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Ali K | A Blended Balance

Self-care, mental health advocate. Using food, fitness & mindfulness, join me as we find balance and live a happier, less anxious life. Central IL📍

https://blendedbalance.life/tribal-knowledge-tuesday-12-days-of-fitmas/

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Let’s do this y’all!! . Day 1 of the Blended Balance 12 days of Fitmas Health & Wellness Challenge...begins now! . Your exercise today is a 30 seconds to one minute wall sit. Find yourself a wall, bring your legs to 90 degrees, sit and hang out. You can sneak this in anytime; kids sports practice, commercial during a hallmark Christmas movie, whenever, wherever! . Today’s mindfulness task is to write down three things you are grateful for. Grab a notebook that you can use the duration of the challenge and keep it by your bedside or whenever will make it easiest and most routine for you to do. Your daily gratitude can be anything, large or small. . Don’t forget to tag me if you join in and post about it! Also use the hashtag #ablendedbalancefitmas. I’d love to help encourage and cheer you on these next few days! . Merry wall sitting and happy gratitudes! . #12daysoffitmas #12daysoffitness #12daysofchristmas #mindandbody #healthandfitness #healthandwellness #strengthtraining #bodyweighttraining #mindfulness #mindfulmoment #bemindful #gratitudejournal #dailygratitude #takecareofyourself #bethebestyou #chambana #champaignurbana #mentalhealth #anxietyrelief #merrymerry #tistheseason

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Friends, I’m excited to share with you a little something I’ve been working on! Let me introduce to you the Blended Balance 12 Days of Fitmas Health & Wellness Challenge! . In my post a couple of weeks ago, I talked about ways to stay motivated to workout out over the holidays so I wanted to piggyback off of that and bring you something to help you move each day leading up to Christmas. But that’s not it! In addition, each day you’ll get a small mindfulness task to do as well. Through movement and mindfulness, together we’ll head into Christmas feeling a little bit better mentally and physically. A little less holiday stress....., yes I am in!! 🙌🏻 . You can head on over to the blog today (link in profile) to read ahead and see what the 12 daily challenges will be but we will kick things off with day 1 tomorrow! . I do hope that you will join me. By the end, you all have an entire mini workout you can do anytime, anywhere and an arsenal of mindfulness tasks you can take with you into the new year! . I’ll roll out each daily task through a post and/or stories and we’ll use the hashtag #ablendedbalancefitmas! . #12daysofchristmas #12daysoffitmas #12daysoffitness #healthandwellness #workout #workoutmotivation #fitnessmotivation #fitness #cardio #bodyweighttraining #strengthtraining #meditation #mindfulness #mindfulnessmeditation #bemindful #gratitude #tistheseason #tistheseasontobejolly #merrymerry #bethebestyou #alwaysimproving #holidaystress #mentalhealth #anxietyrelief #stressrelief #chambana #champaignurbana @chambanamoms #tribalknowledgetuesday

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This afternoon I made some homemade spicy cinnamon hot cocoa for myself and the boys...it was sooo cozy good!!! . Here’s what I did: ▪️Heated three cups almond milk in sauce pan. ▪️Added three spoonfuls of cacao powder, few good shakes of cinnamon and a couple squeezes of honey. ▪️Stir until completely mixed and desired temperature reached. ▪️Divide amongst your coffee mugs and top with marshmallows if so desired. ▪️Add a little dash of cayenne to momma’s mug if that’s your thing. Definitely mine. ▪️Enjoy! . Nice to know we can make a clean and simple, naturally sweet hot cocoa that tastes awesome and kids can enjoy! Totally #paleo too, well minus the mallow, #foodfreedom. . #hotchocolate #hotcocoa #spicyhotchocolate #paleohotchocolate #paleosnacks #paleodiet #paleorecipes #paleolifestyle #dairyfree #cleaneating #simplerecipes #myfoodfreedom #foodfreedom #afternoontreat #kidtested #kidapproved #holidays #christmasspirit #merrymerry #festive #tistheseasontobejolly #chambana #champaignurbana #illinoisblogger #starwars #boymom

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#soupsunday tonight was a 🌶 one! I made the beef fajitas soup from the @whole30 slowcooker cookbook and it was YUM!!! . I added an extra serrano pepper which amped up the spice level. Soup garnished with cilantro and fresh squeezed lime. . Not pictured but equally as tasty, Nutcracker Winter Warmer Ale from @boulevard_beer. It’s one of my holiday favs and I’m so glad I found it here in town! . It has been a perfect day, Santa breakfast, six mile training run, naps, couch snuggles with my babies and this delicious meal to cap it off. . Ask Santa for this cookbook and make this soup!! You’ll be glad you did! . #whatsfordinner #dinnerideas #whole30recipes #whole30 #whole30dinner #whole30approved #paleo #paleodiet #paleorecipes #paleolifestyle #paleodinner #paleofriendly #eatclean #foodforfuel #myfoodfreedom #foodfreedom #christmasbeer #spicyfood #slowcooker #crockpotrecipes #chambana #champaignurbana #whatimeating #souprecipe #soup #soupseason

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year and my most favorite Santa breakfast of the season. We’ve attended the @vpicassorestaurant and @willowcreekfarmcu Santa breakfast the last four years and it just gets better and better every year!!! . This is such a wonderful family tradition to do here in #champaignurbana! We love it!! . And, that Christmas punch! Great addition 😉! . Calligraphy on the last photo from my talented friend Kate at @apricity_ink. . . . #santabreakfast #breakfastwithsanta #breakfast #eatdrinkandbemerry #holidays #tistheseason #holidayseason #christmas #santa #hohoho #myfoodfreedom #foodfreedomforever #foodfreedom #festiveaf #familtytime #cookiedecorating #letterstosanta #chambana #outsideofordinary @visitchampaign

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It’s funny when you read your daily meditation a day late and ends up being so fitting for the day you had. It’s even better when you do if fact let go like the passage said to do and how much better you actually feel. Change all the “you’s” to “I/me” and this was absolutely me yesterday. . Life can appear overwhelming with the smallest and simplest tasks. When there is a long to-do list, we jump to the end thinking about how we are going to get it all done before we even start. It is stressful and tiring. . Yesterday I was holiday party prepping as we hosted about fifty of my husbands coworkers at our home. I needed to run errands, clean, cook, more cleaning, more cooking and a whole lot more in between. After my errands I actually put on a @lumenkind mindfulness mark for “center”. I could feel the to do’s mounting as I got home and needed to focus on just one thing at a time. The mark said “I trust myself”. After a few deep breaths, I took things one at a time and got it all done. It was so much simpler to take it slow, start with one thing before moving to the next. In the end, party went amazing and everyone had a great time. . “Magic and power don’t come contemplating all that lies ahead, how much needs to get done, all that might go wrong, whether we’ll get through. That’s fear...Feel what you need to feel. Release it...go forward, one moment at a time.” . This is all so good to keep in the back of our minds during the busy holiday season. It’s such a magical time but it can seem stressful with a lot of things to-do. Don’t worry about the time, don’t worry about the list. Enjoy the present moment. Take things one step at a time. Let go of feeling overwhelmed and everything will work out with grace in the end. . #dailymeditation #meditation #meditate #mindfulness #mindfulnessmeditation #bemindful #beintentional #intentionalliving #liveinthemoment #presence #bepresent #onethingatatime #takeiteasy #stepbystep #mentalhealth #anxietyrelief #stressrelief #journeytotheheart #bekindtoyourself #todolist #chambana #champaignurbana #illinoisblogger #lumenkind #mindfulmarks

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It has been a great week for several reasons! I had three great training runs, knocked off one of December’s goals to try a new-to-me group fitness class and stepped out of my comfort zone pushing myself to failure with some of Friday’s strength training exercises. . Head over to the blog to read a little more about this week as well as full strength training details. Hopefully what I did this week will give you some new ideas and inspiration for your weekly workouts next week. . It’s a great time of year to challenge yourself as we wrap up the final weeks of 2018. Don’t wait until the new year to start your fitness routine, the time is now!! . #fitnessfriday #weeklyworkout #workout #workoutroutine #workoutmotivation #fitnessmotivation #exercise #gym #gymlife #gymrat #strengthtraining #bodyflow @lesmillstribe #lesmills #tone #running #runningmotivation #halfmarathontraining #motherrunner #run #treadmillworkout #alwaysimproving #comfortzone #bethebestyou #mentalhealth #anxietyrelief

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A successful day of Christmas cookie baking with my mom and sis. I think we are pretty much set for the holiday! . @paleorunningmomma knocked it out if the park with #paleo Christmas cookie recipes. Three out of four of my recipes this season came from Michele’s blog. First picture double chocolate mint, second snickerdoodles and third almond butter layered fudge. All #paleofriendly, #glutenfree, #dairyfree and option to make #vegan. The gingerbread men recipe is from @sallysbakeblog and it’s a great one, perfect for my boys and #myfoodfreedom. Star Wars cookie cutters found on @amazon. . If you’re looking for some recipes to make this holiday season, these are all winners! I personally taste tested each one. Recipes are all linked on my @pinterest page. . #christmascookies #baking #holidaybaking #paleodessert #paleocookies #paleorecipes #paleolifestyle #paleodiet #cookies #cookiesforsanta #cookiesfordays #fudge #sweets #cookiesofinstagram #christmas #holiday #baking #paleorunningmomma #sallysbakingaddiction #starwars #gingerbread

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I had the best workout this morning. Why am I telling you this? Because I didn’t want to do it. Even those of us that love the gym have days we just aren’t feeling it. . Show up. Put in a few minutes and you just might have an awesome workout. I did and now I’m pumped because 1) it’s done and 2) it was actually a great workout and 3) I feel proud of myself. . Four miles on the treads may not be as fun as a group fitness class or a run outside but it was a great chance for some speed intervals to prep for Sunday’s long run. I also did a #sevenminuteworkout focused on core and five minutes meditation to get my #mindright. All that together and I left the gym feeling ten times better than when I walked in. . Want to try my seven minute abs? Here’s what I did, 30 seconds on, 15 rest: ▪️Captain chair crunch. ▪️Basic crunch on bosu ▪️Plank toes taps ▪️TRX mountain climbers ▪️Plank rock forward and back ▪️Bicycle crunch ▪️Plank ▪️Reverse crunch ▪️Side oblique crunch (both sides) . Remember this... The only bad workout is the one you don’t do. . . #workout #workoutroutine #workoutmotivation #fitnessmotivation #exercises #exercise #gymlife #gymrat #halfmarathontraining #halfmarathon #running #motherrunner #runningmotivation #treadmill #cardio #abs #core #stronger #meditation #mentalhealth #anxietyrelief #stressrelief #thereisnobadworkout #chambana #champaignurbana

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If you saw my stories yesterday, you might have caught a glimpse of the new @a.blended.balance Pinterest page! . I’m excited to share this new update with y’all. I’ll be sharing links to favorite #whole30, #paleo, and #foodfreedom recipes, workout ideas/motivation, must read books, podcasts, meditation ideas and inspiration and more. If you are a @pinterest user, please follow along! You can find me at “ablendedbalanceblog”. . Thanks as always for your support!! . #pinterest #pinteresting #pinterestidea #running #motivation #soupsunday #whole30recipes #foodfreedomforever #paleorecipes #mustreadbook #podcast #travelworkout #fitness #exercisemotivation #mindfulness #positivethinking #selfimprovement #gratitude #yoga #streching #mindright #meditation #balance #chambana #champaignurbana

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Do you get hangry? I definitely do and as well as I meal plan and have food prepped and ready, it happens. . Because I know this about myself, I always have a good supply of healthy and clean snacks on hand. Today on the blog, I’m sharing a roundup of my favorites. Many of the snacks on the list are also #whole30approved and #paleofriendly! Also, #kidapproved, #win! . Click the link in profile to read more! . #snacktime #healthysnacks #snackideas #foodtogo #snackonthego #whole30 #whole30snack #paleo #paleodiet #paleosnack #paleolifestyle #snackattack #hangry #foodforfuel #cleaneating #simpleingredients #preworkoutsnack #postworkoutsnack #chambana #champaignurbana #instafood #blogger #foodblogeats @nickssticks @chomps @thenewprimal @rxbar @larabar @thunderbirdbar @realfoodbar @gogosqueez @getgomix #sponsored #tribalknowledgetuesday

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This was delicious; definitely one for the #soupsunday books. . Sweet potato and jalapeño pork stew from the new @whole30 slowcooker cookbook. For not having a lot of added spices, this soup had so much flavor! The addition of an jonagold apple was actually a surprisingly delicious touch! I also loved the hint of ginger, sooo good! . I added one extra jalapeño and used white sweet potatoes plus one regular for my version. All good swaps and additions! . #whatsfordinner #whatimeating #soup #soupseason #stew #whole30 #whole30recipes #whole30approved #whole30dinner #paleo #paleodiet #paleorecipes #paleolifestyle #grainfree #dairyfree #foodforfuel #cleaneating #slowcooker #slowcookerrecipes #crockpotmeals #sundaydinner #chambana #champaignurbana #instafood #comfortfood #nomnom

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Tonight I felt my anxiety, it was triggered by thunderstorms and looming tornadoes. . We were driving home from dinner out of town with family with pop up thunderstorms all around and tornado warnings issued for areas we were about to drive right through. My husband checked the radar and ensured me that we would be fine. Still, I could feel my fears and anxieties creep in threatening to take over. . They started to, they really did, but they didn’t. Through the reading I’ve done, breath work and meditation, I was able to calm myself and make it through. . Here’s what I did.... . I recognized the fear. What was I afraid of? Weather. My thoughts: what are we doing?! We are stupidly going to drive right through where the thunderstorms and tornado are and get swept away. . Then I continued to question my thought and fear by asking myself...is this true? Did I really believe that we were going to get swooped up in a funnel cloud? No. That’s not likely. Not rational. I also closed my eyes and focused on my breath. Next thing I knew we were on the other side, pass the rain and lightning. Lastly, I trusted my husband. Would he put us in danger? No. Does he know what he’s doing? Not always, let’s be real 😃, but yes, in this case he did. He looked at the radar and made his best judgment. He was right. . When you feel those anxieties trying to take over, remember this, you are ok. Recognize your thought(s). Question them. Do you really believe it? Breathe and trust. A thought is only dangerous or damaging to you if and once you believe it. My irrational thought was doing way more harm to me than any potential tornado. . #anxiety #anxietyrelief #anxietyproblems #anxietyawareness #anxietytips #anxietyhelp #anxietymanagement #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthadvocate #stress #worry #anxietytriggers #thunderstorm #tornado #fear #breathe #mindright #meditation #meditate #mindright #calmmind #youareok #trust #believeinyourself #thoughts #changeyourmindset

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Hello, December! . I cannot believe we are here already but I’m super excited for this month, all the holiday festivities and the updated goals I’ve set for the last month of 2018! . Today on the blog, I’m looking back at November’s goals, how those went and then looking ahead to December. It’s a busy month but I still want to have a few achievable goals to work towards. . On the list this month: 🎄continue gratitude journaling. 🎄read a new non-fiction, self-improvement book. 🎄attend a new-to-me group fitness class. 🎄plan a get-together with old friends. . Do you set monthly goals for yourself? I challenge you to set a least one this month. I’d love to help you with those December goals, setting them and working towards achieving them. . Merry December y’all!! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! . #goals #december #decembergoals #decemberchallenge #accountability #holidayseason #fitness #workoutmotivation #exercise #groupfitness #gratitude #gratitudejournal #selfhelpbooks #selfimprovement #selfcare #friends #friendship #gettogethers #chambana #champaignurbana #tistheseason #falala #mostwonderfultimeoftheyear #last90days #makethemcount #selflove #selfimprovement

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“Trust each moment” . Trust, trust, and trust some more. Do not give up. Do not let go. Do not lose hope. Feel your frustrations and fears. Can you use them to propel you forward? . Trust that you are doing the right thing. Trust that your choices are leading you the right direction. Trust in yourself. . “By trusting the perfection of each moment you give yourself a gift: permission to enjoy the journey.” . I felt this meditation fully this morning. In Bodyflow I got the closest I’ve ever been to bird pose with both feet off the ground. I felt trust in my body to get me to this point. A little fearful of falling flat on my face, a little frustrated that I can’t just do it already but trust that I’ve come pretty far, the farthest yet today and I’m moving in the right direction. I will get it soon, I know I will. . #dailymeditation #journeytotheheart #meditation #meditate #mindfulness #mindfulnessmeditation #bemindful #trust #trusttheprocess #trustyourself #trustyourjourney #yougotthis #youcandoit #fearless #donotgiveup #domore #bodyflow @lesmillstribe #lesmills #yoga #yogi #birdpose #mentalhealth #anxietyrelief #stressrelief #chambana #champaignurbana

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It doesn’t appear that #Thursdayintroductions is a very popular hashtag but I’m going to do one anyway! . For those new around here, I’m Ali and welcome to @a.blended.balance! I thought I’d share ten things about me as well as what you’ll see around here and on my blog. . ▪️I have generalized anxiety but through food, fitness, meditation and mindfulness the key pillars of A Blended Balance, it’s often non-existent or very much a bay. ▪️I love hats; beanies and trucker hats are my favorites. ▪️I went to @illinoisstateu, go #Redbirds! ▪️I love to workout. The gym is my happy place, my home away from home and what helps keep anxieties minimal. ▪️I’m a wife and mom to two small boys. They are my people and my life. ▪️I’m currently training for a #halfmarathon in January. ▪️I’ve done three rounds of #whole30 and am on the never ending journey of figuring out what #myfoodfreedom means for me. I enjoy eating a mostly #paleo and #whole30approved diet but also exploring and enjoying #foodfreedom. ▪️Case in point, I love donuts and microbrews, especially the holiday seasonals this time of year. @glbc_cleveland Christmas Ale is one of my favorites. ▪️I’m a self-care/self-improvement enthusiast and love reading all the books that fall under this category. ▪️#soupsunday might currently be my favorite day of the week. I’ve made a new soup each Sunday since mid-September and I have no desire to stop this tradition anytime soon. . Thank you for joining my journey, I appreciate you and am glad that you’re here! . . . Now your turn! 😉 Tell me something fun about you! . #balance #food #nutrition #fitness #fitnessmotivation #gymlife #gymrat #selfcare #selfimprovement #selfempowerment #selflove #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #anxiety #anxietyrelief #stressrelief #stressfree #dontworrybehappy #mindright #meditation #mindfulness

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