The Science Of...

3 Ways To Feast FULLY This Holiday Season

The most wonderful time of the year is here! Decorations are filling the stores, flights for visiting family and friends are booked, and... dun dun dun... we are envisioning tables full of candied sweet potatoes, juicy turkeys and hams, and desserts as far as the eye can see. 

We all know that even though there are only a handful of holiDAYS coming up, we tend to treat these last two months of the year as a healthy eating hiatus not just for the one day, but for the leftovers for the next week, the pre-celebration parties, and the list goes on. 

Now if you know me, you know that I have more than one sweet tooth - so don't stop reading here thinking this is just another article telling me to leave my party pants at home and favorite dumpling off my plate. 

Au contraire, I am all for enjoying every single second of the holiday season festivities and doing so with what I call the 1-2 punch.

I'm not talking about the 1-2 punch where you:
1. Eat and Drink and
2. Pass out on the couch.
That's the type of punch that bruises, that you feel the next day. 
This packed method is a sneaky way to:
1. Fuel Fully
2. Enjoy more laughter, memories, and energy.
The package that extends trick or treating way past October.

Let's face it, most of the time, we come back from the holidays feeling like we need a holiday for our holiday. A moment to recover before slowly dragging ourselves to the office. 

So how can we instead make the most of the delicious holiday meals (and beverages) to avoid that overstuffed, slightly yet accidentally regretful feeling for eating to much. 

Step 1 Sneak in the Snacks

Most often you hear that sneaking snacks is a bad habit to pack on the pounds. But hey, I told you that we are adding a flare to the season, and that starts with this. Why snack? To trick our brains (and stomachs) of course. When big celebratory meals have too many delicious choices for us say no to all of them, let our stomachs do the work for us. By filling up throughout the day, you will still get to enjoy your fair share of your favorites, however, your body will naturally say I'm full long before you've had those 5 extra potatoes. Here are a few delicious, easy, and nutrition packed snacks to mix in throughout your day. 

  • Plain yogurt and fruit parfait (I love StoneyField Whole Milk Yogurt - super creamy and great with a splash of honey)
  • Veggies + Avocado Hummus (via A Cozy Kitchen)
  • Cauliflower Crust Pizza Bites

Step 2 Pop, Fizz, Clink

I love champagne, wine, or a festive cocktail. But if you are familiar with the economic concept of marginal increasing benefits, that's how I think most of us feel about alcohol during the holidays. (I know... but whyyyyyy). Gathering with friends or at a corporate party, we unwind, we enjoy, and we indulge. And yet, I have another trick up my sleeve for you - it's the extra fizz. Just like we trick our brain with the snacks, adding a little soda water to whatever you are drinking will do the same. You still get the pop, fizz, clink, you still get to have as many drinks as you normally do, but this subtle dilution will help you feel better the next morning and ready for the day ahead with friends and family. 

Step 3 Shake it off

There is no shame in indulging in the holiday feasts. In fact, our brain and soul needs that just as much as anything else. The way to make it not effect you too negatively is to work in at least 20 minutes of movement into your day. I know my family does at least one movie day during the holidays - yes that is at least 3 movies in our PJ's all day. When you add that with leftover sweet corn and green bean casserole, it's easy to start a spiral downward in all sorts of feelings in our body. So last year I instituted a 30 min barre3 workout to shake up the day. Sometimes it's a walk in the brisk air, sometimes it's cleaning up around the house, whatever it is get the body moving, loosened up, helping rev that metabolism.

Don't worry about feeling guilty this holiday season, rather sprinkle your menus with a dash of healthy options to help surreptitiously curb the excess and enjoy increased energy throughout the whole holiday season and ready to crush those resolutions in the New Year! 

Do you have some snacks or hacks that help you stay balanced during the holidays? What are they - share them in the comments below so we can all continue to learn together. 

xoxo,

Jessica

 

Read more →

Launch Into Greatness RECAP

Thank you to EVERYONE who joined the fabulous Michelle Snyder and I for our Launch Into Greatness Event. 

This launch wasn't just about launching our new partnership with the amazing skincare line (although woooooo we love it!). It was about launching each one of us into the awareness that to be out best selves, we have to focus on our selves through our fuel, activity, and replenishment techniques. 

We heard so many great questions and comments about how FEELING our best in the way we look translates into internal confidence fostering renewed energy to give more to others. 

So please continue to send in your thoughts, your struggles, your tips and your inspiration for #LivingaLigned everyday for your best self. 

With that said - here are some photos highlighting the fabulous day! 

 

1. Skinny Chicken Parmesan and Spinach Bites


We love these - a nice warm appetizer packed with protein but also irresistibly delicious.

The recipe:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Line baking pan with parchment paper
  • Use a meat pounder to tenderize and flatten chicken breasts (about 1 cm thick)
  • Whisk 1 egg in separate bowl
  • Mix 2 cups shredded parmesan cheese with 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
  • Dip chicken into egg mixture, cover evenly
  • Cover chicken in cheese and bread mixture
  • Place on baking pan and repeat with remaining chicken
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cooked through - cheese golden brown

a. Our full line of amazing REPLINSH(ment) products

b. The amazing effects of just one treatment of the Retinol and Vitamin C active combination.

c. Cheers to the fun and all the more ahead!

d. The live group - so many more watching virtually - wish we had pictures of all of you

What an event it was a mark in the sand for so many great things ahead. Stay tuned for more aLign events, for a growing community, for the support you need to take your life the next level!

Thanks to you all!

Jessica

 

 

Read more →

Preparing For Your Best Summer Body

Spring is here and things are starting to HEAT UP!

It may seem too early to start thinking about the effects of sunshine on your body since it’s not the PEAK time, but Spring it actually the BEST time to put you sunshine strategy in action.

A sunshine strategy? Isn’t that strategy just apply sunscreen?

Not so much.

Sunscreen should definitely be a part of your summer time must-have list, but there are actually some simple things you can do to make sure you are getting all the health benefits and necessary protection from that summertime sun.

Take a look at our latest episode to find out when wearing sunscreen may not be the best choice and why not any sunscreen you see at your local drug store is actually protecting you.

Here are some of the best resources we found to help make sure you have your best summer body yet!

 http://dminder.ontometrics.com/

This app helps you to track the perfect amount of sunshine for Vitamin D production based on your skin type, age, and geographic location. Easily balance your sun exposure with your sun protection to get the full body benefits of sunshine while shielding your skin from those harsh UV rays.

Our guide for the top sunscreens this summer

We sifted through 235 EWG (Environmental Working Group) approved sunscreens with maximum UV benefit and minimum toxic chemicals to find 4 sunscreens that you can easily find at your local drug store but will also protect from rays and contain minimal toxins that can mess with your hormones, cause skin irritation, and risk organ system toxicity.

We would love to hear from you!

What are your summertime Go To’s for finding balance in the sun?

Please share in the comments below with as much enthusiasm as you have for the summertime itself - a.k.a. we hope to see lots of comments :-)

Keep going, taking just one step at a time, to find the balance that helps take YOUR life to the next level!

Xoxo,

Jessica

 

P.S. Have any topics that you would love to know more about and have featured on “The Science of…” Email jessica@alignbags.com and send us your “Why do we do this?” or “What is this for” topic.

 

Read more →

What Drinking Water REALLY Does For Your Body

It's a phrase we get told fairly often from friends, family, news, and bloggers everywhere - there are so many benefits for drinking water.

Most of the time, these benefits are a long, yet helpful, laundry list of things like boosting your metabolism, counteracting fatigue, improving your skin and so much more.

How does our body take something that seems fairly simple, 2 parts hydrogen and 1 part oxygen, and make it into a miracle treatment?

We dove into research and reviewed work from physicians to find out exactly what our body does with water to help us find these benefits.

Take a look at this week's episode to get the deets.

With just a few sips here and there, you can keep your body hydrated ALL DAY.

These little steps help keep your body functioning at it's highest level so that you can take on the rest of your day with ease going full throttle.

Your story is so important to us and all the aLigners. Have you noticed when you aren't as hydrated? What do you feel like, tired, moody, hungry?

Please let us know in the comments how you feel and what has help you get the hydration you need?

Remember, your next level starts with optimizing your body so that YOU can take on more. You've got this with just one little step at a time.

xoxo,

Jessica

p.s. want to get your own hydration tracking bottle, check it out here.

Read more →

Why 10,000 Steps?

10,000 steps... it's all over the media, the news, and very in tune with my family.

This year, quite a few people in my family got fitbits and now there are daily updates about who is getting in their 10,000 steps. 

Bonus - no more fighting about who takes out the trash, everyone jumps up to get their steps. 

But, my boyfriend asked a great question the other day. Why is it 10,000 steps, why not 5,000, 15,000 or 14,099?

So I did a little research for us and found that this number goes back to the 1960's and a researcher in Japan.

This research may reveal why you haven't been getting the exact results you are looking for when you're fitbit vibrates. 

Watch this video and join in on the comments for how your tracker works for you?

 

Bringing it all together, 10,000 steps is not necessarily the number that everybody has to hit.

Make sure you are completely clear on what your goal is and set your step goal to that. 

Hint: You can set your fitness tracker to your new goal so you still get all the badges and celebratory vibrations. 

We would love to hear how you use your fitness tracker? 

Please share how you have found it to be most beneficial for you - you never know who you could inspire to get their journey moving in that direction too!

With lots of love walking from me to you,

Jessica

P.S. Share this with all those fitness tracker competitors you have and show them whats up :-)

 

Read more →

Create Your Own Luck

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY

I may not be Irish but I'm definitely still a believer in luck!

But sometimes, I can totally feel like the unluckiest person in the world.

Ever have one of those days where everything seems to go wrong? And then you go on facebook and see your friend just took a backstage pic with T-Swift. *wah wah*

How are they so lucky? 

Well, the research we looked at from The Luck Factor by David Wiseman, may just be the key to unlocking more luck for our lives. 

Take a look at this week's episode to get those tips for you!

 

Start getting luckier today by entering the raffle here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The biggest takeaway for this St. Patrick's Day is that you create your own luck.

By the chances you take, by the attitude you maintain and by the good fortune that YOU create. 

Now, we would love to hear from you.

Can you share in the comments a time where your chances and mindset put you in a position to receive good luck? Your inspiration could be just what someone else needs to here to get out there and TRY! 

I hope your day is filled with lots of luck today, let's keep that trend going! 

xoxo,

Jessica

 P.S.  Subscribe to our channel and make sure you get the special updates. :-)

 Stay Up To Date

Read more →

Jedi Mind Tricks To Reach Your Future Goals Faster

No, unfortunately, this episode does not involve lightsabors, but we do have a mind trick for you that will blast you to the future!

We have all been there...

A Sunday night rolls around the corner and we say, "ok, tomorrow I am going to (fill in the blank for a goal to better yourself)".

Monday starts off great, Tuesday even better, and then the hump day doldrums set in and you feel your stamina fading away. 

We say, "It's ok, I'll start strong again next week."...and then fall into the same pattern, over and over again. 

Looking at a study done by the University of Southern California (woot! shout out to the Alma Mater) and the University of Michigan, we discovered that the reason is that most times we are not connected to our future self.

So how can we stay besties with our future selves and act for it today? The secret may be more simple than you think. Check out the latest episode to find out how!

 

 
 
Remember to place your goal board somewhere where you will see it often, maybe in your office, at your desk, or in your journal. 
Keep your main focus strong and find little "mini" day goals to help you keep that connection to your future self and work one little step at a time to your NEXT LEVEL!
This trick is an easy, yet powerful one. Can you think of friends or family who would definitely benefit for this?
If so, please copy the link and send to them or share on social media here. We would so appreciate and we are willing to bet your friends out there will to :-) 
Can't wait to see your goal boards in action!
xoxo,
Jessica
Read more →

Being Active Doesn't Have to be Hard

Finding time to get a workout in seems to be impossible sometimes.

I'm right there with you...

We all have the best intentions to get that workout in and then the alarm either goes off for your early morning and you hit snooze,

OR 5pm rolls around and dinner and your favorite tv show sounds a bit more intriguing. 

Now, although vigorous workouts are without a doubt part of a healthy lifestyle

We looked at a study that shows you can get amazing benefits from just moving a small amount more frequently throughout the day. 

Something as simple as walking for 2 min every 20 min can help increase your metabolism and take better care of your organs.

Can you fit in just 2 min every half hour throughout your day?

To help you stick to it, we have put together 10 moves you can do at your desk or in the office in just two minutes! 

 

 

Watch this episode now.

And get a new perspective on how you can fit your workout in. :-)

Now here is your challenge:

Tell us in the comments below one thing you have done or will do that will help you stay moving all day?

If you need some inspiration, check out our top 10 moves to do at the office. 

Alright, set those timers, ready, set, MOVE!

Huge thanks for sharing and we can't wait to see what your move will be. Your comment could be the exact spark someone needs to jump start their balance to take their personal and professional life to the next level. 

Thanks for making today great! 

xoxo,

Jessica

 

Read more →

Is Positivity Sabotaging Your Success?

If you do a google search for positive quotes you will find 164 million results, #positive on Instagram has 7 million posts and Facebook has hundreds of group pages dedicated to positive outlooks, attitudes, and adventures. 
So I think it's pretty safe to say that positive thinking is a pretty important part of our lives.

But is positive thought holding us back from accomplishing our goals? 

A study, performed at New York University, looked at positive thought or what they called positive fantasy and compared it to positive expectations. 

**You guys know that positivity should maybe be my middle name, (Sven think in Happy Feet two is like my life mantra).**

So imagine my surprise when I found out that positive thought, or dreaming about a positive future will actually bring you worse results. Whether it is about a test, recovering for surgery, or even getting into a relationship. 

Positive expectations about what you think will happen, proved to align much more with higher success. 

Ok, so HOW can we bring more positive expectation into our lives? 

For that, we turned to another study at the National University of Singapore, who looked at willpower. 

And what is willpower other than ensuring that we act into the expectations we set for ourselves! 

They found that when clenching your muscles, you can act your body into having more willpower.

In other words, you can use your body to increase the chances that you will meet your expectations. BINGO!

 

 

So with both these things in mind, let's bring it back to how we can use these studies to improve our lives. Here are our top 3 takeaways for making positivity work for you.

  1. Try to create positive expectations, realistic positive outcomes, for yourself rather than solely dreaming of a perfect future.
  2. Take 1 small action each day towards meeting your expectations
  3. Channel your willpower! **Note: Willpower doesn't have to be only a mind game, use your muscles, either clenching your fist or forcing a smile to stay strong. 

We would love to hear from you?

 

Have you noticed a time where your positive thoughts weren't taking you to where you wanted to go? 

Let us know and tell us how you were able to turn things around

We can't wait to hear from you!

 

If you liked this blog/video, please sign up for free below to be sure you continue to get all the tips and tricks. 

Click here to get more tips *for free*

And we would so appreciate you copying this link and pasting it into an email to your friends! 

xoxo, 

Jessica

 

Share the quote of the day (well quote of the week really): 
Winners make a habit of manufacturing positive expectations. 

 

 

Read more →

The Science Of...Creating a Habit

 

It wasn't too long ago that we all got our journals out and wrote down those New Year's resolutions. 

They look something like this:

- lose weight
- spend more time with family
- drink more water

But there is a key thing that is missing from that list and we dive into a study that investigates the effects an implementation plan can have on succeeding in meeting your goals and forming a healthy habit. 

 I know this worked for me when it came to waking up early. I used to always *say* I'm going to wake up early, but when the alarm went off I would hit snooze and roll over.

When I took the approach of adding an implementation plan, I sounded more like, I'll set my alarm, put on the hot water, read the Skimm and then get to work. After only 1 or 2 weeks, it became much easier. 

A new habit is still difficult to create, however, with an implementation plan you can build a roadmap for a lasting change. 

 

 

Once you've had a chance to watch, I'm curious….

  1. What implementation plan will you put together for this week or this month? Be specific on the where, when, how and why!

Leave a comment on the blog and let me know.

Love your girl,

Jessica

Do you like what we're putting down? Sign-up for more... It's FREE

* indicates required
Read more →