fitness and nutrition, healthy hacks

Ahoy There!

Ahoy there! Chips Ahoy! flavored protein from Ghost is simply amazing. This might actually be my most favorite protein of all time and I really don’t even like most protein powders. 

For starters, most days I struggle to fuel my body with its needed protein level. I know I’m not alone either. Many struggle in this area but it’s a critical piece of my recovery and meal planning. In order to hit my defined goals, I have to use protein to supplement meals. Specialty flavors or hiding protein in something like orange juice helps me a lot.

I’ve added protein to shakes. I’ve added protein to coffee. I’ve purchased salted caramel to watermelon to vanilla and so on. Some taste better than others that’s for sure. I’ve shared protein samples with friends to test out new flavors so I don’t end up with a tub of blah protein. Sometimes I’m lucky sometimes I’m not.

Today I feel like I hit the jackpot. I feel like I’m having cookies and milk but I’m really just having protein and water. It’s a fair compromise since I smell chocolate chips and it even had some grit to its texture. Served over ice makes it smooth.

Just thought I’d write a quick blog about this protein hack in case it can help somebody manage their macros or just offer a new spin on Chips Ahoy! and milk. A much healthier option for sure.
As I sign off, I’m wishing you a happy and healthy day. Hats off to chips ahoy protein makers.

health, healthy hacks

Just Breathe

Such a simple statement: just breathe.

There are many times now-a-days I think about this simple statement. In the morning when my coach programs deep breathing in my warmup. It’s almost a time to put me back to sleep but it doesn’t. It settles my mind. It gets me ready for the crazy day ahead. Just simple breathing.

Then I think about the many I know near and far struggling with their breathing. Just breathe is hard for them. They could be having issues with Covid or they could be just aging or they could be dealing with an asthma flare up. Just breathe for them takes on a totally different meaning than my just breathe in the morning.

Then there is deep inhale and long exhale of breathing I do in times of stress. When the calendar is full to max capacity. When everyone needs you in different places at the same time. When life is crazy amidst a pandemic. When you need to make choices. Just breathe. It’s simple but not so simple.

On days like today I take a few minutes to breathe in and breathe out. Appreciating each breath for what it is. An opportunity. A chance to take on a new day. For me the fresh air breathing outside is much more appreciated than indoor but some days I take what I can get.

Don’t underestimate the value of breathing. It can be therapeutic. If done calmly with purpose and thought it can be a reset button of sorts. Just breathing has hidden values.

Take a walk in in the park and inhale the scents, exhale the worries of life.

Sit in your yard and listen to the birds chirp while you inhale and exhale.

Take a trip to the mountains and breathe the crisper mountain air. Exhale the toxins of the city hustle and bustle.

If you are near the the ocean, enjoy calm breathing with the mist of the sea. Exhale any negativity in your life.

Go to your special place. Close your eyes. Just breathe. Remember a loved one. Cherish memories while you breathe in and out. Just breathing slowly with purpose allows up time to enjoy the simplicity of breathing and reflection.

Just breathe. Just breathe as you wait for the big news you are anxious about. Just breathe as you stress about the days ahead. Just breathe as you tackle the the new you that’s on the horizon. Just breathe. It’s simple enough but sometimes we all need that reminder to just breathe through it all.

I’ll leave you with this clip of my morning routine today. Give simple breathing a shot for five minutes. Let me know how this 5 minutes of your day worked to your advantage.

healthy hacks

Healthy Hack: Travel Edition

The 2 Chicks have been on the road a lot this summer. So much joy, so much adventure, the occasional stress.

I’ve shared my favorite tips for experiencing local flavors and activities. Here’s another quick tip for life on the go that has saved me stress this summer.

And so, without further ado, here’s my fab tip:

Have a separate set of toiletries. And not just travel sizes.

Extra skin care, hair stuff, deodorant, makeup, brush, toothbrush, sunscreen…All. Of. It.

I actually discovered this hack during last school year. With all the stress and shuffling of schedules, I often went straight from the gym to work. My gym bag grew from just having a very basic set of skin care to the full assembly over time. All summer long, I’ve either taken my gym bag (with toiletries and my gym clothes / shoes packed), or grabbed the toiletries to put in a larger packed bag.

There’s nothing really magical about it, I guess. Still, it has saved me so much time in remembering all the odds and ends I need on every excursion and adventure this summer. If you don’t have any spares to start with, be on the lookout for coupons and deals. (Some might happen shortly when college students head back to school.) I also stockpile stuff from Clinique free gift offers.

Once you’ve got your set, you’re good to go!

Hope this helps at least some of you with that inevitable travel stress (or the pain of forgetting your toothbrush!)

healthy hacks

Spring Ick

The icky pollen is everywhere this time of year. It’s on the car and the rain just isn’t washing it away! The rain puddles even have the remnants of pollen corralled on its surface. The windows have pollen dust all over. It’s in the air. It’s on the ground. It’s everywhere.

The dog’s nose has a yellowish-green hue to its nostrils after playing outside. I even have to brush the pollen off the fur or the pollen with coat the hardwood floors when the dog prances by. Getting this close to pollen indoors drives me nuts.

My feet seem to bare the same yellowish glow whether I’m in flip flops or shoes. The pollen even seeps through my socks on heavy pollen days. It’s definitely gross!

When I play tennis I can see if the ball is “in” or “out” because it leaves a mark in the pollen. This sounds crazy but even if the pollen was blown of the court it would be right back on it. It just seems to be anywhere and everywhere. Including my my lungs and nostrils.

The itchy, watery eyes are pollen-related. No COVID here. Just some good old-fashioned allergies in the spring. A few sneezes here and there cause a glare or stare if you are in public these days. Just another effect of Covid that leaves one  embarrassed.

Big sigh for sinuses and allergies these days. Hope you are not as miserable as me this allergy season.

healthy hacks

Backup Plans

I am a “just in case” kinda gal. Belt and suspenders, as it were (and probably a safety pin or two in my pocket for good measure). (And a carabiner clip). I like to have extras, options, backup plans. Leaving things to chance makes me skittish. I can easily spin out on worst case scenarios. I can think down too many rabbit holes. But I like to be prepared for as much as I can imagine.

Sometimes this comes up in my fitness life. I have been working, slowly but surely, up to #35 dumbbells in different movements. I wrote it in my goal book. Maybe a year ago I still had a hard time picking one #35 up. But I have been working on it, ever so slowly, over the year. When dumbbells come up in workouts, I will usually grab two sets. One I will start with, and then one that is 5 pounds lighter, just in case. Usually, if I have the lighter set, I don’t use them. They just sit there. But if I need them, I can grab them without wasting too much time. They’re my backup plan. My insurance policy.

I carry around too much stuff in my car. I bring my computer places in case I have extra time to work or write. I keep an extra set of workout clothes and shoes in my trunk in case an emergency bro sesh or walk / hike with friends breaks out. I carry emergency protein often. I have camp chairs all the time (and recently, a dear friend did actually need one and I happened to be passing by! Ta Da!)

Some succeed in life by traveling light. They will figure things out whatever happens. I admire that quality…I work on adopting that effortless approach sometimes but mostly I don’t. I usually have a backup plan, even if I never tell anyone about it. Do I waste time and energy overpreparing? Sometimes. Do I get satisfaction out of being ready, come what may? To some degree, yes.

Just a bit of life in my corner of the world.