But First, Love Yourself 

Hello friends! It’s been way too long since I’ve blogged. But wow, life has been so busy for myself and I know for a lot of those around me. The past 6 months of my life have been life changing and I’ve grown so much individually. I chose to blog about this topic because I feel like this is an area of my life that I’ve improved on immensely in these past 6 months, and I know a lot of women my age have or are facing the same challenges as me when it comes to this topic.  

The biggest issue I’ve had with this statement is that people sometimes see you as being selfish. Being called “selfish” is hard to hear, for me at least. I’ve always worked toward being the best person I can be, the last thing I want is to be looked at as selfish. With that being said, I’m not saying to only worry about your wants and needs and forget everyone and everything else. Because at the end of the day, that is selfish. It’s important to consider others, but there’s a time and place to put yourself first and I’ve always had a hard time doing this because I’ve always been such a people pleaser.

I try to look at this topic like I would a relationship. You can never truly thrive in a relationship with a significant other until you love yourself first. From my own experience, it’s hard to move forward and succeed without that self love because there are too many obstacles along the way resulting from insecurities, trust issues, etc.

 So in order to really help others in the world, wouldn’t you want to be the best version of yourself first? I wouldn’t want to run around trying to make other people happy if I’m not even really happy myself. It just wouldn’t make any sense. 

It’s not always easy to love yourself. Sometimes it takes reaching rock bottom and realizing that you can only really rely on yourself in life to realize just how worthy and special you really are. Being at the very bottom and growing and developing over time into this strong person that you don’t even recognize, and then looking back at all the changes you’ve made for yourself; it’s amazing and something to be so proud of. You realize how capable you are and how much you have to offer. 

It’s awesome because it makes you see love and relationships so differently. It makes you cherish the good relationships, and puts a new perspective on the not so good ones. Loving yourself makes it so much easier to let go of people who are toxic in your life and be independent until the right people show up.

So, my point in this blog is just to encourage you to take steps in bettering yourself and loving yourself. Take time away from stressful situations or relationships, work, school, etc. and do the things you that make YOU happy.  Then when it comes time for you to make an impact in someone else’s life, for whatever reason that may be, you can do it to your full potential because you’ve already loved yourself. 

I want to live a life where I can help others and  make an impact in others life’s. Something was always missing when  I’ve tried to do this in the past, and looking back now, it was just just the fact that I didn’t know and love myself enough to be effective. Someone is always going to have their opinion of you. Surround yourself with people who are going to be supportive and encourage you to do these things for yourself. The right people won’t see it as selfish. 

You are special, important, beautiful, worthy.. And if you’re looking for more words of encouragement, just scroll up and look at the bold words. You ARE all those things 💕 I  wish I could give every person who’s struggling with self love a huge hug because I know how it feels. Instead, I’ll write out my feels to you guys. 

Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with blogging regularly again, I will do my best!  Happy Wednesday, friends!

Xoxo

Simply,

Summer

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Chicken Fajita Bowl

Hi there! It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to blog. Feels good to be back and share this quick, delicious and easy recipe with you to cure those Mexican food cravings (at least I know I get them)!

One of my least favorite things to do is cutting up  veggies lol. I like to keep things simple, veryyyy simple. With that being said, I’ll start by sharing the ingredients;

  • 8 thinly sliced thawed chicken breast
  • A bag of pre cut peppers and onions mix from the frozen section, or if your not worried about making it quick, 3 peppers (I use green, red and yellow), and a half an onion thinly sliced
  • 1 packet fajita seasoning
  • 1 can black beans
  • Pre made guacamole (to top off)
  • Sour cream (to top off – I personally use plain Greek yogurt with some sea salt and pepper to keep it healthy)
  • Cholula (to top off – or any other hot sauce or taco sauce of your preference, Cholula is just my favorite)!
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Steps:

  1. Cut all 8 chicken breasts into thin strips
  2. Prepare 2 large skillets with 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in each skillet over medium heat
  3. When heated, put cut up chicken breasts in one skillet, and frozen (or not frozen) peppers and onions in other skillet
  4. Cook chicken until no longer pink and until peppers and onions start to brown
  5. Once both are done, put the peppers in the chicken skillet and add fajita seasoning (according to directions on seasoning packet, most require some water). Mix up until spread through out
  6. Cover and let simmer for approximately 5 minutes
  7. While simmering, empty black beans in a microwavable bowl, cover with a paper towel and microwave for about 2 minutes. Stir at 1 minute.
  8. Get out your guac, sour cream (or greek yogurt) and hot sauce
  9. When finished simmering, put your desired amount of chicken fajitas in a bowl and top with your sour cream, guac, black beans and hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste if you choose

You will have plenty of left overs if you are only cooking for you, so this recipe is perfect for meal prep! But will feed about 4 people if not. Just make sure and get plenty of toppings! You can always add some of your own favorites too! Maybe some fat free re fried beans or spanish rice! Make it your own and have fun with it!

Don’t forget to let me know how you like it in the comments below! Hope you love this recipe as much as I do!<3

Simply,

Summer

xxoo

Thank God for Greek Yogurt

Hi, guys! I’m back to discuss another one of my favorite things – Greek Yogurt. My love for Greek Yogurt has grown substantially in the past couple months as I’ve discovered its benefits and all the different things I can do with it. So, let’s get started, shall we?

First thing’s first, the nutritional benefits.

  • Packed with protein (Makes for great skin and fights off illness, yay!)
  • Probiotics, which are great for your digestive system.
  • Vitamin B12 (Necessary for energy and healthy brain function).
  • Low in sodium and high in potassium, to keep your levels of both balanced.
  • Great after workout food (Has the nutrients to help repair damage done to your muscles during a workout)
  • Iodine (Very important for proper thyroid function – which leads to a great metabolism).
  • Calcium, crucial to your health and weight loss.

Now let’s talk about all the different things you can do with Greek Yogurt!

Sour Cream

My most recent discovery is substituting sour cream for plain Greek Yogurt. Sounds weird, I know. But they have very similar tastes. I’ll put it on my tacos, chili, fajitas, etc. You name it! If it’s something I’d put sour cream on, it’ll have GY on it instead! So much more healthy and less fattening.

Greek Yogurt Chicken

Sounds disgusting, I know. But this is the best thing ever. No one believes me when they try my recipe and I tell them it’s “skinny”. You can find tons of Greek Yogurt chicken recipes on my pinterest (Link at bottom) This one in particular is my favorite.

https://dashingdish.com/recipe/the-worlds-best-baked-chicken/

Chicken Salad

Kiss mayo goodbye! You’ll never want to make chicken salad with mayo again. I’ve been dying to try this recipe.

 

http://thediaryofarealhousewife.com/2016/01/apple-pecan-greek-yogurt-chicken-salad.html

Salad Dressings

There is nothing you’re going to find that resembles the taste of ranch dressing as much as Greek Yogurt ranch. This can be bought by the bottle in the produce section at the grocery store, or home made.

Smoothies

Most people I’ve talked to that won’t eat Greek Yogurt say it’s because of its texture. Smoothies are a great way to mask the texture and it tastes amazing! Add some fruit, nuts, anything you want! So good.

Fruit Dips

Add some cinnamon, honey, vanilla, etc. to your plain Greek Yogurt for the perfect fruit dip.

Banana Bread

Bread cooked with no oil, or butter?! This is the best day ever.

greek yogurt banana bread

Mac and Cheese

Who doesn’t love a hot bowl of mac and cheese once in awhile. Ditch the milk and butter 🙂

http://www.hercampus.com/health/5-ways-make-your-diet-actually-fun

Muffins

There are so many different muffins you can make with Greek Yogurt. Lemon poppy seed has always been my all time favorite. Here’s another recipe!

http://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/2015/08/lemon-poppyseed-muffins.html

 

As you can see, there is so much more the Greek Yogurt world than you’d think. I hope some of y’all found this blog useful because I know that when I discovered all of these it made me so happy! Let me know what you think in the comments if you try any of these yummy recipes at home! And follow me on pinterest where you’ll find more healthy recipes and some of my personal favorite bloggers!

simply,

Summer

xxoo

Skinny oatmeal & chocolate chip cookies


We’ve all been there.. 10 minutes after we finish the whole sleeve of cookies, the guilt kicks in. But, I have a solution! I’ve finally found a cookie recipe that has all the flavor and deliciousness in that of a regular cookie! And the best part is, it’s guilt free 😍

Flourless & butterless oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies! Sounds boring right? No way. These cookies are absolutely amazing and are stored with a lot of protein. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chunky or creamy peanut butter (I used chunky made with flax seeds and whole chia)
  • 2/3 cup packed dark or light brown sugar, or coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats (gluten free will work too)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Mix oats and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix the peanut butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs with an electric mixer until smooth
  4. Use a wooden spoon or a rubber/silicone spatula to mix in oats and baking soda
  5. Fold in chocolate chips gently 
  6. Roll into 2 inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. The batter was pretty sticky, so instead I used a cookie scoop to drop them on the cookie sheet and then rounded them up nicely afterwards
  7. Barely flatten the tops of the dough with your hand. Get a little creative if you’re feeling up to it and maybe add some unsweetened coconut shreds or sea salts to the tops of the cookies before baking. I did both, the sea salt turned out the best ❤️
  8. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Mine took about 10, thicker cookies took about 11. The edges should turn golden brown. It is okay if they are very soft and look a little underdone when you take them out. Let them sit for about 5-7 minutes before taking them off the cookie sheet. They will cookie through a little more and harden perfectly.
  9. Continue the process with the remaining dough. This recipe should make about 16-20 cookies. I double the recipe and make about 36-40 😂 

This is the batch I baked with unsweetened shredded coconut on top, and they were delicious as well!

I’m so happy I found this recipe and tweaked it a little to make it my own! But I have to give the credit to ambitious kitchen. They did an excellent job with this recipe!

Can’t wait to see how y’all like them! Don’t forget to post in the comments your opinion and pictures of the fun!

Simply,

Summer

xoxo

My “secret”

I want to start off by saying thank you so much for visiting my page and reading my very first blog! For the longest time I’ve thought about doing this whole “blog” thing. It wasn’t until my Face Book was blowing up with personal messages of people asking me what my “secret” was, that I finally decided it was time to share all the amazing things I’ve learned so far since the year 2016 started.

This is my story – my secret.

For those of you who don’t know me, let me introduce myself. My name is Summer. I am a 19 year old average female who is passionate about health, fitness, beauty, style, and lots of other typical girl things.

I graduated high school in June of 2015. Towards the end of my senior year, I started to gain weight. Not a lot at the time, but it sure did add up over time. By December of 2015, I had gained about 25 pounds. You wouldn’t guess that I had gained that much if you saw me often, but I was very good about hiding it. In December of 2015, I reached my breaking point. I felt like I had hit rock bottom. I looked in the mirror and had never felt more insecure in my life.

It was Christmas morning when I woke up and decided that I was going to change my life for the better. Yes, I wanted to lose weight. But more than anything, I just wanted to feel good in my skin and be happy again. That was the most important thing. New Years resolutions never worked for me, but this year I was determined.

At the start of the New Year, I went to our local gym and got my first membership. As for my diet, I started by taking it slow. It was very hard for me to alter my diet, there’s no way I could have made it happen in one day. First thing to cut out of my diet – dipping sauces. Dipping sauces were HUGE for me. After a few days of success, I cut out bad carbs. Then, I worked my way into cutting out cheese and most dairy products (super hard for me). Then followed red meats, sugars, etc. It took me quite awhile to get in the habit of not eating these things. My every day diet was chicken or turkey for protein, and fruits and veggies. (There were a few other things that I will mention in my “Fit Girl Grocery List” blog that will be posted next!)

Along with my diet change, I was religiously going to the gym. I mean, I hardly missed a day. After awhile, I got on the scale to see if my hard work had been paying off. I was so happy to see that it was. When I started eating the right way and staying active, the pounds started falling off. I was so addicted to the results I was seeing and amazed that my body could even do the things it was doing.  With that being said, there were times when the addiction got out of hand. I was allowing my diet and the gym to be the main focus of my life, and it started to interfere with my relationships and my anxiety (Another blog topic that will soon be posted). I would get on the scale 2-3 times a day to make sure that i was staying under a certain weight, and if I was above that certain weight, it would ruin my entire mood and sky rocket my anxiety.

It took me quite a while to relax and realize that it’s not about the number on the scale, but about the way you feel and knowing that you are giving your body the nutrients it needs to be healthy. Once the anxiety started calming down, I’d step on the scale about once or twice a week. I was noticing huge changes, slowly but surely. By May of 2016, I had lost about 30 lbs. I’ve never felt more healthy in my life than I do now. My energy level is 100 times what it was when I was eating unhealthy. I breath so much easier and I am so much more active than I used to be. My life has been changed for the better in so many ways.

My goal for 2016 was not only to lose weight, but to feel good in my skin, to be happy and live a healthy lifestyle, because my body deserves it. So, what’s my “secret”, you ask? I wish I could say that I had one. I wish I could say it was easy. I wish I could say “I found this amazing pill! It did all the work for me and the pounds fell right off!” I can’t say any of this. But I can say it was worth it.

Through this journey, I’ve learned a lot about myself. Nothing worth having comes easy. But if you want it bad enough, you can do anything you put your mind to. It’s never too late to turn it around and build a healthy lifestyle for yourself. You and your body deserve it. Thanks for letting me share my “secret” with you. I’d love to hear about your “secret”, too! Don’t forget to share your stories with me in the comments!

simply,

Summer

xoxo