12 Months Of Sobriety – 1st Check In

4th September 2015

stones-167089_640I decided to make a post to check in regarding my first month of quitting alcohol for one year. I only planned on checking in every 3 months or so, but believed that a one month check in was necessary.

As I am writing this, I am surpassing 6 weeks of not having a drop of alcohol, which means this is the longest I have ever gone without alcohol since my high school years.

How do I feel?

100x better than I even thought I would. I’ve noticed the light headedness I get has completely disappeared and I no longer feel extremely tired all the time. I feel energized, awakened, and very much alive! As I mentioned in my announcement post about quitting alcohol for a year, I spoke about how I would go through crazy bouts of sadness and depression after a night of drinking. This only happened less than 50% of the time, so I went into a night of drinking taking the risk of feeling like complete s*** physically and mentally the next day.

My acne has also cleared up on my face and back, and the amount of stress I have has significantly decreased. I radiate confidence and feel stronger than ever.

Oh yeah, and I’ve definitely enjoyed having the extra cash in my pocket every weekend. I was easily dropping $50 every time I went out with friends. I’ve also saved a ton of money on food as I am no longer eating at 3AM after a night of drinking.

The Year Ahead:

To be completely honest, I am afraid of how this year will go. In my mind I know this is possible to do, but all I can think about is how many events and functions I will be going to within the next year, not even including my Europe trip. Should I wait to do Europe until I am done? Should I feel bad that I want a glass of wine while in Italy stuffing my face with pasta? I am going to a bachelorette party, along with a wedding as well. I know both of these events will be difficult for me, but I am going regardless.

What is my plan when this one year of being sober is over?

Someone asked me what I plan on doing once the year is over. Do I plan on binge drinking and going out with friends every weekend? Of course not. That is so far from my mind that the simple thought of it makes me laugh.

My plan is to overcome the urge to drink at all of these events that I am attending the next year. This makes my willpower and strength grow stronger and stronger, such as if you were to say no to a certain food due to fitness goals. Your willpower gains strength and you have more control.

I recently went on a trip with my best friend in Nederland, Colorado and we went to a bar. I was surrounded by drinks and offered drinks as well, yet said no each time. It was difficult at first, but overtime it made me stronger than ever. I woke up the next morning also feeling amazing for the 6 mile hike we were doing, which made it even more clear that I don’t want to drink anymore (or at least like I used to).

Ending thoughts:

Being a fitness and finance blogger has definitely encouraged and motivated me to quit drinking. I mean, what kind of role model can I possibly be to all of you if I feeding my body poison every weekend and wasting money on these nights out?

Planning My Europe Backpacking Trip

2nd September 2015

cinque-terre-279013_640This year seems to be flying by, and as I get older I am truly realizing how quickly time is passing. There are so many destinations I want to visit all around the world, as well as experience different cultures and food.

I’m in the beginning planning process of my trip to Europe, and just the thought of it gets me super giddy! Below I’m going to list approximately when I’ll be going on my trip, along with which countries I want to hit, as well as how I plan on doing it, along with my reason why for wanting to travel (solo most likely).

When:

My approximate dates are sometime between May-August, with it being summer vacation and me (most likely) being off from my job at the high school. I know these are peak months and everything will be a little bit more expensive, but I’ll still be making it work with using my frugal skills throughout the trip. I’m not exactly how sure I will be in Europe, but I want to make sure there is enough time for each country without feeling rushed.

Where:

As of now, I would like to hit Ireland, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, and France. I originally wanted to try to hit as many countries as possible, but I decided that I want to (attempt) to get the realest feel of the country as I possibly can in the short time frame. I want to not only hit the “touristy” destinations, but also the smaller villages far away from the feel of simply being in a tourist area. I want to hit up a pub filled with Irishman and eat pasta from a small local restaurant in a small town in Italy.

Please send country/city recommendations to my email at Fitnancials@gmail.com or comment below.

How:

I originally planned on using some kind of tour bus company, but decided that I should probably plan the trip out entirely on my own to make it plenty cheaper. I will most likely go with Eurail and try to use Couchsurfing as often as possible. My mom used Couchsurfing the entire time she was in Europe and it made me really jealous! She stayed with men, gypsies, and an older lady whose house was filled with cats. She also stayed at a hostel with people my age, who welcomed her with open arms and also made her go bar hopping with them. Sounded like quite the trip.

Why:

Because simply, why not?

Traveling opens an entire new world to me. I get to experience different cultures, amazing food, and meet awesome life-long friends. I get to learn the basics of the language, as well as try to get by in the smaller villages with the local language. The amount of confidence I gain after each trip is life altering and makes me love life so much more.

Do you have any advice or tips regarding my Europe backpacking trip? Have you ever been backpacking in Europe?

 

August Life Update + Goals Update

1st September 2015

I can’t believe how quickly this month flew by! August was an awesome month for many reasons. I was able to take a trip out to Chicago to visit my mom, brother, and grandma. My brother is having a baby in November, so it was awesome catching up with him. This month and rest of the year is looking bright and I’m really excited to get things started here in Colorado. I also colored my hair lavender, so if you want to check it out and see what it looks like, read further!

Job Update:

I wanted to update everyone on the job portion of my life. Although I am getting by with my blog and Beachbody, I decided to also get a full time job to help me save up for my long Europe backpacking trip next summer. I mentioned in my last monthly update that I was having a very difficult time landing a job, and when I did I would only be offered $1.50-8.50 an hour. To educate all of my non-Colorado residents, the minimum wage is $8.23 here in Colorado, yet I was offered $1.50 at a babysitting job and $7.50 at a school. (If someone knows why this is, please let me know. I can understand why babysitting jobs can get away with paying so low, but not schools).

Last week I went on an interview at a local high school as a paraprofessional, working with children that have autism and other developmental disabilities. I went on another interview today to work at an elementary school, and shortly after got a phone call from a high school I applied to.

You’re looking at a new paraprofessional at a high school in my town! I’m extremely grateful to have been offered this position and I can’t wait to see where this journey will take me. I’m pretty excited to go back to high school as well! Haha.

Life Update:

As most of you know, I moved to Colorado back in May and it’s taken some adjusting. I don’t have any of my friends here, and my sister/brother in law are gone as well now (they just bought an RV and are traveling the country). Although I am happy for them, I miss them like crazy! My boyfriend and I have been doing a ton of traveling within the state of Colorado as well. I took a trip across CO to Nederland to visit my best friend and we went on a hike and explored the city of Boulder as well. I also took a flight out to Chicago to visit family members, which rejuvenated me a bit as well.

Along with being in school full time, I am tackling 3 online jobs along with starting my job at a high school in a couple days. I am planning a long trip in Europe next summer, along with saving up to get my own place within the next year.

August Goals:

  • Start a full time job- Pass! Working full time as a paraprofessional.
  • Put $1,000 in savings. – Fail. Just got the job offer today!
  • Lose 2% body fat. – Most likely fail, as I haven’t checked yet. My body fat analyzer goes up and down so rapidly, so I’m not sure if I want to track my progress using this method anymore. Simply using a mirror possibly?

September Goals:

  • Start Crossfit or kickboxing.
  • Read 5 books on personal development.

 

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How was your month? Did you hit your goals?

 

3 Reasons Why I Prefer Solo Travel

28th August 2015

22-35-33-308_640 (1)People always ask me why I decide to travel solo, when I could take a family member or friend with me. I mean, why wouldn’t I want to experience a culture and country with a loved one? Well, there are a ton of reasons that I can list right off the bat.

Not to say that I don’t enjoy exploring a country with my mother or sister, I simply (sometimes) prefer to be on my own.

Traveling solo can sometimes have it’s downfalls, such as feeling lonely or wishing another person was there with you in times of need, but for the most part it’s pretty darn awesome.

1. It’s 1 million times easier to meet people when you’re solo.

I’ve been on trips with family and friends, and then I’ve been on trips solely by myself. I can make a clear distinction between the two since I ALWAYS come out with a ton of friends from my solo trips. People are more likely to come up to you, ask you to come salsa, or enjoy happy hour. If you’re surrounded by family and friends, people will be much more intimidated and you’ll miss out meeting your new best friend from Germany or China. I even know of quite a few people that have met their significant other from solo traveling, so that could possibly be in store for you as well!

2. You get to set up your own time frame of activities.

I cannot even count how many times I wished I could’ve done something differently or stayed at a certain place longer, but couldn’t because the other person was tired or bored. You get to run your own schedule and kinds of activities you’re wanting to try. If you are an adventurous person and you go on a trip with a friend who is scared of a ferris wheel, it’s not going to end being that fun of a trip. You’ll have to work around their wants and needs and possibly even have to join in on trips and places you simply don’t want to go to at all, which means more money spent when you could’ve saved by being by yourself.

3. I grow each and every time I travel by myself.

I get lost and learn how to find my way by myself. I learn new languages and phrases to speak with people from around the world. I learn how to haggle with a taxi driver who is trying to make me pay 5x the regular price just because I am a tourist. I learn how to find a historical landmark in Peru by speaking entirely in Spanish to a Peruvian native.

Traveling solo creates you and makes you. You become more independent and confident than you ever thought possible. You surprise yourself. You get lost and find your way out of sticky situations. You learn how to take care of yourself, without needing anyone else. Traveling solo is one of the best things to do if you are trying to become a better and stronger you.

Do you prefer to travel solo? What are some of the perks and downfalls of solo traveling in your opinion?

Also, here is an article I did for New Retirement regarding working with financial counselors to plan your retirement. Check it out! Working with a Financial Counselor to Plan Your Retirement

4 Common Concerns People Have When Traveling Solo

26th August 2015

beach-802106_1280A year ago I decided to take a solo 2 month trip to South America. A part of me had doubt that I wouldn’t go through with the trip, and I even thought of going home the day I arrived in South America.

Throughout the year I had people asking me why I would go to South America by myself, and why I decided to spend 2 months there where a language as spoken that I was unfamiliar with.

My answer was simply, “Why not?”

Before I move on, if you’re a women that has decided to travel by herself, anytime someone asks you why you are traveling somewhere by yourself, simply say “Why not?” That will sure shut them up! They wouldn’t ask a man why they are traveling solo, so they shouldn’t be asking you either. I don’t care if this a male dominated world. Which leads me to my first tip of advice.

1. “I’m a woman traveling solo.”

If you’re a woman, do a bit of research on the country you are going to beforehand. Wear appropriate clothing, bring some kind of weaponry that will pass through airport security. Be prepared for men to hit on you, say inappropriate things to you, and even touch you. I’ve had friends visit countries like India, where the male population is definitely dominant and outwardly sexual, and they still were fine and had a life changing experience. The key is to simply be smart, be aware of your surroundings, and follow your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, ditch the person, place, or whatever is giving you a bad feeling.

2. “I’m scared of being alone without any family or friends.”

Guess what? You’re going to meet tons of people and make the strongest relationships possible. When I was in Peru, I lived in a house with up to 16 people. We became family. We experienced a culture and country together. We felt scared together. We got drunk together and salsa danced. It was an experience that I will never forget. When you travel with family and friends, you’re less likely to make friends from all the over world since you already have someone with you. I highly urge to at least travel solo once.

3. “What if someone robs me of all my belongings?”

As stated in tip #1, follow your gut. If the situation if you are in feels bad, leave immediately. Don’t keep pondering on the idea, just leave. Most travelers never have anything bad happen to them. From my experience and what I’ve heard, only the drunk people get robbed. Obviously I don’t need to explain further why that is so. Stay sober when need be, be aware of the people around you, and make sure to keep your backpack in front of you at all times in crowded areas. Don’t leave belongings in your pockets. I’ve had friends have their cell phones and passports stolen from their JEAN POCKETS. Be smart and aware at all times.

4. “What if I can’t find someone that speaks my language?”

Assuming you speak English, you should be fine. People from all around the world and learning to speak English and the majority of the world knows at least a little bit of English to get by. When I was in the Peru international airport, I made sure to write down the phrases and questions in Spanish, alongside translated in English so I knew what I was saying. I wanted to practice my Spanish and most Peruvians like it when you practice their language with them. Always carry around phrases/questions that you should know in whichever language of the country you are in.

So what are you waiting for? Traveling solo is going to change you in so many more ways than you would even think. I learned how to break language barriers and become close friends with local natives. I learned how to get out of my shell and live with a house full of 16 people from all over the world. I took risks. I made mistakes. Most of all, I changed into the confident, independent person I am today.

What other some other ways a person can overcome anxiety and fear when traveling, or even solo traveling? Do you participate in any of the above ways I mentioned to overcome anxiety?

 

6 Day Shakeology Challenge + Free Meal Plan

24th August 2015

6 Day Shakeology Challenge + Free Meal PlanHey everyone! I’m really excited to announce that I am hosting a 6 day Shakeology Challenge.

Everyone’s been asking me how I stay on track while living a healthy lifestyle, so I’m here to give you a big portion of how I am able to do it. I’ve been drinking Shakeology for 2+ years and plan on drinking it for the rest of my days. I drink it upon waking up every morning (best time for me as it allows me to keep my snacking and cravings under control the entire day).

If you are vegan, you’re in luck because Shakeology also offers vegan flavors/sampler packs.

If you are interested in trying the 6 Day Shakeology Sampler pack, email me at Fitnancials@gmail.com – or comment below!

Shakeology is for you if:

  • Want to lose weight
  • Need energy
  • You are short on time cooking healthy meals
  • Need help with getting rid of cravings
  • And many other reasons!

 

The Benefits of Shakeology:

  • Lose weight
  • Reduce junk food cravings
  • Provide healthy energy
  • Support your digestion and regularity
  • Feel full longer because of the proteins, fiber, and healthy fats
  • Last but not least, when you eat healthy, you are more likely to stay on a workout program because the results come quicker

During the 6 days, you will be trying out a different Shakeology flavors each day. The flavors included will be: 1 Chocolate, 1 Vanilla, 1 Strawberry, 1 Greenberry, 1 Chocolate Vegan, 1 Tropical Strawberry Vegan.

The flavor I’ve been drinking for 2+ years is Chocolate and I am nowhere near bored or sick of it. I mix it with peanut butter and banana and it reminds me of one of my favorite chocolate treats at DQ (Dairy Queen was my joint back in the day).

I am also adding a free plan for the people who are purchase the Shakeology sampler pack through me, and you will also be added to a Facebook group for some extra accountability. I will also be your FREE coach! =)

The cost for this is a low $30, which is awesome because you don’t have to commit to a full bag of Shakeology, especially if you don’t know which flavor you would like. If you end up loving the Shakeology (which I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t), then all you have to do is let me know you are interested in buying a bag, and I send you a quick email with everything laid out and ready for purchase.

I want to make it clear that I am not a registered dietitian. I’m simply giving a guideline of foods to eat, and foods that I eat as well. Depending on your goals, height, weight, etc, the meal plan will and can be different. Every body is different, along with everybody’s goals being different as well.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at Fitnancials@gmail.com – or comment below!

 

Bulu Box Review + 50% Off Coupon Code

21st August 2015

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Welcome to my Bulu Box review! Continue reading below to receive a valuable Bulu Box coupon code as well for 50% off.

Bulu Box has become one of my FAVORITE monthly subscriptions because of how convenient it is for trying out new healthy products.

I love the fact that I can try out samples of many different products, without having to rely on reviews or buying the large, bulkier size of it. Let’s face it, what works for one individual will be totally different for another person. Whether your goals are weightloss, better memory/focus, etc, Bulu Box will have items for you to try. After creating a quick account that takes about 10 seconds to make, you answer questions based on your lifestyle, goals, and what you would like to try.

Basically, you get to try out a product before fully committing to it.

Bulu Box was kind enough to give me a box to try out and review, and I was very pleased! I was given: Jusion Jerky, Movit energy gummies, Simple Diet green coffee bean, Runa Focused Energy tea, and Earth’s Care Anti-Itch cream (perfect timing since I am going on a weekend camping trip).

The Jusion Jerkey was AMAZINGLY delicious and so were the Movit energy gummies. They tasted exactly like what you would buy from the store, but in an extremely healthy version!

Steps:

  1. Head on over to Bulu Box.
  2. You choose from a choice of either Bulu Box Original or Bulu Box Weightloss.
  3. Select from month to month, 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months. 12 months is the best deal since it is only $9.17 per box.
  4. Create your account.
  5. Answer a few questions regarding your lifestyle.
  6. Check out with Bulu Box review coupon code – “WONDERFUL”. Be sure to click on my link in order to be able to use the coupon code.

Bulu Box was kind enough to offer all of my followers 50% off ANY subscription! The Bulu Box review coupon code is WONDERFUL. Hope you enjoyed my Bulu Box review!

Have you ever tried Bulu Box? What were your thoughts? 

 

5 Netflix Documentaries For The Wanderluster

19th August 2015

Travel documentaries can transpire many feelings within.

We can feel fascination, excitement, trepidation, among many other feelings from witnessing others accounts of exploring the world. Travel films have inspired awe in me, to the point of wanting to go to that exact spot that the individual went to, wanting to experience the same feelings they did.

Exploring the world and visiting a place you’ve never been to brings communicability and a sense of unpredictability as well.

This is where change happens within an individual, and I’ve learned that I’ve learned plenty more about myself when I am traveling in the unknown, rather than being at home in a place I am quite comfortable in.

Below are five movies and documentaries on Netflix that I recommend wanderlusters watch.

netflix 11. Tracks:

Okay, so this isn’t totally a documentary, but it does depict the life of a woman named Robyn Davidson who traveled 1,700 miles across the Australian desert, ending at the Indian Ocean with her dog and four camels. This movie transpired a wide range of emotions within me. I felt immediately inspired, motivated, and also heartbroken, bitter, and a boatload of other emotions.

The woman eventually meets a National Geographic photographer who begins to photograph her voyage across the Australian outback. People travel to visit unfamiliar spots in the world, but don’t even begin to realize that the journey is going to change them forever.

 

netflix 52. Maiden Trip:

In 2009, A 14 year old girl named Laura Dekker announced she was going to circumnavigate the globe entirely by herself.

Although she had a few setbacks at the beginning of her journey, such as the Dutch courts stepping in and claiming she wouldn’t be able to do this type of odyssey. Eventually, she was able to overrule the Dutch courts and she finally set out on her voyage on August 21, 2010.

She documents her entire trip on video and makes you feel in awe and inspired throughout as she faces different challenges and obstacles, yet overcomes them all.

 

netflix 43. Craigslist Joe:

This documentary was actually the first film I EVER watched on Netflix. I didn’t even know what Netflix was when I saw this film.

Joseph Garner is the guy filming throughout the film, videotaping a months worth of traveling across the United States, with the only method of living being via Craigslist. He didn’t bring any money on his trip, and also didn’t contact anyone he knew for help.

He solely relied on Craigslist for all for all of his needs. Most of us see Craigslist as a website that has transformed into the users only murderers, but it’s quite far from as we learn from this documentary. He also meets a couple that got a free car from Craigslist, amongst other things.

 

netflix 34. Touching the Void: 

This movie had me on my toes throughout, basically because I knew what was about to happen since I have heard about this story beforehand.

This film depicts Joe Simpson and Simon Yates’ journey in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. Both of these men set out on a journey to climb almost 21,000 feet Siula Grande and face an abundant amount of challenges along the way.

I don’t want to give out too many details if you’ve never heard of the story, so I will leave it at that.

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 3.18.04 PM5. 127 Hours:

James Franco stars as canyoneer Aron Ralston, who set off on an adventure in Southeastern Utah (which I live VERY close to by the way!). He became trapped by a boulder in Blue John Canyon, in April 2003.

Aron Ralston also came out with a book in which he explained his journey and what happened mentally in detail.

To say he went through the most difficult challenges of all is quite the understatement, yet he was able to overcome the obstacles brought to him.

Have you ever seen any of the above travel films? What other movies would you recommend watching to inspire travel in someone?

4 Ingredient Quick & Easy Healthy Ice Cream Sundae

17th August 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 3.21.25 PMWhile on my 2 month long trip in Peru, ice cream was abundant and I pretty much had some kind of dessert every single day.

Since I’ve been back in the states, I’ve been cleaning up my diet and my sugar cravings and stronger than ever.

Due to this, I’ve decided to come up with different strategies and recipes to help curb my cravings.

I decided to try something new and it turned out amazing!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 frozen bananas
  • Lite whipped cream
  • All Natural Peanut Butter (or almond butter)
  • Cinnamon
  • Cherry or chopped of strawberries (optional)

 

Steps:

  1. Cut up your banana into small sliced pieces (this will make them freeze faster and is also easier on the blender).
  2. Freeze your ripened bananas. My bananas took about 2 hours to freeze, but depending on your freezer temp it could be different.
  3. Get your blender out and mix the frozen bananas, 2 TBS of peanut butter, and blend. You want to blend it until it gets a creamy texture, but not too thin and liquidy.
  4. Pour into a pretty glass (I poured mine into a fine wine glass since I was feeling a bit classy), and then added the whipped topping and a dash of cinnamon.
  5. (Optional) You can add a cherry on top of added taste and looks or a couple chopped up strawberries.

Voila! So easy to make and it satisfies the ice cream cravings.

 

Health Benefits of These Ingredients:

Bananas have high levels of Tryptophan, which can help overcome depression because of the releases serotonin (the chemical that makes you happy). Banana can also aid in muscle cramping after those intense workouts.

Whipped topping brings happiness to the soul. Boom.

Peanut butter has found to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and your chance of colon cancer. It’s also delicious.

Cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels and also aid in curbing cravings. Cinnamon actually comes from the inner bark of trees called Cinnamomum. Get it?

Have you tried this recipe before? What would you add or take away to make it taste better?

 

What It’s Like Being 22 in the 21st Century

13th August 2015

A majority of my time lately has been spent on self help and personal development.

I’ve been doing plenty of reflecting on my life lately and frankly, I realized a majority of it goes to worrying about minuscule things that truly have no purpose in my life nor need to ever care about. I believe the current society we are living in puts an extremely high amount of pressure on human beings, with a large part of that pressure being on women. As I grow older, I reflect on my life as a teenager and how much time was spent on worrying about my appearance and how I acted. I also spent an extremely large amount of time caring about what other people thought.

As a society, I believe we are basically set up to fail. We will never be pretty enough, slim enough, or strong enough in the eyes of these beauty commercials and fitness ads. This is how these companies are racking in the cash. That’s where your way of thinking comes in, and knowing you have the power to change your entire perspective on life and what truly matters, which is happiness.

By now, you might’ve noticed that every photo in a magazine, commercial, movie, is filled with someone who is pretty darn beautiful and perfect looking. In movies, women are usually drawn out of films by the age of 30, yet men in their 60’s are still getting movie roles. Beauty commercials are constantly telling us to get the hot new beauty product in order to become a “better you”. I am not against makeup, however, there is a large emphasis on buying these products to make you “look 20 years younger”, have a skinner looking face, etc.

This made me think. Why do I put such a high emphasis on what I look like and how I act when I am around others?

A considerable amount of thought went into pondering on the idea of blaming my thoughts and worries about my appearance solely on society. I simply could of blamed society for bombarding me with these beautiful women every where I look. Then I thought to myself, “Why blame society on what I outwardly and inwardly do, when I have the power to change my thoughts and actions?”

This way of thinking has changed me ever since. I can spend my life worrying and caring about the thoughts of others, or I can take care of myself to the best of my ability, while simultaneously being happy throughout the process.

I recently read an article that asked what older people wished they could’ve changed or what their regrets were as they reflected on their life. What was the number one regret?

The older folks admitted they spent too much time worrying and being upset over things that had no real value in their life. They believed they had spent too much time sulking in sadness and not trying hard enough to be happy. You might ask yourself, “Why try to be happy? Shouldn’t happiness occur naturally?” Well, in some cases it does. For the most part, you need to work toward happiness and achieve a positive, healthy mentality first. We have the power to be happy all the time, despite our circumstances or limited resources. (I learned about this thoroughly in The Art of Happiness).

I owe an enormous amount of thanks to the authors that produced certain books, and the books that I continue to read that guide me to a more positive way of thinking. I recommend you check out the article I published earlier this week 7 Books To Become A Better and Happier You.

Would you agree with anything that I listed above? Do you work on personal development? What other books would you recommend reading?