My Weekly Work-Out and Diet Plan

My Weekly Work-Out and Diet Plan
I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t always super healthy.

My relationship with exercise and food in the past was unfortunately skewed, like the vast majority of women. But growing up doing pageants, I think it might have been even more exacerbated. I used to work out three times a day, counting the calories of everything I put into my mouth. All for a competition. But now, a few years removed from pageantry-I can look back and see that although I gained numerous skills from competing, my relationship with my body and food is so much healthier. So much of that is derived in my relationship with Christ! I know that my identity isn’t rooted in a crown, or the number of likes I get, or follower count. My identity-and yours-is rooted in Jesus alone.

He is the one who says you are beautiful.

You are loved.

You are known.

So I just wanted to preface this whole blog with that truth at the forefront of all our minds! It’s not about how we look. It’s all about what Jesus says about us. Also-side note- I love working out. Especially because I currently work three jobs. Yes-three jobs. Working out is my time to unplug from all social media, listen to my favorite podcasts or read a good book, and feel strong. I love feeling accomplished when I finish that ridiculous Kayla Itsines’ arm work out. Throughout this blog, I am going to walk you through what I do everyday and my diet!

Diet

So this is a toughie. I am a firm believer in moderation. Yesterday after my workout, I was feeling light headed so I bought some chocolate and ate it. And guess what-I feel great about that decision! I don’t generally chow down on chocolate everyday, but yesterday I felt like I was getting attacked by dementors (it was a hard day haha) and we all know the best remedy for a dementor attack is chocolate right?!? My point is-be kind to yourself. Be gentle with yourself. One piece of chocolate isn’t going to destroy your life. That being said, I practice intermittent fasting about five days out of the week. So I’ve found that if I eat an early dinner (around 5:30 pm) and have a late breakfast (around 11 am) my body responds to it well. I feel great and my weight stays at a place I want it to. But I don’t do it all the time. I ignore this when I’m out with friends on the weekend. A girl’s gotta live right?! Do not let a diet control your life.

I also eat very high protein. I love love LOVE tacos. My boyfriend makes fun of me because I love them so much. They honestly probably consist 90% of my diet. I make them at home and cook with avocado oil. I buy the extra-lean, grass fed beef to make them (it’s very important you buy healthy protein!). I also buy this almond cheese because ya girl doesn’t respond well to dairy. So my diet is generally high protein, low carb, and low dairy!

Ok-now here’s my workout routine!

Monday

45 minutes of Cardio! Cardio is super easy for me because I love catching up on my favorite shows, podcasts, or even reading during it. I buy giant hardback books and set it up with the elliptical and get lost in a story. Currently I am on book five of Game of Thrones. Cardio is also flexible because it can be a hike with your pup or a walk with a friend. It is basically low intensity cardio over a long period of time.

Tuesday

Leg day! So I have been doing Kayla Itsines’ BBG work out over the past four years and I cannot express enough how wonderful it is. I have had many personal trainers, but her workouts are my absolute favorite! You can learn more about her workouts here! Her workouts build muscle, but don’t make you bulky. They make you strong, but sleek. They’re pretty similar to HIIT workouts. On these strength days, I pop in my AirPods and listen to podcasts or Harry Potter on Audible! My favorite podcast currently is Potterless-the story of a grown man reading Harry Potter for the first time lol.

Wednesday

This is my toughest day of the week so I generally try to rest! I also have my small group this night so no workout unless I’m feeling crazy ambitious.

Thursday

Arm day! TBH arm day is the bane of my existence. Dwight Shrute said one of the defects of our kind is weak arms. Bahaha-just kidding. I do not support Dwight’s stupid, sexist comment. But this day is truly the WORST. I struggle through it. When I first started BBG there were actual tears. So I broke these workouts in half and decided that completing 15 minutes of it was a WIN! Don’t be afraid to change things up if you can’t handle it. Consistency is key. If you hate something, odds are low you’re going to be consistent.

Friday

45 minutes of Cardio! Go on a hike, read a book on the elliptical, or go on a walk with a friend!

Saturday

Ab day is my FAVORITE! Generally I don’t sweat as much this day which is great because I don’t have to wash my hair after. Once again, I do BBG for all of these strength days!

Sunday

45 minutes of cardio!

Well, there ya go! That is my detailed workout schedule and diet plan! Keep in mind, that while arm day might be super challenging for me-it might be a cake walk for you! Abs might be harder for you or legs! Its so important to listen to your body and decide what you consider a win. You might need to adjust certain things to ensure consistency. I’ve found that if I hate something, I can be all gung-ho for it for about a week, but then I just stop. So find something you love. This happens to be what I love because my job requires so much interpersonal interaction. So I love flying solo when it comes to working out. It’s basically my introvert time. But if grabbing a buddy motivates you then DO IT! But most importantly remember that your identity is not rooted in exercise or diet-your identity is rooted in Christ alone. Also-if you have any workout tips or podcast recommendations please let me know in the comments!

LYLAS

-Rach

10 Perfect (& Affordable!) Holiday Party Looks

10 Perfect (& Affordable!) Holiday Party Looks

Tis’ the season for holiday parties! Holiday parties are my fave-especially being a plus one! If you’re anything like me-you have a myriad of holiday parties approaching. Some ranging from black tie to tacky Christmas sweater to more conservative work parties. If you’e also like me-you love dressing super classy but-ya girl has a budget. I have gathered all my favorite finds this December to compile this list of all my favorite holiday party looks for every single get together you have this season! And-the greatest news of all-they’re all affordable-the most affordable being $19.90 (wait-what?!) to the most pricey being $118. Hope you enjoy this guide and have a wonderful time at your plethora of holiday parties this season!

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Jumpsuit: Forever 21 $19.90     Bag: Tory Burch      Shoes: Top Shop

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Dress: Nordstrom $118     Bag: Tory Burch

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Top: Forever 21 $18     Skirt: Forever 21 $17.90

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Dress: Nordstrom (Top Shop) $65      Earrings: Kendra Scott      Bag: Madewell

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Dress: Nordstrom (Lulu’s) $72     Earrings: Kendra Scott

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Sweater: Target $34

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Dress: Francesca’s    Shoes: Prada

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Dress: Zara $39

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Dress: Nordstrom $100      Shoes: Prada

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Dress: Forever 21 $19.90

I hope that each of you have a wonderful time at all your holiday parties-whether it’s a black tie event or a group of girls in tacky sweaters drinking champagne and playing How Do you Meme or a cozy family get together with your precious nieces and nephews watching Elf and drinking hot cocoa! It’s my prayer that each of you take time this crazy holiday season to rest in Jesus. To take time away from all the parties-to sit and think about how wonderful it is that our Savior humbled himself to live in this world so that we can have a sympathetic God who understands what it is to be human! I also pray that your Christmas season is filled with special memories that you will always cherish. Take time to play silly games with your little cousins and family. Laugh hard, don’t take yourself too seriously-alright?! Instead of getting wrapped up in staging Insta-worthy photos, put your phone down and make real memories! I love you all and hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

 

LYLAS-

Rach

Outfits to Help Ya Gobble Till Ya Wobble

Outfits to Help Ya Gobble Till Ya Wobble

Tis’ the season for pie. And more pie. And more pie! One of my all time favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. I love how it brings families together to celebrate all that we have to be thankful for! I also am a big huge fan of food. So when I set out to choose the perfect Thanksgiving attire, I want something with two very important components. First and foremost, it must be comfy! I want to eat alllll the turkey and dressing I want and not feel constricted in any way shape or form! Secondly, I want my outfit to be cute. I don’t know about you guys, but my family loves to take copious amounts of photos around the holidays so I wanna be lookin’ fly! Without that second component, I would probably be wearing Outdoor Voices joggers and a t-shirt tbh. Right here in this blog I’ve rounded up all my favorite Thanksgiving looks for you to chose from! Let me know what you think!

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Sweater and Jeans: Alterd State      Bag: Louis Vuitton      Boots: Steve Madden

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Sweater: Shop Priceless      Jeans: Loft      Hat: Francesca’s      Bag: Louis Vuitton      Boots: Steve Madden

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Sweater: Shop Priceless      Jeans: Loft          Bag: Louis Vuitton      Boots: Steve Madden

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Sweater: Forever 21      Jeans: Francesca’s          Bag: Louis Vuitton      Boots: Steve Madden

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Sweater: Francesca’s      Jeans: Loft          Bag: Marc Jacobs      Boots: Steve Madden

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Sweater, Dress, and Hat: Luxe Apothetique        Boots: Steve Madden

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Sweater, Skort, and Hat: Luxe Apothetique      Bag: Louis Vuitton      Boots: Steve Madden

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Sweater: Anthropologie

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Sweater and Skirt: Forever 21      Shoes: Steve Madden      Bag: Louis Vuitton

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Shoes: Nordstrom BP      Jeans: Loft      Bag: Marc Jacobs      Jacket: BCBG

That rounds up all of my thanksgiving day ideas! I think I am going to rock the pink chenille sweater from Shop Priceless! More important than any outfit you could wear this Thursday, I hope that you and your family have such a wonderful time counting all your blessings. And you all would take that quality time to put your phones down-make food together, watch and make fun of the Lifetime Christmas movies, laugh with your cousins, play games with your nieces and nephews, and make new memories that you will cherish forever! Most importantly, I hope each of you take time to reflect on just how fortunate we all are to have a Savior, Jesus Christ, who died and defeated death for us. We are blessed beyond compare! Happy Thanksgiving Turkeys!

 

Gobble till ya wobble homies,

Rach

Three Reasons Why You Should Go to Banff

Three Reasons Why You Should Go to Banff

You know when it starts to hit you.

 

You start feeling a little antsy and fidgety. You start dreaming of faraway places and of interesting people with stories you have never experienced. You start scrolling on the Instagram explore page and all the photos of exotic places, ancient buildings, statuesque mountains, breathtaking canyons, or little romantic cobble stone streets are the photos that catch your eye.

 

You start inadvertently packing.

 

But you don’t even have a trip planned.

 

My friend-if you have any of the symptoms listed above-you have wanderlust. Wanderlust is a serious affliction upon those who have a deep desire to see the world, to experience it through another person’s eyes, to be apart of something greater than themselves, to feel small. To feel wonder as you gaze upon creation unable to even comprehend the beauty, the majesty before you. You want to stand before something and have the shocking realization that your eyes cannot drink the whole scene in because the beauty is so startlingly obvious. You want to sit in other person’s home on the other side of the world, share a meal together, laugh about your new experiences, listen to what has shaped their life and realize that although cultures may be worlds apart, we are all tied together by the common human experience. My friend, if you have one or all of these symptoms, continue reading, and if not, continue reading and they will come. There are so many wonderful places I could write about, so many incredible people whose faces are forever seared into the canvas of my mind; I will write about them all soon. But for now, I want to talk with you about why you should take a four-day weekend to the most beautiful place I have ever been: Banff.

 

1. Lake Louise

As you stand before Lake Louise, something happens in your soul. You see the glacier nestled amidst the two towering mountains. You see the rocks scattering the shore, lovers canoeing and taking insta-worthy photographs that they will remember for the rest of their lives. Finally, you gaze upon the waters, the azure waters are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. As your hand touches the water, you feel the chill. The minerals have made this water bluer than any water you’ve laid eyes upon. It’s a different kind of blue-not like a tropical destination-as you look closer you see little blueish white flecks throughout all the water. As you look around you, you encounter all types of people. A family from India is on their fall holiday, a set of lovers from Boston is taking a selfie trying to capture the scenery behind them, and an entire family reunion of 28 bedecked with “Johnson Family Reunion 2018” traipses around the park with a selfie stick. The scene is so interesting-nature bringing together people from all different walks of life to gaze in awe of creation.

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2. Lake Moraine

Your next stop is Lake Moraine. You drive down a windey road, you have Mumford and Sons playing (because you’re in the mountains-obviously), and your feet are up on the dash. You are wearing two pairs of pants, a thermal, jacket, raincoat, and beanie. Yesterday at Lake Louise was 75 degrees and you were wearing your Outdoor Voices shorts and a crop top, but now its 35 degrees. You had to be prepared for anything on this four-day trek into the mountains. You pull up into the parking lot. Are greeted by a friendly Canadian guiding the cars. As you begin the walk to Lake Moraine, you begin to glimpse the same azure waters you saw at Lake Louise- but it’s different. It’s a darker hue of blue, more vibrant. You start hiking up to the best vantage point. You make it up there. Beauty surrounds you. Six sister mountains jut up behind the waters. It’s morning, so a fog still clings to the waters, obscuring the feet of the mountains. As you take in the scene, you hear voices: six British voices laughing. You look over and see three British couples around 55 years old laughing and trying to take photos with their ipads. You walk over and take their photos, exchange some friendly banter and decide these people freaking rock. They’re hilarious and so friendly. You spend an hour taking in this view, and then decide to hike. You don’t want a pansy hike-you want an intense hike.

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3. Larch Valley

From Lake Moraine you’ve began your first hike of the day to Larch Valley. It’s all uphill the first half so it’s a little slow going. You began to see little mounds of snow as you begin your trek. You wave and say hello to fellow hikers who have already completed the expedition. As you travel higher and higher, you see more and more snow. After what feels like two hours, you are now surrounded by snow, you can see down and see all the trees that were once a vibrant green, dotted with white. You start to see some little animals. Little mountain squirrels pop their heads up out of their snow holes to see who has come to visit. Finally, you reach the valley. Snow is everywhere. It’s like a scene from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. You hear running water. You follow the sound to investigate: you find a gorgeous waterfall energetically gushing through the snow. You have to stop the take some pictures to take with you. As you look at Larch Valley you are in awe. 1. Because yesterday was 75 degrees and today you’re covered in snow 2. The absolute beauty of it is breathtaking.

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So if you feel wanderlust creeping up on you. If you feel that urge to go, see beautiful places, meet incredible people from all over the world, and ultimately feel small-go to Banff and be amazed and completely in awe of how beautiful creation is. As I looked at Lake Louise, I thought of Revelation 4:6 where God’s throne is described as being surrounded by a sea of glass. I couldn’t help but consider how God’s throne is going to absolutely blow away the beauty that I saw at Lake Louise. I got a tiny glimpse into God’s beauty, creativity, and love as I explored Banff.

 

Peace n Blessings

Rachel

 

P.s. The three places I described are the tiniest peak into what this Canadian National Park has to offer. The people are incredibly kind, welcoming, and gracious. This town is adorable and has tons of cute shops and places to visit. If you’re looking for accommodations, I stayed at The Hidden Ridge Resort. Our favorite place I ate at was Touloulus. I highly recommend both these places! If you have some trails I need to go back and try-please put them in the comments!

 

 

 

Your Three Day Guide to Oahu

Your Three Day Guide to Oahu

First of all-this is a three day guide. My first piece of advice as you board your United flight bedecked with your wide brim straw hat and Hawaiian shirt-is to stay longer than three days. Seriously, just go ahead and extend your flight and hotel right now, because once you land in Oahu you’ll never want to leave. That being said, I stayed three days and it was amazing-but I cried the last day because I really, really didn’t want to leave. Keep in mind, this blog isn’t an exhaustive list of all the epic things to do when you’re in the Aloha state, nor does it touch on Hawaiian culture-this is simply what I did and what I loved!

Where to Stay

travel guide to waikiki oahu hawaiiThere are a million breath taking resorts along the coast of Waikiki, but one gem stands out amongst them all-The Royal Hawaiian. Not only is this a travel blogger’s dream with its pink archways, impeccably tiled floors, and famous pink guava pancakes-it is also a remarkably historic resort. Built in 1927, the 400 room structure was built in a Spanish-moorish style and retains that aesthetic to this day. Today it is known as “The Pink Palace of the Pacific.” As you stand on Waikiki, back towards the ocean, facing the pink palace, you begin to see a distinct difference between The Royal Hawaiian and her peers. They Travel guide to oahu waikikitower above her-sky scrapers, room after room, going as high as possible. Standing in striking contrast, the Royal Hawaiian is demure, basking in her unassuming beauty and historic charm. Needless to say, I 100% recommend staying at The Pink Palace during your time in Oahu. The food is absolutely superb. We tried the Calamansi Butter Poached Lobster Tails, the Pier 38 (azure wood oven roasted fresh fish, fingerling potatoes, asparagus, and white wine butter sauce), The Royal Signature Pink Haupia Cake, and of course Truffle Fries (who doesn’t love truffle fries-amirite?!). I also recommend their breakfast and of course getting the pink pancakes. 🙂

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Aye Sea Turtles

One of my favorite activities was snorkeling with sea turtles. You board a catamaran with 20  other adventurers and embark to sea. You start chatting with the crew and learn that many of them are from the continental U.S. and moved here after college. You’re really jealous of happy for them! As your catamaran ventures deeper into the sea, you look out and see these floating green circles in the water! To your delight, they lift their little heads out of the water and say in a Californian accent, “Duuuuuuude, noggin!” Just kidding about the talking sea turtles lol-but they are seriously so cute. The crew anchors the boat, you’re all given your life vests, snorkel gear, and then hop in the water! There are sea turtles everywhere. You’re so close to one you could reach out and touch it. But instead you snap some pics with your Go Pro because you’ve been warned not to touch the sea turtles. The sea turtle excursion is definitely something I would recommend!

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Get Outside

My favorite activity was definitely the Lanikai Pillbox Hike-its only about 10 minutes away from Waikiki. It is definitely worth the steep hike up the mountain. The hike isn’t that bad-after taking on Banff-honestly anything is easy lol. As you hike, there are crazy, breathtaking views of the azure waters below, and islands in the distance. You gotta do this hike. Also, spend a few hours at the beach next to this hike-its incredible.

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Get a Car and Drive Along the Coast

We rented a car through Turo and it was so easy. We got a mustang convertible and went on a day long adventure! We headed to north shore where the surfing competitions are held (any Blue Crush fans out there?!) and it was incredible. As you venture down the coast, you are sandwiched between the perfectly blue ocean and the lush, looming, green mountains. As we drove through the mountains we played the Jurassic Park theme song -thats where it was filmed! Just driving around and seeing the land is amazing. We also made it our personal ambition to find a really eclectic hole in the wall place. I encourage you find your own place! Sometimes stumbling upon cool places yourself makes it that much more of an adventure!

The most important thing to remember in Hawaii is to take it all in. Don’t spend time Guide to Oahurushing from one thing to the next because some blogger said you needed to do it 😉  Make it your own trip. Linger over views that take your breath away. Get a convertible, blast the music, sing off-key, and enjoy paradise! Go with people you love and experience the magic of the island with the most special people in your life. Most importantly- eat all the pink pancakes you can!

Lylas,

Rach