live well now | 5 things we've learned

Having tried about every fad, and having experienced just about every up and down, we can both attest to the importance of balance. But finding a balance, isn't ever perfect and isn't always as simple as it sounds. Luckily, we've found a few things along the way that have made all the difference. Some are personal and some we've had to learn the hard way, the good news is we came out the other side and we can't wait to share them with you.

5 things we've learned | swell mama

1 | Finding healthy food that you enjoy and can look forward to is everything. It may take a little effort, maybe a new cookbook or trying a new grocery store, but it changes things from thinking about what you can't eat and your strict diet to simple, joyful eating. Food should be enjoyed. It's meant to be delicious. And there are so many wonderful, naturally delicious foods that do good things for your body.

2 | Educate yourself and jump off the bandwagon. There is always a new trend. It's easy to get swept along. Remember when we were gorging on all-things protein and running from carbs? Before that everything was low-fat. And now we're eating like a caveman and are afraid of gluten. The trick is to weed out the good bits of wisdom that can come from trends, and throw out the rest. There are so many nutrients and benefits to so many foods. In an age when everything seems to be sensationalized, it's not always easy to temper the temptation to go for the latest cure-all. 

3 | Before you can eat well you have to think well. It can't be forced or superficial. And it may not happen overnight. It's learning to turn off the switch that says to feel guilty and to label foods as "no-no's". It's learning to love your body. It's starting where you are, everyday to make better choices, as small it they may be. It's practicing healthy thinking when we want to belittle ourselves and tear ourselves down. 

4 | Learn to be okay with some unhealthy moments or days along the way. We've had too many days where we get frustrated with not meeting our goals, so we just feel like giving up. Then that day turns into a week, then a month, and the months start speeding by. We've learned to not let one rough day lead to months of unhealthy habits. As we accept that living healthy isn't about being perfect, it feels more realistic to strive to have more of those healthy days and choices. And when things don't go as planned, it's really okay. Tomorrow is a new day. 

5 | It's time to throw out the numbers. Worrying about a certain weight we want to be, counting every little calorie or gram of protein can just make a girl crazy!  We've all been there, right?  Simply becoming more mindful of the foods we're fueling our body with, the exercises our bodies crave, and how we feel physically and mentally proves to be a much more valid measure of our health. 

Jenny | 5 things that make me feel fierce

I wouldn't describe myself as fierce, per say. Being more thoughtful and reserved by nature, I am always working on ways to be a little bolder, even just for me. These are some things I've found that make me feel stronger, braver, more capable, and sometimes when the moment is right, even unstoppable.

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1 | Trying a new yoga pose or yoga transition. When I'm on the mat with no one but myself to worry about, there is something so freeing and creative. It feeds my courage to try all sorts of new things in life. 

2 | Saying no. Someone once said that trying to please everyone was the first step to unhappiness. And I have found this is really true for me. I like to help. I like to please. But trying to please everyone is exhausting and fruitless. Sometimes saying no (even to myself) is just necessary and doing it without guilt is just as necessary to assert my own priorities and limits.

3 | Getting up early. Man oh man, it's hard. But now that boyfriend sleeps in a little later, it's like I get this bonus window of time just for me. I can workout. I can fold laundry. It helps me feel like I got a head start on the day. 

4 | Running. Being more inclined to breathe-and-bend, my idea of a run may not be everyone's idea of a run. Still, there is something about going a little farther than I thought I could, using a little more energy than I thought I had, and feeling my heart beat.

5 | Childbirth. I know what you're thinking. I was extremely apprehensive about Penn's delivery. But even just thinking about it now gives me a little boost. While it's not the case for everyone, I was so lucky to have a smooth delivery and walked away with really positive, joyful memories. It reminds me I can do things I'm afraid of. And it reminds me how beautiful things happen, hard things first.