Where are the Body-Positive Workout Videos?

I’m calling for some body-positive workout videos. If I google “body-positive workout videos” the third result is a “fat blasting” workout. And that’s just not cool.

After long days at school or work, when I don’t get home until its already getting dark, I rarely want to go on a run or head to the gym. I’m craving movement, but I want it on my own terms, in the comfort of my own room. So when I discovered the wealth of workout-class style videos available online, I was thrilled.

But I’ve been noticing a big problem with many of the workout videos I come across: the emphasis on weight loss. I don’t want a workout that “torches calories” or “sizzles fat.” I am so appreciative of the fat that graces my body. It helps keep me warm, produces estrogen, and serves countless other necessary functions. I am in no way a nutrition/exercise expert, but even I know that no part of my body needs to be torched or sizzled. In fact, that sounds downright painful.

I think workout videos are a great way to make boutique-style workout classes accessible to a broader audience, but I’m calling for a change in the language used to promote these videos. Anyone who creates or publishes material that teaches anyone how to do anything- whether its knitting, cooking, or pilates- takes a role as an authority figure. And as such, these fitness instructors have the responsibility to present movement and fitness in a positive, healthy, nurturing manner.

body-positive workout videos

Instead of promoting workouts by talking about how many calories they burn (which is ridiculous because it varies so much by person) I want these instructors/bloggers/businesses to tell me how their workout will make me FEEL. Is it an energizing pilates class? A relaxing yoga flow? A powerful cross-fit routine? Because that’s whats really important.

I see the wellness world moving towards emphasizing true health- mental health, feeling good, etc.- over how our bodies look, and that makes me incredibly happy. But workout videos are one area that I see room for improvement. So I’m asking everyone who creates and shares this type of content to re-evaluate the language you use.

Playing into a person’s fears and ingrained beliefs about weight-loss, tummy-flattening, or blasting their “problem areas” isn’t good marketing. It’s lazy and cowardly. We, the consumers, as people trying to take care of our bodies and minds, deserve better than that. We deserve to be reminded how beautiful we are, how worthy we are whether we exercise or not, and what a blessing it is to be in the unique, wonderful bodies that we have.

Right now, my go-to body-positive workout videos are those by Yoga with Adriene. Her entire approach to yoga and movement is just so gentle and positive, my body and soul feel amazing every time I use one of her videos to guide my practice.

Do you ever struggle with the lack of body- positivity in some parts of the fitness world? Do you have a favorite body-positive workout video or class? I’d love to get the conversation going, so let me know what you think in the comments here or on Instagram.

Matcha Green Smoothie

If you’re like me, then the idea of facing all your responsibilities again after a (hopefully) lovely period of relaxation gets your stomach twisted up in knots. Whether yours are severe, sailor type knots or more like loose bows, your feelings are absolutely valid and deserve to be addressed.

For me, addressing these feelings of anxiety means reminding myself that even as my life gets busier I’m still allowed to practice self care and spend time with people I love. This really should be a given- of course I’m allowed to make some tea, put on a face mask, and call my best friend whenever the heck I want- but I think when I get stressed I begin to see self care as a waste of time.

This is most definitely FALSE because loving and caring for yourself is one of the most important investments you will ever make. At the same time, I completely understand the panic of being pressed for time and feeling like you can’t take a moment to combat the pressure/anxiety/fear you’re feeling.

And that, my friends, is where this smoothie comes in. Breakfast and magic anti-stress elixir all in one! What could be better than that?

Ok, for real though. While I can’t actually promise this will cure your anxiety, it does have some legitimate brain boosting benefits. Spinach is rich in magnesium, which acts as a “natural ‘chill pill'” according to MindBodyGreen. Bananas supply potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, while turmeric contains mood boosting antioxidants. Matcha, however, is really the star of the show. While matcha contains caffeine (meaning this smoothie will help you ditch your coffee addiction), it also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which promotes relaxation. Most matcha can be a little pricey, but you can find my favorite affordable brand here.

When I was growing up, my dad would say “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” So if you’re feeling a little stressed, get going to the kitchen and make this smoothie!

Matcha Green Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Serves: Serves 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • ½ cup frozen spinach
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger
  • ½ tbsp coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¾ cup brewed matcha tea
Instructions
  1. Peel ginger.
  2. Add all ingredients to blender.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Drink and feel your stress melt away.

 

All nutrition information comes from this article and this article from MindBodyGreen.

Weekend Wish List

In all the excitement of getting ready for school, I haven’t had time to complete any real blog posts for this week. I have tons of fun stuff that’s almost ready, but for now I thought I’d just pop in to share my “weekend wish list.” Inspired by ImmaEatThat and Chickpea in the City, this is a compilation of the recipes, products, and activities I’ve been loving recently, as well as those I hope to try in the near future.

 

I’m Loving:

  • Raw Chocolate Chip Bars by Rachel Mansfield
    • I posted about these on Instagram a couple weeks ago, and ever since then I have been in love. Today I found myself practically licking the bowl (er, food processor) after I made a batch. Even my sugar-loving little brother begs me to make them for him.
  • Larabars
    • Obviously I can have multiple favorite bars at a time, and considering I scored a box of 16 peanut butter cookie Larabars off Amazon for 12 dollars (best deal ever!!), I don’t think I’ll be getting over these anytime soon.
  • Sriracha Hummus
    • The Sriracha hummus from Trader Joe’s. I know I’m late to the party, but this stuff is so good I’m not even mad. If you’re (fashionably) late too, PLEASE go get some and join my hummus party.
  • Chloé jeans (my latest thrift store finds)
    • The other day I tried on about 20 pairs of thrift store jeans searching for a pair that would make me feel special and beautiful and awesome. Just when I was about to give up hope, I found the most incredible pair. Since they’re second hand they’re waaayyy less expensive than regular Chloé jeans, and they make me feel on top of the world.
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Lifestyle by Cake
    • My friend was playing this song the other day and it made me laugh so hard. I showed it to my dad and apparently it’s one of his favorites too, so obviously I now feel very cool. (Not even being sarcastic- he has great taste in music)
  • Nike+ Training App
    • This app is like having a free personal trainer on my phone. The quick workouts are super easy to fit into my schedule, and the customized plan is unbeatable.
  • The Moth Podcast
    • The funniest, sweetest, most heartwarming stories. This podcast has made me laugh and cry, and it is an amazing way to replace Netflix once in awhile.
  • This article on building a food Instagram and this article on photography
    • While my blog, and corresponding Instagram, are not only about food, recipes and healthy eating are definitely a focus, and I am finding both of these articles extremely helpful as I work to improve my content.

 

I’m Wishing For:

  • Lola Granola Bars + Squarebars
    • Someone please send me truckloads of these bars. Help fuel my granola bar addiction. My obsession with all bars is pretty intense, so when I say these are the best, you can trust me. I know what I’m talking about. While these are too expensive for me to buy often, they’re my go-tos when I want to treat myself.
  • Lunchbots Grown Up Lunch Box
    • The @srunsforcake Instagram feed will forever be my packed lunch goals, and while my school meals may never reach that level of perfection, packing healthy lunches would be so easy and fun with these bento-style boxes.
  • Jordana Eyeliner
    • Liquid Eyeliner??? For under 3$??? Sign me up! I’ve never owned liquid eyeliner before, and honestly I’m not really one to invest in makeup, so this product seems like the perfect, low commitment way to test out the fancy eyeliner trend.
  • Pressed Freeze
    • I’ve been seeing Pressed Juicery’s soft-serve “ice cream” all over Instagram, and I am SO jealous. Hopefully I’ll get to try some eventually, but so far it isn’t sold near me. In the meantime, I’m excited to try Pinch of Yum’s Peanut Butter Nice Cream and Açaí Bowls by Kitchen Confidante to take the edge off my craving.
  • A cute backpack
    • Unfortunately I can’t even list a specific product here because I haven’t been able to find one that looks nice and will still fit all my school shiz.
  • The Bar Method
    • While most boutique fitness classes are way out of my price range, so much so that I’ve never actually been to one,  I’m completely obsessed with them. I think I’d feel so cool walking out of some trendy studio, post-picture perfect workout, on my way to buy a green juice. I know this image probably isn’t entirely accurate, but The Bar Method’s memberships are so affordable I might get the chance to find out!
  • Me Before You
    • Come out on Amazon already!! I missed seeing this in the theater, and I’m embarrassed by how badly I want to see it. (You won’t judge, right?)
  • Homemade Chai Latte
    • As you know, my latte love is intense (perhaps the most serious relationship in my life at the moment), so I can’t wait to try this plant powered, DIY recipe.

This is the stuff that’s been getting me through all the stress of back to school season. I feel like we forget often forget to have fun and treat ourselves when life becomes more challenging, but i believe those times are when it’s most important to practice self care. As always, I’d love to know what items are on your weekend wish list- comment here or go visit me on Instagram!