As promised, I’m bringing you guys some great posts from some amazing friends and bloggers while I’m away on vacation.  I actually got home last night, and am playing catch up so I’ll be back tomorrow.  This last guest post is brought to you by Abby, a fellow healthy living blogger.  Thanks, Abby, for writing a guest blog in my absence!

How to Make Healthy Fun and Affordable

Hello all!

I’m Abby from BackAtSquareZero.  A while ago I decided to change my life and get in shape.  I went from barely being able to run to the mailbox to training for my second marathon.

Throughout this process I found that if I want to go from fat to fit and healthy my entire lifestyle needed to change.  I discovered that I was going out all the time, eating junk, and just generally not living well.  I’ve made many changes and seen wonderful results.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect I do still go out and demolish some tasty junk food occasionally, but these are the top changes I’ve made.

P.S. – As I am a teacher they are all budget friendly too.!

Healthy Alternatives:

Replace Out to Eat with Cooking In
You save a ton of calories and a ton of money this way.  Plus there are lots of websites out there with healthier alternatives.  I suggest SkinnyTaste & Pinterest for recipe searching.  Just tonight my friends and I had a healthier version of breakfast for dinner:  Whole wheat french toast bake with fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt and berries on top plus baked eggs (super easy to make in muffin tins) with onion, tomato, and green peppers (plus a bit of hot sauce on mine).

Switch Happy Hours for Workout Dates
Instead of scheduling a happy hour with the girls schedule a workout hour.  Meet up some place fun that you might not normal workout (i.e. – not your gym or neighborhood) and change it up a bit with a walk, run, or bike ride.  Instead of consuming hundreds of empty booze calories you burn them, save a ton of money, and it’s easier to actually talk to your girlfriends without all the loud bar noise.  My favorite local spots to meet are the Cooper River Bridge (gorgeous) or a pretty trail near my house.

Skip the Theater & Redbox It
Instead of spending $20 on two tickets you spend a buck.  Plus that movie theater popcorn and all those treats are healthy eating killers.  Grab a good movie, a box of Smart Pop popcorn, and relax.  You’ll wake feeling refreshed and happy instead of full and bloated from butter covered salt smothered movie theater popcorn.

Ditch Shopping & DIY
One part of a healthy lifestyle is reducing stress.  I found that when I was stressed I ate more and ate horribly.  A main cause of my stress – my teacher salary.  While I can’t change what I make, I CAN change what I spend and so can you.  I cut down on shopping and instead used fun ideas I found on Pinterest to do it myself for cheaper.  DIY activities can also be a great to do with friends, a fabulous stress reliever, and a big money saver.  (Cheap canvas, scrap-book letters, spray paint = a fun and inexpensive girls night with an awesome decorating result!)

Swap the Fro-yo for the Farmer’s Market
I am a frozen yogurt addict.  I really should have some 12 step program or attend meeting or something.  With all these amazing frozen yogurt places popping up it is hard to stay away.  I love being able to get my own fro-yo and cover it in any amazing toppings I want.  However, without fail I end up getting more than I should and spending like $6 on a cup of fro-yo when you can get an entire container at the store for much less.  Instead of burning my calories and money I found a great alternative.   The farmers’ market!  Wait – You’re wondering how those relate? When I go to the farmers’ market I can still get some sweet treats like I do at fro-yo, but this time they are fresh fruits and I don’t have to feel at all guilty about demolishing them.  Hello berries!

Dump Your Weekend Brunch & Volunteer
Instead of gobbling up all those calories on Saturday and Sunday mornings go do something good.  Not only will your diet thank you, but you’ll feel better about yourself.  Contact Habitat for Humanity and help on a build, walk dogs at the SPCA, or find a local branch or Girls on the Run and see what you can do to help motivate children to be healthy.

I’d love to hear it – What changes have you made in your life to be healthier?  Any questions?  Please comment and let me know!

Want to keep the conversation going?  Feel free to talk to me any time, I love to chat about healthy living and working out.  You can find me at the following places: