woman sitting on mountain peak
It sometimes helps to take a step back and look at where you have been. It makes you appreciate your acoomplishments and face new challenges with grit. Photo by Helena Cook

DAOFitLife is celebrating our 1 year anniversary! A look back at our top 10 posts

2021 was not everything we expected, but we all learned a lot, and have an optimistic 2022 ahead. This post summarizes the most popular posts from DAOFitLife’s first year- some inspried by you! Below you will find a brief summary and a link to read more. After you read this, I encourage you to write your top 10 “wins” for 2021. I promise you will feel amazing and energized. Let’s look back – but also commit to moving forward, together.

The Little Black Dress Method to Meal Planning

This post is dedicated to making your healthy lifestyle and dietary choices easy for you, work for you! You know that little black dress, that is your stall worth ally- the one where you know it is reliable and it will make you feel at your best even when just everything else is not working. Boom, same premise here; only it applies to what you are putting into your body and how you can piece meals together quickly, seamlessly, and fight the woes of dietary boredom! I know that my readers are educated and know the right choices, it just becomes a matter of management when you have no time whatsoever, so I am really sharing my approach with how I get it done. I’m definitely not into the- whole- spend -your -only- free -Sunday -afternoon/evening-fill- up- your- Tupperware- life deal, only to feel resentful (and bored) when Wednesday comes around. I offer choices and flexibility without over inundation for you to be able to reach your best self yet without being driven mad. I have suggestions from what I reach for at grocery stores, to snacks on hand, to what you can grab at your local “bowl” place. Keep on LBD’ing it up, y’all! 

Further Reading Here…

The DAO of NEAT: How you can get fit without the gym

NEAT, the acronym of Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis is all of the activities that we do everyday, moving and grooving about, without the sweat session- basically our activities of daily life. NEAT often goes extremely overlooked because we either think that we’ve done enough for today with a 7am bootcamp class, or think to ourselves, “keep fit? I need at least an hour for that? Who cares about a ten minute walk?!” At least 15% of our calories burned throughout a day are burned through NEAT, whereas only about 5% is burned through exercise! It is so wild to me that this is not really publicized very well; for we should be staying fit for the quality of our lives, not just for a vacation or two! In this post, I get into ways about how you can incorporate more NEAT into your day to help keep up with these fast times- so that could look like, turning off Alexa, walking to go grab lunch, walking meetings, and grocery store shopping the old fashioned way- biceps and all! Our corporate jobs can make it extremely difficult to get enough of the NEAT burn in and all too easy to sit, however I have some excellent work-arounds for you ahead! Go get those steps in! 

Further Reading Here…

The DAOFitLIfe Fitness App Decision Tree

In this post, I help make it easier for you to decide what fitness app might be best for you, your goals, and, even what might be the best for your personality! How many times have  you heard, “You gotta get this app. It is so awesome!” (other than in the post)? Only to workout to it and think “hmmm… not for me.” In my Fitness App Decision Tree, I help break it down for your personality- competitive/self-motivated/regimented-structured oriented and your usage/non-usage of equipment and then I let you decide if anything from The Mirror to SoulCycle (and so many in between) might be a good fit. There is no ‘perfect/cutting-edge’ workout out there, only the one that you gravitate towards the most and can consistently, comfortably challenge yourself in. I don’t talk fiscal numbers in this post, as apps that do have a subscription, are around $15-20/month, usually having a 7/14 day complimentary trial period for you to see if its right for you. The most important investment here, is for you to take the time for yourself and work out! I highly suggest you also check out the sweet superlatives for apps and further discover if your next new ‘steez is a tap away! 

Further Reading Here… 

The DAO of eating on the go

I do realize that things were on a pause travel wise for many of us until just a few months ago, so how timely a post as things start to get going again – you are headed to the office (on a regular or hybrid basis), you’ve got your flight to catch, and you just may be totally strapped for time while you are running around! Hmmm… but what are you going to have when you are on the road? Every now and again, it is good to indulge in the 20% of my 80/20 eating well program but I have you covered fully! I have a nice cheat sheet for you. I suggest that you screenshot and favorite this post for future reference. Covered in the post are common casual joints, fast food and drinks, build-a-bowl spots, and the trusty gas station and CVS’. I also  have some key pointers that can make a big difference, from BYOD’ing (D as in dressing) to taking that delicious Chipotle home and splitting it into two meals! Not only delicious but time saving, so that you can be productive and focus on you! Another issue I bring to light,  is that you may have some apprehension about potential looks from your colleagues…  however by sharing, just as I did- you can create a more positive and healthier atmosphere around you. You will be amazed at who you can inspire ahead! 

Further Reading Here…

The DAO Guide to Intuitive Eating

Intuitive eating has been LIFE changing and freeing. As babies, we naturally know what we want and desire and we are sure to let Mom know that we want and need it nowwwww! But as time goes by, and nowadays sooner than later, especially for women, we are bombarded with images to be thinner and smaller. For Neda and I, growing up we were bombarded with images of diet culture everywhere and it has shaped shifted into the ‘wellness’ culture that it is today.  Intuitive eating is not for everyone and it is not meant to be about diet and body image whatsoever; rather, its about redeveloping your most natural self with food and developing joy through such. This post really goes into detail about the typical types of eating behaviors (clean plate club, professional dieter, etc.), then has a roadmap about how you can see where you are at and adjust your habits to be more in synch with your body’s needs!

Further Reading Here…

The DAO of Finding time to work out

As Alanis Morisette once sang, “I have no concept of time other than it is flying.”

Ahhh yes… the concept of TIME! For the working professional time an elusive liquid gold that you just can’t seem to get your hands on! I completely get it and that is how I am able to share my knowledge. In this post, I help you explore how you don’t have to sacrifice your internal wellbeing and health for work and how you can actually make your work–work for you! Neda can also attest to the fact the biggest obstacle that people for signing up for training wasn’t finances— across the board, in DC– it was time.  However, in this post I help show how you can get more of that liquid gold by not checking your email right before a workout, only checking your social media once a day (this is huuuuge time suck and for a majority of people it does not improve their quality of life), getting on board with my famous fireman’s routine, and half a dozen more helpful and actually applicable tips. So much of finding that time and then making it work for you is about the little tweaks in preparation and much of the same preparation that you already practice in your everyday routine. Time to boss up and to keep on keepin’ on being the CEO of your own body! 

Further Reading Here…

The DAO of Metrics

I am so over the moon that this is one of the top posts! The DAO of metrics gets into the importance of how much you are actually a consuming and burning and how the popular ‘diet’ plans (i.e. Keto/Whole3, etc ) are so “popular” in their allure of saying that you should set aside metrics and eat whatever you want/however much you want of this totally unsustainable diet. When we are at work, we have to use metrics accurately; otherwise things can go downhill on a micro/macro level extremely quickly; the same principle applies here with respect to our functioning bodies. By using metrics we have a tangible starting point and goal post, and through its employment of accountability, we actually know where we are in real time vs some nebulous haze. It can be tempting at first to not really want to know but it is the single most important factor into getting specific about where we plan to go.  In the digital age, there are several easy ways at your fingertips to help keep on your track – and this post tells you all about them.

Further Reading Here…

The Secrets of being “nauturally thin”

This is a post that has really brought things to be full circle this past year. In this post, I go into detail about what I have noticed about the habits of my naturally thin friends…. ya know, those friends that you can’t stand, eating the french fries friends type.  It is interesting to see how their habits may intentionally or unintentionally keep thin, for example- these naturally thin people actually eat when they are hungry! And, I mean hungry! If we are constantly grazing or we have put our bodies through the ringer with dieting, it may be that we have to re-learn our real hunger cues. When we have actual, physical hunger (not the pass out or even hanger type- above that, even still)- we are more attuned to listening to what our bodies actually need in that moment. Naturally thin people are notoriously slow eaters; this is actually a very good thing in how it aids proper digestion but also how it allows for the stomach to send messages to the brain within that 20 minute lapse time, declaring, “I’m full, that is enough.” Then, I have noticed that they either pack the rest for later or are completely done- no clean platers club membership necessary! Across certain cultures in the world, there is a sense of pause between bites, whether it is Italy between courses and much conversation or in Japan, where there is also a pause between courses and a slower pace of chewing is advised. This happens naturally and people are not even thinking about the term ‘diet.’ In fact, a lot of these women don’t really exercise except for keeping their NEAT burn up! Living your life and the enjoyment of dining with those close to you and not being stressed about calories and diet?! Sign me up.

Further Reading Here…

The DAOFitLife Exercise formula for Success

So now that you have carved out the time and have your things spread out and ready to go… what about your routine? This post gets directly into just that. Whatever you commit yourself, you should be comfortably challenging yourself over time. It can be overwhelming at first to get an actual fitness program program. I help mitigate this issue in the post by setting up template spreadsheet (with a customizable, download, and printable DAOFITLIFE Exercise Plan option) for you to get started on. Then after an explanation what is Low/Med Cardio, what quantifies as High Intensity Cardio, and Strength Precision Training. None of these are like the others, and especially when it comes to strength training, it does not just mean for you to hit the iron, in fact it can be completely body weight! I have divided all of these categories and subcategories into the digestible LISS/MISS/and HIIT buckets, so from you can decided what may work the best for you. By having a template, you can track your progress and you will notice how you how the small nuances within your weeks of training pay off huge dividends for you and actually obliging to do so- keeps you plateaued. I am big fan of holistic solutions inside and outside of movement and I hope that you, too, take this as a new learning experience! 

Further Reading Here…

The DAO Guide to the Law of Attraction

This was one of my favorite posts to write – because it embodies teachings from Rumi in more modern form. Rumi said, “Life live as if everything is rigged in your favor.” The more you trust the universe, the more what you want will be attracted to you. This is a good reminder when you have one of those days that you feel like you are swimming upstream and bogged down in the little things (and we all do). I was touched to hear one of my readers tell me he was making an important decision that would affect the rest of his life, but scared of the less familiar path. Reading this, he said, pushed him to take that risk. And that’s another theme – high risk, high rewards.

The DAO Guide to the Law of Attraction is an exploration into the INFINITE with first hand accounts! Here, I speak truth to the power of harnessing infinite possible. I feel that Rumi knew something was up with his quote, When you choose to believe that what you seek is infact seeking you and let go of control and all of the potential outcomes, you allow the universe to work in your favor. You also free yourself of stress and micromanagement around desires and what may happen, is that you may also see solutions to problems with new, profound lens. A lot of the law of attraction has to do with acceptance and accepting that whatever happened in the past- happened and that it is all part of the process. The past and your perceived failures do not have to define you, instead you can see them  as teachers, and through that, and your dedication to actions towards your desires, you truly will be a magnet for positive outcomes. Relationship setbacks, career setbacks, health setbacks – it doesn’t matter – this post will rocket you in to that fourth dimension. Discover what is possible for you with these helpful tips in this post.  

Further Reading Here…

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