Category: Eat, Run, and Everything in Between Archive

Talking Human Design – have you heard this BUZZ word thrown around lately?!

Talking Human Design – have you heard this BUZZ word thrown around lately?!

Hi friends!

Wow – have not popped on here in quite some time. To be honest, the summer flew by. Between the wedding, activities every weekend, and simply just trying to live in the present moment, I found myself not too inspired to write. Now that seasons have changed, temps are dropping, and I’m cozied up working from home…I’ve been feeling that itch to want to write again. Only dillema is I’m not REALLY sure what direction to go in…

Recently, I was listening to a podcast (That so Retrograde) and I heard the topic of Human Design come up. I was both intrigued, but at the same time, hesitant with “believing” it. Have you heard of Human Design? It’s one of those new fancy buzz words you may have been hearing over the past few months. A good way to describe it as I discovered on my google search was that it’s the “woo woo version of Myers Brigg”. Interesting, right? I’ve always been fascinated by myers brigg because it gives you an insight into those around you, especially co-workers, and how to work with their strengths and opportunities, and then apply that to real-life situations. I’ve also found that a lot of people who are talking about human design, are the same people who are fascinated by astrology. Sadly, I wish I could say I’ve gotten into astrology, because I love learning about myself & others, but it just hasn’t clicked with me. More on that later…

What immediately caught my eye with Human Design is that they acknowledge the fact that we’re not all created equally. Once you can dive deep and start to understand your Human Design, that you can start making the right changes in your life, to help you reach YOUR fullest potential and live in peace & harmony with yourself and others (isn’t that what we all really want anyway)?! Now I’m absolutely no expert here, but I’ve done some surface level research and here’s a little glimpse into what I’ve found….So, WHAT is Human Design?

To put it simply, Human Design is…

“a synthesis of ancient mystical traditions: Western Astrology, the 64 hexagrams of the I’ching, The Kabbalah Tree of Life and the Hindu-Brahmin Chakra Model in addition to Modern Science and Genetics. Each person’s Chart is uniquely individual and shows our Strategy (live link to Strategy section) and Authority (Live link to Authority section), which if applied correctly, can empower us to make decisions that are correct for us. By knowing ourselves with more understanding and awareness, we can live the life we were Designed to live. Ra Uru Hu said about Human Design: ”It is all about loving oneself.” – more on this, plus a video introduction can be found here.

Once you can begin to understand the basic fundamentals & goal of Human Design – i.e. tapping into your decision making tool, which in turn enables you to live your best life, then you can begin to dig into YOUR aura. Goop does a straight-forward article on this. We all have different aura types based on your birth date, TIME of birth (*this is key), and a few other details. You can find out what your’s is by following this link: My Body Graph – once you input your information (you’ll need to create an account), you can click on “mybodygraphs”, then under Information you’ll find your chart properties which will tell you what “aura” you are. 

Personally, I didn’t find the Human Design/My Body Graph site overly easy to read, so I did some of my own research after finding out that I was a REFLECTOR (which makes up only 1% of the population). At first, I’ll be honest, I was a bit dissapointed. I had hopes that I’d be a manifestor or a generator. BUT, after doing some research and reading through the details, I was blown away by how weirdly accurate everything was about me. I also learned that I need to be more aware and make some changes in my life in order to live up to my fullest potential.

Essentially, as a REFLECTOR, my 9 inner centers are completely open, meaning, I EASILY absorb all of those energies around me & reflect them back! This is why it’s so critical for me to surround myself with like-minded, positive people. I take in those energies extremely easily (both the good and the bad). This truly is so eye opening for me because I 1000% feel this when I leave social meet-ups, especially those that are health & wellness focused. I always find myself leaving so excited and inspired by those I connected with & it leaves me feeling naturally HIGH! This also explains why I’ve always considered myself to be an extroverted introvert. I love socializing and getting inspired by others, but I also need my alone time just as much to decompress and release all of those energies, as it can be very mentally & physically exhausting for me. I’ve learned as a reflector that it’s important for me to explore nature on my own or practice yoga by myself for example so that I can entirely release all of those energies that I may have soaked up that day. If you find out that you’re a reflector, I found this article to be super helpful and relatable.

Anyway…I’m going to stop here because I think I could write a WHOLE other blog post just on my understanding of a reflector & talking about some of the other auras too. If you find this interesting or if you know more about it, feel free to comment below or DM me at @eatrunandallinbetween – this is a completely new area for me that I’m just starting to learn about it and would love to keep talking about it with others!

Choosing the RIGHT Supplements for YOU

Choosing the RIGHT Supplements for YOU

Hi Friends! I know it’s been a while since my last post on the blog – LIFE, mannnnnnn. LOL but in all seriousness, the past month has been crazy, in the best kind of way. From my bachelorette weekend, to music festivals, to NYC, to MOVING to a new apt – basically just haven’t had the time and/or energy to sit down and write (this is when instagram comes in CLUTCH – short, sweet, and to the point). Anyway, the topic I wanted to chat with you all about today are SUPPLEMENTS. I used to be that person that had like 20 different vitamins & supplements in the pill cabinet and then one day, it just became overwhelmingly stressful (and expensive). I was heavily influenced by everything I saw scrolling through social media and thought, well, since “so and so” is taking XYZ that means I probably need to as well…right?!?! Wrong. One person’s need is going to be COMPLETELY different than my own needs. Not to mention, I probably didn’t NEED half of what I was taking. At the end of the day, I eat an extremely clean diet compared to the average individual and therefor, I’m getting so many awesome macro and micronutrients into my body. I’m getting protein, calcium, iron, various vitamins, etc. all from the awesome REAL food I eat daily. Anyway, my point in all of this is that choosing the right supplements for YOU should not be stressful (that is quite the opposite of what “healthy living” is).

I’ve finally narrowed it down to just a few that feel right for me in my MY body at this point in MY life. Emphasizing the “my” because I’m writing this blog post to simply share what I take. As with any of my posts, take this with a grain of salt and just do your research! I feel the need to preface this blog post with the fact that just because I take something does not mean you should or even need to. Always consult with a doctor or do your research prior to adding additional supplements into your diet.

Alright so with ALL of that being said, here we go!

– B12 (I don’t eat meat and have had low B12 levels in the past)
– Digestive Enzymes (helps to break down tougher foods like cruciferous veggies for example)
– Spirulina (currently taking to try it out, but hasn’t always been a part of my routine/ vitamins A, K1, K2, B12 and iron, manganese and chromium + increased energy)
– Probiotic Pill (gut-health y’allll! Also not for everyone – probiotics can actually have the opposite effect on some people, so as with everything else, do your research!)
Avie Nutraceuticals Ultramicronized Turmeric Curcumin – (Promotes a healthy lifestyle, Supports your immune system, Provides you with superior antioxidant protection)
Avie Nutraceuticals Joint Balance – Promotes optimal and healthy joint function, Improves flexibility, Reduces muscle soreness

I’m going to go ahead and assume most of you are familiar with the first 4 supplements (if not, feel free to comment & I’ll go into more details on the benefits) but the last 2 may intrigue you?! They certainly had me excited upon trying them for the first time. Having grown up as an athlete and then continuing that love for fitness into my early/mid 20’s through teaching group fitness classes daily, running, gym workouts, and yoga, I’ve always been in the search for some miracle supplement that would help me recover more quickly and support my active lifestyle. Avie Nutraceuticals prides their products on using natural ingredients (i.e. everything I preach = FOOD AS MEDICINE) and “Avie’s proprietary ultramicronization process renders purified curcumin into a water-soluble form, allowing it to quickly absorb into the body. Avie’s scientists have shown that this formulation is over 100 times more potent than the leading curcumin products on the market.”

Before I continue, for those who aren’t as familiar with curcumin…“Recent studies have shown that Curcumin aids in anti-inflammation and joint mobility, anti-oxidant protection of cells from free radical damage, brain function and memory, liver function, healthy immune system, removal of toxins from the body, healthy digestion, and improved appearance of skin and hair.”

So which product is right for you and your lifestyle?!

Joint Balance – is a scientifically formulated nutraceutical supplement designed to help promote optimal and healthy joint function, improve flexibility, and reduce muscle soreness after exercise, while being gentle on the digestive system.

Ultramicronized Turmeric Curcumin – can promote a healthy lifestyle, support your immune system, and provide you with superior antioxidant protection. Avie’s proprietary water-soluble Ultramicronized Turmeric CurcuminTM is designed for maximum absorption, potency, stability, and bioactivity. Ultramicronized Turmeric CurcuminTM has been shown to have a higher biological activity than leading competitors. When tested in water, it has shown:

– 352 times greater anti-oxidant activity
– More than 1,400 times greater free radical scavenging properties
– 126 times greater COX-2 inhibition

As awesome as it is to add turmeric and black pepper (helps with absorption) to your meals daily (def don’t stop – keep on it!) this supplement makes it so easy and incredibly effective because of its ability to quickly absorb in your body! I’ve included direct links to their website and blog if you’re interested in learning more or feel free to email me with questions!

Resources:

Avie Nutraceuticals Website
Avie Nutraceuticals Blog

Thank you to Avie Nutraceuticals for sponsoring this post! I truly love partnering with brands I believe in and that are authentic and true to me. All opinions and thoughts in this post are MY OWN.

MOTIVATION + FITNESS + just LIVIN’ your BEST LIFE

MOTIVATION + FITNESS + just LIVIN’ your BEST LIFE

Staying Motivated. 

I get this question asked a lot…how on EARTH do I stay motivated while managing a busy schedule? Unfortunately, I probably don’t have the answer you want to hear…(no, there’s no magic potion or superfood out there…hehe…although I wish there was) but I do have tips that have helped me over the years! I’ll be honest; my commitment to fitness has basically been a way of life for me that was engraved into my younger self beginning in high school. Being part of the cross-country and track & field team throughout high-school was key to learning how to manage time, while also prioritizing my love for running and obligation to competing my best on the high school varsity team. Though it was in high school where I learned to manage time, clean eating didn’t come until much later in life (I’ll get to the in a bit). After high school, I went on to run competitively on my universities DI track & field and cross-country team. I couldn’t imagine my life without being part of a team (hence why I’ve continued to seek that same sense of community through other outlets like Corepower Yoga).  That leads me to my first TIP…

TEAM + COMMUNITY + FRIENDSHIP

Though it may sound cliché, having a support group has always been the most important and motivating factor in maintaining my dedication to fitness. I can especially attest to this during my college running career. I don’t know what I would have done without my best friends (all of whom I ran with from Day 1) by my side throughout those 4 years. From struggling to get to 6am weight lifting sessions, to VERY long 2-day track meets, to grueling intervals on the track, to HOT long run days early in the cross-country season…these girls helped me get through every second of those moments where I wanted to give up.  

My point here? Find a support group that will be there for you when times get tough. Find that community that keeps you motivated. Keep those friends around who are going to push you to be the BEST version of yourself, not those who try to knock you down. This is why going to group fitness classes can be a really great way to build that community and find the RIGHT one for you. Remember, you’re not necessarily going to “click” with every fitness class you try and that’s OK. For me, I found Corepower. For others, it may be Soul Cycle, Cross Fit, Barry’s Boot Camp, Barre3…the list goes on and on! Find your COMMUNITY, build on those friendships, and lastly find a class that you actually ENJOY. At the end of the day fitness should be fun….which…you guessed it…this leads to my next TIP…

MAKE FITNESS FUN AGAIN

I feel like we’ve slowly gone away from this idea that fitness should be fun. Fitness isn’t about killing yourself over 2-a-days and going HARD every single day without any rest day. Fitness doesn’t have to always involve cardio, weights, or even breaking a crazy sweat. Unfortunately, due to social media, there’s this false idea that you should be spending more than an hour a day breaking a killer sweat, burning crazy amount of calories, and essentially creating this picture that you should be miserable after every workout, otherwise, you’re not pushing hard enough. These are all LIEZZZZ!!! My idea of fun? LOUD MUSIC that gets my body moving. Any workout that can be done in under an hour. Workouts that are different and keep both my body AND mind guessing. Fitness classes that make you feel welcomed and not “left out” if you have no idea what the F you’re doing. Workouts that leaving you feeling (naturally) high on LIFE after (not dead lol)! And yes…somedays I truly ENJOY doing treadmill sprints for 45 minutes. BUT that doesn’t mean I do that every day…TRUST me. There’s definitely a crazy side of me that enjoys pushing past my limits…but I am now more aware that these kind of workouts are a 1x a week (if that) kind of thing and your body NEEDS to recover before and after.

KEEP YOUR BODY GUESSING

I touched on it briefly above, but switching up at least a few times a week is important for so many reasons! For one, let’s start with the obvious. Switching things up keeps you from getting bored with the workout you’re doing. Let’s do the math here…BOREDOM = NOT FUN. NEW and EXCITING = FUN! Sorry if that’s cheesy but it’s the fricken TRUTH. I used to run…every…single…day…for 8+ years straight. And you wonder why I’m so anti-running these days? Don’t get me wrong I love going for a run when the weather outside is RIGHT or I’m always down for some interval sprints on the treadmill. But, running every single day made me want to hate it…which is sad, because I actually do enjoy running, however, it got to the point of where I started to rebel against it. My “fitness routine” changes regularly since I love to always change things up!

Here’s what a typical week looks like for me RIGHT NOW:

  • Corepower Yoga Sculpt 1 or 2x
  • Yoga 2x
  • Soul Cycle or Treadmill Intervals or Stair Stepper 1 or 2x
  • Special Fitness Class: recently tried SLT pilates and LOVE it. Also a big fan of Barry’s Boot Camp,

At least ONE rest day a week! I like to walk on these days ☺

Not only is it important to switch up your workouts to avoid boredom but it also helps to develop different muscles that may not get any attention if you’re say, running every day. Additionally, your body learns to adapt (and improve) and therefor, you consume less energy, which is why you may not see the changes you’re hoping to see in your body.  

WORKING OUT MAKES ME A MORE PRODUCTIVE PERSON

Here’s another big thing that keeps me motivated is knowing that workouts lead to an overall more productive day for me. I’ve found that on days when I don’t get any movement in first thing in the AM, the whole day seems to drag on, I find that I have constant brain fog, I fall out of “good health” habits, and lastly, I just am not my “energized and outgoing” self.  I love the natural endorphins I get from working out…so yes, that gets me out of bed.

GET SLEEP!!

My last tip here is get an ample amount of sleep. More sleep = more energy to burn. On days I don’t get enough sleep, I use that time to take off from a workout and give my body time to recover. I know if I try to push myself on days when I’m feeling low in energy, my workouts too, reflect that same feeling. I do tend to wake up very early to squeeze my workouts in first thing in the AM (at least 3-4 days a week). How do I do this? It’s easy. I’m ALWAYS in bed by 9 or 9:30 latest. This is an absolute MUST. Now, my body is so used to that schedule, that waking up early has become so much easier for me and I now thrive in the mornings vs. at night.

At the end of the day…FITNESS is a part of my life. It’s what makes me the best version of myself and I purely love it for just that reason <3

March Obsessions

March Obsessions

March Obsessions

WHERE has time gone? Seriously though…somehow I managed to skip right over both January AND February obsessions so it looks like March is going to be EXTRA long, just for you! But really…I’m totalllllyy ok with the winter months flying by. Let’s be honest, we all know that Boston’s “Spring” may as well just be an extension of winter, so I’m cool with days, weeks, and months just cruisin’ on by at this point. WHO CAN RELATE?

Alright, alright enough with the small talk, let’s get to my latest obsessions. Here’s what I’m digging lately…

1) Throwing a curve ball here by starting with a fashion trend I LOVE. I‘d personally like to thank the Kardashian clan for making leotards and high-waisted pants an acceptable look to wear for both a day-time and night-time look. I LOVE leotards…so long as they have the handy buttons at the crotch LOL – it makes peeing a million x’s easier! But in all seriousness, I love them for a few reasons. You don’t need to THINK about planning an outfit. It’s as easy as picking a cute nude color, pairing it with a light-wash high-waisted jean, sneakers, and a cute chunky belt. Add a comfy cardigan for a day-time look and then swap that out for a leather bomber coat & a choker necklace for a cool, night-time look. My fave places to purchase affordable leotards are Forever 21 (they have so many cute colors and styles for INSANELY cheap) and Urban Outfitters is always a go-to of mine. American Apparel carries some cute, classic ones as well!

2) Keeping this fashion thing going…comfy AF jumpsuits. I recently (like literally yesterday lol) purchased the comfiest onzie that I will most likely wear every possible moment while I’m at home and that is my free people jumpsuit.  I actually found it on the sale rack at Corepower for 60% off (so ya, obvious choice if I do say so myself) and I just couldn’t resist buying it. What makes it extra cool is that it’s also really fun to flow to. Whip out your yoga mat any time of day, put on your jumpsuit, and just fricken FLOW without having to worry about your shirt following over your face during inversions or your butt cheeks hanging out mid downward dog. I’m low-key obsessed with ALL of the ‘movement’ Free People jumpsuits…

3) ONE more fashion trend for ya…well actually, it’s a trend that is yet again, resurfacing…and that my friends, are SCRUNCHIES. I had a moment of pure joy at the Urban Outfitters checkout when I stumbled upon a bucket full of perfect packs of colorful scrunchies. May I add that their color palettes were SPOT on. Now I obviously love scrunchies because they’re super cool and fun, but from a logical point of view…they actually are the only hair accessory that can hold my thick head of hair. That is a trend I can get on – one that is both FUNCTIONAL and CUTE.

4) I mentioned Vital Proteins collagen on my last post…this month, it’s all about the Vital Proteins Coconut Collagen Creamer and the Matcha Collagen. I love the collagen creamer because it’s the perfect addition to your caffeine fueled espresso/latte or even matcha latte. OR add it to a smoothie, golden milk, whatever it is that makes you HAPPY! I personally love the taste of coconut and this creamer takes your morning beverage from a 4 to a 12 easily. If you’re not a coffee kind of person, then opt in for the matcha collagen. It’s a powder form of ceremonial matcha and coconut water. Blend it with your fave homemade dairy-free milk of choice and you have yourself a winner. PLUS, they have perfect travel size packets that you can mix in anywhere on-the-go! You can shop for it on Amazon or order right from the Vital Proteins site.

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5) A cool 2018 day…LIFE…EVERYTHING planner. I’m a visual person and therefor, writing things down makes my life so much easier. Not to mention, I’ve been keeping EVERY detail for wedding planning in here and it keeps me SANE. Find a cute planner that leaves you a lot of space to write to-do’s, goals, plans, etc. for each day. I love that my planner gives me a whole page for just one day and includes sections for:

  • Today’s Top Three
  • A cute little inspiring quote each day
  • Today’s Schedule (broken out by each hour of the day)
  • TonightTo-Do List (parallels my schedule)
  • And lastly a section for Gratitude each day

6) CBD oil. I can’t say enough great things about CBD oil and you’re probably sick of hearing me blab about it if you follow me on Instagram. But I swear it’s for GOOD reason. Biggest and most noticeable benefits I’ve seen so far? Better night’s sleep (like WAY less restless, much deeper sleep), less anxiety, less joint paint, and less inflammation. The first CBD oil I tried was the Cap Beauty “daily hit”. It’s packed with extra adaptogens in addition to the CBD oil. I will warn you that this brand is v pricey but it comes in a pretty large bottle and you only need ½ tsp a day to get the benefits! So it goes pretty far for how much you’re spending. Most recently, I purchased a tincture from Lazarus Naturals which was much cheaper and I find, works just as well. My tip? Take about 1 ML of CBD oil 2 hours before bed. Let it sit under your tongue (I promise you’ll get passed the taste and smell) for 90 seconds, and then swallow. Why? Because your tongue has little blood vessels so the CBD is actually absorbed and bypasses your digestive system, therefor getting into your bloodstream faster and more effectively.

7) Dr. Dennis Gross Products. After listening to the Skinny Confidential podcast last month where she interviewed the skin god himself, Dr. Dennis Gross…I was pretty much sold. I’ll be honest; I did not care about good skin care at all up until this point. Obviously I have a skin care routine than includes cleansing my face with clean products, using serums, face masks, etc. BUT I never really cared about the sun and the extent of its damage on my skin. Growing up it was all about who could be the tannest and you can bet I had my glow on almost all year round. Especially come the summer time, I grew up teaching sailing and was on the water/out in the sun all day. My TOP goal for this year is to really focus on good skin care and avoiding sun damage. This means A LOT of sunscreen all the time, staying out of the sun or wearing a hat as much as possible, and using products like the Alpha Beta Skin peel from his product line.

8) Speaking of Sun Damage…DIY Coconut Oil + Aloe Vera Gel blend. Why?  ALoe vera has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities that helps to repare damaged skin and rebuild growth. Coconut oil is similar in that it’s packed with vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps the healing time and prevents new scars from forming. You can also add in extra vitamin E oil for an additional boost! A little tip I received from a local in the BVI’s is that you need to use REAL coconut oil…like totally untouched coconut oil that actually looks browner in color instead of that white oil we’re used to here in the states. She recommended getting the coconut oil from St. Vincent or any of the islands in the French west indies. Then get yourself some organic aloe vera gel (ordered this on amazon). Blend ¼ cup of each together and store in an air-tight container. Option to add any additional essential oils. Apply a good amount on your face before bed every night.

9) Cava aka Boston’s latest addition to our food scene. Cava is basically like mediterranean food meets sweetgreen…but dare I say…BETTER? Yep I said it. Plus you get more bang for your buck. A GIANT ASS bowl is about $10 and you get ALL the toppings (no extra money like paying $1 for 1/2 an avocado)…just saying! If you haven’t already, go find out why this place is ALL THE RAGE!

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10) Homemade Cashew Milk is literally better than any store-bought non-dairy milk. Not to mention it takes all of 2 minutes to make is requires MINIMAL effort. Go to your grocery store’s bulk food section and stock up on raw cashews. Soak 1 cup of cashews in a bowl of water for about 2 hours or longer. Rinse and then add to your blender with ~6 cups of filtered water. Add in cinnamon, Himalayan salt, and a few drops of vanilla stevia or any sweetener of your choice. BLEND baby BLEND for about 2 mins. No need to strain! The cashews blend well. Just make sure to store in an air-tight container and shake well before using!

11) Lovebeets NEW salsa and golden beets. This is not a paid ad nor is this sponsored…I just really REALLY love beets and pretty much obsessed with their latest products. The lovebeets salsa is absolutely delish on your avocado toast with eggs or makes for a clean dip with CHIPS! Can I get a HELL YAHH???!!!

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12) Lavva Dairy-Free (plant-based) coconut yogurt w/ 0 added sugars. This yogurt is actually AMAZING. I may even, dare I say it, put it number one over Kite Hill… Why? Because there’s literally 0 added sugars and the ingredients are all EPIC and it’s HIGH in probiotics. Unfortunately, Whole Foods doesn’t carry them yet but I was able to find them at Stop & Shop and Wegmans …so go stalk up!

Chocolate Coconut Protein Bark w/ Cashew Butter, Puffed Quinoa & Goji Berries

Chocolate Coconut Protein Bark w/ Cashew Butter, Puffed Quinoa & Goji Berries

Happy Friday Friends! Boyyy do I have an AWESOME recipe for ya using some of my favorite products from Carrington Farms. I’m headed on vaca tomorrow, but didn’t want to leave you hanging for a week, so I’m sharing this recipe early…just in time for a little Sunday meal prep?!

I don’t know about you, but I’m 100% a dessert kinda gal. I would necessarily say it’s a sweet-tooth craving, but I also like a little something extra after dinner. This vegan & paleo chocolate is the PERFECT, no-sugar snack to keep you satisfied & make your taste buds dance for joy!

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I love Carrington Farms products because they offer organic, non-GMO seeds, grains, and oils ….which let’s be honest, makes up basically more than half of what I eat on a daily basis. Some of my staples from Carrington Farms? Ghee, Coconut Oil, and a plant-based protein on hand (i.e. their chocolate coconut protein powder).

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Moving onto the chocolate. This recipe is SO simple. It’s completely SUGAR FREE (but totally optional to add a sweetener of your choice if you please). It’s VEGAN, PALEO, GLUTEN-FREE, KETO-FRIENDLY – all that jazz.  Here’s the down low…

Ingredients


Homemade Cashew Butter

½ cup raw cashews

3 tsp Carrington Farms Coconut Oil

⅛ tsp himalayan salt

Optional Sweetener: Vanilla Stevia, Coconut Sugar, Maple Syrup, or Honey


For the Chocolate

½ cup Carrington Farms Coconut Oil

¼ cup Coconut BUTTER (adds a natural sweetness to the chocolate)

⅓ cup Carrington Farms Organic Coconut Protein Chocolate Blend

⅔ cup raw cacao powder

¼ Carrington Farms Puffed Quinoa

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

¼ tsp (or more if you like it saltier) himalayan salt

Optional Sweetener: Vanilla Stevia, Coconut Sugar, Maple Syrup, or Honey

Optional Toppings: Goji berries, additional puffed quinoa, pumpkin seeds, mixed nuts, dried fruit

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DIRECTIONS:

Start by blending your cashews, coconut oil, & salt in a food processor. Blend until resembles cashew butter like consistency. Set aside.

Using a 8.5″ X 4.5″ X 2.75″ loaf pan, line that in parchment paper.

Next, over your stove top, melt your coconut oil & coconut butter on a saucepan at LOW heat. Once melted add in the chocolate coconut protein powder & the cacao powder. Mix well. Next add in the cashew butter and stir until well blended. Finally, add in your puffed quinoa, shredded coconut, optional sweetener, & salt. Mix well.

Once well blended, pour into loaf pan lined in parchment paper. Top with any additional toppings of your choice. Lightly sprinkle some more himalayan salt & a drizzle of honey. Store in freezer for about 30 minutes, then transfer to refrigerator for another hour or two, or until it is set and hardened. Once it has fully hardened, break into pieces and store in your fridge in an airtight container.

Enjoy!!

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Thank you Carrington Farms for sponsoring this post. I love the opportunity to colloborate with brands I truly love and believe in!

How Teaching Helped me Regain my Confidence…

How Teaching Helped me Regain my Confidence…

Less than two weeks ago, I was coming off a high of teaching my VERY first Corepower class and found myself preaching to my mom about confidence. In that moment, I DID feel confident. The class was a rush of magical energy, nervousness, excitement, and pure adrenaline. I had just finished teaching my first class, without f***ing it up…which believe me, came as a surprise since leading up to that point, I was bottling up a lot of self-doubt. Anyway, back to this conversation with my mom. She’s beautiful, looks like she could be 30 years old, incredibly creative, and is an entrepreneur – yet she has little confidence in herself. Why is it that we women constantly feel like we’re not good enough? I hear it all of the time, “confidence is the best accessory”. Even though I know this and believe me, I try to fake it until I make it, but some days, I find myself hiding behind my hair or an oversized sweater. I find myself hunched over, rather than standing tall. I put earphones in and avoid eye contact. Why is it that I do these things? What is it in these moments that make me feel less confident in myself? Sometimes it’s the comparison trap, whether that be from social media, TV, magazines, etc. Sometimes it’s because I’m wearing sweats and no makeup. Sometimes it’s because I feel “soft and bloated” after a weekend of overindulging. All of these reasons come down to appearance.

How can we push past the idea that appearance = confidence? Well, this brings me back to that post-teaching high. I’m not saying everyone needs to go out and teach a class. But a BIG area of insecurity for me has always been public speaking and putting myself out there, because ultimately I felt insecure about myself. Does this come as a surprise to you? If so, I GET why. I’ve had a blog since college now where I post pictures of myself, my food, and my everyday life through Instagram story.  Though it may appear like I have my shit together….believe me when I say, that’s not always true. For example, I STRUGGLED big time when Instagram story started to become a thing. I was so used to hiding behind my food pictures that having to talk to a video and a large audience terrified me. What would people say about me? What if they don’t like what I’m posting? What if they don’t like my personality? What if I’m not looking my best? In a way, Instagram story helped to push me out of my comfort zone and get over caring what people would THINK of me.

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In December of 2016, I went off and did a 17 day intensive yoga teacher training. I hadn’t gone into it with the intention of teaching. Within the first day or so there, we had to get up in front of everyone and teach a small part. I didn’t know what I was doing. I felt awkward, uncomfortable, nervous, terrified…all of the above. You could tell I was not confident in my own body. Yet, no one judged me. Luckily, I was in a group of the MOST supportive people. It was never a competition. We were all here to improve and we all had a personal reason as to WHY we were here, in this space, pushing our limits, together. By the end of the 17-days I was a different person. I wasn’t perfect by any means, but I was WAY more confident leaving there than I had been when I arrived.

Beginning in October 2017, I had my very first Corepower yoga sculpt teaching training. For those of you who are not familiar with sculpt, it’s a heated, fast-paced, music centric, high-energy, yoga meets strength training class. It is VERY different than yoga, but has always been a practice that I’ve loved because it truly makes working out FUN. I’ll be honest, before signing up for this, I never thought I could get up there and teach a class like this. Just as teaching yoga finally became comfortable for me, sculpt brought on a new element. People come to this class to get a hard, FUN 60 minute workout in. But just as I threw myself into yoga training, I figured why not, let’s test my limits once again. Though I tend to sign up for these types of things with a lot of doubt, I do it because I KNOW this is the only way I’ll ever keep improving. I love challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone. This drive is what helps to build my confidence. When I get into something that makes me uneasy, but come out on the other side successful, that is where I begin to see my confidence shine through. It has absolutely nothing to do with looks. It’s finding something that both excites you but scares you at the same time. It’s challenging yourself to be the best version of YOU.  That’s when and where I’m the MOST confident.

Finding CONFIDENCE can be different for everyone. What I’ve found in the past year or so, is when I put myself out there without truly giving a f*** what anyone thinks, that’s when my confidence reaches an all-time high. I’ve only taught just a few classes at this point, but already, the way I feel after a class is unlike anything I can explain. I love that I have the ability to motivate and empower this amazingly supportive community to get through 60 minutes of fricken HARD work. Had I continued doubting myself, I never would have had the opportunity to find so much joy through teaching. I can already tell that this was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I know that with each class I teach, the more confidence I’ll find. Teaching has given me the confidence to OWN who I am. My at home yoga practice has given me the confidence to feel beautiful in my own body and fight that negative talk. My blog has given me the confidence to let my creative side run wild and free. Living a healthy lifestyle has nourished my body and enables me to feel glowing in my own skin. These are just a few things I’ve learned along the way that have helped to build my confidence. I know there will still be days of doubt and insecurity, but already, those days seem few and far between compared to how I was feeling just a few years back.

My challenge to you? Go after something that you’ve always been drawn to, but at the same time, find terrifying. The accomplishment you feel at the end of whatever journey that may be is MAGICAL and so incredibly gratifying. That exact moment is where you’ll find the most confidence.  

Quick & Dirty Meal Prep Ideas – Part 2 Cont.

Quick & Dirty Meal Prep Ideas – Part 2 Cont.

Hi Guys! Happy Thursday! Woooo almost headed into the weekend. I swear time has literally FLOWN by since Christmas…does anyone else feel this way?! This weekend were off to Newport, RI for some (eek) wedding vendor meetings and then next weekend we’re off to a much sunnier & tropical location in the British Virgin Islands. I can hardly wait.

Anyway, on my last post, I shared with you what my typical grocery list would look like. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here! For part 2, I wanted to share with you some simple quick & dirty meal prep tips. Believe it or not, I’ve been able to cut it down to under an hour and a half if you’re speedy in the kitchen! I used to DREAD meal prep because it meant cooking in the kitchen for basically half of my Sunday. This can take a toll on you believe it or not. So, I decided to make things more simple. Yes, I love extravagant meals here and there, but right now, time is precious. I’d rather spend my Sunday’s outside, doing yoga, netflix & chilling, meeting up with a friend for coffee…ya know…not in my kitchen for a million hours.

So take it or leave it, but I’ve shared with you a few examples of what my typical meal prep for the week looks like. Would love to hear your suggestions as well – comment below and tell me how you keep your meal prep effective and efficient!

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First and foremost: Set you oven to 425 degrees. I find this temperature works great for what I’m meal prepping. Option to go a few degrees cooler if you’d like to cook your foods on the slower side! 400 degrees would be a great option.

Sweet Potatoes:

Dice sweet potatoes. Lie on baking sheet coated in coconut oil. Mix the potatoes with coconut oil or avocado oil, Himalayan salt & the Primal Palate ‘new bae’ seasoning (similar to old bay – SO good!) Cook for about 25 mins or until soft & starting to brown. I like to throw it on broil for about 2 mins to get them extra crispy.

  • Let cool to room temp then store in fridge.
  • Other ways to season, I love a simple garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, turmeric, and himalayan salt. Another yummy option is cinnamon, paprika, himalayan salt.

Broccoli and/or Cauliflower:

Coat in avocado oil and lay on greased baking sheet. Toss in Himalayan salt, turmeric, garlic powder, black pepper, and maybe add some nutritional yeast for some extra flavor! Cook at same temp as sweet potatoes. Only need about 15 mins or until soft/lightly crispy! Let cool to room temp then store in fridge.

Brussel Sprouts:

I sometimes buy a bag of the shaved brussl sprouts to save time. Sauté in avocado oil, Himalayan salt, black pepper, minced garlic. Cook until crispy, light brown around the edges. Let cool to room temp then store in fridge.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Rice

I buy it pre-riced because it saves time! But you can also buy the head and throw into a food processor. This can be great to mix with rice and grains for some added nutritional benefit & to “buff” it up more. Sautee in avocado oil, Himalayan salt, black pepper, turmeric, minced garlic, nutritional yeast, sprinkle of paprika

Steamed Rainbow/Heirloom Carrots:

Fill up small pot with water. I used baby rainbow carrots so didn’t need to peel them! But if you bought the full carrot sticks, you should peel them before boiling. Add your carrots to the water and cook on high to bring to a boil. I let them sit in there until I can easily poke a fork through. Drain the water. Toss in ghee, Himalayan salt, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, & a sprinkle of cinnamon or ginger powder

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Homemade Cashew Oat Milk:

  • Soak ¾ cup raw cashews in water for 2 hours.
  • Add to blender + 5 cups filtered water. Blend for about 2 minutes. I love making cashew milk because there’s never any leftover “pulp”, therefor making it EXTREMELY easy to make!
  • Add 1 cup gluten-free oats, pinch of Himalayan salt, cinnamon, and sweetener of choice (choose from my grocery list options!)
  • Blend for 1 minute! Any longer, make cause the oats to actually get slimy.
  • Enjoy!! This half & half blend makes for a delicious creamy non-dairy milk alternative!

Additional:

  • Prep about 1-2 cups of a grain for the week (i.e. quinoa)
  • Hard boil about 6-8 eggs for the week. I had about 1.5 to salads for protein or use them to snack.
  • Spiralize the zucchini for dinner.
  • Cut lemons in half to use for lemon water in the morning.
  • Peel bananas and store in freezer for smoothies.
  • Mince garlic for the week.
  • Use banza pasta for dinner 2x’s a week to save time. I love banza because it’s so filling, takes 10 minutes, and add any vegetable (spinach, broccoli, etc.) to it and you have yourself a dinner!
  • Breakfast for dinner is a great, quick and easy option on days where you haven’t had eggs for either breakfast or lunch.

 

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Snack Ideas:

  • High Protein/High-Fat bars like RxBar, BulletProof Bar, EatIQ Bar – great for long lasting energy for the day, BRAIN FUEL.
  • GG’s scandanavian Crackers with avocado, fresh lemon, tahini drizzle, Himalayan salt, black pepper, hemp seeds or hard-boiled egg white for added protein
  • GG’s Crackers with almond butter, cinnamon, honey, banana, and Himalayan salt
  • Mary’s Gone Crackers & Carrots to dip in Hummus or Cashew Cheese
  • Quick Fab4 Smoothie (spinach, protein powder, non-dairy milk, healthy fat (almond butter or coconut butter), fiber source (flax or chia seeds), ¼ cup frozen fruit
  • Vegan Chocolate w/ Almond Butter
  • 3 cups of popcorn
  • Siete Tortilla Chips w/ homemade guacamole
  • Non-dairy (nut-based) yogurt with cacao nibs, goji berries, sprouted almonds or almond butter, & cinnamon (optional honey or granola)
  • Roasted sweet potato “fries” dipped in Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo
  • Siete grain-free tortilla topped with 1 fried egg cooked in fourth & heart ghee, avocado slices, radish, sauerkraut, and microgreens
  • Healthy Hot Chocolate – 1 cup warmed homemade cashew milk + 1 tbsp cacao powder + sprinkle of himalayan salt + vanilla stevia to sweeten + Vital Protein Collagen + 1 tbsp coconut butter // blend and enjoy!
My Grocery List + Kitchen Staples Part 1

My Grocery List + Kitchen Staples Part 1

Hi guys!

I’ve gotten a few questions on my grocery list, kitchen staples, favorite brands, etc., so figured I’d dedicate this blog to my GROCERY LIST. Keep in mind, obviously not every trip to the store looks like this…but these are all things I typically like to keep in my kitchen or rotate through on different shopping trips. I’ll be honest, I usually shop at Whole Foods out of convenience (it’s 4 min walk from me)…but, a lot of these items can be found at most grocery stores these days! I’ve gone through and added a lot of links so you can learn more about these brands, some via Amazon, some via their direct links.

For next week, I’m adding a mini meal prep guide using a lot of the ingredients found on this list! So keep an eye for part dos!


Produce:

Bananas – peel & freeze for smoothies
Organic Spinach – I buy the largest container available
Organic mixed greens, dinosaur kale, arugula, or romaine (I try to always buy a different green to mix it up with the spinach)
Avocados – I buy about 4 for me (1/2 avocado a day or more ☺)
Cauliflower and/or Broccoli
Brussel Sprouts
Rainbow/Heirloom Carrots
Optional Broccoli and/or cauliflower rice
Sweet Potatoes – I usually roast about 4-5 for me & Justin for the week
Raspberries – SUPER high in FIBER
Radishes – for some extra crunch!
Baby Carrots – for snacking
Microgreens
Sprouts
Beets – love the brand Love Beets
Ginger
Lemons
Garlic
Onion
Zucchini – usually always have a few to spiralize & add to Banza pasta to bulk it up

Bulk Foods:

Raw Cashews – to make homemade cashew milk!
Gluten-Free Oats
Sprouted Almonds
Quinoa, Farro, or Wheatberry are some of my favorites!
Fresh ground Almond Butter

Refrigerated:

Large Brown Eggs – love Vital Farms (buy eggs that are pasture raised, certified organic, non-GMO)
Non-Dairy Cheese – Love the brands: Treeline ( garlic-herb cashew cheese) or Kite Hill Almond-based Ricotta
Hummus – love Hope Foods Hummus (100% clean, organic ingredients & so many yummy flavors)
Coconut Casava Tortillas from Siete – grain-free & paleo tortillas
Kombucha – always buy Health-Ade (usually lemon ginger & buy 2 small bottles to sip on throughout the week)
Sauerkraut – GREAT for the gut! Love the beet kraut from Wildbrine or the dill pickle from Farmhouse Cultures

Optional:

Kite Hill (almond based yogurt) or Forager (cashew based yogurt) non-dairy yogurts
Nut-Based Milk if no-time to prep your own – check to see that there are no weird additives or gums
Kite Hill cream cheese (also almond based)

Dry Foods:

Lentil/Bean Based Pasta – some of my favorite brands include Banza (chickpea) pasta, Tolerant Foods (red lentil pasta), or Ancient Harvest Green lentil pasta
Organic (no sugar added) Diced Tomatoes – I like to have a few cans on hand to sauté with mixed veggies, spices, and toss over pasta
GG’s Scandinavian Crackers (high fiber, low carb/calorie crisp) – great for snacking with avocado or almond butter
Mary’s Gone Crackers (love the cracked black pepper)
Ground Flax Seeds – I buy mine from Bob’s Red Mill
Plant-Based Protein Powder – Brands I like: Aloha! (not at WF, but can be found at CVS), Amazing Grass, Garden of Life
Vital Proteins Collagen
RxBars (paleo, only natural sugars (i.e. dates), egg whites for added protein
Bulletproof Bars (fave is the vanilla flavor)
Hu Chocolate or Eating Evolved Chocolate (uses coconut sugar to sweeten, dairy-free, PALEO)

Optional:

Shredded Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
Soups to have on hand – I love Amy’s soups (check for low-sodium, no dairy, no added cane sugar) or Faween Soups (not available at Whole Foods)
Granola (I don’t always buy granola as I end up overeating it LOL. I swear granola is the one thing I could eat endless amounts of). BUT if you like granola, brands I recommend include: Gr8nola, Purely Elizabeth, Back Roads Granola, Steve’s Paleo Granola, Kitchfix Grain Free Granola
Crispy Chickpeas – adds a delicious crunch on salads (sea salt from Biena Foods is delish!)
Siete Tortilla Chips – BEST grain free tortilla chip out there
Popcorn – I buy the brand Lesser Evil (they make their popcorn with either coconut oil, avocado oil, or ghee & add Himalayan salt)

Optional Superfoods: (MOST can be found in the supplement aisle at Whole Foods)

Bee Pollen
Chia Seeds
Hemp Seeds (great extra source of High protein)
Goji Berries
Cacao Nibs
Cacao Powder
Matcha Green Tea Powder
Maca Powder
Ashwaganda Powder

Condiments & Healthy Fats:

Tahini
Almond Butter (usually buy the ground almond butter from the Whole Foods bulk section)
Coconut Butter
Coconut AminosCoconut Secrets Garlic sauce (low-sodium, made w/ coconut aminos)
Coconut Oil (spray can and jar)
Avocado Oil
Olive Oil
Ghee – Fourth & Heart is a great brand available at WF! Or you can check out a local brand: Gather Superfoods
Spicy Brown Mustard – (love the brand: Sir. Kensington’s)
Healthy Mayo – (love the brand Primal Kitchen & their chipotle lime mayo)

Optional:

Healthy Dressings from Primal Kitchen Foods (LOVE their Caesar, Green Goddess, & Ranch Dressing)

Frozen Foods:

Frozen Riced Cauliflower (for smoothies)
Frozen wild blueberries
Frozen veggie/stir-fry mix
Hilary’s Eat Well Veggie Burgers and/or bites
Shrimp
Salmon Fillet
Food for Life Ezekiel Toast
Mikey’s Paleo English Muffins
Cali’Flour Foods Plant-Based Pizza *not found in grocery stores

Sweeteners:

Dates
Honey
Organic Maple Syrup
Coconut Sugar
Vanilla Stevia

Spices/condiments:

Nutritional Yeast – literally add this to everything for a vegan “cheesy” flavor
Himalayan Salt
Cinnamon
Rosemary
Black Pepper
Paprika
Basil
Oregano
Thyme
*all of Primal Palate’s spices (they’re not available at WF, but order them online – highly recommend!)

Current January Obsessions

Current January Obsessions

Alright, alright so last month you saw my December obsessions, this month it’s all about what I’m digging in 2018. There are so many awesome products and trends to highlight, but I’ll hit ya with my top 8 for now – stay tuned for Feb’s addition next month!

  1. Throwing a curve ball here by starting with a fashion trend I LOVE. I‘d personally like to thank the Kardashian clan for making leotards and high-waisted pants an acceptable look to wear for both a day-time and night-time look. I LOVE leotards…so long as they have the handy buttons at the crotch LOL – it makes peeing a million x’s easier! But in all seriousness, I love them for a few reasons. You don’t need to THINK about planning an outfit. It’s as easy as picking a cute nude color, pairing it with a light-wash high-waisted jean, sneakers, and a cute chunky belt. Add a comfy cardigan for a day-time look and then swap that out for a leather bomber coat & a choker necklace for a cool, night-time look. My fave places to purchase affordable leotards are Forever 21 (they have so many cute colors and styles for INSANELY cheap) and Urban Outfitters is always a go-to of mine. American Apparel carries some cute, classic ones as well!
  2. I mentioned Vital Proteins collagen on my last post…this month, it’s all about the Vital Proteins Coconut Collagen Creamer. I love this because it’s the perfect addition to your caffeine fueled espresso/latte or matcha latte. OR add it to a smoothie, golden milk, whatever it is that makes you HAPPY! I personally love the taste of coconut and this creamer takes your morning beverage from a 4 to a 12 easily. You can shop for it on Amazon or order right from the Vital Proteins site.
  3. A cool 2018 day…LIFE…EVERYTHING planner. I’m a visual person and therefor, writing things down makes my life so much easier. Not to mention, I’ve been keeping EVERY detail for wedding planning in here and it keeps me SANE. Find a cute planner that leaves you a lot of space to write to-do’s, goals, plans, etc. for each day. I love that my planner (got it from Target!) gives me a whole page for just one day and includes sections for:
    • Today’s Top Three
    • A cute little inspiring quote each day
    • Today’s Schedule (broken out by each hour of the day)
    • TonightTo-Do List (parallels my schedule) 
    • And lastly a section for Gratitude each day
  4. CBD oil. I can’t say enough great things about CBD oil and you’re probably sick of hearing me blab about it if you follow me on Instagram. But I swear it’s for GOOD reason. Biggest and most noticeable benefits I’ve seen so far? Better night’s sleep, less anxiety, less joint paint, and less inflammation. I personally love the oil from Cap Beauty since it has extra chic adaptogens in addition to the CBD oil. I will warn you that this brand is v pricey but it comes in a pretty large bottle and you only need ½ tsp a day to get the benefits! So it goes pretty far for how much you’re spending. Another brand I’ve heard good things about is: Lazarus Naturals
  5. Dr. Dennis Gross Products. After listening to the Skinny Confidential podcast last month where she interviewed the skin god himself, Dr. Dennis Gross…I was pretty much sold. I’ll be honest; I did not care about good skin care at all up until this point. Obviously I have a skin care routine than includes cleansing my face with clean products, using serums, face masks, etc. BUT I never really cared about the sun and the extent of it’s damage on my skin. Growing up it was all about who could be the tannest and you can bet I had my glow on almost all year round. Especially come the summer time, I grew up teaching sailing and was on the water/out in the sun all day. My TOP goal for this year is to really focus on good skin care and avoiding sun damage. This means A LOT of sunscreen all the time, staying out of the sun or wearing a hat as much as possible, and using products like the Alpha Beta Skin peel from his product line.
  6. Any tea that has TURMERIC and/or GINGER in it are my absolute faves. Trader Joe’s carries a delicious ginger, turmeric, herbal tea. I also recently fell in love with the Pukka Turmeric Glow tea. It’s a delicious blend of turmeric + green tea + lemon fruit. I add a splash of homemade cinnamon cashew milk and it is PURE JOY. The combo of ginger + turmeric should be your best friend. It is the king of all ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ingredients if you ask me! I love it in the morning or at night before bed.
  7. Barry’s BootCamp. Recently got hooked on this class and LOVE it. Having been a runner my whole life, this class definitely brings that competiveness back. I only go once a week (if that), but it’s a great, killer workout for when you need a little extra cardio/HIIT/strength training in your life! I find it’s a great balance with my CorePower Yoga Sculpt practice, my at-home yoga & pilates practice, and the strength training I do at the gym.
  8. My latest Alo Yoga pants obsession goes to these leggings: Ultimate High Waist Legging in the Rosewater color. I love that nudes are having a serious moment right now and I’m jumping right on that bandwagon! Plus these are SO comfy, love they have a good high-waist, and you can easily go from yoga to a coffee date and keep your outfit looking cool & trendy for the fitness gal on-the-go!

That’s all I have for you this month! Keep an eye out for Feb’s obsessions next 🙂

A look back at 2017 & What my #1 GOAL is for the New Year

A look back at 2017 & What my #1 GOAL is for the New Year

Hi guys! Apologies for the blog hiatus. Since the holidays, I’ve had trouble feeling a bit creative, which in turn means no exciting blog posts for ya! Though I consider myself to be a creative person, there are times when other things take priority and I just don’t feel inspired or motivated. Creativity is definitely an ebb and flow kind of thing for me. Some days I feel SO inspired, excited, and passionate and on other days, it’s just blah. But, hey, that’s life! Not every day is going to be perfect and that’s OK ☺

Anyway, I hope you all had a fabulous holiday break and had time to hang with friends and family. I know it was non-stop for me all break, so I definitely needed to hit the refresh button as soon as I got back into my daily routine. That being said…I am SO EXCITED for what 2018 has in store for me. For one, Justin and I are getting married (EEKK) on August 25th, 2018 – so I’d say that’s a pretty MAJOR thing to be amped about for 2018. But on top of that, I have so many exciting trips, friend reunions, and a CRAZY cool honeymoon that we’re in the middle of planning to Southeast Asia!

I have a gut feeling that 2018 is going to be a GREAT year. I’ll be honest, 2017 was an interesting year for me – a lot of change & was on a mission to find what excites me and “sets my soul on fire”. This certainly came with its challenges and I sure as hell hit a few low points. All that said, I’m so grateful for my experiences because I gained a wealth of new knowledge (and new friends)! Reflecting back on 2017, I think one big thing that was missing for me since graduating college nearly 5 years ago was continuing my path to grow, learn more, and fill a void. Granted I was learning new things at work…but they weren’t all in line with my passions. I have an itch to learn more and challenge myself, but in the world of health and wellness, because that has always been where my curiosity resigns.  So what’s my point in all of this? NEVER STOP LEARNING. I’m carrying this lust to learn over into 2018 and I challenge you to join me! Find something that excites you, maybe completely different than what your 8-5 looks like, and go after it.

It can be ANYTHING and it doesn’t always have to cost a lot of money or in some cases, it may be FREE. Here are some ideas on how I plan to either continue challenging myself or some things that are future goals (either for this year or 2019, 2020, and so on)…

  1. I would have to say that pursuing my 200HR yoga teacher training was one of my favorites. I had a fairly good, at-home practice going before I completed my intensive training, but it was more so for the physical benefits. At the time, I didn’t look at yoga as a spiritual or mental journey – it was purely a form of exercise, toning, and stretching for me. That being said, I was ready for a drastic change in my life and on the whim, applied to a 200HR intensive training in Mallorca, Spain. This was the BEST decision. I intuitively felt a want to get in touch with myself and a more spiritual practice…and this was the answer. Oh and PS you don’t need to be a yoga pro to complete your 200HR. Nor do you need to necessarily have the intention to go out and teach after your training. These are both common misconceptions about 200HR yoga teacher training. There is SO much more value that you get out of this magical journey. Learn more on my experience with my post from last year!
  2. Piggy backing off the above, I’m now in the middle (and nearing the end) of my training for CorePower Yoga Sculpt. I haven’t found a community I love as much as what I have at CPY. I also fell in love immediately with their sculpt class. I loved the high energy, the fun music, the strength training aspect, the heat, etc. I still have my at-home yoga practice, but I love switching it up with CPY sculpt classes. I also love that you can always pop into any class, whether it be sculpt or yoga, at any time of day and with so many options for locations in the city! Anyway, just like 200HR yoga training, ANYONE can sign up for the CPY sculpt training. And I’ll be honest; this style of teaching is way more challenging than what you may think from just attending a class. Don’t get me wrong, my 200HR yoga training was extremely challenging, but CPY sculpt training brings its new challenges – power of voice, music & beat matching to exercises, weight & strength training, having the whole class flow seamlessly, and of course making it both challenging and fun at the same time. Anyway, as you can tell, I have an appetite for fitness and sharing that with others in the community! This is my form of challenging myself and continuing my journey to learn more and get out of my comfort zone!
  3. Reading! Oh gosh there is so much I can say hear. In the past year, I’ve gotten WAY more into spirituality and self-care in so many forms. Learning more about yoga, meditation, forms of mindfulness, crystals, scents, oils, holistic self-care tricks, astrology, food freedom, manifestation, and oh the list could go on. There are SO MANY FREE resources online. Well & Good , Mind, Body, Green, and Chalkboard are always a few of my favorite go-to’s for catching up on the latest wellness trends. Then from there, I’ll usually go into a deeper dive on the topic elsewhere. I like that both sites “dumb” it down in a sense…aka making it relatable to a large audience. In addition to online resources, there are so many cool books out there, some of my faves being Gabby Bernstein and Kelly Leveque’s book.
  4. Listening! What do I mean by this? Podcasts. There is SO much to learn from a simple 1.5 hour episode…you just need to be listening to the right interview. I can’t even tell you how much knowledge I’ve gained from various podcasts I’ve listened to. I also have some of my fave podcast go-to’s and find it so exciting when I learn about a topic that I’ve never even heard about before, mostly because I trust the interviewer and their interviewee choices! The best part? There is literally a podcast out there for EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. Seriously!! Any topic you’re interested in learning more about…there’s likely a podcast for it.
  5. Watch! Justin and I are serial documentary viewers. I LOVE them. I’ll be honest, it’s really hard for me to get through movies (I swear my attention span lasts for all of 30 minutes during any movie). But for some reason, documentaries are the ONLY ones that can hold my attention from start to end. There are so many interesting docs on netflix that are health & wellness focused. Additionally, I’ve been really into more life sciences, UFO’s (haha don’t judge me), nature, the universe, etc.! Also, another great resource for health & wellness focused documentaries is FoodMatters TV. You can subscribe for an online subscription and get so many free resources including documentaries, meditations, yoga pratices, guided courses, recipes, interviews, and more!
  6. Attending a workshop and/or conference. Another great way to learn is putting yourself out there and attending a local workshop or even a larger-scale conference. There’s so much value in attending things in person and meeting/interacting with like-minded people. I’m always scrolling through Eventbrite.com in the Boston area to see what events are going on locally – it’s a great resource for any city!
  7. Take an online course! In the next year or two, I plan on signing up for the integrative nutrition course or another course that is primarily focused on functional and/or holistic nutrition. This has ALWAYS been something I’ve wanted to do, just need to carve out the time. Seeing as 2018 is a busy year for me, I’m thinking I’ll tackle this one in 2019! But I wanted to share and keep it on the radar. Other online resources that I love is from FoodMattersTV and Mind, Body, Green!

Those are some of my pro tips on how you can continue to keep challenging yourself in the new year and never stop learning! Would love to hear any of your suggestions in the comments!

Current December Obsessions

Current December Obsessions

A while back (more like 2015 lol – you’ll be able to tell based on the “fads”), I had a series of posts called “In With the New Obsessions, Out with the Old” …these “obsessions” ranged from health & fashion trends, to favorite products, wellness tips, travel destinations, etc. I decided to bring this series back because let’s be honest…my obsessions are constantly changing and with how quickly trends come and go, I like to share what I think is actually worth the hype and the investment. So, here’s what I have for you for December’s Obsessions! PS – none of the below is sponsored in any way. Any products mentioned are truly those I love and enjoy!

Book of choice: Body Love: Live in Balance, Weigh What you Want, and Free Yourself from Food Drama Forever by Kelly Leveque

  1. I’ve been following Kelly for quite some time now. From her Instagram, to podcast interviews, to MBG articles, and more! It wasn’t until my friend gifted me (thanks Jackie!!) her new book, that I REALLY started to get what all the hype was about Kelly. Her book essentially is the guide to FOOD FREEDOM and at the end of the day, isn’t that what we’re all seeking? Regardless of whether you’ve had a bad relationship with food or not, I think we all tend to at some point or another, get caught up in a food obsession. It’s unfortunately a result of a restrictive diet culture that we grew up with (especially those who were born in the 80’s and 90’s).
  2. Luckily, REAL health (aka not those “diet frozen dinners” or “meal shakes”) is becoming trendy. I think that Kelly plays a big role in this. Her book is so incredibly informative. She empowers you with REAL science to back up the facts. I find it so helpful when I can understand what is going on in my body, to help me make smarter and healthier decisions. She runs through living a positive, stress free lifestyle while making healthy choices. She offers healthy recipes, talks about her Fab4 Smoothies, fitness, and so on.

Fab4 Lifestyle and FIBER

  1. Alright so if I’ve learned ANYTHING between Kelly Leveque’s “Fab4” lifestyle and Tanya’s F-Factor lifestyle…it’s basically the importance of incorporating FIBER into our diet at EVERY meal. Because FIBER is COOL and makes ya regular…ya feel me?!!??! (hahahaha) Unfortunately, because so much of our food has become processed, we’ve moved away from naturally fiber-rich foods. Fiber essentially helps things move through our body (aka bowel movements if I’m being FRANK lol), helps to detoxify toxins, helps to break down carbohydrates, and can even help prevent forms of cancer.
  2. The “Fab4” lifestyle is essentially eating the following at every meal: healthy FATS, FIBER rich foods, GREENS/VEGGIES, PROTEIN, plus any extra superfoods or adaptogens if you choose! If you have a little bit of both at every meal, you’ll naturally start to feel full & satiated longer, your hunger hormones will be turned off, you’ll keep your blood sugar levels low, and you’ll naturally find that you either maintain weight or shed those few extra pounds based on where you and your body feel best.
    1. Recommended sources of fiber:
    2. GG’s Scandanavian crackers – you’ve likely seen these posted on the Skinny Confidential or part of the F-Factor movement. They’re one of the HIGHEST forms of fiber rich grab-n-go snacks out there, that are super low in cals. Add them to lunch & breakfast to help fill you up!
    3. If you’re GF, Jillz Crackers and Mary’s Gone Crackers are also great options
    4. flax Seeds
    5. Chia Seeds
    6. Raspberries, Avocados, Brussel Sprouts, Legumes, Pomegranate, etc. are also high sources of fiber that are found in fruits and veggies.

Vital Proteins – i.e. Love their COLLAGEN products

  1. I know this isn’t exactly a “new” trend, but it’s a trend that has stuck and for good reason! There are so many amazing benefits to adding collagen into your diet:
    1. Muscle & joint recovery
    2. Stronger, more vibrant hair, skin, and nails
    3. Better nights sleep
    4. PLUS they now have a new matcha collagen!

Fawen Drinkable Soups

  1. So this is one product I’ve really been LOVING lately. Why? Well, I recently went to Whole Foods and was strolling through the pre-packaged soup section (because winter = endless nights of soup) and was honestly shocked to find that I could count on one hand the number of soups that were sugar free, preservative free, weird additive free, gum free, and so on. Even brands I thought to be “healthy” had added cane sugar or used vegetable oil in their soups.
  2. Fawen is honestly one of the only to-go soups I’ve found that use REAL ingredients like coconut oil, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, Himalayan salt, season veggies, etc. to help flavor their soups. NO weird added anything! Oh and ps they taste great and can be enjoyed right from the container (though I love heating it up over the stovetop anyway)!

Cacao & REFINED SUGAR-FREE Vegan/Paleo Chocolate

  1. I tend to have a major sweet tooth after dinner and also tend to crave chocolate. This doesn’t need to be a “cheat” if you find the RIGHT chocolate out there. Cacao is a SUPERFOOD for a reason and should be enjoyed (right)! What are my favorite Brands?
    1. Hu Chocolate – especially their “dark salted chocolate”   (with ingredients like cacao, coconut oil, Himalayan salt, and coconut sugar to flavor). No cane sugar, dairy products, etc.!
    2. Eating Evolved – similar to Hu chocolate, they use coconut oil, coconut butter, and coconut sugar to sweetend.
    3. Lastly, if those two products aren’t in budget, then no worries! Make your own chocolate bark easily using coconut oil, cacao, cinnamon, Himalayan salt, and coconut sugar/honey/or maple syrup following THIS recipe.

Spotify Playlists

  1. Music is and has always been one constant form of pure HAPPINESS in my life. Justin and I love going to shows, festivals, or even just hanging at home and listening to music. It just puts you in the right place
  2. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with making playlists on spotfiy that are 100% ME and vary based on my mood. I have a playlist for everything – mornings, yoga flows, Friday nights, summer day vibes, and so on.
  3. So if you’re not following me, get on it AND if you haven’t gone into your own Spotify hole…do it! But beware, you may get sucked in for hours creating playlists!

Friend, Fitness, and Foodie Dates

  1. One thing I love about this Instagram/blogging community is that it has connected me with so many new people! And what better way to connect than over a fitness class, followed by a healthy treat?! I’ve talked about this before, but face-to-face interaction is SO valuable and GOOD for the soul. It’s easy to be comfortable in your own apartment and routine (trust me, I’m the last person to want to make plans during the week) BUT when I finally get my butt out the door and DO it, it feels SO good. I always leave those conversations on a high. It’s nice connecting, sharing similar struggles (and successes), chatting about health, wellness, friends, boys, music, ALL OF IT.

A fashion trend I can’t get over? JUMP SUITS.

  1. I’m sure this is one trend you’ve seen a lot lately, but hey, I don’t see myself getting over it any time soon. Jumpsuits transform perfectly from day to evening, summer to winter. They work all year round. They can be dressed up or dressed down. They’re comfy AF. A nice fitted one makes your booty look GREAT. I mean what more can I say?? Go get yourself one or two jumpsuits that you love and that can be versatile. It’s my idea of the new “little black dress” that everyone needs to have as a staple in their closet! Here’s one from Forever21 that I recently bought and LOVE.

Favorite Bar? This one hasn’t really changed and for good reason – RX BARS

  1. These bars still have got to be my favorite out there. High in protein (egg whites), healthy fats (nuts), naturally sweetened with dates, no weird added things at all.
  2. Though I don’t recommend eating one every day, I do find these are GREAT to have on hand if you need a “bridge snack” between lunch and dinner, or while traveling, on-the-go, etc.!
  3. My favorite flavors right now? Their seasonal Gingerbread flavor, Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Maple Sea Salt, and Coconut Chocolate Chip!

Deepening your Yoga Practice

So I’m doing my BEST to MANIFEST a future yoga retreat because I see so much value in them. Though these can be costly, I think they’re 100% worth it! It’s the BEST kind of way to hit refresh, take a hot second from the craziness that is life, and connect with your mind, body, and SOUL. It doesn’t necessarily need to be some fancy retreat in Costa Rica. Even a one-day refresh can be just as valuable! Look around locally. I’m sure you can find at least one or two within driving distance!

This time last year, I also took the leap of faith and traveled to Mallorca for my 200hr yoga teacher training and FELL IN LOVE with everyone about it. So spirutually opening. Pushed me out of my comfort zone BIG TIME. Even if you have no intention on teaching, I recommend it to deepen your practice.

Lastly, I’m currently in my Corepower teacher sculpt training at this moment. I LOVE high-energy music and workouts, so this is the perfect way to blend my love for yoga with high-intensity fitness.

That’s all for now! Hope you enjoyed. Oh and by the way, NONE of this is sponsored. Any products mentioned are truly those I love and enjoy!

How to Get Out of that Winter FUNK

How to Get Out of that Winter FUNK

Those of you who follow me on my Instagram page have likely heard me talk about being in a funk right now as a result of the colder days and darker nights here in good, ole Boston! I wrote a similar post last winter and have decided to bulk that one up with additional tips & tricks to getting out of the winter funk! So here’s what I’ve found…sometimes all you need is one WHOLE day to REBOOT and it can do wonders!

Actually take a FULL self-care day!

Unfortunately our culture has created a fast-pace, high-stressed environment, especially on the east coast. Though this mindset is great and all in theory, “work hard, play harder”…but do we ACTUALLY play? Ever feel like it’s a competition to see who has a busier week or who was more stressed or who stayed later at work? Why should this be praised? It’s just a recipe to fully BURN out in the future. Self-care and taking time to yourself is NOT selfish, it’s quite frankly NECESSARY for good, long-term healthy & longevity. Ignore what your peers think at work and DO YOU. At the end of the day, if you’re more rejuvenated and refreshed, you WILL put out better quality work, more efficiently and effectively than the co-worker sitting next to you.

Alright, so that you see the importance of taking a self-care day…what does that look like? Well, it looks different for everyone! Here’s an inside peek into what my IDEAL self-care day may look like:

7AM – 12PM

  • Sleep in an extra hour.
  • Wake up and make a warm cup of ginger turmeric tea with lemon & fresh ginger. Helps for good digestion in the AM, balances acidity, anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Take my daily supplements (these tend to vary, but I ALWAYS have a probiotic pill, B12 (don’t eat meat & good source of energy), Vitamin D (especially needed in the winter), occasionally a digestive enzyme (if traveling)
  • Turn on my oil diffuser (currently using LAVENDAR oil) & salt lamp. Helps to calm the mood! Also, I wrote a post about tips for calming the mind here.
  • Put on a good, upbeat playlist. Especially into a few of my Spotify playlists right now:
  • Make either a MATCHA or Espresso-Based LATTE
    • Follow the above links for yummy matcha & latte recipes
  • Answer emails, Instagram Comments, DM’s, etc. (I find I’m the most productive in the morning, but since this is SELF-CARE day, limit use)
  • Do a quick 10 minute stretch/flow to wake up the body. Light incense or a sage stick to set the mood. Focus on spinal stretches like cat/cows and twists to loosen up the spine after lying in bed for 8 hours. Here’s a post I did a while back on simple yoga moves to help relieve stress and anxiety!
  • Meditate & write a few things down in your journal that you’re grateful for!
  • Make a healthy, FAB 4 style breakfast. Include fats, fiber, protein, veggies/green, and limit sugars (fruit) to ¼ cup!
  • Sometimes if I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll clean. I know this sounds like “work” BUT hear me out…if I’m in the mood (key word here), sometimes cleaning can be SO therapeutic AND can actually be a cause of feeling unmotivated and overwhelmed in your own place! Think about the saying… “a clear space is a clear mind”. PS – I find I’m especially motivated to clean right after coffee when I’m feeling fueled and energized.
  • In addition to cleaning…how about going through your closet (and anything else in your apt/house) and pulling out items that no longer have a purpose in your life? I always joke that I’m an aspiring minimalist. If you know me, you know I have a closet FULL of endless clothes & shoes. Yes, I admit I’m a bit obsessed with fashion, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get rid of old clothes (and items laying around that are just adding to a more cluttered space). Giving away clothes can be such a RELIEF sometimes and leave you feeling a bit lighter…almost like a weight was lifted off of you. So, though this doesn’t seem like the “cliché” self-care tip that one may hear…I promise you, it HELPED me and I’m almost certain it will help you!
  • Read a book, browse through one of my fave wellness-focused websites like Well & Good or Mind, Body, Green.
  • When fully digested, get a workout in that I LOVE. Don’t make this a punishment but rather make it something you look forward to and know that your body with thank you later! 
  • Start a bath and add Dr. Teals “recovery” bath salts (eucalyptus). While the bath is filling up, stretch & foam roll (so good for the muscles and cheaper option than going for a massage!) Before you hop into the bath, also option to Dry Brush (the skin is your BIGGEST organ and this helps to detoxify and remove dry skin, leaving you feeling more refreshed and energetic).
  • I’ll also put on a face mask of some sort, either a chlorophyll mask from CocoKind Skincare or a coffee exfoliating mask from Frank & Whit. Light a candle, grab a book, and relax for 15-20 minutes before showering off.

12PM – 4PM

  • Go for a walk & listen to an informative podcast before lunch. Some of my fave podcasts include:
    • The Skinny Confidential: Him & Her
    • The Balanced Blonde
    • That’s so Maven
    • Rich Roll Podcast
    • Raw Talk with Sheena
    • Bulletproof Radio
    • Let it Out with Katie Dalebout
    • The Lively Show
    • That so Retrograde  
  • Make a delicious & filling Buddha bowl with all the best roasted veggies OR meet a friend of lunch at a healthy joint! We take face-to-face interaction for granted. It can be so refreshing to catch up with a friend, especially if it’s someone who has similar interests to you and can geek out over health & wellness! Whenever I meet a friend for coffee, lunch, or a workout, I always feel so happy after! Way more beneficial than just jumping on the phone!
  • If you have the time (and money) here are some other great options to add into your schedule:
    • Go to a float-tank and CHILL for 60 minutes. Check out my blog post here from my first experience!
    • Cryotherapy: great for muscle & joint recovery, collagen regrowth, naturally energy boost, inflammation, and better sleep.
    • Acupuncture
    • Body Work, Massage, Aromatherapy
    • Reiki or Kundalini yoga
    • Facial
    • Mani and/or pedi

4PM – Bedtime

  • Relax and and watch your favorite show! It’s OK to watch TV guys
  • Start meal prepping your favorite dish & maybe even whip up a healthy vegan dessert to indulge in after if you have the time! TIP: CACAO is a natural mood booster so I highly recommend any dessert to include cacao!
  • Light candles & enjoy your dinner!
  • End the night with a meditation. Pick up a book. Watch a movie or put on your favorite Netflix show.
  • End with a soothing cup of tea, put your legs up the wall for 10 minutes before you go to bed (great simple inversion that feels so good & is great to do at the end of the day after working out/walking/running etc. // helps to drain the lactic acid)
  • Get in bed early (before 10pm if you can!)

As you can see, there’s nothing crazy here (and pretty much everything here is doable on a budget)! These are little things that make me happy and give me time to truly be present and appreciate these little self-care tips. Yours may look different than mine and that’s totally fine! At the end of the day…DO YOU. Like I said, sometimes all you need is just one day to get right back on track ☺ Hope this helps!

How to Meal Prep for the Ultimate Buddha Bowl – making lunch easy & delicious

How to Meal Prep for the Ultimate Buddha Bowl – making lunch easy & delicious

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen me post a Buddha bowl or two…ha who am I kidding? More like every other day. They’ve pretty much become a staple in my diet and for good reason. Buddha Bowls are super nourishing, full of wholesome, real ingredients that are both good for you and believe it or not, taste REALLY good too.  They keep me satiated and leave me feeling energetic, not bogged down (which let’s be honest, is crucial when you’re eating lunch at 12pm and need to get through the rest of the work day without hitting that “afternoon slump”). If all of that isn’t enough reason to start introducing Buddha bowls into your diet, than how about the fact that so long as you meal prep, you can throw these together in less than 5 minutes AND keep it exciting each week with new/different creations?!

I wanted to provide you with my quick & dirty tips to building your own Buddha bowl each week and share some of my favorite recipes with you!

Pick a Base

I like to mix up my greens as much as possible or choose 1-2 to mix. My favorites are spinach, baby kale, romaine, and arugula. I use about 2-3 heaping cups of raw greens.

Choose a Protein

The key to feeling satisfied longer after lunch is to load up on protein. This can come in many ways. I choose not to eat meat, so my go-to protein sources usually come from the following (but obviously, feel free to add meat!):

  • Hard Boiled Eggs (I love making a huge batch of these on Sunday for meal prep. So easy, filling, budget-friendly, and are perfect for either a quick breakfast, snack, or to add to a salad bowl.
  • Veggie Burgers. I love Hilary’s Eat Well burgers. They’re super filling and taste delicious! They also have smaller; bite-sized veggie bites that I LOVE as well. Or if you’re feeling ambitious, make your own!
  • Plant-Based Protein. This can come as quinoa, chickpeas, lentils, white beans, black beans, mung beans, Portobello mushrooms, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, grains* (see below).
  • Salmon Quinoa Balls. This is a recent recipe of mine that I LOVE and it’s packed with protein, easy to make a batch of, and guess what? I use canned salmon and no, it doesn’t taste bad! I feel like canned fish gets a bad rep, BUT it’s all in how you use it. It’s important to make sure first and foremost that the can fish you’re buying is non-GMO, sustainably wild caught, and tests for mercury. Whole Foods usually has a few trustworthy brands in stock.
    • In a small bowl mix the following ingredients: 1 can of salmon + 1 full egg + about 1/3 cup pre-cooked quinoa (or more if you choose) + ¼ – ½ tsp garlic powder + Himalayan salt & black pepper to flavor + 1 heaping TBSP of Sir Kensington’s mustard + 1 heaping TBSP of Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo.
  • Mix evenly throughout and store in fridge for 30 minutes (this helps to harden them before forming small balls to cook on the stove top). Heat a sauté pan with 1 TBSP of ghee (I find this works best for frying). Form small balls (~ 2 tbsp each) and cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side, checking periodically. Remove once golden brown.

 

 

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Pick a Healthy Fat

Following the Fab 4 mindset from Kelly Lovaque’s book “Body Love” has really helped me to understand how to breakdown my meals and ensure I’m properly fueling myself. FATS are KEY for feeling full, longer. I find I’m soo much more satisfied with my meals when it’s backed with healthy fats.

  • Avocados (usually use about 1/3 of an avocado)
  • About 2 TBSP of Nuts or Seeds, or a combo of both (Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc. – pick one you love and stick with it!)
  • Oils (olive oil, flax oil, avocado oil, coconut oil – make a yummy dressing with any of these!)
  • Tahini (sooo yummy in Buddha bowls – mixes well with a splash of olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic)
  • Healthy salad dressings to have on hand (my favorite brand is Primal Kitchen. I always have a few of their dressings on hand. My favorites are the honey mustard, green goddess, and ceasar. They also have healthy mayos using avocado oil that I love as well.)
  • Salmon
  • Cook your veggies in Oils and/or Ghee.
  • Hummus
  • Nut-Based “Cheese” (favorites include Kite Hill and TreeLine)

Load up on the Veggies!

 

This is my FAVORITE part! I love seeing how my Buddha bowls change with the season. I love choosing veggies that are in season – they’re usually more affordable, they’re usually FRESH and LOCAL, and they’re really what your body needs. *hint* think about how our bodies crave starchy root vegetables in the fall and winter because they’re warming, nourishing, and keep us grounded (quite literally they are pulled from the ground). Ayurveda (eastern medicine) talks alllll about this if you’re interested in learning more!

For the Fall and Winter, I typically like to include 1-2 root vegetables in my bowl and then 1-2 other vegetables (more details below on some of my favorites). Details on meal prep tutorial at bottom of page.

Root Veggies:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Purple Potatoes
  • Delicata Squash
  • Butternut Squash
  • Acorn Squash

Additional Veggies:

  • Broccoli or Broccolini
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cauliflower (white, purple, yellow – they’re all great!)
  • Zucchini
  • Beets
  • Mushrooms
  • Heirloom Carrots

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Pick a source of Fiber

  • Lentils
  • Split peas
  • Chia seeds (although I’d recommend soaking them typically, rather than adding them raw)
  • Flax seeds
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Chickpeas (I love adding crispy chickpeas for a nice crunch on a salad!)
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Broccoli sprouts

Probiotic Rich Foods (optional, but recommended!)

 

  • Sauerkraut is ABSOLTUELY my go-to. Farmhouse Cultures or Wildbrine are both great brands.
  • Tempeh

 

Grains (optional)

 

I don’t always add grains to my Buddha bowls  – it usually depends on what my protein looks like. If I’m only adding 1 egg, I typically like to pair that with a grain that’s high in protein. Quinoa, Millet, Buckwheat, wheat berries, barley, wild rice, etc. are all fairly high in protein.

 

Choose a Dressing!

Though a minor step, your dressing can really pull your Buddha bowl together! A lot of what I choose to dress my Buddha bowls in, I’ve mentioned under “healthy fats”.

  • Oils (olive oil, flax oil, avocado oil, coconut oil)
  • Tahini – mixes well with a splash of olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic
  • Healthy salad dressings to have on hand (my favorite brand is Primal Kitchen. I always have a few of their dressings on hand. My favorites are the honey mustard, green goddess, and ceasar. They also have healthy mayos using avocado oil that I love as well.)
  • Hummus (sometimes a HUGE dollop of hummus w/ a squeeze of lemon juice is all you need!)
  • Nut-Based “Cheese” (favorites include Kite Hill and TreeLine)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar + Lemon Juice + Olive Oil
  • Make your own Honey Mustard (1 tsp honey + 1 tbsp Dijon mustard + 1 tbsp olive oil + a squeeze of fresh lemon juice + Himalayan salt + black pepper)
  • Vegan Pumpkin Seed Pesto (fresh basil, olive oil, lemon juice, pumpkin seeds, fresh minced garlic, handful of spinach, Himalayan salt, black pepper)

 

 

 


 

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Now, I know that was A LOT of information, but I wanted to show you just how easy it is to diversify your buddha bowls and mix it up each week! My recommendation to you is to choose 1 or 2 from each bucket that you’ll use for the week and meal prep it all on Sunday. Each week, choose something new and different from each bucket that way you’re always keeping things exciting!

Here’s an example of what I’ll prep on Sunday:

  • Roast vegetables. Set oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut my sweet potatoes into wedges, coat in avocado oil, Himalayan salt, black pepper, & rosemary. Cook for ~ 20-25 minutes & once soft, throw on broil for about 2 mins or until slightly charred.
  • I’ll also roast 2 heads of broccoli & one head of cauliflower at the same time. Coat them in coconut oil & add adobo seasoning from Primal Palate. I’ll cook them for a shorter amount of time (usually about 15-20 mins).
  • Let both of these sit & cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge.
  • While the above is cooking, I’ll boil a large pot of quinoa & hard boil about 6 eggs for the week.
  • The above should only take you about an hour in total! This alone makes prepping lunch each day SO much easier!
  • If I have extra time in my day, I may make my quinoa salmon burgers & whip together a vegan pesto that I can use in my Buddha bowls each week.

That’s it! Each day you make your bowl it should easily take less than 5 minutes to throw together and build your gorgeous, nourishing Buddha bowl!

A Long-Winded Note on –  Ending Anxiety around the Holidays, My Relationship with Food & Fitness, and Finding Acceptance

A Long-Winded Note on – Ending Anxiety around the Holidays, My Relationship with Food & Fitness, and Finding Acceptance

I don’t know about you, but family holidays always seem to spark my anxiety around food, which if you think about it, this seems counterintuitive to the point of Thanksgiving in the first place.  I can’t pinpoint exactly when and where this anxiety around food during the holidays started, but if I had to guess, I’d say back in high school during my, where we were just beginning to be introduced to social media and the “diet culture”.  Leading up to and following the holidays, you’d see “shedding for the holidays”, or “stay skinny this thanksgiving”, or “how to shed 10 pounds before and after the holidays”. It’s everywhere and nearly impossible to avoid. It’s no wonder high-schoolers’ (and probably even middle schoolers’) get roped into this mindset so early. They’re still young, impressionable, and heavily influenced by social media. I’m sure I’m not alone here, regardless of whether you’ve had an on and off relationship with food. This frame of thinking is basically engraved into everyone at one point or another.

Each year, I make it an effort to enjoy the time with my family and be PRESENT rather than feeling overwhelmed by thoughts around food, working out, looking good in my holiday outfit, and so on. Some years are successful and some years I find myself still consumed by these thoughts. The difference between past years and now is that I’m in a much better place mentally. Being a food blogger, it’s easy to feel consumed by food all the time. Constantly thinking about your next meal whether it’s for lunch that day or what you’ll be eating for breakfast on the weekend. Finding that balance between feeling controlled by food vs. just cooking and photographing out of pure joy/passion can be difficult, but it IS possible. I think the biggest challenge for me was eating to feel satiated. As I’ve discussed in the past, I’ve tried so many different diet and health-food trends, hoping that one would be the right fit for me. Unfortunately, none of them left me feeling satisfied and only had me craving more since I wasn’t getting the RIGHT food and nourishment for what my body needed.

I’d try to mimic the pretty food I saw on Instagram, which sometimes meant giant smoothie bowls loaded with fruit, almond butter, and granola. Sure, this tasted REALLY good and it was super filling at the time (I still think it should be enjoyed every now and then, the difference being that I’m now AWARE of how these ingredients will affect my cravings. I can still make a smoothie bowl, but the ingredients I choose to use may be different than what I would throw in, in the past). But was it really giving me the proper nutrition that I needed? Even after starting my morning with giant smoothie bowls, I couldn’t stop eating at night. None of it made sense to me. It wasn’t until recently where I started to really think about each plate at every meal. Was I getting proper protein, healthy fats, veggies, superfoods, fiber, etc? How much FRUIT (and additional sugar) was I consuming throughout the day? Was I eating enough calories? Did I need to adjust based on my workouts?

What I found was that a) I was running A LOT. Being a runner my whole life, I was used to logging a lot of miles and I “used” to be able to eat a lot of food to replenish. However, just like anything else that you do day in and day out, it can get mundane and your body starts to adapt. And b) though I was running anywhere from 5-8 miles about 4-5 times a week, I wasn’t burning as many calories as I used to. Yet I came home STARVING all the time and would likely overeat because that’s what I thought my hunger signs were telling me.

Fast forward to January 2017, post 200hr yoga teacher training. After 17 intensive days of pure yoga and little to no running, my body changed, but in a good way. I hadn’t seen results like this in SO LONG. I LOVED yoga and sadly, running became something I started to resent because it usually meant me hammering miles (and breaking down my body) to make up for all of the food I would consume. It became a vicious cycle and this small realization opened up a new way of looking at fitness. At the end of the day, I think that running is still a great way of getting some cardio in, but I’m not as tied to it as I used to be. Honestly, I probably run 1x a week now, if that. I’ve finally found a workout routine that makes me feel amazing, challenges my body (and mind), and the best part, I actually LOOK FORWARD to it! I share this bit because I feel for me, my relationship to fitness and food go hand-in-hand. The second I started to embrace working out as something that made me feel good, instead of looking at it as a way to punish my body, more positive thoughts around food started to fall in place.

I started craving foods that would truly nourish my body. I started understanding the science behind food & fitness. I became interested in the research. I invested time into listening to podcasts and reading; anything from body positivity, to spirituality, to nutritionists that covered everything from paleo, to plant-based, to keto, to grain-free / gluten-free, and everything in between. I started looking at everything with an open mind, ditched the “food labels”, and began to understand how different lifestyles worked for different people. I found it significantly helpful to understand the science & research behind all of these “health trends” so that I could pull bits of each to find what works well for me. It’s funny too because I’ve always been into following different health trends out there, but what happened, was that I would get too consumed by that particular one and closed off to the idea that maybe that lifestyle wasn’t the best for ME, even though it appeared that so and so on Instagram seemed to be incredibly happy following that lifestyle. 

My point to all of this is that this whole “wellness” thing is a journey. It’s trial and error. It’s accepting that we’re ALL different and have different needs. It means being open minded and accepting that health trends come and go for a reason. At the end of the day, it always seems to come back to eating wholesome, unprocessed food and finding a healthy, balanced workout routine that makes you feel good from the inside, out. Though I’ve found a more “balanced” way of living, this doesn’t mean that I’m throwing all concepts of healthy eating out the door when it comes to the holidays. If I REALLY want that dessert full of butter, I’ll eat it. BUT, I know that after I go for that, my body feels like shit. And I truly hate feeling like SHIT. This is the same reason why I choose to rarely drink alcohol. It makes me feel awful and for me, it’s not worth getting drunk to feel like crap the entire next day. Personally, it comes down to this: do I REALLY want that dessert or is it knowing that I’m allowing myself the option to grab it, that makes me deny it all together?

Here’s the other thing. I feel JUST as satisfied making my own dessert that I know tastes just as good, if not better, and is full of real ingredients and no refined sugars. Sometimes I get asked the question, “do you REALLY think that healthy dessert of yours tastes just as good as this store-bought cheesecake?” and my answer is always yes. This type of question used to drive me crazy. Why can’t others just accept that I actually enjoy healthy food? At the end of the day, you’re not going to please everyone. You need to do what makes you feel good. I still have balance and a healthy relationship with food, even if I still choose to go for my healthier dessert option. The difference in all of this is where my head and mental state is at. I can honestly say I’m truly in a better place. Not every day is perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot better than where it used to be. It’s all about progress, not perfection!

I hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

I’m absolutely so grateful for all of you!

Paleo & Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Loaf with Toasted Coconut

Paleo & Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Loaf with Toasted Coconut

Can you believe thanksgiving is ALREADY right around the corner?! I swear one week we were hitting low 70’s in October and the next thing I knew, I’m breaking out the parka jacket and cranking the heat in my car. Instead of complaining about the cold (which I’ve already done a fair share of LOL), I’m doing my best to embrace the “colder” days with open arms. How? BAKING. Now, if you know me, I’m not much of a baker. I hate following meausurements which typically gets me in trouble anytime I try to bake and “eyeball” how much flour or baking soda to add.

However, if you catch me in RARE form, I occasionally get the itch to bake, mostly because I’m craving something sweet, warm, and healthy to have on hand for dessert. Otherwise, I can promise you, I will not be baking just for FUN 🙂  In order to make baking more enjoyable for me, it’s super essential that I always have some staple baking ingredients on hand. Bobs Red Mill has ALWAYS been one of my go-to’s. Thanks to a recent delivery I got from them, I’m now ALL stocked up and ready to take the winter by storm (no pun intended)!

If you dread going outside in the dead of winter, I recommend having a few of the following staples on hand which you can always use interchangeably!

Flours/Powders all from Bob’s Red Mill:

Coconut flour, almond flour, buckwheat flour, ground flax meal, carob or cacao powder, shredded unsweetened coconut, gluten-free oats (blend in food processor to make oat flour)

Additional Baking Staples:

Refined sugar-free sweetener of choice (maple syrup, honey, date nectar, coconut nectar, organic vanilla bean); Coconut oil; Baking Powder; Eggs; Cinnamon; Himalayan Salt; and Almond Butter, Apple Sauce, or Mashed Banana as a thickener

Now to this recipe that I think will please EVERYONE at your thanksgiving gathering!

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Dry Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Buckwheat Flour
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Carob powder (or can substitute with cacao powder)
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill ground Flax Seed Meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Primal Palate Gingersnap seasoning

Wet Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter (Whole Foods no salt/sugar added)
  • 1/3 cup d’vash organics date nectar (honey or maple syrup work well too!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup organic apple sauce
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup mashed banana (~ 1 medium banana)
  • 1 cup pitted cherries (I used frozen cherries and defrosted them in microwave / then drained extra liquid)

Additional/Optional Toppings:

  • Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (if you like the taste of toasted coconut, I totally recommend this!)
  • Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips
  • Crushed Walnuts or Pecans

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Directions:

Set oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Coat a tin loaf pan with either coconut oil or parchment paper. (I used a 10 1/2″ x 5 1/4″ x 3″ metal loaf pan).

In a large bowl, mix all of your dry ingredients will with a fork. Set this aside and grab a separate bowl to mix all of your wet ingredients (EXCEPT FOR THE CHERRIES) together. Blend very well. You can then combine your dry ingredients into your bowl of wet ingredients. Again, blend very well so that everything is evenly dispersed. Finally, fold the cherries (and optional chocolate chips or crushed nuts) into the batter. Mix well.

Pour batter evenly into loaf pan. Sprinkle with shredded coconut (and/or optional crushed nuts). Bake in oven for 45-50 minutes (or longer if necessary). Top should be a little hard when done and you should be able to stick a fork in the center without it coming back all gooey!

Let cool for 10-20 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!!

 

This post is not paid for by Bob’s Red Mill. I received free product and that is it. I simply just love their products and would use them in baking regardless!

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