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Cute DIY Work Out Shirts: Part One

Grab some old t-shirts or even your partner's shirts and try some of these ideas out!

Geometric Heaven Tank:

Lay the shirt out flat.
Take a marker and draw where you want to cut the sleeves.

Draw geometric patterns where ever you want,
this is where you can get as creative as you want.

Cut the sleeves and collar off first.
Then dig into cutting out those geometric shapes.

My shirt was a little big but I think it came out really cute.
Excited that it will keep me cool outdoors.

Tie back Tank:

Start with a fitted t-shirt.
Cut the sleeves off on the inside of the seam.
fold the shirt in half so that the sleeves press against one another.
Then cut 5-6 inch slits into the back.
Turn the shirt inside out and lay it flat.
Take a scrap sleeve and cut strips.
Use one strip to tie around each section between the slits.
Turn right side out and Voila!
If you use a shirt that isn't fitted you can cut the sections in the back and just tie them together.

The Wrap Up:

Lay shirt flat.
Cut collar and sleeves off at seams.
Cut the bottom hem off (you'll use this later).
Turn shirt over.
Cut a V into the back until the point is level with the armpit.

This is my favorite one, and I think the easiest also.

Gather the shoulders together in the back.
Take the material from earlier and tie to the the gathered material.
Wrap it around all the way up and tie it at the top.

The Benefits of Boosting Collagen

I first stumbled upon collagen when I was pregnant with my son and researching various ways to keep my skin healthy, not only over my expanding belly, but also all over because I stopped using several anti-aging products on my face and neck. I still take it to keep my joints healthy and my skin firm. Check me out in 30 years and we can see how it does combating wrinkles.

Collagen is a long chain amino acid that forms connective tissue and bones in the body. It gives tissues strength and elasticity and is the most abundant protein in the body!

What are the Benefits of Oral Collagen Supplements?
  1. Anti-aging: it helps with skin elasticity, firmness, and hydration. As we age we naturally produce less collagen. By supplementing collagen these vital and highly sought amino acids are more available for the body to use and have been shown to reduce wrinkles and tighten skin. It can also reduce the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks!
  2. Aid in digestion: it coats the digestive tract to help with gut health, and may even help with leaky gut syndrome. A leaky gut is basically when toxins are allowed to leak out of the digestive tract and into the rest of the body- rather than keep on moving, if you know what I mean. Since your digestive tract has its own little microbiome, it is important for it to be “sealed” to be healthy and prevent undue inflammation and illness.
  3. Joint Health: helps with joints and bone health for easier mobility. Our tendons and ligaments are composed of a high percentage of collagen and supplementing helps keep them moving. It may also reduce the risk of joint osteoarthritis. Several studies have found that supplementing oral collagen reduces joint pain.
  4. Hair and Nails: helps build and strengthen hair and nails. Collagen amino acids are the building blocks for strong hair and nails.  
  5. Weight Management: Since it is a form of fiber, it helps keep you feeling full and things moving in the digestive department. Further, because one of the amino acids it contains is glycine, it helps you build lean muscle mass. And when you're doing all these workouts we've suggested, you be putting that glycine to use!

There is a ton of anecdotal evidence to support the use of collagen too, so it is definitely worth a shot. When I first started trying to boost the collagen in my diet, I was doing it the all natural, old fashion way: bone broth. I went through the arduous task of making up a big pot of bone broth to add to soups and stews. And this is great, but definitely not convenient to take. Perfect to enjoy a hearty soup with extra benefits, but not for daily dosing. In comes the modern supplement! It is available in powder form to take easily and without stewing animal bones for hours and hours. There are two main varieties you can take: collagen gelatin and collagen hydrolysate.

What’s the Difference Between Collagen Gelatin and Collagen Hydrolysate?
Collagen hydrolysate is actually a more processed form of collagen gelatin, which means it is further broken down. While gelatin will dissolve in hot water and then congeal, the hydrolysate version will dissolve in hot or cold water and it does NOT congeal. That makes it perfect for adding to a glass of juice, a smoothie, or even your morning coffee and drinking as usual. If you get the gelatin, you can still mix it into a glass of cold water and chug, but it will not be dissolved and the granules will begin to fatten up because they naturally congeal once added to liquid. The gelatin is good for making homemade gummies or other goodies however.

Because of all the benefits and low risk, I would highly recommend trying it! Amazon carries the two main forms for supplementing into your diet. Both are great options and are easy to use! I would recommend that hydrolysate version for ease of use, but if you want to try out gummies or marshmallows, try the gelatin.

Still curious about the effects of collagen? Here is some additional resources on the subject:
Wrinkle reduction

Have you tried it? What benefits have you noticed?

Saturday Snack: Cucumber Lunchables

As a health conscience mom, I'm always trying to find fun and yummy snacks and lunches for my family.  This is one that is really simple and delicious!  Once in a while I would give in and buy my oldest son one of those 99 cent lunchables because he would beg and beg for it (I know most kids beg for candy, and mine is over here begging for something that was always fully stocked in my home when I was a kid).  I don't think they are evil- everything in moderation- I just feel that even at 99 cents, it's not the most cost efficient or healthy version I can provide my family. Now, instead of stopping in the prepackaged deli food section, we stop at the deli counter and get a 1/2 lb of our favorite meat (usually chicken breast or turkey) and 1/2 lb of our favorite cheese (usually provolone or cheddar).  Then we head through the produce and grab a couple cucumbers.  Yep, not crackers, CUCUMBERS!

Cucumber Lunchables
  • deli meat
  • cheese
  • cucumbers

  1. Slice the cucumber into circles.
  2. Cut the meat and the cheese into 1-inch squares.
  3. Stack them into little sandwiches.
Voila! It's that easy! 

Now for the double whammy, because these two things go so well together!  

My son is not thrilled with ranch anything (I know he's nuts).  I love making it really thick like a spread and putting in on my cucumber lunchables.  It's also great as a veggie dip or if you add a little milk it makes it smooth enough for salads!

I usually make mine as needed but you can make it in bulk also, just keep it in an airtight container and refrigerate!