Workplace Workout Ideas

Hello again!

I’m at work on a Saturday and scrolling through Instagram, seeing all these wonderful people getting in their weekend workouts. Instead of sitting here in envy I can get my booty up and moving even if I can’t make it to the gym.

Below are some of my options for getting in exercise moves while at work. Even if you are not trying to get into shape these moves are great for improving circulation and boosting energy at work. Sitting for long periods of time has also been linked to an increase chance of developing Diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.  (See cited article here )

I am often alone at work so I just stand up from my chair and start doing these moves but you can always take a bathroom break to practices these exercises. Don’t pay any attention if people stare at you like you’re crazy because you are taking care of your health and that’s definitely not crazy. I find taking little exercise or stretch breaks helps the quality of my work too. If I sit for too long I find my brain gets a little foggy. I think it also helps to focus my eyes on something other than the computer screen for a few minutes. If you need an exercise reminder you can download the Time Out app to your computer. It will pause whatever you’re doing for a designated period of time. This will give you the break you need to do a few squats, stretch, or fill up your water bottle. (Download it here

All of these workout options can be repeated as many times as you like or at every bathroom break.
**Of course you should always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.**

Exercise Option 1
10 Squats
10 Lunges-each leg
10 Side bends-each side
10 Knee lifts-each knee
30 Second wall sit

Exercise Option 2 (works best in a one person bathroom)
30 Jumping Jacks
15 Tricep Dips (use stable chair) OR 15 Push-ups using ledge of sink/desk/table
20 Squats
1 Minute wall sit
20 Knee lifts, elbow to opposite knee;both sides

Exercise Option 3
Sun salutation stretch
Neck Stretch- both sides
Gentle neck roll-both sides
Write the alphabet with ankle- both ankles
10 wrist circles-both hands
Shoulder rolls-Forward and backward
Calf stretch-both calves

Click here for the Mayo Clinic’s office stretch recommendations.

I also love this “TPS Report Workout” by my favorite Tone It Up girls!
Check out the video HERE

These are just my ideas and routines I do while at work but I would love to know if you have any special exercises or moves you do while at work. Let me know in the comments!

Have a great day!

Other places to find me:
Instagram: courtney.val
Twitter: @courtneywval
Youtube: Here
Email: courtneywval@gmail.com

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NEW! 30 Before 30 Challenge: Raw Food & Lifestyle Challenge

Happy Sunday!

I hope you all are getting ready to rock another week. Tomorrow I will be starting a very exciting journey into being the healthiest person I can be. One of my “30 Before 30” challenges is to get myself into the best health possible. So, I created a detailed nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle challenge.

I made a whole video about it which you can see HERE.

Over the past 5 or so years I have overcome a multitude of food and health issues but there are still a few health related things I want to focus on. Specifically, I want to figure out why I continue to get daily headaches/migraines. My doctor has found a prescription that I can take to alleviate my migraines but I just don’t feel that is completely sustainable. What if someday I can’t afford the medicine? What if I start to feel negative side effects? I really want to look closer at my lifestyle and listen to my body to see if there is something I can do without taking medicine to cure my headaches.

I have also been having some outward symptoms that I think point to a need to change my nutrition. I haven’t had acne in years and all of the sudden my face thinks it is 18 again. My hair and nails have also become very dry and brittle. As far as my body and “being in shape” goes I do hope that my challenge will help me create a body I feel good in. I am not trying to lose weight but I think if I treat my body well it will shape itself into a healthy form.

Besides those physical things I want to develop a healthy lifestyle that makes me feel emotional good. I used to suffer from severe depression and I have come such a long way. I feel so much more alive that I ever did but I want to keep moving up and working towards feeling the best I possibly can. A few years ago I wasn’t completely sure I deserved to ever be insanely happy but now I KNOW that I deserve true emotional happiness so I will do whatever I can to achieve that.

One of my favorite personal mottos is “Feel good, preform well.”

Goals for my challenge:

  • Eat fully raw foods until 4pm. I will eat raw fruits and veggies for breakfast and lunch. After 4pm I will have a cooked dinner. 
  • Eat a lean, clean, and green dinner. If you are a Tone It Up girl then you will know this means getting in lean proteins, non-processed foods, and lots of greens. 
  • Drink 2 liters minimum of water/ day. 
  • Limit processed foods and strive to stay away from them completely. 
  • Keep daily journal of foods, how I feel after eating, and recipes/meal ideas.
  • Keep section in journal to document headaches & migraines. Look for triggers. 
  • Set sleep schedule and stick to it. I am aiming for 8-9 hours of sleep each night per a recommendation from my doctor. 
  • Limit or eliminate alcohol intake. I don’t drink much but alcohol can trigger headaches. 
  • Exercise regularly. I want to train for a 1/2 marathon so running will have to become a new friend. I am also focusing on improving my yoga skills. 
  • Oil pulling. I did a whole video about oil pulling which you can see HERE. I found when I did oil pulling my headaches were greatly reduced. I just fell off the wagon so it’s time to hop back on.
  • Start meditation practice. My dad has encouraged me to do this and I want to give it a shot. He says it helps builder a stronger, more focused mind. My goal is start with just 5 minutes. 
I will be documenting this challenge on my Instagram account (courtney.val), on this blog, and also on my YouTube channel. Subscribe or follow at the links below. If you are doing a similar challenge I would love to know and we can support each other! 
Thank you for being here and I hope you have an amazing week!
Courtney

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New Social Media And Contact Info!

Hey there!

Some big changes are coming to my blog and a few have already happened. I want to make it easier for people to find me and my content so I have created a special Instagram and Twitter for all things Courtney!

Follow me!
Instagram: courtney.val
Twitter: @courtneywval

I already had a personal Instagram and Twitter but I know some of my family and friends don’t really want to constantly see pictures of meals, make-up, etc. So follow me through the accounts listed above!

Other types of posts you can expect on my new social media sites:
~Photos of sales, discounts, or bargains I see while shopping
~Motivational and inspirational content
~Pics of my bunny, Luna
~Mini-product reviews
~Beauty content
~Fashion content
~Budget-friendly and affordable ideas for every day living
~Travel content
~ and more!

I also have a new email address for comments, questions, business inquires, and vidoe/blog requests.  Email me at courtneywval@gmail.com

As always you can also connect with me through my Youtube channel .

Thanks for stopping by!

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My Journey Into Running

Recently I have been thinking about the things I am afraid to do. Or rather, goals that feel too difficult to achieve. I used to be such a risk taker. I would experiment and put my ideas out there confidently. Looking back I think I was young and didn’t care if someone criticized me. Now I often see risks as moves that could create new opportunities or destroy them. Then I came across this quote:

“In order to fly you have to create space in the open air so that your wings can really spread out. It’s like a parachute. They only work from a high altitude. To fly you have to begin taking risks. If you don’t want to, maybe the best thing is just to give up, and keep walking forever.”
― Jorge BucayDéjame que te cuente

Oh, Jorge you are so wise.

This quote speaks to me in so many ways but the analogy of  “walking forever” hits
particularly sensitive nerve because I have a slight fear of running. I know. It does not make complete sense to me either. Especially since I have ran an couple outdoor 5Ks before and survived. They were slightly traumatic experiences for me on the inside but I just ran my little heart out and tried not to let the panic show on my face.

When I break it down there really is nothing to fear. I should just move my feet and…just..go. So I guess the movement part is not what I fear but the possible failure part. I know that every runner starts out slow and through practice becomes better. I am just not sure I would ever get much better. I also do not like running which makes me feel awful. I always feel I should like running because so many people I know love to run. They all rant about beating personal records and chasing that “runner’s high.” So I feel bad not loving to run. It makes me feel like I will never truly be in shape or healthy if I don’t learn to run well. A small part of me does want to enjoy running because it is good exercise and (from what I hear) good for emotional health. Don’t get me wrong I do run sometimes at the gym but it is always begrudgingly and I have yet to run farther than 3 miles at a time (with walk breaks).

The logical part of my brain tells me I have identified a clear problem I want to overcome so now I just need to come up with a solution.

Solution: Run?  I guess there really isn’t any other way around it.  Maybe if I back up and start from the very beginning I can get a better idea of where I am going wrong. So maybe I should run but with a plan. Start slow and make small goals. I am going to start by running 1/2 mile and then when I feel good emotionally and physically move up to 1 mile and so on. The biggest part of my goal is tied to how I feel emotionally when I run. I want to work towards eliminating my anxiety around running.

The journey begins now and hopefully this is just the beginning of reaching one of the many goals I have.

If anyone reading this is a runner I would love your advice/words I can say to myself when the panic hits. 😉

Thanks for being here!

Places to find me:
Twitter: @imperfectperla
YouTube: www.youtube.com/TheImperfectpearl
Instagram: cbwright
Email: cwlinguistics@gmail.com

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Date & Coconut Treats

Aloha!

Today I have a quick treat recipe to share. I was inspired to make these after I saw some delicious looking coconut macaroons in the bakery case of a local coffee shop. These are my version of those macaroons.

What You Need:

  • A food chopper or processor
  • 3 Dates with the seed removed
  • 2 Tbsp of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 Tsp of sweetened coconut. Alternatively you could add in 1tsp more of unsweetened coconut along with a little sugar or stevia.
  • Spoon

Directions:

  • Add in ingredients 
  • Pulse the food chopper in slow bursts at first to break up the dates and then let it blend until you reach a consistency that looks like this:
  •   Then spoon out a little of the mixture and roll it into a ball or form into a cookie shape, depending on what you prefer. 
  •  Place the finished treats into cupcake liners and enjoy immediately or place in the fridge to enjoy later. 
Here are what my finished treats look like:



Close up:

These are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without overdoing it. They are vegan, gluten-free, and all natural. You can’t get much better than that!

Have a date day…I mean great day! 🙂

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New Health Video!

Good Morning!

I just posted a new health related video on my YouTube channel. It’s about the current vitamins I take. I have been really good lately about consistently taking all my vitamins and I am noticing a positive difference inside and out. Check it out and let me know which vitamins you recommend.

Have a great day!

Courtney

You can check out my other videos on my channel HERE

You can also follow me on twitter HERE

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Have you seen my latest videos? Giveaway ending tonight!

TGIF Ya’ll!!

Have you seen the last few videos I have posted on my YouTube channel?  There is a giveaway happening on my April Favorites video and it closes tonight, May 9th at 11:59 PM EST. Enter to win a few neat treats!

You can head on over to My YouTube Channel-Blush&Bunnies to watch the videos or just watch below!

April 2014 Favorites+ Giveaway!

Review: Trader Joe’s Nourish Antioxidant Face Serum

Hope you enjoy! Leave me any comments, questions, or requests below. Subscribe to my channel here for more health and beauty content.

Have a great weekend!

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Quick and Easy Vegan Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Hey there!
I want to share a recipe I made today for lunch. I don’t know about you but I love mac and cheese so anytime I can figure out a way to make it a teeny bit healthier I will.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
~1/2 cup of quinoa pasta noodles. I get mine from Trader Joe’s. You could also use brown rice pasta if you like
~1/4-1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk. The amount really depends on how thick you want the sauce.
~1 tsp ground mustard powder
~1 tsp chili powder
~1/2 tsp turmeric
~ 1 tsp sea salt
~4 tbsp nutritional yeast. I would add in 2 tbsp and then give it a quick taste. If you want it to be cheesier then add in the other 1-2 tbsp. You could also add more than 4 tbsp. It really depends on your personal preference.
~Dried parsley for garnish (optional)

What to do:
1. Cook and drain pasta.
2. In a sauce pan add in almond milk and warm it on low-medium heat.
3. Add in mustard powder, chili powder, and turmeric first, stirring the mixture well.
4. Then add in nutritional yeast.
5. Add the salt in last because depending on your brand of chili powder and nutritional yeast the sauce might already be salty enough.
6. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle on the parsley.
7. Enjoy and share with others!

Hope you enjoy this recipe and if you know any other healthy spins on the traditional Mac and Cheese please let me know in the comments section!


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Video: Oil Pulling Update!

Good Morning, all!

As promised I made a short video with my update from my oil pulling experiment.

Check it out here: My Experience With Oil Pulling

Let me know if you have any questions and I’d be happy to help or point you in the right direction.
 I’d also love to hear about your experience with oil pulling so you can comment on this post, in the comments section on the video, or tweet me @imperfectperla.

Have a great day!

Courtney

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Homemade Healthy Nutella

Oh, Nutella. Whoever decided to combine hazelnuts and chocolate into a creamy spread was a genius.  
I was in the experimental mood last night and noticed a small bag of hazelnuts in my cabinet that I bought in the bulk section of Whole Foods. So I decided to try to re-create that delicious hazelnut spread with a healthy twist.  Then, like I do with all my at-home experiments, I used my husband as a guinea pig. Consensus: he loved it.  My husband loves Nutella more than anyone else I know so I think we have a winner! 
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup of raw hazelnuts
  • 1 Tbsp of chocolate protein powder. I’m using brown rice protein. 
  • 2 Tbsp of raw cacao powder
  • 2 Tbsp of chocolate almond milk*
  • 5 Tbsp of coconut milk creamer*
  • 1 1/2 packets of stevia
  • 2 Tbsp of raw sugar. 
Steps:
1. Add just the hazelnuts to a food processor and blend until it turns into a meal/flour texture. 
2. In a separate bowl combine the remaining ingredients and mix together using a fork. 
3. Once the chocolate, milk, and sugar mixture is well blended add it to the food processor. 
4. Blend in the food processor in 1 minute increments, stirring the mixture well each time. You can stop blending once you have reached your desired thickness. If your mixture is too thick then add a little more milk and continue blending. 
5. Transfer your spread into a bowl and let it sit in the fridge overnight. 
6.Spread it on toast, mix into pancakes, or eat it by itself on a spoon for a little treat. 😉 
*You can substitute for any type of milk you like. 
I hope you enjoyed this post and get a chance to try this yummy recipe. Let me know how it works for you and I’d love to hear about any of your cooking experiments. You can leave a comment below or tweet me @imperfectperla. 
Have a lovely day! 
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