Healthy living doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Laurel House, AKA the QuickieChick, is out to prove just that in her new book out today QuickieChick’s Cheat Sheet to Life, Love, Food, Fitness, Fashion and Finance on a Less Than Fabulous Budget. We started off 2012 with some simple health upgrades from House, and now we have three more smart steps from her to help take your nutrition, fitness and motivation to the next level.
1. Make your meals count. Food doesn’t just provide energy (calories). Many pantry staples offer lesser-known health qualities. House’s favorite “Bites with Benefits:”
- To burn fat: ginger, jalapeno, cayenne, grapefruit
- To ease a hangover: asparagus, spirulina, oranges
- To focus: rye, yogurt, oatmeal, blueberry
- To boost energy: oatmeal, lentils, black beans, sweet potato, peanut butter, apple, figs, dates
2. Sweat for 100. You may not have time to run 10 miles or fit in your favorite fitness class every day, but you can crank out 100 reps or 100 seconds of these effective exercises. “It’s your no-excuse workout and a great way to burn a few extra calories, tone your muscles and get in a fit mindset,” House says. Start your morning with any—or many!—of the following:
3. Place healthy reminders. Stick Post-It notes on your bathroom mirror, alarm clock, fridge or any other location that you often see. Then write motivational messages on them that will inspire you to keep working toward your wellness goals like, “If you worked out when you started thinking about working out, you’d be done by now” or “Wake up with determination. Go to bed with satisfaction.”
Now tell us: What quote would motivate you to get moving or make smart diet choices?
Ever have one of those days when you just don’t feel like working out? You’re not the only one. So we asked Laurel House, the QuickieChick, what she does to stay motivated and we loved her idea so much we had to share! “I challenge myself to run for one song. Almost every time, that song turns into two, oftentimes three. The other day it was seven!” House says.
The key to crafting a killer playlist? Find songs that you enjoy and make sure they play back-to-back so you don’t get sidetracked, House suggests. Here are some of her all-time favorites:
- “Dirty Little Secret,” The All-American Rejects
- “Womanizer,” Britney Spears
- “Naughty Girl,” Beyonce
- “Push It,” Salt-N-Pepa
- “Pray for You,” Jaron and the Long Road to Love
- “Stronger,” Kanye West
- “Rhythm Nation,” Janet Jackson
- “Down on Me,” Jeremih, featuring 50 Cent
- “Whole Foods Parking Lot,” DJDave
- “Set Fire to the Rain,” Adele
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Now tell us: What gets you up and moving on those “I’m too tired” or “I’m too busy” days?
So you ate a cookie for dessert last night after swearing off sweets. Or you bought a latte on the way to work this morning after vowing to save cash my making your own java. It’s OK! Dust off the disappointment and think of now as a fresh start. It’s never to early (or too late) to make a healthy choice.
Laurel House, aka QuickieChick, says we should refresh our new year’s plans and set wellness “intentions,” which feel less daunting and offer a little more leniency, rather than “resolutions,” which she claims are often too rigid to last. Here are three tips from House, who has a book coming out this May that offers advice to “fast-paced chicks” to stay positive and motivated.
- Create an intention board. “Make a collage of images and words cut from magazines that illustrate the energy behind your intentions for the year,” House says. Then, each morning, spend five minutes looking over your board and remembering why the values included are important to you. This will keep you focused on your end goal.
- Invest in your health. “Deposit a dollar into your ‘Fit Bank’ every time you really don’t want to work out, but do anyway, or every time you so badly want a brownie but make a cup of tea instead,” House recommends. When it begins to add up, splurge on something that will remind you of how hard you’ve worked each time you see, use or wear them (a new pair of heels, a cute manicure or workout DVD you’ve been wanting to try).
- Box away bad feelings. Having a downer kind of day? Sneak away to an empty office or find a chair in your home and take a seat. Quickly and forcefully punch the air in front of you. “Imagine that you are literally punching out negativity and pulling in positivity,” House says. “Punch out negative words cluttering your head, like ‘sadness,’ ‘anger,’ ‘resentment,’ or ‘deadlines.’ And while you’re pulling your arms back, fill your head with words that represent what you want more of in your life, like ‘balance,’ ‘passion,’ ‘success,’ or ‘kindness.’” This will get your blood pumping while getting your mindset focused on your blessing and goals, rather than your burdens. (See House demonstrate here.)
Now tell us: How long do your resolutions usually last? And what have you found helps you stick with them?