4 Benefits of Collagen Peptides

Happy rainy Thursday everyone!

It’s almost the weekend and I thought I’d starte this Easter weekend by sharing some benefits something I’ve started taking over the last month or so: Collagen Peptides.

Collagen Peptides are an easy to digest and highly bioactive form of collagen.

But first, what is collagen?

Collagen Is an important building block and makes up about 30% of the proteins in our body. Collagen is key to making sure the cohesion, elasticity and regeneration of the connective tissues we have, including skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones, are good.

Essentially, collagen is strong and flexible, and has been referred to as the ‘glue’ that holds everything together.

You can get collagen in pill form and powder form. I believe powder form is the best, because it’s more versatile. Plus, I’m not a fan of having to swallow pills, so I like the easiness of being able to take the collagen.

On to the benefits!

1.Supports Skin Health

Collagen helps with strengthening your skin, rejuvenation,and its elasticity. A lot of people make sure their intake of collagen is higher in the winter due to drier and colder weather conditions that can be harsh on our skin.

2. Healthy joints + ligaments

We don’t always think about the upkeep/health of our bones, joints, or ligaments until we have injured them. 90% of our bone mass is made up of collagen.

Collagen peptides aid in stimulating osteoblasts, which are the cells that help in bone formation.

3.Aids in Digestion

We all experience the uncomfortableness of our digestion after eating different foods: fried, greasy, certain vegetables, etc. It happens.

The amino acids found in collagen provide a reparative property that actually helpe to ease/soothe our digestive tract. It gives a boost to the stomach acid and helps not only with easy digestion, but the absorption of nutrients from our foods.

4. Very Versatile + Easy to Consume

One of my favorite points about collagen today is how versatile it is in powder form. I do NOT like taking big pills so this powder collagen is fabulous.

    

One scoop of collagen gives you 11 grams of collagen peptides, no carbs, no fats, 10 grams of protein, and of course, tons of benefits. I love to mix mine in with smoothies, protein shakes, and even my oatmeal.

You can also bake with collagen peptides, too. I made a batch of almond butter cookies and they were wonderful! I’ll have to make more soon and post the recipe.

However you want to take it, you’ll still reap the benefits, even if you just mix it in your water or coffee, which I’ve seen people do. It’s tasteless so the possibilities are endless.

I’m excited to be able to continue with this and see what it does for me health! 😀

NOTE: There are different brands of collagen peptides you can purchase. Sports Research and Vital Proteins are my top go-to’s. You can find them in the links below.

Sports Reseach (listed above in post): Find HERE.

Vital Proteins: Find HERE.

What Crossfit Has Taught Me So Far

Hello, friends!

I hope you had a nice and restful weekend! I know for some it has been busy getting ready for those spring break trips! While you are on vacay, I’ll be here…working. 😀

Today I thought I would share with you a post I am super excited about:

This week marks 2 months of me doing CrossFit at a local gym and I have fallen in LOVE with it.

Coming from a history of running and spin classes throughout college (and a little after), plus going into a phase of a serious fitness funk, crossfit came at the perfect time!

There’s been some changes in my life lately, and my fitness routine is one of them. When I started crossfit at the end of January, I had been coming out of a toxic situation, I was anxious so much, stressed out, frustrated, upset at myself, and honestly embarrassed about some things.

I can say now I have never been happier with the way life is going right now! Several things have contributed to this, but one of them is definitely crossfit.

Things Crossfit Has Taught Me So Far:

1.I am stronger than I think.

Going into Crossfit for the first time, I knew I had a history of strength training, HIIT, and other things, but I truly didn’t know what my strength was. I thought I didn’t have much at all and wouldn’t be able to do many of the moves or keep up with other people.

Within the first week, I was already surprising myself with what I could do. Even if I was the only one there using the lightest weight, I was still doing things I never thought I could do, and that excited me. It gave me something to work toward, but knowing I was stronger than I originally thought I was made me realize that I can get through anything…in the gym and in life.

I did a whole post on how you are stronger than you think…check it out HERE.

2.Friendships are special + people come into your life at the right moments

The friendships I have already made in my 2 months at the gym, and the community of amazing people that surround me are incredible. A few months ago I would have never thought I’d be able to make new friends that would become close…and basically family…but here I am loving any chance I get to be around them.

When you are surrounded by people who love, encourage, and uplift you daily, you want nothing more than to continue to be around those people. Ain’t nobody got time for toxic, negative people!

3.Do NOT compare your chapter 1 to someone’s chapter 20.

I can get into a bad habit of comparison,  and not just when it comes to fitness. (Read my comparison post. HERE )

I learned real quick that the gym, especially when it comes to crossfit, is NOT the place to compare myself to others. Everyone starts at different times, some only come a few days a week, some come everyday, some even twice a day, and others have been doing crossfit a lot longer than my 2 months!!

Sometimes I catch myself thinking “I should be able to do this”, or, “why can’t I get this move down, or lift this weight? So-and-so can do it!” But this is such a mind trap and it gets me down and diappointed when I fall for it.

This is when I have to turn my thinking around and look on what I CAN do, and on the things I have been able to accomplish, or even finish, despite if it’s modified or at a lower weight. Things like this take time, work, and effort…but boy I am motivated to get better everyday!

4.If you want it, work for it!

There are a LOT of things I have yet to master at the gym, and weight lifting movements I still have to work on with form and technique, but something else I have learned is that if there is something you want or a goal you want to reach, you must work for it. You must put the time, energy, and effort into it in order to achieve it.

There are SO many things I am wanting to work on and improve over this next year, and I am ready and willing to put in the work. I love fitness, I love seeing how strong I can become and what my body can do, and that’s my motivation. I want to be a better and stronger version of myself everyday, both in the gym and outside!

 

You’re Basically Invited

This post may contain affiliate links.

A big thanks to Basic Invite for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 😀

It is officially spring season, and I could not be more excited! Warmer weather comes, flowers bloom, birds seem to chirp more, and for a lot of people, events and other happenings take place: Easter brunches/egg hunts, parties, showers, proms, and of course, graduations.

It is a wonderful time to enjoy great company, celebrate life events with loved ones, and be grateful for those people in your life.

With all of these events that take place in spring, you will need invitations to send out and thank you cards to give; and there is no better option for that than Basic Invite. 

At Basic Invite, you can find anything from invitations and thank you cards, to stationary, business cards, and even printables.

Easter is only a couple weeks away, and with that comes Easter egg hunts, family get-together, and Easter brunches. I think this Easter themed invite is super cute, and perfect for springtime.

I have always loved stationary. Growing up I have had my fair share of stationary with its colors and designs. I genuinely miss writing on stationary, and I’d like to write a letter or two to people again, like how everyone used to do. We should get back to that!

The stationary options that Basic Invite provides is to die for! You can choose from a myriad of colors, patterns/designs, and even choose a classier feel or professional look.

I love making “to-do” lists too. I have to write things like that down. I’d definitely write down my “to-do’s” on stationary that looks like this!

Graduation season is upon us soon, and that means a big life event! This will call for graduation invites and graduation thank you cards. 

I remember both my high school and college graduations and I can’t believe I will be out of high school 8 years this year, and 4 years out of college this year. I wish I had invitations and thank you cards like this for mine!

Basic Invite is very customizable: not only with what is on your invitations or thank you cards, but with the colors as well.

Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows their customers almost unlimited color options, and with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to any of their 180 different color options. So you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the smallest detail. This is what sets them apart from almost any other online stationery company!

This makes it nice to be able match up your exact school colors, but also to have the same colors for your thank you cards.

Even if you don’t need thank you cards for a graduation, Basic Invite still offers a variety of designs if you need them for anything else.

I came across this navy thank you card with some beautiful pink flowers on it and it immediately grabbed my attention. I love the color navy, but it’s the perfect background for a pop of color from the flowers. Who wouldn’t want to receive a thank you card that looks like this?

Along with your order, whether that is stationary, thank you cards, or invitations, Basic Invites provides you with envelopes, too.

You can also order your envelopes in any one of their color options.They are just as colorful with their envelopes as their invitations. You can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that you make your invitation stand out even before it is opened. All of the envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed.How nice is that?

And if you want an extra sparkle or shimmer to your order, they also have an option for that. Foil holiday cards are available in gold, silver, and rose gold. You can choose flat or raised foil on all of the foil designs. It adds an extra touch of something special, and you have more than one color to choose from!

**Right Now**

Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51

Don’t forget that Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows you to order a printed sample of the actual invitation so you can see exactly how it will print, as well as the paper quality before you place your final order.

 

Comparison: Thief of Joy + Everything

Today, I want to talk about something that I know most people struggle with, especially women, almost on a daily basis:

Comparison, Body/Beauty Negativity.

I came across this quote a friend of mine from the gym shared the other day and it really stuck out to me. This past week I have fallen back into the comparison game a little.

Think about this quote a minute. Most of us think flowers are pretty…but we also think Christmas lights are pretty. We also think fall leaves, sunsets, the ocean, or maybe even the mountains are pretty.

But guess what? They all look different…yet we still think they are all pretty.

More often than not, we fall into the trap of comparison: “If only I looked like her”, “I wish I had a body like hers”, or “I wish I was as pretty as her…I’m not pretty.”

Any of these sound familiar?


I fell deep into this trap years ago and it’s one of the things that led me to my eating disorder. (If you haven’t read my Anorexia story, here is part one and part two)

I don’t know when comparing ourselves to others started, but I’m sure it’s gone on for centuries. Most of us compare ourselves to others without even realizing it.

You know what I think about this?

It’s ridiculous!

God made us in His image and we are a wonderfully made creation…which means we are all pretty, beautiful, and a masterpiece.

If all of us looked or acted the same, what fun would that be? I feel it would get boring.

There seems to always be something we want to change about ourselves. I’m guilty of this. Most days I wish my face was slimmer, I had a more toned core, or took better pictures. But I have less of those days now than I ever have. If I catch myself thinking these things, I have to remind myself how ridiculous I’m being!

Comparison is the thief of joy…literally. I mean, have you ever been happy when you compare yourself, or wish you looked like someone else? Probably not.

If you aren’t careful, it can take you down a dark path.

I will leave you with this today, and make this a reminder whenever you catch yourself comparing and wishing you were different or looked a certain way:

Dark Chocolate Reese’s Cups

Holla if you love chocolate + peanut butter!

WOOOO! 😀

Anything that’s a combo of chocolate and peanut butter is my favorite sweet treat. The two are literally made for each other, no doubt about it.

My absolute favorite candy is Reese’s (go figure) LOL

Since I love baking and I love my chocolate and peanut butter, I decided to whip up a batch of home-made Reese’s cups, with a little healthier twist.

The great thing about this recipe, is the fact you need minimal ingredients!

These are dairy free, grain free, and gluten free.

Let’s get to the recipe!

**Ingredients**

chocolate layer:

-1/3 cup natural peanut/almond butter (you want the kind with ONLY peanuts (or almonds) and maybe salt too, as the ingredient. But any nut butter can be used. 

-3 T Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

-2 T coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 T honey, or maple syrup, or agave

peanut butter layer:

1/3 cup nut butter

2 T coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

optional: 1/2 to 1 scoop protein powder 

other:

mini muffin tin 

mini muffin tin liners 

Directions

1. Melt your coconut oil  and mix in with your cocoa powder, peanut butter, and other ingredients for the chocolate layer.

2.Once mixed well, spoon out a chocolate layer in each lined mini muffin space, leaving room at the top for the peanut Butter layer.

3.Place in freezer about 5 minutes to set. While in freezer, mix your ingredients for the peanut butter layer.

4.Take chocolate layer Reese cups out of freezer and spoon peanut butter mixture on top of chocolate layer. Place back in freezer at least an hour.

5.store in freezer, and pop one out when ready to eat! 🙂

What’s in my Work/Gym Bag?

As many of you know, I am a personal trainer that travels to people’s houses. In my “going on” 6 years of training, I have mainly worked at gyms.

Finding HomeFit Consulting has been not only a blessing but the best training job I have ever had. I love what I do, and being able to go to people to help them with their needs, wants, and goals, is a dream!

(Be sure to click the link above if you want to learn more information. We also just launched our Fitness 2 Go, perfect for if you are constantly busy or traveling!)

As a traveling trainer, some/most days, you are out and about, traveling from one spot to another, and you are on the road a good bit. Although it took me a hot minute to learn, I finally found me the perfect work bag that can also go as a gym bag. Some days I am going straight from a client to the gym in the afternoons, so it’s great to have a good bag and have it full of all the necessities.

Today, I am sharing with you what you will typically find in my work/gym bag.

Some days I will have some clothes or my new grips in my bag for the gym, and other days it’s just in the seat of my car. What I am sharing today are the things I like to keep in my bag day in and day out.

As a traveling trainer, I travel with my fitness equipment for clients. Some clients have equipment and I may not need to carry much inside their homes, but I always have things on me. I like to throw some of my resistance bands in my bag (with no handles) to have convenient. I also use these to leave for some clients if I give them homework to do! 🙂

Another thing I keep is my measuring tape. With new clients and their initial session, I not only get to know the person and their goals, but I will take measurements too for a starting point. So i always keep this in my bag!

I’ve also learned to keep a snack in my bag, because you never know when hunger strikes! I don’t always remember or am prepared with bringing my own lunch if I know I will need it, so having a good snack option or two is key to healthier options while traveling.

I like to keep some essential toiletries, if you will, in my bag: deodorant, face wipes, and freshening wipes (These from Kleenex brand are great!). Whether or not I am coming from a workout, it’s been a long day, a hot day, or I just feel gross, I love to have these things on hand in case I need them. You can never go wrong with these basics.

Some other little things I like to have in my bag: Aleve medicine, small bottle of scope, lip balm, neosporin, a hair brush, chewing gum/mints, and a small bottle of hand sanitizer for after I train people.

 

My day to day planner, a lint roller, an extra headband, bobby pins, and my earphones, are all other items normally in my bag.

PIC

I’ll end all this talking a little about the bag I use. I got this from Fabletics (post coming soon on them!). I came across it, wanting a good quality bag, but nothing too big or bulky. I wanted something casual + sleek, and this popped out at me. It’s got 2 straps on the back to be used as a backpack. These are handy when I am carrying in equipment and need my bag with me. It’s also got a few extra compartments and storage spots I love for the little things I keep in my bag.

I find all the items listed above are things that work for me, are useful, practical, and keeps me prepared.

Questions for you!

-Do you have a work or gym bag you always have?

-If so, what is one or two items that are a MUST have at all times?

Meal Prep + Weekly Goals

Happy Sunday guys!

Hope you all were able to enjoy the beautiful sunsine this weekend. Spring is getting closer and closer! 😀

Today after church and lunch, I decided to do a little meal prepping for the week. I don’t like to prep all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), but I like to keep some things consistent and ready to eat throughout the week.

This week I decided to have my lunches roughly the same + to have them prepared.

I had some leftover baked chicken, so I decided to brown some ground turkey to change things up day to day.

(And yes, I know there’s pink in the meat…I finished cooking it) 😀

I was going to patty out turkey burgers, but decided against it.

I also roasted brussel sprouts and made sweet potato fries (which are my fave)

For the brussel sprouts I cut them in half, drizzled with olive oil, + sprinkled them with salt and pepper.

For the sweet potato fries, I decided to sprinkle cinnamon on top.

I baked both of these on the same pan at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

I was going to cook some rice, but I’ve been having some of that recently, so I opted to cook quinoa again. Quinoa is one of the acquired taste foods in my opinion, but seasoned with garlic salt + pepper (and mixed in with other food) it’s not too bad!

To end things, I made another batch of my peanut butter oat balls, but this time I made them with way less chocolate chips, and used almond butter instead of regular peanut butter. I also added 1 scoop of a cappuccino flavored protein powder for extra protein and flavor. I was a fan of how they turned out!

I didn’t make out any breakfast items. I’ve been on a scrambled egg kick lately, but after a couple weeks of that I crave other foods. This week it’ll probably be protein shakes, smoothies, or oatmeal.

My breakfasts, lunches, and snacks will be fairly similar, but I like to be open for whatever and to have dinner free for different things. Sometimes I’m out for dinner or someone else cooks, so I like to have that variety. Balance, ya’ll! 🙂

                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Weekly Goals:

-Go to gym 4-5 days

-Run 2-3 days

-Vlog at least once

-Write down 1 thing I love about myself every day this week

-Laugh, smile, + love a lot <3

Honestly, most of these goals are going to be part of my weekly goals for a while…and the last goal for as long as I live <3

Lower Body Stretch Routine

Happy Friday/Weekend friends!

I hope all of you had a great week. We had some rainy days, but it looks like the sun will be here for the weekend! 🙂

I thought I’d end out this week by sharing with you a lower body stretch routine you can do anywhere, even from the comfort of your own home.

Stretching is one of those things many of us overlook or slack on…I know I do often. Many times, when a workout is done, we just leave and go about our day, and for others, they may just not have a lot of extra time for it. Stretching, though, is SO important and necessary for our bodies.

 Stretching helps keep our muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. To maintain a good range of motion in our joints, we need good flexibility, otherwise, our muscles will shorten and become tighter. 
When our muscle are tight and lack range of motion, when the time comes for an activity or exercise, we can’t move as well (extend or flex as much).

Even just stretching a few minutes every day can benefit us and our bodies. Whether you do it before or after a workout, when you wake up, or before you go to bed.

Here is a good lower body routine you can do anytime and any day.

**Do/hold each stretch 15-30 seconds, going through this 1-2 times.**

1.Downward Dog

This is a very common yoga post, but such a great stretch. This targets your hamstrings, calves, the arches of your feet, and even your shoulders. Be sure on this stretch, you keep your shoulders away from your ears, and really drive your hips and butt in the air.

2.Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

All too often, I hear people talk about having tight hips. Most Americans have a desk job, and when you sit for prolonged hours of the day (not using those muscles), they become tighter and tighter. This is why you feel stiff or slight pain in the hip flexor area. This stretch targets those hip flexors.

For this stretch, from the kneeling lunge position, shift your weight forward until you feel a stretch in your hip. Make sure to get both sides!

3.Pigeon Pose

Another yoga move, this pigeon pose stretch is great for thighs, groin area, psoas major muscle, hips, nd even your abdomen.

For this pose, you can start in the pushup position, swing one leg underneath you, and realease your arms out in front of you as far as you can until you feel a stretch. Many people can’t make it all the way to the ground, so no worries if you can’t get that far. As long as you feel a stretch.

If You have never done this move before, or you want a deeper stretch in your abdomen, then stay up on your hands and sit up taller.

4.Thread the Needle

Another great stretch for your hips, and to help open them up, is through this move.

Begin by lying on your back, with legs up and bent to 90* and parallel. Next, cross your left ankle over your right thigh, making sure your ankle is a little past your thigh. Then you take your hand through and around your right leg, and pull toward your chest until you feel a stretch.

5.Standing Quad Stretch

The last one is a standing quad stretch. Be sure to stand up tall, and use a wall or chair if you need for balance. Pull up one ankle high as you can toward your butt. The taller you stand, you are also reaching those hip flexors again.