Relaxation Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

Sometimes the aftermath of the holidays can be just as stressful as the holidays themselves! Check out these three relaxation techniques to keep you healthy, well, and with a sound mind!

A Day at The Ranch Malibu

When I was asked to join a group of fitness bloggers to experience and observe what this wonderful place, The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu had to offer for jump-starting fitness and facilitating weight loss, I was completely excited! Now I can share my firsthand knowledge with others who may benefit from this completely amazing and energizing experience.

The Ranch

 101_1121  101_1120
 101_1135  101_1117

The ranch itself is one very large plot of land just a few miles from the ocean, and just far enough off the beaten path to feel like it is a far away place. The less distractions during this journey, the better! In fact, my cell phone did not even have reception, which is probably a good thing. The grounds have a fitness facility, plenty of land to hike, an organic farm, a vacation-worthy pool, and more. The sleeping arrangements were nice and serene just like the rest of the grounds, and there is laundry service too! They are very well equipped to handle all the special care needed for fitness gear.

101_1138

Food

With the exception of one breakfast food item, the ranch is completely vegan. I loved the reasoning given for the ranch for being mostly vegan– it was to completely simplify the diet to whole, plant-based foods, to give the body a good baseline for how it performs and responds in terms of allergens, inflammation, exercise, and energy levels.We found that we were able to have full energy to attack each exercise challenge as we learned that plants fill the stomach and provide vital nutrients at a much better rate than do processed foods. This picture shows 120 calories of nuts, oil, kale, refined sugar, and spinach. Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat on the planet!

101_1132

At lunch we had a totally yummy massaged kale salad featuring chick peas, pickled red onion and olives.

101_1127

Dinner was even more amazing– a “veganized” bolognese with celery noodles and lima beans with lovely cashew shavings that really reminded me of Parmesan cheese. Honestly, I am not a big fan of celery but I loved this!

101_1155

Exercise

A normal day for a guest would include 8 to 10 hours of fitness (lots of walking) meals, snacks, possibly time at the pool, rest time, and a massage. 8 to 10 hours would have seemed like a very long time had I not experience it firsthand. On this day, we got about 6 hours of fitness in with hiking, a TRX class, a yoga class, and foam rolling to loosen up difficult-to-stretch and tight muscles. My favorite class will come as no surprise to you– it was the 75 minute yoga class with instructor Ted! He was a great teacher, and I loved that the course had parts that were dynamic and aerobic, and other parts that were more focused on lengthening and strengthening the muscles. Check it out, I’m wearing the yoga pants I recently bought from Athleta! 🙂

101_1150

One important observation I have was on this day of attendance, all the leaders and instructors were men. Some of the nurturing and intuitive qualities that are so often associated with women were not spared that day. They were all amazingly attentive, patient and encouraging. I can’t think of a better place to recommend for someone who is very serious about turning their health around and getting back on track!

Want to see more? Check out this video overview:

Remember my philosophy: Eat like you love to live! ❤

FitFeb| Drea’s Fab Picks for Workout Gear

tumblr_mhj6klpnok1rhmj7wo1_1280If you’re still trying to motivate yourself to get into the gym, maybe the secret isn’t having a trusty workout gal pal or a rigid routine. Maybe it’s all about being excited to get dressed for the gym. Surely, the gym isn’t a fashion show, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look fabulous while working out. Below, I’ve listed my top 6 fab picks that can help motivate you to get in the gym and keep you comfortable while you’re bouncing around toning up your booty and biceps!

  • Tank Tops:
    • Tip: Look for tank tops that will help keep you cool and dry at the gym. John Lewis, $15
  • Sports Bras: 
    • Tip: Invest in sports bras that are fully lined and well-fitted. H&M, $16
  • Yoga Pants:
    • Tip: These are most suitable for general exercise and when you’re doing yoga and/or pilates. Victoria’s Secret, $35
  • Water Bottle:
    • Tip: Purchase a water bottle that’s functional, BPA-free, and fabulous. Target, $16 
  • iPod/MP3 Player:
    • Tip: Download tunes that are upbeat, motivating, and fun to listen to.
  • Fab Footwear:

    • Tip: Of all the items, this is the one you should spend the most time on. Be sure to check prices, functionality, and comfort before purchasing a pair of sneakers for the gym. Nike, $155

As a final tip, I know some of you girls prefer to look presentable when at the gym, and that’s understandable. But, instead of wearing a full face of makeup, I suggest skipping the foundation and powder and only wearing a tinted moisturizer, a few coats of waterproof mascara and a non-tinted lip gloss.

MissDrea is the editor-in-chief of TheRealMissDrea Daily, the #1 online source for all things fabulous and everything in between, updated with daily doses of celebrity new/gossip, fashion/beauty news, videos, interviews, and exclusives and occasional peeks into her “fabulous” life! Connect with her on Twitter: @therealmissdrea and Instagram: @therealmissdrea. 

FitFeb| Finding Motivation to Move

by Coach P

coachp

For most of us, daily physical activity can be seen as a burden, even arduous. In reality, we end up suffering in the long run. Considering the fact that one third of Americans are overweight and the obesity epidemic is continuing to rise throughout the U.S. according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html)

We see and some of us know firsthand the effects of not exercising, but still find it hard to get active. There are many complex reasons why you may not be a fan of exercising. It may be due to scheduling conflicts, economics, illnesses and or you just don’t want to. Could the benefits change our perception? Would a leaner body, decrease of stress, chronic illness reduction, and an increase of energy motivate you to exercise?

Regardless of the great benefits, I sometimes find it difficult to exercise when I lack motivation. It’s not rocket science. I finally realized if the benefits alone weren’t enough to persuade me, then maybe the actual exercise modality could. The trick was finding something that I enjoy. I found my enjoyment in yoga. I go to classes or do it right from the comfort of home. I also find it therapeutic and relaxing! Who doesn’t enjoy relaxation?!

Maybe yoga isn’t your cup of tea. Try other enjoyable activities such as bowling, cycling, walking, horseback riding, golfing, racquetball, skating, and so many other different activities. Fitness experts have told me physical activity should be enjoyable and it shouldn’t have to be limited to a gym. Exercising can incorporate a wide range of things. There is no one activity that is better than another. As long as calories are burning and muscles are functioning; your enjoyment is not in vain. So find out what you enjoy doing and watch how your perception of exercising changes. When you enjoy the modality, motivation becomes second nature.

Last but not least, think positive. It may be a cliché, but positive thoughts play a major role in your perspective and in giving you motivation. When you are hopeful and optimistic about the task at hand, you will be motivated to get off your butt and move. Remember, every action begins with a single thought. Let’s move!

Feel free to share what motivates you and let’s get moving!

Coach P. is a Wellness Coach and Nutrition Expert from New Jersey. She is a WEGO Health, Health Activist and a member of The American Nutrition Association. “Healthy living isn’t about perfection. It’s all about balance; besides, I appreciate cheat days.” – Coach P. Connect with her on Twitter @coachpcare and www.coachpcares.info.

36 Ways to Relieve Stress

While I love the holidays, it seems like it is the most stressful time of year. If you are student, finals are near and if you are a working professional, you have more deadlines than you can count. Parents have to juggle their busy schedules with children being on vacation and the list goes on…

Maybe you can relate to how I look here:

What do you do to decompress? Sometimes, I am too stressed to undo the stress. It doesn’t make much sense, but it is true. As I work on my computer to finish reports, I find my shoulders hunched, neck tense, eyes strained and I wonder how long it has been going on. Now, even if I have to set a daily reminder for myself, I take 5 or 10 minutes throughout the day to do something that will recharge me and help me focus so that I may better complete tasks. I am sure the list doesn’t stop at 36, so feel free to share with me what techniques you use!

  1. Pray.
  2. Sleep.
  3. Take a shower.
  4. Go for a walk.
  5. Eat right.
  6. Eat often!
  7. Walk your pet (If you have a goldfish, my apologies).
  8. Train hard in the gym.
  9. Play a board game.
  10. Eat slowly, savoring every bite of food.
  11. Read a fiction novel.
  12. Help the less fortunate.
  13. Smile
  14. Clean.
  15. Cook.
  16. Practice yoga.
  17. Make a list of things you were able to accomplish in a day or week.
  18. Cancel your appointments.
  19. Daydream.
  20. Eat outdoors.
  21. Breathe deeply.
  22. Call a friend.
  23. Get a massage (Don’t forget there are massage schools that offer super discounted rates!).
  24. Watch a funny movie or show.
  25. Hug someone.
  26. Read your favorite childhood novel.
  27. Hang out with a child.
  28. Resist the urge to complain.
  29. Make yourself a cup of tea.
  30. Draw or paint.
  31. Stretch.
  32. Write in a journal.
  33. Ask for help.
  34. Add soothing fragrances to your home such as lavender, eucalyptus or chamomile.
  35. Write a letter rather than texting or calling.
  36. Shut off social media for a day.