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Work Week Meal Prep

Sundays are my favorite day to meal prep for the week, and after last weekend–it was needed! I love any form of eggs (egg muffins, scrambled, hard boiled), but this week I decided on egg muffins, one of my favorites.

The reason why I am so drawn to egg muffins and hard boiled eggs is because they are the perfect compliment to my morning shakes. They give you nutrition and the satisfaction of something to eat.

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Egg Muffins: Feel free to use/swap whatever ingredients you like–mushrooms, spinach, etc.
-5 eggs
-1/4-1/2 cup bell peppers (whatever color desired)
-1/4-1/2 cup diced ham
-1/4-1/2 cup turkey sausage crumbles
-1/4 cup shredded cheese
-1/4 tsp desired seasoning (I used pepper)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of the muffin cups with nonstick spray or butter. Mix your eggs in a bowl, add seasoning if desired. Dice and chop whatever ingredients you desire to have in your muffins. Fill the bottom of the muffin cups with your ingredients, evenly distributing between the cups. Fill the cups about 3/4 full with the egg mixture. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top if desired.

Bake the muffins at 350 degrees until they were firm and golden brown. Let them cool and remove from the tins and into a container or plastic bags. They are great warmed up and will last all week.

Lunch: 
For lunch this week, I prepped chicken and rice, enough for the week.

Baked Chicken:
-2 lbs fresh chicken breasts (trim the fat)
-1/2 tsp pepper or your choice of seasoning

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Trim excess fat from the fresh chicken breasts. Line a pan with aluminum foil (not necessary). Spray the foil or pan with nonstick spray. Lay the chicken on the pan and sprinkle with pepper or your desired seasoning. Bake until chicken is fully cooked throughout. Let cool before placing in fridge.

Brown Rice:
-2 cups jasmine brown rice
-Rice cooker

Directions: Pour your desired amount of rice (I did about 2 cups) into the rice cooker. Fill the cooker with water so the water level is a half finger tip high over the top of the rice. Place cover on rice, cook until soft. If the rice isn’t cooked all the way through, you can add a bit more water and continue to cook. Let the rice cool before placing in the fridge.

As for my shake recipe, this is the recipe I have been making lately for breakfast to go with my egg muffin.
Morning Protein Shake:
-1 scoop protein powder (Chocolate Whey)
-1 tbsp PB2
-3 ice cubes
– 2 cups skim milk

Blend together and enjoy!

13.1

Well, I did it. All the training and hard work definitely paid off. 13.1. It was amazing, when it was over with.

On April 22, I ran the Earth Day Half Marathon in St. Cloud, MN. I stayed in St. Cloud the night before to avoid having a drive in the morning before the race. The evening before, I indulged in some pasta from the Olive Garden. Any excuse to eat carbs is completely okay with me.

The morning of, I ate a peanut butter and jelly, English muffin, some eggs, a yogurt and banana. I also drank plenty of water and was sure to get a lot of sleep. I ended up wearing running leggings that tied on the top so they didn’t move during the run, an Under Armour tank top and a running light zip-up jacket. I had Brooks running shoes on as well. 18033301_10155627064796874_6654001974034216975_n

As a rookie marathon runner, I figured out before the start–that you want to line up at your projected finish marker, since you will be running at a similar pace as those people.

So, once I decided where I wanted to finish (I choose the 2.5 hour marker), with hopes that I could finish around that time. Once the run started, I was feeling good. There were so many people lined up along the route, with encouraging signs and were cheering as people ran by.

For the first 5 miles, I didn’t have any pain and was running at a great pace. I was using the Map My Run app on my phone, so I knew where my pace was at each mile and what my split pace was. I was keeping up with the starter marker, and I was feeling good.

At mile 6, I started getting some cramps in my stomach and my lower back started hurting. Now before the 13.1, my longest run that I trained for was 10 miles long. When you are at 6 miles, 10 doesn’t seem that far off. When you’re going all the way to 13.1, you’re not even half way there at 6.

After reaching mile 8, my stomach and back started to feel better. There were a lot of people I was keeping pace with, and we just kept going. Once you get to 10 miles, your legs just aren’t all the way “there” anymore. My legs just kept going, although my body was very exhausted.

The last few miles were exciting, but it became hard to concentrate on anything else besides “I’m almost done, it’s almost over. Just a little longer.” The last mile was by far the best. My pace had fallen a bit at mile 11, but I was still doing better than I had originally hoped.

That last mile I gave it my all. My app I was using however, was off from the measured distance the run had calculated. So when I thought I was about done, I still had what felt like forever to go. I started to sprint, which was a great idea–but I did it too early. Knowing I was so close (may .3 of a mile out now) away from the finish line, I just couldn’t give up. I ended up making it over that finish line and just wanting to crash.

It was amazing. I felt so great. I did it. I just ran 13.1 miles, and I did it well under my goal of 2.5 hours. My final time across the finish line was 2:11:10.

My body wasn’t hurting significantly besides my lower back. I took pain pills before the run and when I finished, and the pain went away within 5 hours or so. The evening of the run, I was feeling great and was amazed at how well my body handled it. By the end of the night, I realized I may have injured myself a little more than I had hoped.

My foot had endured a lot of pain and seemed to be getting worse the more I was on it. For the rest of the weekend, I continued to ice my foot and try to rest it as much as possible. It has been about 2 1/2 weeks now, and my foot is still hurting. Unfortunately, I think I may have a slight fracture that is going to continue to need time and rest to fully heal.

I was all ready to sign up for the Tough Mudder which takes place in July, but I may be looking at the Tough Mudder 2018 to ensure my foot heals properly. All in all, I a so glad I tried a half marathon and it has inspired me to do more challenges, like the Tough Mudder.

My overall advice from my experience is to listen to your body. Goals are amazing to reach and it’s exciting to finish what you started out for, but be careful. If you’re in pain, your body is telling you it’s too much. Don’t hurt yourself in the process. Your body is a beautiful thing.

 

Shake Up Your Morning

Need an easy breakfast shake that will keep you full, is quick to throw together and doesn’t require putting a bunch of weird ingredients into your body? You’re in luck, I found the perfect fix–Vega protein and greens.
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With vega, you’re able to skip a lot of the unhealthy ingredients that make up many whey protein powders. Vega provides 20 grams of plant-based protein, 6 servings of greens and 6 grams of fiber in 170 calories or less. Click here to learn more about Vega protein.

This morning I mastered a recipe that tastes exactly like homemade banana bread. Breakfast shakes don’t have to be boring and blended with only water or milk. Add some ingredients to make it delicious, while starting off your morning with a full serving of essential nutrients to start your day off right.

Banana Bread Protein Breakfast Shake
-1 scoop Vega vanilla protein & greens
-1 ripe banana
-4 ice cubes
– 1 1/2 cups of milk (almond milk, soy or regular)
-1 tsp vanilla

Add all ingredients together in a blender and blend until smooth. I use a personal blender, which couldn’t be any easier for clean-up. Simply make the shake, switch the top and go. After finishing my shake, I always make sure to drink a good amount of water. This I feel helps fuel your body right away, & helps me stay full for longer. For more delicious recipes, click here to visit the Vega website recipes.
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If you are looking for a personal blender, consider one like the Oster. Click here to find it at Target.

New Years Eve Outfits

The one night a year where it’s okay to wear a lot of sparkle. I live for NYE because I love the sparkle. Here are a few outfit ideas I think are perfect to roll in 2017!

Target: The All That Glitters Section giving you a “pop” of sparkle. One of my favorites from this section is the Sequin Skirt– $24.99 at Target

If you’re looking for something more bold, perhaps this sequin dress will do the trick- $39.99 Target

How about something classy, but not too over the top. Then I suggest this blazer from Macy’s (left) or from Target (right). The dresses at Macy’s are fabulous- with many styles to satisfy all. See all the holiday dresses at Macy’s here.

How about something warm, comfortable and bold (but not too bold). This sweater dress from the Limited is simply perfect and can be worn to so many events.

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Or, you may want to add a little sparkle to an outfit you already love. This embroidered cardigan from Maurices is on sale for only $22

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Whatever you decide to wear, I’m sure you will look great! Share your outfits with me in the comments and Happy New Year!

-Katie

3 Things You Should Give Up If You Want To Be Successful

Somebody once told me the definition of hell:

“On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.” — Anonymous


Sometimes, to become successful, and get closer to the person we can become, we don’t need to add more things, we need to give up on some of them.

There are certain things that are universal, which, if you give up on them, you will be successful, even though each one of us could have a different definition of success.

Some of them you can give up today, while it might take a bit longer for others.


1. Give Up On The Unhealthy Lifestyle

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” — Jim Rohn

If you want to achieve anything in life, everything starts here. First you have to take care of your health, and there are only two things you need to keep in mind:

1. Healthy Diet
2. Physical Activity

Small steps, but you will thank yourself one day.


2. Give Up The Short-term Mindset

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” — Mae West

Successful people set long-term goals, and they know that these aims are merely the result of short-term habits that they need to do every day.

These healthy habits shouldn’t be something you do; they should be something you are.

There is a difference between: “Working out to have summer body” and “Working out because that’s who you are.”


3. Give Up Playing Small

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

If you never try and take great opportunities, or allow your dreams to become realities, you will never realise your true potential.

And the world will never benefit from what you could have achieved.

So voice your ideas, don’t be afraid to fail, and certainly don’t be afraid to succeed.


4. Give Up Your Excuses

“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Successful people know that they are responsible for their life, no matter their starting point, weaknesses, and past failures.

Realizing that you are responsible for what happens next in your life, is both frightening and exciting.

But it’s the only way that you can reach the success, because excuses limit and prevent us from growing personally and professionally.

Own your life; no one else will.


5. Give Up The Fixed Mindset

“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ― Robert Greene, Mastery

In a fixed mindset, people believe that their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits and that talent alone creates success — without effort. They’re wrong.

And successful people know this. They invest an immense amount of time on a daily basis to develop a growth mindset, acquire new knowledge, learn new skills and change their perception so that it can benefit their lives.

Remember, who you are today, it’s not who you have to be tomorrow.


6. Give Up Believing In The “Magic Bullet.”

“Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” — Émile Coué

Overnight success is a myth.

Successful people know that making small continuous improvement every day, will be compounded over time, and give them desired results.

That why you should plan for the future, but to focus on the day that’s ahead of you, and improve just 1%.


7. Give Up Your Perfectionism

“Shipping beats perfection.” — Kahn Academy’s Development Mantra

Nothing will ever be perfect, no matter how much we try.

Fear of failure (or even fear of success) often prevents us from taking action, and putting our creation out there in the world. But a lot of opportunities will be lost if we wait for things to be right.

So, “ship,” and then improve (that 1%).


8. Give Up Multi-tasking

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” ― Winston S. Churchill

Successful people know this. That’s why they choose one thing and then beat it into submission. No matter what, a business idea, a conversation, or a workout.

Being fully present and committed to one task, is indispensable.


9. Give Up Your Need to Control Everything

“Some things are up to us, and some things are not up to us.” — Epictetus, Stoic philosopher

Differentiating these two is important.

Detach from the things you cannot control, and focus on the ones you can, and know that sometimes, the only thing you will be able to control is your attitude towards something.

And remember, nobody can be frustrated while saying “Bubbles” in an angry voice.


10. Give Up Saying YES To Things That Don’t Support Your Goals

“He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.” — James Allen

Successful people know this that to accomplish their goals, they will have to say NO to tasks, activities, and demands from your friends, family, and colleagues.

On a short-term, you might sacrifice a bit of instant gratification, but when your goals come to fruition, it will be worth it.


11. Give Up The Toxic People

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
― Jim Rohn

People we spend the most time with, add up to who we become.

There are people who are less advanced in their personal and professional life, and there are people that are more advanced than us. If you spend time with the people are behind you, your average will go down, and with it, your success.

But if you spend time with people more advanced than you, no matter how challenging that might be, you will be more successful.

Take a look at around yourself, and see if you need to make any changes.


12. Give Up Your Need To Be Liked

“The only way to avoid pissing people off is to do nothing important.” — Oliver Emberton

Think of yourself as a market niche.
There will be a lot of people that like that niche, and there will be individuals who don’t, and no matter what you do, you won’t be able to make entire market like you.

This is entirely natural, and there’s no need to justify yourself.

The only thing you can do is continue is improving and contributing every day, and know that the growing number of “haters” means that you are doing important things.


13. Give Up Your Dependency on Social Media & Television

“The trouble is, you think you have time” — Jack Kornfield

Impulsive web browsing and television watching is a disease of today’s society.
These two should never be an escape from your life or your goals.

Unless your goals depend on either, you should minimise (or eliminate) your dependency on them, and direct that time towards things that can enrich your life.


Call To Action

If you want to increase your productivity and eliminate procrastination, check out my free guide called: “The Ultimate Productivity Cheat Sheet.

Click here to get the guide right now!

PS: you will find the tip about making the most out of “Your Dead Time” fascinating!

Full article here.

Unique Habits of Ridiculously Likeable People

Dr. Travis Bradberry
Coauthor Emotional Intelligence 2.0 & President at TalentSmart

Too many people succumb to the mistaken belief that being likeable comes from natural, unteachable traits that belong only to a lucky few—the good looking, the fiercely social, and the incredibly talented. It’s easy to fall prey to this misconception.

When I speak to smaller audiences, I often ask them to describe the most likeable people they have ever worked with. People inevitably ignore innate characteristics (intelligence, extraversion, attractiveness, and so on) and instead focus on qualities that are completely under people’s control, such as approachability, humility, and positivity.

These qualities, and others like them, describe people who are skilled in emotional intelligence (EQ). TalentSmart research data from more than a million people shows that people who possess these skills aren’t just highly likeable, they outperform those who don’t by a large margin. Ninety percent of top performers have high EQs, people with high EQs make $29,000 more annually than people with low EQs, and a single-point increase in your EQ adds $1,300 to your salary. I could go on and on.

Being likeable is under your control, and it’s a matter of emotional intelligence. Unlike innate, fixed characteristics, such as your intelligence (IQ), EQ is a flexible skill that you can improve with effort.

To help you improve your EQ, I did some digging to uncover the key behaviors that emotionally intelligent people engage in that make them so likeable.

They are genuine. Being genuine and honest is essential to being likeable. No one likes a fake. People gravitate toward those who are genuine because they know they can trust them. It is difficult to like someone when you don’t know who they really are and how they really feel.

Likeable people know who they are. They are confident enough to be comfortable in their own skin. By concentrating on what drives you and makes you happy as an individual, you become a much more interesting person than if you attempt to win people over by making choices that you think will make them like you.

They ask thoughtful questions. The biggest mistake people make when it comes to listening is they’re so focused on what they’re going to say next or how what the other person is saying is going to affect them that they fail to hear what’s being said. The words come through loud and clear, but the meaning is lost. A simple way to avoid this is to ask a lot of questions. People like to know you’re listening, and something as simple as a clarification question shows that not only are you listening, you also care about what they’re saying. You’ll be surprised how much respect and appreciation you gain just by asking questions.

They don’t pass judgment. If you want to be likeable you must be open-minded. Being open-minded makes you approachable and interesting to others. No one wants to have a conversation with someone who has already formed an opinion and is not willing to listen.

Having an open mind is crucial in the workplace where approachability means access to new ideas and help. To eliminate preconceived notions and judgment, you need to see the world through other people’s eyes. This doesn’t require you believe what they believe or condone their behavior, it simply means you quit passing judgment long enough to truly understand what makes them tick. Only then can you let them be who they are.

They don’t seek attention. People are averse to those who are desperate for attention. You don’t need to develop a big, extroverted personality to be likeable. Simply being friendly and considerate is all you need to win people over. When you speak in a friendly, confident, and concise manner, you will notice that people are much more attentive and persuadable than if you try to show them you’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are more attracted to the right attitude than what—or how many people—you know.

When you’re being given attention, such as when you’re being recognized for an accomplishment, shift the focus to all the people who worked hard to help you get there. This may sound cliché, but if it’s genuine, the fact that you pay attention to others and appreciate their help will show that you’re appreciative and humble—two adjectives that are closely tied to likeability.

They are consistent. Few things make you more unlikeable than when you’re all over the place. When people approach you, they like to know whom they’re dealing with and what sort of response they can expect. To be consistent you must be reliable, and you must ensure that even when your mood goes up and down it doesn’t affect how you treat other people.

They use positive body language. Becoming cognizant of your gestures, expressions, and tone of voice (and making certain they’re positive) will draw people to you like ants to a picnic. Using an enthusiastic tone, uncrossing your arms, maintaining eye contact, and leaning towards the person who’s speaking are all forms of positive body language that high-EQ people use to draw others in. Positive body language can make all the difference in a conversation.

It’s true that how you say something can be more important than what you say.

They leave a strong first impression. Research shows most people decide whether or not they like you within the first seven seconds of meeting you. They then spend the rest of the conversation internally justifying their initial reaction. This may sound terrifying, but by knowing this you can take advantage of it to make huge gains in your likeability. First impressions are tied intimately to positive body language. Strong posture, a firm handshake, smiling, and opening your shoulders to the person you are talking to will help ensure that your first impression is a good one.

They greet people by name. Your name is an essential part of your identity, and it feels terrific when people use it. Likeable people make certain they use others’ names every time they see them. You shouldn’t use someone’s name only when you greet him. Research shows that people feel validated when the person they’re speaking with refers to them by name during a conversation.

If you’re great with faces but have trouble with names, have some fun with it and make remembering people’s names a brain exercise. When you meet someone, don’t be afraid to ask her name a second time if you forget it right after you hear it. You’ll need to keep her name handy if you’re going to remember it the next time you see her.

They smile. People naturally (and unconsciously) mirror the body language of the person they’re talking to. If you want people to like you, smile at them during a conversation and they will unconsciously return the favor and feel good as a result.

They know who to touch (and they touch them). When you touch someone during a conversation, you release oxytocin in their brain, a neurotransmitter that makes their brain associate you with trust and a slew of other positive feelings. A simple touch on the shoulder, a hug, or a friendly handshake is all it takes to release oxytocin. Of course, you have to touch the right person in the right way to release oxytocin, as unwanted or inappropriate touching has the opposite effect. Just remember, relationships are built not just from words, but also from general feelings about each other. Touching someone appropriately is a great way to show you care.

They balance passion and fun. People gravitate toward those who are passionate. That said, it’s easy for passionate people to come across as too serious or uninterested because they tend to get absorbed in their work. Likeable people balance their passion with the ability to have fun. At work they are serious, yet friendly. They still get things done because they are socially effective in short amounts of time and they capitalize on valuable social moments. They minimize small talk and gossip and instead focus on having meaningful interactions with their coworkers. They remember what you said to them yesterday or last week, which shows that you’re just as important to them as their work.

Bringing It All Together

Likeable people are invaluable and unique. They network with ease, promote harmony in the workplace, bring out the best in everyone around them, and generally seem to have the most fun. Add these skills to your repertoire and watch your likeability soar!

Click for the full article.