Thanks to the beauty of the internet, staying healthy and taking care of your body no longer requires a bank-account-draining gym membership. Pilates is one exercise that tones your muscles, strengthens your core, increases flexibility, and improves posture – all in one session. The exercise focuses on slow, controlled movements, delivering unparalleled health and fitness rewards to those who incorporate the practice into their self-care routine.
Challenging. Inspiring. Empowering.
These are the first three words that come to mind when I think of Pilates.
When you decide to get healthy and have a happy life, you have endless ways to approach it. Getting back into an exercise routine, going on a “diet”, following all the “shoulds” and setting goals. All of these things tend to focus on what you can control outside. Like the food you eat, or how much you workout. But the real transformation happened for me when I realized there’s a missing piece: what’s going on INSIDE, our mindset.
Let me start by saying that I'm not a nutritionist or a health professional. So, everything I share is based on my personal experience and research. Honestly, it took me years to figure out what works for my body.
My food philosophy is very similar to my fitness method. I love simplicity, quick with maximum benefits.
WHAT IS MY DIET LIKE?
As I've share on my IG page before, I eat a mostly whole food, plant based diet with some fish and eggs (sustainably sourced whenever possible.)
I practice eating mindfully and according to my body's circadian rhythm. I’m also enjoying intermittent fasting for about 12-14 hours during the week.
WELLNESS KITCHEN + BOOKS
You can find some of my favorite kitchen items like water bottles and food containers and books with healthy recipes and lifestyle tips on my "Favorites" page.
If you have any weekly meals, healthy hacks or tips, I would love to hear about it in the comments below. So, let’s start with a few meals I have almost every week... They are super simple and make me feel healthy, nourished, and happy!
This is very embarrassing to admit but I used to be a miserable fitness junkie... I was obsessed with everything health and fitness related. I’d read anything and everything I can find about new trends, latest workouts, celebrities’ fitness routines. I’d easily spend an hour just looking through #fitspo posts on Instagram comparing my body to other girls… I remember feeling so confused, lost, and very unhappy in my own skin.
A productive and happy day starts with a productive morning routine! Since I started working for myself two years ago, I have learned how important it is to take the time to set your mind and body up for a successful day. In this post, I’m sharing 5 simple things to do in the morning to feel happy, calm, and in charge of your day.
I turned my passion for health and wellness into a very fulfilling and inspiring career. I actually wake up looking forward to doing the things I love. Besides teaching Pilates, I love writing about health and wellness and connecting with people around the world through my blog and Instagram.
I have the best job in the world. And I'm grateful for it everyday!
Whether you're just starting out your career in health and wellness or you've been on it for a while now, I know EXACTLY how you feel. I want to remind you that no matter where you're at right now, you can create a life and career you LOVE. And I'm here to share my story and tips to help you on your journey.
At the age of 25, I moved to the US—to the other side of the world from Turkey—to get my master’s degree. After finishing my M.A degree in Education at the University of San Francisco, I found myself questioning what I really wanted to do with my life. I wasn't very passionate about my job or future career in Linguistics. I started to doubt every decision I made about my life, ended up going through a bad quarter life crisis.
As if that wasn't enough, we had to cancel our wedding in Turkey that summer... because we lost our passports. We were not allowed to reenter the States if we left the country. Anxiety and depression hit me even harder. I was desperate to see my family, was terribly homesick and really hated my life in US. I didn't have a close circle of girlfriends and no job to look forward to in the morning. I just wanted to quit everything and reevaluate my life's purpose. During this soul ( and career) searching phase, I took the following four simple steps:
TAKE A LITTLE BREAK TO DISCOVER WHAT LIGHTS YOU UP
Hello hello! :)
It's a sunny Sunday morning here in San Francisco. And I'm so happy to be back to my blog with 5 amazing book recommendations! These books helped me so much in my personal growth, spiritual practice and having a positive perspective on life. If you are looking for some books to curl up with this season, definitely give one of these a try.
I completed my Pilates teacher training in San Francisco about a year ago. I still remember exactly how I felt before and during my training: TERRIFIED, EXCITED, CONFUSED, LIT UP, INSECURE, JOYFUL, PROUD. These cocktail of feelings still come up everyday.
Happy mornings start with a rested mind and body. So, the first step is to go to bed early and get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. If you get good quality sleep, you will wake up energized and ready to start the day. I usually go to bed around 9pm and look forward to cozying up in my Buffy comforter. It's so soft and luxuriously fluffy just like my cat haha. Do you see him in the picture below? :)
1. Get enough sleep.
I'm finally sharing my skincare routine that some of you requested. :) It's all about simplicity, minimalism and "out the door in 5 minutes". I believe in protecting and perfecting my actual skin instead for covering it with lots of makeup. As I started to take on this approach, I'm needing even less and less makeup on a daily basis – which I absolutely loveeee! So, keep on reading if you like an easy routine for fresh, natural, glowy skin.
Hey hi hellooo!
It’s been awhile since my last post. Thank you so much for sticking around if you were already following along.
Here’s what happened while I was gone: I got married to my boyfriend of 8 years– still can’t get used to calling him my husband! :) We had a beautiful intimate wedding on the west coast of Turkey. Here’s a little fun boomerang from that day.
I also took a looong digital break. Honestly, I’d recommend doing this to anyone. It’s so easy to get caught up in the social media world, especially Instagram. During my time away, I just realized one more time what is really important to me– spending time with my family, friends and just simply enjoying life. To go out, eat, and do whatever I'm doing without worrying about getting the “perfect” shot.
Finally, a quick Pilates update. I’ve just completed all my Pilates teacher training coursework. High five ME! It’s been a difficult but such a rewarding experience. I’m so grateful for all the support from my family and friends. You can find my Pilates classes in San Francisco here.
Meanwhile, if you can’t make it to a class but you love Pilates, I’d still love to help you in your practice. So, please let me know if you’d like to see Pilates related posts, workout tips here on the blog– all suggestions are so welcome.
Now, I’m just getting back to the swing of life here in California – doing yoga and Pilates, drinking matcha lattes and working on my blog. Stay tuned for more posts from me. :) And please say HI! and update me on what’s going on in your life! I love hearing from you.
Lots of love,
I lOVE food!
I also LOVE pretty food presentations and great interiors.
And, the eatery scene in SF doesn't disappoint! This city is like heaven for foodies like me.
Good food + cute décor. Yes, you can have it all!
Here are 3 spots you should know about, from one IG loving girl to another.
The most important health & wellness habit I've formed is meditation.
Meditation helped me connect with my body and mind to understand myself better. It helped me become happier, healthier, more peaceful and more focused in every area of my life.
I'm not perfect at it, but I've learned a lot since I started.
How I started my meditation practice?
Sitting in silence and doing nothing was the hardest thing to do for me. I thought I can never meditate because my mind would never stop. It turns out everyone has a similar story. We are all constantly thinking, criticizing, feeling and planning things. Good news is you don't need to completely silence or control your mind to start meditating. That is why it's called "practice". All you need to do is just start. Here are my tips to help you start your practice. :)
Hygge is a new buzz word in the health and wellness world. It is raved for holding the key to happiness. So, obviously I just had to learn more about it and share with you!
Pronounced /hoo-ga/, hygge is a Danish concept of coziness, comfort and feelings of wellness and happiness. Hygee is about sharing, togetherness, feeling at home, eating comfort food with your favorite people. It is a lifestyle that celebrates simple things in life. Like a cup of hot chocolate. It is basically the art of creating happiness and coziness in everyday life.
So, how can we create hygge and bring more happiness to our lives? I put together a mini hygge list and a delicious hot chocolate recipe for you to experience hygge at your own home!
1. Light candles.
The fastest way to create hygee anywhere is simply lighting a few candles. Turn down the lights and relax with the candles flickering. I think candles really do bring a feeling of cosiness and happiness to a place.
2. Be Present. Turn off your phone.
Stay in the present moment and find happiness and joy in doing simple tasks. Just focus on the tea you're drinking or the conversation you're having with your friend. Be totally here and now.
3. Indulge yourself.
Fresh coffee and home-made cake!
4. Get comfy.
Take a time out and rest. Get in your soft PJs, put on warm socks.
5. Count your blessings.
Be grateful. Literally write them down. Be grateful for the food, the health, the family and friends you have.
6. Spend time with loved ones and build experiences.
As I've already talked about this in one of my very first posts, material things don't really make people happy. Experiences and spending time with family and friends makes us happy. So, build experiences and stories.
Healthy Hot Chocolate Recipe
Hot chocolate, next to matcha latte, is my favorite drink during winter. This is a healthier version of the classic hot chocolate recipe. It’s dairy-free and is so simple to make. So you can enjoy this deliciousness without any guilt.
You'll need: Cocoa powder, almond milk, vanilla, natural sweetener of your choice.
Method: Mix 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 cup of almond milk, half a tsp vanilla and 2 tbsp maple syrup (or 1 tsp coconut sugar) in a small pot and heat over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Pour into a cup and add a dash of cinnamon if you like, enjoy!
With the new year feelings, I decided to review and think back at how I did in terms of my health, mood and happiness in the last year. Certainly, 2016 hasn't been an easy year for most of us. But, I try to think of it as a big pile of life lessons and opportunities that will eventually make us better and stronger.
So, I think January is a great month to make peace with the past and let it go so that I can re-focus on growing, learning and living a life full of good health, love, and joy. In this post, I am sharing a few things that I've started incorporating into my daily routine which really made a difference in my overall health and mood. :)
You are always exactly where you are supposed to be, experiencing what you need to experience, to learn what you must learn, in order to become the person you need to be to create the life you truly want. Always.
Being more awake/aware and spiritually open minded! I've been guilty of this one for the majority of my life. I've never been the girl who actually believes in meditation and spiritual practices, and would think of that whole world a bit woo woo. Oh how wrong I was! Now, I'm journaling before bed, and really focusing on gratitude for the day and my intentions for the next day. First thing in the morning, I review these notes and really set my daily intentions ( like being more present, kind and mindful) .I've been also indulging in books on meditation, manifestation and law of attraction and loving it!
As I learn more and more about how we literally have the power to have our dream life or bring our worst fears to reality, everything starts to make more sense. It is really scary but also empowering to learn how powerful our thoughts and energy are and that we can actually use them to manifest our desires. Let me know if you're into this stuff, I'd love to chat and exchange book suggestions!
The moment you accept responsibility for EVERYTHING in your life is the moment you can change ANYTHING in your life.
Eating better and drinking more water! With healthy eating there's just sooo much to learn and experiment with. So it's never like you know everything about being healthy and that's it for the rest of your life. Especially, if you're someone who is very passionate about living and promoting a healthy balanced lifestyle, you always learn something new.
So, one area that I'm really hooked up on at the moment is having healthier hair and skin! I have just had my hair cut and colored, so I'm looking to nourish it from the inside out with yummy food. Here are some of the foods that I'll eat more for a glowing skin and healthy hair: salmon (breaking vegan – more on this later), avocado, eggs, spinach, pumpkin seeds, oats and blueberries.
So, expect to see more of these superfoods on my instagram! And goes without saying, drinking more water and taking a bottle wherever I go.
Hope you have enjoyed reading this, and please let me know what you think and shoot me a message on Instagram @handemirel if you'd like to chat about all things healthy and happy!
Lots of love,