3 Reasons to Take a Nap

why you should take a nap

Remember nap time in grad school? I sure do, it was my favorite time of day besides dance class, it was memories I have from school besides recess that I treasure. As we grow up, nap time gets swished to the side and the word “nap” correlates with being lazy or not having enough to do or we just become so busy that social media and catching up on the latest + greatest become more of an importance. I personally wish I could take a nap everyday but I am a high energy person so sometimes napping becomes more of a sit and daydream moment but having that quiet time to myself where all I do is think. My nap time kind of becomes like meditation. I personally love my bedroom and love to keep my bedroom for all things bed like, I literally throw a cow when my husband tries to sneak his cell phone in. I feel that your room should be a sanctuary, somewhere you can get away from the madness of the world, social media and use your comfy bed to relax and take a nap!

I want to share with you 3 reasons you should hit the snooze button mid afternoon every single day + why you should think about doing the same..

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The Donut Dance: Healthy Doughnut Recipe

healthy donuts recipe

Donut or Doughnut? Depends on who you ask but to me these beauties are a true delight and have stopped me from one or twenty sugar comas. To be honest with you all, I have had maybe two donuts in the last six years and after each one I always felt extremely nauseous, sick and experienced a bad stomach ache for a few days after the fact..but not with these healthy bites!

The very first batch I made turned out delicious, I just needed to work on my topping skills a bit more + also wanted to try a cinnamon twist version since I love to balance out my blood sugar with lots of cinnamon everyday!

healthy donuts

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5 Tips to Step Into Spring

5 Tips to Step Into Spring

You know that old saying “Summer bodies are made in the winter?”

As much as that is a TRUE statement, there is not 1 reason I can think of as to why you should throw in the towel just because winter has passed and it is spring time.

5 Tips to Step Into Spring

5 Tips to Step Into Spring

1. Grab your phone call a friend, set a date + ask her to take photos of you in your swim suit: YES, as much as this sounds SCARY to you, if you know that you have set a date to do a photoshoot in a bikini, don’t you think you will think twice before binging late at night on potato chips or driving through because you were too busy to meal prep? As much as this sounds “crazy,” I am here to promise you that when I dedicated myself to a fitness competition (read HERE) my drive to work hard in the gym and eat on my meal plan was on point because I knew I had to BRING IT! Setting a date in 6-12 weeks will really kick things off for you and set your mind in the sink or swim mentality! Sometimes you just have to JUMP + do something that SCARES YOU in order to make that next step!

P.S If you go through with this I want you to tag me #cbentleyfit so I can see your progress ;)

5 Tips to Step Into Spring

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Jennifer Robertson : Raw Food, Mother + Superhuman!

When I first moved to Thailand I had all my essentials, stevia, stevia chocolate syrup, Bragg’s salad dressing..you know the essentials and I knew that I would eventually run out of my goodies. Luckily, located inside of my condo, The Ascott, was an incredible gym, Cascade Club, which had a superfood juice bar called Twist. Seeing stevia (real STEVIA read more here) I was so excited and knew I had to contact the owner + get my hands on his supply. He introduced me via email to Jennifer! After learning more about her and seeing her website I was hooked! She knows so much information about raw foods, being an entrepreneur and defiantly had me taking notes during her raw foods workshop (review here).  I am lucky enough to call her a friend and wanted to share her with you guys so be sure to check out her website after reading this interview (here)!

raw food in bangkok

♡Tell us a little about you – a current project or goal you are tackling?

I ‘m an academically trained marine scientist, but due to my husband’s current employment in Bangkok, coupled with the birth of my son just over two years ago, I am on a hiatus from academic work and am a full-time mother while managing to share my love for raw food with the Bangkok community, as much as time allows. For the past four years, I have led raw food preparation classes here in town, but I am taking a break from the live classes in order to focus on family, as well as to allow me to put together something I have wanted to create for a few years now – an online raw food course which will be accessible to anyone in the world! I hope to launch the course sometime this fall. My last project was the creation of a raw ice cream ebook, and it has been so rewarding to hear from people across the globe who are enjoying my raw, dairy-free sweet treats – some for the very first time!

♡What got you into raw food, and when did you know it was your passion?

I originally got into raw food a few weeks before getting married and moving from the US to India. I was not feeling well and had been living on vegan processed food, after eating more than my fair share of fast food and junk food for most of my adolescence and during my early twenties. The notion of eating raw seemed like a possible way to get me to ingest more whole foods and a more nutrient-rich diet, so I began to scour the internet for recipes. At that time, there was not a ‘modern’ raw food movement in India, and I could not even find any of the popular contemporary raw food recipe books, so I felt a little discouraged and had to start from ground zero in our kitchen. My first batch of almond milk failed due to the use of roasted, salted nuts, but the second batch was a winner and I never looked back from there. We began eating more raw foods by starting with breakfast, then adding desserts, eventually followed by more savory creations. When we moved to Thailand, I decided I wanted to acquire more skills in raw food preparation, so I travelled to the US to attend a raw food culinary academy. After showing some friends how to make the basics, demand for this information seemed to grow, and so I started teaching classes. Seeing my class participants light up when they tasted what we made was proof that even on a small scale, I could change the eating habits and therefore the lives of not only the people I worked with, but their families, as well.

Raw Food Chef Jennifer

♡How do you define “wellness”? What does it mean to “be well” to you?

I feel “wellness” describes having one’s mind, body and spirit all positively balanced and firmly rooted, which is something that I am constantly working towards and often unconsciously struggling against! I think that our state of general wellness ebbs and flows as we get older and as our external demands, internal struggles, and physical body changes. Food is just one of the many tools we can use to “be well”, but it is, of course, my favorite!

♡What is your day to day life like in Thailand?

Since having a child, day-to-day life revolves much less around myself and my desires to explore our dynamic city of Bangkok, and more on childcare and the dynamic needs of my family. Depending on the day of the week, mornings normally involve some sort of activity for my 2.5 year old son Fergus such as schooling or sports and then lunch,  followed by his mid-day nap which I either use to work, cook or clean, or relax a bit. Afternoons see us running errands, attending a play group or playing at a friend’s condo, or swimming when the pool is warm. Evenings are spent getting dinner ready and eagerly awaiting the arrival of “papa” from work, with a family dinner, more play for the boys and light housework for me. After our son is in bed, my husband and I have a little bit of time to connect before we crash.

♡What is one natural beauty product you cannot live without?

Definitely jojoba oil for eye make-up removal. A close second is a semi-natural product  – Weleda’s Birch Body Scrub. I am a Weleda junkie! Their Pregnancy Stretch Mark Massage Oil and Baby & Child Calendula Cream and were invaluable to our household during my pregnancy and the early days with my son.

♡Tell us about your perfect day – start to finish. What would you do and who would you spend your time with?

My perfect day would most definitely involve sending time with my husband and son, but not in the congestion of Bangkok! We would be in Greece or somewhere in the Mediterranean, on the coast, waking up to fresh air and a peaceful morning with no sounds of rush-hour traffic! After a whole-foods breakfast, we would spend the day out in nature exploring and playing, without a prescribed schedule. I am a wanderer and like to get lost exploring villages, archaeological sites of historical significance, and natural surroundings. We would spend some time on or in the water, have a relaxing dinner (as much as is possible with a toddler) of local cuisine, watch the sun set, visit a local church for evening prayers, and make our way back to our lodgings for our night time routine and reading in bed. We are taking a trip to the Aegean over the Songkran/Easter holiday, so hopefully this perfect day will be a reality very soon!

Raw food chef Bangkok

♡Any fears moving to Thailand?

Not at all! We relocated to Thailand from Mumbai, India, and at that time, it was quite difficult to find organic produce and other much-coveted food items on the subcontinent, so when we came to visit and I saw what was available here at the supermarkets (supermarkets!), I was elated to make the move. I do miss many things about living in India, though, but day-to-day life is much easier for me here in Bangkok.Share a quote that best describes your outlook on life?For daily productivity and perseverance with projects and goals, it would have to be “Keep moving forward”, which was shared with me by a dear friend whilst I was struggling to complete my PhD thesis. She most likely has no idea that I still recite this ‘mantra’ to this day! On a more spiritual level, one of my favorite quotes is from the Greek saint Elder Paisios – “[God allows temptations] so as to dust off our soul, for it to be purified through sorrows and weeping, so that we are forced to take refuge in God for our salvation.” In this life, things might not always go our way, but our struggles – even with all their associated pain and sadness – are useful, as they bring us back to focusing on the Divine (as opposed to directing our energy to ourselves, the material world, etc.).

Jennifer Marie Smith Robertson, BA, MSc, PhD

Web: http://www.jennifermsrobertson.com
Twitter: @DrJMSRobertson

Connect With Me:

+Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/courtneyvioletbentley

+IG: http://instagram.com/courtneybentleyfitness.bkk

+Twitter: @CBentleyFit

+Want to learn how to workout? Check out my Curious.Com Course HERE <—

+To get workouts and recipes in your email go HERE http://bit.ly/1bNWjnJ

Remember YOU can not WORKOUT a BAD diet if you want the ULTIMATE fat burning combination meal plan check out this LINK: http://bit.ly/1bfsATg

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6 Tips to Get Started on Your Weight loss Journey

IMG_0397

With an abundant amount of tips and advice online, I thought I would clear the air with 6 tips that you can easily add to your current routine without changing too much. Unfortunately weight loss is not a quick fix pill or fad diet but a lifestyle that defines you. Do you want to be that girl that is known for being a gym bunny or a couch potato? It truly is your decision at the end of the day, never forget that!

Excuses don’t make your goals happen YOU DO!

But if you are at a standstill and need some motivation, read these tips, apply them to your life and get back on the healthy train to your dream body.

6 Tips to Get Started on Your Weight Loss Journey

  • Drop the Sugary “Health” Foods: Although foods like yogurt, muesli, granola, trail mixes and energy bars are marketed as “healthy” low-fat foods, these foods are often filled with sugar. Sugar feeds the bad bacteria in your gut so if you think by eating a low fat/low calorie yogurt you are helping your gut you are surely mistaken plus many of us are allergic to dairy which causes bloating, inflammation and can make you tired from the sugar crash. If you are stuck on eating muesli and energy bars READ YOUR LABELS, the amount of sugar should be below 5 grams and if above that try to find another brand that keeps sugar to a minimum or uses herb Stevia for a sweetener.

vegan muffins

  • Workout: Duh! But many of you skip this part and think that making it up on one day will fix the two weeks you skipped your sweat session. Understand that consistent hard work at the gym will make a HUGE difference and you can start to drop serious pounds and shape your dream body if you commit. If you have a hard time making it to the gym check out YouTube or take a look at my no equipment workouts on YouTube (link here) that are only 15-30 minutes!
  • Skip the gum, artificial sweeteners and diet bars/shakes: Not only are these foods loaded with processed ingredients they can cause your belly to swell, make you gassy + chewing gum like a cow is so not cute. You may be doing your body more harm then good to save a few hundred calories. Instead focus on lean meats, vegetables and complex carbohydrates.

6 steps for weight loss

  • Eat Your Berries: Berries are a powerhouse food due to the high vitamin count, low calorie, low glycemic index and high antioxidants. While fruit should be limited when trying to drop some lbs. berries are an exception to the rule and can be added at breakfast and post workout for something sweet!
  • Eat Your Fats: Whoever invented the word “fat” should have given another term to the foods our bodies need to regulate hormones and function! Fats from coconut oil, avocado oil, flaxseeds, chia seeds, nuts and bone broth are essential for your health and instead of chomping a “fat free” version which is often loaded with sugar eat the real deal and reap the benefits. (more on fats here)

top 6 tips for weight loss

  • Take a shower before bed + a cold shower in the morning: Taking a shower before bed activates your bodies thermometer causing you to hit the hay quicker. When you go to bed earlier you reduce the amount of stress hormone cortisol which causes fat gain. Taking a cold shower in the morning leaves your skin shiny, makes you more alert, make your skin tight and can even help burn fat!

Now that you have made the decision to start losing weight use these tips to jumpstart your success and if you are looking for more direction and nutrition coaching feel free to contact me or check out my awesome testimonials from clients I have worked with in the past!

Connect With Me:

+Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/courtneyvioletbentley

+IG: http://instagram.com/courtneybentleyfitness.bkk

+Twitter: @CBentleyFit

+To get workouts and recipes in your email go HERE http://bit.ly/1bNWjnJ

Remember YOU can not WORKOUT a BAD diet if you want the ULTIMATE fat burning combination meal plan check out this LINK: http://bit.ly/1bfsATg

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Booty Workout in the Park

booty workout at the park

Living in the city it is completely necessary to get the heck out of the pollution and concrete jungle + zen out with some greenery. Every Sunday I take my workout to the park with some fabulous ladies because not only is it FUN, I need a break from the air conditioned, bad music blasting gym I frequent. Plus, Bangkok has some BEAUTIFUL parks, I mean just look at these photos!

Booty Workout in the Park

park1 park2 legworkoutpark.003

During this workout, you should FOCUS on your booty muscles and really flex them throughout the workout. I see so many girls at the gym doing lunges and squats just flowing along but if you really want results you have to squeeze and connect with each and every muscle you are using! Think of each movement as a performance of perfection!

This workout is perfect to while your little one plays or if you get a break from work and you need to get outdoors for a break, take this workout with you. The workout targets your legs, slims those thighs and builds muscle in that backside.

courtney bentley workout

SO I wanna know..

Photos By: Jessica Teal :: https://www.facebook.com/JTealPhotography :: jtealphoto@gmail.com

Connect With Me:

+Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/courtneyvioletbentley

+IG: http://instagram.com/courtneybentleyfitness.bkk

+Twitter: @CBentleyFit

+To get workouts and recipes in your email go HERE http://bit.ly/1bNWjnJ

Remember YOU can not WORKOUT a BAD diet if you want the ULTIMATE fat burning combination meal plan check out this LINK: http://bit.ly/1bfsATg

Be Sure to Follow Me on BlogLovin: Follow on Bloglovin

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