Your Best Self

Hey all.

That’s what I do, that’s how I roll, with butter.

Sometimes a bagel, with cream cheese. So, I’m a foodie with a recipe blog. {Insert comment from Angie, here: AND BOY is she a GOOD foodie}.

Thank goodness, because I’m not good at this other stuff. I don’t know how ya’ll do this, posting on a daily basis & sounding great at the same time. But because I am honored to be chosen to guest post here at The Circus I thought I’d come out of my shell & do a different act.

Tomorrow is April 1st.

{AND, Angie’s Birthday. For real.}

Which reminds me, be careful, don’t be a fool when siblings or friends call you to tell you some big news. Probably not true.

Anyway, I get motivated by dates like the first days of the month or anniversaries or dates of events coming up. It marks the time passing & where I am compared to where I was & it inspires me to keep going forward toward the goal of being my best self. For me, well, I am going to be a tad predictable, sorry! But for me, the only thing that keeps me from being my best self is my health & working out. I can’t control most other things in life that get me down but I can control my health & well-th. I have a food blog & I cook a lot so this is a real struggle for me daily but I know what I need to do. The challenge is actually doing it. So, let me ask you as we approach a new month & as I hope to inspire you even just a little:

What is keeping you from your best self?

Whatever it is, doesn’t it feel like a constant head cold, always hanging over you, keeping you from truly & fully enjoying all that you love around you? That’s how I feel when I am not consistently working out & eating right (more than I am eating wrong.) Exercising is my form of Prozac. It keeps me sane & happy & able to fully taste all that is around me as opposed to that stupid cold prohibiting my taste buds from working.

In the event your head cold is like mine, I want to list the tips that really work for me. While I am no health professional, I am also not getting paid a million bucks to tell you what you want to hear (unless Angie has a surprise for me). I have been on both sides. I have felt the bliss of health & well-th & I have felt the true sadness & severe crankiness of the opposite. This is what works for me to avoid the latter.

Create mini events to keep you motivated. I always hit plateaus where I am not feeling it but it helps when I know I have something coming up like hosting a little BBQ or going out with a girlfriend.

Workout in the morning to keep you happy all day long. If you put it off it may never happen.
Use visualization but be realistic. My string bikini days may be gone but I can still see myself rocking the tankini.

Know your weaknesses & adjust accordingly. I want to treat myself this evening to my favorite cocktail – Vodka & Tonic – but I stopped keeping the large Grey Goose bottle in the freezer. So, I picked up just 1 of the miniature bottles so I have no temptation after I get my treat. I also LOVE chips but have found an alternative for when I need a good crunch. See food tips below.
Adjust your lifestyle. For me that meant something as small as taking Mondays off from posting a new recipe & creating Not So Fat Fridays which motivated me to try one new extremely healthy dish each week.

Be comfortable when working out. I got so sick of the wedgies & the pants riding up that I realized I was putting off working out because I didn’t know what to wear. After examining my closet I know I need to go to the store but until then I make sure to wear my most comfortable gear, even if it means over & over.

And a few food tips:

Use olive oil in place of butter whenever possible. Olive oil is a healthy fat!!!

If you’re a wine drinker like me, make yourself a spritzer. I like to sip on wine while I am cooking dinner but I also like one later in the evening. To avoid having 2 glasses each night: fill your standard wine glass half full with wine. Finish off with club soda. Even water works well. It’s now a habit for me.

If you’re a salty snacker & love your chips: brush some corn tortillas with a mixture of water & lime juice. Sprinkle with a little sea salt, garlic & chili powder. Bake in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes. Then put under broiler for a minute to brown. Let stand for a few minutes. Dip in salsa or bean dip. Perfect crunchy snack without all the guilt.

So, whaddaya say?

Go on & get your best self, then come on over to my place and let’s really Live.Love.Eat.


  1. 2

    April says

    I loved this post! I completely agree, when I start my day off with working out, I feel so much better throughout the day. My problem is that I get up during the week at 5:15 AM to see my oldest daughter off to school So, it’s easy for me to start my day feeling tired. Sometimes, I have to nap in place of working out, just to get caught up on my sleep, but I try not to do it often.

  2. 3

    Lolli says

    I’m exercising today! Taking the kid out and walking in the fresh air. I know, not such a huge accomplishment, but I feel good about it! Winter is so tough when I’m stuck inside all the time. Thanks for this post. Welcome to Angie’s blog!

  3. 4

    Natalie says

    Love the post.. Great tips! I HAVE to envision myself looking great to keep myself on the treadmill for the last mile. Skinny jeans or a bathing suit works every time.

  4. 5

    Casey's trio says

    Steph~ how fun to see you over here! I just started going to the gym after a LONG hiatus. Feels good!

  5. 8

    Following Him says

    What a great post 🙂 Thanks for your advice…I love exercising and am finally doing it more often too.
    That chip recipie sounds yummy!

  6. 9

    sassy stephanie says

    Good advice sister. Good to see ya over here too!

    I have swapped some faves as well. Try to eat only one ‘cheat’ meal a week, that way I don’t feel as guilty. I feel more like it is a treat that I earned.

  7. 11

    Tiaras & Tantrums says

    Hey Steph – welcome!! I never exercise – I should – I NEED motivation!! The SUN shining would help!! I was supposed to swear off the chocolate peanut butter cups on Jan 1 – but did NOT (no surprise there) – BUT I have not have ONE – (not even a sneaky cheat) in over 2 weeks. I LOVE salty plain crunchy chips and I eat them every night(no joke) BUT – I have not had any in 2 weeks!!! I never use butter – cut that out years ago and you know I am not a drinker . . . I think I am on my way now. I just need the SUN and I can start to work out !!!!!

  8. 29

    Kelly Deneen says

    Hello! It’s good to see you here, and what a great post! I also feel so much better when I work out. Good idea on the little vodka bottles. I have portion control issues with chips and drinks. hehe.

  9. 30

    Lula! says

    You know my goal in life is to have Angie’s red hair and Stephanie’s culinary skills.

    It really is.

  10. 31

    Erin, Nick and Merrick says

    Fancy running into you here!
    I really should work out, period.
    This summer I had a lunch break from my job and would hit the gym.
    That hasn’t happened since August!

  11. 33

    Poetry Sue says

    I started walking 2 miles every day almost 2 months ago… also I satisfy that little salty craving with one of orville redenbacher’s 100 calorie packs of Kettle Korn Microwaveable popcorn. Already I’m getting thse “wow you’re losing weight” comments, that’s what motivates me… knowing that what I am doing is seen by others… and it’s not just in my head! LOL

  12. 34

    T Rex Mom says

    Thanks for the post – I LOVE olive oil – use it for anything needing oil and on my salads rather than dressings.

  13. 37

    Swirl Girl says

    Thanks for making my hungry and feeling guilty about not working out.

    ps – I would never spritz in my wine glass…I drink it straight!

  14. 38

    Scary Mommy says

    Ditto Lula! In my next life, that’s what I want: Angie’s red hair and Steph’s culinary skills. You nailed it. 🙂

  15. 43

    Carissa(GoodnCrazy) says

    Kate my foodie friend! HiYA~ glad to see you here!!

    I love toasted tortillas! my fave is to dip them in hummus, a ‘healthy’ snack! (can I eat extra then?)

    See you around!

  16. 44

    Michelle says

    Great post Stephanie! I rarely have to create mini events as my life is a series of mini events! But I know what you mean. Having something to do is motivating.

  17. 45

    Kathleen W. says

    Great tips! Especially the wine spritzer and the tortillas. I never thought water mixed could make either of those things good!

  18. 48

    Natalie says

    i can’t wait to try the corn tortillas like that! i can’t believe that i haven’t already thought of that!

  19. 49

    Ritch in Love says

    Steph, what an excellent post! I love it. I think you’re right…it’s important to set mine dates up to look forward too! If I didn’t have movie night with my girlfriend I don’t know what I’d do. Also, I have a standing nail appointment every Wed morning with one of my dearest friends…it’s the one place I can say what I want and no one judges me for doing so.
    Also…workout! workout! workout! Very importatnt. So much of society is depressed or down and a lot of that has to do with lack of motivation and lack of energy. Exercise is a great way to pull yourself out of a rut. I immediately feel energized and strong when I see myself working out in the mirror.
    Great post!

  20. 51

    Mark and Kiss says


    Second: That was a very kind kick in the pants! Thank you! I have to say, I was ready to go to bed, then I read this and thought, oh man, I need to get my workout in today!!! Love the chip idea too. I will have to visit your blog. I love to cook and bake (way too much, that’s why I need to exercise) and I have been modifying all my recipes to whole grain and using a natural sweetener (ie: agave nectar)

  21. 52

    BoufMom9 says

    Some awesome tips! Thanks so much! Will definitely keep the spritzer idea handy 🙂

    ps I think depression sometimes gets the better of me 🙁

  22. 55

    Angela says

    Love the tips, Steph! Great job! I needed this kick in the butt today, so thanks for reminding me to get my priorities straight! Love ya!

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