Posts in Health
8 Tips To Creating Your In Home Gym: By Guest Blogger, Cait Elizabeth

Hey guys!  Excited to share with you a fun post by a guest blogger.  Cait Elizabeth, of Cait's Cozy Corner, is a mom, fashion, and fitness enthusiast from Atlanta, GA.  Hope you enjoy her fun tips to get healthy at home!

8 Tips To Creating Your In Home Gym

Have you ever walked into someone’s home and thought “Wow, this gym is something I could definitely use in my own home!” Of course, you actually can make your home gym more functional and aesthetically pleasing at the same time. Do we all really think that we can squeeze that treadmill in the corner of the room next to the huge pile of laundry? Sure, you may need a certain amount of space to dedicate to working out but creating your state-of-the-art gym can be super expensive! Anyone with a basement or a spare room with extra weights and a yoga mat can make their room look awesome! Today I’ll be sharing 8 ways to add function to your home gym!

  1. Media - I’m one to always need something to watch or listen to when I’m working out. The days I forgot my headphones is a sad one but thank goodness for having the option to watch a show I’ve been meaning to keep up on, or the news. With your own home gym, you’re able to watch what YOU want - or even jam out to your favorite tunes ( yes I’ll blast Backstreet Boys )! Make sure to mount your TV in a place that accessible from every corner of the room ( like a small corner ) so you don’t have to strain your neck one way to watch.

  2. Paint Colors - When I first walk into a room, one of the things I notice right away are the paint colors. Do you want the room to feel inviting and fresh or bold and out there? For me, my in home gym needs to be a mixture so I enjoy colors that are pleasing and not over the top like a bright yellow. Think of light greys, whites or blues and then add some accent colors to speak to your personality!

  3. Rubber Flooring- I need this type of flooring for my gym. I hate slipping and sliding over the floor at times ( if I tend to do more yoga ) and rubber flooring is just a game changer as far as helping my shoes and body stay in place. I also love that it has a lot of give to it so I’m not scuffing my floors when doing a few circuit trainings.

  4. Fan- Despite that your home may have central air, getting super sweaty will always happen so putting a fan or two in small corners like where your treadmill or weight area is key. Keeping cool is essential when getting your work out in.

  5. Add Luxury- Of course I want my in home gym to be functional but also girly too. I love adding some fresh flowers and great pieces to make it a bit more luxurious too. For any of my design needs I always look to Premier Surfaces Chattanooga based in TN. The company specializes in gorgeous countertops made of granite, marble, soapstone and more! They are the only company to win Atlanta’s Consumer’s Choice Award every year since 2008; a prestigious award that is voted by thousands of local residents so you know you’re in good hands when thinking of wanting to customize some counter spaces for that extra storage you need in your gym! Make it pleasing for you and your guests!
  6. Personalize It - Of course, you want your gym to reflect you and your style when it comes to the decor. Inspirational framed messages are always an inexpensive option and you’re probably going to want some sort of music to cover up the sound of your heavy breathing!

  7. Cooler - No one wants to be extremely parched and run upstairs to grab water. Why not have a cute water cooler in your gym and fill it with cold refreshing water bottles to enjoy and for your guests to use if they want to come over!

  8. Keep It Clean -  Remember, this is YOUR space. If it gets a little cluttered from time to time, invest in some cute baskets or boxes that you can easily throw your gym equipment into. The key here is that you want to enjoy your time in your workout area. Don’t add another hurdle to your workouts by forcing yourself to clean up pre-workout.

What would you include in your very own home gym?

3 Healthy Summer Mocktails for Mamas-To-Be

Everyone loves to sip on a special beverage once in a while, especially in the heat of summer.  If you're like me and avoiding alcohol due to pregnancy, or just for your own health, it gets a little boring drinking water when everyone else has a fancy cocktail.  That's why I came up with a few drinks that are easy to make, low in sugar, and so tasty you won't feel left out of the party for one second!

Watermelon Jalapeno Margarita

Ingredients:

2 cups cubed watermelon, frozen

1 fresh jalapeno, seeded

Juice from 1 lime

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  

Add lime juice and/or water for desired flavor/consistency.  

Serve immediately 

 

Peach Basil Iced Tea

Ingredients:

4 tea decaf teabags

Pure liquid stevia

3 Peaches

1 bundle of basil

Directions:

Brew tea according to package.

Slightly sweeten tea to your preference with a few drops of stevia

Cut peaches into slices and add to the pitcher

Roughly chop basil and add to the mixture

Refrigerate for a least a few hours(or overnight) so that the tea soaks up all the flavor of the peaches and basil. 

Cranberry Limeade 

Ingredients: 

2 parts sparkling water

1 part pure, unsweetened cranberry juice

1/2 part limeade(I like simple truth brand)

Lime wedges

Directions:

Pour sparkling water, cranberry juice, and limeade over ice.

Top with extra lime juice and a lime wedge.

Enjoy!

Caitlin

Goodbye First Trimester!

I have to apologize for not being as consistent with this new project as I had hoped, but as most of you know I got some big news shortly after starting this endeavor so I've been a little distracted.

In late March my husband Ryan and I found out that we are going to be parents!  Wether or not a pregnancy is planned or a surprise, I think it's hard not to be in disbelief.  Is this real?  Am I making this up?  Can this little plastic test(or 10 of them!) really tell me something this life changing?  But as soon as we saw this little person on the screen in our first ultrasound it was real!

So what now?  So many things to plan and prepare for.  So many questions on what I can and can't do.  At the time I didn't even have a Dr. but I knew I wanted to do an all natural birth and possibly in an nontraditional setting.  So we decided to do all my prenatal care and birth at a wonderful birthing center with the help of the best midwives and nurses.  The wait between finding out we were expecting and our first appointment seemed like forever!  I called them probably way too much to ask all my questions but was frustrated to find, no one really had the answers I wanted.  As most of you know I do things as naturally as possible.  I don't take drugs unless absolutely necessary, I eat healthy foods and take lots of natural supplements.  So as I started to feel sick early on(especially when I got a bad cold on top of the pregnancy sickness!), I reached for my tried and true remedies.  I'd never noticed the big warning label on everything in my "medicine" cabinet "WARNING: Ask a Doctor before taking if pregnant or breastfeeding."  So many calls to a nurse were made but there are no answers here.  No one has thoroughly tested oils and herbs on pregnant women.  Even when I grabbed my go to kombucha, which always gives me energy and relieves nausea, I find out it's off limits because....we just don't know!  On top of that, the list of approved drugs for pregnancy are things I already try not to take.

So needless to say I spent a few miserable weeks reading lots of books that said lots of scary things and made me want to lock myself in a padded room to keep my baby safe from all the horrors of the world!  After a lot of soul searching, researching, and asking other mamas who I respect, I have been able to relax a little bit.  I think a huge part of pregnancy and health in general is listing to your body.  I knew what I needed when I needed it!  At this point is doesn't matter as much because I'm out of the first trimester and feeling much better haha.  SO GLAD this period of sickness and confusion is over!  But I'm hoping I can continue through this pregnancy staying relaxed and listening to my body.

The first trimester is definitely hard.  I wasn't nearly as sick as some of my friends but it's a tough time with lots of emotions and uncertainty.  I am so happy to finally be settling in, feeling energized, excited, and focused on the connection I'm building with my little one.  

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Aloe

We've probably all got a bottle of aloe vera gel stashed somewhere for the occasional sunburn.  I know I was a regular user as a fair skinned kid who couldn't stay out of the sun in the summer.  But do you really know all the vast benefits this plant has?  And are you using it correctly? 

Ways to use it

Aloe vera does two main things, reduces inflammation and deeply hydrates at a cellular level. This means it's amazing for topical use on skin irritations but also internally for inflammation in the body and to aid in increased hydration. 

Topical Uses

  • Burns
  • Rashes
  • Breakouts
  • Allergic reactions
  • Bruises
  • Rosacea 
  • Eczema
  • Hydration
  • Anti Aging
  • Stretch marks
  • Dark spots

Internal Use

The source of all disease in the body is inflammation.  That's why it is imperative to our health to live a lifestyle that reduces inflammation instead of causing more.  You can eat an anti-inflammatory diet by eating alkaline foods and refraining from inflammatory foods like caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and sugar.  As a dietary supplement you can buy a good quality liquid aloe very juice or water(I recommend "George's").  I take a 2oz. shot each morning and evening.  Using aloe internally can also help with skin disorders since we heal from the inside out.  Benefits of taking aloe internally are so vast because healing inflammation helps with any problem you can dream up, but here are a few key things aloe may help with...

  • Digestive disorders
  • Dehydration
  • Joint health
  • Ulcers
  • Cancer prevention/treatment
  • Diabetes/blood sugar control
  • Acid reflux
  • fibromyalgia
  • IBS
  • Crohns disease
  • Rosacea
  • Acne
  • Anti aging

The list goes on and on and on!

Where to get the good stuff

Aloe vera is very east to grow year round indoors as a potted plant.  For external use this is the best source!  Simply remove a leaf when needed, slice it in half lengthwise and rub the inner leaf on the area of concern.  Most drug store aloe gels contain very little actual aloe. Instead they have other medicated ingredients to mask symptoms, like lidocaine or menthol.  If you must buy prepackaged aloe, make sure it's from your local health foods store and is 100% pure aloe.  But buying a plant is definitely the best way to go.  Plus, they look super cute in your home!

For internal use I recommend grabbing a gallon of "George's 100% Aloe liquid" from your local health food store, or online.  It's pure, fractionally distilled aloe without all the pulp so it literally tastes like water.  This stuff is liquid gold!

Those are my favorite ways to use this incredible little plant.  What's your favorite way to use Aloe?

Caitlin  

HealthCaitlin Hart