My 2017 Goals + Tips


I’m all about setting goals for myself, but sometimes, deciding exactly what I want to accomplish can be tough. After two weeks (yes, two full weeks), I’ve finally compiled some New Year’s resolutions that I’d like to share with you, as well as some helpful tips I use to narrow down my thoughts.

My Resolutions

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Above are my resolutions for the new year (which I typed out on Canva, a great site for designing everything from cards to resumes). I chose to organize them by category (more about organization to follow!) and list one way I can go about actually achieving each goal. I think this will help give me a good start and keep me accountable. While there a lot of things I’d like to be able to accomplish this year, these 20 tasks are the things I felt were most important and most attainable. I’ll probably print these out and hang them up on my desk to keep me inspired and remind me what I set out to do.

Tips

Like I said, setting goals can be just as hard as actually achieving them. Here are some pointers on how to successfully set your own 2017 resolutions (and it’s never too late to do it!)

  1. Write them down: Last week I mentioned to my friends that I hadn’t written down my resolutions yet and they all said something along the lines of, “You write them down? That’s smart. Maybe I’d be more successful if I wrote mine down.” I’m not even kidding. I really believe that writing them down holds your more accountable and can inspire you to keep on chugging. Write them down or type them out so that they look nice, then put them somewhere you can see them and be reminded of the things you want to accomplish.
  2. Record your thoughts: I found that I had a lot of visions for myself and things I wanted to change, but no concrete goals to set for myself. So I picked up my journal (for the first time since June… oops) and wrote down all of my thoughts. Five pages later and I had a better idea of exactly what I wanted to accomplish. Take the time to write down your thoughts and desires and watch how clear your goals become. Bonus points if you use a cute journal like this Shoot for the Moon journal!

    journal
    I have this journal and I’m absolutely obsessed with it. I used it to record all my interviews last semester, and it really served me well.
  3. Organize: One way to help make making resolutions easier is to organize them in some way. I like to organize mine by categories that correspond to the different things going on in my life, but I have also seen people organize theirs by priority or even by month. Find a way to organize your goals that will help you to stay inspired and know what you actually need to do.
  4. Limit yourself: I know people usually say the sky’s the limit, but in this case, I’d say limit the number of goals you set for yourself. It can be tempting to set 100 goals, but it’s just impractical. The reason I was able to set 20 goals for myself was because they were relatively small goals that can be accomplished within the scope of my average day. There’s no way, however, that I’d be able to achieve 20 big goals. Limit to yourself to what you are confident you can achieve and apply into your everyday life.
  5. Look it up: Sometimes you’re just out of ideas or can’t find the words to correctly convey what it is you want to accomplish. So what do you do? The same thing you always do: look it up. I love checking Pinterest for resolution inspiration. I literally just type “resolution” into the search bar and so many ideas come up. If you’re stuck, don’t be afraid to do a little research!

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    Here’s some inspiration I found on Pinterest, posted by Easy College Coupons!
  6. Set achievable and measurable goals: My last tip for you is to set goals you are confident you have the ability to achieve and can easily measure your progress with. When I was writing my own resolutions, I was very tempted to write something like “go on a weekend trip,” but I didn’t because I’m not sure if that will be achievable for me when it comes down to time and money. It can still be something I’d like to do, but not necessarily something that I’m recording as a New Year’s resolution. The same goes for something like “lose weight,” but more so because it’s not quantifiable. Losing one pound still counts as losing weight, but that definitely would not be my goal. Even saying something like “lose 50 pounds” might be unrealistic because you can’t be sure that’s achievable. My recommendation would be to set smaller, achievable, quantifiable goals like “work out x times a week” or “record food intake” that are easier to accomplish and can still lead you to the outcome you desire.

I hope that my New Year’s resolutions and tips helped inspire you to chase your goals and dreams this year. I’m looking forward to another year of sharing my life with all of my Tasters. Wishing you all your best year yet, full of love, laughter, and happiness!

xx,

Toni

Email: tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com

Twitter: @TTasteful

Instagram: @tantalizinglytasteful

Pinterest: @TTasteful

Facebook: Tantalizingly Tasteful

Snapchat: @TTasteful

 

Why I Love Working Out with Friends + Yummy Salads with LP


Today’s post should’ve been about my weekend in Connecticut for an Orthodox Christian retreat, but unfortunately, that plan fell through. So instead, I’m here to tell you all about why working out with friends makes exercising fun, easy and motivational, at least from my perspective.

 

 

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Clearly, my friend Lauren and I are both Nike girls! Our sneaks are pictures with my beloved Zumba shake weights (the green ones, which are 1 lb., came with the Zumba Exhilarate DVD set, and the purple ones, which are 2.5 lbs., came with the Zumba Tone Up DVD set) and my BPA-free fruit infuser water bottle, which you can get here.

 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love working out on my own. It’s this weird power trip: nothing goes straight to my head more than a half hour of beast mode at the gym. But there’s also some great benefits to working out with your friends, and not just physical ones. And it doesn’t even have to be in a class, it can be at home or in your neighborhood. I’ve done both, and they can both be equally fun and inspirational.

  1. Accountability: There’s no bailing out on exercising when you’ve made plans to hit the gym or pound the pavement. Your friends will make sure you show up, on time, and put all your energy into your workout.
  2. Motivation: When you feel like there’s no going on and you’ve exhausted every last bit of energy you had, your friends are there to cheer you on and keep you going. It’s a lot harder to do that all on your own, just saying.
  3. Positivity: How many times a day do we tell ourselves that we’re not good enough, not performing well enough or just not up to par with everyone else? Friends and workout buddies are there to nip any negativity right in the bud and raise you up again.
  4. Catching Up: Sometimes, a workout sesh can be just what you need to catch up with your pals. In between push-ups or during laps around the track, you can be gabbing about what’s going on in your life. Not only is the conversation great, but it also makes the workout go by quicker. The perfect way to multitask!
  5. Trying New Things: Friends are the perfect people to drag along when you want to try out a new workout. Whether it’s a class like Zumba or SoulCycle, or even just a new routine, having a friend to try it out with you can make the activity less daunting and more fun. Last summer, when I wanted to give running a try, I went on walks/runs with my best friend Lauren who also wanted to try something new. Having her with me made me less scared to try and more excited for something new.
  6. Answering Questions: I can’t even begin to explain to you the number of questions I have had about different workout machines at the gym. I was always too scared to use them because I didn’t know, but whenever I go to the gym with my friend Alyssa, who is definitely more athletic than I am, she can answer my questions and tell me what to do. It’s definitely reassuring to have someone who has my back explain what each machine in easy, plain terms so I can understand it.

Since I didn’t get to go to the retreat this weekend, I got to spend Saturday morning and afternoon with my best friend Lauren, who has been one of my best and constant workout partners for a while now. From our Zumba sessions with our other besties Torie, Dani, and Emily, to our morning summer runs on our local trails, Lauren is always there to keep me positive and motivated. She came over in the morning to do Zumba, specifically the DVDs from the Zumba Tone Up System (get the 5 DVD set here.) We did about 35 minutes, with 15 of it doing the Amazing Abs, and the rest working out biceps and triceps. After a week of not working out because I was sick, it was so energizing to get back into the groove. Plus, I hadn’t seen Lauren in a few weeks, so it was a great chance to catch up and gossip while working out our abs.

 

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Our post-workout meal!

 

After our workout, Lauren and I went to this super awesome salad place called Chopt, and I totally loved it! It’s like the Chipotle of salads- pick from a variety of toppings to create your own salad or order a salad off the menu. I got a Santa Fe salad, which had romaine lettuce, corn, avocado, pepper jack cheese, grape tomatoes, (delicious) homemade fried onions, and sweet and smoky chipotle vinaigrette. I also added steak, which was totally yummy. Though my salad was a little spicy, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was so filling and super delish.

 

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My delish Chopt salad!!

 

Lauren ordered the Mexican Caesar salad, which comes with romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, cotija cheese, jalapeno peppers (which Lauren subbed for cucumbers), tortilla chips, and Mexican Caesar dressing. She said hers was spicy too, but it smelled really good and I know she totally loved it!

 

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Doesn’t Lauren’s order look yummy, too?

 

My favorite part of working out with Lauren is getting to catch up and having her there to motivate me, but the tasty food we sometimes get afterwards doesn’t hurt either!! And it’s good to know that the feeling is mutual. I asked Lauren what she likes about working out with a buddy, she agreed with me and said, “Ok so working out with friends is more fun because you not only work out but you can catch up. The time passes quicker and you can share new techniques with each other. It’s great to motivate each other.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. Best friends think alike, I think!

 

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Lauren trying out her salad post-workout.

 

Lauren and I went back to her house after we got our Chopt salads so we could eat and watch HGTV, which is one of our post-workout routines. Nothing is more rewarding to me after working out than a laid-back afternoon with my bestie! Let me know what keeps you motivated to work out, what your healthy post-workout routine is or if you’ve given fitness with friends a try! Keep on working, Tasters, you’ve got this!

xx,

Toni

Email: tantalizinglytasteful@gmail.com

Twitter: @TTasteful

Instagram: @tantalizinglytasteful

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Tuesday Tunes: Workout Jams


Working out just isn’t the same without killer tunes. I can’t work my hardest unless there’s music pumping into my ears. It keeps me energized and motivated when I need it the most, and can sometimes transport me away from the mundane.

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Wish I could be running by that view right now… but sometimes music alone can take you away. Image via Google

And this isn’t even just a me thing… Studies have shown that while music not only elevates your mood, it also helps you keep your pace while exercising and helps you focus on the task at hand. Music is just enjoyable, and can make you feel great.

What’s great about music is that everyone’s taste in music is different, which means there’s no one “official” playlist. Sometimes, the music you listen to while working out is dependent on the type of exercise and the setting. For example, you definitely wouldn’t hear the same type of music in a meditation yoga class as you would in a high-intensity kickboxing class (highly recommend checking iLoveKickboxing out here by the way!) Plus, you’re not always in the same mood when you’re working out. So, does that mean you need to have multiple playlists ready for your different workouts? Maybe… or you can just rely on someone else’s. I, for one, generally like making my own, so I’m here to share some of my favorites tracks and playlist ideas with you! I even started a new Spotify account just to share them with you. Make sure you follow TTasteful on Spotify to see my full range of playlists!

STRENGTH

The way I see it, this playlist is just about pure energy and strength. These songs make me feel strong, powerful and in control of my life and self. When I hear these songs, I feel raw strength and drive. I’m not sure I’m doing it justice honestly. I just feel like I can tackle anything with this soundtrack. Some songs include Power by Kanye West, Thunderstruck by AC/DC and Don’t Let Me Down by The Chainsmokers.

BOY BYE

I admit it, a lot of times when I work out, I channel my emotions into it. Doesn’t everyone? That’s exactly why I have this playlist, which is a playlist that not only gets my blood flowing and heart pumping, but also reminds me that I deserve better than whatever crap I’m dealing with. One of my favorite songs on this mix is Too Good by Drake, and some others include 7/11 by Beyoncé, Roar by Katy Perry, and We’re Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister.

Girl Power

One pre-made Spotify playlist that I love is the Girl Power playlist. With artists like Lady Gaga, the Spice Girls and Selena Gomez, this mix is perfect for when I need a little bit of reminding of how strong and kick-butt women can be. Nothing brightens my day like inspiring songs like Confident by Demi Lovato and Kill Em With Kindness by Selena Gomez.

GREECE SUMMER

Something that I do love to listen to while working out, even though it’s not on Spotify, is any Greek summer mix. I’m half Greek (and darn proud of it), and listening to this music while working out can just take me away from the New York dreariness sometimes. It provides a much-needed escape and pick-me-up. This one by DJ Golden Feta is my personal favorite right about now and almost makes me feel like I’m back in the Mediterranean.

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This music makes me want to go back to the motherland so badly…

Naturally, this is just the beginning. I’m always looking for new music (shout out to my best friend Grant for always sending me links) and am always adding onto the playlist. Please let me know what you listen to while working out or if you have any suggestions for me! Good luck on your own playlists, and don’t forget to follow TTasteful on Spotify for inspiration!

xx,

Toni

Email: tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com

Twitter: @TTasteful

Instagram: @tantalizinglytasteful

Pinterest: @TTasteful

Facebook: Tantalizingly Tasteful

Snapchat: @TTasteful

 

 

 

Friday Finds: Pinterest + New Fitness Plan!!


No day is better than Friday. I don’t have classes on Fridays (ha!), so I usually spend my time sleeping late, going to the gym, and browsing social media. So, why not  peruse social media AND be productive by blogging about it?

Welcome to the first of (hopefully) many Friday Finds~

Basically, I’m just going to list a few cool things I found on the social media of my choice that I think you guys would enjoy. Please don’t forget to tell me what you think and share your Friday Finds with me!

OH and make sure to stick around till the end so you can take a peek at my new fitness plan 🙂

FRIDAY FINDS: Pinterest!

Pinterest is my source for information, motivation, inspiration and creation. I am highly addicted and love trying out the new ideas I find on there. Here are five pins that I’m loving this week:

1. Morning Yoga in Bed: Let’s be real, I am definitely a lazy girl. So if I can spend just a few more minutes in bed AND stretch at the same time, you can count me in! This awesome graphic, originally from Fit Girl’s Diary, demonstrates some easy yoga poses we can do to stretch and energize our bodies before even rolling out of bed. What’s not to love about that?

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Wish my bed looked this neat… Make sure to follow Fit Girl’s Diary on Pinterest, @fitgirlsdiary14!

2. Rainbow Smoothie: Yeah, this is pretty darn cool. Not only are these multi-color smoothies totally Insta-worthy, they’re also naturally good for you! Complete with fruits and veggies like bananas, mango, beets and spinach, this smoothie by The First Year will give you plenty of essential nutrients. Can’t wait to give this one a try!

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If you try this super cool smoothie, make sure to let me know what you think! Check out more of The First Year’s recipes on Pinterest, @thefirstyear!

3. Work, Work, Work: This week has been a little rougher for me than others. I was so ready to jump right into my new plan and work to achieve some goals, but come Monday morning, I was feeling under the weather and dealing with some unwelcome drama. This little quote right here kept me going through the week. I didn’t miss a single gym day and kept eating well instead of giving in and saying, “Oh, I’m sick, I’ll just start over next week.” It’s all about mindset, and honestly, this image kept me in the right one all week. Thanks to skinny-healthyme.tumblr.com (now http://www.nutrifitblr.com/)  for the original post!

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Had this up on my computer all week… just saying. Repinned from @standouthealth

4. Dutch Sister Braid: I am always looking for new ways to wear my hair to the gym instead of resorting the the same old ponytail, especially since I go to the gym after/in between classes now. This super cute braid and pony combo from MakeupWearables is trendy and chic, but more importantly, practical. So excited to test this look out!

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How can a hairstyle be so pretty, easy and practical all at the same time? Make sure to follow them on Pinterest, @makeupwearables!

5. SCARVES: Just because I’m adding some new content doesn’t mean I’m not still going to post about fashion! Yesterday was the first day of autumn, and I am so excited about the change in fashion that comes with the change in seasons. The layering, the boots, THE SCARVES!! Yes, I have a slightly unhealthy love of scarves. What I love about this look found on Wachabuy is that I can totally imagine myself wearing it and still being totally comfortable and practical. Most of my gym times these days are scheduled after or in between classes, so outfits like this that can transition from the classroom to the Arc Trainer are perfect for me. And a scarf makes it even better! Just gotta trade the Starbucks for my water bottle and the tote for my backpack…

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Lovin’ this outfit inspiration… Check out @wachabuy on Pinterest for more ideas!

 

If you all love Pinterest as much as I do, make sure to follow me and let me know what you’ve been loving and pinning!

And onto the next bit, here’s…

MY FALL 2016 FITNESS PLAN!!

So, after a lot of research and thought, I finally put together a plan for myself to follow on my journey to a healthier lifestyle. I compiled some (more) Pins I found and took my own schedule into account to decide how I should work out and when.

So without further adieu, here it is! (I color-coded it just for you guys:))

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My cardio usually consists of the Arc Trainer, which I set to “Women’s Weight Loss” mode. It gives me the option of “Hill Climb” and “Speed Bump” (I think), and I generally alternate between the two. Sometimes, I use the bicycle machine or go on a run instead,  but the Arc Trainer is my preferred method of exercise.

As far as my other workouts, basically all I did was pull ideas from the following three pins and combine them based on what I thought I could handle physically and what my schedule allowed.

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This pin that I repinned from @POPSUGAR served as the basis for how much time and what body parts I exercise each day.
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This graphic from cocolifestyle.tumblr.com is the framework for what exercises I use to work out each body part. I ended up changing some of them a little bit based on what I can handle physically and what I can actually do in my dorm room (like I don’t have weights so I can’t do tricep extensions), but it’s definitely a good place to start.
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I love challenges with particular outcomes in mind, so I definitely wanted to add this 30 day challenge from Fitness Republic so I could consistently work my problem areas.

So far, I’m really loving my new plan. I do my cardio at the campus rec center during the day, either after or in between classes, and then do my strength exercises when I get back to my room. I’ll go through one circuit, then do my sit-ups, then another circuit and crunches, then the last circuit and squats, and then I’ll end with the killer one minute plank. (Yes, I am weak and shake the entire time, but I’m working on it!) I won’t lie, it is pretty exhausting, but it’s totally worth it and my body already feels better. I also make sure to record everything I eat and every exercise I do in the MyFitnessPal app. It helps me keep track of my progress and everything I’m doing.

I hope that one of these pins or my new plan inspires you to try something new in your life, whether it be directly from something you see online or something you have to manipulate to fit your lifestyle better. Remember, we’re not cookie-cutter people, so not everything is going to work exactly the same for everyone. Don’t forget to let me know what you thought about these pins and what you’re working on at home! Until next time…

xx,

Toni

Email: tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com

Twitter: @TTasteful

Instagram: @tantalizinglytasteful

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My Big Fat Fabulous Life: #NoBodyShameCampaign + PCOS


Hey, guys! Hope everyone’s been enjoying their holiday season so far! Today I’d like to take a little bit of a different route and talk to you guys about something that’s very close to my heart: PCOS.

My Big Fat Fabulous Life

My Big Fat Fabulous Life is a new reality show premiering on TLC on January 13. The show follows a woman named Whitney Thore as she works to overcome the affects of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which caused her to gain 200 pounds. Whitney, who was a thin dancer as a child and teenager, began to rapidly gain weight in college. She eventually quit dance, saying that she just couldn’t stand to look at herself in the mirrors.  Whitney, now almost 30 years old and about 360 pounds, has begun dancing again, having become more comfortable in her body. She recently posted a series of videos of her dancing, entitled A Fat Girl Dancing, which led to increased popularity and her #NoBodyShameCampaign. The idea behind this campaign is that no one should shame another person’s body, no matter what it looks like. Whitney’s new show will follow her as she tries to regain control of her life and body. She says, “I may be fat, but I’m still fabulous. I have one life to live, and it damn sure better count.” You can check out trailers for her upcoming show here.

What Is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, known as PCOS for short, is a disorder that causes a woman’s hormones to be out of whack, which can cause irregular periods and difficulties getting pregnant. PCOS has a tendency to cause rapid weight gain, hair growth on the chin, sideburns,chest and stomach, and acne, as well as an inability to lose weight, because ovaries affected by PCOS make more male sex hormones than they should. Most women that have this have small cysts, or small fluid-filled bubble, on their ovaries. PCOS can also cause the body to become insulin resistant, which could lead to diabetes.

The trouble with PCOS is that there are a lot of unknowns. No one really knows what causes PCOS or how to diagnose it. Also, about 70% of women with PCOS do not show any symptoms. Many doctors believe that PCOS is passed down through a family line, but they still can’t be sure.

While there is no known cure for PCOS, many doctors recommend treating the disease with exercise, a balanced diet and not smoking in order to decrease its affects. But for some, that is just not enough. When someone’s body just does not respond to these methods, a doctor may prescribe medication such as metformin, clomiphene, or spironolactone in conjunction with hormonal birth control. The hope is that these medications will regulate one’s ovulation and sex hormone levels.

Recognize Yourself?

Do you see yourself in this description? Talk to your primary care doctor and they can tell you what your best bet is. Many doctors recommend going to see a gynecologist or endocrinologist, but always consult your doctor first, especially if your symptoms are severe.

PCOS and I

PCOS is close to my heart because I was diagnosed with it when I was only 12 or 13. I have a family history of the disease: my grandmother and aunt both have it. I have an irregular menstrual cycle, uncontrollable facial hair and a very easy time gaining weight but an incredibly hard one losing it. I also get cramps every day. It’s something I’ve been struggling with for as long as I can remember. I have seen doctor after doctor, but nothing seems to have helped. I’ve been on metformin and spironolactone, but neither worked. The next step for me would be hormonal birth control, but I have yet to decide if that’s the path I want to take. In the meantime, I’m trying to improve my diet and exercise routine. I stopped being a vegetarian nearly a year ago, so I’ve added more proteins into my diet and tried to cut out carbs, which just help testosterone multiply in my body. I’ve also started doing Zumba and the results have been awesome so far! My advice to anyone who sees themselves in this description is to definitely talk to your doctor, but also try to do a little by yourself: Improve the way you’re eating and exercise! I’m definitely not an expert, but I can tell you from experience that I always feel better when I’m trying to improve those two aspects of my life. Get your friends involved, too, and the whole thing becomes way more fun. I had some friends over to do Zumba last week, and I not only worked out, I got some great laughs in the process!

Thanks for reading, guys! If you want any more info on PCOS or want to help with the cause, check out the PCOS foundation’s website! Also, if you guys have any questions for me about how I’ve been dealing with PCOS or what doctors I’ve seen, I’d be more than happy to help. Also, let me know if you’d like to see more health and body-related posts on my blog! Talk to me in the comments below, or send an email to tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com! Also don’t forget to follow my Tumblr, tantalizingly-tasteful.tumblr.com, my Pinterest @TTasteful, my Lookbook account, http://lookbook.nu/tonirose08 and my Instagram, @tonirose08! Love you guys xx