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I always like to take some time at the beginning of the New Year to look back and pay attention to the things that worked really well for me over the last year (and, of course, noticing the things I DON’T want to take with me into 2018, but that’s another post!).

Here are the things I loved from 2017, from healthy living products and exercises I loved to my most treasured personal memories (and there were a lot of those!).

To celebrate the New Year, these were my favorite things in 2017, from healthy living products and exercises I loved to my most treasured memories.

My Favorite Healthy Trends

  • I am thrilled to see the anti-dieting approach taking off! I am such a fan of building a healthy lifestyle instead of just going on some extreme 30-day plan that you have no intention of carrying out long-term, so I am super excited to see more people jumping on board with this approach.
  • I’m a little late to jump into this trend, but have a shiny new Instant Pot and I cannot wait to put it to good use! I am all about time-saving tools that make healthy eating easier…and save me dishes (that’s a pretty big one for me). Bring on the eggs, chicken, quinoa, vegetables, and so much more! And we are already working on putting together a course on how to use your Instant Pot for weight loss for Faithful Finish Lines, so keep an eye out for that!

My Favorite Exercise

  • Running is still my favorite way to exercise, which is why I run 3 miles, 3 times a week consistently. I didn’t train for any races (I really have no motivation to train for a half marathon again) and I wasn’t working on speed. I don’t necessarily love the running itself, but the feeling afterward can’t be beat! Also, I run with my mom and it’s a great excuse to carve out mother-daughter time.
  • For a quick workout, SparkPeople workout videos are my favorite! They are free and I can find challenging workouts that only take about 10 minutes.
  • I still try to add strength training in after my runs with The Rule of Three (I hate strength training, so it makes it more manageable for me!).

My Favorite Healthy Living Products

  • This Contigo water bottle. I’ve gone through quite a few different water bottles this year, but this particular one is my favorite. I can drink one-handed while I drive and it’s easy to carry with it’s little handle.
  • Hand weights. It sounds silly, but I leave my hand weights out in plain sight. When I see them, I use them, so there will be a lot of times I’m just walking through the room and will pick them up and do some bicep curls just because I have an extra 2 minutes. I use them WAY more often than when they are hidden away.
  • Our Victory Over Emotional Eating course for Faithful Finish Lines. Because I have struggled with emotional eating so much myself, I loved every second of putting this 4-week class together and was so excited to see so many ladies jump on board when we launched it (if you are interested, you can use the coupon code NEWYEAR until January 8th and save 15%!).

My Favorite Healthy Food/Recipes

  • I would happily eat this Veggies & Lentils in Peanut Sauce a few times a month. I’m not usually drawn to meatless meals (or even lentils for that matter), because animal protein seems to keep me full so much longer, but this recipe is different. It has such good flavor, is very hearty, and is super healthy without tasting like it!
  • Egg in a Hole (using an oats & nuts bread!) has been my go-to breakfast this year (along with a ton of Chobani). It’s fast, it’s filling, and it really helps me to stick with savory breakfasts (sweet ones tend to kick up my food cravings later on in the day).
  • The Power Mediterranean Salad from Wendy’s – Even though I like lettuce just fine, I eat salads for the toppings and this salad is just perfect when it comes to flavor and textures AND it has so much protein that it is one of the few salads that can actually keep me full! It has hummus, grilled chicken, quinoa, roasted vegetables, chickpeas, and so much more. Pure deliciousness!

My Favorite Memories

  • Meeting Adam – our first date was on Valentine’s Day and it lasted about 10 hours!
  • Indoor skydiving – such an exhilaratingly unique experience.
  • Whitewater rafting – I was seriously SO relieved that I didn’t fall out of the boat!
  • Finally Meeting Kristen In Person – After emailing her almost daily for a year as my prayer partner and friend, it was so exciting to meet her in person when she flew to Colorado to spend the week with me!
  • Getting engaged –EEK! He proposed on December 18th and the high still hasn’t gone away. I can’t wait to be this man’s wife.

Books

  • Fervent by Priscilla Shirer – I’ve read this book twice this year and each time, I feel like it takes my prayer life to a whole new level.
  • Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist – This is just a book that never gets old to me. The way she combines faith, hospitality, and real-life stories just inspires me to gather people around my table listen to their stories, and love on them.
  • God is With You Every Day By Max Lucado – I use a different daily devotional every year and I just loved this one. They are short but powerful messages that really inspired me to start my day with the right mindset.
  • Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington – Oh, I needed to hear these words so much this year. There were so many times when work built up and I just felt frantic trying to keep up, like I was being pulled in 100 different directions and I just couldn’t keep up. This book was like a breath of fresh air, reminding me that it’s not my job to be all things to all people.