#NewYearStrong with 421 Reset

421 Reset

Hey amigos,

You know I LOVE doing challenges with my local barre studio! They’re always a fun and motivating way to push yourself while supporting those around you! This one is no different. Held now at many Pure Barre studios, the #NewYearStrong Challenge includes a regimen by 421 Reset to improve your physical and nutritional health. Why is it called 421 you ask? Because of their 4-2-1 approach to a better you.

  1. Exercise Routine: 4 resistance workouts, 2 cardio, and 1 active workout a week to burn fat and gain lean muscle

  2. Fuel/food: consuming meals that contain 4 parts veggies & fruit, 2 parts lean protein, and 1 part wholesome carbs!

While I do mix up my workouts and stay active, I will say my “fuel” needs some work. I’ve been off and on for awhile and I’m ready to kick my cravings to the curb and change the way I eat for good. The challenge includes eliminating gluten, refined sugars, alcohol, and processed foods while limiting dairy. This is a big commitment but I think this challenge is exactly what I need to get myself on track. Did I mention it’s 8 weeks? Lucky for us, it only takes 21 days to make something a habit!

I’ll be completing my workouts at my local Pure Barre as well as additional cardio outside through dance. Changes will be measured using our InBody scanner, an awesome way to learn more about your body composition including muscle mass, water weight, body fat percentage, and more. I can’t wait to share my changes over the next 8 weeks!

It’s tough but having a friend can help you when the going gets tough! My best friend Lara will be my partner in crime, pushing each other to achieve our health and fitness goals. While we have the exact same BMI and a similar weight, our muscle mass and body fat percentage are polar opposites! Yet another reason why BMI cannot be trusted as a reliable representation for overall health.

Wanna follow along? Check out my instagram here for more! I’ll be doing check-ins to let you know how I’m doing and feeling with this change. As always, feel free to comment or DM me if you wanna chat <3

xoxo,

Kennedy

421 Reset
KennedysSide.com

One Love Organics

I’m here to tell you about this TRIFECTA I recently fell in love with. I took sometime before writing this review because I wanted to be absolutely certain of my thoughts. I believed in these products from the start and then confirmed it with some time to know how my skin responded immediately and then with time. And…I must say that these are the cleanest and most promising products I’ve added to my skin regimen in a long time. So…without further ado, let’s get right into it.

One Love Organics

Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil

The first product I tried was the Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil. A little pricey with a $42 price tag but it’s reasonable. Before the Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil, I was using DoTERRA’s Verage Cleanser which was $25 for 2oz. The One Love Organics cleanser is 4oz which makes the pricing very similar.

For those of you who don’t know about my skincare regimen, I currently double wash my face with first an oil cleanser and then a foaming cleanser. This was recommended to me by my skin guru, friend Lara (check out her blog here) for a deeper clean. And I do find that my face feels cleaner, breaks out less, and love that all my makeup comes off so quickly.

The Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil is unlike any other cleansing oil I tried. For one, it smells AMAZINGGGG. Like fresh fruit on my face LOL. But what I fell in love with is how quickly and easily it takes off my make up. And I mean full face with a heavy contour, smokey eye, eyelash glue, and all. All off. That’s pretty incredible for someone like me who needs something quick and effective. It also leaves my skin feeling moisturized, even when I follow with my foaming cleanser.

You know I’m all about my clean, safe products so I went ahead and listed the ingredients below for you :) Not to mention that the products are all certified organic, from organic farming.

Ingredients: helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, caprylic/capric triglyceride, di-ppg-2 myreth-10 adipate, polyglycerol-3 beeswax, carica papaya (papaya) seed oil, cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil*, tocopherol, ascorbyl palmitate, papain*, lecithin*, fragrance/parfum

One Love Organics

Love + Charcoal Masque

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE my face masks. I do one at least 3-4x a week and always follow with a sheet mask of my choice for moisture. I’ve tried a lot of charcoal masks but never found one that I absolutely adored. I never felt like they worked as well as a simple Aztec Healing Mask in clearing breakouts and minimizing my pores. But I actually really liked the Love + Charcoal Masque.

It went on smooth and cleaned off easily and nicely. I have very sensitive skin and while it was on it wasn’t unpleasant or irritating. The first time I put it on I hardly noticed a difference but with more use, my skin responded to it better and I began to see that my breakouts were going away and my skin began to feel and look revived from the treatment. Active ingredients are:

  • Activated charcoal: acts like a magnet to help draw out dirt, debris and impurities for deeply cleansed skin.

  • Cupuacu butter: a polyphenol-rich moisturizer sourced from the Amazon to condition skin. 

  • Alpine Rose: cultivated in the Swiss Alps to help enhance skin’s natural resilience. 

It’s pricier than a lot charcoal masques but the price is due to the quality. It’s made with clean and prime ingredients from organic farming. It worked well but it honestly wasn’t a miracle addition to my regimen. However, for those who are looking for a safe face mask that shows results, this product is certainly for you.

Eye Balm

I recently got into eye creams so I was so excited to receive and try the Vitamin E Eye Balm. Being in my 20s, I’m working to combat aging before it’s too late (dramatic I know HAHA) and everyone knows that keeping moisture under your eyes is key. It also helps to fight early morning eye puffiness.

One thing I haven’t liked about the process of finding the right under eye cream for me is that some of the one’s out there make your under eyes tingle unpleasantly from the ingredients. It’s a sensitive area for many and having an unnecessary amount of chemicals under my eyes actually makes my eyes puffy and red in the morning. They also often felt too thick or smelled weird.

All of these reasons are what led me to wanting to try the Vitamin E Eye Balm. The instructions say to “warm a bit of balm between your ring fingers.” Okay, weird- but It really is key! The balm goes on so smoothly when warmed and I feel it absorb into my skin much easier. I use morning and night as directed and have found that my under eyes look much brighter, even when I get 4 hours of sleep. I do generally lack sleep on busy days and found that this is my holy grail for fresh looking under eyes.

Want to learn for yourself? Visit the One Love Organics website and try some clean, organic products for yourself! :)

https://oneloveorganics.com

xoxo,

Kennedy (not Gossip Girl)

How To “Spice Up” Your Fitness Life

Featuring Amari Activewear!

Amari Activewear

So let’s get this straight- I pride myself on being consistent and always finding the motivation to work out! But let’s face it…sometimes going to the gym can seem UNEXCITING. I know, how crazy?! And when it becomes unexciting, working out begins to feel like a chore rather than a fun way to further your health goals and be your best self. Feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Here are some tips on how to “spice” up your fitness life:

Try something new

Doing the “same old, same old” gets boring no matter what it is! Food, clothing, dates…it’s all the same! So why would working out be any different? If you’re someone who hits the treadmill every day and find that you’re losing motivation to go, try something new! It can be a barre class, Zumba class, cycle class, whatever! Even an outside workout could be a fun change of scenery to your typical workout. It’s also important to mix it up for your body because your body also gets bored and can plateau!

Change up time of day

Maybe it’s not the workout itself, it’s about when you workout! If so, switching up your schedule is exactly what you need! If you’re a morning person, try night and vice versa! Sometimes it’s not you, it’s the time of day. Personally, I HAVE to workout in the morning, otherwise it’ll never get done.

Go with a friend

Friends make any experience fun and your fitness life is no different! Next time you go, maybe invite your friend to bring on more laughs and generally improve your experience!

I hope this helps bring some “spice” to your fitness life! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out on my BLOG or on INSTAGRAM.

Amari Activewear
Amari Activewear
Amari Activewear
Amari Activewear
Amari Activewear

Recap: #JacandKens30DayVeganDetox

Vegan KennedysSide.com

Hey guys!

I waited quite some time to give feedback about #JacandKens30DayVeganDetox because I wanted to be absolutely sure about my experience and next steps. Overall, I LOVED it. I loved learning more about my body and what products could fulfill it to leave me satisfied. I learned to make better choices that I still make now and experimenting with food I've never tried before was probably the most fun part. 

I absolutely loved the 30 day challenge. It was a lot easier than I anticipated and had me feeling more naturally energized throughout the day. I am going to consider adding wild-caught seafood back into my diet for the health benefits, but surprisingly, I don’t miss meat or dairy! I feel much better without them. I challenge everyone to try a vegan diet - not only to cleanse your system, but to have a better grasp on how individual foods affect your body and mood.
— Jaclyn

Trying this with Jaclyn made it so much easier for me! We constantly motivated each other and shared recipes daily that we thought could benefit each other. Without her, I'm not sure if I would've made it the full 30 days so big thanks to Jac! We also had an amazing group of women join us on the challenge who tried new things for the sake of their health and the chance to learn more :) Really happy we got to work with those beautiful ladies!

I learned so much about being Vegan and I lost 5 lbs. I don’t think I will transition, but I definitely plan to continue cutting back on meat. I picked up some really great habits and healthy food options. I will continue everything I adopted over the last few months now
— A.

Changes

The first thing I noticed when becoming a vegan was a DRAMATIC boost in energy. With the combination of my diet and drinking more water, I felt less fatigued throughout the day and found that I was taking on tasks with more positivity. My attitude completely changed. I went the whole 30 days without coffee and that says a lot for me LOL.

#JacandKens30DayVeganDetox KennedysSide.com

Despite my attempts to avoid animal products at all costs, there were times when I'd order something without cheese and/or butter and of course, it was still there. I would notice when I'd take a bite and taste something disgusting. Dairy products that I previously loved began to make me gag at and even made me sick if I went as far as actually eating it. The first time this happened was just 2 weeks after the challenge started which I thought was insane! I didn't realize how quickly my body would adjust.

Skin

As much as I hate to admit it, a main reason I was excited about doing this was how I expected it to change my skin. My vegan friends, and even vegans online, constantly rave about how a the diet can completely transform skin: diminishing breakouts and improving skin tone. I've seen it with my own eyes and truly believe that it's possible! Yet...as the 30 days went on, my skin got worse and worse! I was confused but understood that everyone's skin is different and my time to shine was coming. I did the challenge with Jaclyn (who's skin was already amazing BTW) and noticed an improvement in her from our first day to our last. It wasn't until I went to the doctor last week that I discovered what happened. I found out that I'm allergic to soy. Yes soy, meaning the endless tofu, meat alternatives, soy protein, soy milk, edamame, soy sauce, tempeh, etc. was causing an allergic reaction shown on my FACE. Way to go Ken lol. So although I missed out on the amazing skin benefits the vegan diet can give, I'm so happy I know now that I'm allergic to soy.

After Life

I toyed with the idea for awhile but actually decided not to continue being a vegan. I whole-heartedly want to but until I can create a diet that fits my needs and does not have soy, it's going to be very difficult for me. Suggestions welcome! In the near future, I definitely would like to be a vegan. For now, I am still cutting out meat where I can and avoiding dairy for the most part but I am not 100% committed until I'm ready. 

Thinking about trying it and need some tips? Let me know!

xoxo,

Kennedy

#JacandKens30DayVeganDetox

Veggies

Jaclyn & Kennedy's 30 Day Vegan Detox

 

#JacandKens30DayVeganDetox

@jackattackkk @kennedytaylors

Jaclyn and I are PUMPED to announce #JacandKens30DayVeganDetox. This is something we’ve been talking about for awhile so we are really excited to put it into play! You can follow our journey here and on our social media pages (Instagram: @jackattackkk and @kennedytaylors). The challenge will start Monday, March 19th and will go until Tuesday, April 17th.

Jaclyn's Why:

Hi! Jaclyn here. I have transitioned
into a mostly diet Pescatarian for the past six months, so I am excited about eating vegan! For me, it isn’t about losing weight, it’s about living a healthier lifestyle and looking and feeling my best. Not to mention-reducing my carbon footprint, but we’ll leave
that for another day.

I’ve been watching several documentaries
and finding research studies about the “American diet” and how food impacts our bodies...and our environment. A lot of what I learned about nutrition growing up is now proving to be simply untrue. It seems like every week someone else I know is being affected
by disease, cancer, diabetes, mental health, obesity and other illnesses. I truly believe that if I put the right things in my body, I can lessen my chances of sickness and influence others around me to do the same.

Simply eating a plant-based diet
isn’t the full deal. The aim is to detox my body from the artificial sweeteners, food coloring, corn syrups, preservatives, and other harmful chemicals. What do I hope to see over the 30 day detox? - healthier skin, a leaner body, increased energy, quicker
recovery from muscle-fatigue and a more positive mood! What next after the 30 days? We’ll see!
— Jaclyn Smith

 

Kennedy’s Why:

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last year learning about the food I previously believed to be healthy and even “real.” Due to a lack of regulation and interest in our health needs, the food we consume is damaging and making us prone to disease.

Just like the majority of American families, I grew up on processed and genetically modified foods, pesticide-contaminated fruits and veggies, and the desire for fast food from the fun commercials I’d see with silly characters hoping to target children. I’ve tried cutting out little things here and there but ultimately it’s been a tough battle that I’ve yet to overcome.

Ideally I would like to go more than 30 days. With Jaclyn by my side and now you all, I think this is my best shot. I will be beginning a plant-based diet to help balance my gut bacteria and generally improve all aspects of my life (mental, emotional, physical).
— Kennedy Taylor
KennedysSide.com

For us, this is all in an effort to adapt a more natural lifestyle. I’m personally complimenting my new diet with doTERRA’s Cleanse and Restore kit, which is a 30 day series of supplements designed to minimize our toxic load. I’ve been having skin issues lately and decided to heal myself from the inside out. For more info: http://my.doterra.com/jaclynksmith

Of course, all of this is in combination with maintaining our active lifestyles. It’s not going to be easy but with our support, you can do it too if you want! Grab your friends and change your life with us. If you join, comment below and tag us with #JacandKens30DayVeganDetox.

 

Helpful Links:

http://www.myamya.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Quick-Vegan-Guide-updated-1.26.pdf (even her instagram is so helpful)

https://www.peta.org/living/food/sample-two-week-vegan-meal-plan/

https://blog.paleohacks.com/7-signs-your-gut-bacteria-are-out-of-whack/#

 

Motivational Movies:

What the Health

Food, Inc.

Food Choices

Vegan Quote

The 100 Club!

Pure Barre KennedysSide.com

After lots of shaking, early mornings, and pushing myself to my limit, I finally took my 100th class at my local Pure Barre studio! And what's even better than that? I was lucky enough to take it alongside my regular clients and two of my amazing friends and squad sisters  <3. That definitely made it a memory I won't ever forget! 

Pure Barre KennedysSide.com

Realistically, I should've joined the 100 club some time ago! But at times, life made it a little more difficult than need be. For one, I started teaching barre classes which meant I could no longer workout at the times I am now teaching. Two: barre is not my only method of working out so often after hard workouts with some of my other commitments, I was way too tired to get up and take barre that same day or the next. Three: when you take classes at other barre studios, they don't count towards your total number of home studio classes (and I do take class at other studios). And four: four months in the year, I live in a completely different state. 

Great-now that my excuses are out there, let me explain why I'm not going to let any of them get in my way anymore. This is a "no excuses" kind of year for me. I love taking barre classes so I will always do what I can to get a few in a week, regardless of my schedule, my outside workouts, my location, etc. One of my favorite things about barre is the group of people around you supporting you to always perform your best and to keep with it. I try to instill that quality in my barre students and now I'd like to instill that in myself. Yes...there will be times when I'll be super tired- likely before/after dance practices and team workouts. But, NO EXCUSES. I'm going to keep doing what I love regardless :) Catch ya at 250!

Pure Barre KennedysSide.com

xoxo,

Kennedy

Review: Fresh Le Prep

Meal Prep KennedysSide.com

Happy Sunday readers!

I'm so excited about today's blog because it's about a service I've always wanted to try. I've heard so many glowing comments from friends who LOVED Fresh Le Prep! Fresh Le Prep is a company that caters meals to athletes and non-athletes alike in Northern Virginia, allowing those who may not have the time or knowledge to cook a healthy meal to still reap in the benefits. Personally, time is definitely a factor but I also go for the easy way out which usually means fast food or unhealthy but quickly prepared meals. And it's so easy! Fresh Le Prep takes orders by Thursday and your food can either be picked up or delivered for the coming week :)

One thing that I LOVED about my experience is the customization. They have so many options! Simply choose a protein, vegetable, and a carb per meal and you're set with a week's worth of meals you actually want to eat. I wanted to try something different everyday so I had:

Meal Prep KennedysSide.com

Proteins: meatloaf, shrimp, sausage, chicken, steak

Vegetables: green beans, asparagus, peppers

Carbs: rice (brown or white), pasta, mashed potatoes

I don't always incorporate vegetables in my meals so it was nice to be able to do that. FreshLePrep.com lists the macronutrients in each protein, vegetable, carb, and even sauce which allows customers to customize based on their specific health needs. After a week of focusing on myself and catering to what my body needs, I must say I'm obsessed with this simple system.

Favorite meal: This is a tough one. I don't think I can narrow it down to one but I definitely have a top 3. 1) Sausage with rice and peppers- so good and think it was the most "exotic" of the meals I tried. 2) Shrimp with rice and peppers- I love shrimp and thought it was seasoned very well and the peppers were an awesome compliment. 3) Meatloaf w/ green beans and mashed potatoes- not a huge fan of the mashed potatoes (since childhood HAHA) but the meatloaf definitely made up for it! It was well seasoned and pretty much melted in my mouth!

If you have the chance to try Fresh Le Prep I definitely recommend it! I brought a meal with me to work for lunch everyday and had one at home for dinner and it completely eliminated my usual fast food stop. This week I've definitely felt better about myself just from knowing I fueled myself with healthy and fresh ingredients. 

If you want to try: take 10% off your order every Monday on FreshLePrep.com w/ code DECEMBER10. Happy eating :)

xoxo,

Kennedy

Meal Prep KennedysSide.com

Top 5 Health Staples

Hey guys! Like you, I'm always looking for ways to improve my health :) My system isn't perfect yet (and may never be) but I have worked out a plan that works for me to improve my eating habits, help my immune system, and reach my fitness goals. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask and let me know. Would love to know what works for you :) In the meantime, here are my top 5 health staples.

Sweater Weather www.KennedysSide.com

1) Compact/Portable Blender. So I freaking love my portable blender. My fitness goals require taking in a lot of protein and I find the best way for me is through protein shakes and smoothies. There are so many brands out there and shake making has become SO easy! Once you're done, simply add a lid for drinking and you're good to go. It would be so hard for me to keep up with my protein without it!

2) Protein powder. Can't mention my blender without bringing up its companion. I'm currently using a whey powder that is definitely not the best health wise but I love how it tastes and it does the job. I've tried an insane amount of different protein powders that align better with my goals (pea, soy, rice, etc.) but there's one problem: they taste terrible. If I don't like what I'm consuming, I will never be consistent with it. While I could've added more pineapple, lemon, etc. to make it taste better, sometimes I just don't have the time. My powder tastes amazing and gives me exactly what I need after a workout in less than 2 minutes. Would love to hear if you have any suggestions for healthy protein powders that you think might be a better fit :)

3) Vitamin C. I don't know about you but if I'm not careful, I can easily get at least 2 colds a month especially during this icky and confused season. When I'm sick I'm pretty useless (haha) and am instantly miserable. To combat that, I take Vitamin C vitamins daily and my immune system turns into Chuck Norris. It's so simple but really does go a long way. 

Essential Oil Diffuser www.KennedysSide.com

4) Essential Oils. I'm pretty new to essential oils and am still learning but their results have been amazing. The idea of buying one oil and being able to use it in so many ways to improve health, spirit, and even heal is incredible. A few of my friends actually got me into it and I'll definitely be back for more. I have trouble sleeping & a few drops of lavender oil in my diffuser or even on the bottom of my feet relaxes me and puts me right to sleep. Can't wait to update you more on this journey!

5) Sleep. Such a simple aid to all of life's problems. I understand that you can't always control how much sleep you get because of work or things that come up. However, if you're anything like me you probably get in bed and use your phone for about 15-20 minutes before you actually fall asleep. The light is naturally going to make you more awake & is actually going to stop you from falling asleep. So, I started planning my night routine a bit better and know not to touch my phone right before bed and it has helped me actually sleep longer (I have a sleep tracking app on my watch lol) and get to my deep sleep faster. 

 

Like I said, what works for me may not work for you but would love to share and grow with you! What are your health staples? Let me know <3

Kennedy