Written by Corinne Hennessey
What started as a creative outlet for an overworked college student, has slowly but surely evolved into a full time passion project. Life took an unexpected turn for New Hampshire native Lauren Bartlett when she became frustrated with student loans, not wanting to go back to school for her masters degree in elementary education, Blissfully Lively became more than just a hobby. Founded in September of 2013, it took three short years to become a full time career for the University of New Hampshire graduate, launching her career as an official blogger this past September.
After a year long jaunt as a social media intern for Timberland, she thought if “I’m good at doing this for other people, why not do it for myself.” Nixing the shmorgas board of topics from home decor and DIY, to fashion and cooking, Blissfully Lively became health and wellness specific after honing in on what content she felt would resonate most with her readers. The main message, she says, “Woman are capable,” stressing the importance of how “strength comes from more than solely working out” and that “wellness isn’t just a fad, it’s a lifestyle commitment.” She hopes that her blog will give women the tools to be successful inside and out of the gym.
Sitting down with Lauren the day after Thanksgiving, arguably the most indulgent day of the year, it was hard not to be nervous talking to someone so in tune with their body. However after two minutes of swapping cheesecake and pecan pie stories, I was at ease, Lauren stressing the fact that “we’re only human, sometimes life gets in the way. I never want my readers to view me as an impossible standard to compare themselves to or to think that I know what’s best. I’m on my journey working to be my best, the point of my blog is to show others what I’m doing on my journey and to help and inspire them to get started on theirs.”
If you’re serious about getting healthy and fit, then it’s going to be a lifestyle change, not just a post Thanksgiving cleanse. The biggest misconception that Lauren comes across is that people think that if they go to the gym they can go home and eat whatever they want. Nutrition and exercise are two halves of a whole, one half is working out and the other is what you eat. Lauren’s biggest advice for those trying to get in shape for the first time is everything in moderation, a bit cliche she admits, but slow and steady wins the race. “Don’t try to cut everything out at once, start with the basics. Making loosing five pounds your goal is setting yourself up for failure. Instead make your goal going to the gym three times a week and replacing chips with a healthy alternative like cucumber slices.”
When it comes to fitness Lauren’s biggest advice is to get back to the basics. A lot of exercise fads these days are full of fluff that you don’t need; do pushups, squats and lunges, anything that gets your heart rate up. “If you can’t do one pushup, work on that one push up. Your entire body will be working together- arms, core and legs.” There is a lot to be said about a person who can run five miles but can’t do that one pushup. College is a hard time on your body, especially for young women, “don’t get down on yourself, theres always going to be that little cruel voice in the back of your head saying you can’t do it. No matter what this life throws at you, you always have the power to say I can.”
Below we’ve broken down her best advice when it comes to nutrition. Finding that balance can be really difficult, especially in college, here’s what to reach for in stead of those chips or sugary drinks.
- Raw veggies and humas
- Hard boiled eggs
- Nut butters
- Peanut butter and apples
- almond butter and celery
- Justin’s packets, they’re great if you’re on the go
- Protein bars- without sugar
- Water- If water is too boring for your taste, try infusing it with fruit or mint
- Sparkling water- try a flavored one as a great transition for soda addicts
- Green tea- sugar free, iced or hot, this is a great choice
- Chia Tea- if you’re in need of a latte, ask for a chai tea with half as much sugar and use a milk alternative like skim, coconut, or almond milk.
To wrap it up, we’ll leave you with the three biggest takeaways Lauren says every college student should have in their tool belt:
- No binge eating- don’t sit down on the couch and say “I’ll just have a few chips”, it always turns into more than you intended.
- Pick something and be consistent- choose a class, or go to the gym three times a week. It doesn’t matter what you do, just pick something and be consistent.
- Stop with the comparisons- we discourage ourselves by comparing ourselves to other people. It’s stupid and weighs you down, do what works for your body.
Have workout or nutrition questions for Lauren? Leave them in the comments below or head over to her blog for more inspiration, recipes, and workouts! Visit blissfullylively.com and be sure to follow her on Instagram and twitter @blissfullylively
Photos provided by @rayaonassignment https://rayaonassignment.com/