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Cajun Spiced Fried Green Tomatoes With Dippin’ Sauce

Fried green tomatoes is a southern delicacy that completely transforms a underutilize vegetable into a work of spicy and crispy wonder!

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Smother it over toast, pancakes, peanut butter sandwiches... there are endless possibilities for peach butter!

Peach Bourbon Butter

Smother it over toast, pancakes, pb&j sandwiches, ice cream… there are endless possibilities for Peach Bourbon Butter Spread!

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Need help planning your meals? Download this FREE guide that will keep you on target while maintaining a healthy life!

Download The Nourish Flourish Workout & Meal Plan

 

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