Category Archives: Healthy Tips

Transphormation Challenge

THIS IS THE YEAR YOU ARE GOING TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE 

OK, I get it.

You’re sick of hearing…drink this magic shake and you will have six pack abs in a week.

This is not that.

Before you immediately think this is just another fitness scam that doesn’t work, take a minute to read this, because I can guarantee you, if you use these FREE tools, you will change your life this year and gain the knowledge you need to help you carry it on forever.

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WHY AM I PART OF THIS? 

Because I love seeing people succeed and reaching their full potential and I want to be part of helping people find their best self!

Why?

Because there is no better feeling than helping others!

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

The 1st Phorm Transphormation Challenge is 100% FREE and it will help you reach your goals and find your best self in 2016!

You DO NOT have to buy any products to be part of the challenge.

We are giving you the tools you need to succeed and it’s up to you to make it happen.

But don’t worry I will be there to help you every step of the way…in fact I’m challenging myself as well to get into the best shape of my life!

Sign up for the challenge and this is what you get, no strings attached:

  • Workout plans from beginner to advanced
  • Nutrition plans from beginner to advanced
  • Healthy recipes for everyone
  • A team of NASM Certified personal trainers on hand to answer your questions at any time

MOTIVATION? 

As if finding your best self physically and emotionally isn’t enough there are some amazing prizes up for grabs too:

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WE ALL HAVE CHALLENGES

In May of 2014 I was rear ended by a vehicle going over 35 MPH while I was at a complete stop.

The consequences of that accident have been life changing and have resulted in the hardest 18 months of my life.

Every day is a battle to just do daily tasks as I continue to fight post concussion syndrome but I refuse to let this unfortunate event destroy me.

I use the pain every day as motivation to make myself stronger mentally and physically and I want to help you fight through your battles too!

MY TRANSPHORMATION

Growing up as an athlete I was never short of physical activity and it definitely showed through my extremely skinny build!

I struggled my entire life to put on weight until I developed hypothyroidism when I was 19-years-old.

My under active thyroid leads to easy weight gain, so instead of eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, I had to learn to eat healthier to be able to continue to compete as a Division-1 athlete in college.

In college I learned how to lift heavy and loved the results that came with it!

I was finally filling in my “bony back” which was always somewhat of a joke among my friends because of how far my shoulder blades stuck out my entire life.

As I started to make progress it gave me even more motivation to turn my biggest weakness into one of my biggest strengths.

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While I did make significant progress in college it wasn’t until after college that I started making even faster gains after I became more educated in how to properly use supplements in addition to a healthy diet.

Despite not even being able to work out for months and weeks at a time in the past 18 months following the car accident, I’m very proud of how far I have been able to come while not being 100%!

I’ve made more progress while battling chronic pain than I did when I was 100% healthy!

If I can make it work then so can you!

 

WILL YOU JOIN ME? 

My transformation physically and mentally is never ending and I am going to continue to try and find my best self each and every day!

I’m so excited to start this journey with everyone who wants to join me!

If you would like to join my team, go to www.mytransphormationstartstoday.com, and invite me as your trainer AKA Team Leader!

My email is AbsolutelyAbbey11@gmail.com!

I will be your team leader and have your back every step of the way!

I have the tools for you to make it happen and all you have to do is put in the work!

My Transphormation starts today… Does yours?

Lets do this TOGETHER!

www.mytransphormationstartstoday.com

 

 

 

 

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5 Reasons To Love Acro Yoga

With over 472,000 Instagram posts, #AcroYoga is growing in popularity among yogis and fitness enthusiasts everywhere and I’m definitely included in this growing bunch.

What is it?

AcroYoga was developed in the late 90’s through a combination of partner acrobatics, Thai massage and yoga.

The result is often a beautiful image created through two or more people that is sure to inspire you to attempt it yourself!

I recently came across some AcroYoga posts on Instagram and I instantly wanted to give it a go, just to see if I could do it!

At first glance I thought some of the AcroYoga poses looked like a piece of cake but I quickly learned that it’s often harder than it looks, which only adds to the fun.

After recruiting my fiancé for a few more AcroYoga sessions we quickly fell in love with the challenging yet rewarding practice.

Here are 5 reasons to love AcroYoga:

  1. Builds Trust: AcroYoga involves contouring two bodies together in a way which requires a great deal of trust that your partner will securely hold you up in the air without allowing you to fall. In some cases this could be the base holding the flyer in the air with nothing but their feet!
  2.  Demands Teamwork: AcroYoga is also referred to as Partner Yoga and for a good reason. It without a doubt requires teamwork to successfully pull off the poses and that means both participants must be contributing for it to work. You can’t just rely on the “base” to do all the work. The “flyer” has to contribute as well.
  3. Improves Communication: Every successful team has great communication and this certainly applies to AcroYoga. My fiancé and I took the approach of learning AcroYoga by just looking at a photo or video and trying to recreate it on our own, without any instructions. This took a tremendous amount of communication and bouncing ideas off of each other until we could find a successful outcome.12019891_947925255266765_7652086961679121175_n
  4. Reduces Stress: Partner Yoga physically connects people which results in an increase of dopamine release and reduces stress. Not only does the physical contact release mood boosting hormones but the thrill of successfully completing a challenging pose can create a great deal of happiness as well.
  5. Creates Confidence: Don’t be intimidated by the photos and videos of advanced Yogis that make AcroYoga look effortless because it really can be done by any body type but that doesn’t mean it’s not a challenge. Partner yoga forces you to go outside of your comfort zone and try something new. Whether you are the base or the flyer the feeling of successfully pulling off a stunning pose is sure to make you feel better about yourself.

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XOXO – Abbey

http://abbeyway.yolasite.com/

Follow me on Twitter and like my Facebook page!

FREE shipping and a 110% back satisfactory gaurantee >> Abbey.1stphorm.com

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How To Use A Yoga Strap To Improve Flexibility

Yoga straps are a great tool for yogis of all levels to improve flexibility. They are used to basically extend your arms to reach your furthest point of flexibility.

They typically cost around $10 but I actually found mine on clearance at TJ Maxx for only $3! I’ve been using it in my yoga practice for a few weeks and I’m already loving the benefits, especially with the shoulder opening poses.

Here a ways to use a yoga strap to improve your flexibility.

 

Shoulder Openers

Secure the strap around your feet and reach your hands down the strap as far as you can into bow pose and keep inching your hands a little closer to your feet as much as you can.

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This could also be done one foot at a time like in the photo below.

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You can also use the strap to open your shoulders by standing in dancers pose and gripping the strap with both hands as close as you can reach to the end secured around your foot.

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Can you touch your hands together in Cow Face Pose? If you can’t a yoga strap can help you get there! Just grasp the strap with both hands and inch them as close to each other as you can.

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Standing Poses

The strap can also be used to assist with standing poses for example Extended Hand To Big Toe. The strap helps with balance which makes it easier to improve your alignment and be able to hold the pose longer.

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Seated Poses

If you have trouble reaching your toes, you can use a yoga strap to help you go a little deeper by securing it around your feet and reaching as far as you can on the strap with a straight spine.

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Binds

Take your binds to the next level by grasping the strap in one hand as you begin the bind and then grab the strap with your other hand and inch your hands closer together as much as you can.

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It’s important to always respect your body and the stages you are out in your practice. So pick up a yoga strap ASAP to start taking your flexibility to a new level in a safe and effective way.

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10 Yoga Poses For Neck And Back Pain

Do you wake up in the morning with neck and back pain or tightness? Believe it or not, just 10 minutes of yoga in the morning can can help loosen up those tight muscles and ease your pain throughout the day!

I was in a car accident nearly a year ago and I’m still dealing with pain in my neck and back as a result of a straight cervical spine and a bulging disc. I’ve seen countless doctors and physical therapists and I’ve found that nothing helps me more consistently than yoga!

I think these poses are most effective if I do them in the morning before exercising or going to work. It’s common for people to become tight in the neck area if they are stressed out so be sure to take deep breaths in and out while doing each pose to calm your body and mind. Hold each pose for 5-10 breath cycles or whatever you have time for.

Here are 10 yoga poses that can help with some of the tightness you experience after waking up in the morning:

1. Forward Fold With Shoulder Opener

From a standing position with your feet together or hip widths apart clasp your hands behind your back with your arms stretched out and fold over. Relax your neck and let your arms fall forward to a comfortable position.

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2. Thread The Needle

Start on your hands and knees and then bring your left shoulder and the side of your head as close to the floor as you can. Use your right hand to hold the rest of your torso up in a twisting position while on your knees. Then repeat on the other side.

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3. Cat Cow

Start on your hands and knees and on an exhale, arc your back into the cow position with your eyes gazing forward. Then on an inhale arc your back in the other direction to go into the cat pose with your eyes gazing down at the mat.

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4. Seated Fold With Chin Tuck

Sit on the floor and bend forward reaching for your toes and tuck your chin to your chest to get a stretch in your upper back and neck.

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5. Seated Spinal Twist

Start in a seated position with your feet crossed under your legs. Bring your left hand to your right knee and take your right hand to the ground and reach behind you while sitting up as tall as you can. Repeat on the other side.

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6. Downward Dog

Start standing straight up and go into a forward fold and then slowly walk your hands out in front of you and your feet behind you with your hips reaching towards the sky. Be sure to let your neck relax.

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7. Upward Dog

Begin by lying on your stomach and then pushup onto the top of your feet and bring your hips off the ground with your arms pushing off of the ground below your shoulders and hold for a few breaths.

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8. Seated Head Circles

Sit in a cross legged position with your back nice and straight and sit up tall. Makes circles with your head going up and down and around and then go in the other direction after a few breaths.

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9. Corpse Pose With Chin Tuck

Begin by lying on your back in corpse pose and then simply tuck your chin to your chest and lift your head off of the ground. Try to hold it for 20 seconds and repeat 5-10 times.

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10. Spinal Roll

Begin by lying on your back and bring your knees to your chest and wrap your arms around your knees. Rock back and forth on your back to give yourself a back massage!

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XOXO – Abbey

http://abbeyway.yolasite.com/

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13 Ways To Use A Kettlebell

If kettlebells aren’t part of your workout routine, they should be and this is why.

Kettlebells are designed with a thick handle and a weight that hangs below the handle which allows you to do traditional exercises but with an extra challenge and added twist. The way that the weight hangs makes it harder to control which gives you are bigger challenge, especially for your core and grip strength.

It’s easy to get a full body workout with nothing more than a kettle bell.

Here are just 13 ways to use a kettlebell but the list can go on and on. Use your imagination and be sure to add kettlebells to your fitness routine ASAP!

1. Clean And Press

Clean and Press

2. 2 Handed Swing 

Standing with feet a little more than hip width apart and holding the kettlebell with two hands squat and swing the kettle bell back between your legs and as you stand up from the squat swing the kettle bell above your head with straight arms and repeat.

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3. Jump Squat With Swing 

This is the same as the 2 handed swing but add a jump squat. As you are coming up from the squat jump and bring your feet together as you swing the kettlebell above your head. Be sure to check out the Youtube video for a better example of how to do this.

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4. One Arm Row

With a kettlebell in one hand use your other arm to balance on your opposite knee and let the kettlebell lower towards the floor and pull up bringing the kettlebell towards your side.

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5. Stiff Legged Dead Lift 

Hold the kettlebell with two hands by the handle with your arms straight and with straight legs bend at your waist and lower the kettlebell towards the floor and use your hamstrings to bring yourself back up to the starting position.

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6. Kettlebell Pushups 

Balance in a plank position with each hand on a kettlebell handle and lower your body down as far as you can and push back up to the plank position. This is also a tough balancing exercise!

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7. Kettlebell Lunges 

Hold a kettlebell in each hand and lunge back and forth alternating each leg or just do walking lunges.

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8. Russian Twists 

Hold the kettlebell with two hands, hold your feet out in front of you and off the floor and twist from side to side touching the kettlebell on the floor with each twist.

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9. Military Press

This is just like military press with dumbbells except you are using kettlebells. Hold the kettlebells by the handle and be sure to use a light weight that you can handle as you press above your head. This one is really hard to balance!

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10. Straight Leg Situps 

Start on your back with your legs out in front of you flat on the floor and hold the kettle bell with two hands with straight arms above your head. Sit up and lock your arms above your head then come back to the starting position.

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11. Front Raises 

Start with your arms straight with a kettlebell in each hand and raise your arms straight out in front of you.

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12. Side Raises 

Start with a kettle bell in each hand in front of you and raise your arms up laterally.

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13. Sumo Squats 

With feet set outside your hips hold the kettle bell with straight arms and squat and touch the kettlebell to the floor.

**My feet are a little too wide in this photo and in the video but I wanted to include this exercise anyway because it’s a really good one! Also this shows that it is important to video yourself from time to time to make sure you are using good form!

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XOXO – Abbey

 

http://abbeyway.yolasite.com/

 

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9 Reasons You Should Practice Yoga

On May 15th I was rear ended while at a complete stop on a ramp in Pittsburgh and as a result I suffered my 5th concussion and injuries to my back and neck. It was no surprise that the doctors told me to stop working out and rest my brain completely. I did so for about the first 3 weeks after the accident and then I started adding some light yoga to my routine. I only did it a few days a week at first and most of the time I felt like it helped stretch out my neck and back and even calmed my mind.

But it wasn’t until about 10 weeks after the accident that I started really getting serious about Yoga and I’m so happy that I did. Not only did Yoga give me a way to release stress but it also helped me maintain and improve my flexibility and strength while I was not allowed to workout.

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Yoga continues to help me as I recover from my brain injury but it’s just not for people who suffer from concussions. Here are 9 reasons you should start practicing Yoga today!

1. Relieves Stress

Everyone deals with stress in different ways but there are a few techniques that have been proven to help relieve stress like deep breathing and meditation. When you step onto the Yoga mat and commit to focusing on your breath and postures you enter that zone of letting everything else go and just focusing on the now. It also doesn’t hurt to step away from your phone and to do list for an hour or so.

2. Improves Flexibility

Yoga poses practiced regularly over time will help improve your flexibility just like regular stretching does. The great thing about Yoga is that there are variations for each level of flexibility so there are no limitations to getting a good stretch even for beginners.

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3. Yoga Is For Every Body Type

Tall, short, skinny, curvy or whatever your body type is, it doesn’t matter. Yogis come in all different shapes, sizes and skill levels.  Just show up at the class or on your mat at home, take a deep breath and modify if you need to. It’s easy to see improvement through yoga the more you practice.

Plus size PCOS I lived in such fear as we started to lose everything we owned and ended up a homeless family of 4. When I started on my journey to healthy and fit, this is exactly where we were. Sometime ago I developed a fear of the ocean. I went from being brave to being filled with so much fear, abandonment, rejection, depression… My weight was not what caused this… It was a symptom of what lied beneath. I would spend hours in a day, sitting on the edge of the couch, knees spread, elbows to knees, hands clasped in a death grip waiting for the next shoe to drop, then the next, then the next. They all fell as I "predicted"… I remember when we had nothing left we were at the beach and I kept walking out into the water. In a blue 2 peice bikini at 330 lbs… Arms stretched wide and face turned up to the sun. It was freeing. I kept doing this each time we went. It was when I had nothing left that I gained instances of being brave. Not being afraid of what lies beneath, the things I could not see or have control over. Getting on a paddleboard was too much when I feel in the water (a couple of years back) and the panic and anxiety set it. I almost wanted to just let myself sink. 330 lbs I pulled myself up onto that paddleboard. Now, as I work on getting to my next level in my life… No longer homeless… Symptom free of my health issues…. Gaining tools through therapy EMDR… 80 lbs lighter… I am so unafraid of what lies beauty that I choose to view the world upside down and giggle when I fall into the water. I know it's just going to be okay…. It all has been okay. Be brave!

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*Coach Tulin is a plus size fitness motivator that I follow on Instagram and she pushes the limits all of the time by trying new things. Check her out for more motivation!

4. Strengthens and Tones Muscles

You don’t always need weights to build muscle. Your own body weight is all you need to strengthen and tone up through Yoga. Ever try doing 120 push ups in a single workout or hold a squat for minutes at a time? Some Yoga workouts can bring that type of intensity, it all depends on what you are interested in and you have the freedom to choose your Yoga style.

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5. Prevents Injuries

It’s no secret that being flexible and having strong muscles around your joints prevents injuries and practicing Yoga will give you the added flexibility and strength you need to prevent injuries no matter what your sport is.

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6. Pushes Your Limits

Yoga is perfect form of exercise to track improvements and set new goals for yourself. With tons of variations of each Yoga pose the limits are pretty much endless to what you can do as you continue to improve your strength and flexibility. You may look at a photo of someone doing something that appears to be an impossible Yoga pose one week and then surprise yourself after a few practices and be able to do that same pose yourself! Yoga is all about self improvement and pushing your limits. When you reach those mile stones that you thought you may never reach, the feeling is pretty great!

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7. Energy Booster

I find that if I do Yoga early in the day I have a more productive day as a whole and I feel more energized and motivated throughout the day. This is because the breathing techniques used during Yoga can lower blood pressure, increase cardiovascular efficiency and aid in relaxation. Also, the stretching and poses used in Yoga practice awakens your body and mind setting you up to have a great day!

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8.  Allows Creative Freedom

Yoga is like art in a way that you don’t have to necessarily follow the rules. Instead you can make your own! If you are new to Yoga I suggest following along to an instructor but as you advance you will learn to come up with your own Yoga flows and use your creativity to develop your own style.

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9. Improves Balance

Every try standing on one foot, stretching the other one back and then bending down and touching your toes? It’s harder than it sounds! But with a little yoga practice you will be able do to it in no time! Through a variety of Yoga poses it’s easy to improve your balance.  By holding yourself up on one foot or doing arm balancing poses you learn to control your own body weight and push your balance to the limits. After my accident I was not even able to stand on one foot for more than a few seconds with my eyes closes. My balance was the worst that it’s ever been in my life but I credit Yoga for helping me build my balance back.

 

If you are looking for tips for where to start, try hitting up a local Yoga class, pick up a Yoga DVD or follow along on YouTube. I’ve personally never been to a Yoga class before I’ve just been mostly self taught and followed YouTube videos and a Yoga DVD. These are some of my favorite Yogis to practice along with:

Shiva Rea – She is my favorite Yoga Instructor that I’ve come across so far! She is extremely experienced, amazing to watch and easy to follow along to. I suggest getting one of her DVDs.

Adriene Mishler – She is my favorite Youtube Yogi! She posts a ton of videos on Youtube that you can follow along to for free. Whether you are looking to relieve stress, aid in digestion or stretch a tight back, Adriene has a Yoga routine for just about anything!

Jillian Michaels – If you know anything about Jillian Michaels you won’t be surprised that her Yoga inspired workouts are tough! Choose Jillian when you are looking for more of a sweat dripping Yoga style workout.

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If you are completely new to Yoga don’t be intimidated by all of the fancy words for poses. With practice you will start to pick up on all of the names for everything and not have to look up at a screen or your instructor as much. I would say I’m still a beginner when it comes to Yoga but what I love most about it is being able to try something new and setting new goals each time I step on the mat.

Do you do Yoga? What do you love most about it?

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XOXO – Abbey

 

http://abbeyway.yolasite.com/

 

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How To Stretch With A Foam Roller

Have you ever wondered what a foam roller is used for? Watch this video to learn more about how to use one for myofacial release to stretch and prevent injuries.

Using a foam roller is basically like giving yourself a deep tissue massage, but for a lot cheaper!

If you are new to foam rolling don’t be surpassed if it hurts a little bit but don’t worry a little pain is normal when you are rolling over knots and tight muscles.

As always ask your doctor first!

 

XOXO – Abbey

 

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25 Health Tips – From A Quarter Century Girl

I can’t believe I’m 25 already! After all I was mistaken for a 17-year old just last month.

Well, technically I’m posting this an entire month late, so that was 2 months ago. But I did start this post on my birthday, June 11. This concussion just has me all messed up and it’s taken me a month to complete 1 blog post. But that’s for a whole other post, coming soon, hopefully.

So anyway back to the present! For my birthday I thought it would be cool to share with you 25 tips to living a healthy life, from a 25-year old — because we know everything, right?

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But really, these are just 25 tips that I actually live by, I feel like I lived a healthy 25 years so far, except for getting hit in the head too many times and I think these tips can get me at least another 25 healthy years! And I hope they help you as well!

1. Stay Hydrated

2. Don’t Drink Pop/Sugary Drinks

3. Shoot for 8 Hours Of Sleep Every Night

4. Take The Stairs

5. Make Exercising A Priority

6. Don’t Smoke

7. Don’t Party Every Weekend

8. Take Vitamins

9. Fill Half Your Plate With Vegetables

10. Don’t Skip Breakfast

11. Lift Weights

12. Focus On Health – Not On Weight

13. Choose Happiness

14. Always Be Kind

15. Eat Fruit Everyday

16. Sit Up Straight

17. Don’t Over Train

18. Cook Real Food

19. Get Lots Of Fresh Air

20. Protect Your Skin From The Sun

21. Brush And Floss Your Teeth

22. Meal/Snack Prep And Avoid Fast Food

23. Have Fun And Don’t Worry About What Other People Think

24. Surround Yourself With Positive People/Don’t Let Other People Stress You Out

25. Never Give Up On Your Goals

 

What are some of your best health tips? Leave a comment or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

 

XOXO – Abbey

 

http://abbeyway.yolasite.com/

 

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Snack On This Anti-Cancer Superfood

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Choose healthy snacks while you are lounging by the pool or on the beach this summer! I love crunchy salty foods so instead of grabbing a bag of chips I like to snack on nuts.
Nuts like cashews are a great healthy snack that will keep you full for a while and they have great health benefits as well.

Did you know cashews are considered an ANTI-CANCER SUPER FOOD?? These nuts contain proanthocyanidins, a class of flavanols that actually starve tumors and prevent cancer cells from dividing. In some studies, it’s been shown that eating 12 cashews a day can reduce your colon cancer risk.

XOXO – Abbey

 

http://abbeyway.yolasite.com/

 

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Healthy Snack: Pistachios

Did you know pistachios can help you lose inches off your waist, fight inflammation and lower cholesterol?

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This little seed packs 6 grams of protein per serving and 3 grams of fiber!

Instead of snacking on chips or pretzels on the beach or by the pool this summer, go for a healthier option like pistachios.

 

XOXO – Abbey

 

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