Health & Wellness


Healthy Eating with Strength and Sunshine – An Interview

Maybe you’ve noticed the Strength & Sunshine logo that has been on the Ali in Bloom sidebar for some time now (if you haven’t, take a look!), but today, Rebecca, the writer behind the fitness and food blog, is giving an inside look into her blog, her favorite foods, healthy eating, and happy lifestyle.

healthy eating

When did you start blogging and why?

I started my blog back on June 26, 2013! I had been a huge blog reader for years, starting with food blogs and then progressing into healthy living and fitness blogs as well. I just loved the community so much and had finally found “my people” so to speak. There wasn’t anyone in my real life with the same passions I had in these things, so reading blogs became a way to connect. To further that connection, I decided to finally start my own blog, so I would be able to really share my thoughts, ideas, and recipes with everyone and not just read along!

What’s your go-to meal?

If I have no idea what I feel like eating for dinner, my go-to is always a dinner bowl. I always keep canned foods on hand. So the bowl will consist of a protein (beans or fish like sardines, tuna or salmon), loads of fresh veggies, maybe salsa, avocado, nutritional yeast, and tons of spices from my ever growing collection!

healthy eating

via Strength and Sunshine

Okay, best thing you ever ate?

That is one of the hardest questions! Seriously, I have eaten so many good things. Since I can’t pin-point one BEST thing, I’ll tell you some of my specific favorites! Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes (microwaved) and stuffed with Raw Stoneground Dastony Coconut Butter and cinnamon, Homemade Chana Masala, Apples with nut butter, raw (refrigerated) unsalted cashews (seriously, they taste like candy!), and really any breakfast food. Breakfast is the best!

How do you come up with your recipes? What’s your inspiration?

I love just getting in the kitchen (my element) and experimenting with any crazy combination or idea that comes in my head! I also get loads of inspiration from every other wonderful food blogger out there as well as simply the beautiful fresh whole food out there in the world! I look at a simple beet and see so many potential things to make! Nature is wonderful that way and provides so much free, healthy creativity!

healthy eating

via Strength and Sunshine

What would you tell someone trying to start a happy, healthy lifestyle?

I would tell them to be fearless. If you want to change your life for the better, you need to let go of bad habits, negativity, judgment, and fake ideals. You need to live naturally and beautifully for YOU. You can’t expect to live the same “happy” and “healthy” as someone else. Each of us are different and need and thrive on different things. Find what you love and what makes your body and mind glow and feel powerful. Be fearless and try something new, find that path, follow your dreams no matter what you’ve been told you can or can’t do!

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

I Love being able to share! From recipes, workouts, motivation, yoga talk, fitness, health, tips on living with Celiac Disease and food allergies, I just love the outlet I now have to do that. Blogging is a lot of work and too many people jump into it without realizing just how much it entails and how much you need to give if you want to receive. I’m very open on my blog and share so much, so I love all my readers and followers and the relationships we have made. Blogging is simply a crazy but beautiful world, and I’m glad I am a part of it!

A huge shout out and thanks to Rebecca for taking the time to share about her passion. Be sure to check out Rebecca’s blog, and follow along with her healthy, happy lifestyle on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin’, or Pinterest.

A Love Letter to Myself on Valentine’s Day

Love Letter to Myself

Dear Ali,

Valentine’s Day may be stereotypically about your significant other and showing your love and appreciation for them, but throughout the years, your friends and family have shown you that it’s about a lot more than that. Valentine’s Day is about showing your love for everyone in your life – new friends, old friends, family… All of those people that you love in lots of different ways.

This year, I want you to make Valentine’s Day about all of those people, but I also want you to make Valentine’s Day about loving yourself and your life.

Loving yourself/ taking care of yourself doesn’t make you a selfish person. It makes you healthy and happy; remember that. You’ve been working hard lately, and I’m so proud of your dedication and focus. You have matured and grown so much in such a short amount of time. The “this year” you and the “last year” you don’t even compare. You have proven to yourself and all of those people around you that you’re going places, and you haven’t lost sight of what’s important.

You haven’t really had a chance to take a break. Okay, except for Thursday when all you did was watch Melissa and Joey for hours. So watch sappy romance movies with your boyfriend. Call your loved ones, and let them know how much you appreciate them; you have been blessed to have them in your life. And indulge in that chocolate heart. You deserve it, girl.

It’s easy to get caught up in the rigors of everyday life, so today, take some time to love yourself and enjoy the small things in life.


Your happy, content, grateful self

When Stress is too Much to Handle

Sometimes stress gets the best of us. When stress is too much to handle, there are 5 simple things to do to help you get by and get your happiness back.

There is a fine line between pleasantly busy and overwhelmingly busy, and the consequences of crossing that line can be tough. Stress is not an easy emotion to manage, but with your own mentality and simple actions, there are easy ways to get through it.


If you don’t work out, meditate or start. Working out not only keeps you happier, it helps keep you focused and energized. I’m a firm believer that working out can improve every aspect of your life, and I know I’m not the only one. If you’re feeling stressed, sweat it out.

Change your mentality.

 Often when people are feeling intense amounts of stress, they think it will all be over in a few weeks. Don’t focus on this. Yes, it is a nice thought, but it doesn’t promote stress management. What is the solution when you decide college is too stressful? It’s not so easy to think that in four years, your stress will be gone. Four years is a long time to just be wishing away. Use mental images and positive emotions to find the good in your life now outside of the stress. Keep a list of the happy things in your life to review when you are going through a tough time; make time to squeeze those things in.

Think less. Do More.

It causes more stress to lay in bed and worry about everything you have to do instead of just doing it even when that seems like the easiest option at the time. Make a quick, organized to-do list and start. Efficiency is key.


Tell someone close to you about how you are feeling. They can keep you on track and give you a fresh perspective. Things may not even be as bad as they seem.

Remember why you started and just breathe.

If you’re doing the right things, you’ll have this motivation to keep you going. There’s a reason you’re at school, a reason why you took the job, or signed up for all of the extracurricular activities. If there isn’t, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it. It’s important to understand that it’s okay to say no. Everyone has their limits, and that is understandable, but for now, remember why you started and just breathe.

How do you manage your stress?

Guest Post: When Life Gets in the Way of Your Plans

Hello everyone! My name is Alyssa J Freitas and I blog over at Alyssa J Freitas (yes, I know I was so original with the title of my blog). I’m so pleased to be guest posting for Ali today as she studies away for her finals. Hopefully the topic of todays post strikes a chord and prompts you to make a change!

I LOVE to plan everything. From a young age, I planned my life: the year, the month, the week, the day, and even the hour. I measured my success on how well I was able to adhere to my plan. Nothing could deter me from my lists and provisions.

That mindset has begun to unravel as time has gone on, however. I have learned that even the best-laid plans can be turned upside down, and when that happened, I wouldn’t know what to do. There would be such a feeling of upheaval, and I thought that all of my hard work was for naught.

It took me a while to make this realization, but it has been essential to my happiness ever since: Have a goal, have steps, have acceptance. This means that you should have something you are working towards, but not a concrete, written-in-stone plan that you are not willing or prepared to amend when the situation calls for it. Realizing that you are only in control of so much can allow you to let go and not spend useless time worrying. There are entire books dedicated to the quest of combating worry (I recommend How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie); just keep in mind that you should make a distinction between what you can control and what you can’t.

There are many different paths that can be taken to achieve your end goal. Just because you may come across a roadblock and have to amend your plan does not mean that you will not ultimately be successful in the way that you originally wished. Learning to deal with problems as they arise and making sure that you are flexible are essential for your success. Putting too much pressure on yourself to have it all can only end up being detrimental, because it is an impossible standard to achieve. I propose to you that it is best to take everything one day at a time and have a guide for the future in mind but not an unwavering plan.

How do you approach your goals?—A huge thank you to Alyssa for joining us today! I’ll be back with you next week after I cram in all of the Spanish, semantics, Greek mythology, and American Sign Language into my brain as I can manage. In the meantime, make sure to stop by Alyssa’s blog!

All the best,