happy + healthy in 2017

First off let me say how stinkin’ proud I am of myself for finally figuring out how to put categories in my menu bar!!!! (Real proud. The wonders of HTML YouTube tutorials, man.) While deciding names for all my types of posts, I typed and backspaced “fitness” real quickly. I won’t go as far as to say I’m not athletic. I was your typical oldest child who paid her fair share to every sport in grade school (soccer, basketball, softball, a very short lived attempt at swim team…etc.) and this is my first year since age 2 that I haven’t been consistently dancing (& boy do I miss it.)

So moving around isn’t new to me by any means. However, being in college and on my own schedule and not having forced acvitity such as dance team or gym class has definitely brought up new ways of having to fit in athleticism into my life as well as simply keeping my body healthy while living in a dorm full of college gals. (Trust me, the “Corbin cough”, named after my residence hall, is an actual term around campus that you absolutely can’t escape for at least one point in the year!)

I have been wanting to put more “fitness” related posts up on the blog for quite some time now, but I’m mot expert by any extent. However I took a little of my own inspiration from my “fitness” esque Pinterest board to figure out how I wanted to encompass these types of posts. So for all the posts to come, make sure to check out the “happy + healthy” tab in the menu bar. I chose this name for simply what it states. Less focus on being “fit” and more focus on tying happiness and health hand in hand. Because let’s be real, name a time where you’ve had the flu and been at your full happiness level, or as my actual spirit animal Elle Woods states, “endorphins make you happy!” And no one gets to disagree with Elle.

As I said, being in college has really pushed the envelope in terms of health and has allowed me to figure things out on my own. I guess that’s a small tiny form of adulting, if you will. From knowing when to go to the health center and stay home from class. (I did in fact text my mom and make sure I was “allowed” to stay home when I got sick…#guiltproblem) To understanding that dining hall food is what you make of it, being healthy on your own is something that takes time to understand what works for YOU and YOUR body. But here are a few things that I want to continue to implement within my daily life in 2017 to keep with my happy + healthy mantra:

Drink more water: ask my parents, or any of my friends: I drink an excessive amount of water as it is. I don’t like pop (I thank my tastebuds for this constantly), and minus a morning cup of coffee (okay, or an afternoon one too), water is honestly my go-to drink. But, I’m not upset about it! Water is SO GOOD FOR YOU! Literally, the best thing you can put into your body. It clears up toxins in your skin, helps aid kidney strength, busts fatigue, cures cramps and pain, helps with digestion, boots your brain activity, and that’s just the obvious stuff!! I carry a water bottle around with me on campus, and TRY to drink a cup from my Brita filter BEFORE I make my coffee for the day, but this year I really wanna start adding lemon to my water just for all the extra citrusy benefits!

Get more sleep: being in college means no real “bedtime” and I have admittedly found myself losing track of time when in my dorm. Whether it be actually getting schoolwork done, or just chatting with my pals, I’ve glanced at the time to see it past midnight more times than I’d like to own up to! Young adults my age need more sleep than newborn babies in order for everything to function properly! Also a big lesson I’ve learned: your brain shuts off at a certain point in terms of actually learning instead of short term memorizing. Learn when that time is and work with it! For me, studying past 10 is pointless, I need to get it done right when I get done with class and NEVER pull all-nighters. Your brain soaks up all that information while you sleep, and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll remember in the morning. Glancing over your notes for 15 minutes right before you fall asleep allows your noggin to get it all memorized and ready to process when the sun comes up!

Take more vitamins: less is more when it comes to these, but taking even simple multi-vitamins can add so much to your body that you may not receive in your every day diet!

Get creative with workouts: I am fully aware the main reasoning I don’t like a work out is because I have an awful attention span and for lack of a better word: I get bored. Repetition of things does nothing but make me wonder why I’m doing it and don’t even get me STARTED on how dreadfully awful I think of the treadmill. However, my mother will never believe me, but I LOVE jogs outside. My campus is gorgeous and in the fall, running around the small lake filled with trees was my favorite afternoon endorphin fill. The first semester I focused a bunch on school and getting settled, but this next semester I can’t wait to take on more classes at the rec that are actually exciting and upbeat. Aka cycling classes here I come!!!

Mindfulness: this one is so simple but SO hard to get into a habit of. Be still with yourself when you first wake up and dirt go to bed. Take time to reflect on your day and how you feel. Rushing through life and your emotions can honestly be draining and if you don’t take the time to be quiet and LISTEN to yourself, it’s way to let everything build up! There are so many apps and YouTube videos out there if you need a boost to get started, otherwise it’s as simple as closing your eyes and taking some breaths!

So that’s my gameplan, with many updates to come. Let’s make this the year of being happy AND healthy friends. How are YOU gonna do it? Shoot me an email @ xoxoallisonnicole@gmail.come if you’d love to chat!

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

morning rituals

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Hello Tuesday + hello friends! Today is filled with math tests and a fun start to the KU basketball season (eee!!!) for me and I am feeling all kinds of good about the fact that the holiday season is officially in swing! Today while walking to class, I realized how many things I am so dependent on in the morning, and being a creature of insane habit, rely on every single day! I am a strong supporter of a good morning setting your mood, and adjusting to college took me a bit to fully get my routine down. But, now that i think it is the best that it can be, here are a few things I HAVE to do EVERY morning:

WATER// I am water’s #1 fan. Literally. Ask anyone close to me about the amount of water I drink (or the amount of times I go to the bathroom within a day) and they will tell you it is MUCH more than the average human bean. I mean I am not upset about this, water is SUPER good for you and I make it a point to always drink at least a glass while my Keurig is brewing my coffee. Water before caffeine is SO important and I highly encourage picking up the habit if you don’t have it already.

ENDORPHIN RUSH// Now I am NOT an exercise in the morning kind of gal, it is much more of a release stress after school kind of deal for me, but when it is so nice out like it has been here I cannot help but take advantage of walking to my first class in the mornings. I have 8 or 9 am’s every day besides my noon start on Friday, and the air this early is therapeutic within itself! Even though I cannot wait for the day I am not ripping off my layers after walking back outside post my first class (it is NOVEMBER PEOPLE), I am loving the happy adrenaline rush I get from walking in the beautiful weather early in the morning.

QUIET TIME// this one is big. I always strive to take a quick second right when I wake up to just close my eyes and fully wake myself up (contradictory I know.) Whether it is a mental to-do list for the day, or a quick prayer, being calm and  preparing myself for the day ahead is a must for me if I want to stay sane throughout the day.

PACK A SNACK// My stomach isn’t always quite ready for breakfast right when I head out the door for class (especially when I leave around 7:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays) but I always make a point to grab a granola bar or a banana from the dining hall to snack on during that first class or soon after before I start to get too hungry. Too hungry is when my stomach rules my brain and I come back to the dining hall wanting carbs and foods that just wont fuel me or my body. Forcing myself to have something healthy on hand makes it simple and easy for me to grab it and fuel myself with the good stuff.

So that’s my morning routine! What are somethings you can’t go throughout the day without doing? I’d love to know and maybe add them to my own life!

until next time, xoxo, Ally