Sensible Stylista: fitness
Showing posts with label fitness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fitness. Show all posts

How I Show My Hair, Skin, and Nails Some Extra Love


I am SO ridiculously passionate about skincare it's not even funny.  No matter how crazy things get, I always make time to take care of my skin & body.  I blogged about my nighttime routine in the past, and it's a little on the intense side, but I find it to be completely and utterly necessary.  You can afford to skip a step or two in the aforementioned post, but one thing that's totally non-negotiable is diet. You wear what you eat so remember that the next time you sit down to get your nom on.
Now, even if you're eating healthfully on the regular, you still may not be getting enough of one nutrient or the other, which is why you should be supplementing!  I take Nature's Bounty's Hair, Skin and Nails Gummies to support lustrous hair, vibrant skin and healthy nails* from within.  Their gummies contain Vitamin E (an antioxidant that supports skin health), Vitamin C (involved in collagen production and formation, which forms the basis for healthy skin), and Biotin (a B complex beauty-supporting nutrient that plays a crucial part in hair, skin, and nail health), which is all kinds of awesome.*
Plus, their gummies are straight up delicious.  I was actually really surprised when I saw that they were made with naturally sourced colors and flavors - that means no artificial flavors, milk, lactose, soy, gluten, wheat, yeast or fish AND 100% sodium free (!!!!) I've been eating really clean so I actually "splurge" on these babies!  I have to stop myself from eating more than 2 (the suggested serving size) because they're so tasty - they're strawberry flavored with a hint of sour which I love! 
I've been taking their supplements religiously for years now because my hair's not as thick as it used to be which BTW freaks me the eff out.  Before their gummies, I was taking their capsules, and it's definitely given me peace of mind.  Don't just take my word for it though, give 'em a try yourself (either gummies or softgels) risk-free for their 30-day challenge.  If you DON'T like 'em, they'll give you a full refund.  You can also enter to win a a bunch of awesome prizes so make sure to take advantage while you can.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.  *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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June Workout Playlist

Alright guys, I've been flaky AF with my workout updates because I've been really bad these last few weeks, not even going to try and lie, ha.  Things were really crazy - which is no excuse but still - but I'm back on the exercise train now so I'll be much more consistent with my fitness blasts.  Anywho, I'm at Disneyworld for the day (if you want, you can follow along on IG stories) so I'm going to keep things short!  Here are my current fave songs to sweat to - featuring a ton of bomb remixes + upbeat electric songs on this month's playlist.  Enjoy!

2

March Fitness Updates + Playlist

Oh man, this month has been all sorts of crazy.  I've been kind of bad with the whole clean eating thing with the bf visiting + the cruise, but my workouts have been on point.  I finished T25 early this month and started Insanity Max: 30 (another Shaun T regimen), and I can't even begin to tell you guys how crazy it is.  I'm on week 3, and I STILL can't make it through 10 minutes without taking a break. I thought I was on top of it all, but I'm still weaksauce, at least with this program.

Insanity Max: 30 month 1 has six different modules total:  Cardio Challenge, Tabata Power, Sweat Intervals, Friday Fight Round 1, Pulse, and Tabata Strength.  I haven't tried Tabata Strength yet, but I'm guessing it's hard as hell. My fave so far is Tabata power because it goes by quickly.  You basically do one exercise two times for 20 seconds each with a 10 second break in between.  All of the other workouts (with the exception of Friday Fight Round 1 and pulse) give you a 30 second break after 5 minutes of hardcore exercising.  It's HIIT (high intensity interval training) to the max - you go as HARD as you can for 5 minutes, then catch your breath during a short break. I definitely would've been ok with a longer break in between, but it's only 30 minutes long so I won't complain. Shaun T makes you write down the time at which you max out, and your goal is to beat it the next time around.

I'm all about HIIT because it's the most efficient way to get in shape!  You burn a crazy amount of calories while working out, and your metabolism stays up extra long so you're burning tons afterwards as well.  Anywho, I'm excited to try Tabata Strength later this week.  The bf's gone, and I have a bunch of trips coming up in mid-April (to Phoenix & SF) so I need to get my sh*t together - gotta get in shape so I look good for all my upcoming shoots!  I have a good 1.5 weeks so I'll be super good, haha.

Anywho, here's this month's workout playlist for you guys!  I hope you all enjoy these tunes.  What have you all been doing to stay in shape? Any cool new songs you recommend? I'm always looking for new music to sweat to.
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How-to Eat Clean All Day, Every Day: 5 Rules to Live By

1.  When in doubt, drink a glass of water.  It's easy to confuse thirst with hunger, and staying hydrated's important for a number of reasons so I always make sure to have at least 7-8 glasses a day. As a plus, it helps with portion control - I down a cup 20-30 minutes before each meal to suppress my appetite and aid digestion.  If you're feeling extra fancy, flavor your H20 with yum fruit or refreshing veggies, anddddd this obviously goes without saying, but replace all your sugary dranks with it as well.

2.  Carry around healthy snacks.  I swear to God, I'm like a freaking asian Mary Poppins.  My tote contains everything one would possibly ever need or want in life, and that includes delish noms that satisfy like nobody's business.  In all seriousness though, every Sunday I portion out almonds, dried figs, and hummus/guacamole cups with sliced veggies (red peppers, baby carrots, and celery) so I can eat healthfully on the go.  I've never been big into protein bars, but I'm going to try different ones this month so I'll keep you guys updated on the best of the best.  

Anywho, if you're on a "diet" - I hate calling it that because I view it more as a lifestyle change - you're probably going to get hungry at one point, or if you're like me, several points throughout the day.  If you don't have good choices in front of you, you'll most likely hit up the nearest fast food joint or vending machine.  Hashtag don't do it.  Take 20 minutes out of your week to prep in advance to ensure that you stay on track!  

3.  Exercise in the morning.  I don't workout as early as I used to, but I typically squeeze my sessions in between 9:30-12 depending on my schedule.  Sooo, why exactly do I recommend sweating it out in the morn? Because working out hurts.  In fact, it straight up sucks sometimes.  Now, don't get me wrong,  I LOVE the burn, but it's hard as hell.  Now, I don't know about you guys, but after I put in THAT much effort at the gym, I make SURE to eat right because the last thing I want to do is cancel everything out.  

4.  Prep food in advance.  I talk about this ALL the time on here because it's seriously crucial.  We're all out there hustling hardcore to become badass bosses, which means we're working pretty much 24/7 - great for your career, but not so great for your diet. I know way too many people who end up splurging at the end of the night because they're straight up exhausted. Combat this situation by cooking giant batches of nomtastic food ahead of time or buying quick & healthy microwavable options at [insert store of your choice].  I personally enjoy making pasta sauces, different stews, spicy Korean chicken dishes, whole wheat kale lasagnas, and egg cups. My go-to microwavable options are Morningstar veggie burgers or chicken patties with whole wheat toast - available at my fave store, Costco.  A little bit of effort will go a long way!  Once you get used to cooking in advance, it won't be no thang, and it'll help you get the bod of your dreams.

5.  Reward yourself with a splurge meal weekly.  Not only is this necessary for your sanity, it helps reset your metabolism so you can enjoy it without any guilt whatsoever.  You don't want your body to plateau so confuse the heck out of it with a juicy burger, a bowl of gooey mac 'n cheese or a warm lava cake with vanilla gelato... or all of the above, ha.  On another note, it's ok to slip up every once in a while so don't be hard on yourself.  You're not going to die if you indulge in a slice of pizza or enjoy a few bites of your friend's dessert.  I tend to go all or nothing, but I'm extreme in that way. Remember, you're doing this because you LOVE your body, not because you hate it, so be kind to yourself. 

Alright guys, that's all for today! I hope you found this blast helpful.  Is eating clean important to you? If yes, how do YOU stay on top of everything?  PS.  I'll be updating you guys on my fitness progress super soon so make sure you keep your eyes peeled!
2

Strong is the New Skinny

Alright guys, it's time for this month's fitness update!  Things have been especially tough for me as of late - I had my fourth and final doctoral comp a few days ago - but I've been keeping up with my regimen like a good girl.  I'm currently finishing up week 2 of T25 Gamma, and I couldn't be prouder. These workouts are no freakin' joke - there are four new modules this month, and they're all pretty ridiculous: Speed 3.0, Rip't Up, Extreme Circuit, and The Pyramid.  Shaun T definitely knows what he's doing, and he raises the bar with these circuits.  With the exception of Speed 3.0, everything is weighted.  I can feel myself getting stronger day by day, which is all sorts of awesomesauce.

I can't wait to finish up and tackle Insanity Max 30 next.  I was a huge fan of the original program, so I'm excited to give the shorter version a go.  I gotta admit that I'm a little intimidated though because T25's categorized as intermediate on Beachbody, while Insanity Max 30 is considered "advanced."  I mean, I thought T25 was pretty advanced, but I guess not? Ha. I'll have to see what happens.  

Also, I haven't weighed myself in ages, but the last time I checked, I was 110lbs.  I haven't been doing SUPER well with my diet, but I started eating clean again a few days ago (aka after my exam) so I'm not really worried about it. I have really bad anxiety and I deal with it by eating - NOT good, but hey, we all have our issues.  Luckily, I wasn't scarfing down TOO much garbage!

On another note, I'm planning on experimenting with thermogenics this month so I'll let you guys know what happens with all of that.  My BF recommended them to me so I figured why not?  I've never taken weight loss supplements before so it'll be an interesting experience to say the least.  They apparently speed up your metabolism with caffeine and other ingredients!  I've never been big on pills, but the manfriend's taken them before and he's still alive and kicking so I take comfort in that. Anywho, I'll keep y'all posted, and before I leave you, here's this month's playlist.  Enjoy!

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My First Juice Cleanse Ever

I've been wanting to try a juice cleanse for years now, but I never got around to doing so because I didn't want to be hangry at work or school.  It took some serious self-control on my part, but Jus by Julie made the whole process pretty dang easy.  I went with her 3 day juice + soup cleanse because I wasn't down to skip food entirely.  Here's a detailed breakdown of what I did:

Day 1:
Sweet Spin Juice
Split Pea Soup
Spicy Pomegranate Juice
Carrot Ginger Soup
Butternut Squash Soup
Chia Berry Juice

Day 2:
Sweet Spin Juice
Red Lentil Soup
Spicy Pomegranate Juice
Detox Broth
Pumpkin Coconut Bisque
Chia Berry Juice

Day 3:
Sweet Spin Juice
Carrot Turmeric Soup
Spicy Pomegranate Juice
Roasted Tomato Gazpacho
Hearty Potato Leek Soup
Chia Berry Juice

Her juices are blended (as opposed to cold pressed) so they have a smoothie-like consistency.  Note: if you dislike pulp, pass on this!  However, do keep in mind that their special blending process makes sure you get 100% of the whole fruits + veggies that go into their products aka all the good stuffs like antioxidants, fiber, and live enzymes.
I personally didn't have to do much prep for the cleanse because I was already eating clean, but if you're not, Julie recommends cutting out heavy foods like meat, dairy and sugar a few days beforehand.    You can eat as many fruits/veggies as you want, but go easy on rich foods like burgers.

The cleanse itself was easy because in addition to juice, I was having soup 3x a day.  Serious props to Jus by Julie because everything was on point!  I was VERY pleasantly surprised with the taste of it all.  The soups were legit good - like I would eat them for an actual meal...and enjoy it!  My favorites were the hearty potato leek, carrot ginger, and butternut squash soups.  The drinks were also really great - I could straight up drink spicy pomegranate all day, every day.  

FYI: their juices have a refrigeration shelf life of up to 4 days and a 3 week frozen shelf life.  Soups have a 2 week refrigeration shelf life and a 3 week frozen shelf life.  If you're looking to start your cleanse right when you receive your delivery, make sure you store everything in the fridge STAT and start with Jus 1.  If you want to do it all later, freeze everything!  The night before your cleanse, leave one day's worth out overnight at room temperature - they'll be ready in the morning.  Do NOT thaw in your fridge.
Anywho, I didn't find myself getting hungry throughout any of this, BUT if you want to munch on something during, you can have raw or steamed green veggies, egg whites at dinnertime, or 1-2 cups of coffee or green tea. Afterwards, you want to make sure to very SLOWLY integrate heartier foods into your diet.  

Now, would I do this again? Yes, but only a juice and soup cleanse like this.  I can't imagine cutting food out entirely.  I'll probably try a hardcore one like that at some point, but for now, this works perfectly fine!  I didn't lose a ton of weight or anything, but I'm not really surprised.  If I did, I have a feeling it would've been temporary, ha. I did, however, feel refreshed (and healthier) afterwards.  This cleanse costs $120, and if you subscribe to their mailing list you can get an extra 10% off your purchase.  Have any of you guys tried a cleanse? If yes, which one? Was it worth it?  
0

4 Ways to Work Out at Home on the Cheap

If you're looking to get fit in 2017, you can easily do so in the comfort of your own home.  You don't need fancy machines or expensive gym memberships to get in the best shape of your life.  Here are 4 ways you can work up a sweat without breaking the bank.

1. Beachbody Streaming

If you've been keeping up with my fitness updates - you can access my full archive here by the way - you know that I'm in the process of completing T25.  I seriously can't recommend the series enough! Results come quick, as long as you eat clean, and it's time efficient because it only takes 25 minutes; hence the name T25.  

I finished Alpha not too long ago (a 5 week program), and I'm in the process of completing week 2 of Beta.  I purchased the entire set on Amazon a few months ago, BUT I really wish I hadn't because Beachbody's now streaming their entire collection (over 700 programs) online for $9.99 a month.  If you enroll for the entire year, you save $55.  I'm subscribing the SECOND I finish T25 - I've been dying to try a bunch of their other programs so this is freaking awesome.  Try it out for yourself free of charge here for 30 days.

2.  Phone apps

The app store pretty much sells everything I need to keep my life together so it's no surprise that their fitness programs are on point as well.  I'm excited to tell y'all about my personal favorite, Freeletics Bodyweight.  It offers TOUGH workouts named after greek mythological figures.  You get to try 11 of them for free, but you have to pay to unlock the other ones.  Each one has 3 different levels:  endurance, standard, and strength, all of which have a varying number of rounds.  Let's take a look at one of them - I'm going to break down Aphrodite for you.  You have 5 rounds total, and they feature 3 different exercises.  Round 1 is 50 burpees, 50 squats, and 50 situps, round 2 is 40 burpees, 40 squats, and 40 situps, and so on and so forth until you reach round 5, which is 10 burpees, 10 squats, and 10 situps.  

You can watch a video demo of each exercise beforehand to double check your form!  What I love most about this app is that you're encouraged to compete with YOURSELF.  Each segment is timed so when you go back to re-tackle whatever workout you're assigned to do that day, your challenge is to beat your previous time/s.  If you decide to commit to this app, you can purchase it for $3.07/week for 3 months, $2.68/week for 6 months, or $1.73/week for 12 months.  You'll get a customized weekly training plan and unlock all 900+ workouts.

Obviously, there are a TON of other effective apps out there, but I haven't had a chance to try them because I already have a ton on my plate fitness wise.  I have friends that swear by You Are Your Own Gym and Sweat with Kayla though so those are worth checking out. 

3.  Pinterest Exercise Routines

I'm a huge fan of pinterest for more reasons than one, but it just so conveniently happens to be a fitness goldmine.  There are a ton of workouts available on there so get your search on STAT.  If you need help finding some good ones, browse my "Get Your Off Your Butt & Exercise" board.  Other relevant boards include: "Bodily Perfection" and "Want Some Fitspo" for inspiration, "Healthy Body, Healthy Soul" for helpful tips on maintaining your overall wellness, and "Let's Eat Clean" for delicious but healthy recipes.

4.  YouTube videos

YouTube's a great resource for all things entertaining and informative, and fitness is no exception. There are a bunch of different channels on there that offer free workouts that'll help you shed fat like no other.  My personal favorites are Fitness Blender, Popsugar Fitness and Blogilates.  

Fitness Blender was created by Daniel and Kelli, an adorable yet totally badass husband and wife team.  They've been at it since 2010 and have amassed a following of 3+ million.  Their success is well deserved though. Their channel features 500+ FREE full length workouts, and they share new ones weekly so you always have something fresh to try.  

Popsugar Fitness offers a variety of different tutorials, workouts, and exercises.  Browse their playlist to see what tickles your fancy. They're divided into clear subcategories for your browsing ease!  Also, they have a do-it-along-with-us real time workout show called Class FitSugar hosted by Anna Renderer.  On it, they cover popular workout classes and trends including the Victoria's Secret workout, Bar Method, and more.

Blogilates aka Cassey Ho is the founder of POP Pilates.  She's a superstar youtuber who's become a household name.  She's inspiring for a variety of reasons, but I'm featuring her today on SS because her routines are fun and effective.  She's released several workout DVDS (you can purchase them on Amazon if you're interested), but you can access a bunch of free videos (300+) on her channel.

So there you guys go!  I hope this post is helpful, and I wish you all the best for your fitness journey in the new year.  How are y'all planning to stay in shape? Do any of these options sound appealing to you? If yes, which one/s?
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January Workout Playlist: The KPOP Edition

Alright everyone, I'm beyond pumped to share my January workout playlist with you guys.  Today's post is all about korean pop!  I've been into it for quite some time, but more so when I was younger.  I still think old school kpop is superior - think Fly to the Sky, Shinhwa, SES, and Drunken Tiger.  I may be biased though because I've never been into the whole cutesy girl group thing...even though I secretly indulge from time to time, ha.

My current fave kpop group by far is 2NE1.  Their music is SO freaking cool, and I really like the whole image + vibe they got going on - if you watch their videos, you'll see exactly what I mean. Their group consists of 4 members, but CL (aka Chaelin) dominates IMO.  She actually has a bit of a career in the US, too.  She works with Skrillex and Diplo fairly often, and I believe she's managed by Scooter Braun (aka Justin Bieber's manager).  Hopefully she'll make it here because 2NE1 broke up earlier this year - she did resign with YG as a solo artist though so that should be cool.

ANYWHO, I hope you guys enjoy today's playlist!  Let me know what theme I should tackle next in the comment section below.  Also, I'm always looking for new tunes to sweat to, so if you have recommendations, definitely let me know!
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Sensible Stylista x Amazfit: Be Your #BestSelf

I'm beyond pumped to partner up with Amazfit on SS because, as you guys know, I'm ALL about healthy living. Today's post is all about me being my #BestSelf!  Amazfit recently launched this inspiring campaign on instagram - they'll be covering different topics of Wellness each week so make sure y'all follow along.  For those of you wondering, the topics are as follows:  Move Your Best, Eat Your Best, Work Your Best, Feel Your Best, Sleep Your Best, and Be Your Best.  I'll be filling you guys in on how I stay on top of my game all day, err day.
1.  Move Your Best:  I don't even know where to start with this prompt because I'm so damn passionate about it. Exercise does the body, mind, AND soul so good - I literally hit the gym anytime I feel even the slightest bit of stress coming on.  I'm an extremely anxious person by nature so fitness & meditation play a huge role in my life.  I stay in shape by smashing T25 on the daily and doing Tae Kwon Do + cardio (either running or ellipticalling) several times a week.
 2.  Eat Your Best:  Eating healthily is an absolute must if you want to look AND feel good.  People say you build your abs in the kitchen for a reason, you know!  I know it's tough to muster up the motivation to cook when you're tired from work, school or [insert whatever it is that stresses you out], but there ARE easy meals you can throw together that'll both taste delish and nourish your body.  

I, personally, meal prep on Sundays so I have food ready to go when I'm in a rush. I like to pre-cut veggies (for omelettes) and cook up a giant vat of pasta sauce for quick lunches and dinners.  I also sometimes make spicy korean-style chicken and enjoy it with a side of brown rice + quinoa.  For snacks, I make yummy smoothies on the daily - simply blend your fave fruit with greek yogurt and milk. If you want to sweeten your drink up, simply add a smidgen of honey.
3.  Work Your Best:  I'm an incredibly ambitious and driven woman so working hard is a given; however, not only should one work hard, one should strive to work SMART.  I'm a huge fan of making lists because they help me stay on track, which ups my efficiency tenfold.  

In fact, the first thing I do in the morning is write a giant to-do list.   I write down everything I need to accomplish by the end of the day (big and small) and number my tasks in order of importance.  Then, I assign them to appropriate time frames.  I tackle the harder tasks in the early morn or early-late evening because my mind's most focused then.  I usually fade around 2-3 PM so I avoid doing anything that requires a substantial amount of brain power because like I said, it's all about focus. If you don't have a clear had, it's going to take you 3x as long to complete something.  Why waste your time?
4.  Feel Your Best:  In this day and age, it's far too easy to get caught up in the stresses of life.  Do yourself a solid, and take a breather.  Watch your favorite TV show, get a massage, or go shopping with your friends!  I mean, I hate to use this motto, BUT you only live once.  Plus, the break will help you refocus so you rationalize it that way, ha.

I like to spend quality time with my loved ones (friends, family, and of course, my precious furbaby). Daisy, my 5 year old maltese pup, is seriously the love of my life!  I could seriously spend hours playing with her.  Her sweet eyes just melt my stress away!
 5.  Sleep Your Best:  As a blogger, I'm pretty much glued to my phone and computer, but I make a point to put it all away at least 30 minutes before bedtime so I can squeeze in some good ol' fashioned reading.  I've always been a bit of an insomniac, but I've found that turning off my electronic devices pretty much solved that issue.  I also make sure to remove all my makeup, apply night cream, and lotion my bod.  What can I say? I'm a stickler when it comes to my beauty regimen.  
6.  Be Your Best: When all that's said and done, a cute outfit helps me put my best foot forward.  As a musician and personal style blogger, I'm all about expressing myself.  Like Rachel Zoe eloquently said, "style is a way to say who you are without having to speak."  Nothing makes me feel sexier than a fabulous LBD, especially when I want to show off my bod.  Isn't it a great feeling to reap your rewards? I mean, what can I say? All that clean eating + exercising definitely pays off! 

Are you guys striving to be your #BestSelf?  If yes, how so!  Oh, and for those of you wondering, in each and EVERY one of the photos above, I was wearing the Amazfit Moonbeam.  It's the lightest and most comfortable activity tracker on the market.  It tracks your step count, active calories burned, distance traveled as well as your overall sleep quality (light sleep, deep sleep, awake times).  

The ceramic core tracker is water resistant up to 3 feet for 30 minutes, and it can be worn in the shower, while swimming (casually), doing dishes, and the like.  A single charge lasts for about 10 days. There are 8 accessories available, 6 different wristband options and 2 necklaces.  Let me know if you have any questions!  OH, and I'm currently hosting an awesome giveaway with them on here so enter STAT!  10 lucky winners will score activity trackers worth $80 EACH.
4

December Fitness Update + My Costco Grocery List

I'm SUPER excited to update you guys on my fitness progress today on SS!  I finished week 4 of T25, and I couldn't be more proud.  I feel like I've been doing a really good job staying on track, AND I even got validated by my parents, who are definitely my harshest (but most supportive) critics.  I'm actually in FL for vacay so I'll be starting week 5 when I return, but I've been keeping up with my workout at the hotel gym!

People always say you make your abs in the kitchen, not the gym.  I've always been skeptical about that statement, but I've found that it's 200% true.  I've been working up a sweat 7 times a week, but I believe that my clean eating's what's helped me the most. It's hard to be good about it though on the daily, especially when you're a foodie like me.  I'd love nothing more than to just stuff my face with fried food and carbs, but I'm not going to let my cravings get in the way of my long term goals.
It's easy to cut corners when you're busy with everything life throws you, but there ARE healthy, delicious, AND quick options out there if you're looking to nourish your bod like a boss.  I'll be sharing some of my favorite meals + snacks with you guys today!  Note:  All of these products are available at Costco.  I do most of my grocery shopping there because it's affordable.  

1.  Morningstar Black Bean Burgers:  I eat these patties with freshly sliced jalapeños and ketchup on 100% whole wheat bread.  Who knew vegetarian "burgers" could be so good? Simply microwave 'em for 2-3 minutes and they're good to go.
2.  Breakstone's 2% Cottage Cheese:  I absolutely LOVE cottage cheese, which is awesome because it makes for a great snack.  I'll either eat it as a side for breakfast (omelette + cottage cheese), spread it onto a slice of whole wheat toast or get my dip on with a handful of PopChips as a snack.
3.  Sambazon Unsweetened Smoothie Packs:  These are super convenient because they're individually packed. Store 'em in your freezer and simply run one under warm water before blending.  I like to mix mine with plain greek yogurt (vanilla works too) and milk!  Add honey or fruit for extra flavor.
4.  Liquid Egg Whites:  If you read my post on time management, you know that I always pre-cut veggies on Sundays to facilitate my mornings.  I just whip out my frying pan, pam it up, pour in my egg whites, and add veggies (usually onions, peppers, and jalapeños) for a delish & healthy breakfast.  While it's cooking on low heat, I usually put on my makeup (if I have to go out) to make the most of my time!  I like eating BIG meals in the morning so I'll usually have toast w/ nomtastic jam or a side of cottage cheese (like mentioned previously).
5.  100% Whole Wheat Pasta in Marinara:  Another thing I make in bulk on Sundays!  I cook up a giant pot of sauce (filled with tons of veggies of course) so I can have it for lunch or dinner when I'm in a hurry. It takes like 15 minutes tops to boil the pasta and heat up the sauce.  I sprinkle on red pepper flakes and eat it with pickled jalapeños for an extra kick.
6.  Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice:  This product's on the pricier side, but totally worth it!  I like to meal prep spicy korean chicken + veggies and this is the ideal side IMO.  I am asian after all, ha.  I usually use my rice cooker to whip up my own brown rice, but it takes time so I eat this when I'm in a hurry.
7.  Healthy Choice Chicken Noodle Soup:  Definitely not the most delicious soup you'll ever have, but add in (lots of) sriracha and you're good to go!  It's super low in calories + filling so I have this when I get home late.
8.  Suja Mighty Greens Organic Juice:  I totally have a thing for fresh juices.  I seriously can't get enough of them!  I don't like the kinds with tons of added sugar though.  I thought this juice was pretty disgusting at first, but it totally grew on me - now I find it delicious!  I'll have it as a post-workout snack or down a glass before bed time if I get super hungry.
9.  Kirkland Organic Fruity Snacks:  These gummies are the bees knees!  Made with real fruit, they're ridiculously yummy.  I like to eat them for dessert when I'm craving something sweet.  Their consistency is quite different though so it takes a little getting used to, but I highly recommend giving 'em a try.

On top of all that, I get tons of veggies (typically portabella mushrooms, different peppers, onions, tomatoes, and kale) and different fruits (bananas, clementines & berries when they're in season, and grapefruit cups).  I also buy 100% whole wheat bread in bulk here.

Anywho, my current weight is 112.4, but I'm hoping to hit 105 within the next month or so! Numbers don't mean anything of course, BUT it helps keep me motivated.  How are you guys staying in shape?  Are there any yum recipes you'd like to share with me?

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6 Ways to Save Time on the Daily: A Millennial's Guide to Max Productivity

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone.  #CentrumFunFlavors #CollectiveBias
Alright everyone, I'm super excited to tackle time management today on SS.  As a doctoral student juggling 4 different jobs, efficiency is key to both my productivity and sanity.  It's easy to get overwhelmed at times - and it definitely doesn't help that I'm an anxious person by nature - so, for my latest, I'm going to spill the beans on how I work smart all day, every day.  Big ups to Centrum® MultiGummies® for sponsoring this post.

1.  Create a detailed to-do list first thing in the morning.  Start by writing down everything you need to accomplish that day, and then number tasks by importance.  If you have a BIG goal listed, break it down (step-by-step if you need to) to increase manageability.  Tip:  Figure out when you're most alert and tackle tasks accordingly.  I always fade around 2-3 PM so I either squeeze my workout in then or do something that requires less brain power.  If your mind's not in the game, move on.  Why spend 3 hours working on "x" when you can do it in 1 with a clear head?  Yeah, like I said, work smart.
2.  Set time restraints for tasks.  Keep an alarm on hand and be strict with yourself.  It's tough to let go once you delve deep into a project you're passionate about, but you have to move on at some point!  Plus, a fresh perspective will always do you good.  Setting limitations can often up your efficiency tenfold.  For example, if you set aside 3 weeks to complete "x," it'll probably take you that exact amount of time when, quite honestly, you could've finished it in half that time.  Take my word, and push yourself!
3.  Prep as much as possible the night before.  I really can't stress this enough - this seriously saves me so much time!  Every night, I lay out my outfit, pack food (if I have to go in and teach), organize my tote (so I can just grab 'n go), and prep meals.  I like to chop up different veggies (onions + peppers) for quick omelettes - I buy liquid egg whites in bulk - in the morning, while cooking a huge pot of pasta sauce with mushrooms, zucchini, and ground turkey.  If I get sick of whole wheat pasta, I nom on black bean burgers.

4.  Focus on ONE thing at a time.  Multi-tasking may seem great, but it's actually a really inefficient way to go about doing things.  IMHO, it's mental - you think you're doing a lot, and you feel busy, but at the end of the day, there's no (or not enough) substance.  

Edward Hallowell, renown psychiatrist & director of the Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health, insists that "true multitasking is a myth.  We may feel we're doing two or more things at once, but it's an illusion. Instead, we're quickly switching our focus back and forth.  The cerebral cortex can pay attention to only one thing at a time.  What people really do is shift their attention from one task to the next in rapid succession.  That reduces the quality of the work on any one task, because you're ignoring it for milliseconds at a time."

5.  Give yourself a break.  If you're feeling fatigued, take ten - FYI, if you need ideas on how to stay alert during the day, check out "25 Ways to Stay Alert When You're Super Tired."  I highly recommend timeboxing (50 minutes of work + 10 minutes of play) unless you're on a roll.  If you feel super focused, just go with the flow until you hit a wall.  Remember, long hours don't mean quality work.  Trust me, a clear head will help you get much more accomplished.
6.  Maintain a healthy lifestyle.  If you want to be on top of your game, you need to take care of yourself.  That means getting enough sleep each night, eating healthily, exercising regularly, and taking key supplements.  

Centrum® MultiGummies® makes it easy for me to support by health while enjoying my busy lifestyle.  These multi-benefit multivitamins include 100% or more of essential nutrients, Vitamins B12, D, and E.  B vitamins aid in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.  Antioxidants such as Vitamins C, E and Zinc help support normal immune function.*
Alright folks, that's it for today!  I hope you all found this post helpful.  Make sure you guys head on over to Walmart to get yourself a bottle of Centrum® MultiGummies® - don't forget to click here to browse deals.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 
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November Fitness Updates + Workout Playlist

It's time for my November workout playlist!  Y'all enjoyed my 90's throwback so much that I decided to do one in honor of 00's pop music.  Also, I wanted to update you guys on my fitness progress.  I've been pretty good this month = I've been working out daily (usually at night but I need to start squeezing them in the early morning).  I've been running or ellipticaling 4-5 miles every day + doing a ton of squats, lunges, and other strength exercises.  I also got my T25 DVD set in the mail last week (I used to stream them) so I've been doing that daily as well.  If I'm crunched for time, I skip the extra cardio since T25 gets the job done.  
I've also been a stickler with food. I've been living on black bean burgers (with whole wheat buns of course), bowls of 100% whole wheat pasta in marinara sauce, and egg white omelettes loaded with veggies.  I've been into making smoothies a bunch, too!  I'm going to write a more detailed post on my diet later this month so keep an eye out!  What have you guys been doing to stay in shape this month?  
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My Nomtastic Emergen-C Smoothie Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone.  #HowDoYouEmergenC #CollectiveBias.

Alright guys, it's getting colder out - winter's a' coming which means we need to take extra good care of our bodies!  Since I work with little kids a lot, I go out of my way to stay on top of all my supplements.  I tend to get sick often so vitamin C's an absolute must in my book - I take Emergen-C to support my healthy lifestyle.  I feel more refreshed taking it during the winter months, which brings me to today's post. I'll be sharing my favorite Emergen-C smoothie recipe with you guys.
My drink's super easy to make because it only has 4 ingredients.  Simply take 1 super ripe banana, 1 cup of skim milk, 2 teaspoons of honey, 1 packet of Emergen-C Super Orange and blend it all together.  If you want something sweeter, just throw in more honey.  Maple syrup works, too!
For those of you interested, Emergen-C is available at Walgreens!  There are over 20 flavors so you guys have several options to choose from.  Have you guys tried it? If yes, what's your favorite flavor? Mine's Super Orange. 
How do you guys stay healthy during the wintertime?  Do you take supplements?  Oh and BTW, if this recipe didn't tickle your fancy, you can try the different ones here.  I've tried several of these, and they're all good.  I especially liked Eye-Popping Popsicles and Smooth Raz.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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Top 10 Healthy (and Quick) Snacks

Alright everyone, the topic of today's post is healthy snacking.  If you're like me, you're most likely running from place to place all day, every day because you're busy hustling.  It's important to find the time to eat right though, especially if you're looking to keep your body in check.  It's easy to indulge when you're on-the-go, but there are plenty of other quick and delicious options out there that'll fuel your bod so you can always bring your A game. Here are a few of my favorite healthy snacks:

1.  Banana Shake:  Take one ripe banana and blend it with low-fat milk.  Yeah, it's the easiest smoothie ever.  It's not creative by any means, but it's delicious and quick.  I do this whenever I have bananas that are about to go bad!  The drink's naturally sweet so I make it when I'm craving dessert. TIP:  rinse your blender out quickly to minimize your cleaning efforts.  To see more recipes, make sure y'all browse my smoothie pinterest board.

2.  Whole Grain Chips + Guacamole:  I pretty much buy everything in bulk (to get the most bang for my buck) so I'll be talking about Costco a LOT today.  Purchase individually packaged containers of guac from 'em and pick up whole grain tortilla chips for a solid midday snack. I always make sure to grab a bag of Luke's Organic Sweet Potato, Hemp & Buckwheat multigrain & seed chips their because they're healthy AND delicious.  Make sure you guys pay attention to serving size though - it's easy to go overboard so don't eat from the bag.

3.  PopChips + Salsa:  PopChips are yet another fave of mine!  I'm a potato chip junkie so these are a godsend when I'm in the mood for salty morsels of deliciousness.  They're available in a slew of different flavors, but I'm all about sea salt.  Eat it with some chunky salsa - Jack's Special Garden Fresh Gourmet is my fave - and you'll be good to go.  Oh, and like no. 2 above, pay attention to serving sizes.  Salsas aren't usually high in calories, but you want to pay attention to sodium and whatnot.  Be mindful of nutritional labels!

4.  Assortment of Nuts:  Fat intake is crucial to your diet!  Contrary to popular belief, eating fat does not MAKE you fat.  In fact, you need a solid amount of unsaturated fat in your diet to fuel your body and absorb key nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K & antioxidants like lycopene and beta-carotene.  The only fat you don't need? Trans fats.  A handful of nuts will give you a good dose of vitamin E, fiber and magnesium so grab your favorite kind and get your munch on!  Oh, and if you prefer peanut butter, you can enjoy a spoonful of that instead - just make sure it's natural peanut butter.  You know, the one with the oil at the top?  That's where the party's at!

5.  Almond Flour Banana Bread:  I know this may sound disgusting, but I'm all about almond flour. I'm not going to lie to you and say this taste's better than "regular" banana bread, but it'll grow on you.  I've been using Live Simply's recipe, and it's super on point, but instead of walnuts, I mix in dark chocolate chips!  If you decide to try this, let me know what you think.
6.  Bare Fruit Chips:  I can't even begin to tell you guys how awesome these chips are - I even got my dad hooked on these babies!  They sell a good number of flavors and carry a bunch organic options as well if that tickles your fancy.  I recommend the toasted coconut chips, fuji & reds organic apple chips, and simply banana chips.  

7.  Tomato & Feta Salad:  This is hella simple, but super nutritious and seriously nomtastic.  Take a bunch of grape tomatoes and slice them in half!  Toss them in EVOO + balsamic vinegar and add sliced basil (as much or as little as you want) and a bit of feta cheese to add that extra dimension of flavor.  If you're looking to cut calories hardcore, skip the cheese - trust me when I say it's not necessary!  The salad still tastes delish without it.

8.  Grapefruit Cups:  Costco's Kirkland Grapefruit cups are the bee's knees.  I purchase a box of these every time I go because they're so freakin' yummy.  Yes, they're packed in light syrup, but that's ok - just don't drink all of the liquid, ha. 

9.  Low-fat Yogurt with Fresh Fruit:  I pretty much love all things yogurty - I'm not really sure if that's a word, but I'm going to go ahead and assume that you know exactly what I mean - so I couldn't resist listing this.  I've tried to get into low-fat plain greek yogurt, but I just can't do it because I think it tastes awful.  Lucky for me (and you), fresh fruit and honey swoops in to save the day.  Adding healthy mix-ins make all the difference in the world!  I like to buy yogurt in large containers to save $$$, but Costco sells individually packed containers for much less if you find yourself constantly on the go.  NOTE: they almost always have coupons for them so keep an eye out.  Oh, and one last thing, make sure there isn't a ridiculous amount of sugar listed on the nutritional label.  Remember, we want to stick with healthy options!
10.  Oatmeal n' Berries:  I don't know about you guys, but I'm a fan of both sweet and savory oatmeal dishes.  In fact, when I was in college, I used to eat Quaker oats with kimchi every day for breakfast. That may sound gross to you, but it was all sorts of yum for me.  Nowadays I'm all about oatmeal with frozen berries...which I also purchase in bulk at Costco, ha.  Yes, I get fresh ones when I can, but if not, I just toss a handful in when I'm cooking up a storm at my stove.  If I feel like treating myself fully, I throw in some brown sugar as well!  I'll make sure to write a post featuring my fave combos soon, but until then, enjoy these recipes.

Alright folks, that's it for today!  What do you guys like to snack on? Do any of these sound good to you?  For more healthy snacks and recipes, make sure y'all hit up my pinterest account.  I'm obsessed with the platform so I update it pretty much 24/7.  Here are some boards you may be interested in: Avocado Love, Let's Eat Clean, Healthy Body, Healthy Soul, and Healthy Breakfast Foods.
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September Workout Playlist: All About Girl Power

For this month's workout playlist, I decided to do something a little different on SS for funsies. Instead of sharing my current fave tunes, I created a themed list for y'all.  So, as you can see, September's all about girl power.  I hope you guys enjoy!
 
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How-to Practice Gratitude on the Daily: 4 Ways to Stay Happy

In honor of National Thank You Day, I've partnered up with merci for my latest post on Sensible Stylista.  The topic's something I feel really passionate about:  gratitude.  Like most, I always try to put my best foot forward, but I don't want to BS you guys.  I have days (many, in fact) when I get down on myself, and you know what? That's totally ok.  I'm not ashamed to admit that I get insecure, jealous, and depressed from time to time.  After all, I am human!  

As much as I love social media, it can seriously be mentally damaging.  I mean, it's hard when you don't see struggle.  I've observed it in both the music & blogging worlds, and it's almost taboo to talk about - as if setbacks detract from achieved accomplishments.  This kind of thinking is beyond harmful because then you start to question your own value and worth.  You begin to think you're not talented enough, smart enough, or pretty enough.  You lose sight of reality and forget to acknowledge everything amazing in your life.  So, for today's post, we're going to talk about 4 ways to practice gratitude to stay happy on the daily.

1.  Train yourself to see the positive in every situation.  I'm not telling y'all to avoid the negative because, well, that's straight up denial at its best, but try and see the good (a glass half full, not empty kind of deal).  I know it's easier said than done, but like all good habits, you cultivate it with time. Try replacing complaints with grateful remarks to start, and remember that everything's a conscious decision on your part. 

2.  Stay in the now.  There's nothing more damaging than dwelling on the past or fixating on the future. Forgive yourself (and others) for past transgressions and move on.  Let go of the heartbreak you experienced and focus on meeting someone wonderful (if you so desire).  Learn from your mistakes and use them as stepping stones to effectively grow as a person.  Spend less time wishing for more and recognize all that you have.  If you need help staying positive, take up journaling.  Write down 5 things you are grateful for at the beginning and end of every day.  It'll help you develop a more optimistic outlook!
3.  Share your love with friends and family.  Acknowledge their efforts and genuinely thank them for all that they do by gifting them a box of yummy merci chocolates as a small token of your appreciation. Since 1965, they've offered a fabulous collection of rich, European chocolates made from the finest ingredients available, and each box contains eight unique, individually-wrapped flavors!  merci is available in grocery stores and retailers nationwide in 7-ounce and 14.1-ounce boxes.  With a name that literally means "thank you," merci encourages gratitude every day of the year.
4.  See beauty in everything.  I know it sounds cheesy as hell, but I don't care.  Let me tell you guys a little story.  A few years ago, I had a close friend named...hm, let's just call him "C." I met him while I was getting my master's degree at Juilliard, and he changed my life.  His outlook was so refreshing - he had the most amazing attitude, and it totally rubbed off on me.  He appreciated every tiny thing and never failed to point it all out.  

I won't ever forget our first hang.  We went to a cafe to grab lunch, and he thought it'd be cool to eat in Central Park.  I didn't really want to go, but I didn't want to seem like a Scrooge so I (grudgingly) went.  I remember thinking... 

"Omg, I bet it's so dirty there!  Where are we going to sit?"
"Leaves are going to get in my pasta!"
"I hope it's not super busy!  I don't want to deal with a huge crowd."
"Ugh, my shoes are like 5 inches high - I'm gonna die if we walk more!"

Well, when we got there, he kept commenting on the pretty leaves - it was fall at the time - and weather. I realized then and there that my poopy attitude kept me from enjoying, well, everything. There I was making a new friend, people watching, enjoying delicious food, and absorbing nature, yet I had a frown on my face?  Yeah, not good.  

Moral of the story: if you're looking to focus on the bad, there will be a sh*t ton of it.  You, and you alone, are responsible for your happiness so strive to see the good in all situations to make the most of your life.  Be grateful for all that you have because someone out there wishes he or she could be in your position, and remember that it's all about perspective and attitude.

Sponsored by merci, but all opinions are my own!
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5 Ways to De-stress Like a Boss

Alright guys, today we're going to talk about de-stressing because, let's be real, we're all hella overworked. This is my current situation:  I'm pursuing two degrees (a doctorate and a 2nd masters), maintaining a full-time blog, teaching piano, performing, and consulting as a freelance social media consultant so, suffice it to say, I'm always running around like a crazy person.  All of my close friends are hustling like that though so I'm not complaining. After all, I don't have to do all those things - I choose to, but that doesn't mean I don't get stressed out.  I pretty much deal with an excessive amount of anxiety on the daily so stress management is key.  Here are 5 ways I deal with it!
1.  Unplug from social media.

You all know that I love social media - I mean, I am a blogger after all - but sometimes it's depressing as hell. That's because most everyone's out there putting their best foot forward (without acknowledging + addressing hardships), and you experience FOMO, jealousy, self-doubt, or [insert negative feeling you don't like to admit and/or talk about].  I'm here to tell you that there's no shame in that!  We all experience it at one point or the other so do yourself a favor, and unplug from time to time to preserve your sanity. Re-focus on what's important! You'll feel a million times better, and your productivity will skyrocket.

2.  Get your heart rate pumping.

You don't need to go out and sign up for crossfit (unless you want to, of course) off the bat!  Just find a physical activity you're interested in and try it out.  Don't have to go hardcore right from the getgo - remember, baby steps, ma chérie, baby steps.  Interested in dance? See if there's a ballet or hip hop class near you.  Want to learn how to defend yourself? Sign up for a martial arts trial or kickboxing sesh.  I can pretty much guarantee that you'll find something you love, and you'll make a lot of new friends in the process!  All of us get stressed out, and it seriously affects our brain.  By exercising regularly, you'll decrease tension, improve the quality of your sleep, and up your mood - yay for endorphins.
3.  Keep tabs on your body with the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker.

This magical device has improved my life tenfold.  I'm usually so tightly wound that I forget to breathe. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I literally hold my breath throughout the day.  And the funny part? I didn't even know.

Spire's new wearable bluetooth tracker has deep API integrations that give users context regarding their well-being by syncing with their location, calendar, and photos (through an app on your phone), to provide greater insights into where, what and why they experience periods of tension, calm or focus. The platform helps people anticipate stressful situations before they happen, and make mindfulness more attainable by alerting peeps in-the-moment and recommending breathing exercises & meditations.  

There are also a series of boosts available on the app to reduce stress and help you attain focus.  If you're looking to access your inner calm, you really need to check this tracker out.  I seriously can't recommend it enough.  It's like carrying around your own personal mental trainer who also happens to conveniently track your caloric intake and steps.  Let me know if you have any questions by commenting below.
4.  Spend quality time with your loved ones (or furry friends)!

I know we're all out there hustling, but it's important to take time out of our days to hang with friends and family (fur babies are included as well, obviously).  The way I see it? You gotta think long term!  Overworking yourself will only hurt your productivity. I mean, there's a reason why "work hard, play hard" is a famous motto. You need time to re-charge so you can start fresh with a new perspective.

Make an effort to schedule in at least 1-2 events a week to try new things.  It'll help you strengthen bonds with loved ones and expand your horizons. I'm all about collecting experiences because they keep me motivated and inspired.  Need ideas? Try creating a 101 in 1001 like I did!  You basically write a list of 101 things you'd like to do - like a bucket list - and complete them over the course of 1001 days. 
5.  Remember to treat yourself.

Don't be afraid to spoil yourself when you need a pick-me-up.  Whether it's Chinese delivery, a fabulous bag, or a deep-tissue massage, splurging's a must every now and then.  While you're at it, schedule a vacation for yourself. It doesn't have to be an extravagant trip to the Caribbean, road tripping to the nearest metropolitan city or country B&B will do the mind and body wonders.

Anddd that's all folks.  I hope you guys enjoyed this post and found my tips helpful!  How do you all like to de-stress?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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25 Ways to Stay Alert When You're Super Tired

Alright guys, it's time for some real talk.  We all wish we could sleep 7-8 hours each night, but that just doesn't seem possible in this day and age.  We're all hustling to become the best we can be, and that requires serious sacrifice, which brings me to my latest.  For today's post, I'll be sharing my tips on how to stay fully alert throughout the day.
1.  Rest your eyes for a bit, especially if you're staring at a screen for a prolonged period of time.
2.  Practice acupressure - try stimulating different pressure points.
3.  Catch up with a friend during a short ten-minute break.
4.  Turn your lights up or get some sun!
5.  Take a minute to stretch.
6.  Watch ONE funny video on youtube.
7.  Squeeze in a quick workout or do a bit of light exercise.
8.  Take a break and play with a furry friend.
9.  Stand while you work - some swear by standing desks.
10.  Take a power nap - 5-20 minutes can do wonders for your focus.
11.  Switch tasks to avoid monotony.
12.  Chill in front of the air conditioner for a bit.
13.  Down a glass of water to stay hydrated.

14.  Sniff some peppermint oil.
15.  Look at flashing colors to stimulate your brain - you can even download an app for it on your phone!
16.  Munch on a healthy snack and avoid overeating at lunch.  Like Steve Jobs said, "stay hungry."
17.  Play a quick game on your phone.
18.  Keep your workplace cool.
19.  Down a cup of espresso (or a caffeinated beverage of your choice).

20.  Take a quick shower.
21.  Watch a motivational clip to stay inspired - sometimes that's all you need to get back into the game!
22.  Practice deep breathing to reduce anxiety and increase focus.
23.  Blast your favorite tune and sing along with it.
24.   Chew on some bubblegum.
25.  Splash your face with cold water.

And that's it folks! I hope y'all found this helpful.  If you did, please take a moment to share this post with your friends.  Also, if you enjoyed this post, you'll love "8 Ways to Maintain Your Health When You're Busy as Hell." Happy reading, everyone!  Sending lots of love from the DMV.
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